Ace, Aldea & Bruno Jamais – Delicious Combo with Friends

Winding down my stay in New York has meant meeting up with friends I haven't seen too often while 'living' in the city, trying restaurants I'd put on hold for some crazy reason or another, and enjoying a beautiful summer with coffee in the a.m. out on the terrace/fire escape and watching fireflies flirt around the garden below at night.

A few evenings ago, the fireflies had my attention. Last night, friends did. Sansan and I met up at the hip & happnin' Ace for a cocktail and chat with April, the bartender and blues metal rocker chick of Black Horse, before heading off to Aldea. With sold out main dining seating, our culinary experience would remain at the bar (which I prefer anyway) where we joined up with friends Rosalina and George's lovely better half, Bonna. Ted, the bartender poured us a cocktail as we took a gander at the menu. With Bonna giving us a few pointers to help narrow our choices, I decided on the following: the Knoll Krest Farm Egg (with bacalao, black olive & potato); the Migliorelli Farms' Peas and Tennessee Bacon (with soft-poached egg, green garlic, & shaved truffles); and the Niman Ranch Pork Loin (with smoked yellow corn, manila clams, and a scallian-ramp glaze) with a delectable Cambodian sauce inspired by Bonna's mother. Sansan opted for the House-Cured Salt-Cod (with asparagus, morel, smoked jamon broth) while Rosalina nestled into the Baby Cuttlefish (with coconut-curry soup, herb purée, and squid ink) following the Sea Urchin Toast (with cauliflower cream, sea lettuce and lime). All incredible, and filled with delicious high-end umami goodness and mercy, I am incredibly proud of our Georgie and his Aldea accomplishments. Check out Frank Bruni's article/rating that just came out today from the NY Times. And taste George's Aldea for yourself.

Our next stop was Bruno Jamais on the Upper East Side, where I haven't ventured up to in a while. Jacques is as lovely and as charming as ever, the champagne is still flowing, the chocolate soufflé is still ooey gooey goodness, and the beats are still pumpin'. An interesting place worth checking out., especially for parties, and don't forget to sign up to their Facebook group. Be careful, though, it's addictive. Both Bruno Jamais and Facebook.

There are many other places I have to check out while I'm in town, so I'll be back soon with new posts. Until then, look out for fireflies, and bon appétit.

Brooklyn Breakfast

 Knoll Krest Farm Egg  Migliorelli Farms' Peas and Tennessee Bacon

Niman Ranch Pork Loin

 House-Cured Salt-Cod  Baby Cuttlefish

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