Lexington Avenue New York, NY 10016
Penelope, a home style café, bakery, and bar, located in Murray Hill. Owner Jen and her partner Michael runs this sweet “home away from home” cottage where everything on the menu is prepared fresh and made with the best ingredients. Along with a little creativity and imagination from the chef, Penelope brings the neighborhood tasty recipes from mom.
This was another late night trip after a long day of work and class. Strongly recommended by several friends who lives in the area, a few of us took the trip to find out just how good it is. It was a very cute and warmly decorated restaurant with delicious looking pastries covering the counters. What intrigued me the most, of course, is their Turtle Cove Lobster Roll. The name itself has peaked my curiosity and I couldn’t wait to try it.
The Lobster Roll: $22 Turtle Cove Lobster Roll fresh lobster meat tossed in a light lemon-mayo tucked snug in a brioche roll with greens. served with homemade fries. This was a large lobster roll, probably the largest I’ve had so far. The roll was a thick mayo base with a strong lemon zest kick to it along with diced celery laid on a bed of lettuce on top of a top split toasted bun. The celery and lettuce gave the roll a very nice texture in every bite. If you like a saucy roll and lemon, this is the roll for you! The dish was nicely complimented by a plateful of french fries.
Overall this was a very nice experience and I would love to come back and try all the other items on the menu. Especially their awesome sounding brunch menu that they are so famous for.
The concept of pairing good wine with appropriate food has always been something that has sparked discussion between pundits like how wine drinkers sip white wine to eat with fish or red wine to dine with beef. The same concept can actually be applied to beer drinkers. When one thinks of people who drink beer they tend to think of individuals who have no particular preferences in terms of beer mixed with food, however one will find that just like with wine, there are multiple pairings of beer and food.
Beers have a much wider taste in terms of the variation in its consistency much more so than wine, so being able to appropriately pair food with wine is more difficult. With that being said, a good rule of thumb to follow is simply if you’re eating a heavy food, pair it with a heavy beer. If you’re eating food that is light, pair it with a beer that is light.
Another aspect of beer and wine used in food is actually cooking with wine or beer. In this aspect it is better to serve the same beer for drinking as you did cooking, similarly with wine as well. However there is another school of thought who likes to serve beer that is opposite to the beer in terms of taste used in cooking, proceed at your own discretion as this is more a matter of personal taste.
Lobster and Beer
In terms of lobster and beer, lobster is very rich and flavorful and tends to be sweet; you would want a beer that will provide a refreshing and strong taste or full taste as well. Below are some recommendations of specific beers to drink with Lobster.
Recommendation: Pilsner or Light Lagers
The term Pilsner is actually derived from the city that it was brewed, specifically Pilsen of the Czech Republic back in 1842. Today the term covers a wide variety of lagers which include the American Pilsner, Czech Pilsner and the Imperial Pilsner. The Pilsner lager is defined by the taste of the Saaz noble hops and is a light golden texture/color without any small particles or cloudiness.
Bohemian pils are more of a light amber color with a medium bodied taste. This type of lager balances the moderate bitterness and hops aroma with a malty and slightly sweet body. A specific characteristic of this type of pils is the low levels of both diacetyl and a sweet corn like flavor. This pils also has a dense and rich head foam.
The classic German pils is a light straw or golden colored body. The taste however can be recognized by a high bitterness. The noble type hop aroma and flavor are relatively strong and quite obvious in that manner. It is a medium to light bodied beer but has a malty sweet residual aroma and flavor. Similar to the Bohemian pils, the German pils has very low levels of sweet corn like flavors and is generally considered a beer that one has to be accustomed to.
The American pils is light in both body and color. They tend to have a clean and crisp carbonation and the flavors should be subtle and complex as although there are a multitude of ingredients, one specific flavor doesn’t overpower the others. The malt sweetness level can be considered mild to light. The hop bitterness of American pils are very light.
1. Unplugged Bohemian Lager, New Glarus Brewing Co. in New Glarus, Wisconsin
2. Okocim Beer, Browar Okocim (Okocim Brewery) in Brzesko, Poland
3. Rogue Morimoto Imperial Pilsner, Rogue Ales Brewery in Newport, Oregon
4. Pilsner Urquell, Plzensky Prazdroj (Fountain Head Pilsen Brewery), Czech Republic
5. Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, California
6. Polestar Pilsner, Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont, Colorado
7. Warsteiner Premium Verum, Warsteiner Brauerei in Warstein, Germany
8. Prima Pils, Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, Pennsylvania
9. Reality Czech, Moonlight Brewing Company in Fulton, California
10. Live Oak Pilz, Live Oak Brewing Company in Austin, Texas
Top 10 Bohemian Pilseners
1. Unplugged Bohemian Lager
Top 10 German
1. Prima Pils
Top 10 American
1. Grain Belt Premium
77 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002
Earlier in the month, I told everyone about the UrbanDaddy Perk that offered a 2 hour “Bottomless Brunch Cocktailing” at Grey Lady located on the Lower East Side. I am back to to report to you the amazing experience I had at the Grey Lady. A good reason to go to the LES for sure!
Grey Lady, what can I say about this awesome seafood joint? I first heard about it through a Thrillist mailing in early June, then it was the UrbanDaddy Perk earlier this month. Grey Lady opened in May at it’s Lower East Side location by it’s 3 owners, Callum McLaughlin, Ryan Chadwick, and Gavin McLaughlin (Chef). The place can be described as a “Nantucket-esque” seafood joint decorated in a blue and white nautical theme.
With my UrbanDaddy Perk in hand, I made a reservation for 2 for a Saturday Brunch at 1:30pm in the afternoon. It was a gorgeous day without melting heat, perhaps the perfect weather for a delightful afternoon at the Grey Lady enjoying unlimited and delicious cocktails and a mouth watering Lady’s Lobster Roll. We each ordered a lobsters roll and a series of cocktails including a few Rum Pig, Life Is Good, and Southside. The drinks were perfectly mixed, the food was perfectly cooked, and the service was great with owner Callum behind the bar and owner/chef Gavin in the kitchen. I couldn’t have hoped for a better evening and a greater experience at this shining new gem at the LES. Grey Lady is now a great reason for me to venture down to the LES at any given time.
The Lobster Roll: Lady’s Lobster Roll (Fresh Shucked Maine Lobster, Butter Fried Split Top Bun, House Made Chips, Celery Salad, Tarragon Vinaigrette) $25. Just reading that on the menu makes you want to order 2! Trust me, it tastes even better than it reads. The lobster roll is made from a 1lb fresh Maine lobster in a light mayo base sprinkled with chives on top and placed in a perfectly toasted (fried?) and buttered top open bun from Balthazar Bakery. After the first bite, I thought to myself, I have found it! The lobster roll that I want to savor every bite just like the way I do at Pearl. Each bite, you have a perfect balance of large chunks of fresh lobster meat, light mayo dressing, and the warm, buttered bun. Together, it creates a little big of heaven in your mouth. To compliment the lobster roll, Chef Gavin have a very unique Celery Salad in tarragon vinaigrette. I have to say, for someone who hates celeries and is not a big fan on salads, this celery salad was out of this world! The celeries are thinly sliced, tossed with dill, and dressed in the tarragon vinaigrette which I suspect have some mustard mixed in. We were also recommended by Callum that many people like to eat the celery salad with the lobster roll together. It was a very good combination, the celery definitely gives the lobster roll some extra crunch. The chips were very thinly sliced, crunchy and good. It was slightly on the salty side but then again, I generally prefer less salt than most people.
Overall, this was a 5 star restaurant across the board with its food, drink, service, and the entire experience. We enjoyed it so much that we were planning on when we should come back again and who else we should bring with us. I will leave you with our quote of the day when we asked Callum and Chef Gavin “I know the drinks have refills, but what about the lobster rolls?”
Panera Bread – Location Near You
Panera Bread is a national chain bakery that bakes fresh bread from scratch at every location, everyday. Each location has a bakery café attached to it that has a great menu serving baked goods, sandwich, soup, and salad. All their food are made to order accompanied by their freshly baked bread. Panera Bread separates themselves from the rest of the fast food industry by approaching fast food with a healthy and fresh ingredients attitude and was ranked number 2 among Excellent Large Fast-Food Chains in the Sandelman & Associates in 2011.
Tired and hungry after a long day, stepping into a Panera Bread at 9:30pm just want something decent to eat before jumping into another pile of work, a lobster roll was the last thing I expected to see on the menu of a fast food joint. Without much hesitation and spending anymore time looking at the menu, I quickly placed my order. For $20.66, I got a large lobster sandwich, a bag of chips, and an order of fountain soda.
Lobster Sandwich: The sandwich portion is quite large, served on a fresh ciabatta bread, not toasted or buttered in anyway. There was a very decent amount of lobster and from the picture, you can see the entire chunk of claw meat on the sandwich (Panera says every sandwich is packed with 16oz of lobster meat). The lobster salad looks to be made with a light mayo base on a bed of lettuce. This was a very simple sandwich and I enjoyed a surprisingly nice dinner that night. For $20 dollars, this wasn’t the best lobster roll meal I’ve had but it was decent. I think the bread could’ve been smaller and perhaps toasted and buttered. With the large pieces of bread, the lobster was lost in them and didn’t stand out and also made each bite slightly dry to the mouth. After speaking with the sandwich maker, I found out that the lobster meat was not prepared at each location like the bread, they are precooked and delivered to each store.
