Tag Archives: scallop

Oro

I was recently invited to Oro by the owners to try out some of the classic and modern Italian fare that they serve at their spacious, beautifully appointed Long Island City restaurant.

Oro means “gold” in Italian, and the food equivalent of gold is just what they’re serving you here, especially when you indulge in some of the highlights that I mention here in this review.

First off, there’s an excellent cocktail menu. I went with a blueberry and bourbon drink that was really nicely executed. My wife went with a selection from their Moscow Mule menu. Also excellent.

The waiter will bring out some fresh house made bread next. It’s toasty warm and served with a dish of EVOO and vinegar.

We started with two nice, fresh and delicate apps: scallop crudo with crispy prosciutto in a grapefruit sauce, and charred octopus. Both were perfect. The scallop crudo was really fresh, light and crisp. I wish we ordered two!

The octopus has a great flavor and still kept a slight firmness without being too soft or too chewy – a sweet spot middle ground. There was a good spice kick to it as well.

We shared the duck bolognese pappardelle pasta (which was good, but just needed a bit more salt):

And the 28oz tomahawk ribeye:

That blob you see is an herb butter, which added a green-tasting freshness to each bite.

The meat itself hails from Snake River Farms, which is not only a purveyor of fine standard meats, but also American Wagyu. The owners of Oro are friends with the people at Snake River, so you know the cuts will be of high quality.

The cut itself was cooked a slight bit over from what I would have preferred, being more towards medium than medium rare.

But no matter. The flavor was still good, and the fat cap was delicious. Not to mention that at a price of $52, you’re saving big money and you’re just one stop into Queens from midtown Manhattan. At a place like Cut downtown, that Snake River Farms steak is going to run you almost $100. Crazy discount here. And this can be shared with a second diner, so even better. 7/10.

The steak selection here is pretty impressive. As soon as next week, as a matter of fact, there will be even more of a “butcher’s block” selection here, which will include a 36oz porterhouse as well as what’s already on the menu (filet, strip, tomahawk, and pork chops).

On the side we had some arancini, or fried rice balls, which were fun and tasty.

We also had the sweet potato creme brulee. I didn’t think I’d like it when we were told about it by the waiter. As such, we didn’t order it. But the waiter brought it out for us to try anyhow. It turned out to be my favorite item of the night!

It was sweet without going overboard, and the brulee crunch and marshmallow topping was just thrilling. I even remarked that if you plop a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of it, it would make for a perfect dessert. Do yourself a favor and get this when you come here. It is unbelievable.

For our proper desserts, we tried the fig panna cotta and nutella bread pudding with homemade fluff. Both were incredible, but I give the edge to the panna cotta. So silky, smooth and light, but packing a big flavor punch.

ORO
41-17 Crescent St
Long Island City, NY 11101

BallerBoil

This post will serve as a triple hit review of the Fresh Direct food delivery service, Tipsy’s boozy ice cream and Saveur Select wines.

My wife and some of our food friends were planning to do a Labor Day seafood boil on the rooftop of our building. It turns out, a few of the ladies managed to get the entire thing sponsored by the three companies above, provided that we post a few pics on Instagram.

Fresh Direct gave us a $500 credit to use towards their incredibly high quality seafood. We broke this out into two main items: a huge seafood boil, and a colossal chilled seafood tower.

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There was so much fucking food! Lobster, king crab legs, blue claw crabs, steamer clams, little neck clams, three varieties of oysters, jumbo shrimp, scallops, multi-colored potatoes, kielbasa and corn. My wife and I were always big fans of Fresh Direct but this seafood really hammers home the word FRESH in their name. The lobsters were delivered LIVE! And everything tasted incredible, which is obviously the most important factor.

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Saveur provided us with four bottles of crisp Gewürztraminer wine. This white German variety of wine was just the kind of refreshment we needed with this meal. We even poured some over fruit to make a white sangria.

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Tipsy hooked us up with six different pints of ice cream for dessert.

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The flavors were incredible: spiked hazelnut coffee, raspberry limoncello sorbet, cake batter vodka martini, dark chocolate whisky salted caramel, mango margarita sorbet and vanilla bean bourbon.

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We even scooped some into a few glasses of champagne for good measure. Why not?

