And speaking of comfort food (what a segue!), I had the pleasure of dining at new mommy Nikki Cascone and her husband Brad's newest venture Octavia's Porch on Tuesday night. Quite different from what she was doing at 24 Prince, Nikki is serving up global Jewish food, and, um it's f---ing awesome. And trust me, I tested quite a large sample from the menu. After some surprisingly light challah, my three friends and I started with a tasting of the potato and escarole soup, which was perfectly garlic-y since it literally had whole cloves of garlic in it, which I love. The four of us ordered four apps: the kreplach (pictured), the knish, the chopped liver, and the gefilte fish. I don't care for liver, but I tried it anyway, but the kreplach and knish were true highlights. They are both must-orders.
We were actually kind of satiated after all the apps, but obviously ordered entrees anyway. I ordered the tagliatelle as I absolutely needed to eat Ms. Cascone's pasta. It was excellent. My friends ordered the duck, the brisket, and the stuffing, which they all enjoyed. And, what goes better with pasta than a sweet potato? (She says ever-so-sarcastically.) But, the sweet potatoes needed to be ordered, and they were delicious. I struggle every year at my own Chanukah party making sweet potato latkes because sweet potatoe just doesn't bind as well as regular potato, sooo I'm either going to have to obtain Nikki's secrets, or just order them next year and pretend I made them. Even though we were all pretty full at this point (if you're looking for a light meal, this isn't the place for you), we got dessert. We all wanted the challah bread pudding, which didn't disappoint. Our adorable and attentive server, Michael, also brought us the PB&J sinkers which he sensed I wanted. They are little donuts you dip in peanut butter and jelly. Holy s--- they're good. And, although we didn't even order it, I think the drunken apple crumb cake was my favorite. It tasted like the crust of an apple pie, and I coudn't stop reaching over my friend and grabbing bites. The cocktails were great too. I embraced the atmosphere and got the 3rd & B, which consists of rum and homemade cream soda. My friend ordered the egg cream, which actually was much thicker than usual, and I kinda dug it. OK, I'll stop gushing now, but you should really check the place out before it gets super-full. This is a restaurant I will definitely be recommending and returning to. I'm so proud of Nikki!