Wednesday, July 30, 2008

16 Dishes, 2 Restaurants, 1 Day: A Blow-by-Blow Account

Dear Boo,

We've talked a lot about hangover foods in recent posts. Today though, I must admit I'm suffering from a food-induced hangover. Aka, yesterday I ate more than Jabba the Hut's yearly intake of Princess Leia-inspired cinnamon buns. Now we Harts are a small people. And we mice are small animals. Keep this in mind as you read. Unfortunately, no one person was with me over the course of the eating extravaganza to appreciate just what took place, so I'm going to share it with you in all its glory and hope I get some in return.


1) In anticipation of this event (though not yet knowing exactly how momentous it would be) I went with a light breakfast on my way to work:

Protein and much needed energy for what was to come.


It's restaurant week here in NYC which means you can go to some of the city's most famous, fancy, trendy spots and have a 3 course lunch for $24.07 and dinner for $35. At our uncle's office, where I work part time to support this crazy actor/writer/loafabout lifestyle, restaurant week is an office-wide holiday. This time we had the double excuse of a birthday in our midst, so at 12:30 we stuck a sign to the door saying we'd be back at 4, hailed a cab, and headed to what is apparently an upper east side society staple, and home to one Michelin Star, La Goulue.

Tres jolie, non? Inside the restaurant feels just like a bistro or restaurant in Paris with the dark wood walls, fluted glass wall sconces, and frosted glass partitions in the dining room. It made me think back fondly on our time in Paris what with the 3 hour dinners and the case of the mysterious fish with suspiciously chicken-like bones. Note from the Boo: It was Frog. On the restaurant week prix fixe, (which here, featured pretty much none of their regular menu items) there are usually only 3 choices for each course and as there were 6 of us, I had to come to terms with the fact that some of us would have to double up on our orders.

2) Since everyone was getting the grilled calamari salad to start, I opted for the chicken liver "parfait" with shallots which made me a bit leery imagining liver mousse layered into a sundae glass with shallot sprinkles. It was delicious, however, and very traditionally served with toast and cornichons (my fave) and a little pile of carmelized shallots. I only ate part of it since it's quite rich and NO ONE would even taste it. Our uncle claims he only eats chopped liver, not the smooth kind my plate featured. Our dining companion pointed out this was chopped at one stage, but he wasn't convinced.

3) Our uncle also ordered a tuna tartare with cilantro, wasabi cream, and tempura flakes which was delicious and super-fresh and creamy.

4) And a caesar-esque salad with tiger shrimp which had been somehow butterflied to look like flat layered discs of shrimp. Interesting presentation and quite good.

5) Next I had the Chicken Paillard "Totonno style" When we asked what "totonno" meant, the waiter waved his hands and vaguely said, "it's french style" and then mumbled something about tomatoes. What appeared was the largest and flattest piece of chicken I have ever seen. I mean, this thing had to have been pounded within a millimeter of it's life and how it hung together through all that is a miracle of science and perseverance. It was topped with a light arugula salad, capers and a drizzle of lemon/mustard dressing. No tomatoes. Despite the slightly disturbing shape, the chicken was moist and tasty if a little on the salty side.

6) Finally I finished with a few bites of creme caramel (I'm just fascinated by the fact that practically every culture has some version of a custard dessert. I could go on about this but we still have dinner to get to.)

7) Our table also featured peach melba, and a chocolate mousse, as well as a glass of sauternes and a vintage port to taste. All after 2 bottles of delicious wine though I can't tell you a thing about it as our Uncle is master of the wine list and I am on a need-to-know basis.

We rolled slowly up Madison Avenue and back to work grumbling of much-needed naps.

I had just barely begun digesting my lunch when I looked at the time and realized I had to book it back home to grab my birthday present, freshen up, and head out to my friend's dinner at Public in Soho. (Inexplicably I stopped for a few of these rice chips:

which are really good, but when eaten in between two 3 course meals, might indicate a problem.)


I'd walked by Public a few times and thought it looked appealing. the design is warm and sexy and in the summer the inside sort of bleeds out onto the sidewalk in a casual enticing way. I went in and was directed into the cocktail lounge:

Warm and sexy, kind of like the birthday girl herself. :)
Upon entering the lounge I was offered a glass of sparking rose or prosecco (chose the rose). Soon passed hors d'oeuvres arrived, each of which I tried in the name of being a fearless food explorer:

8) Mini venison burgers on a miso bun with tomato chili jam. I think this was my first ever taste of venison. not bad. Rich and buttery.

