LOST DINNER! We wanted to keep it totally tasty for a new episode of Lost. And ... I think we did!

Meena got a bunch of condiments ready before I got home from having a beer with one of our designers who is leaving for another magazine. So Meena was awesome and got the following prepared:
- guacamole
- sour cream
- salsa
- spinach
- shredded cheese
- warm flour tortillas

And when I got home, I cooked up a mix of talapia and red snapper. Pan grilled it with a little salt, pepper, olive oil, cajun seasoning, garlic and crushed red pepper.




How fitting. Post 500 and we're rockin' some delivery Chinese.

Not that 500 posts matters, really. It's just another day. And another meal. And I promise, I'll stop celebrating these post anniversaries. I'll wait until 1000 until I say something again. Promise. And it took me a year and a half to get here ... so fear not, you won't read about it again for some time.

Anyway, we were at Irving Plaza (a very PACKED Irving Plaza) to see The Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band rock the house. That's right, Peyton, Breezy and Jayme were in town last night for a very impressive show. They've become so much better and I'm so, so proud of them. Check out more here if you're interested.

When we got home we had to eat something and we just figured Chinese would be nice. We found this place called the Sichuan House on Smith Street. Didn't really find it ... more like finally noticed it after walking by a million times.

Meena had:
- shrimp lo-mein
- beef with broccoli

Alec had:
- kung po chicken

It was really good Chinese actually. Nice big peppers and delicious chicken. Wonderful vegetables and crispy peanuts.

Meena's was lovely as well.

This is a great turn of events actually. Maybe it is worthy of a 500th post. Because finding a perfect, reliable Chinese place is seriously one of the best things you can do in NY.



I'll readily admit this one is a weird one. Peyton and Breezy are in town for a few days (they have two shows at Irving Plaza) and I was lucky enough to get them for dinner last night. They were staying in the midtown area so I needed to find something that wouldn't have them wandering all over the island.

I did a little research and found this place called Whistlin' Dixie's Texas Tavern on 11th Ave. It had the best review of all Hell's Kitchen Tex-Mex/Mexican joints so I figured we'd give it a whirl.

I was sure I'd made a mistake when I went in.

But as I hung out with two of my favorite people in the world and and got all caught up, I realized I was wrong. The place is weird ... no doubt. But it was fun. The food was fine and Peyton and Breezy kept saying it was fun to be in a place that felt NOTHING LIKE MANHATTAN.

I had a hamburger with white onion, pickles and tomato. It was a big fat home made burger ... not some frozen crappy joint.

Breezy and Peyton both dug their stuff. So ... success!

I can't wait to check out the Rev.'s show tonight!



I had a bunch to do after being out of the office for a few days so I got home sorta late. And I hadn't spoken to my parents in a few days so when I rolled up on 40 with Dad on the line, I discovered Meena behind the burners getting things hot in the kitchen!

The kitchen smelled awesome while I was finishing up speaking to the folks. I couldn't wait to find out what she had going on. It looked like some sort of fish curry and I later found out ... it was!

Here's what she included:
- red snapper
- low fat coconut milk
- green bell pepper
- red bell pepper
- red onion
- garlic
- soy sauce
- sambal oelek
- spinach
- white rice
- crushed tomatoes

Meena didn't think this thing was all that hot but I had to disagree. It was delicious (I did add some sambal oelek) and there was a nice big skillet full of it.

It's funny because it was something I wouldn't normally make. That's why it's awesome when Meena cooks because we definitely have different perspectives in the kitchen. Which is awesome. And it leads to some amazing dinners ... like this sucker.



Oh boy. I had a heck of a day. Flying out of Telluride is massively scary and it took forever to get to Arizona. I barely made my connecting flight to JFK and then got stuck with a view very much like the one in the photo above.

I hadn't eaten all day so I was compelled to buy a sandwich on the flight. It was not a good sandwich but I was so hungry, I housed that pastrami joint in a matter of seconds.

When I got back to Brooklyn everything was closed. So ... slow food night. We'll do better this week! Promise!



Saturday night after the big fashion show, we were all treated to a dinner at Allreds at the top of the mountain. It's a lovely spot at the gondola half-way point that overlooks both Telluride and Mountain Village. Truly amazing setting.

