Sunday, August 4, 2013

Copper Chimney

A few moons ago, AAA and I attended a press event at Copper Chimney. It was a private affair with a hand selected menu showcasing many of the top dishes at Copper Chimney.  

The lighting wasn't very good so some of these images may be a little more washed out than I would like.  We started with the Tandoori Samosa. 

These mini pockets of heaven were filled with spicy potatoes and peas. They were very flavorful so they didn't require a sauce, but one of the batches may have been baking for a little long because it was a little dry. The Gobi Honey Garlic were one of the surprising treats.  Gobi means Cauliflower in Hindi. The Cauliflower florets were tossed with a multilayered spice blend. They were not hot, just spice filled. Definitely a big fan. Bombay Bhaja was another surprising favorite.

We were served a variety of fritters, onion, eggplant, potato and spinach fried in chickpea batter. The spinach was my favorite and it was spicy, so you know I loved it! The Shrimp Balchao was by far my favorite appetizer.

A spicy blend of onions, tomatoes and curry cooked with red wine -- perfection! I was satisfied with the appetizers and truthfully, if the dinner stopped then, I would have been satisfied and quite impressed. But, thankfully it didn't! 

The entrees were saved in four separate bowls but really I ate them as one.  My favorite was the Lamb Vindaloo.

A tangy and spicy blend of lamb and potatoes. The lamb wasn't as tender as I would have liked, but the flavors were up there with the best vindaloo I've ever had.  The Chana Pindi was also up there on my list.

I don't know when I first fell in love with chickpeas, but it was definitely an India dish that first did it to me. I loved the blend of onion and tomatoes. Allegedly there were pomegranate seeds in there as well, but I don't recall tasting any. The Chicken Tikka Masala was solid.

Nothing spectacular in my mouth, but AAA was a big fan. The Saag Paneer Bhutta was another solid performer.

Spinach and cheese in an onion and tomato curry sauce. The other diners that sat my table were definitely into it and finished their portion quite quickly, but really who am I to judge? Wasn't much left when I finished.  

Copper Chimney gets solid marks from me. The appetizers were great and really opened the palate and set a high bar for the entrees. The entrees met that bar and a few of them even exceeded it. Definitely Indian food worth traveling for. Special thanks to One Source Resource for the invite!

Hungry yet?

Copper Chimney on Urbanspoon

The Mermaid Inn

On a snowy day earlier this year, I splashed through the puddles down to the East Village for dinner with Ms. O and Mr. M.  I was super excited to finally dine at The Mermaid Inn. We sat in the main dining room at the back of the restaurant. Although it was cold outside, it was quite warm in the nautical themed restaurant. Since the office closed early, our dinner was before 7 which means we were able to take advantage of the amazing happy hour specials! To kick off the night, we started with the Grand Platter. 

We are definitely seafood lovers so we were thrilled when the platter arrived. They oysters were fresh, the clams were flavorful and the shrimp were fantastic!  The lobster was a nice touch, but the star of the platter was the chilled bowl of Tuna Crudo. 

Holy moly! The sushi grade tuna was chopped in bite size pieces and mixed with avocado and jalapeño. It was like eating the best spicy tuna roll you've ever had but without the rice or seaweed. From that point on, it was non-stop food at our table. We were curious about the Lobster Knuckles Escargot, after all you can't combine two of the most delicious items without piquing our interest.

Le sigh. The tricked us! It was really lobster knuckles served escargot style.  Still delicious, but not as exciting as the advertisement would lead you to believe. The Mermaid Fish Tacos were as advertised!

Lightly fried beer battered tilapia in a tortilla filled with red cabbage for crunch, pickled jalapeños for spice, and pico de gallo for liveliness! The pickled jalapeños were the most powerful part, which was perfect for me. Definitely not for the uninitiated though. The biggest disappointment was the Boston Bibb Wedge Salad.

No surprises from me that generally, a salad is disappointing, but the specific complaint was the blue cheese. Too overpowering!! I suspected as much because Ms. O never lets her salad linger and this one lasted the entire meal. Mr. M ordered the grilled octopus which had some pork product that I couldn't eat.

Judging by how quickly the plate was emptied, I imagine it was quite good.  He also ordered the Mini Clam Chowder. 

The baby cup was done in no time. I of course ordered more oysters, because I just couldn't help myself. They were phenomenal.  We also ordered Steamed Maine Bouchot Mussels.

They were cooked with prosecco and although I liked them, because after all, it's difficult to be dissatisfied with mussels, they weren't spectacular. The fries that came with it were good, but with so many other choice items on the table, it was difficult to eat too many fries. Ms. O enjoyed her Fried Clam Slider.

I enjoyed The Mermaid Inn so much, I was back there within a few weeks, but this time I went to the upper west side location with MM and AAA. We had a glorious time. I ate too many oysters, but also sampled other items.  AAA tried the Shrimp Corndogs.

Too much Corndog, not enough shrimp. We also tried the Lobster Slider.

Yummers! It was filled with lobster, so much so that it was falling out.  Yessss! I hope they'll be at this year's Lobster Roll Rumble!  We also ate two orders of the Fried Calamari.

Yup, we were loving it. Lightly battered and lightly fried but heavily flavored - YUM! I also ordered the mini clam bake.

A bite size version that was well spiced - especially the potatoes!  The shrimp corndogs were a no go.  Stay away! 

The Mermaid Inn is high on my list of favorites of this year. I highly recommend their happy hour, because the specials are just too good to pass up. It also runs late enough that you don't feel like you're force feeding yourself early in the day.  The service was also incredible both times. They were very responsive and reminded you when happy hour was about to end. Although they have no dessert menu, I have no complaints because they serve everyone a little chocolate pot and a fish fortune.


Hungry yet?

Mermaid Inn on Urbanspoon