Author: Victor and Maria
Restaurant: Eleven Madison Park
Exec Chef: Daniel Humm
Date: June 14, 2013
We decided to go to EMP to celebrate my friend’s birthday! She’s wanted to try it for a while now, and she was happy that it lived up to her expectations.
Authors: Victor and Ken
Restaurant: New York Sushi Ko
Chef: John Daley
Date: June 12, 2013
New York Sushi Ko just opened on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, and it consists of a sushi bar that can seat seven and a small table that can seat four. You make reservations by calling or texting the number listed. They have pretty late hours, and Chef Daley mentioned that he made the hours so late because he likes serving other people who also work in the restaurant industry. (I don’t know how truthful he was being when he said this, though!)
There are four main menu options: 3 courses, 5 courses, 7 courses, and an open-ended omakase (it generally comprises 9 to 12 courses). We went with the open-ended option, as we wanted to try as much of Daley’s food as possible.
The restaurant’s only two days old, so they’re still working out kinks. I liked what I saw, though! The staff was really friendly and unpretentious, and the atmosphere felt fun and exciting—the staff seemed to enjoy what they were doing, and the customers enjoyed the food. Chef Daley’s loud, relatively wild (at least for a chef), and fun to be around; he definitely made the meal both more lively and relaxing.
The major problem is that Chef Daley is pretty much the only guy preparing the dishes during service… and he has to prepare dishes for up to 11 people. Meals took longer than necessary for some people, but Chef Daley acknowledged this and thanked customers for their patience. We got lucky because we were seated at 9:15 p.m.—by 10:30 p.m., most of the customers had cleared out, so we received our food at an accelerated (or what should be normal?) pace.
Thoughts on the sushi:
The fish was very fresh, and most of it was flown in from Japan. A few things were from other countries; for instance, some of the uni was from Chile and California, and some of the Bluefin tuna was from Spain.
The sushi rice could have been slightly warmer and softer; the rice felt too hard/grainy at times. I wonder if it was because we were eating sushi so late—it was around 11:00 p.m. when we started eating sushi! Still, for a restaurant that was only in its second day of service, the rice was pretty solid.
In the end, I had an enjoyable meal with Chef Daley and the rest of the staff and customers, and there were truly some outstanding dishes and sushi pieces. I can’t say that the meal was perfect because I thought the sushi rice was slightly off. I’ll definitely come back in the future, though, to try new dishes and have more of the sushi! (The place is definitely worth checking out, and it’s still very new—you should go while reservations are relatively easy to make!)
The Cronut craze is getting out of control. (For those unfamiliar, see this article). Yes, it tastes amazing. It is flaky yet crunchy, has a great cream filling, and is overall freaking delicious. I love donuts, I love croissants, and the cronut is sort of a dream come true. Still, there’s something VERY WRONG about people scalping them (see this article).
First, it’s extremely unfair for those who have waited for an hour to not be able to have one, but those with extra pocket money to easily just buy them off a scalper. Yes supply and demand control the economy blah blah but it’s still messed up for that guy waiting in line (that guy was me, see story below) to have wasted an hour of his life for nothing.
Second, and on a related note, the scalpers are creating a race to the bottom. The more scalpers there are, the earlier people will begin to line up for the cronuts, and the more artificially-inflated the wait (and price, apparently) for a cronut will become. This is not desirable.
Third, it’s stupid and a waste of time for the scalpers themselves. If you’re buying 2 pastries for $5 each (apparently Dominique is limiting customers to 2 cronuts now), waiting in line for 2 hours, and then reselling them for $20 each, that’s $30 profit you made after 2 hours of “work.” I know not everyone has a job that pays $15/hour or more, but if you do, stop scalping cronuts! It’s a waste of your time!
Anywhoo, story of how I got a cronut:
I went to Dominique Ansel’s every couple of weeks since first stopping by back in February. I stopped by on a random May afternoon and saw it as a new menu addition, but that it was sold out. Turns out, I had stopped by on about the 4th day of the cronut debut. I was told by the worker that if I wanted a cronut, I needed to arrive early since they sold out in 20 minutes. The following week, my sister and I woke up at 7 AM to get to Dominique Ansel’s by 8 when they opened. We got there at 8:01, and the doors didn’t even open up until 8:04. As fate would have it, the couple immediately in front of us got the last cronut. I was raging pretty hard, although the rest of the pastries there are great too so I had a consolation almond croissant. But I swore to myself that I was done trying to get a cronut – it was too difficult and not worth the effort.
A couple days later though, my sister got up at 6AM and went down by herself, and brought me back a cronut for my birthday (she’s awesome, I know). So that’s how I got to try a cronut.
But seriously, it’s getting ridiculous. And I hate the idea of scalping cronuts. Shouldn’t the people who love the cronut, who appreciate food and innovation, and have the dedication to wait in line, be the ones who are able to enjoy it?