Eggs Benedict at Sel De Mer in Brooklyn, NY

image of Sel De Mer in Brooklyn, NY

As we had to be in Williamsbug on a Sunday afternoon, I looked on google map for restaurants nearby the location we were going to and noticed Sel de Mer. I rapidly glanced at the menu and proposed to Jodi to go there for brunch. 
image of Sel De Mer in Brooklyn, NY

The inside of the restaurant fits the name, decorated with sailors portraits as well as objects all related to the sea. I wonder if the owner comes from the Bretagne region (Brittany) in France as the theme is definitely from there.
image of bread and water at Sel De Mer in Brooklyn, NY

As we were waiting for our food to come, they gave us some bread and butter, the latter being topped with crystals of salt (in France, salted butter is mainly eaten in the Bretagne region).
image of bread with salted butter at Sel De Mer in Brooklyn, NY

Then, came our dishes. For brunch, they have a small menu, with a majority of egg dishes. So we went for that. Jodi got the eggs and avocado.

image of eggs and avocado at Sel De Mer in Brooklyn, NY

The dish was composed of crushed avocado, cilantro, two poached eggs, on toasted baguette, mixed greens and home fries. As Jodi does not like poached eggs, she asked them to cook them longer, request that they executed without any problem. This was a very good dish, refreshing, the restaurant not being shy on the amount of avocado they put in it.

On my side, I got the Eggs De Mer:
image of salmon benedict at Sel De Mer in Brooklyn, NY

It was two perfectly poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, sambuca cured salmon on an english muffin, with mixed greens and home fries. This was delicious: they put a nice amount of salmon that was both fatty and delicate. It was simple but well executed. We also both got the home fries and these also were perfect: crunchy, cooked all the way through, probably baked rather than fried.

This was a great brunch and the eggs were delicious and...cheap. This is definitely a place I want to go back to, for brunch, but most certainly for dinner as they seem to have some mouth watering seafood dishes.

enjoy (I did)!

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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!

Brunch at DBGB in NYC, New York

image of DBGB in NYC, New York
Being a fan of Daniel Boulud, we decided to go for brunch at DBGB, a bistro located on Bowery. Casual, but a bit trendy! The decor is spectacular, with two different rooms separated by shelves, one of them full of pans and pots "donated" by famous Chefs (Paul Bocuse, who is a legend in France or Gordon Ramsay being some of them). 

image of DBGB in NYC, New York

Both dining rooms are different and carry a different feel: the first one, after the entrance is very casual, modern, bright, with wall covered with mirrors where you can read famous people's quotes. 

image of DBGB in NYC, New York

In the back is the bar, with a wall covered in bottles.

image of DBGB in NYC, New York

Then, there is the second dining room, that is more formal, with shelves all over, mainly occupied by wine bottles. 
image of DBGB in NYC, New York

In the back, is the huge open kitchen. The menu at DBGB features both French and American traditional dishes. For instance, on the French side, you can order the charcuterie plate made of pâté, jambon (ham) or head cheese; they serve also blood sausage or croque Monsieur. On the American side, they have hotdogs as well as burgers. For the latter, they propose a French version, the Frenchie, that I tried! The French touch is: confit pork belly, tomato-onion compote and morbier cheese! 
image of Frenchie burger at DBGB in NYC, New York

The beef patty, that was served on a peppered brioche bun, was perfectly cooked medium and very juicy, to the point that i did not need to add any ketchup or mayo. You could taste the layered components one after the other, delightfully complementing each other.

image of Frenchie burger at DBGB in NYC, New York

The only ingredient I was not a fan of was the arugula and I should have asked not to include it. It was not a big deal though and I have to say that it was a fantastic burger, better than the one at Minetta Tavern and close to the one at Colicchio & Sons! Yes, I dare comparing!!!
The burger was served with some delicious fries, that were crispy as I like them. 

image of oeuf forestier at DBGB in NYC, New York
Jodi ordered the "oeuf forestier", that is in fact two eggs "en cocotte" (baked eggs) served with wild mushrooms, gruyere and herbs. 
image of oeuf forestier at DBGB in NYC, New York

It was a very good dish: the yolk was orange, slightly runny, and they were not cheap on the gruyere and mushrooms! This is definitely a dish I recommend! 
image of DBGB in NYC, New York

This was a great brunch, although the service was a bit slow. But I am looking forward to going back to try some other mouth watering dishes they propose!

