two for dinner

Of the countless things to do in New York city on a Thursday night, my favorite night out is (and always will be) a dinner reservation for two.

Not one for large groups or crazy parties, I thoroughly enjoy an intimate dinner with someone special.

Great food, real conversations…there’s nothing better than that.

Tonight, dinner was at Cafe Asean –  a small Pan-Asian restaurant nestled in between the West Village and Chelsea.

A quaint little space dotted with brightly colored lanterns and rusting green metal tables – it reminded me of a small shop back home dishing out bowl after bowl of cheap but fragrantly delicious noodles.

After examining the generous menu, here’s what we chose…

Roast duck and basil rice paper rolls

Roast duck and basil rice paper rolls

Shrimp and vegetable dumplings

Shrimp and vegetable dumplings

Lemongrass crusted snapper with coconut lime sauce and green beans

Lemongrass crusted snapper with coconut lime sauce and green beans

Seafood and rice noodles in a spicy lemongrass soup

Seafood and rice noodles in a spicy lemongrass soup

Flan with mango

Flan with mango

All in all, the meal was great.  The flavors were vibrant, and the dishes were unusual.  Despite having the remnants of a stuffy nose (hence a dulled sense of taste), I could taste the lemongrass on my fish and the richness of the coconut sauce was so comforting!

Dessert was a little more simple and the mango wasn’t a perfect match with the flan, but it was still a sweet way to end the meal.

Of course, there’s nothing sweeter than TWO desserts (yes, two).  On the way to the train, we happened to run into a darling little cupcake bakery with its cakes lined up so perfectly, I had to go in and take a peak.

Cupcakes from Royale

Cupcakes from Royale

We sampled the vanilla with whipped hazelnut buttercream (far right) and the chocolate with salted caramel centers (third from the right).  I must say the chocolate with salted caramel was by far the most satisfying cupcake I’ve ever eaten.

The light cake with an equally airy buttercream to top it off was the perfect ending to the perfect evening.

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