Friday, April 25, 2008

A lot going on

There is a lot going on in the next 5 days for me, as I have a lot of bridge planned, and the movers are coming on Monday and my new lease will begin on May 1st. Combine that with work, packing, this spectacular NBA playoffs, a 6 episode House marathon on USA, and the studying (for 63 and CFA 1) I should be doing, and I wonder how much sleep I'll get.

Hopefully after all that, I will have more time, start posting more, start putting up some baseball picks, and maybe even post some pics of the view at the new place I'm moving to.

Dinner at David Burke and Donatella

David Burke and Donatella [Arpaia] ( is actually one of my favorite restaurants in Manhattan, so it's a little surprising that I haven't written about it before. The space is lovely, and the food is superb. I think they still have a smoking limo (a white stretch that sits outside the restaurant for smokers as smoking is banned in small restaurants in NYC), although it might only be a winter thing. It is also one of the best values I've found for food of this quality, with a 3-course prix fixe dinner for $55 (supplements for certain items). They also have a 5-course tasting menu that changes pretty often (every week or two I think) for $75. It's also a pretty good place for a walk-in if you're not going during peak hours.

Tonight's review will be of the 5-course tasting menu that I just had, but since this menu is not on their website, I might miss out on certain ingredients/flavors in my descriptions.

Atmosphere and service: Like I said, the space is lovely, but I usually go as a walk-in during off-peak hours, so I don't really know how the buzz is when the restaurant is busy. Service is as expected for a restaurant of this quality, and they've been even friendlier since I've been there more frequently of late. I even got to meet the chef today.


First course was a hamachi carpaccio. I've had similar variations of this dish before at different places, usually with a lot of citrus and garnishes to provide texture. This one came with pineapple sorbet in fact, and the overall mix was quite nice. This isn't a dish where the fish flavor really stands out, but it's quite refreshing and makes a great starter for the spring season.

Next came their take on the spider roll (soft shelled crab tempura maki). This was a fried soft shelled crab wrapped in brioche with some asparagus and avocado, and fried again. This dish was surprisingly light given that description, with a little mango salad to help cut into the fried goodness. The portions of crab were quite sizeable.

The next course was my favorite of the night. It's a perfect example of how Gordon Ramsay was explaining to a younger chef on an episode of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares (UK) about how Michelin stars and AA rosettes are won with dishes that are simpler, with 3 or 4 tastes, instead of trying to confuse the palate with too many flavors. It was a baby halibut T-bone, simply grilled yet the flesh was so tender and flaky it felt like it was steamed (cantonese style). This was served with an asparagus couscous and a dashi-mushroom broth. Fragrant, simple, delicious, well-cooked food.

The main meat course was a surf and turf, with some simple lamb and fried scallop. This dish was solid, with great flavor in the produce, but I was still savoring the previous course.

The dessert was more like two courses in itself, with a tasting which included a fruit tart, a coconut macaroon, and a fig ice cream as well as petit fours that was actually about petit sixteens. The petit fours are presented in a cute little oven toy/prop, which is what petit four actually stands for in French (small oven). Dessert was tasty and completed the very true-to-spring menu.

This was a beautifully crafted spring menu with bright colors and bright flavors. I definitely recommend this restaurant in general, but especially suggest trying to get there before they change this tasting menu. Then again, your opinions could be different from mine.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Long time no blog

It's been a while since I've posted, as I've gone through a horrible streak working and have been pretty much just keeping to myself. The markets are tough right now. Nasdaq posted a 4.2% gain this past week yet I think very few people in my office have really made any money.

On to more important things. My baseball picks. I know there are people waiting for them. I should start posting picks in May. It'll probably take at least until then for this season's stories to start sorting themselves out. I mean, Detroit is the only team so far without a win. Although I have to say, the big NL staff aces have all put in fantastic performances so far in their first outings, including Peavy, Webb, Penny, Zambrano, Hamels, etc.

In other news, I will be moving at the end of April, and I'm looking foward to it. I'll be paying through the roof in rent, but I think the new place will have a great effect on me overall.

Lastly, here's an interesting poker theory question. What two hands will result in the biggest preflop edge one hand can have over another in Omaha?

This is my best guess:

Anyone know how to put in a spoiler on blogspot? (mouse over this)

Anyone else find this question interesting? Can anyone come up with two hands with a bigger edge?