Crêpes du Nord – French/Scandinavian – Financial District
Feb 18th, 2011 by plumpdumpling

It only makes sense that the ladies behind Goodies First and donuts4dinner would team up for a crepes luncheon, right? And we even had the good sense not to skip straight to dessert.

Crêpes du Nord opened about a year ago just a few minutes from my office in the Financial District, but that whole Stone Street restaurant conglomerate sort of scares me with its frat house feel. The street is closed to traffic and filled with umbrella-shaded picnic tables, which would be lovely if they weren’t constantly crowded with light blue dress shirts and uncomfortable heels. But that’s New York, I guess.

I had a gift certificate, which made the decision to go quite a bit easier, and it turns out you can enter the restaurant through the William Street side, which is considerably more relaxed. The restaurant can only hold about 20 people, so I recommend getting there well before or after the lunch rush. And if you get a table near the front, you can watch your crepe being skillfully made.

Crepes du Nord
Prosciutto di Parma, ricotta, arugula, black pepper, lemon

Krista described her openface prosciutto crepe filled with ricotta as a nice sandwich alternative that “certainly” beats the offerings at Subway, which I’m not sure is much of a compliment, but she did say she liked the buckwheaty heftiness of the crepe.

Crepes du Nord

Crepes du Nord
Country Herb Chicken, ricotta, ratatouille

The reviews I read all suggested the Country Herb Chicken crepe, and while I felt pretty pedestrian ordering fowl when there was herring, shrimp, and short rib on the menu, I just had to hope the reviewers weren’t all Statue of Liberty visitors with Ohio palates. I couldn’t have expected more from the crepe, though; side by side with tender summer squash in an herbed tomato sauce, the chunks of chicken were juicy yet firm to complement the creaminess of the cheese.

Crepes du Nord
Dulce De Leche, caramel, fresh banana, whipped cream

Again, this was probably the boringest of the dessert crepes, but it really hit my soft spot for caramel. The whipped cream could’ve been thicker for me, but once you’ve had the Peter Luger schlag, all other whipped cream is a fail.

Rating One StarOne StarOne StarBlank StarBlank Star

My co-workers were concerned my lunch date wouldn’t be able to keep up with me in the gluttony department, but it turns out I couldn’t finish either of my dishes. For $5 to $12 each, the crepes were just as filling as any generic sandwich but with twice the taste and skill required. Plus, the subtle but sleek decor makes it a great place for a lunch date.

Crêpes du Nord
17 South William Street
New York, NY 10004 (map)

Becco – Italian – Hell’s Kitchen
Jun 29th, 2010 by plumpdumpling

Finding restaurants that can hold a group as big as my office’s monthly dinner club of co-workers past and present can sometimes be a major challenge, so super-touristy places like Becco are sometimes our only choice. Luckily, super-touristy doesn’t have to mean super-might-as-well-have-gone-to-McDonald’s.

antipasto misto

I know the last picture is awful, but that carrot was so crazy soft and delicious that I had to publicly preserve its memory.

osso bucco

My friend Ash ordered the osso bucco, and everyone was amazed as she went to town on it, scooping the marrow out of the bone with a tiny fork first so she could be sure she didn’t fill up on anything else.

But Becco’s main draw is its unlimited pasta special. For a stupidly low price, you get the three house pastas of the day brought to your table in heaping piles until you beg your server to stop. That night, ours were:

mushroom ravioli

(Even with my usual distrust of mushrooms, the ravioli was easily my favourite of the three.)


veal bolognese

Now, I have to admit that pasta never exactly blows me out of the water (unless it’s gnocchi). A lot of it is way too bland for me after growing up with a mother who must have used half a gallon of oregano in her spaghetti. But this was really, really good pasta. My boyfriend couldn’t stop talking about it for days, actually. And even the Brooklyn-born Italian in our group didn’t complain.

apple strudel with house-made cinnamon gelato

This dessert was the hugest disappointment of my life, but I don’t think it was Becco’s fault. When I ordered it, I guess I was thinking of streusel or an apple brown betty or something, because I expected apple pie filling with a crumbly brown sugar topping. Instead I got apple pie filling and a flaky crust. NOT THE SAME. Very light and not overly sweet, but these are not the things I look for in a dessert.

Funnily enough, I chastised my boyfriend and the Italian for ordering the zabaglione with seasonal fruit, thinking it was the equivalent to a stupid fruit cup with some whipped cream. But dude, zabaglione is great. The custard was suuuuuuuper-intensely flavorful and much more dense than I would’ve imagined. GET THE ZABAGLIONE. You’re welcome.

Some glamour shots of my friends, because they’re vain.

Rating One StarOne StarOne StarZero StarsZero Stars

I kind of get a kick out of going to places like this from time to time, because they’re so unlike most NYC restaurants. Meaning huge and bright and full of people who actually eat. I definitely recommend Becco for big groups and anyone who wants to feel like he’s at a huge family dinner for a night.

355 West 46th Street
New York, NY 10036 (map)

Sundaes and Cones – Sweets – East Village
Jun 16th, 2010 by plumpdumpling

I like ice cream more than any other dessert. I rarely order it in restaurants, because it’s usually not being made in-house, but I lovelovelove to visit ice cream parlors. I wanted to try Sundaes and Cones, I’ll admit, because I read a review that described their scoops as “too big“, and I thought that was idiotic.

Sundaes and Cones

I tried the corn and the chocolate-peanut butter flavor and would happily go back for both. I thought the corn could use some of the berry swirl you usually see at other gourmet parlors to sweeten it up a bit more, but someone who likes less-sweet desserts would love this one. And, well, the picture pretty much tells you how chocolatey that chocolate scoop is. Not an ice cream for those afraid of flavor. Not one for those afraid of gluttony, either.

Rating One StarOne StarOne StarZero StarsZero Stars

Sundaes and Cones
95 East 10th Street
New York, NY 10003 (map)

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