Opening today is Icelandic Fish and Chips, an outpost of a restaurant that opened in 2006 in Reykjavik, Iceland, that proposes an elevated version of fish and chips, trying to make it healthier. How? Besides of using fresh fish, they replaced eggs and wheat with spelt. Spelt absorbs less oil and creates a lighter coating with still a crunchy texture. For chips, instead of frying potato wedges, they roast them in the oven before tossing them in parsley and Icelandic salt. If you are not really into potatoes, you can also go for the onion rings.
So, it all started with a discussion with my friend David about Korean BBQ and a "let's set a date for that!" No, 5 Napkin Burger does not serve Korean BBQ, but it gives you the setting for what would be a wonderful evening. The date was set, but our friends asked to go to 5 Napkin as they heard about it and were eager to try their juicy burger. After a quick reservation on OpenTable, here we are, at their location near Union Square.
There are places like Gaudi Café where the expression "do not judge a book by its cover" is undeniably applicable. I thought it was a café and we ended up having a great culinary experience. The decor inside is nice, more cozy than your traditional Café. The owner, Laurent Ibanez named the place as an hommage to the architect and designer, perfectly matching the creativity he instills in his kitchen.
La ferme à Dédé in Sassenage is a great find. This place serves some of the classic dishes from the Grenoble region, from raclette to ravioles, as well as products from the terroir. I love the rustic decor with the various farm tools all other, a rustic feel that we would retrieve in the way they serve dishes.
So'Krep is an interesting place. Located few steps from Grenoble city center or from the city art museum, it looks like a fast food place from outside, especially because of the bright colors of the chairs and facade. But it is in fact a fairly good crêperie, serving two kinds: the galette made with buckwheat and the crepes made with regular flour.
I love finding small places that provide not only good food, but also an outstanding service. That's the way I feel about La Petite Idée, a small restaurant that serves classic French dishes. I was excited to go there, having checked their menu the day before and already knowing what I would order. When we arrived, the restaurant was packed (we had a reservation), and emptied little by little, people going back to work.
Meet the cats from Néko Café, a cat bar located in Grenoble city center. It was our first time in such place and we love it (we have a cat at home named Whitney, so yes, we love cats). Going there requires a minimum of precautions. First, there are two doors that separate the café from the street, a sort of safe measure to avoid an escape.
Junior's has a new location and I could not resist to go there few days after their opening! I love Junior's and I am glad they opened other locations, not only in New York in fact as they opened at Boca Raton in Florida. So, the new location on 49th street and Broadway is quite big, looking more modern that its sister a couple of blocks away, with the feel of a modern deli, keeping the vibrant orange theme omnipresent.
This week, I was invited at Uncle Jack's, the famous steakhouse from TV personality William Degel who was a steakhouse owner before going on TV rather than just investing in a restaurant thinking that your name solely will bring patrons. Lots of celebrities who invest in the restaurant industry have no clue what the day to day of a restaurant is; it is not the case with William Degel who is fully immersed in the process, even sometimes hand picking the meat from his purveyors who are mainly in Omaha, Nebraska, probably less now that he is busy with his career and multiple restaurants. I went to their location Midtown West that opened back in 2004 and it was not the first time as it was one of the first steakhouse I reviewed after starting my blog in 2011.
Jodi had a pop up show in Long Island City, right across from the LIC Flea and Food Market. As we finished setting up her paintings and were looking for a place to eat, I proposed to go there. It was really my first time in this area and I was really impressed by the neighborhood, especially the river bank with its huge Pepsi Co. sign that you can see from the East side of Manhattan.
Each time we come back from Europe, there is one meal I want to have: burger! And we decided to go to Birch Hoboken, a place that opened two months ago. With a concept similar to Black Tap Burger, I was really curious to see how they would measure up and I was not disappointed: the food at Birch Hoboken is way better than Black Tap. The burgers are tastier and better cooked (I asked for medium and I got a juicy medium patty) and the milkshakes are not a big mess.
Opened June 1st by veteran restaurateurs Salim Rahman (Tajmahal, Bay Leaf, Tikka Indian Grill) and Amin Ruhel (Tripti, Dipali), Mumbai Masala Indian Grill is a new eatery in the Hamilton Heights and Sugar Hill areas of New York City. I am always excited to try new restaurants, even more when they just opened and our visit at Mumbai Masala Indian Grill did not disappoint us.
This week, was in a way BBQ week: before going to the Big Apple BBQ Block Party, I was in fact invited to a wonderful evening at the Grilling University by McCormick where I learned a lot about grilling technics. If you cook, whether you have a grill or not, you probably stumbled upon products from McCormick and you might have some in your kitchen. Well, I do.
Today I feasted at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party at Madison Square Park, an annual celebration of BBQ. Yes, if you are vegetarian, no need to bother: this is not for you as choices are extremely limited. The Big Apple BBQ Block Party is for meat lovers and it features a bunch of places from all over the country, from Alabama to Texas. We went during lunch time and was quite crowded, full of people excited like me to try some amazing food or simply look at some of the spectacular smokers there.
For her birthday, Jodi wanted to go for Mexican food. I asked some of my colleagues who suggested some places. The problem with these: they did not have guacamole! So, I finally found Habanero Blues on Opentable. When we arrived, I realized that we passed so many times in front of it, but the crowd was a bit of a deterrent...Fortunately, on a Monday night, it was not a problem: the place was not that crowded and kind of quiet, until approximately 8pm when the music started (or at least started to be more noticeable) and people started to arrive.
It has been a while since we wanted to go to Mexicue and decided to have dinner there on a Monday night, right before traveling to Europe, our fridge being empty. I like the concept that is a fusion between Mexican cuisine and BBQ, hence the name. I think it is a great idea and, for sure, they seem to have mastered it, proposing lots of interesting dishes, from tacos to sliders that include classic BBQ items such as pulled pork or smoked brisket.
Meaning "King of the village", Badshah Modern Indian is the latest venture of Abishek Sharma (who gave us Surya) and Executive Chef Charles Mani aka Chef Charlie that I met as he was going from table to table to inquire about the food. He told me that he cooks fresh ingredients found at the farmers' Market and proposes a menu that will change from time to time so it does not bore his diners, as well as himself, keeping only classics that people expect to see on the menu.
There is a new business in Hoboken and I am glad it is not another barber shop or nail salon! No, this time it is a coffee shop: Bluestone Lane Coffee. Importing the concept from Australia, you would wonder what this place has that is so different and unique. Well, it would not be the first coffee shop opening around here, Bwè being one for instance. No, but there are few things that I like about it. First is their coffee that varies from visit to visit. It is a single origin coffee that they source from the Rainforest Alliance that visits farms and certifies them for sustainability on three pillars of social, environmental and economic responsibility.
For my birthday, we went to the restaurant of my choice and I picked Cut by Wolfgang Puck, located in TriBeCa. Nice place, big and trendy, I soon regretted my choice, the noise level being high, the music in the background not helping. It was also pretty dark, that is not something I would ever understand as I always think that you eat first with your eyes. At some point we could have had more light when my menu started to burn after being pushed on top of the candle, as I was taking photos of the gougeres (cheese puffs) and bread sticks...