We were going for BBQ at The Smokin' Barrel, when we realized that this place closed. It was replaced few months later by The Shepherd and The Knucklehead, a pub and steakhouse that opened seventeen years ago in Haledon, NJ and chose Hoboken for their second location. I was curious to know where their name is coming from and their website gave a pretty complete explanation:
It has been a while since we went for fondue at Kashkaval, a restaurant in Hell's Kitchen that takes its name from a sheep's milk Bulgarian cheese. I admit that I thought it was closed as, end of 2013, they announced that their landlord would not renew their lease and that they were launching a petition. I guess it worked out as this place is still there, although very different: it used to be a marketplace selling awesome cheeses, with a tiny dining room in the back. Now, this is a restaurant only and it is fairly big.
I think I probably would have never gone to Tehuitzingo if it was not a suggestion from one of my blog readers who always had great comments or suggestions to my posts. Yes, from the outside, you just see the name, Tehuitzingo Deli and Grocery and would never guess that this place serves great food at reasonable prices, using fresh ingredients. I mean, I had to verify again on my phone the name of address and, when confirmed, entered in that small place.
Opened beginning of 2014 at the corner of 57th Street and 6th Avenue, The Wayfarer defines itself as a purveyor of classic American cuisine. I like the atmosphere of the place that is cozy and modern, with great music in the background and a nice vibe. I should mention that the service was really good: efficient and courteous.
One time we were working late, one of my colleagues who is originally from India, ordered some food from The Kati Roll Company. I mean that was a revelation and each bite was so divine that I could hear angels singing on my shoulders. I love that place: the food is not only good, but cheap and, if I could, I would go there on a daily basis! Kati rolls are street food wraps that originated from Kolkata in India. There are many variants, but, at The Kati Roll Company, they are made by wrapping warm paratha, a type of Indian flat bread, around a variety of meats, vegetables and cheese.
I finally made it to the Nutella bar at Eataly, the fantastic market place located close to the Flatiron. And I did not regret it! If you are a Nutella lover, this place is for you and, for sure, you will not know what to get, the choices all looking good.
We heard about Blaue Gans, an Austrian restaurant located in TriBeCa, thanks to our friend Tessa and decided to have dinner there one night, as we were in that area. the place was packed for sure and it had a nice atmosphere, a bit artsy, the posters of various exhibits surely playing a role there.
When Jodi has something planned for lunch or dinner, and I end up going by myself or with a friend, I always try to find places where the food would be limited for her, like chicken or lobster places. These places can be of various level, from restaurants to take out. This time, I was at Chirping Chicken, a fast casual restaurant with, as of today, four locations in the City. I went to the one in Hell's Kitchen that was not that crowded but seemed to be a spot for police officers.
I was looking for a sake bar when I stumbled upon Sake Bar Hagi 46, the outpost of Sake Bar Hagi near Times Square. We got seated in the back of the restaurant where a large party was enjoying some food and probably too much drinking, making the noise level close to unbearable...So, needless to say that, although we enjoyed our meal there, we did not take our time to appreciate it fully and, as soon as we payed the bill, guess what? The large party left!!! I had only one fear: that they followed us!
Taking its name from a village in the Town of Southampton in Suffolk County, New York, Sagaponack is a restaurant located few steps from the Flatiron. I ended up there one day after finding that they serve a surf and turf burger, a dish I never heard of before. So I went one day for lunch.
We were really excited to have dinner at Zora's Cafe, a restaurant in Hell's Kitchen that serves soul food. We passed so many times in front of this 20 seat tiny place that I got curious. It started well, with a homemade lemonade that was delicious: not too sweet and with a perfect tartness.
We were back to Long Island City, looking for a place to have lunch and found Café Triskell, a French crêperie coming straight from Brittany from where the owner, Philippe Fallait is from. And I have to say that it felt like a little corner of France, miles away.
I was recently invited at Numero 28 Pizzeria in the East Village. I already know this pizza place as I went to their original location on 28 Carmine St, location that gave its name to the place. Little did I know that they had that many locations, including Miami and London! We were there for lunch and the place was quiet until later, prompting me to think that we were really early...I liked the atmosphere that is rustic and warm, with the staff speaking Italian to add to the ambiance.
