I know, not my best title, what can I say? I couldn’t think of a better way to tie in all of my culinary adventures this past week. On Monday, at the grocery store, I spotted a pair of these beautiful pretzel rolls. I immediately became very attached to them and knew they had to come home with me. I wanted to make big meaty, juicy, burgers, but I settled on their healthier cousin, the turkey burger (this warmer weather is reminding me that bathing suit season is looming). Now, one of my favorite cooking tips is when cooking for one or two people, try to use the protein two ways, it just jazzes up your meals and keeps you from getting bored with leftovers. I didn’t want to be eating burgers all week, so I made two burgers from the pound of meat and used the rest for turkey meatballs. Then all I had to do was boil up some pasta, add the meatballs and some sauce, and I had a whole new meal!
Monday and Wednesday were turkey burgers and pasta with turkey meatballs respectively. Tuesday and Thursday, I had the good fortune of getting to eat at two fantastic restaurants. My dad was in town on Tuesday night and he took Matt and I out for a big dinner. I love when my parents come to town, not just because I get to go to restaurants I can’t afford, but because I only get to see them a few times a year and we always have so much fun we then come to town. For this visit we hit up Beacon Restaurant in Midtown. I picked it because it was close to my apartment, the menu looked great, and Time Out NY named it a great spot to take your parents. Now, you might be asking yourself, “what makes a restaurant more parent-friendly than others.” Well, I’m going to cite a few weekends ago when my friends and I went to Agave in the West Village. We had a very colorful waiter who struck up a conversation with my gaggle of girfriends that was not so parent appropriate…I won’t elaborate and even though I really enjoyed Brad’s interesting stories about performance art in the early ’90s, if I was at the next table overhearing that conversation with my father…I would have been a little bit…um…uncomfortable. So I wanted a nice, quiet, dad-compatible atmosphere, and Beacon was just perfect for it.
Beacon’s shitck is that everything is cooked in a wood burning oven or on a spit over a wood burning fire. And yes, you most certainly can taste the difference. We had a front row seat for the action as our table was just a few feet away from the giant oven. The kitchen was completely open to the rest of the restaurant. Thats right, no picture window, no glass partition. The only thing that stood between me and the 800 degree blaze was a four foot tall bar. It’s like watching a hockey game from the bench, right in the action, with the loom of possible danger hanging in the air. I started with some wood fired oysters with shallots and they were friggin’ off the charts. I didn’t think oysters could get any better…my god was I wrong. For my main dish I had sweetbreads, which I had been wanting to try for a long time. They’re something I see on lots of upscale New American restaurant menus. I’m glad I tried them, I think they were done well, although I have nothing to compare them to…but…if I had to do it again I think I would have ordered something a bit safer, like venison or rabbit, ya know an average dish.
As if we didn’t get enough decadence on Tuesday, on Thursday we had the rare opportunity to eat at BLT Steak for a mere fraction of the normal price. Dinner for two at this outstanding, trendy, outrageously delicious restaurant will run you around the 300 mark (if you drink like Matt and I do). BUT on March 3rd, BLT was celebrating their 7th anniversary of their Manhattan location opening on March 3rd, 2004, and to celebrate all of their steaks were $33 and all of their sides, cocktails, and desserts were…wait for it…$3.04. WHAT!? Yup you read that right. I mean, come on, you can’t even get a latte in this down for three bucks. Can you say you say STEAL OF THE CENTURY…’cause I can. And now I’m going to shut up and leave you alone with some eye candy…enjoy!