Times Square is not the best area to get great food, lots of restaurants focusing more on foot traffic than anything else, not caring if people would have a good time and great food, so they would come back. But there are exceptions and Tony's di Napoli is one of them. We often go to this family style Italian restaurant when people visit: the food is good and prices are quite reasonable. The last time we went was with our friends, the Yates, who came visiting.
It's been a while since I wanted to go to Momofuku má pêche, one of the many restaurants of Chef David Chang, my favorite being Momofuku Noodle Bar. Yes, I wanted to go there to try their signature dish: the habanero fried chicken. It was not that hard to get a reservation on Opentable. In fact, I was surprised that the place would not be more crowded for a Friday night. When you enter into the building, the first think you will see is Momofuku Milk Bar where Pastry Chef and founder Christina Tosi offers a bunch of delicious treats.
I love Kati Rolls, a sort of wrap made with paratha bread, typical street food, that originated in Kolkata, India. So I was excited to go to Desi Grub, a place we found walking on 40th, on our way to Port Authority. It is a small place, with just few seats and an open kitchen from where they will cook your rolls to order.
I sometimes go to a place and wish they were in my neighborhood. This is what happened with Cannelle, a French bakery located in Long Island City, where we went for Jodi's Popup Show. We had to go early to setup her art at the Rockaway Brewery Co and and I proposed to go have breakfast at Cannelle.
This week, I was invited to a wonderful event at Sushi Seki Times Square, to celebrate the placement in Wine & Spirits Magazine - NYC 50 (where to eat and drink well in NYC right now). I have never been to that place, but, believe me: after what I have tried, I will surely go back, especially after trying some of the signature dishes of Chef Seki, that I wish I met that day.
Our friends Jen and Gary wanted to go to the Whitney Museum and then have lunch at Untitled, the restaurant located on the first floor of the museum (art without a title is named "untitled"). I admit that I was not sure what to expect there, thinking that the food would probably be overpriced and subpar. I was wrong! At Untitled, Executive Chef Suzanne Cupps crafted a small contemporary American menu perfectly executed and served in a modern dining room with lots of light thanks to the floor to ceiling windows. And if you are curious like me, you can even observe the ballet happening in the open kitchen.
Menu wise, they have some interesting items, going from traditional (like the chicons or moules frites) to classic American like their burger. For our appetizer, we decided to go with the croquettes aux truffes that were quite delicious, the golden brown outside being very slightly crispy, enveloping a nice and gooey mushroom filling.
It has been a while since we wanted to go back to Porter House, the fancy steakhouse located in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. We went there three years ago for a lunch during Restaurant Week and promised ourselves that we we will go back for dinner one day. That day had come. We went on a Friday and I could not believe how packed this place was. I wished we had a table next to the windows so we could have a view of Columbus Circle, but unfortunately, it was not possible.
On a weekday, Jodi and I decided to have lunch at Grand central Oyster Bar, a place I always wanted to try. We went for a late lunch and, when we arrived, this place was packed and noisy. Fortunately, half way to our meal, people started to leave. This is an amazing place, benefiting from the beautiful architecture of the famous train station.
We were leisurely walking in Chelsea when we saw Le Grainne Cafe, a French restaurant that was packed for a late Saturday brunch (when we arrived for sure, the restaurant emptying as we left). You would think that the name is French, but in fact not really. Yes, there is a word for grain that is very close to that (La Graine), but in fact, Grainne is the name of the Irish owner of the restaurant.
It's been a while since we wanted to go to Stacks Pancake House and Cafe, but I admit that I always got discouraged by the line outside on the weekends. So, when we got an opportunity to go for lunch on a weekday, we did not hesitate. I went there back in 2012, at the time when it did not offer the BBQ menu that was introduced much later.
I was recently invited by NYC Ferry to an influencer event at the Rockaway Brewing Company in Long Island City. NYC Ferry will launch a new service in the Summer stretching 60 miles of waterway routes, so New Yorkers (and others) can discover new parts of the city, taste new flavors and embark on new cultural adventures in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
Opened since 1852, Urbani Truffles is a 6 generation family business that can argue to be the largest purveyor of truffles in the world, with approximately 18,000 truffle hunters, sourcing this delicious fungus mainly in Italy, France, Spain and Australia. Urbani Truffles is not unknown to me as I use some of their products when cooking and I was excited when invited to their truffle lab for a happy hour of truffle burgers and beer
My cousin Sarah was visiting and wanted to have a burger, a classic dish representing Americana. She lives in the U.K. Where they often go to Shake Shack that has an outpost (maybe several) in London, so not craving it, but still wanting to eat one in New York. She told us that she heard good things about Black Iron Burger, but, based on a previous disappointing experience there, I persuaded her to go 5 Napkin Burger, one of my top burger places in the city.