I was recently invited for a dinner at Cafe Istanbul, a restaurant on Steinway in Astoria that serves Mediterranean, Egyptian and Turkish cuisine. Opened over two months ago, this place is the dream come true of Mumbai native, Sonny, who spent 18 months creating this place, making it comfortable and very open.
We were walking on 33rd, behind Penn Station, when Jodi pointed out Lobster Craft a restaurant that specializes in ...lobster...and follows the success of a food truck operated by Captain Mike, a coast guard captain and licensed lobster fisherman.
Being part of the food bloggers community is a great thing as you meet great people who enjoy good food, whether in a fancy restaurant or in a casual place. It is thanks to a blogger friend if mine, Malini, The Restaurant Fairy, that I discovered Oppa, a great Korean place in the new Gansevoort Market.
I recently received a coupon to try Tres Carnes, a fast casual tex-mex restaurant with few locations in the city. We went to the Flatiron one and I admit that I was surprised as to how good it was, definitely better than the other restaurants in the same segment. It is not only due to the freshness of the ingredients, but also because of the slow cooked BBQ meat they serve. It is not a big place for sure, but we had no problem finding seats at the large table in the center of the dining room.
I was really looking forward for our dinner at Gazala's Place in Hell's Kitchen, sometimes craving Middle Eastern cuisine. We found it walking one afternoon on 9th Avenue, seeing the owner, Gazala Halabi making some pita at the window.
Gazala's is quite a small place so don't be surprised to have your back on your neighbor's chair. For the time we arrived to the time we left, the flow of patrons continue to arrive and go, probably having the same cravings as we did.
As were were close to Grand Central Terminal and were not that thrilled about the choices in the food court there, we decided to go to Pershing Square, a restaurant that reminded me of a brasserie because of its decor. It was definitely beautiful, with lots of light thanks to the large windows.
Last Saturday, we went to Bonnie's Grill in Brooklyn, a restaurant that describes itself as a "hardcore burger and wings establishment". So I could not not go to this small place that has its charm, to try...burgers and wings.
I was recently invited at Bettola, an Italian restaurant located on the Upper West Side with a fantastic background story. This place is under new management since May of this year and I would say a colorful management. It all started in a ski trip where co-owner Giga Leszay met a rockstar turned Chef Vlado Kolenic. Yes, you heard well: rockstar turned Chef. Vlado was the lead singer of Taktici, a popular band in former Czechoslovakia that defected from the iron curtain at the end of the 70s. This is an incredible story that you can find here, on this short video. When Giga saw an opportunity to take over the ownership of Bettola, she did not hesitate and reached out to Vlado, as she needed a new Chef.
It has been a while since we wanted to try Honeygrow, a casual dining place that serves locally sourced high quality ingredients. So we made it and I admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. First, I like the minimalist decor, very naturalistic and zen, with the light colored wood and the black and white photos.
After meeting Chef Hooni Kim at a cooking class (DeGustibus event at Macy's), and a great dinner at Hanjan, his restaurant near the Flatiron, Jodi, Malini (aka The Restaurant Fairy) and I decided to go for lunch at Danji. Why lunch? Less crowded and good light. The reservation was at the time they opened so I admit that I was glad to be able to take few photos before patrons arrive.
Few days after meeting Chef Hooni Kim in a cooking class at De Gustibus Cooking School in Macy's, Jodi, Cindy from Chubby Chinese Girl Eats and her husband Derrick, and I decided to go to Hanjan, one of the Chef's restaurant located few minutes from the Flatiron.
I love ramen and New York is a perfect city to try different ones, having so many places proposing that delicious Japanese dish. And my favorite moment to eat that soup is now, as I like it hot and was never really impressed by cold versions of it. This recipe requires a bit of work, but it is worth it!
Hell's Kitchen is definitely not the area where I would expect to see such an elegant restaurant as Chaan Teng. This place opened very recently, replacing a New Orleans based restaurant we passed by so many times but never dared to go in. Well I am glad because Chaan Teng is unique in a way, serving Chinese dishes, but with the Chef's own spin. And, if you are familiar with the restaurant scene in New York, you might know this Chef: Pichet Ong, who has an impressive resume, working at the regretted Spice Market as well as 66, also closed, another Jean-Georges Vongerichten's eatery. Do not see a sign there, I am sure this place, with its vibrant and elegant decor, will be successful.
