I got a little promotion at the ol' job so Meena decided to take me out for a nice dinner at our neighboring Bocca Lupo. It was a little chilly out so it just felt like the best possible option.

Oddly, we didn't order our favorite thing there! They are probably famous for a number of things, but we usually think the bruschetta is one of the best. For reasons unknown, we didn't order any!

But we did order the following:
- vegetable antipasti (various marinated vegetables)
- fettuccine with lamb ragu
- panini with sweet sausage, broccoli rabe and porcini mushrooms

Awesome dinner. The vegetable plate had all sorts of fun stuff. From a sweet potato mash to marinated jalapeƱos and sweet red beets. Awesome.

The lamb ragu was perfect and the pasta was fresh and delicious.

And the panini was as always, crisp and spicy. I love you Bocca Lupo.


THAI x 2

Meena wasn't feeling so hot last night so rather than heading out for some quick Lucali, we opted to stay in and just order some Joya. It was cold and windy, so I felt like a little warm delivery might be the pick-me-up she needed.

Couple things to note here.

1) Joya is cheap. Very cheap. It's insane.

2) Although we've determined they're the best Thai delivery in the hood, something was off last night.

I wasn't in the mood to make decisions last night so we both just had chicken pad thai. Meena's was medium spicy and mine was extra hot.

They got the levels of heat correct but for some reason they felt compelled to dump the sauce on there like it was going out of style. Not that pad thai ever feels healthy, but this one just felt like it was going to go straight to my aorta and build a fat dam.

It was weird, but not awful or anything. Not at all. Just over sauced.

It's cool Joya. I know you're not reading ... but if you are, you get a mulligan on this one. We're still going to call in your tasty thai treats when we don't feel like turning on the oven.



After an awesome Colts win and an afternoon spent at the bar to view said win, we were sorta full. I had to drink a couple beers to keep my seat and I didn't feel all that hungry when that dinner hour rolled around.

We figured the quickest and easiest way to get a little extra nourishment was to hit Cube 63. Small meal, quick food. Sounds good.

We were also really excited to see the Cube packed! All sorts of people were there. Very good news.

Anyway, Meena had:
- seaweed salad
- white tuna
- salmon
- spicy tuna roll

Alec had:
- miso soup
- clinton roll (spicy tuna, tempura flakes, tuna)

It was just right for a Sunday evening.


Meena put together an amazing breakfast yesterday. We both got up really early and she immediately got to work on this fantastic feast of eggs, sausage and apples.

Her first little side featured:
- chicken apple sausage
- onions
- green apples
- apple cider

The egg dish was super nice and buttery and included:
- leftover chicken tikka masala
- eggs
- chives
- milk
- salt
- black pepper

And she finished it all off with some sliced apple. This one was awesome and it got us going like champs.



Last night we were able to accomplish a few of Meena's favorite things. First, we went to Gutter, the new bowling alley for a couple competitive frames. Second, we hit Anytime Cafe in Williamsburg for delicious tater tots. Does Saturday get any better?

After discovering that Steveo and Meena were far superior to Dan and I (sorry, Dan, it's true), we hit Anytime for some post competition nourishment.

Meena had:
- chicken sandwich with tots

Alec had:
- anytime burger with onion rings and mixed greens

Dan had:
- falafel with tots

Steve had:
- avocado sandwich with tots

One of the best Saturday nights in recent memory. Obviously.



Friday night we basically went straight to Dan and Steve's for some delicious treats and a few bottles of wine. Dan had tons of delightful stuff worked up by the time we arrived. From savory to sweet, Dan was all over it.

We started with some of Dan's famous dillies prepared two ways and presented in a couple lovely dishes. Awesome way to begin.

Next round was a wonderful spin dip. Not sure which aunt Dan said he grabbed the recipe from, but she's a genius. No doubt.

About the same time he unveiled the spin dip, Dan brought out a wonderful tray of cheeses, crackers and apples. Fantastic flavors.

The real star of the evening was Dan's dessert dip - a creamy pumpkin concoction with gingersnap cookies. I don't know where he found this one but it was Fall in a sweet, delicious dip. Perfect way to end this culinary tour de force.



We haven't made the pizzettas in a minute so we decided to give the genre a little lovin' last night. I wasn't in the mood to do anything elaborate so we kept it to two options and just a small handful of ingredients. I believe it was an excellent plan. I think Meena agreed.

Our first shot featured:
- pear
- prosciutto
- balsamic reduction
- shaved parmesan
- flour tortilla

The second take was the more salty version:
- basil pesto
- anchovy
- shaved parmesan
- ancho chile puree
- flour tortilla

This was one of our better attempts in a while. I really enjoyed both options. For different reasons. The first take had juicy pears with thick, tart balsamic and a bit of that salty ham. But the overall feeling was - "this is the sweet one."