Being in New York, it is unlikely for me to order this again when I am surrounded by so many other good lobsters roll around and even for the price point, I would probably gone to Snack Box or Luke’s Lobster instead. But if you are in the other parts of the country and seafood isn’t of abundance around you, give it a try. You just may be surprised by a quick and nice lobster meal.
Wine and Lobster Roll
When enjoying a good lobster roll meal, of course it is important to have a good lobster roll, but the side dish as well as what to drink is just as important. Let’s start with what are some of the best wines that we can pair with a good lobster roll meal and why.
As with anything in life, moderation is key and this includes combining foods and wines. A food dish can complement the sweetness of a wine, or the food dish can contrast against the flavors of the wine. The same goes for wine as even a dim tasting wine can overpower a rich food dish if not chosen correctly.
Red or White
When choosing a wine it is best to follow these guidelines as to choose the best wine for the dish, or vice versa. Red wine has tannins while there is almost no tannin in white wine. Tannic (mainly red) are not suitable for delicate and/or salty dishes as they will kill the subtle flavor of food. Lobster is undoubtedly considered a delicate and flavorful dish, ergo choosing a red wine with lobster is not considered a good mix. Lobster needs a white wine to go with it, but not your typical dry white wine that one is used to drinking with say a food dish such as fish. Since lobster is a delicacy, one should also choose a white wine that has a big aroma, but favors a delicate and subtle flavor as well. Sweet white wine is a good recommendation for Lobster but it shouldn’t be too sweet or too fat.
Categories: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Moscato
My personal favorite is a bubbling Moscato (pictured above).
The following recommendations are from fellow wine and lobster enthusiasts:
Antinori 2008 Orvieto Classico Campogrande.
Burgundy’s Chablis, Pouilly Fuissé and Meursault
Château des Matards 2004, Premières-côtes-de-blaye
Concannon 2008 Chardonnay.
Deidesheimer Leinhöhle riesling kabinett Rheinpfalz 2002
Domaine de la Chauviniere 2008 Muscadet Sevre et Maine.
Geyser Peak 2008 Sauvignon Blanc.
Pouilly-fumé 2004, Pascal Jolivet
Santa Julia 2009 Torrontes.
77 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002
For $35 per person, you can for a limited time, enjoy a 2 hour “Bottomless Brunch Cocktailing” at Grey Lady located on the Lower East Side. After purchasing the certificate from UrbanDaddy, a “lifestyle media company,” you can call Grey Lady and make a reservation for any upcoming Saturday or Sunday until October 7, 2012. (Hurry, the perk is limited!)
This deal gets you one The Lady’s Lobster Roll (Fresh Shucked Maine Lobster, Butter Fried Split Top Bun, House Made Chips, Celery Salad, Tarragon Vinaigrette). Just look at that picture above, you know you can’t resist it! If for whatever reason this isn’t what tickles your fancy, you can choose something else from their brunch menu. Along with the yummy food, for 2 hours, you will have a never ending flow of delicious cocktails (there are 6 of them to choose from the drink menu).
Hope to see you there! I will come back with my experience from this perk in the near future! Stay tuned!
Location: Broadway and 47th Street, Theater District of Time Square
The Snack Box at Times Square is a portable shipping container converted into an one of a kind New York City food cart. It is completely self-sufficient, powered by a hybrid electrical system of electric batteries and a generator as well as water supply tank embedded into its floor. This new form of New York City street food is brought to us by the owners of Republic and BONDST.
Though the Snack Box offered a what seems to be a typical American street food menu, It is very different in that majority of their products are famous local brands. Their pretzels are from Sigmund Pretzelshop, muffins are from Sarabeth’s, bagels are from Vic’s Bagel Bar, donuts are from Doughnut Plant, cupcakes are from Sugar Sweet Sunshine, coffee from La Colombe, and milkshakes are made with Il Laboratorio Del Gelato. This is a one stop shop to have a taste of New York.
The Lobster Roll: The lobster roll is made with a mayo base, fresh large chunks of lobster, tarragon, celery, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. For less than $15 ($11.75 for the roll plus $1.50 for a can of diet coke), I enjoyed an one of a kind experience eating a delicious lobster roll in the middle of Times Square. It’s an experience that everyone should try! Whether you are just visiting or you live in this awesome city, don’t wait, stop by and try it for yourself!