I haven’t seen Kim for the longest time and really hang out with her. Why? Because of the chaotic meet up that I had back in July for the South Street Seaport concert didn’t suffice as hanging out since we greeted each other, talked for ten minutes and broke up into our own little groups when the concert started and the crush of the crowds left us to our own. That was cruel and I lost my voice that night…
Anyways, I made arrangements to eat lunch with Kim the past Thursday for two reasons, the aforementioned and because I won’t be able to make it to her birthday party due to LSATs (oh the pain!). Since I don’t really eat in the Midtown East area, I let Kim pick a place to eat for lunch, where she led me to Marrakesh since she’s craving falafels and she said they make a good one here.
It’s actually in the basement of the building where we have to walk down a set of stairs, which brought us to an exotic, Middle Eastern decorated restaurant. They let us choose our own table and we sat near the windows for the sake of good lighting.
Anyways, after perusing the menu for five minutes or so, Kim ordered the falafel platter with hummus and baba ghanoush with lemon tea, while I have the kefta platter with tabouleh and grape leaves and Turkish coffee. While we wait for a while and chat away the time, what I didn’t expect was a feast…
Kim soothed by the scent of tea…
Holy cow! That’s a lot of food…trust me, the platter is a lot larger in life that I couldn’t finish the whole thing. There’s a few reasons why. I don’t really like my tabbouleh because it had too much parsley that I felt like I’m eating an herb salad than tabbouleh and I tried some of Kim’s baba ghanoush, hummus and falafel.
My kefta was tasty, it needed and I used the lemon to bring some bright acidity to the earthy (albeit slightly dry, if eaten without the lemon) lamb. The grape leaves were fine since it’s stuffed with rice and herbs but I wasn’t truly enamored with it. The pita bread was tasty and warm, and I made a sandwich with the pita.
Falafel with a touch of hummus
Kim’s falafel was pretty good too with that touch of hummus. It was crisp on the outside, soft, moist, and packed with lots of herbs in it. Mmm…yummy. Her baba ghanoush tasted like it had yogurt in it or something dairy since it had a tangy flavor which was odd. Her hummus was the better of the side dishes since it’s really thick, creamy, and a bit nutty in flavor.
In regards to our beverages, Kim enjoyed her lemon tea and I liked my Turkish coffee. My coffee was thick, strong, sweet with a touch of spice. Though I like my coffee without sugar, I would think of this as my dessert coffee.
After hanging around the place for good hour or so, I walked her back to her office and left her.
Then yesterday, I met Kathy for the first time. I’ve been reading her blog for the past year or so and it’s actually great to actually see her in person. We planned to go to brunch at August (which I have to make about statement later on). Since we met earlier before August was opened and Kathy was craving for “liquefied food.” Since she’s not a coffee fanatic as I am, I thought of City Bakery. Yes, the home of the ever so awesome hot chocolate.
Since it’s about 10:15, not everyone in New York would be up on a Saturday morning so City Bakery isn’t so crowded and hectic as it usually is during a weekday. We decided to split a regular cup of hot chocolate since we don’t want to spoil our appetite for our brunch at August, even though we were tempted to try their miso plum muffin.
As usual, their hot chocolate is ridiculously decadent. It’s super creamy, smooth, thick…it’s like drinking a slightly thinned out 60% chocolate pudding. If they made something along the lines of 72% cocoa content, I’ll be in heaven.
Once we’ve finished our hot chocolate we walked over to August.
Ok, so here’s where I stop. I cannot go further with August because of a promise I made to Kathy, which she made to for newly acquired friendship with Chef Tony of August, that I do not want to ruin. If you want to see the food photos and little tiny blurbs of my thoughts on the food we ate, please click here. All I would have to say is that the food is so freakin’ delicious at August! Go there for brunch, lunch or dinner! I want to try their blistered peppers but they don’t have it for brunch. Darn…
By the way, Chef Tony’s really a cool guy in person and Kathy’s a really fun person to hang out with, so don’t hate either of these great people! You have no idea what you’re missing out. Another note is that I am not going to write for the next two weeks due to LSATs. My fear. My dread. I’m really afraid… Anyways, I’m going to post photos on my Flickr photostream, if I do eat anything intriguing but once LSATs over and done with I’ll write an epic of a post to make it up to you guys.
235 E 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
3 W 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
359 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014
hi tina – not blogging about a restaurant because the chef doesn’t want food bloggers writing or reviewing his food is CENSORSHIP.
chef tony liu is an excellent chef who had 2 stars from the times for august and it’s a very popular spot, so i don’t understand why he doesn’t want either of you to blog about his food. whether it’s false modesty or fear is irrelevant, no chef has the right to dictate whether people can blog about his cooking. it’s one thing if a chef doesn’t want his personal close friends to write about his food due to conflicts of interest or bias, but that is not an issue in this case for either of you.
your acquiesing to this sets a bad precedent for food bloggers, and reduces your credibility as a reviewer.
JoJo: Point taken. However, since Kathy knew him fairly well from the gist of the conversation we had about Chef Tony Liu. I don’t want to ruin her relations to him and respect both of their wishes.
But, I am doing a “back door” review via my Flickr link above. Sure, it’s not so comprehensive as I usually write but you do have a sense of direction of what I am saying from the photos’ comments: The food’s fabulous. The service is good (though not mentioned in the photos but I’m telling you now). The atmosphere is rustic and homey, and you must go there whenever you have the chance!
thanks tina. i reviewed august back in jan. on my blog, but i’ve removed it from view. yes, love the food there.
“your acquiesing to this sets a bad precedent for food bloggers, and reduces your credibility as a reviewer.”
i don’t think that this is true at all, blogging is truly a personal choice (one writes what one wishes) and your credibility lies in all the amazing reviews you’ve done in the past and will do in the future. i think that this at the very least gives you more credit as a person who respects others at a basic one to one level, whether food blogger, chef or neither. i can’t imagine why a chef wouldn’t want you to blog about their food, but it sounds like you’re being gracious about it whatever the reason is and i’m sure it’s appreciated (i can imagine how hard it is to restrain from writing about such great food!) i guess i don’t think it’s so much about our ‘blogging rights’ as it is about respecting not only a chef, but more importantly a person’s wishes, so i think you’re right on track.
p.s. keep up the beautiful pix! i love them not only from a food standpoint but from a photographic one too :)
Thanks! I would write it all out, but I think the comment from 2 cents says it better then I possibly could :) It truly was an awwwwsome brunch, hehe. It is not b/c Chef Tony doesn’t want his food to be written about (as I personally have nothing but good things to say about it!), but I think it was the circumstances, as the day before was the first time I met him – I’d rather my relationship with him be a friend/good customer rather than a ‘blogger’. See you soon at the PORK FEST! teehee :)
2cents: Thanks in many ways from your comment! :)
Kathy: I guess it’s best to keep your relations with Chef Liu good and well. I just don’t want to be the spoiler. Eventually if I get to eat there for dinner, I’ll get those blistered peppers! I’m dying to try them.
I will definitely see you at the PORK FEST! OMG, the pork…I need to fast a few days before that event occurs. Seriously.
Love the look of Marrakesh! My kind of place indeed!
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