Vin and I were invited to a press dinner at Chimichurri Grill East, an Argentinian restaurant on the east side that used to house David Burke’s Townhouse.  The space was beautiful and classy with a lovely bar by the front entrance, a grand dining room in the back with high ceilings and artsy decor, and a separate dance floor/tango bar casually known as the “pink room” for Tuesday tango nights. This Argentinian steakhouse is a fancy “mom and pop store” per executive chef Carlos, but we thought it was quite a sophisticated and upscale restaurant. The chef and his wife, Alicia, also have another location on the West Side that Alicia mostly manages. I particularly love the backstory of how the restaurants came to be: Carlos was an art director and wanted to retire, but he met Alicia at a food event in Miami and voila… they opened up Chimichurri Grill 20 years ago on the West Side in NYC and opened the East Side location just over a year ago.

Sssssweetbreads

We had a set tasting menu paired with all Argentinian wines that Alicia hand selected for the meal. The first dish was Mollejas a la Provencal, or what I happily refer to as one of the most decadent and elegant potato chip bites I’ve ever had.  Hearty pieces of grilled veal heart sweetbreads were served atop a deep fried sweet Peruvian purple potato with a house made garlic, red pepper, wine and parsley Provencal sauce. First off, I loved that the chef kicked us off with offal.  It is so Argentinian and I’m so glad that this was highlighted.  People who say they’re “foodies” who don’t like these jewels of meat just never had pieces cooked by Chef Carlos.  The sweetbreads had been boiled and grilled and seasoned so well that every bit of the offal was creamy and meaty. The Provencal sauce smelled and tasted heavenly and the purple potato chip added a great crisp element to the bite.  This was paired with a Luca Pinot Noir with hints of berries, spice, and leather which brought out a smoky fruit flavor when eaten with the sweetbreads. Talk about starting a meal with a bang.

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Vin's sneaker cake

Vin’s sneaker cake

*Because I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say “Just Do It TM” in the headline.

OK, this is a SUPER LATE post, but I figure it’s fitting since VIN IS RUNNING THE NYC MARATHON SOON!!!  This counts as carb-loading, right???  Now look at the pics….

Another year, another birthday for Vin. He started running last year for health reasons and now he’s one of those obsessed runners (meanwhile, I’m still a lazy bum that sleeps all the time as pointed out by the NYT), so the OBVIOUS cake this year was a sneaker.  To be specific, a replica of his sneaker.  The obsessed runner is very particular about his running kicks, and I wasn’t able to check out his actual shoe at home (we are physically glued to the hip when I’m not traveling and Vin is not running) so I sneakily asked Vin, “Oh heyyyy, baby… what’s the style name of your sneaker?  I think I saw it on sale and I know you wear a certain style so I wanted to make sure it was the same one…” So he told me, I looked it up, printed out enlarged pics of every angle of this shoe in black, and then hid the images under a pile of junk mail on my work bench.  (Vin NEVER looks through the stuff on my work bench; he only looks at the mounds of random shit piling up with disgust and dread and wants to throw it all out =P)

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