Enjoy (I did)!

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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!

Brunch at Craftbar in NYC, New York

image of Tom Colicchio's Craftbar in NYC, New York

I have become a fan of Tom Colicchio: not for his personality on TV, but his food! We tried Colicchio and Sons and the famous TC Burger that is for me the best burger so far in New York City. So, last time, we were close to Union Square, trying to find a place for brunch and decided to try Craftbar as it was on my wish list of restaurants (trust me: it is a very long list). The place is gorgeous: high ceilings, dark wood with a gateway across the restaurant joining the wine cellar that you cannot miss.
image of Tom Colicchio's Craftbar in NYC, New York

Similar to Colicchio and Sons, although a bit industrial looking, there is this sense of space, modernity and warmth. 
image of Tom Colicchio's Craftbar in NYC, New York

For brunch, the menu offers pretty standard brunch dishes, but just reading their description, you know that it is different and you wish you could order everything! After a difficult time to make up our mind, we ordered our food. Jodi ordered the croque Madame:
Image of Croque madame at Tom Colicchio's Craftbar in NYC, New York

Croque Madame is a croque Monsieur with a fried egg. It was served with mustard and pickles.
image of pickles for Croque madame at Tom Colicchio's Craftbar in NYC, New York

What definitely made this dish successful is the sauce Mornay that is the Béchamel sauce with additional shredded or grated cheese. This was fantastic and very filling. 

On my side, I ordered the braised mushrooms and poached eggs:
Image of braised mushrooms and poached eggs at Tom Colicchio's Craftbar in NYC, New York

Even if I preferred the croque Madame, I liked that dish: the eggs were perfectly poached (I hate when the yolk is overcooked), there was a lot of fontina cheese and lots of mushrooms that gave an earthy dimension to the dish and contributed to the balance of flavors.

This was definitely a great brunch and I look forward to going back to try their Craftbar “Double Stack” Burger!!!

Enjoy (I did)!

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Brunch at Nizza in Hell's Kitchen - NYC, New York

Image of Nizza, Italian Trattoria in Hell's Kitchen, NYC, New York

I noticed Nizza few times while walking in Hell's Kitchen and always thought that it would be nice to try it. We ended up there really by chance as we originally wanted to go to another restaurant across the street, that, although we had a reservation, was closed when we arrived! 

It was early and the place was not that crowded. At first, I did not really think about it, but, after looking at the menu and one particular dish that I will describe later, I realized that Nizza means Nice in Italian. Nice is a city South of France, that is close to Italy, that I visited often when I was a kid, to see some Family. But, despite its French translation, Nizza is still an Italian restaurant that serves pizza, pasta...
Image of Nizza, Italian Trattoria in Hell's Kitchen, NYC, New York

The place is nice, yellow being the main pattern to the decor, with an amazing bar.

After we ordered, they brought us some delicious focaccia bread with olive oil.
Image of Focaccia bread and olive oil at Nizza, Italian Trattoria in Hell's Kitchen, NYC, New York

The bread was light, airy and fresh. I could not stop dipping it in the olive oil!

Then, we shared the Gorgonzola crostini:

Image of Gorgonzola crostini at Nizza, Italian Trattoria in Hell's Kitchen, NYC, New York

They were served with dolce latte and a fig jam. It was very good. The bread, that was toasted, had a nice crunch and the Gorgonzola cheese paired very well with the fig jam.

Jodi ordered the Socca:
Image of Socca with eggs at Nizza, Italian Trattoria in Hell's Kitchen, NYC, New York

Socca is a thicker version of a crepe made of chickpea. This is the dish that made me do the link with Nice; although it originated in Genoa, in Italy, you cannot visit Nice and not have Socca! At Nizza, it was served with two over easy eggs, Swiss chard, onions and fontina cheese. I liked it. It is different from the Socca I know, because I use to eat it simply with salt and pepper, but I liked it wen mixed with the eggs (especially the runny yolk) and the cheese.