Option 2 had the super salty anchovy and parmesan combo working for it. I spent some time blending up those ancho chiles and I gotta be honest ... wasn't worth it. I'm officially not a huge fan of the ancho. It tastes too much like a raisin. I want something with more heat, cousin!

Anyway, it was a good night. Very delicious.



This one is truly odd for us. We NEVER have Chinese delivery but due to our late arrival in Brooklyn last night, we were left with no other option.

We had some drinks at a Men's Journal event and when we finally made it back home, everything was closed.

I suppose we could have hit the bodega and picked up some groceries, but we really weren't in any mood to cook, man. It was late and we had been drinking some weird liqueur for hours. Just wasn't in the cards.

We finally found China Hong willing to cook for us and we ordered like 12-year-old kids.

Meena had:
- sesame chicken

I had:
- general tso's chicken
- hot and sour soup

I mean, it was cheap Chinese. It was fine. Not really good. But not bad. With cheap Chinese, you always know what you're getting. China Hong was no different. They did throw in a couple drinks. That was nice. Weird night. Weird dinner. We'll try to normalize tonight.



I got home late last night so I really didn't have time for cooking. Sadly. I was going to try and whip something up but once I got off the train, Meena said she'd just called in Cube 63. I had no complaints.

I kept my stuff pretty standard:
- miso soup
- california roll, spicy tuna roll, tuna and avocado roll

Meena did things a little differently:
- shrimp shumai
- california roll, shrimp tempura roll and spicy tuna roll

Not much to say except that as always, this was TOTALLY delicious.



This thing isn't pretty. Or, at least in the photo. It seemed prettier in real life. But yeah. Here it looks like the official dish of the Pittsburgh Steelers or something.

Luckily it was delicious. It's not going to win any beauty pageants. But the taste makes me think ... who cares?

We got the kebabs started with some simple ingredients:
- beef (marinated in red wine, olive oil and soy sauce)
- crimini mushrooms
- yellow bell pepper
- red onion

I also made a quick salad:
- corn
- black beans
- red onion
- cumin
- olive oil
- salt
- ancho chile pepper

And I served the kebabs with my version of tahini sauce:
- fat free sour cream
- garlic
- lemon juice

The beef was stew beef that we ended up not using for chili, so it wasn't SUPER tender. But it was good. It wasn't that tough and I cooked it at a temp that kept it soft and juicy on the inside while the outside got crisp and caramelized.

The little sauce I served with the kebab goodies was perfect. Just what I wanted.

The salad was your standard corn and bean salad. And it was good and very well received.

And even better, I have lunch tomorrow!



We had a pretty lazy Brooklyn day. We got the report from Milwaukee that our parents' first meeting was a rousing success. No surprise. We wished we could have been there, but alas, we aren't made of money and airline tickets.

Anyway, our stroll through the hood included a stop at Paisanos on Smith for some assorted sausages. We decided we'd finally fire up the grill tonight and the first meal would be assorted sausages with grilled peppers and onions. Does it get any better? Nah.

Meena had:
- chicken sausage with tomato and garlic

Alec had:
- lamb sausage with red wine

We also split an additional link:
- chicken sausage with chipotle peppers

Smoky sausage with peppers, onions, mustard and a grilled bun? Sheesh. Throw in a Snapperhead IPA and you've got yourself the perfect Sunday night.


Yesterday I decided to tag along with James for a quick trip up to his old stomping grounds in Amherst, MA. James is a grad of one of the town's five institutions of higher learning (ZOO MASS) and lucky for us, the football team was playing rival Northeastern.

We hit the game with James' sister and didn't stay for the whole thing. Things got pretty boring in the fourth quarter.

After checking out the campus and hitting the bookstore, we decided to head out for some dinner in neighboring Northampton. We tried a few spots and were met with INSANE waits, so we ended up deciding on Thai Garden. We had to wait there as well, but not as long as the others. And we saw Thurston Moore walk by while we were hanging. So I mean, that's cool, right?

I can't remember what my companions had, but I went with a big Singha and some pad thai. With a little chili paste, it was quite good. I think we all left pretty pleased with dinner.

Excellent culinary end to a great day at the ZOO.



To celebrate another week coming to its conclusion, Meena and I made reservations at Smith Street's critically acclaimed Chestnut. There are a handful of popular joints on the Smith Street strip and several haven't really impressed me. The Grocery was a disappointment. Well. I guess that's the only one. I only heard from James and D that Po wasn't as good as the Village version. At any rate, I'm skeptical of them and Chestnut outpaced expectations.

The place is cute. Very cute. It's really hot (thus the title) and I was baking for the entirety of the meal, but the food made it worth the trouble.

