Monday, September 25, 2006

Chowtime @ Crema

It struck me as somewhat odd that I hadn't had much occasion to sample the delights of the cuisine south of the border, not counting sporadically treating myself to the #5 Chalupa combo at Taco Bell. I totally miss the gorditas!. Of course no one seriously thinks the talking chihuahua is selling real Mexican food, so I was glad that my Meetup brunch group recently had brunch at the hip restaurant Crema in Chelsea. As you can see, the sign outside its doors proudly declares that it was voted "#1 Best Mexican" by Citysearch.

Our group immediately took a liking to the bright interiors which gave a light, welcoming vibe. The predominant orange hue reminded me of the similarly-colored shirts I used to wear to work that attracted quite a lot of raised eyebrows. LOL. As most of us were starved, we ordered from the brunch menu immediately and eagerly sipped the mimosas while waiting for the food to arrive.

Finally, the food came, and I managed to hold off the urge to dig in immediately, and took a few snapshots - all in the name of research not only for the readers of this blog, but also for my upcoming trip to Mexico (you heard it here first!!).

Top left: Huevos motulenos, fried eggs over a tostada with black beans, turkey ham, avocado penela cheese and fresh salsa
Top right: Taquitos de Huevo Al Chile Guajillo, rolled flour tortillas filled with scrambled eggs and guajillo chile paste; beware, the sauce is hottttt
Bottom left: Tortitas de Elote Dulce, sweet corn flan fritters with goat cheese and rojas poblanas
Everyone's verdict was: not only do the dishes taste great, the presentation is quite enticing as well. A second visit to try the other brunch menu items is in order. For more details about Crema, check out their website here.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Sugar Fix @ Pasticceria Bruno

THAT is one of the sumptuous, delectable desserts at Pasticceria Bruno on Bleecker St., the dulce de leche cheesecake. I stumbled upon this place when I went on the Walking and Eating Tour of Greenwich Village, and after seeing Pasticceria Bruno included in the book "New York's 50 Best Places to Enjoy Dessert", it was a no-brainer. I had to take one for the team and devour sweet pastries in the name of research.

Pasticceria Bruno, along with its sister establishment Bruno Bakery, is run by the award-winning Italian pastry chef Biagio Settepani. He was named one of the best pastry chefs back in 2000 by Pastry Art and Design magazine. Both places have the works - all sorts of pastries, tarts, cakes, cookies, bisotti, etc. to make your mouth drool and ensure that choosing would be a tough proposition.

Finally, after peering intently at the items within the display case for ages, decided on both the dulce de leche cheesecake and mango mousse. I found the former to be a little too sweet, while the latter was simply perfect and something I'd go back for. (No surprise here, since I love mangoes). Will surely try the cannoli, zupetta, sfogliatella, and other Italian specialties on my next visit.

To learn more about Pasticceria Bruno and Bruno bakery, check out their website. Make sure to click on the "Pastry Shop" option on the menu to see their wide selection of pastries.