Day: March 23rd, 2008

Easter cupcakes

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008 | All Things, Eats

We lost Lenge late last year, but gained Amber, so the net number of Japanese restaurants on this strip of Columbus Avenue remains the same. And now, of course, we have Magnolia Bakery.

Yes, folks love these cupcakes like McAdams loves Gosling. (And vice versa.) In a city full of cupcakes, though, I do feel that Magnolia’s have been hyped disproportionately to their quality. (Everyone’s got an opinion on where else to find the best.) Still, when the line isn’t an hour long, a hit of bomb frosting may be just the thing.

Magnolia Easter cupcakes

Especially when it’s got a cute sugar Easter bunny sitting atop. Awww!

Magnolia Easter cupcake

Flickr preview: play ball! Photos from Game 2 of the Mets’ home opening series against the Phillies (April 9, 2008)

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Amber Asian Bistro

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008 | All Things, Eats

After 46 meatless days, I indulged in a carnivore’s combination of lamb and ham at J and J’s Easter brunch. Quiche, too, a baby spinach salad, a glazed lemon cake (my contribution), and a delightful apple strudel from Andre’s Hungarian Pastry Shop. In 2005, New York director/screenwriter Nora Ephron wrote a mouth-watering valentine to the bakery’s cabbage strudel, which I’ve not forgotten to this day.

Perhaps it was a shock to the vegetarian system, but my stomach felt… well, not-so-great after eating all that meat. Maybe psychosomatic, but maybe not. (Good thing I didn’t enact my original “Easter porterhouse” plan. ) Looking then to ease into my regular diet, by evening, I was back to eating fish.

B and I ended up at Amber Asian Bistro — an offshoot of a well-liked UES Asian fusion restaurant that recently opened in the old Aegean Restaurant space on the corner of Columbus and 70th Street. The place has been swanked up a bit since its neighborhood Greek restaurant days with the addition of a lounge area, back bar, lots of dark wood and a hip lighting scheme. Judging from the crowds, Amber is off to a solidly popular start, giving Tenzan some healthy competition.

Wasabi Shumai — mushy, and a bit of a miss for me:

Amber dumplings

There were a couple of intriguing-sounding “Amber Style Ceviches” on the menu, one of which touted an “e.v.o.o lemon-lime dressing.” Yes, it actually said “e.v.o.o.”; I could not order it on principle.

I was satisfied with my rolls, but most notable was the nigiri: the pieces of fish were fresh and prettily presented, but disconcertingly big… bigger even than the oversized “American-style” slabs at Yama. I’ll be interested to hear what the sushi purists will have to say about this one.

Amber rolls

Amber Sushi

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