So I was looking for a new fried chicken place to try and ended up at Sticky's Finger Joint, a restaurant in Hell's Kitchen, located close to The Port Authority Bus Terminal. I knew about this place since its inception as I saw them on the Food Network back in 2012, on a TV show with Bobby Flay, where the owners had three days to open and had to go through the hoops of opening a restaurant, a task not that simple. This is not they first location and I believe they settled on 9th Avenue a year or two ago. I like the decor that is very colorful, with the wall painted like street art.
Located few steps from Union Square, Al Vicoletto is an Italian eatery and gourmet market. I like the vibe of the place that has a certain energy and a European feel.
At the beginning of the meal, they gave us some bread, as well as a small sandwich bites made with focaccia bread, peck and cheese: a great way to start, although, so delicious that I stopped eating it as I was expecting to have a feast...
When it comes to elegance and gourmet food, Petrossian comes into my mind. The famous caviar purveyor has, for a long time, showcased some products that go beyond the treasured fish eggs. And this time, they invited me as well as other press / bloggers to discover some amazing products for the season coming. At the same time, I got the pleasure to see again Executive Chef Richard Farnabe that I met few months ago during an amazing tasting at the restaurant.
One evening last week, I was invited to a workshop by KitchenAid, with Pastry Chef Ron Ben-Israel and Robin and Jeffrey Selden from Marcia Selden Catering. I went there with my friend Malini, The Restaurant Fairy, so now you will know that I am not wearing any nail polish and that it is her hand that you will see on the photos, holding some of the delicious bites we got to sample.
Located at the corner of 93rd and 3rd on the Upper East Side, Korali Estiatorio went beyond my expectations. I love Greek food and was definitely not disappointed after going to a tasting I was invited to. This beautiful restaurant that gets its name from "Coral", to honor the seafood of the Mediterranean sea, is the jewel opened a year ago by Gregori Politis (formerly of Yefsi Estiatorio), a 20-year veteran in the hospitality industry who wanted to bring the authentic recipes from his childhood in Greece to NYC.
The Old Homestead Steakhouse is not unknown to me, as I ate there few years ago, but skipped it since I started this blog, except for sliders as they offered a very good deal for lunch at the time. But it was way too long and we really wanted to go back to the oldest steakhouse in New York, serving carnivores since 1968! This place did not change and I was glad that they sat us on one of the corners, in a round table with a banquette, that had a good light. This latest detail was not only noticed because of the photos I was going to take, but also because, often, steakhouses are dim.
We were on the Lower East Side and were looking for a place to have lunch when we stumbled upon Cho-Ko, a small ramen joint. The weather was perfect for ramen, so I was looking forward to it. It is a small place and I was surprised it was empty, although we arrived five minutes after their opening time. But it remained empty until we left...
Last week, I was invited at Bustan, a restaurant located on the Upper West Side, that serves Mediterranean cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. I was not able to meet with Bustan's new partner and Executive Chef Raphael Hasid, but chatted a bit with his Chef de Cuisine, Christopher Burgess, who brings more than 30 years of experience in the industry, having worked even with Michael White or Anthony Bourdain. He explained to me that they are using a taboon to cook most of the food in their tiny kitchen, a taboon being a wood fire oven with a temperature of 800 degrees and a rotating center so the food cooks evenly.
We were at the Flux Factory in Long Island City for the New York Academy of Art Alumni exhibit where Jodi participated with a beautiful painting (see her work at www.jodigerbi.com), and we decided to eat in that area after the show. I just needed Google Map to find Beija Flor (Hummingbird in portuguese), a Brazilian restaurant that serves some delicious food. At first, I was worried that there would be live music as I wanted to have a quiet dinner, being able to hear each other and thankfully, there was not and the noise level was pretty nice.
Sometimes, I should just stick to the original plan...It all started with wanting to eat ramen at Jun-Men in Chelsea. But the weather was pretty good for November and, as we walked passed Stage Door Deli, we changed our mind, reserving ramen for a colder day. I was excited for sure, thinking about the Reuben I would inhale in few minutes.
Located on the 8th floor of Macy's, hidden like a priceless gem is the De Gustibus Cooking school. I mean, even some employees of the store did not know it was there and it took me a couple of inquiries to find my way to what would be a wonderful evening, where my friend Malini, The Restaurant Fairy, brought me along, generously sharing the experience with me and Cindy, from the food blog Chubby Chinese Girl.