Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Caffe Falai in NYC

Fellow food blogger, Kitchenography (Julie) and I, went to NYC to meet up with an ex-Baltimore food blogger, Raspberry Eggplant (Roopa) for lunch.

Roopa suggested Caffe Falai for lunch, since it was just a short jaunt from her office at City Hall and it was easily accessible by the subway. It was an inspired choice!

For starters, we all had salads, with Julie and Roopa having an avocado salad (avocado with mixed greens, radicchio, and black truffle dressing) NYC 003 and I had Spinach e Fragole (baby spinach, strawberries, sliced almonds ,reduced balsamic with mozzarella pearls). Isn’t that a beautiful salad?NYC 002 For mains, we all had different things. Julie got Gnudi, spinach and  ricotta balls and a sage-infused brown butter sauce, but instead of the sauce, it had a foam on top. NYC 004 Roopa had Pappardelle Alle Mandelore, an almond flour flat pasta with mushrooms, cauliflower and parmigiano sauce, which was just gorgeous.NYC 005 I had a panini with fresh figs and gorgonzola. It was an incredible mélange of flavours.NYC 006 It was just great fun to see Roopa again, and to hear all about her recent wedding and appearance on Jeopardy.


After lunch, Julie and I walked through Little Italy and Chinatown. We saw a store with loads of fresh durian on display. They were cutting them open and selling them. I asked for a tiny taste, but was turned down. NYC 021

Durian fruits are very forbidding in a lot of ways. Their skin is hard and spiky. Their smell is incredibly offensive to the point of being forbidden on public transport in Southeast Asia. But the taste is reportedly smooth, custardy and quite good. So I was very curious to try a bit, if only to say I’d eaten some.NYC 023The vendor was opening the durian and scooping out the flesh, which was a creamy yellow. There seemed to be five sections, as well as a seed, and the pulp came out in one piece. A couple buying a durian told us that durian are high in protein and are useful in healing after surgery. NYC 024 The box with the dollar bill is to tip the vendor after he’s cut and boxed the durian for you.


a. said...

Looks delicious. I think I've seen those durian things on Top Chef! How was it???

strawberriesinparis said...

what an awesome lunch!!

roopa said...

I had a blast with you and Julie!

LoveFeast Table said...

I still don't know if I could taste that fruit! Let me know if you do! Would love to hear how it works for you! ;)
Fun meeting you the other night! If you get a chance, would you email the name of that college again?? Wine was kickin' in and hmmm, I remember pieces!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

All the way to NYC for Lunch! Wow :-) Glad you had fun and I've heard the Durian is BANNED at airports because of its smell...