Casa Mono…again and again…

2011/08/20 § 4 Comments

I think that I shall never tire of this Catalunyan Boqueria – inspired restaurant…



with Guindillas Vascas

Whole Sepia ala Plancha

with Salsa Verde

Ensalada Mono

with Manchego

Crispy Belly

with Sweet Corn and Blueberries

Crema Catalana

con Bunuelos

Cafe Cortado


I keep coming back to you, Casa Mono.



My New York City Love Affair

2011/03/23 § 6 Comments

I didn’t like New York City the first time I saw it.  I thought it was too frenetic, too gritty and too bereft of charm.  I have fallen in love, after a couple of years.  It wasn’t love at first sight, for sure. There were a lot of issues that had to be settled and many compromises to be made.  What it lacked in charm it made up for being absolutely riveting.  It offers such a vast array of choices and possibilities that everywhere else seem boring in comparison.  I got used to walking about and discovering new things around every corner. It has a ton of restaurants serving varied cuisines and styled in every theme imaginable.  You could spend hours in its outstanding museums or theaters or bars or parks and just walking the streets watching the multitude of  culture and language and fashion on display.  There are so many activities to do, events to go to and diverse people to meet and learn from.

The city can be hard and cruel too.  I have many friends who complain that their soul is battered by the unrelenting pace and endless concrete.  I can see how tedious work, long hours and loneliness can make one feel that he is not living life properly.  But I tend to look at the bright side and think that it’s an experience to be savoured.  We all have a choice of eventually leaving New York and setting up camp somewhere else.  After New York jobs, New York living and New York problems – everywhere else might seem like paradise.  Maybe.  Work might be more balanced and collegial, less competitive.  We can live in big houses with big lawns instead of cramped apartments with no views.  We would have more time to be with family and friends and picnic or go to the beach or just hang out in the backyard.  Maybe.

In the meantime, I try to enjoy what the city has to offer.  A friend and I went walking about a couple of weeks ago.

We marveled at buildings and architecture

At people’s creativity and resourcefulness – here at the Zero Waste Denim Exhibit at Parsons New School for Design

And at sublime culinary genius at Mario Batalli’s Casa Mono

[Very few restaurants I’ve been to do sweetbreads really well.   One of them is Jean Georges.  And the second is Casa Mono]

[The roasted bone marrow with baby radish and caper salad is as divine]

So I’ll take New York for what it is.  Not pretty, but smart.  Not sweet, but sexy. Edgy. Not relaxing, but fun.  And exciting. Not thoughtful, but thoroughly engaging.  I will enjoy its quirks and eccentricities.  Its genius.  Its energy.  And hope to take many cherished memories with me if and when it is time to bid adieu.


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