I just want to eat!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Restaurant Week: Porterhouse in New York, NY

image of Porterhouse in New York, NY

There is no doubt what Porterhouse, located on the fourth floor of the Time Warner Center, is serving: steaks, steaks and steaks. 
image of Time Warner Center Porterhouse in New York, NY

With seafood, but steaks. It has been a while since I went to a steakhouse for restaurant week, as I typically tell people to avoid these types of places during that period, the quality of the meat being often sacrificed. I even did a test with my favorite steakhouse in Hoboken, Dino & Harry's: while the steaks have always been sublime, they were not good for Restaurant Week (see the post here). Why did I change my mind? Because my friend Julien convinced me that I would not be disappointed at Porterhouse. 
image of Porterhouse in New York, NY

So, we booked the place on Opentable for a Sunday, for lunch. We arrived a bit early and got seated fairly quickly in this incredible 140 seat place that overlooks Columbus Circle.
image of Columbus Circle view from Porterhouse in New York, NY

To give you am idea of the place, it all started in 2006, when Chef Michael Lomonaco took the bet to replace Jean-Georges Vongerichten's V Steakhouse place by a more traditional and more successful restaurant. The decor, designed by Jeffrey Beers (The Wynn in Las Vegas, DB Bistro Modern in NY) is very elegant with its leather banquettes, polished designed and the restaurant feels roomy. Contrary to most of the steakhouses, there is a lot of light, thanks to the large windows. 
image of dining room of Porterhouse in New York, NY

So we were there for the Restaurant Week menu that was printed on the bottom of the regular menu, replacing their business lunch and eliminating the awkward moment when you ask for it and can see in the eye of the waiter an expression that says "I should have guessed". 

Right after we ordered, they came with a bread basket that had three types of bread: French white, raisin-pecan and whole wheat. 
image of bread basket at Porterhouse in New York, NY

Jodi went for the French white

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dovetail in New York, NY

image of Dovetail in New York, NY

Chef John Fraser, the owner of Dovetail, is no stranger to me. Well I do not know him personally and would love to meet him; it is more that I have a personal story related to one of his restaurants that unfortunately closed few years ago: Compass, located few blocks down from Dovetail. That is where Jodi and I went for a drink on our first date. We went back few times to celebrate our anniversary or other occasions, always having a great experience there.

Anyway, Chef Fraser has an impressive resume: he worked at the famous French Laundry and Taillevent, an award winning restaurant in Paris. I was so thrilled to see how he works his magic.

So, this time I was at Dovetail, located few steps from the Museum of Natural History. I like the place: the decor is simple and elegant. I went with some friends on a Monday night and, to my surprise, the restaurant was packed. 
image of Dovetail in New York, NY

Menu wise, they offer seasonal dishes. For dinner, you have a choice between the vegetarian menu and the Chef's menu. I went for the latter. 

To accompany the meal, we decided to order a bottle of red wine. A Crozes Hermitage 2010. 
image of Crozes Hermitage wine at Dovetail in New York, NY

At first, they brought us some amuse. It started with truffled arancini, rosemary crackers and white cheddar corn bread that were all very good and a great way to open our appetite. 
image of amuse bouche at Dovetail in New York, NY

Then, they brought us a delicious leek panacotta topped with honeydew. 
image of leek panacotta and honeydew at Dovetail in New York, NY

I think the most difficult part of eating that was the tiny spoon they give you...

For the appetizer, I decided to try the steak tartare that one of my friends recommended.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Verde Vita Toscana in Hoboken, NJ

image of Verde Vita Toscana in Hoboken, NJ

When Choco-Pain opened downtown Hoboken, it was like bringing a bit of France to the city: delicious bread, pastries and viennoiseries, made traditionally and tasting like it should. I hate when I buy a croissant and it is not buttery! So, we were wondering when they would open Uptown. But no, it did not happen yet. Instead, Verde Vita Toscana, an Italian café opened few month ago, replacing a beauty salon, with the great idea to get its bread from Choco-Pain!
image of ceramic table at Verde Vita Toscana in Hoboken, NJ

image of orange juice press at Verde Vita Toscana in Hoboken, NJ

It is a great place with a very European feel and a relaxed atmosphere: ceramic tables, brick walls and a long counter where one can sip a delicious espresso with a croissant. 
image of croissants from Choco-Pain at Verde Vita Toscana in Hoboken, NJ

Besides this, they sell different olive oil
image of olive oil at Verde Vita Toscana in Hoboken, NJ

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bareburger in New York, NY

image of Bareburger in New York, NY

As my cousin Sandrine was in New York, she could not leave without having a burger. This time, we proposed to go to Bareburger, at their location in Hell's Kitchen. I heard a lot about this place that serves organic meat, but never went before, so you can imagine my excitement. 
image of dining room at Bareburger in New York, NY

I was surprised to see that it was full table service, more used to the fast casual restaurants, where you order at the counter, get a number assigned to you and, they either yell that number when your order is ready or bring it to your table. No, at Bareburger, you can sit and relax. 
image of bear at Bareburger in New York, NY

Decor wise, there is a play on words between bare and bear that translates not only on the walls, but also on their packaging. 
image of bear at Bareburger in New York, NY

Menu wise, they have a large choice of dishes, whether appetizers, entrées or desserts. If you do not want a burger, they have a large choice of salads for instance. And, if you are vegetarian, they have a black bean patty or, again, salads. 
image of big knife at Bareburger in New York, NY

For burgers, you can either order one of their specialty ones or built your own. We went for the latter. 

To build your own, you pick the bun, the patty, the "bacon", the cheese, the toppings and the sauce. So, I had a beef patty on a brioche bread, with grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms, brisket as my "bacon", sharp cheddar cheese, ketchup and mayo. 
image of build your own burger at Bareburger in New York, NY

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, NY

image of Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, NY

Smorgasburg: weird name worth knowing. It is the perfect place to indulge, with lots of vendors selling various kinds of food that would make any food lover drool. The last time my nephew came for a visit, we went to the location in Williamsburg. This time, we went to Park Slope to show my cousin Sandrine Brooklyn and one of its flea markets. I admit that, while the ladies were interested with the market itself, I was more interested in the food...Not surprising I guess.

What I like about this place is the multitude of food stalls that offer different kinds of cuisine: BBQ, Mexican, Asian...

Here is what we ate:

Asiadog:

image of asiadog at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, NY

For a taste of hotdogs with an Asian twist. Jodi ordered a veggie dog with The Sidney topping that is Thai mango relish with cucumber, red onion and cilantro (she asked without peanuts):
image of The sidney dog at Asiadog, asiadog at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, NY

This was pretty good and I could barely taste the fact that it was a vegetarian wiener! I loved the sweet and salty flavor and the mango and cucumber had a nice freshness.
Asia Dog on Urbanspoon

Rice and Miso Everyday:

image of Rice and Miso Everyday at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, NY

We ordered the basic rice ball with black sesame: