New Brew Friday- Happy 5th Anniversary to Other Half!

It's so crazy to think that five long years have passed since Other Half opened up its doors in Brooklyn.  Mr. T and I had been lamenting the nonexistent beer scene in NYC and then that tiny little tasting room opened up and voila, IPA's for everyone!  Of course it wasn't that perfect.  The tasting room was so small only one table fit inside and a single fan spun slowly in the corner, almost mocking us with its false attempt of respite from the scorching hot weather. 

But today the tap room is much bigger, release lines much more manageable and although I miss the single hop series that kicked off their fame, it's really great to have such an awesome brewery in the city.  Cheers to Other Half's Anniversary and New Brew Friday!

Other Half Brewing
195 Centre Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Restaurant Week at Temple Court

Hidden on the edge of the Financial District sits Temple Court; Tom Colicchio's lesser known restaurant inside the stunning Beekman Hotel.  This sleek little spot specializes in classic American food using the freshest possible ingredients in season.   I wanted to order just about everything on the RW Menu.  There was creamy Burrata with heirloom squash and pesto, Mussels steamed with saffron and Gnudi with shaved Brussels sprout, Granny Smith apples and sage.

To be quite honest, if a dish mentions both sage and brown butter, I'm almost always going to order it and these little pockets of cheesy potato Gnudi were the perfect vessel for that explosive flavor combination.   

Onto entrees a beautiful Skate Meuniere dressed with lemon, capers and a trio of roasted cauliflower.  Both dishes showing classic preparation of protein and winter produce executed to perfection.

Restaurant Week which ends in a few days, so make those lunch/dinner plans now before time runs out.

Temple Court
5 B…

Warming Up at Sarabeth's

As the Polar Vortex continues to unleash freezing temps across the city, we search for more warmth in comfort food like the Velvety Tomato Soup & Adult Grilled Cheese from Sarabeth's on Park Avenue South. 

Adult here really just means excessive; as in excessive amounts of glorious melted cheddar, Manchego and Gruyere cheese all sandwiched between a buttery Bavarian pretzel roll dusted with salt.

This sandwich has enough cheesy goodness to provide comfort for days, especially when dunked properly into the Velvety Cream of Tomato Soup.

This thick, creamy broth is chock full of chopped shallots, chunky tomato and even more cheddar cheese shredded on top making this the ultimate soup and sandwich comfort combo.

381 Park Avenue South at 27th Street
New York, NY 10016

Wagamama Shirodashi Pork Ramen

This winter has been so cold, I've found myself looking for something warm and hearty to slurp almost every single day.  Which is why Wagamama has become a constant on my neighborhood dining circuit.

This Asian hot spot began in London back in 1992 and has slowly built an empire with locations all over the world.  Mr. T and I have eaten at Wagamama's in multiple locations; London, Copenhagen, Boston, and now of course NYC.   My current obsession is their wonderful Shirodashi Pork Ramen.  Slow cooked pork belly marinated in bulgogi sauce then tossed into a thick chicken broth with noodles, dashi, miso and a tea stained egg.  I just love how clean this ramen tastes; the rich, deep flavors of pork and chicken shine without that salty, fatty layer that coats most ramen.  And the bowls are so big I almost always have enough for breakfast the next day!

Multiple locations throughout NYC

Restaurant Week at The Clocktower

NYC Restaurant week began on Monday so I stopped into The Clocktower for a relaxing solo lunch.  Located on the 2nd floor of the New York Edition, this sprawling spot definitely aims to impress with a sleek billiards room up front, an chic circular bar made of 24 K gold and three dining rooms decked out in burgundy cushioned seats and a roaring fireplace for that cozy touch.

Sometimes I restrain myself from the bread service when dining solo but at The Clocktower I dove in head first.  This delicious round of sourdough arrived piping hot; so hot steam exuded when I pulled it apart, alongside a creamy whipped butter studded with sea salt.

For my appetizer a thick, Butternut Squash soup dotted with pumpkin seeds, orange and a rich dill creme friache. 

Onto entree the Pan Roasted Cod with cauliflower and pickled romanesco.  The fish was cooked excellent, with a crispy caramelized sear on top and a tender interior complemented by a delicious drizzle of lime and verjus sauce.  

Overall my lunc…

New Brew Friday- Cantillon 20 Ans d'Amite

It's New Brew Friday and today we're coming from the wonderful Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia for this extra special bottle Cantillon 20 Ans d'Amite.

20 Ans d'Amite was created by Jean Van Roy of Cantillon to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Monk's Cafe and the 20 years he has been friends with the owner Tom Peters.  This beautiful lambic is a blend of Cantillon Nath and Lou Pepe Framboise with Nath being the majority at 70%.  It's light and fruity with delicate flavors of rhubarb, vanilla, raspberry and funk with a refreshing finish.  This was a delightful bottle to both drink and to purchase as the label is just perfect for the occasion. 

This bottle is only available for on-site consumption at Monks Cafe in Philadelphia. We were lucky enough to drink it both on draft and in the bottle at the Monks/Sierrea Nevada Camp Fire Relief charity event last Saturday.  An incredible beverage for an incredible cause.  Cheers! 

Monks Cafe
264 South 16th Street

The Russian Vodka Room

If I had to give my five favorite spots in NYC, the Russian Vodka Room would definitely make it onto that list.  This place has absolutely everything I love; strong, delicious cocktails, a dark kitschy decor, nightly piano players and some of the heartiest food in the city, like this big bowl of Russian dumplings.

These little uneven pockets of pasta (pelmini) come stuffed with a choice of beef, lamb, cheese or potato alongside a big bowl of sour cream and a heavy sprinkle of dill. This is  'stick to your ribs' kind of comfort food, made even better with one of their house infused vodkas. 

As if all of this wasn't great enough on its own, the Russian Vodka Room also has one of the best happy hours in NYC with $5 infused shots of vodka and $8 martinis from 4:00-7:00 every day.  It's almost impossible to leave this place without a big happy smile. 

Russian Vodka Room
265 West 52nd Street at 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10019