We were treated to some house made pickles, focaccia and walnut bread. I think it was walnut. It was good whatever it was. The pickles were nice. Meena didn't LOVE them, but pickles to start? That's always a winner with us.

For small plates, Meena got going with:
- haystack shrimp with cilantro puree

I had:
- butter lettuce, breakfast radish & maytag blue cheese

And Meena's main course was:
- chicken breast, sausage filling, greens & potato gallette

I wanted the skate, but because it was unavailable, I had:
- bacon wrapped pork tenderloin, corn pudding & scallion gravy

So I think I ended up making the better orders. Meena wasn't a fan of the haystack shrimp. They were TOO fried ... meaning the flavor was basically frying oil. Her chicken was really good, but I'm not sure she'd order it again.

I won with both orders. The salad was decadent. Probably heart-stopping decadence, but who cares. It was awesome. And the pork was cooked perfectly and the bacon was superb. Pork, bacon and corn pudding? Come on ... that's a little slice of heaven for this Indiana boy.

We'll hit Chestnut again.



We talked about a handful of stuff for dinner last night, but somehow decided on fish tacos. I can't remember all of the other ideas, but I think stir fry might have been in there. It doesn't matter, but I'm just saying. We very nearly didn't go with a delicious dinner idea.

We hit Fish Tales on the way home and grabbed a few veggies from Pacific Green and we were on our way to fish taco heaven:
- cod fillets
- miso
- salt
- serrano peppers
- salsa
- sour cream
- avocado
- flour tortilla

We served the whole thing up with some grilled corn on the cob. Awesome. I'm not sure why these were so awesome but they really were. Pretty simple ingredients with some simple additions spelled culinary bliss for us last night.



Last night I was in the LES at one of the CMJ showcases and Matt and I didn't have a ton of time to eat before the show got going. So what did we do? Hit Whole Foods, that's what we did.

It was really odd. Eating there is like being back in my college cafeteria. Very strange with all these kids reading and old folks having real estate meetings. But the food was decent and it wasn't that expensive.

I seem to recall having a hummus tuna salad, some grilled chicken and olives, a curried cauliflower, roasted squash and some sprouts.

While I was away, Meena kept it real with the good old Joya delivery. No photos, but if you've read the blog, you know what a chicken pad thai (medium spicy) looks like.



Last night we wanted to go to Lucali for some delicious pizza, but little did we know, they're not open on Tuesdays. We had no idea. But it was OK. We figured it would make us try something new.

We shuffled through the hood and finally landed at a very popular brunch spot, Cafe Luluc. It was pretty quiet so we decided it was a solid option.

We both started with:
- steamed mussels in a garlic and fennel infused broth

Meena had:
- hanger steak with frites

Alec had:
- hamburger with frites

The food was OK. The mussels were very nice. Meena's steak was in a peppercorn sauce that was way too sweet for her taste. My burger came back a bit on the totally cooked to death side, so that was unfortunate. But the place is cute and the people are nice. I think we'll just join the rest of the neighborhood and keep this place in the brunch category.



That's the Flight of the Conchords pronunciation, FYI. Emphasis on the BAP. Because it's funnier that way. Right?

Meena had to run some errands last night, so I ran by Fish Tales and Pacific Green to pick up supplies for kebabs. I'm not sure why I was so obsessed with the idea all day but I really wanted them. There was no turning back. Here's how it went:
- salmon
- shrimp
- poblano pepper
- red bell pepper
- crimini mushrooms
- salt
- hoisin

We served the whole thing with another box of that thai rice. It's surprisingly good for boxed rice. Who knew?

I probably should have used onion with this but I didn't have any and forgot to buy one. Other than that, I think we both enjoyed it. And I'm no health expert, but I don't think it was all that bad for us either. No oil or excessive sauce. I love ke-BAPS!

We also had a little starter you're seeing up there. Mostly just cleaning out the fridge. We had a little chorizo and prosciutto I needed to use so we just threw it out there. Meena liked the pickles the most (and maybe I did too).



While I was sweeping up leaves in the back yard yesterday afternoon, Meena was hard at work in the kitchen getting a pot of beef stew slowly cooking away. The goal was to let that sucker slowly simmer away and melt all the delicious veggies and beef while we watched the "game of the month" and kicked back on the couch.

The whole thing smelled amazing and here's what went into it:
- stew beef
- shallots
- garlic
- white onion
- worchestershire sauce
- red wine
- vegetable stock
- salt
- black pepper
- potatoes
- carrots
- crimini mushrooms
- crushed tomatoes
- honey

It was delicious. I don't know what she did, but the whole thing was melt in your mouth perfection. The meat fell apart and was packed with flavor from sitting it its wine and tomato broth all afternoon.

