It's been a while since we went to The Hoboken Gourmet Company, always discouraged by the wait in that small place that truly has a neighborhood feel. But the 4th of July came and allowed us to dine there for brunch. The issue with going to a restaurant on that day is often they are short staffed (they did a good job anyway and apologized for the lack of attention that we apparently got - did not really notice) or the shortage of ingredients (the Chef left the place saying "I need sourdough" and coming back minutes later with a back from a fine grocery store close by).
One night, we decided to go to a restaurant in Hell's Kitchen with our friends Ciara and David, when we stumbled upon Yum Yum Too, the sister restaurant of Yum Yum, a Thai place located a block away, that I often saw in commercials at the movie theater few years ago. The place was quiet, although full. We started off by trying few drinks. David had a cocktail that I admit I cannot name, but remember had a nice cantaloupe taste...and color. On my side, I went for my usual Thai iced tea that was perfect.
Last year, I finally made it to Delmonico, the famous steakhouse located in the Financial District and was curious to see what Delmonico's Kitchen would have to offer. It is quite a large place with a bar area at the entrance, a dining room next to it and a private party room behind the wine racks, all of them having different light settings.
512 Washington Street has like a curse: every restaurant that tried to open there closed few months ago. But then came Charrito's, a Mexican restaurant with already two successful locations in Hoboken. We went there for brunch and dinner and had a great time in both occasions. Although there are not that many vegetarian options, their food is delicious, especially their guacamole that is made table side and is a must have. The place is nice, big and colorful, with a dining room in the back.
We were looking for a seafood restaurant Midtown and decided to go to Blue Fin, the restaurant of the posh W Hotel in Times Square. I admit that we were not sure what to expect as many restaurants in that area care more about foot traffic than returning satisfied customers. And you know what? I was pleasantly surprised!
We were in Bushwick, Brooklyn for a media event and then looking for a place to eat. Our first choice was Roberta's a popular pizza joint that was unfortunately packed, having an hour wait that we did not even consider. Our backup plan was Momo Sushi Shack with large communal tables and I did not have too many regrets that our first choice did not work. Overall, the food at Momo, consisting in the large majority of small plates with a wide range of Japanese specialties, was good, but they were short in staff that day and the food took a bit of time to come.
My friends have been talking about B Side Pizzabar so many times that we decided to go after I came back from a trip from France. This place, located in Hell's Kitchen, has a nice rustic decor, quite warm. Quite minimalist as is the menu that Chef Jason Neroni crafted, that features some quite creative pizza cooked in their authentic Pavesi wood-burning oven.
I love lobster rolls and always mention the fact that French people are always surprised to hear that such a delicacy that is lobster can be served in a sandwich! But when they try, they get hooked. I did for sure. I remember the first time I tried it: it was at the food truck festival in South Street Seaport. After eating the food from food trucks, here it was: the Red Hook Lobster Pound. I remember the big chunks of lobster simply cooked in butter, the almighty crustacean being the star of the dish. Since then, I tried quite a few, but Mary's Fish Camp was missing from my list.
I recently received some bottles of Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce. Little I knew that this company has been created by Dexter Holland, the lead singer of The Offspring, a multi-platinum American Punk Rock band. I still remember some of their songs that were really popular when I lived in France. Apparently, Interestingly, the adventure started as gifts to friends:
Known for its burger, but also pizza, Emily opened recently in the West Village after feeding an hungry crowd in Brooklyn. I was really looking forward to trying that place and we got an early reservation there. Well, maybe too early and we were the first ones to arrive for dinner, diners arriving a bit later, especially families with kids. The place is of a nice size with lots of light thanks to its large windows.
Back in May, we celebrated Jodi's birthday at Habanero Blues, a Mexican restaurant located Midtown Manhattan. There, we had a great time and very good food, certainly thinking about going back. Little we knew that one of the owners, Willy Reichenbach would invite me few months after for a meal there. Willy is a great guy, with lots of energy and passionate about the restaurant and ensuring his patrons have a great time. He gave me a few bits of interesting info about the place:
I went to The Great Kabab Factory two years ago and forgot that this all you can eat place serves a phenomenal amount of food, to the point that, to my regret, I skipped dessert...Located in a hotel, the Radisson Blu (formerly Park Plaza), this is a nice place, with the dining room overlooking the kitchen that I only photographed at the end, busy talking to my colleagues explaining why the photo shows an empty room.
Each time I go to Delhi, I end up at Bukhara, the world famous restaurant. Don't be fooled by restaurant using that name: they are not part of the brand created by ITC and they try to use the notoriety of this fantastic establishment. I love this place that is a bit touristy but still serves some amazing food prepared in the kitchen that you can observe from the dining room (the first time I went there, I even got a tour of the kitchen).
During my last trip to India, i was really curious about the influence of the West on food, not that it is a new topic as chains like McDonald's or KFC have been present there for a long time, adapting their menu like, in any country where they invest, but with the added rule of not serving beef, cows being considered a sacred animal. I went to a mall in Noida as well as a tech center in Gurgaon, the Cyber Hub, where there were lots of chains that we know, reminding me a bit of Singapore.
Le Relais de Venise, the outpost of the French restaurant that simply serves steak frites smothered in a secret sauce that one believes has chicken liver in it, has opened a new location in Soho. A big place with the same feel and decor. Not French but Italian, with big paintings representing life in Venice. No, you are not mistaken: I said Italian. I love the story of Le Relais de Venise. It all started in 1959, when a winemaker named Paul Gineste de Saurs decided to buy an Italian restaurant in Paris with the intention to use it to showcase the wine produced by his family, Château de Saurs, wine still proposed at the restaurant.
When you are a blogger and get an invitation from PRs and restaurants, it is always tricky as one would wonder how objective you would be. I always follow certain rules: always disclose that I was invited, be honest about the food (if I do not like it, I will write it), never talk about the service as they know that you are coming for a review and for sure will give you extra attention. People sometimes ask me: if you get invited and do not like the food at all, what do you do? Frankly, I would not post as a courtesy to the person who invited me. Benares is an interesting case though: I went two years ago and did not like it.
It has been so long since I wanted to go to Sik Gaek in Woodside to try their live octopus, but I needed to find adventurous people to come with me to have a fun experience as Jodi categorically and understandably refused to come with me. So, I went on a Friday night with two of my colleagues, Abe and Fabien. I was not sure what to expect besides a crowded restaurant: not crowded when we showed up at approx. 6:45pm, but then, it filled up with quite a lot of people there to enjoy Korean food.