On a Saturday night, we were decided to go eat Ramen and our target was Tabata Ramen, close to Port Authority. But, on our way, we noticed this place called Boi Noodle House, a Vietnamese restaurant that had ramen on the menu. From the outside, it was a bit difficult to see that it was a restaurant, but the A on the door attracted my eyes that are always looking for restaurants while walking around (Yes, it drives Jodi crazy sometimes, but I cannot help it).
Some of you might know Surya, an Indian restaurant located on Bleecker. It used to be in another location on the same street before closing in 2012 because of a rent increase as well as damages caused by Hurricane Sandy. Three years later, the Sharma family restarted the adventure, in November 2015. At Surya, Chef Lala Sharma crafted a menu inspired by Colonial India, with the basis that, during the colonial years, the Indian culinary scene has been influenced by waves of settlers from England, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands who arrived to the subcontinent and brought with them flavors unknown at the time. I met Chef Sharma who showed me how a nan bread is made in their tandoor, a sight that I always like watching as I never imagined before that it was done this way.
Off The Hook is a raw bar and seafood place in the heart of Astoria, a bit off the beaten path. When we went for brunch there, we met with one of the owners, Bes, who explained to us that they opened this place two and half years ago with the idea of doing something different from the other seafood places in the area that were mainly Greek, proposing many different dishes focused on fresh seafood, whether served raw, fried, baked, etc. Opened 7 days a week, they get their seafood from the Bronx fish market, as well as from other local merchants.
I met Chef Didier Pawlicki at his two other restaurants: Le Village, located in the East Village, and La Sirene that is next to Taureau. Each time, I could sense the true passion he has for food, but also the importance he gives to his patrons, ensuring they would have a good time in what I would qualify as neighborhood restaurants. Yes, this is the way I would qualify all of his restaurants. Maybe it is because of their size, but I truly believe it is because of the atmosphere.
I was thrilled to try Frankie and Ava's, a new Italian eatery from long term resident Frank DiGiacomo, that opened last Wednesday.
You're going to tell me: does Hoboken need another Italian place? Well, why not if the food differs from the others? At Frankie and Ava's, it might not be the choices that are different, the menu offering pizza, hot or cold sandwiches, antipasti...Lots of components, such as mozzarella being made on premises.
When I got invited to try donuts at The Doughnut Project, a place that opened mid-October this year in the West Village, I was thrilled: I love doughnuts, but really the ones that are different and bring this delightfully fried dough to another level. This is what The Doughnut Project is about. Of course, if you want a regular one, simply glazed, you can ask, but it would not showcase what this place brings compared to the other "doughnutteries".
H & S Giovanni's is one of those multiple pizza joints in Hoboken that are worth knowing: cheap and good. Like others, they serve a large menu from pizza to pasta to sandwiches. I would say that the restaurant has two main areas: the one facing the counter for the curious and the dining room (they have two areas with a nicer set in fact), that is a bit more comfortable.
I went to Mastro's steakhouse a year ago and had a good time, the only negative being the noise level that was quite high. So, when we went back with my colleagues, I was curious to see if the experience evolved one way or another. As I had meat that week, I made a point to focus more on seafood, not that I thought that it would be healthier, especially when you will see what I got...
House of 'Que is a new BBQ restaurant that just opened two weeks ago in Hoboken, replacing 3 Thirty Grill that closed earlier this year. Overlooking the New York skyline, this place is fairly big and has a concept, BBQ, that is not that widespread in the mile square city, the only true competitor in that category being The Smoking' Barrel, located uptown.
TriBeCa has this reputation to be the place where the rich and celebrities live, with its high end restaurants and amazing lofts. In the last two years, I have been discovering this area and I definitely found places that you would probably not expect if you never went there and just been mesmerized by the sight of this neighborhood in TV shows or movies. Square Diner is one of them.
We passed in front of Edward's so many times , seeing that place crowded as well as the poster from Time Out saying it is one of the 50 best brunch places in New York, that we decided to go for dinner on a Friday night. Not surprisingly, we got our table in this place that had a bistro feel. Yes it was crowded and noisy, especially around the bar area. Menu wise, it looked like a mix of cuisines, that is never an issue if executed well.
When I went to Pho Nomenon in January 2014, I was not that thrilled and even said:
I have mixed feelings about that place: it was cheap and decent, but the food was not to the point where I would want to go back quickly.
What convinced me to go back was their Banh Mi sandwich. I love a good banh mi that I discovered at Banh Mi Saigon in Little Italy few years back. Cheap and tasty, I love the sweet and savory taste of this sandwich, that is even better when the baguette has a slight crispiness.
STK is definitely not your usual steakhouse, getting away from the manly atmosphere classic steak joints sometimes have. No, it is modern and combines not only a restaurant, but also a lounge, like Mastro's does. So, there, the noise level is quadruple, the music from the DJ forcing people to scream to get heard.
We were looking forward to having brunch with our friends Jen and Gary and I was in charge of finding a place in the city. Knowing that Gary was, like me, a fan of burgers, I looked for a restaurant with an extensive menu. That is how we ended up at The Ainsworth. I mean, just seeing their mac and cheese burger made me drool and I could not wait to try it.