There were several of us at dinner (seven to be exact) but I won't break down everyone's meal. It would just be too much.

Also, because it was such a classy spot, I kept the camera in my coat. We were with clients, my publisher, etc. I needed to keep it low key.

I started with:
- kobe beef carpaccio with mustard, greens and baguette chips

And then for a main, I did:
- colorado rack of lamb with white polenta and ratatouille

Everything was pretty delicious. My lamb was nice. The vegetables were a little boring and the tomato sauce wasn't very impressive. But again, the meat was perfect. And we were at the top of a mountain having dinner. Did I mention that? Awesome.



Friday night we had our kickoff party at the New Sheridan Bar. I was so busy running around getting everything set and prepared that I didn't even have time to eat. Eventually I bought a Cliff bar at the drug store next door.

I did get to drink a bunch of Foster's once the event got up and running. That was lovely.

Thanks to Stacy for the rad photos!



Well, I'm in Telluride, CO. We're doing an event for Men's Journal and it's my first time ever in a quaint mountain town. I know a lot of people are really into the skiing vacation, etc. but my family never had much interest in that. My dad tumbled down a mountain in Japan once and that was basically the end to the Brinegar family ski tradition. That and we lived in a state with flat land as far as the eye can see.

At any rate, it's beautiful up here and I'm glad I'm able to see it. I adjusted the to the altitude quickly and didn't have much trouble flying in on the smallest plane I've ever had the pleasure of riding.

Last night we went to Honga's Lotus Petal with our wonderful client Pablo and his husband. Asian in the mountains of Colorado? Not what I had envisioned, but I don't see why it wouldn't be a lovely option.

After some sake and conversation, I decided on the Indian kind of Asian:
- tandoori lamb kebabs with fried eggplant and chickpea/pancetta salad

My lamb was quite rare which is fine by me ... but moderately concerning when you didn't order it that way. But no matter. The taste was nice. And the chickpea salad was really delicious.

Oh, I also started off with a bowl of miso (this place had the whole continent covered) and it was nice. Very salty, but nice for sure.

I'm not sure how much time we'll have to eat tonight, but I'll try to grab something and keep covering Telluride's dining scene!



Last night was my last chance at making dinner before I flew out to Colorado so I wasn't just going to go down without a fight and succumb to the delivery route. I had to wield the knife and get the pans hot if I was going to leave feeling OK about the state of our kitchen.

I can't really remember but I feel like this is sort of based on something I saw on Last Night's Dinner? I think. Anyway, I didn't remember exactly what she did but I remembered the photo so I just made my own and tried to make it look a little like hers. I don't think I did a very good job on that front, but this was quite delicious so I'm not suggesting failure here.

Anyway, Meena had to work LATE so I waited as long as I could and then just got cookin' in the kitchen. I made her a plate, but I was hungry so I had to get the foodz in the panz!

This was two dishes really and the first was a noodle salad. It featured:
- whole wheat linguine
- garlic
- carrot
- red cabbage
- red onion
- olive oil
- crushed red pepper

Then I just seared up the scallops with a little sea salt then threw some korean bbq sauce over the top:
- honey
- rice vinegar
- garlic
- soy sauce

I know it's not traditional Korean bbq but it's pretty similar! The taste was there anyway. The noodle salad was cold and a touch salty and the lovely scallops were touched by that sweet and garlicky sauce. For me ... that's just an ideal flavor combination.



Sorry for the long drought. We were in Milwaukee last weekend for some wedding planning stuff. We got in late on Friday and then after a few delayed flights, got back to NYC late Monday night. Food highlights? I had a nice duck breast on Saturday night at the River Site in Mequon. I had a Spotted Cow with lunch in Kohler. That was about it though. I did eat lots of fun foods out of the Roell's pantry though.

Well anyway, when we got home after our first day of work back at the office, it was late and we were both tired. Really tired. No cooking for us, dudes.

The last time we called in Cube 63, the food was terrible. Luckily, it was a momentary lapse, because last night was some of the best delivery we've ever had. I don't know why, but for some reason, it was just amazing.

