Monday, November 2, 2009

Fish + Milk @ Chelsea Market

Whenever we walked into Ronnybrook Farm Dairy at Chelsea Market, we had to remind ourselves that we are lactose intolerant. Ronnybrook Farm Dairy's milk bottles are so visually appealing, we almost wanted to forget the aftermath of drinking a straight glass of milk.

For those that have had the phrase "lactose intolerant" handed down to you, Ronnybrook Farm Dairy makes you want to challenge that diagnosis when you're at a milk playground like this.

Ronnybrook is known for their milk shakes and ice creams, but they also sell organic eggs, drinkable yogurts, spreadable cheese, and free range chicken sandwiches. Ronnybrook's other comfort food items include their mac & cheese and their Shakshuk eggs (tomato-vegetable stew over two sunny side up eggs).

The one thing we disliked at Ronnybrook was their extremeley tart atomic green mint with crushed ice drink shown in this photo. Stick to the dairy.

Their sandwiches are healthy so don't expect one of those mindblowing Katz's pastrami experiences, but the food is fresh, it's good for you, the place is clean, the service is usually pretty good, and it's nice to sit at the circular counter eating lunch that won't break your bank like some of the other Meatpacking lunch spots.

Chelsea Market also has a fish playground called The Lobster Place.

In addition to being New York City's larget purveyor of live lobster, they have one of the city's largest selection of fish, they sell clambakes, smoked fish, and more. This is the place we liked buying our salmon from since the salmon at the grocery stores in our neighborhood looked a bit schpent and unhealthy. Here, we were confident that we were getting the fresh goods. (Perhaps Sakagura should buy their fish from here and learn how to discard old fish).

You can also have a raw bar event at the Lobster Pound. Fresh oysters and hotate - our kind of party. Great idea for a company Christmas party. Think outside the hotel/banquet box people!

The Lobster Place also sells (fairly pricey) prepared food: soups like lobster bisque and Manhattan clam chowder; crab claw cocktail and smoked salmon cocktail (six slices of Norwegian smoked salmon served with their scallion cream cheese, capers and Amy's bread); "Shack-in-the-back" rolls (served on a buttered and grilled top-split bun) like tarragon shrimp roll (sweet shrimp tossed with fresh tarragon, capers, comichons, parsely, chives). Other menu items include seared ahi soba noodles and curried tuna salad wrap (fresh steamed yellowfin tuna mixed with madras curry, golden raisins, red onions, cilantro).

And of course, they sell sushi! The sushi bentos are also expensive but remember they're fresh - prepared right there for you and this place has a high turnaround.

Their lobster roll sushi is delicious but they don't give you very many for the price. It actually leaves you feeling unsatisfied. If you're going to splurge on semi-lobster, spend your money on the Red Hook Lobster Pound lobster roll instead, which we're craving like no one's business right now.

You know you're going to get good bread at Amy's Bread when you watch the workers through the glass in their bakery next to their small store making the bread (it's the area where tourists are taking photos). The bread is made by hand daily, they use organic whole grains and unbleached flour, and they offer an excellent selection. They also offer cookies, muffins, almond brioche toast, chocolate cherry rolls, coffee cakes, lowfat applesauce doughnuts, biscuits, scones, freshly baked pizza, quiche, focaccia diska, a very European looking sandwich menu, and layer cakes. See their complete menu. Their Chelsea Market location is quite small and always crowded so it's better to take their food to go. Grab one of their sandwiches and walk over to the Highline Park (they actually sell picnic sandwich boxes during summer).

Who wouldn't want to receive Sesame Street and burger and fries cakes?

Chelsea market always has photos dislayed on its walls.

And there's music, usually jazz, that's great while you're having lunch.

This is sort of torture thinking about places you can no longer walk over to or call for delivery, like right about now during dinner time we'd be calling Chelsea Thai Wholesale and getting pad thai noodles delievered to our apartment. It's still the best pad thai we've ever tasted and still a great deal at $7.85 (despite the fact that the price has been slightly raised). We don't think you can order a bad thing off of their menu.