Otherwise known as “Steak night and how I paid penance the day after”.
A couple years ago, some friends visited Argentina and came back with hundreds of pictures, mate cups and stories about the best steaks they’ve eaten in their lives. In fact, they regaled us about how they would eat steak for lunch & dinner a few days in a row, often with a few good bottles of malbecs to wash all the protein down. The Argentineans, with the highest per capital meat consumption in the world, sure take their beef seriously. And at Novecento, a small Argentine steakhouse tucked in the slightly scene-y part of West Soho, the gaucho nation showcased its flair for cooking beef.
All four of us, Gerrie, me and two friends had the surprisingly affordable signature skirt steak served with chimicurri sauce. The restaurant did justice to the typically inexpensive and not very tender cut of meat, rendering the steak a nice char outside and moistness inside. While the steak did not need any additional embellishment, the fragrant and slightly spicy chimicurri sauce gave the creamy but bland mashed potatoes a much needed lift. The fries however, were really nicely fried and very flavorful. Yummy. With a few glasses of red wine and serviceable desserts, we had a very nice friday night satisfying our carnivorous tendencies.
A night of vegetables and gluten followed the guilty meat and potatoes meal, as Yanru convinced me to join her for dinner at the Vegetarian Dim Sum House in Chinatown, a place she’s been thinking about checking out for months. My initial skepticism about all-day dim sum, meatless to boot was happily proven wrong as we dined on steam tofu-skin rolls stuffed with fresh vegetables and a big casserole of vermicelli and mock ham, which tasted exactly like spam, but guilt-free. However, meatless doesn’t always mean healthy, as the lack of meat is compensated by heavy seasoning and liberal dosages of cooking oil. Also, its curious that vegetarian food should cost more than meat, which it did, albeit just slightly in Chinatown. Nonetheless, it was a very filling and tasty meal, and we spotted a few interesting dishes on the other tables that we would like to try. For those leery of vegetarian food, or just Chinese food in general, it should be noted that the room was packed with a predominantly young Caucasian crowd, as the food is probably very suitable for vegetarians and vegans, so come on down and try it yourself. You’ll be very contented with your mock meats and feel good with the knowledge that no animals had been harmed in the process of your culinary enjoyment =)

Novecento
343 W Broadway

Vegetarian Dim Sum House
24 Pell St