Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur hot dog stand in Reykjavik, Iceland

We had to stop by this famous hot dog stand despite the freezing wind and rain.  Got the ‘everything’ hot dog and it was fabulous.  The line moved quickly and so did we – the hot dogs were gone before we finished walking down the street. Check out their website!

How does this place not have a Michelin star? Our amazing experience at Grillið in Reykjavik, Iceland

Some thoughts:
– absolutely amazing food
– tons of creative and playful takes on food – for example, the take on garlic bread involved a soft potato bread meant to be pulled apart by your hands with a generous dollop of mushroom butter and then dunking it into a garlic soup – you’re surprised at first – where are the utensils? Would a restaurant of this caliber really let you eat with your hands? But then they come out with hot towels and a lovely cracked plate with the crack lined with gold – kintsugi-style
– loved the marshmallow caramel pops at the end, on a stick and bed of forestry
– celeriac and fish; seems very Icelandic
– service was good but not really warm or particularly attentive; water glasses refilled frequently but it’s not like EMP
– great view of the city, high up, overlooking; 360 astrology decorations
– comfy chairs
– mostly older clientele
– some of the items a bit salty (fish, lamb, dessert)
– no cocktail bar
– certain flavors incorporated in multiple ways in a dish
– always an interactive portion of the food – bringing freeze-dried or sauce or torch at tableside – really fantastic
– overall, I’m shocked this restaurant doesn’t have a Michelin star – maybe needs a better name and some better service but the food is top-notch

Check out their website!

Our tasting menu:
“4 COURSES MENU
Small snacks from the kitchen
Potato bread, roasted garlic soup and cep butter
Dover sole, ramsons & crispy chicken skin
Fillet of lamb, trumpet & cep mushroom
Beef tenderloin, celeriac, oyster mushroom &
spruce cream
Hazelnuts, arctic thyme ice cream & pears
Sweet delights
MENU ISK 11.900” (~120$)

 

And a handful of other Iceland shots:

Peking duck at Decoy in NYC

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We were told that Decoy had some of the best Peking duck in NYC. We booked the duck dinner for two ahead of time for the first round of dinner of the day. This dinner comes with the choice of two small plates off the menu – we went for the foie gras strawberry tarts, see above, in the shape of a little duck; and the oxtail dumplings. They also provide some fried fish skin ‘chips’ with three different kimchi style banchan – mango was my favorite! With the duck/wraps, there were two interesting sauces in addition to the usual hoisin sauce, a raspberry-based and a satay-like. My favorite was still the hoisin. You also get a rice dish included with the duck dinner, we opted to get the truffle egg, which unfortunately was really mostly egg and not very truffle. Drinks – ‘Year of the Salty Dog’ was adorable, with a little paw print in the foam. Fred was not very impressed with the meal, but to be fair, we had just come from Per Se so everything paled in comparison. Check them out on Yelp or at their website!
Decoy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dim Sum Palace in NYC Midtown

We stopped by this little basement dim sum spot while in Midtown, before going to the very cool Spyscape interactive museum.  To my great disappointment, because it wasn’t the weekend, they didn’t have my favorite rice noodle wraps.  The xiao long bao were delicious, as they always are. They have high-quality color menu with photos, which is always helpful for when we’re feeling adventurous.  Check them out on Yelp or at their website!
DimSum Palace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Agora in NYC

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Grandma's dumplings

Grandma’s ravioli

Chicken Shish Kebab with garlic yogurt

Chicken Shish Kebab with garlic yogurt

A nice restaurant, were able to get seats on a Friday night without problem.  Fantastic yogurt garlic sauce.  Really friendly wait staff, offered me the pumpkin lamp when they noticed I was taking photos. Grandma’s ravioli was delicious with great yogurt garlic sauce. Unfortunately, my chicken was bad in several places, ruining the dish for me. I brought this to the attention of one of the waiters who was apologetic and nice about everything. Check them out on Yelp!

 
Agora Turkish Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
 

Mezcal in New Haven

Just opened! BonChon in New Haven

After many months of painful waiting, with several delays holding up their opening day, BonChon has opened its New Haven doors! One of my students told me about the exciting news this week, and first day off I got, I went to check them out. Though it was Saturday night, we were able to get in without a wait by snagging a seat at the bar. Wood ceilings, painted brick, and music set the atmosphere. We went straight for the fried chicken, though some of the appetizers (salmon avocado ball) were certainly tempting. It comes in drumsticks, wings, or strips, and you can go from soy-garlic to the (impressively hot) spicy sauce. Even the half/half sauce was a little too spicy for me. I always love pickled radish and biting into the crunchy skin of the chicken brought me back to the good old days of Seoul Street in Ann Arbor. Korean Fried Chicken always has a place in my heart for late nights and beer with friends. Things were just a tad slow but it is only their first week open, and everyone was super nice. Check them out on Yelp or at their website!

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