Tag Archives: lunch
We didn’t leave our apartment until late morning (we were on vacation, after all!) and we took the subway down to get lunch at Schwartz’s, a famous smoked meat place in Montreal.
The place always has a huge line out the door so our expectations were very high. We got inside and each ordered a smoked meat sandwich with fries, pickles, and black cherry soda. The sandwich really was out of this world!! I’m not even the biggest fan of meat but this was amazing. The meat was perfectly smoked and tender and the spices were so good (apparently they invented Montreal steak seasoning?!) I’m still kind of craving it now!
After our very satisfying lunch, we headed to Mont Royal Park to hike up the mountain and burn off the calories. It was still quite icy there so the way up was a little treacherous, but it was a beautiful sunny winter day.
The top of the mountain offered spectacular views of the city, which looked so lovely bathed in the setting sun.
After enjoying the views and the sun for a while, we went back down, trekked through McGill quickly, and headed to dinner at Cuisine Szechuan.
The food was pretty good, though nothing spectacular, but it served to fulfill our cravings for Chinese food!
I went on my first ever road trip for Spring Break this year! Yufei and I and 4 other friends decided to visit Montreal (no money for somewhere tropical), and it was quite a success!
We left NYC Friday morning stopped at Albany for lunch. We went to Yono’s as it was the best rated place on Yelp, and apparently the only 4-star restaurant in Albany. I had their lunch special of the day, which was a fish burger with potato wedges. It was surprisingly good for only $7! That’s Yufei’s pulled chicken sandwich in the back.
We were on the road again after lunch, and it was after sunset when we crossed the border.
It was quite late when we arrived in our apartment that we rented on Airbnb (which was absolutely superb), so we just got some poutine for dinner and then went out for beer at Benelux. It was a pretty cool bar that had a variety of interesting beers. We were all pretty tired after that so we went home and hit the bed.
The next morning, we got up and walked to Olympic Park since it was close to where we were staying. It was a gorgeous sunny day, though cold and icy.
I should have known better about the cold eastern Canadian winter and packed warmer clothes, as I’ve experienced it myself before, but I guess time makes you forget these things. Anyways, we were all super hungry after all the walking, and 2 of the restaurants we wanted to go to didn’t work out, and we were recommended to go to Romados for roasted chicken. We each got half a chicken with fries, and the chicken was amazingly delicious. Here are my friends devouring their meals:
Even though we were stuffed from lunch, we decided to drop by Juliette et Chocolat for some sweets. I loved their decor inside:
After a short wait, we were seated. Yufei and I shared a crepe with maple syrup and an alcoholic drink with chilled milk chocolate, Bailey’s, and caramel.
Others had various hot chocolates and coffees:
Everything was chocolatey and indulgent and delicious. The place was a little expensive, but I can see myself spending a leisurely afternoon there sipping on chocolate and munching on desserts.
After that, the guys went drinking and the girls went on a failed shopping trip as most stores were closed by 6pm on Saturdays. Dinner didn’t quite happen as we were still stuffed from chicken and chocolate, so we just chilled back in the apartment and then went out to a sports bar for beer and to catch the hockey game. And that concluded our first full day in Montreal!
Last Friday, Yufei and I headed to Nougatine at Jean-Georges for lunch. We sat by the window where it’s bright and airy just the way I like and readied ourselves for a 3-course meal! I got the tuna tartare with avocado and radish for my appetizer, which had been lauded by countless Yelp reviews and my friend who recommended the restaurant to me in the first place, and it was as good as everyone says!
Yufei chose the butternut squash soup with mushrooms, which was also delicious and creamy and excellent for bread-dipping.
For my main course, I got the black bass with spaghetti squash in a sesame broth with chili oil. It was also very very good. The skin was nice and crispy, and the sesame and chili gave the dish a punch of flavor. I didn’t realize it but both of my first 2 courses are quite Asian inspired!
Yufei got the cheeseburger for his main course, since that was the only red meat option on the menu (sorry honey!).
And for dessert, I got the pineapple upside down cake with basil ice cream and Yufei got the warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. Both were delicious!
Another great lunch! I must say I’m quite liking the lunch option at pricier restaurants!
Lunch at Tbar Steak & Lounge
Yufei and I decided to get lunch here before Restaurant Week ended! Tbar was a cute little place on the UES with lots of green in its decor which I loved. Highlights from the meal:
My cauliflower soup:
My Irish grilled salmon:
Yufei’s fillet mignon:
Desserts – chocolate mousse for Yufei and and banana parfait for me. The banana parfait was amazing! Definitely the best part of the meal:
Overall it was good experience, but I don’t know if I’d come back it it weren’t Restaurant Week. Although if I’m ever in the neighborhood, I would consider dropping by just for the banana parfait!
