My fourth day in New York was probably my favorite day on this trip, excluding my friend's wedding. I met up with my best friend, Mel, from college, visited MOMA for free (compliments of my betrothed friend, JR), and walked the entire length of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Mel and I had lunch at Momofuku's newest restaurant, Má Pêche. I had high hopes for the prix-fixe lunch menu, but I also feared that Momofuku would turn out to be an in-your-face establishment for the cool and trendy with the food equivalent of the emperor's new clothes.
Milk Bar is strategically placed at the front of Má Pêche, and that's because there really isn't a dessert menu in Má Pêche. The desserts are miniature versions of the sweets from Milk Bar.
First impression was that the hostess was young, hip, cold, and unfriendly. Hmm...not a good start, but something I can overlook if the food is good.
Mel and I both started off with a Calamansi Lemonade. It was refreshing, but it tested my sourness threshold.
calamansi lemonade – calamansi, lemon juice, simple syrup, mint
The pork and shrimp summer rolls are similar to the rolls from Bistro B in Dallas, because the pork and shrimp are grilled ground patties of pork and shrimp instead of slices of the meats, and the rolls have a crispy fried eggroll skin to give the rolls a nice crunch. But the rolls at Má Pêche lacked the chewiness of Vietnamese spring rolls in general because it's not stuffed with rice noodles! Each bite gave off a dull crunch of vegetables. It was good, but I've had better at a lot cheaper prices.
Pork and Shrimp Summer Rolls
Next was my plate of flash fried rice noodles. When the noodles were still warm (it did not arrive hot), the texture of the noodles (crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside) was very interesting. However, the noodles cooled quickly, and I was left with a big plate of almost inedible rubbery mess of stuff. I found myself wanting a simply boiled rice noodles rather than the more creatively prepared noodles. I didn't even eat half of my entree.
Rice Noodles with spicy pork, bok choy, and sawleaf
Mel's grilled trout looked so much better and was apparently very tasty. I would've picked the trout too, but I wanted to see what Má Pêche can do with standard Vietnamese ingredients. Well, I was not impressed.
Grilled Trout with long bean, almond, chili jam
The dessert was lame and forgettable. Before the lunch I thought I may grab something at Milk Bar for later, but after lunch, I felt that I should save my money for better food and service (like Aburiya Kinnosuke!)
Milk Bar Petit Fours
MOMA; LBJ by Marisol Escobar (shout-out to the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT!)
After MOMA, it was off to Brooklyn! Not long after arriving in the DUMBO neighborhood, I came across a Jacques Torres chocolate store.
View of the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn
Jacques Torres Chocolate
I've never tried Serendipity's frozen hot chocolate, so I can't offer a comparison, but Jacques Torres's wicked frozen hot chocolate was deliciously decadent. The spiciness of the chili powder punctures the thick, cold swath of creamy chocolate.
Wicked Frozen Hot Chocolate
I couldn't resist sampling some chocolates, thus having dessert before dinner! I loved the variety of tea flavors. Tea-flavored chocolates are my favorite because they're earthy and subtle and generally not too sweet.
(Left to Right) French Melon (canteloupe and honey), Pineapple Pastis (pineapple pate de fruit with anise), Chocolate Mint Tea, Heavenly Hazelnut, and Jasmine Pearl (apricot and jasmine tea)
Belly of Brooklyn Bridge
After dessert, we lined up for pizza at Grimaldi's and waited about 30 minutes. Unfortunately, this establishment had more tourists than locals, always a bad sign at restaurants...
5:30 PM Line at Grimaldi's
Olde Brooklyn Root Beer
Apparently, the pizza here is known to be a love-hate thing. I ordered a pizza with pepperoni, sausage, basil, and olives. I should have omitted the olives. They were so salty that even when I removed all of the olives, the remaining liquid traces of the olives still overpowered the pizza. It was unbearable. On top of that, the pizza dough was rubbery and became limp from the sauce and grease quickly. I certainly did not love their pizza.
Grimaldi's pepperoni, sausage, olive, and basil pizza
Not long after eating at Grimaldi's, I read a post on Serious Eats that the establishment is facing eviction!
After dinner, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan.
Bridal Photoshoot on Brooklyn Bridge