Meena had:
- 63 roll
- lobster tempura roll
- shrimp shumai

Alec had:
- miso soup
- hawaii roll
- salmon roll

Meena's was great. She gets those with some regularity so no big surprises there. I traded for one of the 63 rolls and I have to agree. Really delicious spicy tuna roll topped with lobster salad? I mean ... yeah. Perfect.

My Hawaii roll was all star champ of my life. It was some sort of spicy crab topped with sweet shrimp. And my salmon roll was plump and delicious. Not one of those lame tuna rolls with a piece of fish the size of a paper clip. They went big on the fish and light on the rice. Excellent.

We knocked it all down while watching Indiana defeat Purdue. It was no fun getting home after 8:00 but I must say ... everything else was pretty much perfect.



Because we did our Valentines day celebration last night, we decided to stay home and make a little dinner for the actual holiday. In the end, I couldn't be happier with the way it all worked out.

On the way home we picked up some salmon and when I got home, I got started with the good old "season the pan and flip once" method. The dish included:
- salmon
- salt
- olive oil
- red cabbage
- white onion
- spinach
- red curry powder
- crushed red pepper
- allspice
- black paddlefish caviar

We also started the whole meal off with a little of that caviar and some St. Andre cheese. Oh, and a glass of champagne, too!

The fish was perfect. The cabbage/spinach mixture was pretty spicy, but we really loved it. I underestimated how spicy the curry was. Whatever, we both enjoyed every bite. The caviar went perfectly with the crispy crust on the salmon and the silky meat on the inside of each fillet.

We finished off the meal with a lovely set of desserts Meena picked up. One was a little lemon tart and the other was a massive almond mocha thing.

We're off to Milwaukee for the weekend. We might not have updates until Monday ... stay tuned!



Last year we started a new Valentines Day tradition - don't eat out on Valentines Day. It's just that when you go out on that most romantic of holidays, you end up paying a lot of money for food that's not as good. You get some weird menu that inevitably has heart shaped beef wellington on it.

So we don't do the 14th. We stick with the 13th whenever possible and this year we decided Bocca Lupo would be the best option for us. I know. We were just there on Saturday. And we really did have good intentions of going to Cafe On Clinton for something new, but in the end, we just decided we had to ... go with our hearts. Bocca Lupo is just too good.

We had a total feast. We started with a lovely cheese plate that had a couple really great offerings on it. We then kept it almost identical to our meal on Saturday. Meena had:
- veal and porcini meatballs
- rigatoni with squash and tomato and gorganzola (and lots of parsley)

Alec had very similar bruschetta offerings:
- warm mushrooms with mascarpone
- creamy leek and truffled cheese
- butternut squash and crispy pancetta
- cannellini mash and olive tapenade

And of course, we topped it all off with the banana and nutella panini. It was awesome. It was romantic. It was relaxing and perfect. Happy Valentines Day, y'all!



I'd say it's becoming fairly evident we're a steak and potato crew over here. When the skirt steak was coming off the pan last night, Meena stopped and said, "I've been eating an insane amount of steak lately." It's true. She has. I'm not where she is on the red meat count, but I too feel like I've been heavily involved with the red meat as of late.

Last night I got home late so when I got started in the kitchen, Meena had already started up a lovely side dish inspired by her potatoes from Chestnut the other night. She included:
- baby yukon gold potatoes
- bleu cheese
- white onion
- honey
- salt
- black pepper

I didn't need to do much with the skirt steak. Just a little salt and pepper and a nice sear. That was it. I threw a little sauce together, too. Same one Meena liked the other night:
- balsamic vinegar
- wild porcini mushrooms
- olive oil
- water

And obviously a little watercress for garnish. I love watercress.

The meal was nice. Meena didn't think the potatoes were right but I loved them. TONS of flavor going on with those dudes.

The steak was solid. I think we both decided we like other cuts better, but skirt steak is fast and cheap. So you know. It makes it in here sometimes.

Solid meal on a cold and miserable night.



Here's a new one for you. Pizza delivery! We never, NEVER do pizza delivery but for some reason, Meena had the foresight to call Layla for a delivery pie.

I had to hit Williamsburg to hang with some friends for a few and discuss work, but when I walked in the door, Meena was ready with some fantastic pizza and a delicious chopped salad.