Brunch at Le Monde
A French restaurant near campus with really great brunch food (their dinner is okay but not as good as brunch in my opinion). I had an eggs Benedict and Yufei had the country breakfast:
Dinner at Gente
I had a voucher for Gente so we decided to go there for an early celebration for our 40 month anniversary and Valentine’s Day. The voucher was for a 4 course meal with wine pairings, which was great. We both got the tasting plate to start, which included a mini pizza, bruschetta, sliced beets, buffalo mozzarella, tomato and aged parmigiano:
And it came with prosecco:
Next came the pasta, and I got the shrimp and asparagus risotto and Yufei got Kobe meatballs with angel hair pasta (pictures weren’t so great so I won’t post them), and they were paired with pinot grigio.
Then for the entree, I got the sea bass and Yufei got the veal Milanese. This was my least favorite course; kind of wish I had gotten a chicken dish instead. But the Sangiovese chianti it was paired with was delicious.
And lastly, for dessert, I got the tiramisu and Yufei got the pineapple carpaccio with blood orange sorbet:
Overall great meal – loved the wines, the food was good, the dessert was excellent!
This past Thursday, Yufei treated me to an amazing lunch at Eleven Madison Park. It was a part of our agreement that if I do well on the DAT, I get to have a meal at a restaurant of my choice. I have to say that this lunch was definitely worth all the effort I put into studying for the DAT!!
The restaurant itself was beautiful and airy, with high ceilings, bright with natural light – just the way I like it!
We got seated by the window, and warm moist towels were brought to us to clean our hands – a nice touch. Then our server explained the menu format to us (even though we already looked it up online in anticipation of the meal): the menu comprises of a 4 by 4 grid of 16 different ingredients, and you choose 1 ingredient from each row for each of the 4 courses, allowing the preparation of the dish to be a surprise. I really liked the concept of this; I love surprises! So we picked out our dishes and patiently waited. But we didn’t have to wait long before a series of amuse-bouches started arriving at our table. First was a little bowl of warm and fluffy gougères. We were hungry so we ate it all before I remembered to take a picture -oops. Then came these little quail eggs on some kind of wafer-like disk with tiny pieces of bacon on top – I called it breakfast in a bite – with a delicious apple celery tea:
I loved how delicate-looking everything was, which was something that continued as the meal went on. Next was a smoked sturgeon sabayon served in eggshells (See? Delicate-looking!). It was creamy and frothy and tasty!
After that, bread was brought to the table, along with sea salt and 2 butters, a cow and a goat. I really really loved their bread (asked for another serving later in the meal); it was so light and fluffy, almost like a croissant. Also a big fan of the goat butter. And they warmed the butter knife! Another nice touch.
So after all this food, we finally got our first courses! I picked scallop as my main ingredient and got scallop marinated with celery and apple. It was good but nothing extraordinary (but they did manage to make celery palatable, which is a feat in itself).
Yufei picked foie gras and got it seared with oats and apple and something else:
For my second course, I chose lobster and got it with fennel puree and leeks. I really liked this dish, the burnt leeks somehow didn’t taste burnt and added an interesting texture.
Yufei picked potato for the second course and got these little nugget potatoes with bacon bits and black truffle (score! He loves truffle).
For the main course, we opted for the duck for 2, because I had read about how amazing it was on Yelp and we both love duck anyway. They brought out the whole duck to us, and then proceeded to carve it by the table-side. The honey lavender glazed duck was served with fennel puree, and persimmons (I liked it), and some other things (this is the problem when you don’t have a full menu). It was absolutely delicious! The skin was nice and crispy, with various spices, including cumin (never thought that cumin and duck would go together!), and the meat was nice and tender.
The second part of the duck dish came as a duck let confit with whipped potatoes (sorry, forgot to take a photo), and it was very good as well. After the third course, we were made 2 small glasses of egg cream with an orange flavor twist. It was the first time either of us has ever had egg cream and we really enjoyed it!
After that, another mini dessert was brought to the table. It was a little goat milk cheesecake with melt in your mouth raspberry crumbles and some kind of sorbet. I LOVED this. I wish I could have gotten a bigger one!
And then, finally, our actual dessert course! I ordered coconut as my main ingredient, and I got this little melange of sweets, including coconut sorbet, passion fruit sorbet (can they read minds and tell what you like?!), coconut meringues, served with fresh papaya and mango and roasted coconut meat strips, and topped with caramel tasting crumbles. So good!
Yufei picked chocolate and got this chocolate mousse with ice cream and… who knows. All that matters is that it tasted good!
