Shout outs to some new places I’ve tried-

The first is Havana Central, a wonderful Cuban joint in NYC where I went about 2 months ago. I think this was actually my first taste of Cuban fare- my date (now my boyfriend of two months) suggested this place and was excited when I admitted that there was actually an un-obscure cuisine out there that I didn’t think I had tried before. It was a fantastic meal- we split everything from the appetizer sampler to the guava-glazed half rack of ribs, the seafood paella, and lastly the three milk cake (it sounded bizarre, and my rule is to order the weird sounding stuff). The only thing we didn’t split was the bill- he sweetly asked to treat (what a keeper). After dinner we went (ie: waddled) to the UCB theater but missed the 10:30 show so we went and played on a playground across the street until the midnight show. We almost made ourselves sick on the bouncy drawbridge after that meal but managed to keep everything in. The show was hilarious. When it was over he drove us all the way back to central Jers. It was a great night.

The second is Joe’s Crab Shack, appetizingly located on route one, down the road from gems like Red Lobster and Toys are Us. I usually judge places like this but Brad (the bee-eff) had been once before and was enthusiastic, which was mildly adorable and contagious (and I’m willing to try everything once). I admit I was pleased. It’s just a big fun, loud place, with good energy and yummy food. We split the spicy mussel appetizer, and then Brad got the Sam Adams steampot (crab legs and clams) while I tried the New Orleans steampot (crawfish, shrimp). The seasoning burned up my lips so maybe that was slightly overdone, but eating seafood sure is fun. When we had finished the mussels we dared each other to lift up the bowl of spicy broth and each finish half of the bowl, sans spoons. Classy. We ordered pomberry sangrias to wash this all down. I liked Joe’s. No frills, no pretension, just fun.

Thirdly we went to Morton’s Steakhouse. This place was a first for me and I was happy to be asked to dine with him and 6 friends of his. Steak really isn’t my thing but I enjoyed the filet oscar (which made a lovely breakfast the next morning, and the perfect accompaniment to my blueberry waffle). I also had the onion soup and the chocolate lava cake. YUM. Good cocktails as well.