I'm not entirely sure if it was the two drinks I had before I got home or if it was just the fact that Layla was delicious, but I was totally in love with everything about last night's meal.

We got a "grande" pizza with sausage, red bell pepper and onion.

And a small chopped salad with lots of feta, olives and onions.

I'll be honest. It wasn't the best pizza ever. But it really hit the spot. And now that I know this is possible, I'll probably crave it once in a while.

I think I'll go have some for breakfast.



I'm going to go ahead and admit a moderate amount of failure on this one. It was good but it wasn't great due to one major issue - the steak was too salty.

See, I followed this guide I saw on the Grocery Guy to really get the moisture out of my steak with a whole bunch of salt. It it looked like it was working. The NY strip I picked up seemed to have dried out and I was all set to grill it up on high heat and get a great crust.

The problem was, that salt didn't go away and the whole thing was just too damn salty!

I think next time I'll try and wash it off? I figured the moisture would mess with my style, but it can't taste like that! And I should also start two days ahead of time. I only did this in a day.

Anyway, in addition to this steak, we had some olive oil mashed potatoes from Jamie Oliver's book:
- potato
- olive oil
- parmesan

I also threw a little porcini sauce over the steak:
- wild porcini
- water
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil

So it wasn't a bad dinner, but salt really came close to ruining it. But that's what happens when you mess around in the kitchen. Sometimes you get great results ... sometimes you don't. I'll keep working. This one is worth tweaking.



Dan spent the week in London so he and Steve came on by for a little catching up and dinner in the neighborhood last night. I'm not sure if it rained while he was in London, but it certainly rained like we were on that soggy island last night. Thus the title. Sorry Dan.

Anyway, we thought it best to hit Boca Lupo last night because it was cold, threatening rain (when we left) and the place is literally steps away from us.

Another really strong choice. A weekend with both Chestnut and Boca Lupo? I'm doing something right. That's the kind of one two punch that seriously reminds you how wonderful your life is sometimes.

We ordered a real mish mash of food, but I'll break down the stuff Meena and I picked up first. Meena had:
- some sort of creamy pasta that was a special for the evening
- veal and porcini meatballs

Alec had an assortment of bruschetta:
- creamy leek and truffled cheese
- butternut squash and crispy pancetta
- cannellini mash and olive tapenade
- sausage and something else I can't remember

Oh, my. It was all very, very wonderful.

Oh, I almost forgot. We started with a cheese plate. You know how cheese plates are always good but never like ... mind blowing? This one was mind blowing. For me. I'm not sure anyone else loved it as much as me, but from the truffled one to the fruity one to the manchego-like one ... whooo weeee. Heaven by the slice, friends.

Dan had been before and he enjoyed his meal. It was Steveo's first trip and I think he was down as well. We finished the whole thing off with one of those nutella and banana panini things. It tastes a bit of donut, but it's seriously amazing.

I've said it many times before, but Boca Lupo ... don't ever change. I love you just the way you are.


Pizza for breakfast was one of my favorite things in the world when I was younger. My mom would probably cringe, but one of my greatest food memories was the pure jubilation I would feel when I opened that fridge door with groggy eyes and messy hair to find some of last night's pie waiting for consumption.

It never made it to the microwave. It never made it much further than three steps from the fridge. Cold pizza for breakfast was my thing. Plain and simple.

Which makes it feel odd that I've never done pizzettas for breakfast. If you read this blog often, you'll know we eat those joints with some serious regularity. So you'd think making the transition to the breakfast varieties would have happened some time ago.

Well, for whatever reason, I waited until yesterday to get moving on that front. I don't know why. I just woke up and got moving on them.

Nothing special. Two were tomato based ... one pesto. Here's the rest:
- eggs (with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper)
- chicken sausage with garlic and sun-dried tomato
- spinach
- olive oil
- marinara
- basil pesto
- bleu cheese
- flour tortilla

Awesome. Meena was singing my praises all morning! The only thing that really made these breakfast was the addition of egg. I suppose I could work on that. Making them more "breakfast" themed. But whatever. They were awesome and they got our Saturday moving in the right direction.