9) Mushroom ceviche with miso aubergines and ginger ponzu sauce. I wasn't too excited when this was described to me, or when I saw it served in those enormous miso soup spoons which I think is sort of annoying. But it was amazingly delicious. The ponzu sauce was vinegar-y and tangy and sharp. Mmm.

Roasted beet and goats cheese arrancini. These were fantastic fried rice balls which were bright red with a dab of melted cheese inside. All served in a pesto dipping sauce.

11) Tea-smoked salmon, fennel and green apple summer roll with preserved lemon yogurt and fennel pollen. I don't know that I actually tasted the fennel pollen, but whatever was in there tasted good....

12) Confit duck spring roll with nam phrik num. Almost burned my fingerprints off it was so hot, but YUM.

13) And some kind of spicy lamb spring roll that I can't find on the online menu. Ditto.

Next we headed into the wine room for dinner:

That's a wall of wine bottles on one side, and a nice sheer curtain on the other, separating us from the common folk dining in the main room. We were given personalized menus with a greeting from our hosts printed on top and three choices each of appetizer, main, and dessert. Here's what I had:

14) Grilled kangaroo on a coriander falafel with lemon-tahini sauce and green pepper relish. What I really wanted was the salad, but one of my dinner companions shamed me into ordering the kangaroo in the name of the blog. So there you go--I ate kangaroo for you people! It was totally not what I expected--nothing like chicken, not really gamey, served very rare, it was more like a very lean steak crossed with rare tuna. ? Yeah, I know. Anyway, it was quite good. Note from B: And this from the girl who wouldn't eat the Frog...

15) Pan-seared New Zealand snapper on wasabi-bonito mash with poached conch, pickled ginger, and yao choy. All I know about conch is that it's a staple of the diet in Turks and Caicos (thank you PBS). By the time I got to this dish I had forgotten the description so I'm sorry to say I can't tell you what the conch tasted like because I don't really know which part of the dish it was. oops. Overall though, it contributed to a delectable and perfectly prepared dish. The interweb tells me that Yao Choy is flowering chinese cabbage, which sounds good to me.

16) Since the waitress steered me away from the red velvet cake with wattleseed (?!) ice cream and my neighbor next to me was getting the sticky toffee cake with armagnac ice cream, I went with the Yuzu cheesecake with macadamia nut crust, blueberry sauce and basil seeds , which was good, but not mindblowing. I think I like my cheesecake denser and more traditional. The sticky toffee was kind of knock your panties off good. Get that. Note from B: how could you turn down an ice cream flavor that I am still laughing about right now? Ok I'm done.

Phew. 16 dishes in one day. 5 different types of alcohol. 2 new (to me) restaurants, with wildly different menus, designs, nei
ghborhoods, vibes, and patronage. All in all, a good day, though I have a major food hangover as a result. Of course, I decided to top this all off by going to a wedding the next day, the last of three open bar/food events I've been to in one week. Someone get me an alka-seltzer.

The Mouse

Hungry for More? After this long-winded post, you gotta be crazy. But if you want, go check out Blogsoop for restaurant reviews from all kinds of food bloggers like us. Get the real deal from people who have no readership or boss to please and therefore must tell the truth. And vote for us while you're there.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Midsummer Night's Post

Dear Mouse (et al),

You Gentle Readers of the AMB;
Permit me to explain my Lack of News
The Public Theatre Hath my Private Time
O'ertaken, leaving no Bouche less Amused.

The Truth is that of Late I have not Cooked
Nor Dined Out, since this Odyssey Began
My Breakfast I have More than Once Forsook;
My Lunch is Limited to Au Bon Pain.

Well, That's Not True. But Nothing really Great
Has come across the Palate of the Boo
Of Diet I Can nothing New relate(Except Confession of a Carb or Two)

But, "Post!" the Mouse entreated, and Anon
I did resolve to make it up or bust
Even if inspiration seemed , well, gone -
Even if it got This Ridiculous

So Now, to Make this Post Seem Somewhat Valid
I Give You:


(You can use the extra syllable as garnish!)

"Be kind and courteous to this gentleman
Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes
Feed him with apricocks, and dewberries,
with purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries
The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees...
... And pluck the wings from painted butterflies
To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes.
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies."

