I just want to eat!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Parmys Persian Fusion in NYC, NY

Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!  
image of Parmys Persian Fusion in NYC, NY

I admit that Persian cuisine is not something that I eat often, having dined to only one Persian restaurant in the city; I went few times though, but not enough to make me a connoisseur of such an exotic cuisine. So I was excited to go there, intrigued by the fusion side of the name. 
image of dining room at Parmys Persian Fusion in NYC, NY

This small 50 seat restaurant, whose name comes from a Persian princess name, opened a year ago. It is a family business: the owner Amir Raoufi used to work in his sister's restaurants, Ravagh, before deciding to open Parmys with his other sister Mojgan, who is also a Chef. 

Menu wise, they specialize mostly in kebabs (meat, seafood or vegetarian), but you can get other dishes such as stews. Before we started, they brought us some bread as well as Persian salsa, made with veggies like carrots, cauliflower and cabbage.
image of bread and Persian salsa at Parmys Persian Fusion in NYC, NY

Then, I wanted to try the droogh, a Persian yogurt drink close to an Indian lassi, except that it is made with club soda.
image of droogh at Parmys Persian Fusion in NYC, NY

image of droogh at Parmys Persian Fusion in NYC, NY

For the entree, Jodi got a koobideh, a minced meat kebab (it was made of beef):

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bobby Van's Grill in New York, NY

image of Bobby Van's Grill in New York, NY

There is a large amount of steakhouses Midtown: Ruth's Chris, Empire Steakhouse, Quality Meats, Quality Italian, Smith and Wollensky, Wolfgang Steakhouse...No wonder there are so many considering all the businesses located there. Because, let's be honest: steaks are fantastic in the US, but it comes at a certain price and you will not see that many families in steakhouses, especially now, as the price of meat is going up. Whenever I have visitors from Europe, I tell them to try a good steak if they can afford it, suggesting few places I tried and liked. So this time, I tried Bobby Van's with some of my friends.
image of bar at Bobby Van's Grill in New York, NY

Established since 1969, this family business has several locations across the US, five being in Times Square. We went to the one on 50th street that opened in 2006. It has all the characteristics of a steakhouse: masculine, warm and noisy. You may think looking at the photos that the restaurant was empty, but in fact, these photos were taken when I left, a little after 10pm; because, believe me, when we arrived, it was packed!
image of dining room at Bobby Van's Grill in New York, NY

We had a small room reserved for us and we were all thinking: thank God, we will be able to hear each other. When we sat, I noticed that there was a small notepad on the table, wondering what the usage could be at the time of the smartphones and their note applications.
image of notes at Bobby Van's Grill in New York, NY

Menu wise, there is no surprise: you find the usual dishes a steakhouse proposes, such as crab cakes, shrimp cocktail or Caesar salad. Meat wise, they have the traditional cuts: filet mignon, ribeye, sirloin and of course a sizzling porterhouse.
image of menu at Bobby Van's Grill in New York, NY

As we were choosing from the menu, they brought us a bread basket with a nice variety, as well as some butter. Some say that the bread brought to the table makes the first impression: try in a way and so, for a steakhouse, you always expect one with different breads, breadsticks being a must have (don't ask me why...).
image of bread basket at Bobby Van's Grill in New York, NY


To go with our meal, we decided to order some wine. Red wine of course as pairing with a white wine our steaks would be a blasphemy. We chose a Bordeaux: Chateau Simard Saint Emilion 2004.
image of Chateau Simard Saint Emilion 2004 at Bobby Van's Grill in New York, NY

It is a wine that has a full and round structure, perfect with red meats, especially my favorite cut: the ribeye.

But first were the appetizers. I ordered one of my favorite in steakhouses: the crab cake.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Frere de Lys, French restaurant on the Upper East Side, NY

Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!  
image of Frere de Lys, French restaurant on the Upper East Side, NY

Frère de Lys is a French restaurant located on the Upper East Side that discovered last week end. I met with two of the owners of this place Alexis and Thibault Piettre, who before that worked in other restaurants in New York, before fulfilling the dream to open their own restaurant. Their mother was even there and chat proudly about this adventure. I was intrigued by the name as it seems to be a play on fleur de lys (iris flower), a symbol of monarchy in Europe; According to French historian Georges Duby, the three petals represent the medieval social classes: those who worked, those who fought, and those who prayed (source: wikipedia). 
image of Frere de Lys, French restaurant on the Upper East Side, NY