Friday afternoon Meena was on the ball and called Chestnut on Smith Street for a reservation. It had been a moderately annoying week and we felt like it was completely within our right to have a dinner out - and a nice one at that.

We'd been to Chestnut once before way back in October and the results were obviously strong enough for us to feel like a repeat visit was necessary.

The place is the picture of cozy. A cute bar welcomes you and you pretty much feel like you're at home the second you sit down. A home filled with strangers, waiters and lots of great food ... but you get the idea.

They kick off every meal with homemade pickles and breads. Any spot that makes their own pickles and brings them for a starter is fine by me. I suppose Ted's fits that description as well, but my love for Ted's ends at the pickles. Anyway.

This time around, Meena started with:
- buckwheat crepe, farro, house made gravlax & crème fraiche

And I went with:
- baby beet salad, marcona almonds & mizuna

Meena's crepe and gravlax outdid her haystack shrimp from last time. Tenfold. It was really, really delicious. The farro with the rich gravlax and creamy fraiche? Come on ... it gets no better and you know it.

My salad was amazing. The beets were really sweet and characteristically earthy. I have no clue what mizuna is. I should google it.

For a main course, Meena tried:
- hanger steak, fingerlings, valdeon & red wine

And Alec went with:
- grilled pork chop with figs and white polenta

Again, we made much smarter choices this time around. Not that I had bad food last time, but Meena was much happier this go around. Her steak was awesome and the potatoes were probably one of the better sides she's had in a long, long time.

My pork chop might have been, dare I say, the greatest one I've ever had. Seriously. It came on the bone, stuffed with figs and served over the top of the best polenta I've ever consumed. I don't even like polenta. But this was amazing polenta. And the pork chop was thick, packed with figgy flavor and decadent pork fat. It was cooked to perfection and will honestly go down as one of the best meals I've had in a long, long time.

We finished out with one of those flour-less chocolate cake things. I know. It's massively cliche. But there's a reason they're on every menu. It's amazing!

Thanks, Chestnut!



I got home late last night. Well. Not LATE late. But later. Because I knew the office was going to take me a minute, Meena was kind enough to run by Pacific Green and pick up some supplies.

When I rolled up on the block of Verandah, I was delighted to see she even prepped everything! Pasta was ready, spinach cleaned, sausage chopped. So I didn't even really do anything. I just threw it all together.

I should say this is inspired by Last Night's Dinner. This SORT of pasta seems to come up as an old favorite for her. I think she uses broccoli rabe, though. And Meena hates that stuff. So I just had her get spinach. I know that one is cool with my homegirl.

So when I got home, I threw together the following:
- orecchiette
- spinach
- marinara sauce
- olive oil
- salt
- balsamic vinegar
- sausage
- black pepper
- crushed red pepper

The sausage brought most of the flavor here. And that was fine by me. I think I had two bowls. Which isn't the norm for me. But it was really delicious. And it took all of about 3 minutes to cook since Meena had everything ready. Bring on Friday!



Last night I had to hit the East Village for drinks with a few former coworkers and other assorted friends. Meena wasn't feeling so hot and worked late, so she rolled in late and called in the helping hand of our neighbors at Joya.

She kept it strictly standard for herself:
- chicken pad thai

And I got the same thing I picked up last time:
- moo kratiam

Delicious as always. I threw a ton of sambal oelek on mine to give it an added kick. I'll be sure and cook tonight.


BOO 63

In a fairly odd turn of events, we were sent some of the worst Japanese delivery ever by our beloved Cube 63. Seriously. Cube 63. I'm not lying. It was terrible.

The filling was fine. No problem there. It was the RICE. They totally screwed it up. It wasn't individual grains stuck together. It was a paste of rice spread around the fish. It was bad. And that's sad.

Anyway, Meena had:
- shrimp shumai
- spicy tuna roll
- california roll
- shrimp tempura roll

Alec had:
- miso soup
- yellowtail and scallion roll
- spicy salmon roll

Very sad. Totally unfortunate. A real bummer of a dinner story.

The miso was good. I guess I can try to see the bright side. Meena liked her shumai. Honestly, it was just the rice. Bad rice. Killed the sushi delivery star.



