Posts Tagged ‘Italian’


Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

One of the things I feel most polarized about (no pun intended, ha ha) our trip to New York was not bringing my Nikon DSLR. It was great not having to carry it around and truly be able to enjoy our trip and experience, but at the same time, my little point-and-shoot didn’t take nearly as good photos.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

I really do think that our lunch at Mario Batali’s Del Posto restaurant was the highlight of the entire New York trip for me. Yes, even more than going to Kleinfeld Bridal, amazingly :) Batali’s Del Posto is a fine dining restaurant located near Chelsea Market in New York. It’s an absolutely gorgeous space and yes, the food is exquisite.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

Kim, Greg, Allan and I decided to go for lunch there as the lunch menu is significantly less expensive than the dinner menu, with a prixe-fixe menu of 3 courses for $29. Although it’s not listed on the menu, you can actually add an extra course and it’s only $39 for 4 courses. An amazing deal for the quality of food.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

The amount of food we went through was ridiculous. We started off with an amuse bouche of a traditional Italian egg drop soup, some crispy accompaniments and of course some freshly baked bread.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

I would say the appetizers were the real standouts for me. The fresh harvest vegetables were perfectly crisp with a delicately flavoured vinaigrette. The fried calamari with capers was RIDICULOUSLY good. Wow! If you only order one dish at Del Posto, I highly recommend this one.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

Next up was our first pasta dishes which were also very good. The pumpkin cappellacci with brown butter and sage was flavourful and melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and the garganelli verdi al ragu bolognese was so so good — a real ragu bolognese is a treat.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

Other dishes we tried included the beef rib eye, arctic char, slow-baked lamb and more pasta were executed with care, high quality ingredients, and tons of flavour.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

Before we knew it, we were stuffed and it was onto dessert… way too much dessert! The chocolate ricotta tortino with pistachios and ice cream and the butterscotch semifreddo melon agrumata were sweet, rich of flavour, and fresh without being too heavy.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

We were also treated by the chefs to a “chocolate tree” which was stunning.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

Lunch is finished off with complimentary petit fours including various salted and sweet caramels, chocolate pops, and truffles. Wow, what a good value.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

We walked out of the restaurant feeling happily full. Service was impeccable, the live piano playing was quiet enough for conversation but beautiful enough to create atmosphere, and the building itself with the staircases, columns and fresh flowers is just a pleasure to dine in. We highly recommend the lunch at Del Posto for the value and quality of food and service.

New York - Museum of Modern Art

After lunch, Allan and I rushed off to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to explore the famous museum and take in some art.

New York - Museum of Modern Art

New York - Museum of Modern Art

I thought MoMa was amazing. Not only is it a cool space to walk around in, but the variety of art was very impressive.

New York - Museum of Modern Art

The architecture section was probably my favourite. I loved the miniatures they had of some of the most incredible architectural buildings around the world.

New York - Museum of Modern Art

My only regret is not having more time to explore!

New York - Buddakhan

It was a busy day but it was about to become an even busier night! We rushed over to Buddakhan to meet up with a whole bunch of friends from different walks of life all the way from elementary school to university.

New York - Buddakhan New York - Buddakhan

Buddakhan is a large restaurant/lounge inside the Chelsea Market and is also the place where Carrie and Big had their rehearsal dinner in Sex and the City! I couldn’t believe how many people they could pack into the lounge section and the restaurant section.

New York - Buddakhan

The dining room is BEAUTIFUL and would be lots of fun for a birthday party or large group at the communal table. Most of the tables were in the upper floors or around the communal table.

New York - Buddakhan

Allan and I waiting for friends to arrive and our table to be set.

New York - Buddakhan New York - Buddakhan

Although the atmosphere was super trendy and fun, I was a little disappointed by the food for the price. It was good, but not fantastic, and quite expensive overall for both food and drink. Not to mention the service was very slow so it took us over 3 hours to finish our meal.

New York - Buddakhan

I think the dessert was probably the highlight. I loved the creative designs and it was very rich and flavourful.

New York - Buddakhan

But the best part was the people! It was nice to meet new friends and see many old friends from elementary school, high school and university. Our friends are starting to get engaged and married now too, so it was wonderful to celebrate that with them.

New York - Pub Crawl New York - Pub Crawl

We then walked over to a different area of town (I wish I could remember the name!) and had a mini pub crawl. We started out at the Biergarten. It was busy but lots of different kinds of beers!

