Feasting at Fausto will leave you feeling full and fabulous

Fausto had been on my list for a while. When the Chef hails from L'Artusi then you know you're in for a good meal. The space was bigger than expected which I appreciated, cocktails were fantastic and service was thoughtful. The tan leather couches, open kitchen layout, low hanging lights makes this a fantastic date night spot or a place for an intimate gathering with friends. Every dish on the menu tasted like it was prepared with fresh ingredients and I love that all pastas are made in house. The only thing I would change is the portion size of the arancini balls. $9 for 3 tiny arancini balls does not much sense to me but thankfully the rest of the dishes were portioned appropriately. I left feeling so satisfied! 

Arancini- quadrello di bufala

Arancini- quadrello di bufala

Cauliflower- anchovy caper vinaigrette, currant, pine nut

Cauliflower- anchovy caper vinaigrette, currant, pine nut

Slow poached eggs- mixed mushroom, toasted farro

Slow poached eggs- mixed mushroom, toasted farro

Whole wheat bigoli al torchio- duck ragu, piave vecchio

Whole wheat bigoli al torchio- duck ragu, piave vecchio

Buckwheat Rigatoni- shitake mushroom, dandelion greens, parmesan

Buckwheat Rigatoni- shitake mushroom, dandelion greens, parmesan

Favorites

1. Arancini- These were crispy, gooey and topped with lots of parmesan. I just wish the size was bigger or that it was priced appropriately so I could have placed a second order!

2. Cauliflower- The texture in this dish was fabulous. The crunchiness of the cauliflower and pine nuts with bites of the softer currant made for a perfect vegetable dish. The anchovy caper vinaigrette added smokiness to the dish and I didn't find it too fishy at all. I was so surprised and impressed by this dish.

2. Buckwheat rigatoni- The mushrooms and greens breaks through the heaviness of the parmesan which lets you be able to finish the entire plate! It's a simple pasta but often times simplicity is all you need to accomplish great flavors.

The delicious tale of the Four Horsemen

Long before Four Horsemen made an appear on Master of None, I had wandered into this cozy restaurant but was dissuaded by the wait times. However, because of some miracle (the cold weather) my fiancé and I were able to get a seat last week! If you do end up here on a Friday or Saturday night it is better to arrive earlier than run the risk of not eating here at all. There is a nice wine selection and a great menu which you can easily turn into a full dinner which, is what we did. Their winter menu is weaved with winter ingredients that make my mouth water. Charred white carrots, stewed wild mushrooms and whipped honey ricotta are all comforting ingredients to me.  The deliciousness of the food makes up for the lack of space and I'd gladly come back to see what they put on their menu next.

‘Montealva’, whipped honey goat cheese with housemade crackers

‘Montealva’, whipped honey goat cheese with housemade crackers

Beef tartare, seeds, buttermilk, sesame cracker

Beef tartare, seeds, buttermilk, sesame cracker

Charred white carrot, navel orange, thyme

Charred white carrot, navel orange, thyme

Koshihikari rice, chicken confit, onsen egg, wild mushrooms

Koshihikari rice, chicken confit, onsen egg, wild mushrooms

Spaghetti, maine uni, meyer lemon, chives

Spaghetti, maine uni, meyer lemon, chives

Favorites: 

Beef tartare- The tartare is excellent because of the textures throughout the dish; the seeds balance well with the marinated meat and gives this dish a different flavor than the usual beef tartare. The buttermilk did not shine through in my opinion.

Koshihikari rice- This dish was basically a chicken rice stew with egg and mushrooms. This is exactly what I'd want to eat on cold night and I was so happy to find it on their menu. Excellent broth with a delicate sweet/sour balance. The rice, chicken and egg were stewed just enough so that you could pick up on all the flavors without it being too mushy

Charred white carrots- I had never tasted a white carrot before trying it here but now I am in love! The char on the carrots is a brilliant move adding so much smokiness to this dish. The aioli on top was the perfect dipping sauce for these carrots.

Get social with Manila Social Club

Although I have written about Manila Social Club before (see here) it is worth updating my review of the restaurant since I recently went there for dinner. The space is tight knit so if you don't have a reservation then you may have to sit at the bar. But the bar offers the full dinner menu so you won't miss a thing. Manila Social Club is the type of restaurant that will remind you of that friend's grandma whose kitchen always smelled like kare kare sauce and whose stove was overflowing with pots of pancit. The food here is delicious, will make you feel warm and definitely keep you full. 

Prito Lumpia- vegetables, chilli-shallot vinaigrette

Prito Lumpia- vegetables, chilli-shallot vinaigrette

Crab Dauphine- lump crab, served on corn custard with chive oil, caviar

Crab Dauphine- lump crab, served on corn custard with chive oil, caviar

Short Rib Kare- parsnip puree, asparagus sesame-hazelnut veloute

Short Rib Kare- parsnip puree, asparagus sesame-hazelnut veloute

Lechon Kawali- pork belly, roast vegetables, rice

Lechon Kawali- pork belly, roast vegetables, rice

Ube bread pudding with ice cream

Ube bread pudding with ice cream

Favorites:

1. Crab Dauphine- Chunks of crab in a corn custard is as rich and heavenly as it sounds. The bits of caviar doesn't hurt either.

2. Short Rib Kare- The tender beef in this dish is elevated by the peanut butter sauce. The spices in the kare sauce cuts through the heaviness so that you're able to finish the dish. It only took me about 7 minutes to eat it all! Make sure to get a side of garlic rice with it. 

3. Ube bread pudding- Manila Social Club knows how to knock ube desserts out of the park. This dish is no exception to that. If you haven't had their ube donuts (which you have to order 2 weeks in advance) rest assured that the ube desserts you do have will be just as good.