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Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

For those that are curious, I made the meal on Saturday and it was a success! I apologize for the delay in updating you guys but here was how it played out:

1. A red pepper, crab soup served in a shot glass. I found the recipe here - https://vitamix.com/Find-Recipes/R/E/...

2. A chorizo/jumbo scallop appetizer. IT was just one bite so it was a pretty small course.

3. Hamachi Tartare.

4. A spicy lobster bucatini pasta course. I used this recipe - http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/10... .

5. The main course was a veal osso bucco served over risotto.

6. Dessert - I bought cupcakes from Amy's bakery.

Everything was mostly prepared before she got there. When she came over, I turned on the vitamix for a few minutes to get the soup ready. The scallops were also seared while she was there. I had water boiling for the pasta so all I had to do after the scallops was to drain the pasta and toss it in the sauce. The veal was heating in the oven the entire time so I just had to plate it.

As you may have guessed, we were stuffed after the meal but in a good way. Thanks everyone for all the ideas/suggestions.

Help please with picking the tastiest.

I've eaten at Babbo and Esca and I wasn't very impressed. The food was definitely good but I've eaten better.

Some of the other places that I think are much better - Marea, Lincoln Ristorante, Betony, Boulud Sud, and Dovetail.

Jan 30, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Manhattan

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

Will keep you posted! I've already made the veal shanks so that just needs to be reheated.

Jan 30, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

What fish can I use to make Tartare?

Thanks!

Jan 30, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

What fish can I use to make Tartare?

Agreed - I'm going to the market and I'll see what they have that day.

Jan 30, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

With Osso Bucco - would you serve a starch with it?

I was just thinking of reducing the liquids left over after cooking and making a sauce of it, and just serving it with Gremolata.

Jan 29, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

What fish can I use to make Tartare?

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

This is most likely what I will go with - except I'll be cutting the fish with a knife instead of using a food processor.

Jan 29, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

What fish can I use to make Tartare?

Yes - the store I looked at calls it Amberjack. Keeping my fingers crossed I find it.

Jan 29, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

What fish can I use to make Tartare?

I'm making the tartare because I've eaten it many times in the past and I've greatly enjoyed it. I have a recipe - 2 or 3 actually. I just need to decide on which of those I'll end up using.

Other than that, I'm not sure what you mean by research. I've watched videos, read articles on how to handle the fish, what I can/should do to avoid butchering the fish, and well, looked at recipes. I'm not sure what else I should be doing.

The reason I ask what kind of fish and where - Essentially, what I am looking to do is make a Hamachi Tartare and buy the fish from The Lobster Place in Chelsea this Saturday as part of a meal that I am cooking for me and my girlfriend for a special occasion. That being said, in the event that The Lobster place is out of Hamachi, I want to know what other fish I can use. I've eaten Hamachi, Tuna and Salmon tartare before enjoyed it. In the event that they don't have any fish that I can use, I want to know what other stores(other than Citarella, which is the only other store I know that sells high quality fish), I can go to, to buy the fish.

At the end of the day, yes, this is my first time making it and if I eff it up, tough luck - I'll just have to try another time.

I hope now that I come across as knowing a little more than virtually nothing.

edit: I re-read my response and I just realized that it sounds like I am being rude or snarky in responding to your comment. That is not my intention at all. Sorry!

Jan 29, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

What fish can I use to make Tartare?

Hey we meet again! Thanks for the comment.

Jan 29, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

Ah - I didn't it would reheat well, but if you think it does, I'll make that tonight. One less thing to worry about!

Jan 29, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

What fish can I use to make Tartare?

I'm planning to make tartare this weekend. What fish can I use to make tartare with? I'm thinking, Hamachi, Tuna, Salmon - what else? Also, if I were to use Tuna, what kind of Tuna should I get? Or are they all relatively the same?

Also, if you know where in NYC I can buy the fish, I'd really appreciate it.

I am going to the Lobster Place in Chelsea Markets on Saturday morning and in the off chance that none of these are available there, I'm trying to see what else I can make tartare with.

Thanks!

Jan 29, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

Love the suggestions but I may skip the risotto because I'm not confident I can time that right. I hadn't thought about Osso Bucco but that sounds like a good alternative to the lamb shanks.

Jan 29, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

Agreed - I was going to do basil, parsley and capers.

Also, Someone below suggested osso bucco as an alternative to lamb shanks. Going to keep this in mind as well.

Jan 29, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

I don't know if you've tried it but I absolutely love Warehouse Wines. I've always had good wine from there at very reasonable prices. That being said, I don't have a very discerning palate so that could be why I like them. I also buy all my liquor from there - cheapest place I've found in NYC.

Jan 28, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

Yeah - decided to not to oysters. I'm thinking of a Hamachi or Salmon tartar instead.

Jan 28, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

Thanks for the suggestions! I am thinking of a very small pasta course - about 1 oz(dry) per person with a light sauce.

Regarding dessert, I may just buy something from a bakery. harryharry above made a good suggestion

Jan 28, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

Do you know if I can get high-quality Hamachi/Tuna/Salmon at Chelsea Markets? I'm planning to go there Saturday morning and picking some up. Any other stores that might sell it? I live somewhat close to a Citarella.

Definitely not going to make risotto - Maybe mashed potatoes instead.

Thanks for the dessert suggestion!

Jan 28, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

Yeah - the plan is to have most of this cooked in advance so that when she's there, I'm not spending too much time at the stove.

Jan 28, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

Yeah- there are a couple of good stores here that sell seafood. I'm hoping I can find really fresh Hamachi or Salmon there. My knife skills aren't excellent but I think they are above average and I do have a very sharp knife so hopefully I don't make a mess of the whole thing.

