Left/back arrow
Right/next arrow

2008 Favorites

December 18, 2008
Celia Sin-Tien Cheng

Here are some inspirations — both edible and otherwise — from 2008.

Warm wishes and happy holidays to you and your loved ones!

The Inn At Little Washington
Eleven Madison Park

Cafe Asean
Ravagh Persian Grill

Joyce Bakeshop
Whimsy & Spice

Mast Brothers Chocolate

Chanterelle: The Story and Recipes of a Restaurant Classic
by David Waltuck & Andrew Friedman
(The Taunton Press, 2008)

Photography Credit: Maria Robledo

The Laws of Simplicity
by John Maeda
(The MIT Press, 2006)

Take Your Time
Olafur Eliasson Exhibit at the MoMA
(April 20–June 30, 2008)

Pulse Park
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Exhibit in Madison Square Park
(October 24 – November 17, 2008)


Still Life
directed by Zhang Ke Jia

Man on Wire
directed by James Marsh

directed by Andrew Stanton

Chicken Shish Taouk A. Naya Mezze and Grill

The décor of Naya Mezze and Grill is ultra modern, almost futuristic. But Naya doesn’t just rely on looks. There’s a lot of talent and soul in their food. Every dish presented at our table was a delight to taste. And each time I surveyed the orders at the other booths, I wanted to try those dishes, too.

The climax was surely the... full article

Sashimi B. Omen

I love many dishes at Omen, but the sashimi special platter is my staple favorite. I always order it. I enjoy sitting at the bar to watch the sushi chef endlessly and artfully compose the popular sashimi platters while I polish off my own order. Besides the sashimi special platter’s beautifully arranged pieces of fresh tuna, salmon, fluke, yellow... full article

Coconut Flan C. Cafe Asean

Café Asean is like my home kitchen since I visit weekly for comfort and homestyle Southeast Asian cooking. The menu is simple, but the food is consistently satisfying. The coconut flan is smooth, rich coconut custard served with fresh cut mangos, and fortunately it’s on the menu year round. While the flan is sweet enough on its own,... full article

Pasta, San Marzano, Herbs D. Sfoglia

Though I wrote a short review on Sfoglia last year, I must reiterate my thoughts from this most recent visit. Sfoglia is nothing short of lovely. At lunch, it’s not as difficult to get a seat, but dinner reservations are hard to come by mainly because Sfoglia’s so small. The atmosphere, which is rustic and dark, is not as... full article

Tonkatsu E. Katsuhama

Katsu is the Japanese adaptation of the Western “cutlet.” The Japanese have made it into a national tradition, eating it with rice, shredded cabbage, and dipping sauce (sometimes with a little mustard). Katsuhama is a tonkatsu specialty restaurant, with a menu full of different cutlets and deep fried skewers. The standard pork tenderloin katsu... full article

Wiener Schnitzel F. Wallse

Wallsé is one of my two favorite restaurants in NYC. The quality of the food is amazing, the service is good and the atmosphere is so pleasant. The wiener schnitzel comes with a potato-cucumber salad and lingonberries. A perfect combination that’s just out of this world!

Lamb Shank Stew G. Ravagh Persian Grill

Ravagh’s lamb stew is a shank of tender and succulent meat simmered with herbs and garlic in a tomato sauce. The meat falls off the bone, and the stew is deliciously comforting. Served with dill rice, it’s the quintessential heartwarming home-style dish. I savor the flavors of the stew by just taking a few spoonfuls alone, then I dress the dill and fava bean rice in it as well.

Cupcake H. Joyce Bakeshop

Cynthia recently introduced me to a great find: Joyce Bakeshop in Prospect Heights. The bakery/café itself is a darling space to hang out in and the baked goods, sweet and savory, are scrumptious! We especially like their cupcakes!

Honey Lavender Shortbread I. Whimsy & Spice

If I were to hire a personal pastry chef, I would choose Mark Sopchak from Whimsy & Spice. Everything I’ve tasted from biscotti to cookie sandwiches blows me away. Each product showcases not the overbearing taste of sugar but the fragrance and the natural beauty of the ingredients. The honey lavender shortbread cookies are... full article