Rainy Fridays are perfect for going to the movies. Yesterday afternoon, Dave (fresh from taking his last final), Clare, and I met in Chelsea and saw State of Play. Afterwards, we all wanted a cup of something hot, so Clare and I both thought of Madeleine, a charming French patisserie on 23rd Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. In my humble opinion, they bake some of the best croissants in NYC.
When you walk in the door, you are immediately confronted with an impossible choice: what to order.
Dave chose my favorite thing I’ve had from Madeleine: the almond croissant. Delicate buttery layers of pastry with just the right amount of crunch, almond flavor permeating each bite.
I went with their namesake, in lemon and pistachio, with some mint tea. Clare had a latte with a side of chocolate biscotti.
I would say that the madeleines are good, but not spectacular. If you go, get a croissant (they have plain and chocolate in addition to almond) and sit on one of the tattered vintage couches they have in the back for customers. Or, try one of the beautifully arranged macarons and let me know how they are.
After tea time, Dave and I headed downtown to a wine tasting with his Columbia classmates at Vino Vino in Tribeca.
I sipped sparkling while Dave tried the white and red. They also had out a selection of cheeses, salamis, and olives.
Feeling nice and happy from the bubbly, we decided to grab some dinner with two of Dave’s classmates, Tom and Megan. Megan (a fellow food blogger) knew of a good Korean restaurant right around the corner.
Kori is quite dark and trendy inside, and felt slightly unwelcoming at first, but the very friendly staff quickly made me feel at home. We sat at the bar while we waited for our table to be ready; the boys drank OB while Megan and I had water.
Am I the only one who finds it a little odd that there’s a Korean beer label (now owned by the Belgian company Anheuser-Busch InBev) with the word oriental in it? I digress.
Our dinner was quite satisfying, and very reasonably priced. I excused myself from the group sharing (that way the others could order as much beef as they wanted) and went with my favorite dish: seafood dolsot bibimbap. They even have brown rice as an option, which I greatly appreciate. The rice, vegetables, and seafood are served in a sizzling hot stone pot, with a healthy serving of gochujang, a fermented Korean hot sauce.
You mix it all together and the result is a hearty bowlful of spicy, chewy, and crunchy (where the hot pot has browned the rice) deliciousness.
The other three shared the crispy scallion and seafood pancake, japchae (stir fried glass noodles with vegetables and beef), and bulgogi (thin slices of beef that is marinated then grilled, in this case, served with lightly dressed greens).
I did try a slice of the pancake and it was crisp and delightful. Dave said the noodles, his favorite dish, had “good flavor and tender meat,” and the beef was, “solid.”
At the end of our meal we were presented with complimentary Korean ice tea with quince, something they are doing for the month of May to celebrate their 10th anniversary.
Just sweet enough, it was a nice way to end another food-filled day.