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Showing posts from 2007

Another Great One from Roni Sue

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I went back to Roni Sue to pick up some more choclates for some work people and was shocked to learn they were completely out of the peanut butter squares!!

I didn't know what to do! This was my last present and I was banking on those squares. I started looking at the various truffles when I saw these squares on the bottom shelf.

They looked exciting so I asked about the flavor and found out they were Hazelnut. Then I tried a sample and almost fell over! I think they may be better than the peanut butter. So rich and smooth. I knew I had a winner.



As I was waiting for my chocolates to be packaged up I started talking with Roni-Sue and found out that she's coming out with a new line of cocktail chocolates this weekend! She reached behind the counter and handed me a sample of the Manhattan chocolate.

Wow- really good. The dark chocolate was strong and bitter at first and then the flavor of boubon slowly seeped in. It was nice because it blended well together- neither one ov…

Places I Hope to Eat at in 2008

I literally have a list of over 300 bars & restaurants I want to try out in the city. About 1/4 will probably close before I get a chance to go, but those will be replaced by newer and even more exciting places!

These are the places that are at the top. And luckily we got gift certificates for Christmas to 3 of them!!!

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (completed 9/19/08)
Allen & Delancy (completed 3/6/08)
CraftSteak (completed 12/08)
Mercadito(completed 2/1/08)
Peter Luger (completed 12/6/08)
Bar Masa (completed 6/4/08)
Blue Hill at Stone Barns (completed 1/17/09)
Perilla
Fatty Crab
Arturo's Pizza (completed 5/08)
Inoteca (completed 8/08)
Dressler
Joes Shanghi (completed 11/2/09)
Union Square Cafe
Sushi Yasuda (completed 7/31/08)
Prune (completed 12/2/08)

These are in no particular order...just hoping to get to them all sometime in 2008. As you can see they are kind of all over the place; upscale, downscale, organic, MSG filled, etc. Hopefully at this time next year I will be looking back…

My 2007 Year in Review- AKA Better than Bruni

Okay so maybe I don't get paid by the New York Times to go out to restaurants and maybe millions of people don't read my reviews BUT I think that if Frank Bruni comes out with a year in review than gosh darn it- I can too!!!

So here is my 2007 list. Just to note- Not all of these places opened in 2007. Some opened before but I had never been to them before. So this is actually MY year in review- not restaurant openings. Just wanted to make that clear so here goes:


Best Dishes I Had in 2007:

Vermont Farm Suckling Pig from Eleven Madison Park. This rectangle of pork was crispy and delicious it is almost unbelievable so much flavor can come out of a dish this small.

Pork Ssam and Skirt Steak Ssam at Momofuku. Okay so this is top of Bruni's list for best new restaurant and I totally agree. I don't know what they put in the meat there but I wake up in the morning and crave this sandwich- seriously.

Bluefin Tuna Sashimi at Aburiya Kinnosuke. Best piece of sashimi I have ever had…

En Japanee Brasserie

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Between the holiday season and everything else going on I am a little behind on posting. Some reviews may never make it, we'll see what happens but I'll try and give it a go!

So last weekend my friends from home came to visit to see NYC at holiday time. We did all the touristy stuff like Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Time Warner Center, etc. We even stopped for a drink at Hawaiian Tropic Zone since we figured we were already acting like tourists we might as well do it up!

By the end of the day we were starving and wanted to get out of all of the crowds. I figured Tribeca would be pretty devoid of people so we hopped in a cab and headed to EN Japanese Brasserie for dinner.

We got there about 6:15 and were seated right away even though our reservation was for 6:45.

We ordered some beers and shochu while we looked at the menu.



EN is basically an izakaya where you order small plates of food to share while drinking. We decided to go slow and order only a few dishes at a time and th…

Ronnie Sue Chocolates

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Just a quick note about some AMAZING chocolate Ive been eating lately. There is a fairly new Chocolate shop in the Essex Street Market called Ronnie Sue's. It's a tiny closet sized space but what it lacks in size it makes up for in taste!!!




I went in to pick up some last minute Christmas presents. My favorite candy they have is their Peanut Squares. I got these about a month ago and knew immediately that I needed to pick some up for My chocolate peanut butter obsessed friends and family.




WOW!! How good do these look!!!! You know why they're so good? Its a blend of milk and dark chocolate so you have a little bitter with sweet, then they add natural peanut butter (which I love) and then add a last swirl of white chocolate and peanut butter on the top. Holy cow- so creamy delicious and rich. One square is absolutely decadent.

