il laboratorio del gelato

image_4

Well, my Best Ice Cream In NYC Challenge off of Refinery29’s list continues, and my next stop was il laboratorio del gelato in the Lower East Side. Walking by the busy street of Houston, it’s hard to miss this spot. On the corner, you approach a big, white, open spaced shop, with some blue lights luring you in. 

image_3

Inside, they’re making the finest gelato and sorbets, with a growing flavor list of over 200. But, don’t worry, they’re not all available at once, which makes it only slightly easier to decide on a flavor, since they still do have quite a number to choose from. Some flavors are common, but most are unique and unusual, making use of the whole lab concept. 

image_5

I’ve been here before, but there were flavors that I hadn’t tried, and you can choose two flavors in your serving. I was interestingly dreaming of Thanksgiving, and went for Corn and Sweet Potato. Let’s start with the corn flavor. It certainly did taste like corn, but the flavor was very mild, either making it much more accessible to someone more hesitant toward a corn flavored gelato, or, just having a very mild flavor in general. Consistency wise, the gelato was rich and creamy, with a nice, thick and silky texture. The real star of this duo though, was the sweet potato. This was just like eating a sweet potato in gelato form, which, might now be the only way I’d like to consume my sweet potatoes. Well, ok, aside from sweet potato fries and a casserole for Thanksgiving. Aside from those, the only way. 

The Shorts:
Name: il laboratorio del gelato
Location: 188 Ludlow Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure, they’re always putting out new and interesting flavors, and the quality of gelato is amazing. 
Would I recommend it? Yes. Be prepared, on a busy evening, you’ll need to take a number and be willing to wait just a little bit to grab your frozen treat. Also, get the Sweet Potato, maybe skip the Corn. You’re still getting your serving of veggies, right?

Tamarind

image

I love Indian food, and have gone to my fair share of restaurants. But, oddly enough, I had yet to visit Tamarind. Well, I finally made it, better late than never, right? So, I was off to experience Tamarind in TriBeCa as part of my Michelin Challenge.

photo (19)

You enter into a grand space, open, airy, light and pretty magnificent. There’s plenty of space in between tables, which, is pretty uncharacteristic of NYC dining rooms with space always being an issue. There’s also a wall of booth seating, almost like individual cabanas.

image_1

The service here is impeccable, and no detail is left off. You’re brought an amuse bouche, we received an Onion Fritter (with green chutney). This was delicious, and unlike the name might infer, it was not greasy or heavy at all. It was light, soft, with pieces of of sweet onion throughout. The chutney was a perfect compliment as well, adding a slight bit of heat to the mild and sweet fritter.

image_2

They offer a prix fixe lunch menu for just $25, which, is a total steal with the amount of food you receive and the quality. For my appetizer, I ordered the Kashmiri Salad (apple, celery, mix greens, walnuts, mustard-vinaigrette dressing). This was such an amazing salad, and I was pleasantly surprised at the generous portion (the plate in the photo is huge, for the record). The apples were fresh, tart, and thickly cut. All of the flavors went really nicely together here, and, the mustard-vinaigrette dressing was a great contrast to the sweetness of the other components.

image_3

For your entree, you choose two main items. I chose Kasundi Macher (salmon in tandoor, yogurt, kasundi mustard, tandoori spices) and Kaddhu Ke Kofte (green squash, chili, gram flour, roasted onions, creamy tomato sauce). These. Were. Both. Amazing. The salmon was soft, juicy, and topped with a hot mustard, giving it a very unique and dynamic flavor. The Kaddhu Ke Kofte, similar to a hush puppy consistency, was really delicious. Similar to the Onion Fritter, this was substantial, but not overly heavy or greasy. And the sauce was incredible, spicy and savory, and I used it to mix in with the rice you also get. For the table, you also receive Naan and the vegetable of the day, which was Chickpeas and Potatoes. The naan was like a dream, pillowy and soft. And the vegetables were served similar to a stew, in a sort of vegetable gravy, a little bit sweet, a little savory, and very tasty.

image_4

Lastly, for dessert, I ordered the Mango Rice Pudding. I really loved this, it was different from any other rice pudding I’ve had before. It’s served hot, and almost more of a thick soup consistency versus the more congealed version. The rice is tender and almost melts in your mouth, and the the creamy mango flavor really comes through nicely.

The Shorts:
Name: Tamarind
Location: 99 Hudson Street, NYC
Michelin Star: One Star
The Long and Short: Would I go back? In a second. Everything here was truly incredible.
Would I recommend it? For sure. Whether you go for lunch, dinner, a special occasion, you’re guaranteed an amazing meal and experience.