Showing posts from June, 2011

Pop Bar and Grill

I was pleasantly surprised to see Pop Burger had opened up a new location of their restaurant right on University Place. We swung by on a Friday night to check out the goods compared to their Meatpacking location. This space is about four times the size and has a pretty nice wooden bar in back (although it was crazy dark back there) and a couple flat screens for watching sports.

I ordered a Flying Dog in Heat wheat from their quite large beer list and then noticed the extended food list.

It’s broken down into the original items and the new “pub” items.

We couldn’t decide so we just ordered a bunch of things to split. It’s food time!

First up the classic Pop Cheeseburger. At the old Pop location I always found the burgers to be too dense. It tasted like they shaped the meat too long and formed an over hard patty. The meat had none of that texture- juicy, moist meat with an excellent char on the edges and wonderful seasoning. The only thing missing from this mini burger was a crispy…


Thursday morning we met up with the parents and had a quick gorge fest at Doughnut Plant (OMG Tres leche my love come to me…), hopped onto the free Delta Yankee boat up to the stadium and enjoyed a 12 inning walk off home run game. My parents happened to be staying right in Times Square so I figured it was finally time to check out an old NY classic Carmine’s.

Now I had a feeling I wasn’t going to like Carmine’s and walking inside the restaurant it reminded me off a cross between Disney World and Olive Garden. Wall to wall people were waiting and the vibe was quite noisy and raucous. We got a seat towards the back and ordered two of the family style dishes to split.

The Penne a la Vodka was really tasty. I thoroughly enjoyed the creaminess of the sauce and the nice fresh herbs and garlic throughout the dish.

The Shrimp Scampi was also quite good. There was a bit too much breadcrumb for my tastes but Mr. T loved the crispness of the dish and the lemon butter sauce beneath wasn’t too s…

Long Island Day

My parents were visiting for a few days and we tried to jam pack as much as we could into the short trip. The first day we drove out to Long Island and visited a few of the wineries out in Southampton. Our first stop was Duckwalk where most of the wines we tired were on the sweeter side but everything was quite enjoyable.

Our next stop was at Channing Daughters- a winery I was very excited about since I’ve enjoyed their wines in multiple restaurants in NYC. The wines were definitely still tasty and the wood carvings throughout the store were beautiful but our wine pourer was absolutely awful. We happened to be the only customers at the time and she made it quite obvious that she wasn’t happy we were there. She didn’t smile once and hardly even gave us a description of the wines until I prompted her to do so. Her attitude made the whole tasting very uncomfortable and I was so angry and put off I decided against buying any bottles. Too bad since I was planning on stocking up there…

Cocoron Soba

How in the world I never heard of this place until a few weeks ago is beyond me. I like to think I know a lot about the dining in this city- and especially a lot about noodle places Mr. T’s favorite. Somehow this little gem of a place got past my radar until now. Tucked away in a little store front on Delancy Street this place is easy to pass. However once you get your hands on their noodles I guarantee you’ll stop.

Take a look at this pile of noodles. This is the first step of enjoying the Stamina Dip Soba. Pick up some noodles- then place them into this ridiculously steamy aromatic broth for about 10 seconds to heat up.

Then Eat! The noodles have such a toothsome, nutty texture I just wanted to slurp these up all day! The broth was packed with flavor from the beef, mushroom and chicken. Talk about a little slice of heaven!

If you do come to Cocoron stick to the noodles. We started with the Salt Cured “Ham” style Chicken and I just thought it was weird. It tasted alright with t…

Is It Friday Yet?

No of course it's not. Damn these days that come after Sunday. I'm going to pretend it's the weekend anyway and tell you about the most delicious Bellini I ever had just this past weekend at Cipriani.

I always knew Mom-in-Law Mrs. T loved to stop for a Bellini here and I knew they even sold a Bellini Mix. However I did NOT know they supposedly made the first Bellini and I also did not know how delicious it was! The white peach juice was so wonderful and really livened up the Prosecco with a nice foamy top. It was so much brighter and fresher than any Bellini I'd ever had. This was such a delicious little treat I have to remember next time I'm in Grand Central. Here's to the weekend being one day closer.

Zero Otto Nove

This famous Bronx Italian restaurant opened up an outpost right in the Flatiron district near my apartment a few months back. The sprawling cavernous space and big picture windows up front make for a stunning dining room and the round wooden bar is very inviting. We’ve dined here about three times since the opening and I’ve come to the conclusion that the pizza’s are very good but the service could use some work.

Probably my favorite pizza on the menu is the La Riccardo made with butternut squash puree, smoked mozzarella, spicy pancetta and basil. Everything about this pizza works. The smoky cheese goes perfect with the charred bottom and butternut squash might be a better topping for pizza than tomato sauce in my book. You get fatty, salty, sweet and smoky all in one crispy bite. This pizza is pure love.

For the traditionalists the Margherita Pizza is available and quite tasty as well. It’s obvious from the strong basil and zesty parmigiano that they use only the highest quality ingred…

Sardi's Lunch

Sardi’s has been a long time favorite of mine for cocktails and wine with a fabulous happy hour spread. The bar area is always bustling before and after the theatre and everyone seems to be in a jovial mood. When Groupon was doing a special coupon for lunch I jumped at the chance to finally try out a proper meal here for half the price.

I went to Sardi’s on a Friday afternoon right around 2:00 and to say the place was dead would be an understatement. There was only two other tables full when I arrived, one with business men and one with two ladies from Kansas and Pennsylvania. The vast restaurant seemed more like a tomb. The offbeat elevator music playing didn’t make things any better but I cheered up after speaking with my gruff but friendly old waiter.

I decided to do the two course business lunch with a dessert rather than an appetizer. For my main I ordered the Bistro Salad: Sautéed Steak with Mixed Greens, Grilled Onions, Goat Cheese and Red Beet Vinaigrette.