The best part is that Ronnie Sue herself is pretty cool!! She always has something for you to taste and she's just quite a spunky lady. I really like…

Mmmmm amai

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So I have long been a fan of a blog called Lovescool. I frequently used to check it out because it was all about my favorite things- desserts!

So when I saw that the writers of the blog were finally going to make their dream of opening a bakery come true I knew I had to go.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that it was opening only a couple blocks away from my house!!! So I hit it up the very first day it opened and grabbed some tea and a green tea cupcake. It was awesome!!!!

I went back yesterday and had to pick some up to bring home. I was planning to just get the Greeen Tea Cupcake but once I saw they had Pumpkin as well I had to get one of each.








The Green Tea cupcake is really good- I've had it before. Unfortunatly this one must have been made the day before because it was a little stale and hard.



The Pumpkin on the other hand was perfect!!!



The cake was moist and light. A very good dessert if you're not looking for something overly sweet. Amai is defiently a nice additi…

A Nice Dinner at Punch

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So after a completely emotionally draining week at home I was spent. All I wanted when I woke up Saturday was to have a relaxing trip home where I didn't have to deal with anything. Of course this didn't happen. Saturday ended up being awful and when we finally got home about 5 hours late I told Mr Trekker I was getting into bed and I wasn't sure if I would ever get out again.

Luckily, he intervened and said the six little words that I can't resist "I'm taking you out to dinner." So I dragged my depressed self out into the night air. Buffalo had been so cold I was always darting inside to the heat. NYC on the other hand was perfect. There was a chill in the air but it felt crisp and fresh against my skin. I was finally starting to feel a little better so we headed to Gramercy Tavern to see if we could get a seat at the bar.

Of course we walked up and saw that the bar was about 3 people deep and there were also people waiting outside. I was a little disappoi…

Why Doesn't NYC make Chicken Fingers Subs!!!

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So we had to travel up to Western New York unexpectedly this week because of a death in the family. Death is never an easy thing and this was especially hard. So when Mr Trekker and I found ourselves with some down time I knew I was in need of getting some comfort food.  We headed out to Pasquale's which is a casual Italian restaurant in the neighborhood. They have an awesome Baked Ziti here but I was feeling something extra unhealthy!!  Before I even opened up the menu I knew exactly what kind of fried, greasy goodness I needed. A chicken finger sub!


This is truly something that I believe is made only in Western New York. It's breaded chicken fingers dipped in Buffalo Wing Sauce on a hero with lettuce, tomatoes and blue cheese.


As you can see it also is topped off with some provolone cheese that gets nice and melty once its squished inside next to the hot chicken fingers.



I was going to wash this all down with a Loganberry soda, another WNY staple, but I didn't think my bod…

Maxies Bar and Grill

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We've lived in the area for over 6 years now and never tried out the steakhouse 5 blocks away, Angelo and Maxie's. Even though we love steak!! A couple weeks ago we noticed they had opened a little outpost of their steakhouse called Maxie's Bar and Grill. I walked by it one day and noticed they had a lot of plasma televisions and it looked pretty nice.

Once Sunday rolled around both of us wanted to go watch the football games but we were in no mood to sit around a dank bar all day. We decided Maxie's might be a good choice.

We got there right before 1:00 and only about 3 tables were filled, There was an older couple at the bar drinking large martini's (at 1:00 gasp!). I was a little surprised to see that the bar itself only had a view of one of the TVs. The rest were spread out in the dining area.

Since we were watching multiple games I decided to ask the waitress where our best choice would be to sit. They were extremely accommodating and told us to sit wherever an…

Momofuku Ssam Bar

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My aunt happened to be in town for a conference the other night and we meet her and a friend out for some drinks at The House. After some great conversation and a couple glasses of wine, Mr Trekker & I found ourselves alone once again and feeling pretty hungry.

We didn't want to venture to far away so we decided to head over to The Smith, which had just opened in the former Pizzeria Uno spot. I had seen they had fish tacos listed on their website so I thought we might check it out.

The place itself reminds of Schillor's Liquor Store with it's black and white tiles. We grabbed a seat at the bar and ordered a couple beers.

They have a good selection of beers on tap and the menu looked quite good but we didn't end up staying more than one drink. Why? Because it was kind of creepy.

It seemed like there were about 50 to 60 people working there. There was literally a busboy per table. They all would stand at the back of the restaurant and stare out over the room. I have neve…

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

I hope everyone has a fantastic day of Turkey & Trimmings!!!!

A Punch Brunch

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Friends were in town, so we decided to go out to brunch Saturday at Punch. Punch is kind of a weird place. I always feel like I'm at a hotel restaurant when I'm inside and I'm not really sure why. Once you get past the bar everything is white. Tablecloths, tables, walls; it really feels a little too formal for brunch even though that's not what the place is going for.