1 box fresh! apricots, pitted/halved (on sale! now at food emporium)
1 box red raspberries1 box golden raspberries
bunch purple grapes, whole
box green figs, halved 
box blackberries
local honey, for drizzling 
optional: butterfly wings, moonbeams

Suggested Accompaniment: Haagen Dazs Coconut Sorbet. SO DELICIOUS. (an
early draft - first folio? - contained this reference.)

I've used raspberries and blackberries in place of dewberries and
mulberries as, come on, who has those. And they are supposedly almost
identical in taste. If y
ou have the originals, go for it! But if you wake
up with giant donkey's ears, don't say i didn't warn you.

So Dorky Can Never Show Her Face in This Town Again,
The Boo

Hungry for More?
This recipe has never actually been tested (gasp! hiss!), so no pictures of it exist. (If you make it and want to write in, send a picture too!!) The beautiful shots in this posting (by Marty McConnell!) are from my birthday celebration, for which The Mouse supplied gorgeous strawberry/blueberry shortcakes with lemon curd, a la Ina Garten Note from the Mouse: The lemon curd was my addition
:). Cheese courtesy of Murray's cheese shop in the West Village. 

This Post Sponsored by the Public Theatre Shakespeare Lab, Summer 08.
(Showcases coming up in August!)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Jack Kerouac was a Foodie?

Dear Boo,

So Book club seems to be taking a hiatus for the summer as lots of folks (including you, my busy sister!) are having a hard time cramming in work and vacations and whatever else people do besides read. I think maybe War and Peace isn't really beach lit anyway. Before disbanding for the time being, we all began reading On the Road--a modern classic, so to speak, and a welcome change of pace after slogging tearfully through the final hundred pages of A Tale of Two Cities. Let me say this: this book is not the revelatory experience I (and so many of my male peers) felt when I picked it up in 8th grade, but it is a damn rollicking good time. It also, to my surprise, contains this tasty morsel of food writing that I just had to share. None of this "the rind of the cheese has an effervescent quality reminiscent of sipping kir royales on the balcony of my suite with the aromas of fresh papaya and beurre blanc comingling in the air which curled up to my nostrils." This is all down home American style no frills no foodie writing. This is the writing of someone who is HUNGRY.

"In the window I smelled all the food of San Francisco. There were seafood places out there where the buns were hot, and the baskets were good enough to eat too; where the menus themselves were soft with foody esculence as though dipped in hot broths and roasted dry and good enough to eat too. Just show me the bluefish spangle on a seafood menu and I'd eat it; let me smell the drawn butter and lobster claws. There were places where they specialized in thick red roast beef au jus, or roast chicken basted in wine. There were places where hamburgs sizzled on grills and the coffee was only a nickel. And oh, that pan-fried chow mein flavored air that blew into my room from Chinatown, vying with the spaghetti sauces of North Beach, the soft-shell crab of Fisherman's Wharf--nay, the ribs of Fillmore turning on spits! Throw in the Market Street chili beans, redhot, and french-fried potatoes of the Embarcadero wino night, and steamed clams from Sausalito across the bay, and that's my ah-dream of San Francisco. Add fog, hunger-making raw fog, and the throb of neons in the soft night, the clack of high-heeled beauties, white doves in a Chinese grocery window..."

DAMN. Gimme some of that.

I think if Jack Kerouac came over for dinner I'd make him meatloaf. Maybe some o them there smashed potatoes I mentioned (though I'd have to just call em potatoes because "smashed" is just too cutesy for Jack), roasted brussels sprouts and a big red velvet cake with sour cream icing. Yep, i think that's what I'd do.

In grand Kerouackian style (maybe if Jack and I were friends I'd call him Wacky Kerouacky sometimes. just to rile him up.) I'd like to put on my pretentious hat and review the dinner we just ate tonight. *

Coming up out of that intestine of the belly of the beast that is this city, that Loch Ness Monster, the subway system, I smelled the exhaust of the taxicabs, the sweat of the crowds pressing against me, the heat from the pavement. I wove through the stalls of the Farmer's Market. There were places where thousands of tiny blueberries lined the tables, where cherries reddened in the sun. There were warty squash and dirty potatoes, and corn, always corn. I bought a huge green cabbage and a dark purple onion, a single head of stinky spring garlic, and a bag full of tiny colored carrots with their stems. There was a stall with buckets of ice in the heat and scallops and tuna and ugly looking monkfish and flounder which I bought a large fillet of after the man asked me 'are you two pretty good eaters?' and I said yes and he slapped his leg and pulled a piece of fish out that spanned the width of my shoulders.

