Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Casa Neta

I'm absolutely obsessed with Mexican food lately.  Mr. T thinks I'm crazy but I seriously just want to eat some form of taco for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  So when taqueria and tequila bar Casa Neta moved into the old Flute Gramercy it was like a chorus of angels came down from heaven just for me.


The redesigned space is long and sleek with a marble topped bar and a cozy alcove for more intimate dinners.  Drinks include all sorts of wine, margaritas and beer cocktails along with some Casa Neta originals like the creamy Oxacan Sunscreen with house horchata and coconut and a fruity Frida's Lover with cinnamon tequila and strawberry.


A variety of tacos, ceviche and queso dot the menu including hefty Short Rib tacos loaded with layers of tender beef, poblano rajas, manchego cheese and an avocado- crema.  These were amazing and I loved how they put both the pico de gallo and guacamole on the side when I asked for no cilantro.  

I was too full from the tacos to get any dessert but Casa Neta also offers CHURROS!  One of my favorite desserts in the entire world. I may start eating here 5 days a week.

Casa Neta
40 East 20th Street
New York, NY 10003

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Corn & Blackberry Sundae at Maialino

I was devastated three years ago when Nancy Olson left Gramercy Tavern to move back to her native North Dakota.  She created some absolutely incredible desserts including my favorite ice cream treat of all time the Blueberry Corn Sundae.  I honestly thought that masterpiece was gone forever until I found a similar creation just last week at sister restaurant Maialino.


Blackberry takes the place of blueberry in this dessert with a rich mascarpone gelato drizzled with caramel sweet corn and blackberry compote then topped with a crispy popcorn cookie.  It's got that incredible sweet and savory balance I love so much and those fresh blackberries really showcase our fantastic New York State farms.  I split this dessert with friends on my birthday and then returned the very next day to have one all to myself :)

Maialino
Gramercy Park Hotel
2 Lexington Avenue at 21st Street
New York, NY 10010

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Impossible Burger at Momofuku NIshi

Just about everyone in NYC is talked about the new Impossible Burger from David Chang.  His Chelsea Momofuku Nishi gets absolutely slammed at lunch and happy hour with eager vegetarians, vegans and carnivores alike clamoring to get a taste of this "unburger".   Created by a group of scientists, farmers and chefs who collaborated on getting that same delicious flavor of beef into an entirely plant based burger.  What they discovered was a molecule called "heme" which gives meat its that rich beefy flavor and even the red bloody color.  This "heme" molecule also occurs in plants and serves as the basis for this Impossible Burger.  Of Course veggie burgers have been around for ages and NONE of them taste like real beef...does this Impossible Burger really hold true?



First let's talk about the french fries.  These long, skinny ridiculously crisp fries are perfection. I mean seriously these are reason enough alone to go to Nishi.  The burger itself looks similar to a Shack Burger served thin on a potato bun with a slice of lettuce, tomato, pickles and special sauce.


As you can see the midsection looks like a medium done burger, slightly pink in the middle with crispy edges.  This really is the closest a veggie burger has ever compared to a beef burger.  It's juicy with rich mineral qualities and just a faint straw like flavor on the end that gives the small reminder that's its not really meat.  Well done guys- this thing is great.

The Impossible Team is hoping to expand their plant based product to other restaurants and bars across the country so be on the lookout for more of these incredible creations to come.

232 8th Avenue between 21st & 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011

Friday, September 16, 2016

Hi-Collar

I love finding hidden little gems around New York City my most recent discovery is Hi-Collar in the East Village.  Located bustling East 10th Street this tiny 13 seat spot is what's known as a "kissaten" a Japanese style tea house that also serves coffee.  The menu boasts over 10 different types of beans that can be served pour over, siphon or aeropress in addition to a few specialty drinks like the creamy Royal Milk Tea and my favorite the luscious Vietnamese Iced Coffee.



The small food includes Omelets with tomato sauce and rice, a limited Berkshire Pork Katsu sandwich (only 10 per day) and wonderful Japanese Hot Cakes served alongside maple syrup, strawberries and a tangy yuzu butter.  These are quite similar to Western style pancakes but much lighter and fluffier. I felt delightfully content after eating these instead of stomach overload from the usual cakes.


The menu also includes an array of desserts and at 6:00 PM the entire space turns into a bar with a three page list of sake, beer and cocktails.  I'm pretty sure I could spend my entire day at this cozy little cafe.

214 East 10th Street between 1st & 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tastes Talk All Star BBQ

It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be on the Brooklyn waterfront celebrating the third year of Taste Talks and the All Star BBQ Sunday.  The grills were smoking hot as chefs and celebs alike showcased some fantastic food collaborations.  There were 16 different food/drink stations and I manged to hit them all.  Here are a few of my favorites.


My very first stop was at Blue Smoke for Chef Jean Paul's juicy Chicken Wings tossed in Alabama white sauce...


...followed by an incredible Grilled Pizza with pulled pork, creamy ranch slaw and crispy onions from the Brooklyn powerhouse team of Emily Loves Pizza and Hometown BBQ.


I was really excited to check out the Chicken Thigh sandwich from MOMO Sushi since it incorporated yuzu kosho; an amazing spicy sweet condiment of yuzu peel and chilies from Japan that I love.


Not only was this Chicken Thigh one of the best bites from the afternoon but it was served to me by none other than Chef Jarobi White one of the original members of Tribe Called Quest.


Morgensteins Finest Ice Cream paired up with Bobby Hellen of GG's for a Huli Huli Roast Pork Skewer with pineapple, cherry tomato and coconut rice served with a scoop of refreshing pineapple sorbet.


And Top Chef alum Leah Cohen was on hand doling out a tender 12 hour Baby Back Ribs with teriyaki and garlic hosin, fish sauce, five spice and scallions.


I concluded the festival with a scoop of honeycomb ice cream from the Van Leeuwan Truck topped with dried grasshopper.  I am NOT a fan of this insect/food trend going on now and I ended up eating around it but luckily the ice cream was so good I didn't mind too much :)  Another great year for Taste Talks and the kickoff of so many more food festivals to come this Fall!

East River State Park
90 Kent Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11249