A.G. Newsletter #10: Good, Blue Ribbon Bakery, EN Japanese Brasserie & Momofuku

A.G. Newsletter #10: Good, Blue Ribbon Bakery & EN Japanese Brasserie &

Hey Readers,

I have a cat on my lap, so please excuse any typos.

Last week was an exciting one: on Friday I cooked with my first chef for the cookbook I'm writing for Artisan. I can't tell you who it was (that'd spoil the surprise) but it was a very full, very fun day--and a big relief as I was really anxious to get started. (Half the book is due October 15th!)

To deal with the stress (and also because it's my job) I ate some good things for you this week. Like this Good Breakfast:

I capitalized the "G" in "Good" because the restaurant itself is called Good. It's located on Greenwich Ave. just off 12th Street and on Saturday and Sunday mornings, people crowd around waiting for a table outside. It's a pretty charming place (it reminds me a little of Brooklyn by way of Chelsea) and the Good Breakfast--which comes with pancakes (lemon ricotta or buttermilk), sausage or bacon, potatoes and eggs is a hearty, happy way to start your day. (Though this particular time, when the bill came, I declared it was too expensive and that next week I'll recreate this same meal at home for much less money. We'll see how that goes.)

Another place I ate this week was Blue Ribbon Bakery. If you're in a hurry and you're in the West Village and you need a nosh, this is the place to go. They have prepared foods in a refrigerated cabinet, but the thing to get here is toast. Yes, toast. They toast bread and put things on it. Like this Toast with Manchego Cheese and Mexican honey:

It's a simple combo--just cheese and honey on bread--but it works really well; the tanginess of the cheese playing off the sweetness of the honey.

Then there's this toast with hardboiled eggs and pickled peppers:

This one's fun because those peppers are spicy! But not so spicy that you want to die, just spicy enough. And being pickled, they add a nice acidic kick to all the eggy goodness below.

One of these toasts is not enough for lunch so I recommend getting two (but watch the prices; the ones I picked were on the cheaper end, if you get meat or fish on your toasts you might break the bank.)

Finally, my mom was craving Japanese food after almost asphyxiating on a macaron out to dinner with my dad the night before. (She doesn't know what flavor it was but she thinks she might've been allergic.) I suggested this place near my apartment that my friend Rob Meyer raved about and which Martha Stewart Tweeted about called EN Japanese Brasserie.

The room was large and grand, but still rather charming--almost like a boardroom taken over by a forest. My dad and I both ordered the sushi combo (I'd never seen my dad eat sushi before, so this was a thrill) and the sushi that arrived was really lovely:

The fish tasted really fresh, unlike the sushi I've been getting lately on Carmine Street at Yama (that fish has no flavor, but it's cheaper).

But my mom's plate was definitely the most interesting:

She had the miso-glazed cod, a dish first made famous in the States, I believe, by the restaurant Nobu. But if you look to the left, in that bowl? That's house-made tofu: they make it fresh every hour and it's really unique---custardy and cool and refreshing on a hot day. Behind that is a salad made with tofu skins; also unique and surprising. Someone on Twitter said EN has the most authentic Japanese food in New York, and after seeing that spread I can believe it.

All right, dudes: I better get cracking. I have to scoop kitty litter, pay my estimated taxes, and get to work writing up Friday's experience and testing recipes. Such is the life of a food blogger-turned-cookbook author!

Until next week...

Your friend,
Adam (The Amateur Gourmet)

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