Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Return to Ed's Lobster Bar

Saturday night I had a shocking revelation. The summer was almost over and I had yet to enjoy a single lobster roll.  Mr. T and I were actually on our way to Parm for their incredible mozzarella sticks but as we walked past Ed's all thoughts of Italian food went out the door and seconds later we were sitting at the bar with cocktails in hand and lobster rolls on our plate.

Two top loading buns toasted on the grill with butter then stuffed with fresh claw meat, mayo and a sprinkle of herbs.  I was trying to be somewhat healthy with greens on the side but the long crispy french fries Mr. T got were a much better choice. 

Paired with a refreshing John Daly this meal couldn't get a better summer time vibe.

Ed's Lobster Bar
222 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10012

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Brunch at Bar Sardine

Sunday was another one of Mr. T's "couch days" which of course I just never enjoy.  The thought of sitting in one place all day just watching TV or playing videos games has absolutely zero appeal.  Apparently people find it relaxing; I think I would gouge my eyeballs out from boredom. So I set out on my own with Mr. T encouraging me to go do yoga somewhere and find my inner peace.  Obviously I did not go do yoga (I tried it once- not for me) but I did find my inner peace and an incredible burger at the cute little West Village spot Bar Sardine.

I came here about two years ago when this spot was known Chez Sardine and enjoyed a wonderful brunch of Baked Eggs with ricotta cheese. Since then the name has changed along with the menu to include fresh new items like Asparagus Primavera with fried egg and salsa verde, Grilled Cheese with eggplant-tomato tapenade and of course the Fedora Burger.

The patty's a blend of chuck and brisket topped with layer of smoked cheddar cheese, thinly sliced cucumbers, onions, fried potato sticks and BBQ mayo.  Now I'm not a huge cucumber or onion fan but I decided to go with the standard order and I'm happy I did.  Everything on this burger just worked together; the cooling cucumber, the smoky/sweet BBQ sauce and salty potato sticks that gave a satisfying crunch with each bite.

The sturdy grilled potato roll maintained all of the toppings and sauce without turning me or my plate into a soggy mess.  This burger was just fantastic; easily one of the best I've had this year and one of the most affordable as well at just $14 (fries are extra).

Delicious solo brunch for me, couch day for Mr. T; pretty perfect Sunday for the two of us :)

Bar Sardine
183 West 10th Street
New York, NY 10014

Friday, August 19, 2016

New Brew Friday- Union Square Greenmarket Edition

It's an absolutely gorgeous day to be in NYC.  The sun is shining, there's actually a cool breeze instead of the crazy humidity we've had all week and the Union Square Greenmarket is hosting its 2nd Summer Friday of the year with the Beer and Spirits of New York Pop Up.

All evening local brewers, distillers and cideries will be on hand giving out free samples of their beverages like From The Ground Brewery in Red Hook and Plan Bee Brewing in Poughkeepsie; possibly the nicest brewing couple in the business churning out refreshing honey Saisons and Wild Ales.

Aaron Burr and Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cidery...

...and my favorite local distiller Port Morris with their stunning Pitorro Coquito.  Every time I have this spirit I'm floored.  It's got those great coconut, vanilla and cinnamon flavors of a regular coquito but there's no work.  It's all right there in the bottle ready to go.

In addition to the free samples there are various food vendors on hand from the neighborhood, an entire wine/beer/cider garden and live music.  The great people of Grow NYC put this event on and really do an incredible job of promoting local farmers in our area.

So get outside and check out some great new brews this weekend- Cheers!

Union Square Greenmarket

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Happy Hour at Sagaponack

It's crazy to think almost all of my neighborhood happy hour places have closed over the past year- City Crab, Duke's, Tasca Chino....all boarded up and gone.  I've had to expand my search west for new options which landed me at Sagaponack; an adorable restaurant/bar styled after the breezy, beach life of Southhampton.

During happy hour Sagaponack offers $4 draft beers, $5 wines and $9 cocktails; all of which are much better than the average happy hour choices.  The beers are from local breweries like Montauck and Braven Brewing, the wines are Wolffer Estate (the perfect summer rose) and the house cocktails are incredible!  I highly suggest the Smokey Farmer, a twist on an Old Fashioned made with Johnny Walker and wine barrel smoke, creating a big swirling cloud above the drink like some sort of neat magic trick.  Or for something incredibly refreshing the Rosemary Bramble made with Montauck Citrus Gin, Yuzu, Creme de 'Mure, blackberries and rosemary essence.  You really can't go wrong with anything here; plus happy hour extends into the weekend from 4:00-7:00 Monday- Saturday.  Oh the elusive Saturday Happy Hour- always such a treat to find :)

4 West 22nd Street between 5th & 6th
New York, NY 10010

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Lunch at TESSA

When I think of Amsterdam Avenue I tend to think of run down frat bars serving buckets of Bud Light to college aged kids.  At least that's the Amsterdam Avenue I knew growing up, but it's certainly not the case anymore. Shiny new stores and restaurants are taking over those grungy old bars and turning them into great new spots like the gorgeous restaurant TESSA.

This place has a little bit of everything; a chic urban bar and lounge area up front, rustic exposed brick walls in the main dining room, a breezy sidewalk cafe and an elegant wine room in back for private dining.  The menu is Modern Mediterranean with a variety of small plates like this twist on a Tuna Tartare with chopped avocado, stonefruit and quinoa...

...a crisp, refreshing Watermelon, Feta & Heirloom Tomato Salad topped with fresh basil and lemon verbena dressing...

...and a creamy Burrata complemented by aged balsamic, beets, hazelnuts and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Mains include a variety of sandwiches and pastas like the hearty Vegetable Zucca with spring onion, chayote, baby heirloom tomatoes and basil pesto...

...and a delicious Chicken Club with crunchy alfalfa sprouts and herb ailoli on a brioche bun.

I don't usually splurge on desserts at lunch but since we were guests how could we refuse and I suggest you doing so as well.  Pastry Chef Yarisis Jacobo is churning out some incredible confections like this Chocolate Cremeux with salted caramel mousse, chocolate coconut chattily and a scoop of hazelnut ice cream...

...and this wonderful Vanilla Panna Cotta with caramelized apricots, berries and dulce de leche cream.

In addition to the wonderful food TESSA has a pretty serious cocktail program going on like this Latitude Zero made with Cachaca, grapefruit, lavender-honey, chambord and rosemary...

...and these fun, pink Watermelon Martini's perfect for cooling down in this scorching hot weather.

TESSA is open for dinner every night with lunch Monday- Friday from 11:30- 3:00 PM and brunch on Saturday and Sundays.  

349 Amsterdam Avenue between 76 & 77th Street
New York, NY 10024