I know what they say about seafood on Monday. I do. I really do. But whatever. I broke the rule because nothing else was open tonight and well ... Fish Tales is on the way home. So we stopped in on the way back from the train and picked up some shrimp and scallops.

Meena pulled out the shrimp and supplied cocktail sauce for a little pre-dinner snack. Not bad. I was skeptical, but they were solid. I figured .... if they were frozen previously, that's probably OK. Again, probably not the right assumption. But whatever. I did it. I need to rationalize now.

Then I threw together some snacks with a bit of smoked salmon I picked up yesterday. It included:
- smoked salmon
- smoked mozzarella
- watercress leaves
- dijon mustard

Very nice. We both enjoyed that quite a bit.

And finally, we did the scallops with some stuff like:
- scallops (seared in olive oil, salt, black pepper)
- red onion
- black sesame seeds
- garlic
- water
- sesame ginger marinade
- white rice
- basil leaves
- lime juice

This was totally a Meena dinner. She loved every bite and all the flavors were just her style. It was a little salty, totally rich and the scallops were seared to perfection. The sauce permeated the rice and every bite was really a pleasure.



I just have to come right out and say it. Evil was finally defeated. It was amazing. It couldn't have come at a better time. The Giants of New York were able to lop off the head of the beast when it counted most. It was no Colts win ... but it was for sure the next best thing for this Indiana boy.

And it wouldn't be football at James and D's house without some of D's amazing foodz. After an assortment of goodies prior to the big meal, we were treated to the most amazing meatball grinder/sub/hero ever (We had a regional vernacular discussion about what long sandwiches are called in our respective home states. I called it a sub, FYI. In Connecticut it's a grinder ... and NY calls them heroes. Funny.).

Anyway, it was awesome.

Then after the game, we all had the most amazing apple, almond cake ... well ... ever. It was seriously magic in every bite. Just look at that photo. You want to eat it don't you? Yeah. I knew it. Well, you can't. But trust me ... it was seriously amazing and you'd still be reeling from it today if you had been fortunate enough to sink your teeth into a slice.



Well, this one doesn't look all that great. But I have to be honest ... it was pretty darn delicious.

I was inspired by the success I had with the muffin-tin madness the day before so I got busy with some baked eggs early Sunday morning. What better way to get ready for a souper boule right?

So it was pretty similar to the day before. Just a few tweaks:
- chicken roll (basil, sun-dried tomato, smoked mozzarella)
- marinara
- red onion
- basil
- egg
- salt
- black pepper

I threw the whole thing over some watercress and topped it with my own version of Heinz 57:
- ketchup
- marinara
- worcestershire sauce
- teriyaki sauce

Again, not all that attractive ... but very delicious.


Saturday night we made an odd call and went to Thor in the Lower East Side. It's the trendy restaurant in the Hotel on Rivington. See, Dan needed to entertain a girl from Milan who was in town for fashion week. Lots of Euros hang out at the HoR, so I guess the thinking was ... that would be a good place to go.

I went a couple years ago for a private party and it was pretty good. So I was cool with the idea. I hadn't heard much about it in a while so I was a little freaked out that it was on the decline. I had read the kitchen had turned over and a new regime was in place. So there was some worry for sure.

Turns out it was pretty good. The food was OK. Not AMAZING, but good. The atmosphere, while trendy, was nice because hardly anyone was there when we showed up at 8:00. We nearly had the whole thing to ourselves.

The service left a little to be desired. The waiter poured wine in my water glass. But he gave us more, so no biggie. Steveo got the wrong meal. But they got it right eventually.

Meena and I started with:
- tuna tartare with green apple, cumin, cucumber and potato crisp

Steve and Dan started with:
- fried artichoke salad

Then Meena had:
- steak frites with bernaise sauce

Dan had:
- duck with something in it. Can't remember.

Steve had:
- risotto with fricassee of mushrooms, garlic chips and pea greens

Alec had:
- skate wing with roasted cabbage and something else

Again, the food was OK. I thought Meena's steak was just OK and pretty overpriced. That was unfortunate. But we went to a great beer bar after and that was fun. And honestly, the atmosphere was fine in there. So that was OK. And all I really cared about was hanging with Dan and Steve and Meena. So whatever. Fun night!