Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hobohalloweekend: Part 2

by EP

After we arrived in the Big Apple and had lunch and more than a few sweet treats, we went to our hotel room to relax, have some champagne (of course), and get ready for the evening's activities. That night, we attended a Halloween burlesque show at the Highline Ballroom put on by Lady Rizo and the Assettes.  It was a fun and sassy show that included a trapeze act, a very dramatic and exciting rendition of "Blame it on the Alcohol" sung by Lady Rizo herself, and a number involving faux pig's blood, a la "Carrie."  Wow.

We didn't have the right kind of opener for the champagne, so we had to use brute force.
These faces reflect the pure joy and relief of getting the bottle open!

After the show, we hopped in a cab just in time to make our 9:30 10:00pm reservation at Tabla, a Danny Meyer restaurant that's always been on our list of NYC restaurants to hit, but it always gets bumped for something else.  When we heard that Tabla is set to close at the end of this year, we figured this was our last chance, so we booked it (Danno).

Post show, pre-dinner photoshoot

We met up with our dear friend Jenny, who was in town from LA (you might remember her from some of these LA eats posts) for dinner.  The space was hip and warm, especially on the chilly night-before-Halloween evening.

Tabla is an upscale Indian restaurant, so they focus a lot on delicious breads and salads, and modern takes on traditional Indian fare.  We looked at the menu and knew immediately that we wanted the "Tabla Tour" tasting menu, a multi-course menu served family style, but we chose to go with the vegetarian version.

First course: Chutney Tasting

This course actually continued throughout the meal - every now and again the waiters would bring out a bread and a few different kinds of chutney.  In total, we tried the garlic tandoori flatbread and the rosemary flatbread, and sampled the following kinds of chutney: tomato, tamarind, cilantro-mint, pear, and lemon, and the best of all: peanut-chipotle raita.  So good with the hot, oily bread fresh from the oven.

Second course: Onion Rings and Apple & Fingerling Potato Chaat

The onion rings were addictive: crunchy, well-spiced and served with a sophisticated ketchup-like tomato sauce.

The chaat was a little bit sour and had great textural contract from the apples and potatoes.  It tasted just a little bit like charoset, but not too much.

Third course: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Vegetable/chickpea fritter thing

The brussels sprouts were super-flavorful from the ginger and chiles in the salad (read: super spicy), but were cooked perfectly.  Serving brussels sprouts shredded is the new black, don't you think?

One of the best bites of the evening was the vegetable/chickpea fritter (also served with the ketchup that came with the onion rings), hot and crunchy and fresh from the fryer. I wish there had been more of these!

Fourth course: Chickpea Masala and Black Cumin Pilaf

The chickpea masala had coriander, cumin, and mango, and the dish was familiar from our trips to the Indian buffet (but no less delicious!).  The rice was completely outstanding.  The pilaf had caramelized onions, toasted cashews and golden raisins, which all came together to form a perfect rice dish.

Fifth course: Greens with Lentils and Local Green Tomato Curry


By this point in the meal we were pretty full, especially since they kept the yummy bread coming.  From what I can remember, green tomato curry was a little tart, a little spicy, and went great with the bread.  The lentils with greens were good but not life-changing.  

Sixth course: Milk Chocolate Kulfi Pop

This was the chef's play on a s'more: there was a toasted marshmallow atop a little cookie, and beside it was a chocolate covered ice cream pop.  Good but not great.  I wished there had been something more...Indian.  Call me crazy.

Overall, it was a really fun evening and a yummy end to our first day in NYC!  Great to see Jenny for a bit to catch up and reminisce about our high school days (specifically, the glory of the Bear Press, our school newspaper).

Coming up next: our 3rd and final NYC post featuring everyone's favorite meal (except mine): brunch!


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