Wednesday, April 16, 2014

the neighborhood bar

when the boy and i left williamsburg, i never thought i would find a neighborhood bar that could rival trophy.  the owners and staff are genuine, laid back, and serious about food and booze.  the vibe was unpretentious and incredibly friendly.  on an off night or before the rush, you could find yourself chatting with the owners for hours or hitting it off with a fellow patron or helping taste test a new drink or menu item.  so many happy hours, birthdays, and good memories.

i am relieved that lloyd whisky bar proved me wrong.  from the first time i walked in, i felt at home. . . dark wood floors, a fantastic leaning bar and cosy decor.  it doesn't hurt that the owner also hails from brooklyn and has also done stints at whisky ward and verlaine, my old go-to.  all the elements are right- perfectly concocted cocktails, an impressive whisky and bourbon selection, surprisingly delicious food and most importantly an awesome staff.

in the face of our often unusual work schedules, i have come to look forward to our weekly standing date night at lloyd.  boiler maker for him.  dirty gin martini for me.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

sushi on my mind

sushi is one of my favorite foods and i enjoy a variety of types and levels. kind of like my taste in movies.

sometimes i like pure, minimalist sushi- reminiscent of a great film- where superior quality means everything and subtlety is sublime.

yet i also enjoy those quirky rolls- indie films- that test the senses with unusual flavor and ingredient combinations that delight you when they work.

and honestly, sometimes even grocery store sushi, much like a rom-com, while lacking in substance can do the trick.

living in nyc spoiled me.  so many options.  not enough time.   i was able to satiate my sushi cravings with the press of the dial- i admit to almost weekly deliveries from sumo sushi (yes, one play boy roll and spicy tuna tartar please!).  often meeting up with friends at kanoyama or cherin sushi depending on the weekly budget. . and for special occasions- sushi of gari where i experienced my first sushi-gasm.

having a few months of philly under my belt, i was starting to get the feeling that finding a good sushi joint might be tough.  our first attempt was hikari in northern liberties, a small restaurant tucked away on north american street.  service- fine.  atmosphere- fine.  prices-fine.  food- m'eh.  all in all, not a bad experience but not worth repeating. . . a shame- would have loved to have had a winner in walking distance.

on a whim, the boy and i decided to try umai umai in fairmount.  we got to the neighborhood, which feels incredibly similar to park slope, around 9:40 and i'm feeling slightly anxious because they close at 10:30. so we do a lap to find parking, and then another, and then another.  luckily we were able to squeeze into a  mostly legitimate spot around 10pm, directly in front of the restaurant.  we get seated promptly and start looking over the menu.

we order oyster shooters, the sashimi platter, the spartan, eternal sunshine and the poseidon roll.  the oyster shooters were divine- kumamoto oysters with sea urchin and quail egg in a citrus, cilantro dressing.  the sashimi was a little too cold, but respectably fresh.  the winners were the "designer" rolls, especially the eternal sunshine which i really didn't think would work but was delicious- panko crusted flounder with avocado, salmon, cucumber, apricot miso, blueberry balsamic, and pine nuts.  our waitress was lovely and attentive and the scene was a lively thanks to the byob policy.

i left dinner with a full belly and cautiously optimistic about discovering more worthwhile sushi restaurants in phily. . . next up fat salmon, and maybe for a special occasion morimoto. . .

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Run V Run

On my 34th birthday... feeling a little out of shape and vowing to be at my fittest at 35, I signed up to run in the #PhillyLoveRun.  It has provided much ended motivation in maintaining a workout routine and eating well...upping the stakes was getting my sister to sign up as well.

4.5 months whizzed by and race day snuck up on me. Weather outlook looked bleak and did not let up... We woke up to gray skies, drizzling rain and cold winds.

There is something inspiring being part of a ten thousand strong group just crazy enough to run 13.1 miles in a torrential downpour on a Sunday morning. Not only does Philly feel a little more like home, but I am now officially hooked on half marathons. It is the perfect race distance- serious enough to involve rigorous training but much easier on the knees and joints!

Just tying to figure out when my next race will be!

Celebratory brunch followed at Garces Trading Co, one of my favorite brunch spots in Philly. I opted for the brunch special starting with bubbly (a must for any festivity!) endive and frisée salad with Gorgonzola, citrus and golden raisins, unctuous baked eggs with spicy tomatos and lardons served with crostini with a black olive tapenade as well as a side of bacon (hey in did just run 13 miles!).  

I insisted that my husband get the Croque  Madame - one of the best versions (as good as Schiller's in the LES).  He was not disappointed!

*note to anonymous- I have been horrible with blogging- work/moving/all the usual excuses...but hope to make more time good forward!  Philly is a foodie delight and I am excited to share my finds!