Happy Belated Valentine's Day!

Thursday night I got together with several friends and we went out to a great restaurant in Soho / Nolita, FR.OG (standing for “French Origine”; starting from left of table is: Allison, Marion, me, Kathy, and Alyssa). Dishes combine the flavors and spices of North Africa with French culinary style and technique. Though it was a bit pricey, and not something I’d do but for a special occasion, I found the food excellent.

I had the duck leg pastilla, delicious diced duck meat combined with what tasted to me like Moroccan spices in a light pastry shell coated with honey and almonds, along with lightly-dressed baby arugula side salad. Only thing was, no way could I eat even half of it, and it didn’t heat up so well the next day — the pastry crust was soggy by then and I could no longer taste the delicious honey-ed bottom. Why do restaurants serve such blasted big portions!!! Marion, from Ireland, said this was the first thing she noticed when she arrived here — American food portions are off the scale… I tasted her cigare of chicken, by the way, though I’m not usually a fan of chicken. But it was really unexpectedly juicy and the skin was crunchy and flavorful — the best chicken I think I’ve had.

And they had an excellent cocktail list. Frozen hot chocolate martini, mmmmm.

Maybe too excellent a cocktail list… Of course we HAD to try everything! And the drinks were so delicious you couldn’t really tell they contained any alcohol, until you stood up…

By the end of the evening we were a bit tipsy… and we suddenly somehow found ourselves downstairs near the kitchen trying to meet the chef. This was partly because we’d so enjoyed the food and were interested in knowing how it was prepared and where the chef came from (Queens, as it turned out), but also because, admittedly, a few members of our party were drawn to the restaurant because of the chef’s very attractive profile on the website :) Poor man was more than a bit weirded out by all these women pawing at him and asking him questions galore. And I learned that a couple of my friends are apparently more cynical and untrusting even than I: because he seemed so stunned at all the attention, they suspected perhaps a line cook had been sent out to entertain us in lieu of the real chef. But I don’t think so — the guy in the middle above looks like chef Jarret Brody, right?… (If you aren’t taken to his pic on the link, click on “a place to eat”)

Anyway, fun night out with the ladies :) If you’re ever in SoHo / Nolita, there’s lovely food to be found here. And you can request to meet the chef and see if you get the same guy…

3 Comments

  1. Is Nolita the soho little Italy area?

    Great entry. Sounds like it would be delish.

  2. Oh I love the first photograph, everything looks so monochromatic! That’s so cool that you got to meet the chef! I’ve only done that twice, and one of the times was because my mother made him so mad he came out of the kitchen to have a good look at her! She’s a picky eater.

  3. Wow that sounds like fun. That frozen hot chocolate drink looks YUMMY! I’m with you on the portion distortion these days. Tim and I went for Italian the other night and came home with enough leftovers for about 3 more meals!

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