Martha set up cute-little-pie shop this weekend in the Little Owl event space to promote her new book, Pies and Tarts. I’m a big fan of her cookies book, so I had to swing by and show my support (via fork).
Mini $3 pies were going like hotcakes, and when I rolled in at 3, I scooped up one of the last ones—a sinfully rich, chewy chess tart that I can’t wait to recreate at home. Click through for the recipe.
To be honest, I can’t name the absolute best cupcake shop in the city. As mentioned in this post, I have a top three: Butter Lane, Baked by Melissa, and—a little secret I’ve kept until now—Sweet Revenge in the West Village. Can we just talk about their signature cupcake, perhaps the best flavor ever-ever-ever? Peanut butter cake, ganache filling, and peanut butter fudge frosting. The pictures can do the rest of the talking.
The tiny bar/bakery is the kind of place you don’t want to tell anyone about. It’s oh-so-cute on a charming West Village block, has wine and beer pairings for all cupcakes, is open late (12:30), and there’s a cupcake happy hour (cupcake and drink for $10).
On Sunday I found the best french toast in the city. It’s at Casa, a small Brazilian restaurant that my friend and I stumbled upon after we were turned away from The Little Owl. What a lucky happenstance.
The french toast is crunchy caramelized on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth fluff on the inside. My friend’s omelette was also superb; not over-cooked and stuffed with tasty Brazilian sausage. What’s more, everything was extremely affordable.
I haven’t had much Brazilian food in my lifetime, but I can’t wait to go back and try this cozy restaurant for dinner. New fave!
After multiple recommendations from friends, I decided it was time to find out what all the buzz was about at L’artusi. Turns out the buzz is well deserved. Not only are the Italian small plates innovative and delicious, but the service is impeccable! I’m not a stickler for good service, but when it slaps you in the face, suddenly all you can think is, “Ah-ha! This is what I’ve been missing!” It really made the whole experience. Bravo.
My only complaint was that I was melting. Not sure if the air conditioner was out or it was the heat from the open kitchen, but I would recommend asking for a table up front or on the second floor.
Now on to the eats!
I’m not a cheese connoisseur, so I can’t remember which ones we got, but they were served with granola and golden raisins soaked in honey. The raisins in honey bit was to die for. New favorite cheese pairing.
This was surprisingly my favorite dish of the meal. Sauteed mushrooms with an egg and cheese, mixed with perfectly seasoned pancetta. I don’t normally eat red meat, but this made me feel like I’ve been missing out.
This mushroom ragu was my other favorite dish. The pasta was perfectly cooked. Another instance where you don’t know what you’re missing until you have it done the right way.
The roast chicken came highly recommended. Coming from someone who eats a lot of chicken, I didn’t think it was anything extraordinary. Good, yes. Special, in my opinion, no.
The branzino, on the other hand, was sublime! Served in honey and roasted lemons, it was a unique treat, and a must get on a return visit.
I paid Milk and Cookies another visit. Same sentiments as last time, although the oatmeal scotchie has improved.
We tried (from top to bottom) oatmeal scotchie, chocolate chip, peanut butter, and s’mores.
All in all, it’s a cute concept but the cookies aren’t life changing. If you’re going to have a cookie shop, you better have the best darn cookie recipe in the city, especially for the prices they’re charging. I’ll drop in from time to time, but you’ll never find me making a special trip because i just have to have one.