We went for a long walk towards West New York, looking for a place to dine when we stumbled upon PF Chang’s in West New York. I have never been to this place that I heard about in few episodes of Top Chef and was curious to try it. We got a table fairly quickly, although the place was quite crowded.
It’s been a while since we wanted to try Spa Diner in downtown Hoboken, not that we thought it would be an amazing cuisine, but more for the fact that diners are typical American restaurants that are apparently slowly disappearing in big cities. Yes, when you go to a diner, unless it is an upscale version like Brooklyn Diner, you are expecting comforting and cheap food. But I admit that I was a bit disappointed with Spa Diner: they say they “go the extra smile”, when In fact the service was a bit rude and not as welcoming as their slogan says. Food wise, I did not like it much either and prefer Malibu Diner on the Uptown part of Hoboken. Here is what we had:
We were walking on Vernon Avenue in Long Island City when we saw Tamashii Blue, a Japanese restaurant serving ramen. The weather being a bit cold, we decided to dine there, looking forward to it as we did not have ramen in a while. Service was good and courteous and the appetizer delicious, but less than one hour after leaving the place, I got a massive headache that I guess was from the food, maybe MSG, I do not know. So, no, I would not go back...
You could pass in front of Scalini Fedeli in TriBeCa without even noticing a place that is worth knowing. Beautiful restaurant with a sophisticated decor that could intimidate diners looking for a casual Italian place, Scalini Fedeli serves an amazing menu crafted by Executive chef Michael Cetrulo. But know that they only serve a prix-fixe dinner that for $75 is a great deal. Here is what we had:
There are places where you know you went and had a bad experience but do not remember why. And then suddenly it comes back like a flashback. This is how I felt when we had dinner at Lola’s, a tapas restaurant in Hoboken: wait staff overwhelmed, kitchen backed up, and few vegetarian choices. And a classic Spanish dish not that good, quite dry: yes, I’ll pass on the tortilla española. Too bad because some of the food was really good there. Here is what we had:
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…