In my very first entry on this blog, I found there to be a lot of uncertainty around the reason for the closing of Honmura An. My initial reaction was to blame the greedy Soho landlords, but it has come to my attention that they are not responsible for the closure. According to Page One, Kobari-san (i.e. Koichi Kobari) closed Honmura An in order to head home to take over the family restaurant back in Japan. Like any dutiful Asian son, he has returned home to fulfill family obligations. As noble as that may be, I can't help but wonder, what about his obligations to us loyal New York patrons?
Well now we have reason for hope. In that same entry, I was outraged that Jean-Georges, a loyal patron of Honmura An, did nothing in his power to stop the soba temple from closing. Well I recently learned from a friend that Jean-Georges is transforming his Chinese restaurant 66 into an upscale Japanese soba joint. I have to say that I am always a little skeptical when an Asian restaurant is run by a non-Asian chef. So to quote the favourite phrase of my company's CEO, I remain "cautiously optimistic."
For those of you like me who spend the work day surfing www.foodtv.com, planning out what gourmet meal to make for dinner, only to return home exhausted and somewhat less inspired, I like nothing better than to pop in the oven my lazy night obsession - Twin Hens Chicken Pot Pie. The crust is flaky and buttery, the chicken is juicy and tender, and the vegetables are perfectly cooked and delicious. And for those of you who have jumped on the organic bandwagon, the vegetables are organic and the chickens are raised without antibiotics. This is comfort food done right, and packaged in such a way that you could even pretend you made it yourself! Not that I would ever do something like that.
New Yorkers, you can get your fix at either Dean & Deluca or at my personal holy grail - Whole Foods. Speaking of which, you can now get Il Laboratorio del Gelato at Whole Foods! Unfortunately it sort of takes away from the trek all the way down to the Lower East Side, which always includes the requisite fifteen minutes of aimlessly wandering around and searching, only to chance upon a white as white, sterile, gelato laboratory on a nondescript street once you've given up all hope of ever finding the place (yes, I know I'm romanticizing it, like I do with everything else). But then again, sometimes convenience trumps romance.