In the tiny kitchen I sauteed the cabbage with the garlic and onion and a splash of vinegar, some oil and a little melted pat of butter and loads of salt and pepper. I roasted the carrots whole with oil and salt and pepper. I dredged the fish in flour with s&p and Old Bay and chili powder. I heated up some oil in the best pan I have and laid the fish down in it ssssss on one side for a couple minutes and ssss on the other side for a couple more. it fell apart when I tried to move it but the Boo said who cares! and looks tasty! I poured some wine in the pan and a little plop of butter and cooked up some sauce and poured it with the brown bits over the broken fish and squeezed some lemon and we ate it up scooping the cabbage and fish onto pieces of crusty bread from the market and ho boy was it good. Washed down with a cold beer and sorbet. oh wait, sorbet's not very Beat, is it. Um. Cold Beer and whiskey.

So I'm breaking the blogging rule of posting lots of pictures because my battery was dead when we sat down to eat, so instead I offer you this picture of me eating cereal:

And while we're at it, please tell me you've seen this:

And, scene.

The Mouse

* For those of you keeping track, this also counts as my local meal for the week, thankyouverymuch.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Poll Results: Sweatin to the Russians!

Best Cure for an Overindulgent Night Out?
Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips. Seriously, try it. : 2 votes
Hair o the Dog, Baby: 0 votes
Greasy Breakfast Foods: 3 votes
Many many glasses of water. While in a cold shower. : 2 votes
Nothing to do but take a couple Tylenol and sleep it off: 1 vote
Sweat it out at the Russian Baths. See Post for Details: 5 votes

Well, clearly the Boo is very convincing since the Russian Baths won by a (relative) landslide. And I'm willing to bet 3 out of those 5 haven't even visited yet (mom)! Personally, I'm there as soon as I can get my butt out from behind the computer. A Mouse Bouche fieldtrip anyone? I will, however, come bearing Salt and Vinegar potato chips in case I don't sweat it out fast enough. Though, the way things have been looking during this 90 degree weather, that shouldn't be a problem. (It ain't pretty)

xoxo mouse

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Top Ten (+1)

Dear Boo,

Aren't you kind of shocked that our mother didn't email this Times article about the 11 healthiest foods to us with the message:
Is it a sure sign that I'm turning into her that I'm the one doing the emailing instead? Maybe. How about the fact that I went out and made dinner with 3 of these ingredients the day I read this? Yep, thought so. Just call me Maxo.

While I shopped for my life-saving groceries, I got to thinking about my own personal 11 food list, which looks a little different. Here goes.

The foods that about 85% of the time, I would rather drop what I'm doing and eat:

1) Potato chips. I'm inclined towards salt and vinegar but I wouldn't kick a sour cream and onion or bbq out of bed either.

2) French Fries. I'm sensing a theme here. I like em salty, hot, and crispy, but honestly I'll eat them cold if it comes to that. I love the spicy curly fry, or anything with a multitude of dipping sauces is seductive. Ketchup remains my ultimate but sometimes I cheat on it with that hussy mayonnaise. I know, you hate it.

3) A really good caesar salad. The strong garlicky dressing with a good right hook of saltiness and tang from the anchovies, brightened up with a splash of lemon, all over crispy cold romaine. Unexpectedly, one of my favorite late night eats. Don't ask.

4) Pizza--I'm talking the good stuff here: Totonnos in Coney Island, the proscuitto/arugula pizza at Otto, or Highland Pizza in our hometown where they used to make my sad little childhood allergic self a cheeseless slice while I leaned over the counter and watched. OR if it's 3am and I'm slightly off balance, a slice from Crispy Pizza around the corner from me. Note from the Boo: Hello - Don Pepi's in Penn Station? and (hamana, hamana, whatever its name is) on 14th and 9th Av... perfeection.)

5) Crusty french bread (preferably warm) with butter. The stuff of the gods. Do you really need me to justify this one?

6) Tuna on a bagel. Talk about good for what ails you. I should have added this to the list of morning-after foods, but really, it's good any time. I like mine on an everything bagel. Remember when you worked at "The Bagel Dish" in our home town and you got fired for bad slicing technique? ha.

7) Nim Chow. Am I spelling this right? These vietnamese summer rolls were everywhere in Providence and during college I would often get a serving of 2 for lunch for something like $4. Today, the best I've found for my fix is at Nha Trang on Baxter Street (Get the salt and pepper shrimp while you're there. You'll thank me). Always eat them with a little chili sauce, and a lot of the nuoc cham sauce with crushed peanuts that's ubiquitous in Vietnamese cooking.