I told Meena I'm not ever going to make stew again. This is obviously her domain and I clearly have no business attempting to imitate something as delicious as this.

I can't imagine a more perfect way to close a wonderful Fall Sunday.



After some brief discussion and a general reluctance to set foot outside the house another time, we decided last night that we really didn't want to do anything. We wanted to have some dinner, a bottle of wine and watch Transformers. Call us dorks ... but it just felt like the most ideal evening ever.

Meena got us started with a wonderful spread of cheese, bread and that rich artichoke and lemon spread. I threw in some kipper snacks. Delicious little smoked herring from Canada. Meena was reluctant to taste them, but in the end, she was on board too. Mostly because they're awesome and there's just no denying it.

For the main course, we picked up a super easy number from Rocco DiSpirito's first book. Note: I didn't buy his book. I had a preconceived dislike for Rocco, but Men's Journal did an event with him the other day and I wound up with a copy of his book. For all his pomp and showmanship, he's actually got some great taste. That may not be surprising to some, but it was to me.

So we went with the miso chicken he described as one of the easiest to prepare in the whole book. He was totally right. We used:
- butterflied chicken breast
- miso
- orange marmalade
- rice vinegar
- olive oil

I added the vinegar and the oil. I think. I can't remember and I'm too lazy to go check. I realize something like sesame oil would have been better, but I didn't have any. No problem. Olive worked.

Meena added some strange Thai rice that featured coconut and garlic and had an amazing kick for something originating from a box. But the flavor went really well with chicken.

Delicious dinner.



Meena slept in a bit this morning so I ran out for some breakfast ingredients and some stuff ready to go when she woke up this morning. We had a bunch of stuff so I didn't need much, but I wasn't that excited to get that creative with chorizo this morning. Just figured I'd add what I needed and get to work.

I started with the potatoes:
- red potatoes
- salt
- olive oil
- thyme

Then got to work on the omelet:
- egg
- spinach
- white onion
- milk
- salt
- goat milk manchego
- proscuitto
- fire-roasted tomato salsa

And I finished the thing off with some concord grapes. Those seeds are a pain, but boy are they worth it. They're the best grapes in the world!


Dan and Steve came by last night and as always, we had a blast. We hung around the house for a minute and sipped wine before we took off for some dinner and more drinks.

We had high hopes of hitting Lucali but that wasn't happening. They weren't taking tables. And Bocca Lupo was packed. So we meandered for a minute and wound up at this Italian place on Court Street. I'm not even going to mention the name. It's not worth it. The food was OK but we won't be back. No thanks. I just put a picture of our neighborhood up there because I think that's a lot prettier.

Afterwards we hit Black Mountain Wine House again and it was amazing as always. We had this delicious Murphy's Law Red and it was amazing. All four of us were really pleased. Yet another reason this is our favorite bar on the planet.



We're nearly there. The weekend is so close we can taste it. That's why we decided to make a little celebration on our plates last night. Some rich cheese and bread for starters and some creamy, salty salmon for our main course. And of course, a glass or two of a delicious pinot noir to make sure the transition into Friday was a true party.

As you can see, the starter included some pumpernickel baguette, the last of our pickled onions and a couple cheeses. One was a goats milk manchego and I can't remember what the other was. Both very good, though.

The salmon dish was inspired by something I saw on Food & Wine's website. Per usual, I didn't really pay attention to the recipe at all. Just saw the photo and went from there with the following:
- salmon fillets
- salt
- spinach
- prosciutto
- crimini mushrooms
- shiitake mushrooms
- oyster sauce
- hot sauce (garnish)

I don't know what it was about the salmon last night, but it was amazing. They must have received their shipment yesterday because this was super fresh and it cooked so well. And this whole method I picked up from Heat is probably standard practice, but boy oh boy. I'll never try it any other way.

Meena was really into this dish and I think we'll probably do this again. I was saying we probably cook salmon too much, but whatever, man. We're getting better each time we do it and it's not that bad for you. Lately I've even taken oil out of the equation. So like I said. Whatever. I'm going to keep on knocking out salmon because it's delicious!



I had a really lengthy conference call last night that put me home late and when I got of the subway, I just didn't feel like trudging around Cobble Hill for ingredients. Meena had been fluttering around the hood too and when we met up, we both agreed hanging around and not cooking would be ideal. And so it was.

Sushi rose to the top of our dinner discussion and Cube 63 was quickly dispatched to quell our hunger. We didn't stray too far from the usual. Alec had:
- miso soup
- salmon and avocado roll
- yellowtail and scallion roll

Meena had:
- shrimp shumai
- lobster tempura roll
- spicy tuna roll

There's something I've meant to tell you for a long, long time ... I ... I think I love you Cube 63.