Showing posts from May, 2011

A Quick Lunch at Blue Ribbon Sushi & Grill

I happened to be in the Columbus Circle area last week and felt an enormous craving for sushi. Luckily Blue Ribbon was right nearby so I popped in and got a seat at the counter in back. I knew I was having a big dinner later that night so I stuck with a light lunch- Yellowtail Scallion Roll and a piece of Tuna Sushi.

My Goodness how long has it been since I’ve had good sushi! Everything tasted amazing! The scallion was so fresh I could truly smell the onion as it was placed before me. The Yellowtail was vibrant and the Tuna was simply bright and luscious. I absolutely loved their rice as well. It was sticky but smaller grain than usual and had a slightly salty flavor.

For $9.25 the roll was certainly pricier than average but I would pay the extra buck or two any day for quality like this. Service was exceptional as well. My waitress was friendly and efficient- perfect for a midday lunch.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend !

This is probably my favorite weekend of the year. Masses of people flock to the beach, college students return home for summer and the city becomes a little bit more calm and a little bit more peaceful.

No plans? Head on over to the Madison Square Market which is still going on. You can pick up something different than the regular old Hot Dog or Hamburger here. For instance check out Asia Dog!

First you pick your dog- beef, organic beef, chicken or veggie, then you pick your topping. There's no regular old mustard here! Think Kimchi and Curry, Mango and Peanut, or what I went for the Wang Ding with BBQ Pork Belly and Onions.

Truth be told I had this already once back at the Lucky Rice Festival and loved it! Here they topped it with a tad too much Hosin sauce but it was still delicious. The casing was snappy and the dog had a wonderful smokey flavor that rocked with the fatty belly.

Plus you can enjoy a beer while sitting outside! What's better! So enjoy the weather and th…

Radiance Tea House & Books

Located in the crazy area between Times Square and Hell’s Kitchen, Radiance Tea House is a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Midtown at lunchtime. When I arrived the other day just after 12:30 the place was about three quarters filled but calm and quiet. It was almost as everyone was talking in hushed tones but completely enjoying themselves. It was very Zen.

They have an extensive list of Hot Tea, Iced Teas and even Tea Cocktails! I was feeling something cool so I ordered a deliciously creamy Almond Latte.

For lunch I ordered their Shrimp and Avocado Rice Bowl which came with a soup or salad. The presentation on this dish was lovely. Everything looked and tasted so fresh and wonderful. The side salad was your standard but the Miso dressing on the shrimp and slightly sticky rice really made this lunch special really stand out. I couldn’t even come near finishing everything and for $12.95 this is quite a steal for a filling lunch.

This might sound odd but I realized…

Taste of Tribeca

It was a gorgeous day for a food tasting this past Saturday and the streets of Tribeca were packed for the annual Taste of Tribeca. I decided to attend last minute and unfortunately most of the good dishes were already gone by the time I arrived at 2:00 but I did enjoy some.

Delightful was the Olive Oil Cured Diver Scallop with Caviar Mousse from Thalassa. The presentation was stunning and the many layers of flavors were exceptional.

The best thing I ate was the Bacalhau Tatar from Macao Trading Co. It doesn’t look that wonderful in the picture but it was salty, refreshing and delightful! Apparently seafood on a cracker was my mantra that day.

There was a decent showing of Lamb Meatball from Loconda Verde. Although I love lamb and meatballs, I’m finding the combination a bit overdone and boring. This version was a little too sweet on the sauce for me and I only had a bite.

Also decent but not exactly successful were the beef sliders from Warren 77 and the chicken Tacos from the stand be…

Ode to the End of Ramps at Eataly

The season is almost over so we're ending with two Ramp specials from Eataly. First up from Le Verdure Bruschetta with Tomato and Chargrilled Ramps.

This was a celebration of the season for sure! The char on the ramps brought out a meaty flavor to the plant and along with it a salty smoky aftertaste. The sweet tomato and delightful pour of olive oil underneath made this the best bruschetta I have ever had.

Over in the Piazza Mr. T tried out a different Seasonal Special Soft Shell Crab with Grilled Ramps. I still can’t get over the texture of Soft Shell Crabs so I only tried a bite but Mr. T thought it was delicious. I was happy when he used some free bread to make it into a sandwich so I didn’t have to see him just chow down on the whole crab. However at almost $20 a pop this was a little overpriced for what you received.

