New and Old (weekend restaurant conquests)

Since I did end my Friday with a 5 mile run and some abs when all I wanted to do was drink wine, Saturday I attempted Hot Pilates at Pure Yoga (thanks to Self Magazine) and Sunday I attempted to sculpt myself svelette at Physique 57. So I decided it would be in my best interest to undo some of this via two delicious dinners out. The first one was an old favorite of mine you can find in the restaurant review tab (very much under construction!!), Panca.

Panca is a restaurant M and I have been going to for about 3 years consistently. It’s right down the street from us and definitely on our favorites list. More in the summer, since our favorite menu items include their incredibly flavored and delicious ceviche. I know it’s a bold statement, but this is the best ‘non-fancy’ (you know the kind…) ceviche in the city. The flavor is as the statement, bold. The juices are fresh and crisp and the fish just seems to melt in your mouth. I just can’t get enough.

(images all from Panca’s website)

You start with crispy corn in a little bowl. Don’t remind me of the copious amounts of oil and salt on there, I don’t care. They are delicious. We usually enjoy a ceviche, the ceviche mixto being our top choice. Then, if you’re in the mood to save a lot of money, Panca just began offering rottisserie chicken. A whole chicken. For $17.50. For non-NYCers, this might not seem like anything big. But the fact that you can go to a restaurant and theoretically leave having basically paid $9 a person for DINNER in a nice restaurant is unheard of. Believe me.

If you’re not worried about saving a couple of dollars, there are a million other options at your delicious disposal. We have tried nearly everything on the menu (scary, I know) and enjoy it all.

Since we can’t always go to the ‘old’ places, M and I decided to venture out and try a place we hadn’t been on Saturday night. After a wonderful hot pilates session with some gorgeous girlfriends at Pure Yoga (thanks to Self Magazine) and a quick 3 mile treadmill run with M, I was definitely ready to get my bacon eat on. We I chose Bar’rique, a new-ish place in our neighborhood.

Upon walking in you’re greeted with a narrow and cozy restaurant dotted with high tables. My only qualm with the restaurant (I saw that like I usually have many?) was that the high tables had stools with no backs as one of the seating options (the other was a booth type seat). I really hate this. I know I should have better posture, sit up straighter etc, but when I’m at dinner, I want a back on my chair. Period. The end. Weird quirk. Anyone else feel this way?? Anyhoo.

We sat down right next to the kitchen which was a bit hot (don’t recommend that seating location if you decide to go!) but we enjoyed great service and delicious food. We started with the hot coppa from the cured meats selection which was suggested by the waiter. That was delicious and paired with a small amount of honey and dates on the board. We also enjoyed the mushroom arancini which I stupidly didn’t realize were basically fried mushroom risotto balls. Despite having had them before. Not to say I wouldn’t have ordered it, but I wasn’t necessarily looking to pair my meat selection with a fried selection. Since we eat out so much, I really do try to engage in realistic moderation. You can’t honestly have EVERYTHING you want and fit into a wedding dress. Let’s get serious. I have to quote Hangry Pants here when I say “I’m vain”. It’s important to me to look good and feel good in clothes, and especially on my wedding day. White is a not a flattering color, newsflash 🙂 . So when I am eating out, I tend to try to balance my meal and really ensure I am getting to try whatever I want in an intelligent and healthy way. So that tangent is over, and I enjoyed every fried bites of those arancini. Amen. For the main course:

M ordered:

Cavatelli with rabbit ragout. Rabbit isn’t something you normally come across and is something that when done right is a huge favorite of M’s. He was very pleased by this dish as was I. The flavors were rich without being overpowering, and the balance was superb. Very delicious.

(image from here)

I ordered the striped bass with cauliflower, raisins and capers. M found it to be a little fishy for his taste, which I agreed with but all in all I liked the dish, all the flavors and a little fishny-ness (when eating fish…) doesn’t bother me.

With my meal (lest you think I went thirsty) I enjoyed wine which I cannot remember for the life of me. It was good, nothing life-altering and a slightly light pour (well, I guess i’m a bad judge since I tend to think a beer pint sized pour is fair when it comes to wine…)

All in all? I really enjoyed Bar’rique and would go back. Now if only they would get some new chairs.. 🙂

So tell me, how do you balance eating out, ENJOYING YOURSELF and being healthy? Or trying to fit into a white dress…?

Off to a fun food blogger event tonight which I’m excited to share the details of! I look forward to hanging with some lovely NYC ladies and eating VEGAN food. Gasp. 🙂




20 thoughts on “New and Old (weekend restaurant conquests)

  1. It depends where i’m at and what day-usually on the weekends i’m a little piggy and try to enjoy specialties….during the week i’m pretty strict to eating as clean as possible!

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  3. Being healthy, working out, eating clean, splurging on delicious treats and fitting into a white dress is hard! I love to eat, I love to eat clean and do occasionally love a french fry or million 😉

    I balance it by working out and not feeling guilty for what I eat, splurging will not make me fat, not splurging will make me cranky. I do love eating clean but sometimes my body craves and I give in 🙂

  4. I hardly ever get to eat out and when I do, I usually am focused on stopping the baby from eating napkins or something. If I’m out alone, I’m going all out and getting whatever sounds good and then eating it slowly 🙂

    I wish I lived in NYC so I’d have so many fine dining choices!

  5. I love rabbit, actually! That dish looks delicious.

    When eating out, I usually opt for a dessert instead of an appetizer – I love me some dessert, and not having an appetizer helps me from getting overly-stuffed. I also try to stay away from stuff in creamy or heavy sauces – they really bother my stomach and are usually pretty high in kcals. Dining out is for enjoyment though, and I never forget that!

  6. I want to hear about hot pilates!

    I balance it by making my own food almost all the time, so when I do eat out I can get what I want because it is a treat. I often tend to stick to the “healthier” items anyway (ie, eggs over pancakes) for the most part, I just make sure I am ordering something I really do want.

    • Dori & Court-
      Hot pilates was great! Maybe i’ll post a little somethinsomethin about it. Definitely exceeded my expectations, truth be told i’m not a pilates lady!!

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