Maialino


Sundays in NYC always mean brunch to me which eventually lead to a long day of enjoyment that I like to call Sunday Funday.  A little quirky?  Yeah.  Corny?  Sure.  Bordering a bit on childish?  Kind of.  Fun as sh*t?  Absolutely.  I had heard a lot about a Danny Meyer Italian restaurant called Maialino (Italian for Piglet) located in the Gramercy Park Hotel and so we decided to head down there for some brunch.  The hotel itself is pretty elegant and I wasn't expecting the casual surprise of a place like Mailino.  The space reminded me of the Tabard Inn and any place with a view of Gramercy Park is always a welcome place to eat.

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Ippudo

65 4th Ave
New York, NY 10003
212.388.0088
www.ippudony.com
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It seemed like all my friends were either working or doing some sort of volunteering on Saturday so I was on my own for an...ahem...late lunch.  I was all set to either walk two blocks and go to Num Pang or just take a short cab ride to Momofuku.  But, I remembered a conversation I had with one of Sakuramen's owners and he had mentioned Ippudo for a place to go to when you want ramen in NYC.  I looked them up quickly and headed down to the East Village.

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Ken & Cook

19 Kenmare St
New York, NY 10012
212.966.3058
www.kenandcook.com
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In continuing with new experiences for this week, I headed up to NYC for the weekend to spend some time with good friends.  My flimsy excuse (like I need one) was an e-mail from someone at Ken & Cook saying this:

I came across your blog on foodnomad and find it very interesting and well written. It would be a great honor to host you at our restaurant Ken and Cook in Nolita at 19 Kenmare St and get reviewed by you.

Our executive chef Richard Diamonte and partner Artan Gjoni (both veterans at Jean Georges’) including myself look forward to seeing you here.
Whaaat?

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WEST. Kitchen & Tavern

126 West Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
410.263.7777
www.annapoliswestkt.com
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I got this e-mail the other day:
Congratulations! Your e-mail has been selected as the PRIZE winner of 2,000,000.00 in Promotion Held September, 2012 in Europe.
Umm....wait.  I did get that e-mail and usually I'd be stoked about winning 2 million of something but I'm still trying to help an African prince reclaim his fortune.  The e-mail I wanted to show you was this:

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Family Meal

880 N. East Street
Frederick, MD 21701
301.378.2895
www.voltfamilymeal.com
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When is a diner not a diner?  The correct answer is usually, "when the chicken isn't the duck."  This time, however, it's when a former Top Chef contestant converts what looks like a former showroom of some sort into a "classic, American diner".  Bryan Voltaggio of Top Chef and Volt fame has expanded his empire in Frederick, MD by opening up Family Meal in a surprisingly industrial part of town.  The whole place looks like a gussied up diner but with the obvious Volt connections from the PBR on the menu to the service staff's uniforms (jeans and Chucks).  So, on my way home from Ellicott City, I took a slight...um....wide detour through Frederick and got some lunch at this newly opened 'elevated' diner.

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Of Love And Regret

1028 S Conkling St
Baltimore, MD 21224
410.327.0760
www.ofloveandregret.com
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When I was a much younger man, my friends and I used to frequent the Good Love Bar in Canton neighborhood of Baltimore.  This was early on in it's history before it suffered from a fire and before it became caught up in the bar/club/DJ scene.  The place had a nice, hip vibe with great drinks and lots of dark nooks and crannies to get lost in.  When I saw that a gastropub called Of Love and Regret had recently opened up in Canton, I thought it to be a nice little evolution from my younger days.  Besides, considering my life was full of both love and regret, how could you resist visiting a place like named after your own story.

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