Happy Hour at Zadie's Oyster Room

NYC is filled to the brim with oyster happy hours. If you happen to love Blue Point oysters then your golden, that's the oyster of choice at 90% of these happy hour spots.  But if you don't love Blue Points and crave a different selection of East and West Coast at a reasonable price, then head to Zadie's Oyster Room in the East Village.

This bright, cherry little spot on East 12th has a small but excellent list of both wine and beer with $1.50 Chefs Choice Oyster and sparkling beverages half price from 5:00-7:00 each day.

I've had everything from Big Rock Petite of Cape Cod to Moonstone of Rhode Island and Fanny Bay of British Columbia.  

In addition to the oysters Zadie's has some wonderful small plates perfect for sharing like the Deviled Eggs with bottarga and creamy Smoked Trout Pate served with thick sliced brown bread.  This is the perfect spot for just about any seafood lover be it date night, solo or with a group of friends.  Zadie's never disappoints.


The Broken Shaker NYC

It's officially rose & rooftop season and the hottest new spot for both happens to be right across the street at The Broken Shaker NYC.

This happening bar on top of the new Freehand Hotel boasts fun splashy pink drinks and lots of outdoor seating for just about any sized group.

The west side of the restaurant has a row of two tops over looking Lexington Avenue...

...while the north side has room for larger groups with bright wicker chairs and kitschy wooden tables bringing a festive tropical feeling to the space.

The menu has a list of classic cocktails from the original bar in Miami along with a few new drinks made just for NYC, like the Everything Bagel Gin Fizz and the Curry in a Hurry, an homage to the fast casual Indian restaurant just up the street.

The tropical, jungle like decor continues inside with a colorful DJ booth up front...

...and wooden walls matched with shiny tiled stools that evoke images of a very strange cruise ship.

I dove into the Bad Attitude cocktail, a blen…

Brunch at Chez Ma Tante

Pancakes have never really been something I seek out in restaurants.  I see them mostly as a vessel for maple syrup and butter (two of my favorite condiments) rather than a crave worthy brunch dish. However after just one bite of the pancakes at Chez Ma Tante last weekend, my mind has been changed forever. 

These beauties arrived piping hot with a spongy, fluffy interior and a crisp, almost brunt exterior that left the edges of each cake crunchy and almost caramelized.  On top a heavy dose of pure Vermont Maple Syrup and a pat of rich, creamy Normandy butter.  These pancakes were perfect; soft enough for soaking up all that wonderful syrup but crisp enough to give each bite a satisfying crunch.  

In addition to the incredible pancakes Chez Ma Tante has some fantastic brunch cocktails beyond the usual Bloody Mary or Mimosa.  Mr. T ordered a refreshing John Daly (iced tea, lemonade & beer) while I sipped on the Pick Me Up Negroni with espresso.

There never seem to be tables available o…

It's Negroni Week!

Today is the official kickoff to Negroni Week; a party launched in 2013 to celebrate the fabulous pink drink while raising money for charities all over the globe.  Simply find a participating venue, purchase a Negroni and that bar will make an immediate donation to a charity they have chosen such as Autism Speaks, No Kid Hungry or Mercy Corp.
Classic Negroni~ Dante at Genuine
We plan to check out apertivo spot Vini e Fritti who's featuring a reserve barrel aged Negroni and special house white Negroni to support City Harvest and Red Hook favorite Fort Defiance who's serving up a special Caffe Negroni made with cold brew coffee for Lambda Legal. 
There are literally thousands of bars and restaurants participating all over the world, so check out the Negroni Week Website to see a list of participants and their menu for the week.  There's never been a better time to be a Negroni lover than right now.
Negroni Week Participating venues all over NYC

Back to Pegu Club

There's no shortage of incredible cocktail bars in NYC.  In fact, the city is so flooded with them it's easy to forget about one of the best that started the mixology movement years ago, the fabulous Pegu Club.  We stopped into this second floor SOHO spot right before dinner Friday night.  The long elegant bar and wrought iron laced windows overlooking Houston were just as gorgeous as I remembered years ago, and the cocktails just as perfect.

Mr. ordered the Pegu Club made with London Dry Gin, bitters and orange curacao; a classic drink from the 1900's that packed a tropical snappy punch.  

I ordered the Earl Grey MarTEAni per a friends suggestion and it did not disappoint.  Made with Earl Grey Tea infused gin, lemon juice and egg white, this cocktail was the perfect balance of sour and savory. I loved it so much I bought a bottle of Earl Grey Gin for home in hopes of recreating this fantastic drink.  Alas I am no match for the incredible Pegu Club bartenders.  Looks like I&…

Memorial Weekend Kickoff at Carbone

I absolutely love Memorial Day Weekend in NYC. Most people clear out, headed to the Hampton's or Berkshires, leaving those impossibly hard restaurant reservations wide open for people like me! So this year we kicked things off at Carbone so I could finally have my favorite noodles in the entire world once again.

Of course before the noodles actually arrive there's so much more at Carbone to enjoy.  Every meal starts with a gratis basket of bread filled with crunchy garlic loaves and mozzarella & tomato topped grandma bread...

Freshly sliced salami with parmigiana cheese

And a bowl of pickled cauliflower dotted with spicy chilies.

For our appetizer we split an order of the Scampi alla Scampi; enormous prawns roasted with butter, lemon and garlic.  These looked like they would be challenging to eat but they came out of the shell quite easily with little lobster fork.

Then we moved onto our favorite dishes of the entire meal the Cesar Alla ZZ prepared tableside with chopped anchov…

Memorial Day Rose Under $25

Memorial Day weekend is the official kickoff to Rose season and we here at NYC Tastes have been doing plenty of research on this fabulous pink drink.  Sparkling or still, dry or sweet, there's a rose on the market perfect for just about any palate.  Here's a few of our favorites for your weekend festivities all under $25.00.

Camille Braun Cremant D'Alsace Brut Rose- $22.00
This beautiful bubbly from the Alsace region of France is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes aged in stainless steel.  It pours a pale pink with tight, tiny bubbles and gentle flavors of strawberry and raspberry with a soft creamy finish. This is the perfect apertif for any occasion.

Gouguenheim Malbec Bubbles Extra Brut Rose- $12.00
This Argentinian sparkler comes from the foothills of the Andes Mountains at Gouguenheim Winery.  It's crisp and juicy with bright flavors of cherry, strawberry and rhubarb.  It's refreshing enough to drink alone but also the perfect pairing for grilled meats.

Montonale Ros…