I love La Sirène, a French restaurant located in Soho that has been opened since 2007. So, when I heard last year that its Chef and owner Didier Pawlicki opened a new location on the Upper West Side, I had it on my list, promising to go there for one dish: the cassoulet. At La Sirène, Chef Pawlicki creates its own version, the Kassulet Toulousain de la maison (homemade). The spelling is intentional: this is not exactly the classic recipe as there is no garlic sausage in it (there is indeed a sausage, but not garlic). His is made with cannellini beans, carrots, tomato, garlic duck confit, slab bacon and pork sausage all braised with duck fat, White Stock and Foie Gras Jus.
I am not sure how I should interpret the name of Bâtard, the Michelin starred restaurant that received many accolades. Bâtard is a bastard in French, with a possible interpretation that the menu crafted by Executive Chef Marcus Glocker, who has an Austrian background, is inspired by multiple European cuisines. The second interpretation is that it refers to a French rustic baguette. I’ll go for the former! Elegant but not stuffy, Bâtard is the sort of classy restaurant where you wonder if you should not have dressed up, their smart casual dress code being surprising considering the experience we had.
“Anyone can cook a hamburger, leave the vegetables to the professionals": this is the motto of Dirt Candy. a vegetarian restaurant located on the Lower East Side where Chef and owner Amanda Cohen serves an original menu where vegetables are the master pieces and not just a side. We went there after a long time blog follower read my review of Elisabeth’s Gone Raw in DC and recommended Dirt Candy for brunch.
Don’t be fooled by its name: although the name L’Adresse is French, this restaurant, located across from Bryant Park is an American bistro. And a good one I would say. We went there for dinner and had some great food, a mix of various cuisines that gave a nice menu with both vegetarian and non vegetarian choices.
If you are looking for a steakhouse that does not look like one, M Wells Steakhouse might be it. You probably wonder why you would go to Long Island City for steak, not knowing that it would take you as much time to go from Midtown to the Lower East Side than going to LIC where there are quite few gems there, Luzzo’s being one I spoke about last week.
Long Island City will never stop to surprise me. Before even the news about LIC being chosen by Amazon for one of its Headquarters, this neighborhood located few subway stops from Midtown Manhattan was up and coming, with plenty of delicious finds there. The last one is fairly new: Adda, an Indian restaurant, result of the collaboration between owner Roni Mazumdar and Executive Chef Chintan Pandya.
Luzzo’s is for me one of the top Neapolitan places in New York, a place that I discovered few years ago on a pizza tour and where I went back few times. They opened quite few locations, the last one being in Long Island City, few steps from the subway.
We went there on a Saturday evening, early, and observed the place starting to fill up, in an area where there are not that many options. Food wise, they have a wide variety of dishes, from pasta to pizza. So we tried both! Here is what we had:
I finally made it to Manhatta, one of the most talked about openings of 2018. This little gem, last project of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, is located on the 60th floor of a high rise building in the Financial District, and boast incredible views of Manhattan. Know that the entrance is on the side of the building it is located in, the staff being probably used to have people asking them where to find the restaurant and directing them at the corner of Liberty and William Streets.
Tim Ho Wan, the acclaimed Hong Kong based dim sum restaurant opened a second location in Hell’s Kitchen after 2 years in the East Village and announcing several future restaurants in the United States. There, Chef Yinghui Zhou, a 30 year dim sum veteran, is serving a menu that I found mainly catered towards non-vegetarian diners. They do have few vegetarian dishes that are properly marked on their menu, but, the day we went, several dishes were not available and most of them were vegetarian!
I love chicken, not as much as my cat, but still. So I was really looking forward to try the poulet frites at Rotisserie Georgette in the Upper East Side. This elegant place, with its partly open kitchen, where you can see the rotisserie in action, is the creation of Georgette Farkas, who worked with famous Chefs like Alain Ducasse or Daniel Boulud.
I am not sure if it was always like that or simply because they also have another restaurant few blocks away, on Washington street, that Charritos decided to go all vegetarian, proposing even vegan dishes. We never went there before as it was always packed, an hungry crowd filling their colorful dining room.
It has been a while since we went to Marseille, one of my favorite French restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen (there are not that many) and I realized that I only went there for lunch or brunch, never for dinner. So it was time to change that! We ended up there on a Friday night, the place mainly filled with theater goers considering that, starting 7:30pm, lots of patrons left…
Salinas is a Spanish restaurant where Chef Bollo who grew up in Spain is serving a contemporary Spanish menu. Opened in 2011, this place is pretty nice and the dining room where we were seated seemed to cater to couples with its small tables arranged in an intimate setting. So I was excited but my excitement was short lived, the inefficiency and rudeness of the service ruining a bit the whole experience. Food wise, it was interesting and just ok. Know also that if you are vegetarian, the choices are going to be very limited. Here is what we had:
I was craving pasta and our last visit to an Italian restaurant did not satisfy my craving. So, on a Friday evening, I reserved a table at Fabio Cucina Italiana, Midtown East. Nice place, with apparently few regulars and the Chef, Chicco Asante, omnipresent in the dining room.
Food wise, we were there for a treat, and the meal was delicious from beginning to end. Here is what we had:
There is a new Italian restaurant Uptown Hoboken, replacing Las Olas, the Asian fusion restaurant that I will always remember for its delicious wings. Yes, Apulia just opened and I was hoping to see something different considering the number of Italian places in Hoboken, the latest being Zero Otto Uno few months ago. The owners, Franco (originally from Apulia in Italy) and his nephew Frank completely gutted the place that is awkwardly in a U shape, giving more space at the entrance, with a dining room dominated by their wood fire oven. Service was courteous but the noise level was a bit too much for me, the music being too loud.
As Jodi loves pizza, I looked up for a place close to the National Portait Gallery in DC and stumbled upon Pi Pizzeria, à joint known for its St Louis style cornmeal crust that is said to be President Obama’s favorite pizza. Apparently, while in St Louis, campaigning for the election, President Obama asked one of his staffers to bring him pizza. That is how Pi Pizza ended up on his lap or should I say in his stomach.
I could have passed in front of Kinship without even noticing the one Michelin Star restaurant of Chef Eric Ziebold and partner Célia Laurent. Inconspicuous from the outside and undeniably delicious from the inside, it is like a secret gem that is not anymore secret considering how crowded the place was on a Sunday night. We arrived 5 minutes earlier than our reservation and they sat us in their waiting area with a fireplace that was welcome considering that for our last day in Washington DC, the temperature dropped.