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For more awesome pics, check THIS out.

Fig & Olive

Mark this down as one of the best Groupon deals ever. For about $70 my wife and I had a four course meal with cocktails included.

Speaking of cocktails… what an impressive menu of unique items! We tried the fig and walnut julep (left), which was bourbon, elderflower liqueur, port, muddled black mission figs, mint, lime and garnished with shaved walnuts. This was the better of the two drinks, in my opinion. It wasn’t too sweet, as you might expect, and the taste was very refreshing and herbed. The other was the Fig & Olive (right): Organic cucumber vodka, olive oil, egg white, simple syrup, celery, lime juice and blood orange puree. Very nice and light.

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This plate of rosemary bread was served with three different olive oils. All three had a slight bitter flavor to them, as I imagine they are very fresh and very virgin. I’m not sure I’m into that. I like a standard olive oil that isn’t too bitter on the tongue; a slutty olive oil who knows her way around my mouth, if you will… not a pristine, clueless, unfucked virgin.

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First was a trio of crostini, which was shared. The first was burrata (with tomato, pesto and balsamic), the second was prosciutto and ricotta (with fig and walnut), and the third was crab (with heirloom tomato and zucchini puree). All three were excellent. Tough to pick a favorite here. Quality ingredients, fresh flavors, simple, masterful.

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The apps were also prepared beautifully, with great flavors to boot. We had the octopus and scallop dishes. The octopus dish was gorgeous. Tentacles were braised and sliced paper thin, arranged on the plate like carpaccio, dressed with olive oil, roasted peppers and olives, and then garnished with micro greens and roasted baby potatoes. The ‘pus was very tender and clean, with no chew. I don’t know about you, but I like a clean ‘pus.

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The scallop appetizer came with three good-sized pieces that were seared nicely and cooked to the proper consistency and temperature. The sauce was an orange-spiced carrot and olive oil tapenade, and there were some orange segments, micro greens and a citrus dressing to top it off. These were really dynamic, with all sorts of delicious flavors popping around when you chewed.

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Had we been charged the regular menu price instead of the Groupon price, we would already be at $74 without even getting to the entrees, which, together, would have cost $64 by themselves, and then a $12 dessert, too. See what I’m saying? We had $150 worth of food for about $70. Amazing fucking deal!

My entree was the veal Milanese, which was pounded thin, breaded, and fried to a golden crisp and then topped with shredded Parmesan cheese. On the side was a pesto fettuccine, roasted garlic broccolini, and a tomato-mascarpone sauce that was reminiscent of a vodka sauce, but much better. This was a great dish. I typically don’t go for items like this, but the sides of pasta and broccolini (which is one of my favorite veggies, along with escarole and artichoke) sold me on choosing this. I’m glad I got it. Everything was perfect.

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My wife had the Maine lobster bouillabaisse, which also had grilled scallop, mussels and Chilean sea bass in it as well. The sauce/broth base was lobster bisque, which was poured in tableside. On top was some shaved fennel and parsley, and on the side was a saffron garlic aioli and an olive oil cracker. This was a nice seafood dish. I thought it was a bit small in terms of portion size, but it was tasty and we didn’t leave hungry.

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For dessert we shared the Fig & Olive tasting, which came with four bite-sized portions of different desserts. First was a crunchy praline. This was like an elevated nutty, chocolatey candy bar. Very nice!

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Next was a chocolate pot de creme. Very rich, yet light and airy due to the froth on top. A solid tasting, and those little dots on top were some crunchy bits of puffed chocolate or something. Nice touch of texture there.

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Next was my favorite of the four, the dessert crostino. It had pistachios, sour cherries, a mascarpone-style spread, and some micro greens on a cookie. Freaking delicious. So many differetn flavors and textures going on. Complex yet simple!

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Last was panna cotta, which was reminiscent of a strawberry cheesecake with graham cracker cumble. It was very tart, but also very tasty, with a hint of basil.

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Great meal. If they’re still offering the Groupon deal you should definitely get down here and try the food. The ambiance is a bit over the top trendy and “scene-y,” but you’re ultimately there for the food and drinks, right?

FIG & OLIVE
420 W. 13th St.
New York, NY 10014