Cook your favorite restaurant dishes at home | Namichef

  • July 22, 2022
  • Posted by Namichef
restaurant dishes at home

As I continue this journey of trying to become a better cook, my latest passion is to try to recreate restaurant meals at home. 

For example:

Last night my wife and I went to a West Village restaurant called The Little Owl:  It was our wedding anniversary and we wanted to get out of the house (aka tiny NYC apartment).  The restaurant is the definition of Greenwich Village cute, and I highly recommend it for its food and atmosphere.  

One thing, be prepared to be photographed if you eat outside.  The restaurant is on the ground floor of the same building where the fictional apartment from the show “Friends” is set and the tourists know it and love taking pictures of the building.

During dinner, my wife suggested I write a blog about the restaurant but that’s not my goal.  I do not want to be a restaurant critic and nor am I qualified to be one.  I want to position NamiChef as a way to encourage other home cooks to make restaurant-quality meals in their home kitchens.  Even 5’ x 6’ kitchens like mine.  However, last night’s dinner included some items that I have never made before and now I want to explore how close I can get to recreating the dish using the NamiChef concept:


  • Ingredients
  • A recipe that you can execute and modify
  • Technique

The standout was grilled octopus.  It’s one of my wife’s favorites and this rendition was exceptional for its soft texture.

How do I make the same thing at home.? I just Googled “how to make octopus tender?”  This New York Times  article by Harold McGee in 2008, was the first thing that popped up on my feed. It was scientific and didn’t provide the answer I was looking for and I was annoyed by the fact that he had the resources to order two octopi from Japan.


The consensus seems to be to simmer the beast for a couple of hours but we shall see.  CALLING ALL NAMICHEFS.  Where can I buy octopus?  I Googled it and found a fish market near me (Essex Pearl) that sells it frozen for $11.95 / lb.  Citarella sells it as well, but it is $56 for two 14-ounce pieces of pre-tenderized. I think it’s more expensive and because I am going to boil the hell out of it, frozen works for me.  FYI, Citarella is a legendary New York small grocery chain.  It’s expensive but it’s exceptional and its origins come from selling fish so you’ll never go wrong buying seafood from Citarella.  Also, I’ve never seen an octopus at the Union Square Greenmarket so I assume whatever you can find in this is not local.

We shall see.  Here’s another way to use NamiChef to up your home cooking game.  Go for a fine dine to your favorite restaurant.  Get dressed up and look at the other people who also got dressed up.  Order a cocktail or three and think about what you are eating and where you can find the same ingredients or something similar.  Then do a little homework, figure out the ‘secret sauce’ and make it a home.

I guarantee it will be cheaper.  Once we launch, you’ll have NamiChef by your side for advice on sourcing the ingredients and then cooking them.  The only thing you’ll miss is the eye candy you see when you eat out at a nice restaurant…  and you’ll have to do the dishes.

This brings me back to why I started NamiChef… Restaurants are important and a badly needed distraction from time to time but no matter what you are still one of the best chefs that you know.

© 2022, NamiChef | Privacy Policy | Sitemap