I am sooo behind with posting about my recent food-adventures! this post might be a bit random (goes back to my weekend in NYC in early Feb!) but here we gooo~
Thalia (8th Ave and 50th street, NY)
one place I would really like to recommend is Thalia by Columbus Circle area in NYC. It’s your typical midtown restaurant really.. but what i enjoyed about it is that it’s quite low key in a chillax atmosphere~ Also, who can say no to $1 oysters???! Thalia does offer dollar a shuck DAILY from 7pm to 10pm— which is AMAZING b/c the only thing you have to figure out is “do i want oysters today?” and if yes, then just visit Thalia at 7 or later.
Fried Calamari is also a solid choice as well. $9 on the menu and as you can see, the portion is GIANORMOUS! i think the plate– more like a bowl, i think.. offers more than what you get at Cheesecake Factory AND almost at half the price! lol This will be a MUST get from now on. it makes a great happy hour muncher.
this is actually from my 3rd and most visit at Thalia. Super hungry when i arrived at the restaurant and decided to order an entree even though my friends and I were just relaxing with some oysters and drinks~
for a while now, i’ve been trying to figure out why Thalia only has 3.5 stars on yelp.. and I guess because of that, i wasn’t holding very high expectations when coming here~ but so far each time after my meal, I’ve always walked out of Thalia in content and satisfaction. So of course, the Capellini did not disappoint and only surprised me. For those who are fans of seafood, you have probably heard of or tried the squid ink pasta. it is soooo delicious especially, in all its al dente-ness. i highly recommend this flavorful tour di mare dish and i feel like Thalia is quite generous with its portion too! look at all those clams and mussels! there are shrimps and calamari in there as well! it really brought out the squid ink/fresh taste of the sea flavor in the pasta and complemented the seafood extremely well.
Ai Fiori (36th st and 5th ave, NYC)
Ai Fiori is definitely one of the more memorable dining experiences in my life. they offer a $90 4-course dinner with a wide array of choices~ and to start, they gave us a complementary sample of their cream of wild mushroom soup. it was fantastic! as soon as i took the gulp, I instantly wanted to wave down the waiter to order more!– but.. i didn’t… haha no joke, it was that captivating! they also top the soup off with a dollop of buttery whipped cream? it made it even smoother and literally melts down your throat.
onto the actual first course~!
this is completely different than what i had pictured in my head. Yes, i know it’s missing a lot of greens….? haha actually the whole appetizer only consisted of lobster meat with their special dressing. the closest comparison i can think of is the chicken salad? or potato salad? but minus all the lardy mayonnaise in the mix.
Scallops in bone marrow
of all the appetizers on the menu, i think, hands down, this is the best choice of all. If you’ve ever had the Japanese Tonkotsu broth ramen, then you probably have an idea what bone marrow tastes like. it delivers a potent and distinct savory taste to your pallet. somewhat resembles how truffle adds a punch of deliciousness to whatever it touches. the scallops and the marrow became perfect complements. it’s another one of those dishes where with just one bite, it makes you craaave for another. the taste of the sauce definitely lingers and grows as you masticate another scallop. if you enjoy and actually prefer dishes where there are levels of flavors, this is a must-try!
2nd course! pasta! I had the blue crab linguini (on the left) and him– the squid ink with more! scallops (well baby shallots)! haha i looooved the crab pasta!
the shape of the squid ink was pretty cool~ i wish i know how they made it into a spiral haha i felt like a little kid at a science museum just examining and starring at the pasta in awe. anywho~ it was yummy and that’s all that matters really. haha it had a lighter taste than my blue crab noodles. though not surprising when compared to crab meat, since out of all the critters under the sea, i’d say crab is the crustacean king of aroma.
3rd Course – long island duck, foie gras, apples, chestnuts, mustard greens
Compared to the first 2, the entree was kind of underwhelming~ maybe because by the 3rd dish, we were somewhat feeling full already. it was delicious with the foie gras but it didn’t wow me.
Dessert – Apricot tart (?) with sorbet
i am no connoisseur of desserts, but it was yummy! it was like a light apricot tart paired with some dark chocolate sauce on the side.
I highly recommend Ai Fiori in NYC. it was definitely one of the most memorable dinners i’ve had. the taste was so fresh and fabulous~ it’s no wonder why they have 1 Michelin star. i think they’re most known for the pasta and after trying it out, i can see why! that was definitely my favorite course! yum yum~ i hope to return soon!
to be continued…