I ordered the Eggs Benedict:
Image of Eggs benedict at Nizza, Italian Trattoria in Hell's Kitchen, NYC, New York

It was composed of 2 poached eggs, toasted focaccia, Italian ham and parmesan cream sauce. That was fantastic! The eggs were perfectly cooked, with a runny yolk where I delightfully dipped the focaccia bread, adding to the bite some very good ham. 

We skipped dessert as we had to go see a movie, but had a very good brunch at Nizza. In fact, I was very happy that the other restaurant ended up closed....

Enoy (I did)!

And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!
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Burger at Colicchio and Sons in NYC, New York

Last year, we went to Colicchio and Sons for Jodi's Birthday and had a memorable dinner there! In my post (check out my review of Colicchio and Sons here), I mentioned this guy at the bar who ordered a burger that looked delicious. So this time, we decided to try it out! 
Image of the TC burger at Colicchio and Sons in NYC, New York

Imagine this burger, called the TC burger: the blend of meat (apparently secret) is topped with drunken onions (in wine) and aged pecorino cheese, and then gently squeezed between a homemade brioche bun previously toasted. 

The burger was served with homemade BBQ chips and a pickle.

image of TC burger at Colicchio and Sons in NYC, New York

The ratio patty / brioche was perfect and the burger was cooked to the requested temperature (medium) with a nice char outside. When I cut it into two, it rejected lots of juice: definitely not a dry burger and I enjoyed the juiciness of the meat until the last bite (sometimes all the juice is gone and you end up with a dryer piece of meat between your fingers). 
Image of the burger at Colicchio and Sons in NYC, New York

It had fantastic flavors and that day, there was truffle in it (not sure they put some all the time) that we could definitely taste. The meat had a strong taste and did not get overpowered by the aged pecorino or the drunken onions that liberated wine flavors that paired well with the meat. The first bite was divine, as were the ones following it. Quickly, you realize your plate is empty...so sad...

With the burger, were served some BBQ chips that were good, but I wish they were just homemade potato chips; it is just a personal preference though. 
Image of the Pickle from the burger at Colicchio and Sons in NYC, New York

What was great on the plate was the pickle that had a surprising sweetness. It reminded me of an episode of Top Chef where the contestants had to serve a dish where a pickle was the star. CJ decided to serve a burger that was, according to Chef Colicchio not that good. After tasting his, I understand why CJ screwed up...

I would like to mention the service also: I think that Colicchio and Sons knows what hospitality is! The service was courteous, efficient and made us feel welcome. Seems to be the motto there: hospitality! 

To conclude this post, I would say that the TC burger is for me the top in its category (burgers more than $15, this one being $18 at the time of this post). I will definitely recommend it moving forward to the burger fans I know!!!

Enjoy (I surely did)!

And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!
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Brunch at Market Table in NYC, New York

Image of the Entrance of Market Table in the West Village - NYC, New York

We went for brunch on a Sunday with some dear friends to Market Table in the West Village. This place was packed: that was a good sign! When we entered, we could see the kitchen facing the entrance and there was a fantastic buttery smell coming from it. We sat at our table and asked for some coffee and tea, before ordering what would hopefully be a great brunch!

Image of tea and sugar at Market Table in the West Village - NYC, New York

The menu was a normal size for brunch, that I always appreciate as sometimes you end up with a big menu and do not know what to pick. On top of that, I prefer a restaurant that executes well a short menu than a restaurant that is all over the place and serves a bunch of average dishes. 

I decided to order one of my favorites for brunch: the eggs benedict!
Image of Eggs Benedict at Market Table in the West Village - NYC, New York

The poached eggs were served with prosciutto on delicious buttermilk biscuits. I can tell you that these eggs were perfectly cooked! I hate when poached eggs are overcooked!
Image of Yolk of Eggs Benedict at Market Table in the West Village - NYC, New York

The yolk was perfectly runny! There were also few homemade potatoes that were very good. I have to confess that I was surprised at first by the small quantity of potatoes on the plate. But in fact, the biscuits fill you up pretty quickly.

Jodi ordered the bacon, spinach & fontina scramble with whole wheat toasts.
Image of bacon, spinach & fontina scramble with whole wheat toasts at Market Table in NYC, New York


The eggs were perfect too: moist, not overcooked, they had a nice quantity of fontina cheese in it. Pretty nice dish.