The salad was en…

My Dirty Obsession

I have a secret...a secret dirty sandwich obsession that has been taking over my life the past six months- The Dirty Bird.

Insanely moist and flavorful pulled chicken topped with big slabs of crisp bacon, Pepper Jack Cheese and some enormous onion rings. What’s not to love about this sandwich! It’s got all the textural elements I love and a ton of big bold flavors. It usually comes with a side of vinegar chips but I figured the bacon and rings were enough of a splurge last time so I subbed in a mixed greens salad instead.

But I did need a little more badness…the serious delicious Multijito made with Montecristo and House made Citrus. I loved that the mint was on top and not all mashed inside and the citrus flavors are seriously refreshing.
I’ve eaten this sandwich way too many times to mention in the last couple of months and it never fails to disappoint. I love that Wildwood always has the games on as well, usually with sound, and everyone working there is super nice. What a gr…

A Manly Brunch at Primehouse

It’s no secret that I love brunch and Mr. T hates it. However once in a while we find a place that both of us like and Primehouse is the most recent.

Truth be told we’d been avoiding this place. Primehouse took over the old Park Avenue Country Club spot and even thought that place was pretty awful it held a special place in our hearts. Every year we would reserve a table for the start of March Madness and spend the whole day focused on basketball, beer drinking and gambling. It was awesome. So when the place got sold we were a little upset but it was about time to let bygones be bygones. It was a gorgeous sunny day and only two other tables were filled outside when we arrived so we had our pick of the lot.

Much like the other BR Restaurant group brunch always begins with a free cocktail. Here the choices were more varied than usual- Mimosa, Bloody Mary, Bellini, Champagne, Screwdriver or Campari. I had a Bellini and noticed the brunch menu was more varied as well. There were a …

Ralphs- My Summer Savior!

What's better on a hot summer day than a nice big bowl of cold ice cream! Mr. T and I were seriously obsessed with Friendlys Reese's Piece's sundaes back when we were in college. For years we've talked about how good they were and yearned for a place in the city that would make something similar. Then lo and behold- Ralph's opened up a block away from our apartment!

Ralph's is known mostly for their Italian Ices but the sundae selection isn't too shabby either. This is the Peanut Butter Sundae with Peanut Sauce, Marshmallow, crushed Peanut Butter Cups and Chocolate Crunchies.

When we first had a bite it was almost like a chorus of angels started singing! This was so close to the sundaes we loved back in college! We've been about 10 times so far and although I keep wanting to try something else I can't get away from this sundae. The gooey peanut butter sauce and crispy crunchy chocolate chunks are so incredibly satisfying. Ralph's- you are my summ…

Happy Thursday Happy Hour!

This is officially a drink for Thursdays Only. The new Flatiron spot Gravy opened about a month ago featuring southern comfort food and drink in the old MetroCafe space. I swung by a few Thursday back and enjoyed their Thursday $6.00 Hurricane special. First I tried out the original Hurricane made with J.M. Blanc/Diplomatico Rums, Pomegranate, Pineapple and Reagan’s Orange Bitters.

Prior to this experience I believed I hated Hurricanes. I’ve had them quite a few times and almost always I’ve been given vile tasting alcohol bombs that serve no purpose except to f**k you up. Not Here- this cocktail was delicious with extremely balanced flavors and long refreshing end that made me sit back and relax. It was so good I had to get another. This time I tried out Gravy’s signature Hurricane known as the Category 6 and made with Oronoco Rum, Passion Fruit, Lime Juice and The Kraken Floater.

Although this one was still tasty it wasn’t as good as the first. The Sour Pomegranate really helped equali…

A Fabulous Night with Rachel Ray and eHow

I was lucky enough to be invited Monday night to the Launch Party of the eHow Food Channel’s new partnership with Rachel Ray. And what a party it was! The event was held on the Bar Basque terrace and was complete with a DJ, drinks and of course Rachel Ray and all of her Buddies on hand serving some delicious food and wine.

My first cocktail of the night which I assume was created by Buddy Joe Campanale, was an Aperol Fizz made with lemon juice. This was a nice refreshing cocktail and a perfect aperitif for all the food I was about to consume.

My first bite of the night was a Shrimp Ceviche and a Blue Cheese Onion Empanada. The ceviche was tasty for sure but the real winner was the empanada.

Blue Cheese and Onion oozing out of a crisp buttery shell- what’s not to like about this!

Next I had two enormous Apricot Glazed Ribs. Only one is pictured because I devoured the first.

Next up Broiled Chicken Kebab with Suman over Peanut Noodles. The chicken had a wonderful creaminess from the s…

Tasty Trekker In the Know

Yours truly was interviewed by Scoop St. for their In the Know column today! Head on over to Scoop St if you want to check it out.

I think this deserves a Pomegranate Martini- Cheers!

M. Wells

I feel a little like everyone and their mother has written about M. Wells already so I’ll try to make this one short, focusing most on the pictures but I will finish it off with some serious service issues we experienced.

M. Wells opened up in Long Island City almost a year ago with a focus on Quebeco-American cuisine. Located inside an old diner car the setting is certainly unique and I was prepared for it to be a bit hectic because of the small space. We started out with some appetizers:

Escargot & Bone Marrow with Shallots, Red Wine Puree

Cesar Salad with Smoked Herring dressing

I didn’t try any of the Bone Marrow but it looked amazing. The Cesar Salad was pretty darn amazing itself! The Smoked Herring gave the salad such depth and being Polish it really brought back memories of herring dinners at my grandmother's house.

We actually had the Blue Cheese Salad with Beauty Greens, Apples and Walnuts as well but I never got a picture. However I had a few bites and it was awesome!! …