Regarding the pasta - that was exactly the quantity I was looking to serve.

Jan 28, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

Shh - I've been a bad boyfriend the last few years so the last few anniversaries haven't been very memorable.

She's not a big fan of simply roasted chicken or cornish game hen so that won't work. I'll try and figure out how to get some greens in there.

We're not huge dessert people so I'm not doing anything too crazy for dessert. I may make a chocolate mousse or get something from a local bakery.

Jan 28, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

mike0989 - Haha, that's hilarious. Keeping my fingers crossed it works out better for me. I'm keeping it much simpler than yours - wish me luck!

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

hotoynoodle - Yeah, I realize I may have been a bit too ambitious which is kinda why I wanted to post here and bounce ideas of others. Thanks for the great suggestions. I've heard from multiple people(including yourself) that the bolognese might be overkill so I may do pasta with a lighter sauce - I'm trying to find a recipe for a lemon zest based pasta sauce that I saw somewhere else.

Jan 28, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

Harryharry - Well, I live in Manhattan so my kitchen IS my dining room, and maybe half my bedroom too haha.

Thanks for your well-written post. A cauliflower soup topped with a slice of salami sounds wonderful as an amuse bouche. Salmon roe sounds even better but I'm not sure where I would find it here - any ideas?

I'm leaning towards doing that as an amuse bouche and making Hamachi Tartare - any recipes? Just trying to get the proportions right. Also, can this be prepared in advance?

And you're right about the entrees - might be too ambitious. I was thinking braised lamb shanks but I wasn't sure what to serve it on top of. Maybe some potatoes roasted with rosemary/mint/garlic? I'll see if I can find a recipe for it.

Jan 28, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

This weekend, my girlfriend and I are celebrating our 5 year anniversary so I figured it might be interesting to do a date night at home and have cook a multi-course meal for her. We always eat out and I enjoy cooking so I thought this might be a nice time to switch things up. I'd love to hear ideas and recipes for what I should cook because Google is giving me too many suggestions to handle. I'm not necessarily looking for a theme, i.e., all seafood or all Italian so hopefully that makes things a little easier. We have no food allergies or other food restrictions. That being said, we prefer savory food over sweet food. So here's the plan for now:

1. An amuse-bouche to start. I realize this may be a lot of work for what will essentially be one little bite but it's fun to think of. I just bought these little soup spoons that I think will make perfect serving vehicles for this. Or shot-glasses. I saw this Chorizo-seared scallop recipe online that I thought was interesting but I would love to hear other ideas.

2. An appetizer next. I don't have any ideas yet but I'm looking for something that can be put together quick. Or even have set up before she arrives. One thought that comes to mind is oysters - shouldn't take me too long to shuck a dozen oysters while she sips on her cocktail. Any other ideas? I also thought of steak or Tuna tartare but I've never worked with it and I'm not sure where to start, i.e., where I can get tartare quality meat.

3. A pasta course - this one I think will be the simplest of all. I'm thinking I will make a bolognese sauce in advance and when she gets here, I will make the pasta (pappardelle or rigatoni) and toss it with the sauce and top of with parmesan cheese.

4. The main course - We're both non-vegetarian so this would ideally be something with meat or seafood in it. I've never had good results with making perfectly seared fish so I don't know if I should even attempt it. I was hoping that this, again, would be something prepared or mostly prepared in advance and something that I can have on a plate in less than 10 minutes or so after I'm done with the pasta.

For the entree, one of the thoughts that came to mind is braised lamb shanks. I can have that going for a while and when we're ready to eat, I can easily have that on a plate. Any idea for what I should serve on the side?

I also thought it might be nice to give her the choice of two entrees, somewhat like a restaurant so that she could pick one that she liked and I could have the other one - not sure if this is too ambitious.
I live in Manhattan and have a Manhattan-sized kitchen so I don't have a lot of space. I have an oven, a microwave oven and a 4 burner stove that I can use. I also have a Vitamix and an immersion blender. I do think I will have sufficient pots and pants for everything that I am cooking. I am not looking to spend a ton of money - ideally less than $100 but I can stretch up to $200 including a bottle or two of not-too-expensive wine. I would have cooked a steak but I don't have sufficient ventilation in my apartment for that.

Phew - I didn't realize how long this post was and I apologize for the length. I think I've included everything I've said but I'll be editing as I go along if I think I've missed something. Thanks! I will have Thursday night, Friday night and all of Saturday t get this set up so I do think I'll have sufficient time to pre-prep some or ideally most of what I will be cooking on Saturday.

Jan 27, 2015
Manhattanfoodie in Home Cooking

What's a good restaurant where we can eat at the bar?

Just realized I didn't add this - We usually eat out on weekends - Friday night to early Sunday evening mostly.

Thanks for all the great recs so far!

Aug 18, 2013
Manhattanfoodie in Manhattan

What's a good restaurant where we can eat at the bar?

Thanks! We'll try and check that out.

Aug 18, 2013
Manhattanfoodie in Manhattan

What's a good restaurant where we can eat at the bar?

Yeah - I've heard that about Nougatine as well. Any idea what it's like at Brunch or at like 5pm on a Sunday evening?

Aug 17, 2013
Manhattanfoodie in Manhattan

What's a good restaurant where we can eat at the bar?

Thanks, Kathryn!

Aug 16, 2013
Manhattanfoodie in Manhattan

What's a good restaurant where we can eat at the bar?

We just found out about Lincoln Ristorante's bar about two weeks ago. We went there for brunch a week earlier and loved it so we HAD to go for dinner. That's when we noticed the little bar and now that's on our list of places to check out. Thanks! We haven't been to Marea or Picholine yet.

Aug 16, 2013
Manhattanfoodie in Manhattan