Alexis told me that they are not royalist at all, but wanted to celebrate the renaissance period, their renaissance and as he and his brother have a fleur de lys tattooed on their arms, they thought about Frère de Lys as the name to their new adventure, frère meaning brother in French.
image of Alexis and Thibault Piettre from Frere de Lys, French restaurant on the Upper East Side, NY

Decor wise, it is a simple place with a lot of warmth thanks to the dark wood of the tables, chairs and long banquette, keeping a touch of modernity. 
image of bar at Frere de Lys, French restaurant on the Upper East Side, NY

At the entrance is the bar with its bulbs that give a vintage feel.
image of vintage bulb at Frere de Lys, French restaurant on the Upper East Side, NY

Then, the dining room, simply decorated.
image of dining room at Frere de Lys, French restaurant on the Upper East Side, NY

With of course a photo of an iris in the back.
image of iris flower at Frere de Lys, French restaurant on the Upper East Side, NY

Menu wise, do not expect to see a bistro type menu: there are no escargots, no confit de canard and no steak frites. There, the menu has classic French dishes, modernized and sometimes changed with an American twist. Know that we were there for a tasting, so the portions were smaller that what is shown on the actual menu. In fact, they were perfect portions for sharing and trying plenty of dishes and, who knows, their menu may include smaller dishes at some point!
image of bread basket at Frere de Lys, French restaurant on the Upper East Side, NY

Like any good French menu, it started with bread (toasted and served with olive oil) and wine. I got to try two wines:

The first one was a château de la sèlve palissaire 2012:

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sprinkles Cupcakes in New York, NY

image of Sprinkles Cupcakes in New York, NY

If you are a fan of the TV show Cupcake Wars, you have probably heard about Sprinkles Cupcakes: one of Judges, Candace Nelson, is with her husband Charles, the owner. 
image of Sprinkles Cupcakes in New York, NY

It all started in 2005 with the first store that opened in Beverly Hills: they got sold out the first day in three hours and then sold more than 2,000 cupcakes the first week, starting a success story that continues today, with more than 10 locations in the US and projects to open in London and Tokyo.  
image of Cupcake ATM at Sprinkles Cupcakes in New York, NY

Sprinkles Cupcakes is also known for the first cupcake ATM in the world, introduced in 2012, where cupcakes are available 24/7. We did not try the ATM and went straight to the store. It was a week day, the week ends being crazy there.
image of Cupcake stars at Sprinkles Cupcakes in New York, NY
An allusion to the stars on Hollywood Boulevard
As soon as you enter the place, your senses are overwhelmed by an incredible baking smell that make you want to live there. It is a colorful place for sure...
image of Decor at Sprinkles Cupcakes in New York, NY

What I like about such a place is that they propose cupcakes in two sizes: regular or small, the latter being perfect for a tasting. But, know that not all cupcakes are available in the small size. So, here is what we tried:

Jodi, of course, got the coconut cupcake:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Joe's Shanghai in New York, NY

image of Joe's Shanghai in New York, NY

It has been years since I went to Joe's Shanghai, having tried their midtown (food just ok and poor service) and their Chinatown location. But, after trying the soup dim sum at Red Farm, I wanted to go back and see how these restaurants measure up against each other.
image of Joe's Shanghai in New York, NY

We went on a week day and showed up a bit before the opening as, each time we passed by, there was a long line, this restaurant being recommended in a lot of guides. Surprisingly, there was barely anybody, so we got a table right away. 
image of dining room at Joe's Shanghai in New York, NY

The restaurant filled up slowly, but was not as crowded as expected. 
image of tea at Joe's Shanghai in New York, NY

Few minutes after we sat, the waiter came with some tea and asked us if we wanted the dim sum so they could fire them up in the kitchen. We answered affirmatively and proceeded to look at the menu to pick the other dishes we wanted to try. 

I could not of course resist ordering the fried quail, a dish that you can buy to go in few locations in Chinatown (or at Whole Foods, uncooked).
image of fried quail at Joe's Shanghai in New York, NY

There were succulent: a tad crispy, but still moist, that is not that simple as it is easy to overcook them. 

Then, we shared the fried spring roll.