8) Pasta with Tomato Sauce. I know you're a serious fan of this one too. I'll go for any pasta, but spaghetti is really the most satisfying and reminds me of childhood. Plus you can twirl up on your fork all the flavors of tomato, garlic, basil, cheese and pasta all tangled together into one perfect steaming bite. ahhh.

9) Sushi. There's really nothing like a good spicy tuna roll from Yama where they use a big delicious slice of fish and just dab the spicy sauce on top--none of that mashed up day old crap. I'm really broken up about this whole mercury in tuna thing because as you can see it makes it onto my list twice. The thing about sushi is that it's the one food I can fully love without any guilt about it being not so great for me. So quit the shenanigans, Tuna, you're ruining my buzz.

10) Pretty much anything Grandma used to make. Roast chicken with apricot jam, corn fritters, minnie's rollups (a sort of crepe stuffed with leftover ground seasoned meat, lying in wait at the bottom of the freezer to be loaded into the trunk of any unsuspecting visiting relative), chicken soup, and chocolate chip cookies with just enough salt to make your mouth water with anticipation of the next melty chocolate bite.

11) Harry's Cupcakes. I hesitated including this on my list, but I DID stop right in my tracks to taste one of these. As you'll remember, we were walking (with two wheelie suitcases our mother had purchased and inexplicably foisted upon us for some unknown future trip we'll apparently be taking) up Broadway when on the corner of 9th street were stopped by the appeals of a woman with her small child (Harry) who were selling homemade cupcakes. Harry ran down the list of our options: chocolate/chocolate, chocolate/vanilla, vanilla/chocolate, and vanilla/vanilla. I ask you, how can you NOT drop whatever you're doing when a small cute boy NAMED HARRY offers you a cupcake he's made HIMSELF, and is selling ON THE STREET, to earn his ALLOWANCE. I challenge you not to. You heartless bitch. And by the way, they were DELICIOUS.

So, what's your list?

The Mouse

In an attempt to make up for all the swilling of alcohol and eating of copious amounts of pork and beef over the holiday weekend, I give you a
Sautee of Swiss Chard (1), Sweet Potatoes*, Red Onion, and Pumpkin Seeds(2) with soy sauce and a sprinkling of cinnamon (3).

*If you want to up the health score on this one you could sub beets for the potatoes, in which case I'd say use balsamic vinegar for the sauce instead of soy. disregard the whole eating beets raw thing. that's just crazy.

Here's how it went:

Peel and chop two sweet potatoes into cubes. Place in large sautee pan with enough water to just almost cover. Cook over high heat with lid on pot until potatoes become tender.
Drain water, add olive oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic, one very thinly sliced red onion, salt and pepper, and a good sprinkling of cinnamon. Sautee until potatoes are fully cooked and slightly browned.
Add chopped swiss chard, a bit more olive oil, a dash of rice vinegar, and a good dousing of soy sauce.
Toss ingredients and put lid on pot long enough to wilt/steam swiss chard. Taste and reseason. Just before serving, sprinkle with handful of pumpkin seeds. Feel virtuous.

Friday, July 4, 2008

For What Ails You

Dear Mouse,


Ah, the Fifth of July. That magickal moment between the Fourth and the Sixth, between (this year) Friday and Sunday, between America's birthday and my own.

My birthday, that is. Sunday is my birthday. July 6th. Is when my birthday is. Just want to be clear on that one.

The Great Diet Experiment of 08 continues and all is mostly going swimmingly.

OK. I had a piece of pizza yesterday. It was delicious. And necessary at the moment.

No terrible side effects (see next week for details of terrible side effects).

It got me thinking about the theme for this week's blog, which is Curing What Ails You and the Many Variations Thereof. I figure, what better time to talk about Cures than this season of Summery Excess.

Now I know this is a delicate and personal subject and everyone has something to say. No one but you knows best how to cure your hangover/breakup/work-related stress/existential angst, so I'm not going to presume to tell you what to do.

Except to say this:Go to the Russian Baths on 10th Street. Do It.

Here's a sentence you might never expect to hear:
"I could really use a good chicken salad and a plate of sausage. Let's go to the Russian Baths."

And yet... Let me 'splain. No, is too much. Let me sum up.

For the uninitiated:

How To Go To The Russian Baths (and Emerge Fabulous)

The night before, drink a lot. Alternately, you may want to organize a major life event such as a breakup, restrictive diet, or an impending wedding to give shape to the experience.

