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.
July is not only National Ice Cream Month, but it is also National Beer Month. So, Our Name Is Farm, a digital media and event production firm had a great idea to merge them together and asked Tipsy Scoop, the boozy ice cream parlor, to come up with some creation for Lantern Hall, the largest beer hall of Bushwick, Brooklyn that consults with them. Bars always fall short when it comes to dessert, so it is a very interesting way to fill the gap.
I have never been to the Liberty Science Center (aka LSC) in Jersey City and was excited when they invited me for an evening called LSC After Dark: Electric BBQ, an all adult event with booze, food, a DJ and an electric show to conclude the evening. This was a media preview of their event on July 20th. Interesting concept: although lots of adults love science, this kind of place is often associated with kids and the Liberty Science Center decided to create specific events for adults the third Thursday of each month. I think their first one was called LSC After Dark: sexy science party that was probably not as X-rated as the name may suggest, and more recently, LSC After Dark: nerd prom and wearable fashion show.
For our 10 year anniversary, we decided to go to Philadelphia, before a big trip that we are planning as a true celebration at the end of the year. I like Philly: food wise, it has lots to offer besides the usual cheesesteak that is undeniably associated to this city. As we arrived in the afternoon by train, I looked for a restaurant close to our hotel, keeping the option of a cheesesteak for later, our dinner being already steak. Looking on OpenTable, we found Estia, a Greek restaurant located near the city center.
When I went to Porter Collins several weeks ago, I had a fantastic dinner and was planning on going back there to try their brunch, when I received an invite from their PR. So, we just went yesterday and got the chance to see Chef Anthony Pino that I was looking forward to finally meeting, having dined at his other restaurants, Bin 14 and Anthony David's, multiple times. During our discussion, he explained that he decided to become a Chef at 10 years old, wanting to save his family from bad food: well, I am sure that his family is grateful now! I asked him why he decided to open another restaurant in Hoboken instead of New York and his answer defines well his character: he wants to stay close to his family as they are important to him.
I recently received, for just $1, some wine from Blason Louis, a French Wine seller that teamed up with more than a dozen winemakers in France and is reaching out to bloggers. But it is not a bottle that I received: no, it was four flacons in a box, that I admit looked pretty sleek. These tubes full of wine are great, especially if, like me, you do not drink enough wine to open a bottle, thinking that it would go to waste fairly quickly, turning into something that would only be good as a cooking ingredient. Restaurants offer wine by the glass, but at home, the choice is limited: you can find half bottles, but, usually, they will be located close to the cashier, like a pariah.
Located off the beaten path on the Lower East Side, El Maguey Y La Tuna is not unknown to me: I went few years ago for a press dinner where I was amazed by the delicious food that place serves. There, I met again Maria, the owner, who ensure that patrons feel welcome in this small restaurant where the food matters more than anything else.
Southern Hospitality use to be my favorite BBQ place. Used to...After I went back, I cannot say that anymore: the menu has changed and not for the better. I wonder what happened! I was really looking forward to go back there and have one of their combos, but, they were not proposing it anymore and some of the great dishes they use to propose were changed, such as the fried green tomatoes that are topped with a house-made remoulade and pickled tomatoes. The fried tomatoes were not great, a bit soggy.
The last time we went to Empellon Taqueria was few years ago, for brunch, where we had an amazing churro French toast. So, as we were celebrating for a second time Jodi's birthday, we decided to go there for dinner. We went on a Friday and the place was packed. I have to say that I love the colorful decor of that place and the setting of the dining room that has some warmth to it, but like less the noise level for dinner that was very loud and not really suited for a romantic dinner...
Ichiba Ramen by Shinokubo is a Japanese restaurant in Union Square, that serves creative Japanese and Korean influenced dishes (Shinokubo is named after the Shin Okubo Koreatown in Shinjuku, Japan). Ichiba is quite a big place compared to the usual hole in the wall type of ramen restaurants that popped up in the past few years and it has a colorful and cool design, with a beautiful painting on the top of the wall.
Located in Soho, Mamo NYC is the outpost of Mamo Le Michelangelo, a restaurant in Antibes, a city in the French Riviera. I had this place on my very long list of restaurants to try and took the opportunity of having an OpenTable reward to dine there. And what a meal!
I received a pack of beef Jerky from People's Choice Beef Jerky, a company located downtown Los Angeles that has been handcrafting premium meat for more than 85 years, staying true to their tradition, and keeping the handmade process in each step (slicing, marinating, laying and cooking). Their products, all made with natural ingredients, are defined in three different lines that I tried:
It's been a while since I wanted to try Cosme, a contemporary Mexican restaurant located few steps from the Flatiron. I was glad we had a reservation because the place was quite packed when we arrived. Filled with music, I thought it had a cool vibe with its bookshelves going all around the dining room The service there was efficient and courteous, ensuring we would have a great experience. And we did.
Last Saturday, I was invited to sample the menu at Imli Urban Indian Food, a new Indian restaurant located on the Upper East Side. I was not sure what to expect, New York having so many Indian restaurants and was wondering what Imli Urban Indian Food would have that makes it stand out. Well, as you will see below, there, Chef Manuel Butler, crafted a very interesting menu inspired from street food, with dishes from all over India, made with a twist, but still staying true to its origin.
Last night, I was invited to a dinner at The Urbani Truffle Lab, a space setup by Urbani Truffles with tasting rooms and a test kitchen. And this dinner was a Chef's Table where you sit right in front of the kitchen where the magic happens, a great opportunity to observe and interact with the Chef and have at the same time an amazing dinner. Because let's not forget it: Urbani Truffles is the largest truffle purveyor and a Chef's Table organized by them can only be amazing. And it was!
Opening today is Icelandic Fish and Chips, an outpost of a restaurant that opened in 2006 in Reykjavik, Iceland, that proposes an elevated version of fish and chips, trying to make it healthier. How? Besides of using fresh fish, they replaced eggs and wheat with spelt. Spelt absorbs less oil and creates a lighter coating with still a crunchy texture. For chips, instead of frying potato wedges, they roast them in the oven before tossing them in parsley and Icelandic salt. If you are not really into potatoes, you can also go for the onion rings.
So, it all started with a discussion with my friend David about Korean BBQ and a "let's set a date for that!" No, 5 Napkin Burger does not serve Korean BBQ, but it gives you the setting for what would be a wonderful evening. The date was set, but our friends asked to go to 5 Napkin as they heard about it and were eager to try their juicy burger. After a quick reservation on OpenTable, here we are, at their location near Union Square.
There are places like Gaudi Café where the expression "do not judge a book by its cover" is undeniably applicable. I thought it was a café and we ended up having a great culinary experience. The decor inside is nice, more cozy than your traditional Café. The owner, Laurent Ibanez named the place as an hommage to the architect and designer, perfectly matching the creativity he instills in his kitchen.