Market Table is a nice choice for brunch, although a bit overpriced for the quantity served (the eggs benedict were $16, same price as the burger). I might go back to try their pancakes or braised duck possole though...Oh, and I forgot to mention that you can leave a comment or note on the notebook they use to bring you the bill!
Image of comment book at Market Table in NYC, New York

Enjoy (I did)!

Market Table on Urbanspoon

Brunch at Locanda Verde in Tribeca - NYC, New York

Image of Locanda Verde in Tribeca, NYC, New York
Tribeca is a splendid neighborhood in downtown Manhattan: quiet, it is known for its Film Festival thanks to Robert De Niro, celebrities (Robert De Niro - again- with his restaurants) and its luxurious lofts that I unfortunately only saw on TV shows! 
Image of tea at Locanda Verde in Tribeca, NYC, New York

Jodi and I wanted to go for brunch and I got the idea of Tribeca from my last visit there, to review Thalassa (check the review of Thalassa here). I looked up for restaurant and found Locanda Verde, where Chef Andrew Carmellini serves Italian cuisine. It is a gorgeous place with high ceiling in the tradition of Tribeca, wood everywhere and leather banquettes. There was definitely a warm atmosphere mixed with a feeling that it is the hype place to see and to be seen. In fact, couple of minutes after we came, we saw Katie Holmes and Suri!!!

We decided to share an appetizer and then have each an entree. We started off with the Sheep’s Milk Ricotta:

Image of Sheep's milk ricotta at Locanda Verde in Tribeca, NYC, New York
It was served with some toasted bread (burnt orange as they say, but not sure I tasted the orange flavor), truffle honey and herbs. It was very light, refreshing and delicate. You could definitely taste the truffle and I loved the sweetness of the honey that was accentuated by the cheese, ricotta being not very tasty if eaten alone. It was the perfect appetizer to share. A bit more honey would have been better considering the generous amount of ricotta they give you.

Then, Jodi got the zucchini frittata:
Image of Zucchini frittata at Locanda Verde in Tribeca, NYC, New York

It was served with roasted tomatoes and goat cheese. This was just ok for me: the eggs were well cooked and moist, but the zucchini could have been cooked a bit more. I also expected more goat cheese and there was only a tiny portion of it!

I ordered the Soft Scrambled Farm Egg Crostino:
Image of Soft scrambled Farm eggs crostino at Locanda Verde in Tribeca, NYC, New York

It is in fact scrambled eggs, served on a piece of toasted bread, accompanied by some speck and a salad made with leeks and mushrooms. The scrambled eggs were perfect: not overcooked, they were fluffy and moist. However, the salad was way too salty! A good dish though!

We skipped dessert as we wanted to have it somewhere else...

I enjoyed my dish and the appetizer, but the frittata was just ok. It is a good place though, but a bit pricey, that is not surprising for Tribeca...

Enjoy (I did)!

And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!
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Press dinner and follow up brunch at Jeanne et Gaston in NYC, New York

Image of Jeanne et Gaston in NY, New York
I was recently invited to a press dinner at Jeanne et Gaston, a French restaurant located in the West Village. I then decided to go back for brunch to see if the impression I got from the dinner would be right! So, this post is about the dinner and the brunch!

First, know that the owner and French Chef Claude Godard is a third generation Chef who has the title of Maitre Cuisinier de France. It is an envied title, obtained in a competition and given to a Chef who will follow the motto “to preserve and spread the French culinary arts, encourage training in cuisine, and assist professional development.” This is a big deal and a guaranty to eat some authentic French food! 
Image of Jeanne et Gaston in NY, New York

The restaurant, named after the Chef's Grand Mother Jeanne and his Grand Father Gaston, is of medium size, with a warm ambiance thanks to its bricks and wooden tables.

One of the main feature that will be great during warm weather is the garden.
image of the garden at Jeanne et Gaston in NY, New York
Courtesy of Jeanne et Gaston

Round 1 - Press Dinner:

So here I am for this press dinner in a French restaurant. I am asked if I will be pickier because the chef is a fellow Frenchman: I do not think so, especially knowing that most of the Chefs try give a modern flair or elevate traditional dishes. 
They first brought us some bread and butter:
Image of bread at Jeanne et Gaston in NY, New York

The bread was a cute little baguette that was warm and delightfully crispy. I would eat that bread at each meal!

