Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

New York Thoughts and Giveaway Winners

Posted October 15, 2009

So much to catch up on!

First of all, this is my 250th post!  As with every other blog milestone that I have surpassed, I’m not sure how I got here or how it happened so quickly.  I’m just grateful that you are all here along for the ride.  It was so wonderful to hear from so many readers who don’t usually comment.  Thank you all and please know I cherish those comments so don’t hesitate to leave one if you are moved to do so.  I also loved reading about everyone’s most cherished cooking tool.  It seems that simple tools are the things that people can’t live without – wooden spoons, whisks, spatulas, zesters, tongs, chef knives.  Quite a few of you need your Kitchen Aid mixers (I understand) and Nancy can’t live without her wine opener – amen Nancy!  I want to cook with you!

Graham picked #44 which was Tammy who loves her apple slicer.  Tammy,  please email me at danatreat {at} gmail {dot} com so I can get your address to send you the Japanese knife, shears and paring knife combo, and the $25 gift card.  From the conference, I also have a voucher to mail in for a Cuisinart mini food processor.  I already have one so Graham picked #31, Lesley who loves her tongs, as a second prize winner.  Lesley, please email me so I can send you the voucher.

So, New York.  Wow.  I had so many memories being in that city.  Because both of my parents are from there, I grew up going back East at least once a year.  At first we went to visit family and then, as my extended family became more and more estranged, we went just because we wanted to.  When my dad moved our little family to Seattle in 1972, there was not much going on here and it was hard for my mom to leave the Italian food, the theatre, shopping, and the culture.  He appeased her with one family trip and one trip just for the two of them each year.

I went to college in Connecticut and would take the train down to the City a couple of times a semester.  My mom’s cousin and her husband still live on Staten Island and I would stay the weekend with them.  From time to time, I would also take the art history bus in just for the day.  I went in my 20′s before I met my first husband, I went with him just after we were married, and I went with him as our marriage was completely falling apart.  I went with Randy right before we were married, and again while we were living in London, and then this past trip.  New York is a city that I keep coming back to and while it does change, parts of it are refreshingly always the same to an admiring visitor.

One of the first questions I got from people when I told them I would be visiting is, “Where are you going to eat?”  We had three nights and, because there were other people involved besides just myself and Randy, I only got to plan one of those nights.  I chose WD-50 because I have heard so many incredible things about it and because I am fascinated by that type (molecular gastronomy) of cooking.  Years ago, Randy and I were lucky enough to eat at The Fat Duck just outside of London.  It had just been awarded it’s third Michelin star and the 17 courses we ate were by far the best food of our life.  Not only did they make all of mine vegetarian, Randy thought my food was even better than his.

I had heard that WD-50 could do a vegetarian tasting menu for me as well and so I encouraged our table of five to go that route rather than ordering off the à la carte menu.  The guys’ food was clever and innovative (including a play on bagel and lox where the “everything bagel” was bagel shaped ice cream) but mine was a little ho hum.  Out of nine savory courses, three of them were soups and four of them were fried.  I started off tweeting was I was eating and as they all started to blur together, I stopped.  Still, twelve courses of vegetarian food is always a treat and the mere fact that they offer it (and that they also offer a vegan tasting menu) makes me appreciate the restaurant.

If you watch Top Chef, you probably would recognize the chef, Wylie Dufresne.  He has been a guest judge and competed in Top Chef Masters.  He has kind of stringy 70′s era hair and pseudo mutton chops.  In other words, he is instantly recognizable.  As we walked in to the restaurant and I could see into the kitchen, I was impressed to notice he was in there cooking.  I love that a well-known chef is still doing his job.  At the end of the night, he was sitting at the bar with some friends and while I got my coat on, my husband thanked him for a great meal.  I walked up and told him how much I appreciated the thoughtfulness that went into my menu and that we vegetarians usually get the short end of the restaurant stick.  He said, “Well, I’m sorry you are a vegetarian.  If you ever change your mind, come back and I’ll buy you dinner.”  Given that I haven’t eaten meat in 23 years, it’s not likely that I will wake up one day and decide to start eating meat, but if I do – I’m hopping on an Eastbound plane.

The other two dinners we had were good but nothing to write on my blog about.  I had the good fortune to meet Stacey from Stacey Snacks for lunch at the Standard Grille and while the food was good, the company was the most delicious part.  She is gorgeous, funny, and we have about a million things in common.  I knew just from reading her blog and her emails that we would get along but I had no idea that it would be so much fun.  I was also able to see my friend Victoria which was wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time.  She had just gotten some not-so-terrific news and was still handling it like a champ.  If you have a spare second, please send a good vibe to her.


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