So there’s one last little celebration of the ramp dishes. Hope you all enjoyed!

Happy Thursday Cocktail at Dutch Kills

The week is almost over- Thank Goodness! Luckily I’m always on the lookout for a good bar- preferably one that’s a little on the manly side with lots of wood furnishing, piano in the background and great bartenders. (Trumpet sound) Please enter Dutch Kills. This little bar has been getting a ton of press since it opened and for good reason. It has everything I mentioned above as far as atmosphere goes and some delicious cocktails to boot. I swung by the other night and tried out the Queens Park Swizzle a blend of Lime, Sugar, Rum and bitters. Look at the layers in this beautiful cocktail. Doesn’t it just look refreshing and delicious!

It certainly was- although I may ask for a tad less sugar next time, it was exactly what I wanted and for only $11 quite a steal as far as the cocktail scene in this city goes. The low slung bar stools and natural light cascading in from the skylights above make it a relaxing place to imbibe. Too bad it’s all the way out in Long Island City. …

Run- Don’t Walk to Miller’s Tavern

Mr. T and I don’t make it over into Williamsburg that often. Honestly it’s probably only about 6 or 7 times per year but whenever we do we have a great time and these past two visits were no different. Let me back up.

A few weekends back we had a concert tickets to a show at the Knitting Factory Brooklyn. We also had a friend visiting and decided to make a day of it by starting out at Radagast for some beers and onto Spuyten Duyvil for some more good beers. It was starting to reach about 8:00 and I had no reservations for dinner. All of a sudden I realized everything was packed. We started wandering the streets trying to find a table and finally stumbled upon Millers Tavern.

Miller’s Tavern sits on the Hope Street in a cute unassuming little space. Walking inside it felt very neighborhoodish and lively. They had fantastic music playing and the servers all greeted us with big smiles. We got a table right up front and put in an order for oysters.

Miller’s has $1 Oysters every nig…

Beaten, Seared and Sauced

I’m happy to offer your readers out there a real treat! This Thursday May 19th Jonathan Dixon author of Beaten, Seared and Sauced will be giving a talk along with food writer Andrew Friedman at the Museum of the City of New York. If you loved Bourdain’s “Kitchen Confidential” or Bill Buford’s “Heat”, as I did- this is right up your alley.

Jonathan talks about his experience in the Culinary Institute of America and gives a behind the scenes look at the craziness that is the restaurant world in NYC . I’m especially psyched since Jonathan did one of his externships at Tabla, Danny Meyers Indian restaurant which sadly closed last year.

Jonathan has a slew of funny stories and I can’t wait to attend myself. Reservations are required so give a call (917) 492-3395 or email them at
The tickets are normally $12.00 but mention NYC Tastes and get them for $6.00! Hope to see some of you there!

Beaten, Seared and Sauced

Saturday at the Red Hook Ball Fields

Every summer I here the chatter start on the food blogs and message boards about the great ethnic food carts out at the Red hook ball fields. So much chatter in fact that when my friend mentioned going opening weekend I jumped at the chance. We headed over on the IKEA ferry and walked through the quiet and somewhat desolate park over to the fields. There were only about 9 or 10 trucks total I would say. I was expecting more but after all the eating we did I don’t think any more are needed.

I was all about getting a pupusa so I jumped at the first truck I saw. There was no line so I ordered a chicken and cheese one. I was given my order almost immediately and I have to say I was really disappointed. There was barely any chicken or cheese inside and all I tasted was dry, mealy corn. This was my first pupusa so I figured I just didn’t enjoy this El Salvador delight.

So I ambled over to a taco truck and tried out the Carne Asada Taco first. I liked the spicy grilled chunks of meat but it w…

A Little Bit of Buffalo at Little Town

I was really excited when I heard a bar/restaurant was opening up right nearby completely dedicated to NY food and drink. Immediately in my head I heard a chant of “chicken finger sub, chicken finger sub”. I swung by with Mr. T on a Thursday night and the place was bumping! All the tables were filled and we were luckily enough to get two seats at the bar after only a few minutes. Little Town is in the old Vintage Irving space and while they didn’t change too much around I love the addition of a big screen TV in the back. This will be perfect for nice day sports watching with the open doors.

