When Connecticut native and Tony Awardwinning singer-actress Anika Noni Rose best known for playing Lorrell in Dreamgirls visited New York as a child, her parents took her to restaurants like the Russian Tea Room and Sign of the Dove. I had quail there for the first time, she recalls of the latter, and they had a bread pudding that was out of control. Her education in food wasnt lost on her even this week as she rehearsed for a benefit at Carnegie Hall and put the finishing touches on her work in the upcoming miniseries The Starter Wife, the Inwood resident made time for phenomenal comfort food, ferocious lemon-meringue pie, and a certain doughy treat that she insists is the best thing in the world.
Wednesday, May 16
I made a smoothie with pineapple, strawberry, blueberry, and banana and spirulina. I ran out to do an ADR session [to tweak audio tracks] for The Starter Wife. Before that I went to Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop and had hot pastrami and cheese on rye. I like that with Thousand Island dressing thats what really makes it phenomenal comfort food.
I had to look at a gown for Gildas Club. I stopped by Prt Manger. I was on a sandwich kick, I guess I got a tuna sandwich with lemonade and some Kettle chips. I really love chips. Kettle chips are great they have a little bit more heft to them. Everything is made fresh at Prt they use mostly organic ingredients. In this climate were living in, its more important to get organic food because theres so much crap that we put in our body. At the same time, I actually love Dunkin Donuts. Im sure Ill be very sad when they make them healthy.
I came home and had a salad with beans, broccoli, mushrooms, and avocado, and Newmans Own balsamic vinaigrette.
Tuesday, May 15
I did a fund-raiser for the New York Festival of Song at Carnegie Hall. I was picking up some jewelry and last-minute undergarments. I met a friend at Georgios Country Grill to discuss music for a project. I had stir-fry veggies with chicken. Georgios is not that expensive, and they give you a huge portion of food. The food is really good in a very cute environment.
I had a rehearsal at 4 p.m. When it was over, I went to Le Pain Quotidien. I had a hankering for a French cream donut. Its the best thing in the world it looks really decadent and like it might kill you upon getting into your stomach, but its not. They bake this donut like a big fat roll and then they cut it horizontally and then open it up so it looks like Mr. Mouth and put the cream inside and put a little powdered sugar on top. The cream is very light and not extraordinarily sweet. Its ferociously good. I had that with tea. Then I had the chicken Cobb salad.
After the concert we ate at an Italian restaurant on 53rd Street between Sixth and Seventh, but it wasnt good. We had veal scaloppine. I dont eat veal often because I know it is cruel, but I love it when they said veal, I was like Yes! This was free-range veal; it was really tough. That veal didnt get too much exercise, or they didnt pound it. It wasnt very flat, and the sauce wasnt sufficiently lemony. I had to leave early.
Monday, May 14
I had a rehearsal. I picked up a Balance bar from a bodega and had a smoothie in the morning. And then I met a friend and his family at Yum Yum Bangkok. There are eight of them now; this was the first one, on 46th Street, which has now turned into almost a club because it has been renovated. It really is good Thai, and its extraordinarily cheap lunch can run you about $6 for good and nutritious food. I had a little bit of calamari with a sweet chili sauce. Then I had the coconut chicken soup and sticky rice, which I like to put in the soup. The chicken soup has chicken, mushrooms, lemongrass, and scallions. But I asked them to leave the scallions off because Im not that into that. And I had Thai iced tea.
I saw Passing Strange at the Public, which is great. Then I went to Dojo. One of them closed because it was nasty it was rat-snack extraordinaire up in there. I went to the one near NYU. I thought, Why not have another cheap meal? I had the soy-burger dinner. Their tahini sauce is fantastic on a salad or burger they put carrots in it. I really dont understand why they dont bottle it and sell it.
Sunday, May 13
I go to the Kitchenette for brunch. My favorite thing is their macaroni and cheese. If you gave it to kindergarteners, you could use it as paste. Its a three- or four-cheese macaroni and cheese, and it even has a little goat cheese to add a little bit of smokiness. They bake it. I think all mac 'n' cheese should be baked. If you could fry it, Id be an advocate of that too. I had a salad and the lemon-meringue pie, which is ferocious. I had braised vegetables and a small turkey-club sandwich. And they have fresh pink lemonade, which you get in a jelly jar.
Then I had a rehearsal I went to the Met and bopped around there. This is embarrassing, but I got a Grays Papaya and pineapple juice. Papaya tastes vomitous, but pineapple is really good for your digestion and probably best when youre eating a hot dog. I really like salt and sweets.
Saturday, May 12
I was coming in from Connecticut, where I took my grandmother to IHOP. I saw a play at Brooklyn Friends School. I went to Mayrose. I wanted a salad with some heft, so I got the chopped salad with beets, asparagus, and avocado. I asked them to cut the tails off the shrimp, and they acted like it was a big deal, but they did it anyway. Why do you think I want to fight with a shrimp tail? I dont want to reach through my teriyaki sauce thats nasty. I just want to stab it and put it in my mouth!
The Starter Wife premieres May 31 on the USA Network.