We've come here a lot though because it has a pretty great prix-fix. For $14.95 you get a basket of fresh baked muffins and jam, a bloody mary/mimosa, coffee and an entree. Not too shabby!


The mimosas are always great as well. They definitely use some decent champagne and a good juice to liquor ratio.


We were seated immediately and got our menus. The basket of muffins came right away which was nice but then it took about 15 minutes before our waitress came over for our order. This seems to be a constant brunch problem in NY. No one ever seems to be on the same page.


We ordered our entrees and got our drin…

Which Would You Eat?

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So we went to Florida about a month ago and I took lots of pictures of our food and whatnot but never put them on my blog. I feel that since it's called Nyctastes it should only be about food from NY.

Anyway, some of the friends I went with thought I should have used the photos since we went to some really great places! So to appease them I decided I would show a few in the form of a survey which also pretty much sums up our trip.

So...Here goes.

Let's say it's your last day in Florida and you started it off by drinking one of these:



You decide to continue your day by consuming many of these:

Until late into the night when you realize your multiple beverages just won't cut it and you need something to eat. Unfortunately the only thing open at this hour of night in Florida is the local gas station.Please tell me. Which one of these would you eat?

Instant Ramen Noodles (chicken flavor), The Cattleman Sandwich (an enormous soy cheeseburger), a Ham & Cheese sub (2 for $5 wit…

Soho Park

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So I was out shopping in Soho early one afternoon trying to get some early Christmas shopping done. I HATE dealing with the crowd of people that swarm Broadway between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The holidays turn people into a crazed and unruly bunch. If you don't believe me try walking down Broadway in a week or so. You will never be the same!

So I set out early and went to just about every store imaginable and came up with nothing. I was pretty depressed by the end and my stomach was running on empty. I needed some comforting food fast. That's when I remembered Soho Park.

Soho Park opened about a year ago and is basically just a cafe/ grill sort of place that caters to the SOHO shoppers. I figured I could grab some good food fast and be on my way.

I decided to order some PommeFrites with a side of Garlic Aioli and a bottle of water.




They gave me this license plate and told me to sit wherever. The license plate was to act as my order number so the waiter could find me.

I though…

Cha-an is just my kind of place

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So I have a couple posts from a few weeks back ,since our computer decided to break down and we had to send it away. Leaving me a shell of a human being behind!! Just kidding!

Anyway, during this time, I had two of my best friends in the world come visit for a weekend. Yey Me!!! They came in early afternoon on Friday and we kind of just chilled out for a little while and then walked down to the village.

Our first stop was the Stoned Crow for a couple beers. I love the Stoned Crow- It's one of those divey bars where I could chill out at all night and listen to some good music on the jukebox. They have Sixpoint Sweet Action on tap as well, which is always a plus for me.

Once we finished a beer or two we realized we were starving! None of us had really eaten any lunch but we also didn't want to spoil our dinner so we spilt a burger between the 3 of us.

This was actually the first time I have ever eaten at the Crow although I do know the chef is the former burger slinger from Corner …

A "Canriffic Saturday"

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I've been trying to come up with fun things to do on the weekend that don't involve spending a lot of money. I had read in the paper about this "Canstruction" gallery going on at the New York Design Center. It sounded pretty neat so we decided to check it out.


Canstruction® is basically a design competition held in many cities throughout North America. Teams of architects, engineers, and students compete to design and build giant structures made entirely from canned food. At the end of the competition, all of the canned food used is donated to help in the fight against hunger.


With such a great cause we just had to go. The designs were absolutely amazing. There were so many great pieces- here's a few of my favorites.




Who doesn't love the classic ice cream cone twist!


My favorite game from my younger years! Hungry Hungry Hippo!!




HumptyDumpty!



This one was my favorite piece of all. With only the naked eye, I couldn't make out what these cans were supposed to re…

Holy Beans!!!!

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I had to throw in this picture from Halloween night of one of my favorite candies in Large size!!!

We were in the Duane Reade and ran across a bag of Boston Baked beans that were absolutely huge!!! Look at this bag!!



I've never seen these in anything but a small box! I even put some other candy bars near it so you can really tell the size.


I mean come on! This is a party sized bag! I really wanted to buy it but then I would have just gorged myself silly on the sugary peanuts. I did happen to buy the smaller candy bar in the back called Carlos V. It had a picture of a king on the front that I assume is Carlos V himself. He reminded me a little of the Burger King guy. Unfortunately the chocolate was disgusting. Next time I'll go for the big bag of beans!!