Go With Friends. Someone needs to restrain you if you are overcome by Eastern-Promises style fantasies and begin trying to wrestle a random dude in the Aromatherapy Room.

Arrive midday if possible; you will want to set aside a whole day for this (and you will be good for nothing but lounging and fabulosity when you leave).

CHECK before hand to see whether it's a men-only, women-only, or coed day. If coed, bring a bathing suit (and put it on).

Hand all valuables to the beefy, stoic, russian guy behind the counter. This starts you off on the right foot - enforced separation from mundane concerns.

Take the little locker key on rubber band they give you and wear it like a bracelet. If you lose the key, that's kind of It. So don't.

Go to locker room, put clothes in locker. Put on high-fashion shapeless blue thing and giant rubber sandals, grab a towel and head on downstairs.

Start w/regular steam room. All your group should pile in to small space together and begin by sweating in unison. If all goes well, you should be able to force out the one guy lounging in there with the force of your inside jokes and estrogen-centric humor. It's funny.

Rinse in shower, cos they want you to.

Hop merrily (and with increasing slowness) between the cedar-plank Turkish sauna, the Aromatherapy Steam room (my fave) that surrounds you with clouds of eucalyptus & lavender, and the oh-so-intense Russian Room. The hard-core sit there in a super sauna with wet towels on their heads, every so often picking up one of the many buckets of ice water dotting the room, and dumping it over their head. I made it about five minutes. (Good idea to drink water as you go)

Between the heat and steam, haul your butt over to the Cold Pool to take a refreshing and painful dip in freezing water. I haven't made it past my neck yet, but seriously, do this; it is necessary and beautiful.

When you start to feel stoned and wish for a change of pace, you may opt for one of the additional services... a massage, a salt scrub, or 'platza', which is Russian for "I wish to hit you with this leafy branch until you cry". I may be slightly off in my translation, but people seem to love it.

Let me say this - if you DO get a massage, make sure it is the guy who worked on me, whose name I forget. He was easy on the eyes.

AND if you get a massage, they usher you up to the ROOF DECK and into a little private hut with a table. You dont wear a damn thing except the sheet. A good way to spend an hour.

On the ROOF DECK, you may notice a number of other blue-clad peeps lounging around on wooden deck chairs at small tables. They may be chatting, sleeping, or drinking glasses of wine and beer out of giant bottles, and that's how you know this is not just some ordinary SPA. Which leads me to....


On the 2nd floor, maybe you didn't notice the first time, there is an unassuming counter with a fridge and a half a kitchen behind it. A giant yellow menu on the wall. When my friend ordered a chicken salad, I thought "Who would get food here? I'm in a towel." The menu options bear no resemblance to Spa Eats as we know them. BUT neither are they cheap/greasy/crappy.

A frowning, friendly woman materializes from the linoleum. Order from her. She will nod, and just, like, start cooking for you. You can wait at a table while the russian dudes watch sports.

I found myself on the rooftop, inhaling a plate of Polish sausage with rice and sauteed veggies that tasted like our aunt had just shown up with leftovers from Shabbat. My friend had a plain mixed green salad and I swear that five of us were picking green leafy shreds off the abandoned plate with our fingers going "Do you think this is really just olive oil and lemon?" And they have a juice bar too!

Somehow after all the steam and slowness, you taste the food that much more. And it is such a cool surprise that it is, like, real, good home cooking. I'm willing to believe that is a big part of the sense of nurturing I received there.

After the rooftop meal, go back for another round of sauna/steam/what have you.

Retrieve your clothes, blow your hair dry, get your stuff, and pay. ($30 for the whole day & use of the facilities. Food and massages extra.)

Notice, on the street, that your skin is glowing, you walk slower and feel somehow longer and leaner. And that any trace of hangover/anxiety/city rage is gone.

I can't wait to go in the Winter. Happy Steaming.

Love, The Boo

Hungry for More?
Mouse and Boo recently had a very successful hangover brunch at Ulysses down in the financial district. Pay $20 and get an all you can eat buffet plus an alcoholic drink (hair of the dog) or coffee. Have your fill of made to order omelettes, scrambled eggs and bacon, french toast, or a myriad of other offerings to suit your sleepy palate, including corned beef (YUM), beans, potatoes, salmon, muffins, and OYSTERS. Sit out in the back in the quiet and sunny cobblestone alley for as long as you want. And make sure you visit the pastry station...