I almost always get a flight of beers when it’s offered and here was no different. For $12 you get this flight of beers, PLUS a pint of beer! That’s an awesome deal (just reinforcing even more how much I hate the Tap Room and their prices).

But I was here most for the food. On the menu were some classics- Spiedie’s from Binghamton, garbage plates from Rochester (oh boy!), salt potatoes form Syracuse …

Weekend Festivites!

The Madison Square Market opened on Friday! It usually runs in October but there was some sort of snafu with the parks department and they moved it to May. That’s just fine with me- lots more time to enjoy the nice weather.

Lots of new additions this year as you can see. Of the new ones I’m really excited about Asiadog and Calexico. I loved AsiaDog at Luckyrice last year- how can you not love loaded hot dogs! Momofuku on the other hand was a little disappointing. They only carry cookies and drinks. I would have loved me some cake truffles.

Mr. T and I went by yesterday and picked up some frites from Bar Suzette. Unfortunately they weren’t exactly frites but more like shoestrings. They were terribly over salted and really not satisfying at all.

We then tried out a chicken tamale from Breezy Hill Orchard. Unfortunately this wasn’t very good either. The chicken was over spiced and the corn was dry. I feel a little bad for them. Usually they have a ton of great apple and pumpkin …

Sushi at the Plaza Food Hall

The last time I ate at Todd English’s Food Hall I enjoyed the food but the service was atrocious. I had hoped it was simply the holiday season so I decided to give it another shot last week. Unfortunately we found much, maybe even more, of the same. It was about 4:30 on a Saturday and we were seated right away at the flat bread bar. The place was certainly buzzing but by no means packed as there were multiple open seats through out the various sections. Our waiter came over right away for our drink order which was nice, but that would be the only good service we would have for the rest of the meal. After waiting about 15 long minutes after the drink order our waiter finally came back, without drinks, to take our food order. I was a little concerned since we had only ordered Prosecco and a beer, not exactly complicated, but we placed our food order and hoped for the best. About 10 minutes later we still have no drinks. Our waiter seems to be hanging out with some friends and when I fin…

Happy Hour at Lani Kai

Mr. T had the day off last Friday so we met up for some early evening drinks. I feel like we never enjoy happy hour because he gets out too late so this was a real treat. We met up at an old favorite, Lucky Strike in SOHO and then walked over to Lani Kai right at 4:00 for the start of their happy hour. First of all I love the décor and feel of Lani Kai. The tiki theme reminds me of the Hurricane Club but the vibe and space are much more relaxed and laid back.

I’ve pretty much been obsessed with frozen cocktails since Mexico so I couldn’t pass up the chance to try the Bermuda Triangle. A frozen blend of Cachaca Coconut, Kalamansii and Lychee juice- this was absolutely delicious! Seriously the best frozen drink I’ve had since coming back from the wedding. And for only $5 during happy hour an absolute bargain as well.

Mr. T found his favorite drink right away as well with the Hawaiian Iced Tea. They used vodka infused with tropical black tea, mint, tea syrup and lime juice for th…

From Senorita to Senora

I just got the wedding photos from our photographer so although I'm going back about two months I'm finally doing my wedding post. I'm just going to summarize the rest of the trip but needless to say it was awesome!

So if you remember Mr. T and I decided to have our wedding in Puerto Vallarta.
For one night we left the resort and had the rehearsal dinner in town at El Dorado by Boca Bento. The scene was absolutely fantastic with four large tables right on the sand perfect for watching the incredible Puerto Vallarta sunsets.

To begin each person had a traditional Tortilla Salad.

Followed by a choice of Grilled beef Medallions with Wasabi Potato Puree, Grilled Vegetables and Pasilla Chile Sauce.

Adobo Shrimp with Grilled Pineapple, Sticky Rice and Chimichurri Sauce

Or Seared Filet of Mahi Mahi with Sticky Rice, Plantains and a Lemongrass Soy Sauce.

I had ordered the Adobo Shrimp and loved the combo of spicy rubbed shrimp with the sweet warm pineapple. The Mahi Mahi I tried was just…