|The Raw Bar at Balthazar|
One morning I finished up with a SOHO client earlier then expected leaving me 2 1/2 hours till my next appointment. So I thought....'What could be better then lunch at Balthazar and checking out some of the new shops in the hood'. So I Did!
|photo courtesy of http://scrumpdillyicious.blogspot.com|
Have you ever been? Balthazar. The quintessential french brasserie on Spring St. I remember the day it opened- sigh! So many fun nights with friends at a large round table filled with wine and raw fish platters. Those were the days!
I decided to be decadent and ordered the Frisee Salade w/ Lardons. Honestly, it was the most beautiful dish I ate on my entire trip. I'm convinced its all in the dressing- how it melds with the runny egg yolk...divine...and a must-try at home. Recipe below!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Trim the crusts from the bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Place on a sheet tray and bake in the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Shake the pan halfway through to toast evenly. Combine the croutons in a large bowl with the clean frisee.
Prepare the pan for poaching the eggs: Fill a wide-straight-sided saute pan with water (about two-third fulls) and add the tablespoon of vinegar. Over a medium high flame, bring to a gentle simmer, and adjust the heat to maintain it.
In a dry skillet or saute pan over medium heat, brown the lardons well on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add the minced shallots and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, to soften and lightly brown them. Without pouring off the fat, add the 1/2 cup of vinegar to the pan. Bring to a boil, using a wooden spoon to scrape any delicious bits that have caramelized on the surface of the pan. When the vinegar has reduced by half, about 3 minutes, turn off the flame. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper, and stir well to combine. Pour this warm vinaigrette with bacon into the bowl of frisee, along with the croutons and fine herbes. Toss well to combine. Divide the salad almong 6 serving plates, piled into small heaps.
Crack the eggs, one at a time, into a small saucer and then slide them into the simmering water. Poach for 4 minutes, resulting in a set white and a cooked but runny yolk. With a slotted spoon, scoop out the poached eggs, one at a time, drain, and position on top of each pile of frisee. Sprinkle with crunchy sea salt and a few turns of a peppermill. Serve immediately.
Totally satisfied from lunch and a coffee in hand I hit the streets to discover the latest stores in the area. My first stop was Odin on Lafayette between Kenmare & Broome. Curated edgy but VERY WEARABLE men's wear from Robert Geller, Thom Browne, Duckie Brown, Simon Miller Denim and Odin's own private label of shirtings and suits.
A table of Rag & Bone pieces at Odin.
Odin has additional shops on 11th St in the East Village and Greenwich in the West Village.
The coolest in city sneaker styles from Common Projects at Odin.
Down the street I bumped right into Clic Gallery. A french emporium chock full walled photo prints, art books, furnishings and hand crafted items.
I so wanted one of these super chunky hand knit throws. L U X U R I O U S!
This shop is a must-go next time you are in town. The textures and talent were totally inspiring.
Pink Clouds sits directly next to Clic Gallery although I believe they are not related. This quaint shop has a well edited collection of designer vintage pieces. Jennifer Collins, the owner and stylist, also has a fabulous member's-only website. Shop her site or boutique for the party dress of the year and accessorize with some jaw-dropping chandelier earrings!
Sass & Bide, was my fourth and final stop- an awesome Australian line full of whimsy, edge and downtown cool. Luckily for me they had recently opened their first US boutique on Broome St. Their greecian dresses, trophy jackets and accessories are the envy of any event. I splurged on a fabulous pair of oversized tortoiseshell sunglasses!
I loved the shop encompassing white paper tree. An awesome contrast to the smoothness of the shiny shop walls and detailed clothing.
You can check out their entire line on the Sass & Bide website, although the site does not do the ornate pieces justice.
A fun bit on the site is you can drag and drop pieces from the Saints collection onto Fifi Lapin (drawing above). Sass & Bide will donate $1 to Barnardos Australia for every paper doll created and posted to S & B's social media. A creative way to help this organization put an end to child abuse. Sweet and with purpose!
I was still game to do a few more shops, but I had to move on as it was time for my next client. On my next trip I will focus on a new area but I do leave you with some additional shops in SOHO worth investigating...
Blue in Green...a men's store
Happy Friday and Happy Holidays!!!