Then, we started off with some Charcuterie:

Image of Assiette de charcuterie at Jeanne et Gaston in NY, New York

It was a wooden plank with different meats and some duck liver mousse. The meats were: rosette de Lyon (cured saucisson or French pork sausage), garlic sausage and prosciutto. For sure, I paid more attention to the duck liver mousse as it was the only part of the dish that was made by the Chef! The mousse was very light and tasty. I think I noticed a hint of alcohol in it...I could have eaten a whole plate of it!

The second appetizer was sea scallops with a creamy polenta and carrot and cardamon sauce.
Image of Scallops with creamy polenta at Jeanne et Gaston in NY, New York

The presentation was beautiful! The scallops were well cooked with a nice sear and were not rubbery. The polenta was delicious: very creamy and not grainy. It paired well with the carrot sauce. Problem is that I do not really like cardamon and it sometimes overpowered the dish. Without the cardamon, this dish would have been a total hit for me!!!

Then came the first entree: a quenelle in a nantua sauce.
Image of Quenelle with Nantua sauce at Jeanne et Gaston in NY, New York

Think about quenelle as a dumpling. This one was a traditional one, made with pike. When I was a kid, the only version of quenelle I knew was the one in a can. In France, you can find a wide variety of quenelle made with pike or chicken and many different sauces. It is only later that I tried a fresh one: much lighter and tastier than the canned one! I think I saw some at Whole Foods even!!!
Anyway, this one was very light and not fishy at all. However, there was at some point some fishy taste in the Nantua sauce (consists of bechamel, cream and crayfish). This was my least favorite dish although I loved the quenelle itself.

The second entree was a roasted duck filet served with red cabbage and grape reduction.
Image of Duck in grapes sauce at Jeanne et Gaston in NY, New York

I loved it! The duck was slightly pink and moist. The grape reduction was delicious and not sweet! It was a perfect dish and I would surely order that again! Having red cabbage and a grape reduction was a great idea, far from the traditional sides you would eat with duck.

For dessert, we got a brioche pudding diplomat and a raspberry souffle.
Image of Brioche pudding and raspberry souffle at Jeanne et Gaston in NY, New York

The desserts rocked! I am still drooling thinking about the pudding! It was dense, buttery and served slightly warm, with chocolate valrona ice cream to die for and a vanilla sauce.
The rasperry souffle was a nice change to the regular chocolate souffle. A bit sweet, it had a nice fruity taste.
Image of Wine at Jeanne et Gaston in NY, New York

I almost forgot to mention their nice French wine selection, from Bordeaux to Bourgogne. We were able to taste the following:
  • Bourgogne Chardonnay Kimmerigien 2010, Domaine Brocard
  • Jurancon sec 2010, Chateau Jolys
  • Fronton classic 2009, Chateau Brouissel
So it was a great tasting and so I decided to go back for Brunch before writing this post, to see if going as any customer would change my mind on this restaurant.

Round 2 - Brunch:

For brunch, Jeanne et Gaston offers mainly French dishes, as well as (very) few classic american brunch dishes, such as the French toast or the burger. They offer a brunch prix fixe for $18 (at the time this post is written) that includes an appetizer and an entree.

Jodi picked the prix fixe and ordered the crispy goat cheese with a tomato sauce for the appetizer and the scrambled eggs with a potato cake, bacon and sausages.
Image of Crispy goat cheese at Jeanne et Gaston in NY, New York

The crispy goat cheese was in fact goat cheese and veggies in a phyllo that is fried and served with a salad with a julienne made of at least carrots and zucchini. It was very good and the phyllo added a nice crispiness to a dish that had a lot of freshness. The tomato sauce was excellent and reminded me of a russian dressing.
Image of Scrambled eggs at Jeanne et Gaston in NY, New York

The scrambled eggs were fantastic: exactly how I like them! Not overcooked, moist and fluffy! There were herbs in it and I think I guessed some scallion. The potato cake was a nice pairing and was similar to hash brown, but shaped into a cake. Serving the dish with meat was generous, but considering the quantity of food, if they would not have put any, it would not have been a problem!!!