And then we finished up the meal with hot chocolate for Yufei and a mint lavender tea for me. Mignardises consisting of black and white truffled ice cream was served (forgot to take photo again!). The whole meal took about 2 and a half hours and every moment was perfect! Both the food and the service was excellent, comparable only to our experience at Per Se. All in all a fabulous meal! Thanks Yufei :)
For the first time in more than 2 and a half years together, I was finally able to celebrate Yufei’s birthday with him! For the last 2 years, we were always half a globe from each other on the special day – first me in China and him in Canada, then me in Austria and him in New York. But this year we’re finally together in San Francisco! So of course we had to celebrate – with lots of delicious food!
After sleeping in until a luxuriously late hour, which is highly suggested for one’s birthday, we got ready and headed to Burma Superstar, one of an oddly large number of Burmese restaurants in the city. Neither of us had had Burmese food before, but I really wanted to try it out, so I took Yufei there for lunch. The place had great reviews online, and there was a line when we got there at past 1pm on a Monday morning – this place better be good! After about 20 minutes, we got seated in a corner of the restaurant.
We started with chicken samusas and a Burmese salad:
The sambusas were nice and hot and crispy and we both liked them. The salad had an interesting freshness to it, which I enjoyed more than Yufei. For our mains, Yufei got the nan gyi dok noodles, with flour noodles instead of rice noodles:
It had a nice coconut curry sauce and was really good! I stole a lot from Yufei’s plate. I got a Burnese chicken curry dish with tan poi rice:
The curry was delicious and the rice was very interesting – it had huge raisins in it! I’m always adamant about having dessert, so even though we were both quite full, we ordered a fried banana and ice cream dessert to share:
Which was a good call because it was so yummy! After lunch we decided to go to Golden Gate Park since we were nearby. We visited the California Academy of Sciences first (we are such nerds), where they had this really cool green roof:
The museum itself was pretty cool, but we ran out of time before they closed so we didn’t get to see everything. We walked around the park for a bit and then went to to Japanese tea garden.
It was quite a lovely place, but a little too crowded when we were there, which kind of takes away the serenity of the garden. But it was still a nice place to spend an afternoon. By then it was starting to get late and we hopped on a bus to go to dinner. I had made reservations at Frascati, a Mediterranean style bistro on Russian Hill. We were greeted warmly upon arrival, and they even wished Yufei a happy birthday (always a good sign when they actually pay attention to what you mention during the reservation). We were seated upstairs, which is smaller and more private than the first floor. We started with a couple of appetizers, the gnocchi and the duck confit salad:
Both were delicious! The salad had quite a lot of duck in it, which was great. And of course since we’re finally both legal, we each had a glass of chardonnay with our meal. Yufei ordered the duck breast for his main:
And I had the wild California salmon:
Both dishes were fantastic! And of course, we had to have dessert again at dinner, so Yufei got the affogato and I had the blueberry cobbler. Yufei’s dessert came with a birthday candle, which got blown out since it was a little drafty, but our server did his best trying to re-light it (and it was on the house!).
The meal was absolutely wonderful, the service was great, and we both had an excellent time. We were much too full and a little tired to go through with plans of hitting a bar, so we just walked home and watched a movie on the couch. It was a a day well spent – and I hope that I’ll be able to spend many more of Yufei’s birthdays like this!
Monday, August 1, 2011
Morning: Went to Twitter with Yufei and had breakfast there, which consisted of a delicious bagel (it was Bagel Monday!) topped with cream cheese, smoked salmon and tomatoes and cucumbers, and some fruit and yogurt. Then I went shopping downtown for a few hours, before coming back for lunch at Twitter (I’m such a moocher). Seriously, this places is awesome.
Afternoon: Lounged around and then met Yufei for dinner at Tandoori Mahal. We got chicken samosas, rice, naan, chicken tikka masala, and lamb korma, and it was all delicious!
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Morning: Slept in, had leftovers for lunch.
Afternoon: Went to the Cartoon Art Museum, which had exhibits on Archie, The Green Lantern, and the art of Howl, as well as a permanent exhibit on the history and progression of cartoons and comics.
It was a nice little museum, plus it was pay-what-you-want day, so it was definitely worth the visit! They had a nice little gift shop too, with some pretty cool stuff local comic artists too.
And a starter of spicy mini chicken drumsticks. For our entrees, I got the individual sized paella and Yufei got the grilled sirloin:
I was a huge fan of my paella, while Yufei’s steak was just okay. We finished off by sharing a warm chocolate molten cake, which was so good! Overall a great meal, our server was very nice, and I really liked the place!
