Ramen-Ya Samurai Edition is the second location of Ramen-Ya, a place I discovered a couple of years ago. Bigger than its sister restaurant, the Samurai Edition, the food there was delicious and quite comforting, especially in cold temperatures.
We recently went to LIC Market, a seasonal restaurant located in Long Island City. It was right after the first day of open studio event in Jodi's building where she showed some amazing work. I really like this place, not only because of the delicious food, but also because it has this neighborhood feel: yes, the kind of place you would want near you. With its rustic decor and a covered patio in the back, LIC Market prints its menu on a daily basis, offering a large number of dishes that are perfect for sharing.
Alright: I admit that when I reserved a table at Davio’s, I knew it was an Italian Steakhouse but thought it was another spot that I saw previously, wandering around...Well, that was a happy mistake: Davio’s is a great spot if you want a delicious steak in a nice setting. The service, although a bit slow was good and at least I could see my food...I also appreciated the noise level that allowed us to have a nice conversation; well, until the table next to us came...I mean you just needed one loud guy to spoil a bit the whole thing: it drives me crazy!
I recently went to an event at Capital Grille in the Chrysler Center, near Grand Central and admit that I was blown away. Usually, when you go to a luncheon or dinner like this, you get a prix-fixe, like that time, and the food is good but not outstanding, similar to what you often get when eating in a place for Restaurant Week. In fact, I tested one of my favorite steakhouses few years ago for Restaurant Week and was so disappointed: the meat served was definitely of a lower quality. So, my expectations for The Capital Grille were low.
We were in Long Island City to check out Jodi’s new studio when we stumbled upon John Brown Smokehouse, a restaurant serving Kansas City style barbecue. In fact when you arrive in the vicinity of this place, you start smelling the smoker that is probably functioning all the time, a smell getting even stronger as you enter in the restaurant. I admit that I was expecting a much smaller place, not realizing that they also have a terrace in the back.
We recently went to Riverhead for a wedding and ended up eating at Bistro 72, a restaurant a serving farm to table menu located in the Indigo Hotel. First I should mention that the access is better by car than walking...I know: we made the mistake on our way, as true New Yorkers, but not on the way back to the hotel! Secondly, as soon as you enter the restaurant, you get the feel that it is in a hotel, from the decor to the atmosphere. But you know what, the food there was quite good!
I discovered Sinigual, a contemporary Mexican restaurant located Midtown East, a couple of months ago and we decided to go back with my nephew, certain that we would have a great meal there, our first experience being very positive. This place is fairly big, with the open kitchen in the back, and, in contrast to the previous time we went, it was packed! The negative was that they were definitely understaffed, but the food was worth the wait.
As I mentioned before, it is a contemporary Mexican restaurant, so the menu is a mix of classics as well as original dishes, with a majority of non-vegetarian dishes, served in fairly large portions.
Here is what we had :
At first, they brought us some tortillas and tortilla chips that seem to be homemade (delicious), and served with salsa and cream.
Then, we ordered their guacamole, made table side. We had to wait a bit because it was a hot item and there was only one poor guy making it. I admit that portion wise, it is fine for two people, but not three. The guacamole itself was good, not the best, but good.
As a cocktail, I ordered their Modern old fashioned, made with Kraken Caribbean rum, regans’ orange bitters, simple syrup, imported luxardo cherries and fresh orange. It was quite good, deliciously sweet, but slightly watered down.
For our entrees, we tried:
Fresh fish tacos made with grilled seasonal white fish, pico de gallo, fruit relish, handmade flour or corn tortillas, red and black beans, pasilla-cilantro rice, avocado relish and sweet corn cake.
Lobster quesadilla made with Monterey jack and cotija cheeses, pasilla chiles, pineapple-mango salsa, chipotle sauce and avocado relish.
Chipotle barbecue ribs, made with chipotle-raspberry tamarind barbecue sauce, grilled corn on the cob, red & black beans and yucca fries.
All these dishes were really good, my favorites being the lobster quesadilla that had lots of cheese in it and chunks of lobster, and the ribs that were literally falling off the bones. The fish tacos were good, but I admit that I loved ce when the fish is deep fried, adding more texture, but still, worth trying.
Needless to say that after all of that, both times, we had to skip dessert. Too bad because they looked as good as the rest of the menu.
I like Sinigual: this is the perfect place if you want to have a more elegant Mexican meal, but with prices that are not outrageous.
Enjoy (I did)!
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Sinigual - 640 3rd Avenue, New York, NY, 10017
Located a few steps from Penn Station and The Madison Square Garden, The Statler Grill is one of these steakhouses that has some history. As they wrote on their website:
"The Statler Grill harkens back to the golden age of the big band era, and is named after Ellsworth Statler, who ran the Hotel Pennsylvania from 1919 to 1954, when musicians such as Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie and Glenn Miller played at the Café Rouge, the hotel’s main dining room".
More casual than the Great Kabab Factory in the Radisson Blu, Noida, is Pirates of Grill at The Mall of India. Same concept there: an all you can eat joint serving delicious kebabs that are just...the appetizers! Yes, you need to remember that part because there is so much food that when people hint about the entrees, you are wondering what they are talking about, lamenting about the fact that you should have worn stretch pants...
Located on the second floor of the Cyber Hub in Gurgaon, Soi 7 is a pub and brewery that serves Asian fare. Yes, it is a brewery and you can see the beer fermenters from the dining room that definitely have a nice pub feel, as well as a rooftop where the most surprising part is the boxing ring, not used for the purpose of kicking the bottom of the customers who try to leave without paying, but as entertainment.
I cannot imagine what it is to have a peanut allergy and not being sure how food is made when you are traveling. One of my colleagues has one and eating in India can be challenging, a lot of dishes containing some sort of nuts. So, he was glad to find Jamie’s Pizzeria at The Ambience Mall in Gurgaon near Delhi. He talked so much about this place that I decided to try it. Little did I know that it was a restaurant from celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver. Located on the third floor of this giant mall (7 miles of stores), this is a nice little place where they cook pizza on a stone.
Dons Bogam is not unknown to me as I discovered this place 4 years ago, looking for a restaurant for lunch on Christmas Day, before seeing The Hobbit. So, I was excited when I got invited to their new location Dons Bogam Black, also located Midtown. I guess the "Black" from the name is similar to what you get with an American Express Black card: upscale Korean food, but fortunately without outrageous prices that would make you wish you had that coveted credit card...