On my side, I decided to order the Jeanne et Gaston burger as I heard it was real good:
Image of Brie burger at Jeanne et Gaston in NY, New York

First of all, it was well presented and very appetizing. The cheese on top of the burger was camembert that hopefully will not offend cheese lovers...I think brie or camembert are a great way of serving a cheese burger! And they were really generous with the quantity of cheese! 
The meat, that sat on a soft bun with a bit of crispiness on the bottom, was perfectly cooked (I asked for medium), moist and very tasty. I noticed the same tomato sauce that was served with the crispy goat cheese appetizer. Delish! I would definitely recommend their burger that is far better than the one at The Spotted Pig and was worth the $18!
Last, the fries were nice and crispy, not greasy. I just wish they had mayonnaise to eat with it...

Conclusion:
I think it was great to go back to Jeanne et Gaston to try their brunch after this fantastic tasting I was invited to. It gives me more reasons to think that this is a place to know. And note that this is one of the best brunch deals in the city! 

Enjoy (I did)!

Jeanne & Gaston on Urbanspoon


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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!

Brunch at The Standard Grill in NYC, New York

The meatpacking district is an interesting neighborhood, filled with renown restaurants, some of them with a crowd a bit pretentious and obnoxious, making it a great area for people watching. This is where also people go to see celebrities...We ended up there for brunch after a friend's recommendation. It was for sure packed and the service suffered a little bit of it, although it was very courteous and tried to satisfy any demand we had.


Each table had some cute kissing dogs that were in fact salt and pepper, that you could purchase (I am sure some people did!).

So we started off with the Bibb Royale:
It was bibb lettuce with a white-wine dijon vinaigrette and chives. This is my favorite lettuce and it was nicely made and delicately presented.

Then, they had a soup of the day: a chilled carrot soup.

It was the first time I had a carrot soup and to serve it chilled was perfect as it was a hot day: very refreshing!

Then, we shared some homemade cinnamon sugar donuts:
They were fantastic! Not greasy, airy with a scrumptious cinnamon sugar coating.

Following the donuts coma, Jodi got her scrambled eggs that she ordered:
They definitely know how to make scrambled eggs: fluffy and very moist! If it was not for Jodi, I would have eaten her plate!!!

On my side, I got the Belgian waffle with buttered rum, walnuts and bananas:
That was a great waffle: crispy outside and chewy at the same time. You could definitely taste the rum also...

For sure we had a sugar coma after leaving The Standard Grill! It was one of the best brunches I had in NYC!

Enjoy (I did)!


And Remember: I Just Want To Eat! The Standard Grill on Urbanspoon

Restaurant review - Bobo (NYC)

Salt and Pepper at Bobo in NYC, New York

Salt and Pepper at Bobo in NYC, New York

Bobo is a restaurant located in the West Village whose name comes from the contraction "Bourgeois" - "Bohemian" (people from upper class leaving a bohemian inspired life, e.g. simple and non materialistic). 

The restaurant is located in a brownstone and the entrance is below street level. They have a garden, but there is no shade. The interior is really nicely decorated with tables made of old wood that gives a special atmosphere to the place.

Blueberry muffin  at Bobo in NYC, Ne  w York

Blueberry muffin at Bobo in NYC, New York

Cherries  at Bobo in NYC, Ne  w York

Cherries at Bobo in NYC, New York

The brunch menu offers a variety of typical brunch items: eggs, french toast, burger, etc...We tried the french toast and the crab cakes benedict. The french toast were awesome: served with oatmeal streusel (crumbled) and bananas. You need a solid appetite to finish them (I guess no problem for me...)!

French toast  at Bobo in NYC, Ne  w York

French toast at Bobo in NYC, New York

The crab cakes were just ok: they were served with supposedly béarnaise sauce (did not really taste like it) and mache salad. The eggs were cooked perfectly, but I felt they should have served them with the english muffins so you can dip them in the sauce and the egg yolk. The crab cakes contained too much bread crumbs and not enough lump crab.

Crab cakes benedict  at Bobo in NYC, Ne  w York

Crab cakes benedict at Bobo in NYC, New York

Despite that, I would recommend this restaurant and next time, for brunch, we will try the griddled cheese (goat cheese, cheddar and gruyere!!!). We will definitely try the dinner that seems yummy.

Enjoy (I did)!

If you like this post, the photos or the blog, please feel free to comment or share it! Merci!

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