New York - Pub Crawl New York - Pub Crawl

Then it was over to the Brass Monkey where we stayed for a couple hours and had some drinks, dancing and catching up to do.

New York - Griffin Nightclub

Lastly we headed over to Griffin Nightclub where our friends managed to get us in and secure a private bottle service box for us overlooking the entire club! It was really cool, and Allan and I definitely felt spoiled!

New York - Griffin Nightclub

Except we were a bit suspicious if they had watered the booze down…

New York - Griffin Nightclub

That being said, the music was really good and we had a lot of fun going out clubbing in New York!

New York - Taxi

Pretty soon we were off in a cab back to our hotel…

New York - Pizza

… and of course, ended the night, as always, with a New York slice of pizza. :)


Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

I’ve always loved to cook, as you can see from some of the cooking/food-related posts I’ve made in the past… but I’ve never really tried my hand at baking. I don’t know what it is… maybe it’s the supplies we got from Gourmet Warehouse so I actually have the tools/pans/etc that I need to bake, or what… but I’ve been on a real cooking/baking kick lately. So bear with me as my blog swings between cooking posts, baking posts, Twilight, and surfing this week (I’m heading to Tofino for the long weekend). Haha.

As you can see, my blog has no real direction or niche. I can’t pick just one topic. Hope you don’t mind ;)


So, adventures in pizza making! In university I used to make homemade pizza quite a bit, but due to being a starving, broke student, I never really had the good ingredients I wanted to use to make it. One of my favourite foods in the whole world is pizza… so this weekend I figured… hey, why not?

First a disclaimer: Everyone has their own kind of pizza that they like. Personally, I like a thick, spicy sauce… with a medium-thin crust (not too thin, but not a deep dish crust either), and light on the cheese with lots of toppings and herbs. I tried to make this kind of pizza. I don’t recommend the recipes if you prefer a different kind. :) Recipes after the break in the comments section!

Making the Pizza Dough, based on a Mario Batali recipe

Ingredients for the pizza dough

The secret to this fabulous pizza dough is white wine, and honey. It really makes a huge difference. Your first steps are to mix together the yeast, water, honey, salt, and olive oil.

Mixing the yeast in for the dough Kneading the pizza dough

Use good ingredients. I like to use a proper ’00′ pizza-specific flour (NOT a pizza mix, those are no good), good olive oil, a decent white wine, and good honey. Why this particular honey? Well, my uncle actually makes this honey himself on his farm near Fort St. John! It’s called Rose Prairie Honey. It’s REALLY delicious. He always sends us a batch every year.

You’ll also notice the pizza stone. This is key to a good pizza as well. It keeps the crust crispy but moist. I have a ceramic one but any kind of pizza stone works well. If you don’t have  a pizza stone, any tray will work fine. Knead the dough till firm but pliable and set it aside to rise. (Excuse Allan’s hairy hands in the photo… haha!)

Making the Pizza Sauce, my secret recipe that I adapted from an Italian pizza book

Ingredients for the pasta sauce

Again, good quality ingredients are key for a good pizza sauce. I like to use Italian tomatoes and tomato paste… perhaps I’m crazy but it seems to make it taste more authentic. I also like to use real chunks of tomatoes… home grown is best but not necessary. The secret here is the fennel seed. It really makes it taste good. Again, high quality parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano) is important. If you have a mortar and pestle it makes it easier to mix together the spices.

Saute the shallots, celery, garlic Herbs from the garden

Mixing together the pizza sauce

Saute the onion, garlic and celery together in the olive oil. Combine the ingredients for the pizza sauce, follow the recipe below. Make sure you add the fresh herbs at the end, only when you are ready to use the sauce so that they don’t wilt.

Putting your pizza together

Pizza dough rising Tomatoes from the garden Getting the pizza ready

Now that the dough has risen, you can roll it out thin and place it on a lightly floured pizza stone. Spread the pizza sauce on thickly.

Pizza ready straight from the oven!

Put all your ingredients on top! We used thinly sliced tomatoes from the garden. I like a mix of homegrown heirloom tomatoes. We also used some pineapple, and chorizo salami from Granville Island, sliced up like pepperoni. DELICIOUS! Chop or tear up some fresh basil and grate with parmesan over when serving. We tried some variations, even using fresh mozzarella (Bocconcini) which was also good.

Pizza sliced up

We gobbled up about 3 different pizzas and called it a night. I’m really happy with how they turned out. Savoury, full of flavour, crispy, and a mild spice. Yum! Let me know if you try the recipe and tell me what you think! Let me know if you have any questions!

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