We came back after dinner and decided to watch a movie at home. We ended up seeing The Adjustment Bureau, which I had high expectations for since I found the premise fascinating and it got pretty good reviews. But we were both disappointed by the movie. For me, I just felt like I kept expecting it to get this point that would just blow my mind, and it just never got there and all of sudden it was over. Oh well, there goes an hour and a half of my life.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Morning: I walked over to the School of Dentistry at the University of the Pacific to check it out. The walk was pretty much uphill the whole way, which caused me to take way longer than the predicted time on Google Maps. Anyways, the school was really nice, and I even talked with one of the admissions people. The only thing is that they want me to take more biology labs (ugh). Sigh… we’ll see. My walk back was decidedly more pleasant, offering me views like this:
And I got lunch at Gallery Cafe, half a block from Yufei’s place. Cute little neighbourhood cafe.
Afternoon: Tired from my morning walk, I just took it easy until dinner time. We met up at Passion Cafe, a nice French bistro in a pretty sketchy part of town. We got a grilled chicken salad, Yufei got a burger, and I had a calamari.
The salad was great, Yufei liked his burger, but my calamari was a little bit over-fried. Regrettably, we didn’t really order anything French, although our waiter did have a discernible French accent and that’s always a good sign. Perhaps next time!
After dinner, we went to a nearby theater to see Cowboys & Aliens, which I found to be okay, and Yufei loved it (of course, since it was his pick – my turn the next night!).
Thursday, August 4, 211
Morning: Umm… I don’t think I did anything.
Afternoon: Another day in SF, another dental school visit. This time, I decided to check out the Dental School at UCSF. UCSF consist only of graduate schools in the health sciences, and it is located in a cold, windy, misty part of town. The campus is considerably bigger than Pacific since the dental school is kind of lumped together with everything else, so I couldn’t really see much. But I did talk to admissions and got some info. Gosh, this dental school business is getting pretty serious!
For dinner, I met up with a friend from Columbia who lives and is interning in the city. We went to the Ferry Building:
After dinner I met up with Yufei to go see my movie of choice: Crazy, Stupid, Love. It was one of the best romantic comedies I’ve seen in a while. The cast was amazing, and they all gave great performances – what a refreshing role for Steve Carell! Really pleasantly surprised by him. There seemed to be too many story lines in the movie at one point, but they were all brought together in an unexpected, hilarious yet heartbreaking twist (honest haven’t laughed that hard in a theater in a while). A realistic look at love that is at times funny, at times agonizing, but ultimately heartwarming and optimistic – highly recommended!
Friday, August 5, 2011
Morning: Not much until lunch, which I had at Out the Door at Westfield Center, one of 3 locations for the less formal eateries spawned from The Slanted Door. I started with a half portion of the spring rolls with a really yummy peanut sauce:
And for my main I got the stir-fried rice noodles with chicken:
It was good but somewhat unremarkable, which is probably no unexpected for such a simple dish. Anyways, pretty good meal!
After lunch, I walked over to the Asian Art Museum, where they were having a special exhibit on Bali, which was completely worth the extra $5. It was a beautiful and fascinating display of Balinese art, rituals, and performance, as exemplified by this amazingly intricate and elaborate offering made from rice dough, called a Sarad:
I didn’t realize how big the museum was and spent too much time in the Bali exhibit, and had to rush through the rest of it before they closed. But it was really quite a nice museum! I wish I had planned to spend more time there.
To celebrate the end of the work week, Yufei and I went down to Pier 39 to embark on the Happy Hour on the Bay Cruise from Blue and Gold Fleet! They had some snacks and a bar where you get one free drink – and I think I finally look past 21 since I didn’t get carded, ha! It was unfortunately too foggy out to go to the Golden Gate Bridge or Alcatraz, so we headed the other way and went past the Bay Bridge and AT&T Park instead.
The cruise lasted an hour and a half and was pretty fun, but afterwards we were still hungry so we headed to In-N-Out for burgers! Being in NYC exposed us to a lot of debate over Shake Shack vs. In-N-Out, so we had to try for ourselves! Granted, I’ve never really had a freshly made burger from Shake Shake before, only a somewhat small and unimpressive one in a take-out bag that’s probably not the best for judging. But the burgers at In-N-Out were decently sized, freshly made, and the value is excellent! The fries were just average though.
I wish they had more topping choices (like bacon!), but at just over $2 for a burger, you can’t complain. But I think Five Guys still wins overall for quality and variety and huge servings of good fries (and free peanuts!). And for best value, M2M still has a special place in my heart. (Wow, I cannot believe I just wrote this much reviewing burgers! This is all Yufei’s fault).
So this wraps up the work week! A special weekend post coming up!