We were looking for a seafood restaurant Midtown and decided to go to Blue Fin, the restaurant of the posh W Hotel in Times Square. I admit that we were not sure what to expect as many restaurants in that area care more about foot traffic than returning satisfied customers. And you know what? I was pleasantly surprised!
We were in Bushwick, Brooklyn for a media event and then looking for a place to eat. Our first choice was Roberta's a popular pizza joint that was unfortunately packed, having an hour wait that we did not even consider. Our backup plan was Momo Sushi Shack with large communal tables and I did not have too many regrets that our first choice did not work. Overall, the food at Momo, consisting in the large majority of small plates with a wide range of Japanese specialties, was good, but they were short in staff that day and the food took a bit of time to come.
My friends have been talking about B Side Pizzabar so many times that we decided to go after I came back from a trip from France. This place, located in Hell's Kitchen, has a nice rustic decor, quite warm. Quite minimalist as is the menu that Chef Jason Neroni crafted, that features some quite creative pizza cooked in their authentic Pavesi wood-burning oven.
I love lobster rolls and always mention the fact that French people are always surprised to hear that such a delicacy that is lobster can be served in a sandwich! But when they try, they get hooked. I did for sure. I remember the first time I tried it: it was at the food truck festival in South Street Seaport. After eating the food from food trucks, here it was: the Red Hook Lobster Pound. I remember the big chunks of lobster simply cooked in butter, the almighty crustacean being the star of the dish. Since then, I tried quite a few, but Mary's Fish Camp was missing from my list.
I recently received some bottles of Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce. Little I knew that this company has been created by Dexter Holland, the lead singer of The Offspring, a multi-platinum American Punk Rock band. I still remember some of their songs that were really popular when I lived in France. Apparently, Interestingly, the adventure started as gifts to friends:
Known for its burger, but also pizza, Emily opened recently in the West Village after feeding an hungry crowd in Brooklyn. I was really looking forward to trying that place and we got an early reservation there. Well, maybe too early and we were the first ones to arrive for dinner, diners arriving a bit later, especially families with kids. The place is of a nice size with lots of light thanks to its large windows.
Back in May, we celebrated Jodi's birthday at Habanero Blues, a Mexican restaurant located Midtown Manhattan. There, we had a great time and very good food, certainly thinking about going back. Little we knew that one of the owners, Willy Reichenbach would invite me few months after for a meal there. Willy is a great guy, with lots of energy and passionate about the restaurant and ensuring his patrons have a great time. He gave me a few bits of interesting info about the place:
I went to The Great Kabab Factory two years ago and forgot that this all you can eat place serves a phenomenal amount of food, to the point that, to my regret, I skipped dessert...Located in a hotel, the Radisson Blu (formerly Park Plaza), this is a nice place, with the dining room overlooking the kitchen that I only photographed at the end, busy talking to my colleagues explaining why the photo shows an empty room.
Each time I go to Delhi, I end up at Bukhara, the world famous restaurant. Don't be fooled by restaurant using that name: they are not part of the brand created by ITC and they try to use the notoriety of this fantastic establishment. I love this place that is a bit touristy but still serves some amazing food prepared in the kitchen that you can observe from the dining room (the first time I went there, I even got a tour of the kitchen).
During my last trip to India, i was really curious about the influence of the West on food, not that it is a new topic as chains like McDonald's or KFC have been present there for a long time, adapting their menu like, in any country where they invest, but with the added rule of not serving beef, cows being considered a sacred animal. I went to a mall in Noida as well as a tech center in Gurgaon, the Cyber Hub, where there were lots of chains that we know, reminding me a bit of Singapore.
Le Relais de Venise, the outpost of the French restaurant that simply serves steak frites smothered in a secret sauce that one believes has chicken liver in it, has opened a new location in Soho. A big place with the same feel and decor. Not French but Italian, with big paintings representing life in Venice. No, you are not mistaken: I said Italian. I love the story of Le Relais de Venise. It all started in 1959, when a winemaker named Paul Gineste de Saurs decided to buy an Italian restaurant in Paris with the intention to use it to showcase the wine produced by his family, Château de Saurs, wine still proposed at the restaurant.
When you are a blogger and get an invitation from PRs and restaurants, it is always tricky as one would wonder how objective you would be. I always follow certain rules: always disclose that I was invited, be honest about the food (if I do not like it, I will write it), never talk about the service as they know that you are coming for a review and for sure will give you extra attention. People sometimes ask me: if you get invited and do not like the food at all, what do you do? Frankly, I would not post as a courtesy to the person who invited me. Benares is an interesting case though: I went two years ago and did not like it.
It has been so long since I wanted to go to Sik Gaek in Woodside to try their live octopus, but I needed to find adventurous people to come with me to have a fun experience as Jodi categorically and understandably refused to come with me. So, I went on a Friday night with two of my colleagues, Abe and Fabien. I was not sure what to expect besides a crowded restaurant: not crowded when we showed up at approx. 6:45pm, but then, it filled up with quite a lot of people there to enjoy Korean food.
I am a fan of Chef Anthony Pino who I got the chance to meet recently at Porter Collins, his new restaurant in Uptown Hoboken. I simply love his restaurants, including Bin 14 where we went quite a few times for brunch. So I was excited when I got invited for dinner at Anthony David's, his very first restaurant in the mile square city. It is not as big as Porter Collins, but has its charm and benefits from quite a number of seats outside, and from a large private room that I only saw from outside, a party taking place when we went.
For our 10 year anniversary, we went to Philadelphia and picked Aqimero, the restaurant from acclaimed Chef Richard Sandoval. Located in the Ritz Carlton, this place is beautiful and big. There are two areas: the lounge when you enter immediately in the hotel, and the restaurant on the left side, with its kitchen in the back where you can see the magic happen.