A good friend of ours from Philadelphia, Joe Cicala, came to NYC to visit with the Men Who Dine recently. Joe is the executive chef at Le Virtù, an authentic and traditional Abruzzese restaurant on East Passyunk Avenue in South Philly. It is definitely one of my favorite restaurants in Philadelphia.
It was a Wednesday that Alan, Gennaro, Joe and I got together for an afternoon on the town. It was actually the same day I was participating as a contestant in a qualifying round for the World Pesto Championships. The event was held at La Piazza inside one of my favorite Italian superstores, Eataly. I unfortunately did not win the competition, but it was a great event that I was honored to be a part of. Joe had actually met Alan and me at Eataly as the competition was winding down. Once we took leave of Eataly, we headed to Alan’s car and downtown to pick up our dining partner, Gennaro.
Steamed Buns (Pork Belly, Hoisin, Scallion, Cucumber)
If you’re looking for a quiet dimly lit restaurant for a romantic evening for two, Momofuku Noodle Bar on New York City’s Lower East Side is probably not the choicest spot. However, if you want kick ass Korean inspired food with great music all served in a small space at communal tables for reasonable prices, get yourself to Momofuku Noodle Bar ASAP, but expect a wait.
How do you become the new head chef at the Four Season restaurant in New York City? For Pecko Zantilaveevan the answer is practice and patience. Our visit brought us to The Four Seasons three weeks after Chef Zantilaveevan took over as chef de cuisine at one of New York City’s most esteemed and venerated temples of gastronomy. It was also the first day of the new Autumn menu. Chef Zantilaveevan, a native of Bangkok and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, has been a part of the Four Seasons’ kitchen for over fifteen years. His patience and strong work ethic carried him up through the ranks of the kitchen’s brigade. And his passion and expertise can be tasted in the beautiful creations that are presented before the diners on a daily basis.