If you love pizza, there is no way you do not know about Grimaldi's the eponymous pizza restaurant opened by Patsy Grimaldi years ago in Brooklyn. Some consider that it is the best pizza in New York, surpassing Lombardi that is the oldest pizzeria in the US. Others say it is Di Fara, but, at the time of this post, I did not try this place yet...
I am a bit late to post on my dinner at Mr Chow in TriBeCa: we went there for Winter Restaurant Week 2016. This is a popular, trendy, noisy place for sure and I admit that I was not sure what to expect. After looking at their Restaurant Week menu, we decided finally to order from the regular menu as the Restaurant Week menu they proposed did not allow us to share, Jodi being more inclined to order the vegetarian items on the prix-fixe and me preferring the non-vegetarian ones.
American Cut is a take on steakhouse from acclaimed Chef Marc Forgione. There is no doubt that Marc Forgione is talented, gratifying us with amazing food in his eponymous restaurant, but also at Khe-Yo, an elegant Laotian place, also located in TriBeCa, where the food is as fantastic as the music is loud. I had American Cut on my list for a while and was excited to finally try it.
So, I discovered Bangkok Cuisine last Friday and I admit that it is probably one of the most beautiful Thai places I have been so far in the City. With its decor that is an homage to the palaces in Thailand, you cannot miss the beautiful Buddha in the center, that separates the bar area that has few tables, from the main dining room. The owners (it is a family owned business that started in 1974 and has multiple locations) put a lot of details there, including a waterfall that would mask a bit the street noise and provide a calming white noise.
I must have passed in front of White Street without even noticing it so many times that I was really surprised when we arrived in front of it for our dinner. It is an impressive restaurant for sure, located in a 19th Century building that was a former armory. Today, the only weapon you would find are the knives and forks from the diners coming to indulge there. The space is elegant and I did not expect such sophistication. At the entrance is the wine cellar, fully opened.
We passed Joy Burger Bar many, many times, saying that we should go there to see if their burgers are good. But I admit that we never had the opportunity to go there, my list of restaurants to try being like Sysiphe's well: endless. Until we were looking for a place close to W4th street, walking down Avenue of The Americas.
I wanted to go to International Wings Factory for a while, after seeing a mouth watering photo from my friend Malini, The Restaurant Fairy, on Instagram. I love wings, a dish that I discovered in France, at...Pizza Hut! Ok, not sure this is a good reference, but, at the time, it was the only place where I could get wings. Since then, I think I caught up on years of not knowing and most importantly indulging in what I consider a guilty pleasure. So I was thrilled to discover the jewel that Chef Deepak Ballaney, a Culinary Institute of America alumni, opened 4 years ago.
It seems that the Financial health of the City is measured by the number of steakhouses. Well, I guess that it is true and, considering the number of steakhouses that opened in the few years, we would think we are beyond a recovery. The last one I discovered is Rocco Steakhouse, located North of Madison Square Park: a classic American steakhouse, opened 7 months ago, that is named after of one of the owners, Rocco Trotta, who, with Pete Pjetrovic and Jeff Kolenovic, succeeded in creating an inviting space with a menu, crafted by Executive Chef Johnny Jevric. It is definitely not your old school steakhouse, with heavy decor and low light: it was bright and I was glad that the noise level was acceptable, allowing us to have a nice conversation while indulging.
If there is one event I am always looking forward to in Hoboken, it is the food trucks at Pier 13. Food trucks are great: a good way to try different food at a reasonable price, with various trucks coming each week end and even every night during the Summer, in a setting overlooking the beautiful New York skyline. I like the relaxed atmosphere there and the variety of food served that can satisfy the non-vegetarian, the vegetarian, as well as people with a sweet tooth (well, I am all of this, so it is even better). So you can pay cash at the trucks, they conveniently installed an ATM machine that I do not remember was there last year.
How did I end up at The Brazen Fox? Well, simply after winning a bet where the price was...bone marrow. Originally, we were supposed to go to Swine to get their bone marrow burger, but, we discovered that they are closed on Mondays. So, after looking on the internet, our plan B was The Brazen Fox in the East Village. This place is a bar, located on 13th and 3rd avenue. Quite big, it has two floors, the second floor being probably quieter and overlooking the street for those who like people watching...from the top...
Menu wise, they have snacks, small plates as well as large plates. But I went for one and only one dish: the "roo burger", understand kangaroo burger. I had kangaroo before, not as a burger, but a steak, when I was living in France, at a time when kangaroo and ostrich meat became a novelty, offering a healthier alternative to beef. Kangaroo has a very particular taste, far from beef and closer to venison, with a strong gamey flavor.
Church Street Tavern is the kind of place that could be on top of my list, but is not because of the multiple issues we had with the service. I rarely comment on service unless it is exceptional. For poor service, I rarely do it because I understand that waiters are not in control of everything. Could the kitchen be the problem for instance? They could also be understaffed for whatever reason. Well, at Church Street Tavern, the issue was our waiter. First, if your patrons do not feel like having a drink, you should not make them sense you are disappointed because your tip will be lower, the bill not matching your expectations.
I have been a fan of Dominique Ansel way before he made headlines with the Cronut. My ultimate pick at his bakery is the DKA or Dominique Kouign Amman, a buttery mount of deliciousness that makes me drool just thinking about it. And guess what? You may have to queue up at 5am for the Cronut, you do not need to for the DKA! But don't get me wrong, the Cronut is delicious and sort of have a French touch to the doughnuts, creating a craze that seems to have worn off.
Last Saturday, we went for brunch to Maman (mom in French), a new up and coming place in TriBeCa. I cannot remember what was in that location, but Maman is surely a good addition in the neighborhood, proposing family inspired recipes from France and North America, thanks to the association of Chef Armand Arnal, Benjamin Sormone and Elisa Marshall.
I was looking for a burger place near TriBeCa when I stumbled upon Breakroom Burger and Tacos. First, the combination of burger and tacos was fairly interesting, although there is already Burger and Lobster, so why not that one! Then, it is in the heart of Chinatown, between a bail bondsman and an acupuncturist. Small place for sure, it is better to either come early or with a small party. When we arrived, we were lucky to be able to sit in the last two tables available, next to the counter that was blasting some terrible music that I hoped would never be in a Christmas gift.
To start our lunch, we went for the guacamole, small size. I admit that I was expecting smaller and was surprised by the amount of tortilla chips it came with. Usually you have to ask for more, but not at Dos Caminos. It also came with three sauces from mild to hot. I liked the hot one, that, although quite spicy I could not stop going back to.