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Showing posts from January, 2011

Tasting Hour at Japonais

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After an incredibly exhausting week of work I came home Friday to find Mr. T in bed, sick as a dog. I had been dreaming of a wonderful nap all day but those plans shattered once I saw how sick he really was. So instead I spent my Friday and Saturday cleaning up tissues, cooling fevers, running out to this store and that for whatever he needed at the moment whether it be medicine, juice or some sort of food item. By Saturday evening I was pretty tired of being the personal nurse and needed a break. Luckily right about 5:00 Mr. T went off for a nap and I seized the opportunity for a little fresh air and some food.



I knew I didn’t have too much time but I did want to relax a bit and enjoy myself. I happened to be walking by Japonais and noticed their Tasting Hour menu listed outside. I had been trying to decide whether I wanted sushi or some sort of meat- this menu had $7 appetizers of both- easy decision! I went inside and was the sole diner at the bar.

Japonais is absolutely beautiful i…

Caffe Lavazzo at Eataly

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As I continue my tour of all things Eataly I decided to go back to the start where Caffe Lavazzo serves up some very tasty coffee drinks. They have everything that you would expect espresso, macchiato, cappuccino, etc. but also some really unique twists. My current favorite is the Piedmonte.



They take a double espresso, stir in a little bit of cocoa powder, throw on a hefty dollop of whipped cream (note how much I got and I said light on the whip) and then top it off with some freshly grated dark chocolate flakes.



I love this drink. I’m not a big whipped cream fan but here it doesn’t matter too much. The whipped cream they use is firm and doesn’t melt easily. As a result each sip of espresso kind of ran through the cracks of cream allowing the bitter espresso flavor to stay true with only a hint of frothy cream.

The cocoa power simply gave the drink more depth and really didn’t add too much sweetness. As soon as I finished my first I contemplated getting a second. Would four esp…

MLK at ABC

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You would think after a decadent and wonderful lunch at Bouley Saturday, followed by lots of beers and a giant cheese steak during football Sunday, that the last thing I would want to do Monday afternoon is stuff myself with more food and drink…Well if that’s what you think you don’t know me very well.

I woke up on Monday feeling like a million bucks. Sunday I spent the entire day inside watching football and barely moved off the couch. All the energy I stored up doing nothing seemed to be pouring out of me and I was anxious to spend the day being active. I spent most of the morning shopping- everywhere from SOHO up to Times Sqaure when hunger finally struck me around 1:30 and I decided to head back near home for lunch.

Since it was a Monday I figured I would have no problem just walking in for a bite. Man was I wrong! I opened the door only to be greeted by a packed restaurant filled with noise and multiple parties waiting for a table. I almost walked out after being quoted at least an…

Happy Saturday Cocktails!

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It’s the weekend and after the week I had at work I really need two or three cocktails! And what better place to tipple at than Temple Bar. This place is definitely one of my favorite bars in the city. The gorgeous wooden bar up front is perfect for some romantic conversation. Head to the back for some more lively conversation with friends at one of their round wooden tables. Anywhere I sit makes me feel like I’ve been transported back to the New York of 50 years ago.



I was there last Saturday and enjoyed a lovely Kir Royale with some friends. It’s not exactly an exciting drink but I wasn’t feeling any of their other cocktails that night. However they do make a pretty mean Old Fashioned which I’ve been known to enjoy. The other drink in the picture is the Riviera Spritzer that looked delicious as well.



They also have some fabulous little snacks but don’t pass up the free popcorn! I have no idea what makes it so tasty, maybe some sort of beet chip mixed in with the kernels? I’m not sur…

Lunch at Bouley

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Bouley was one of the first fine dining establishments I ate at in New York my first year here. I remember loving everything about it- the food, wine and atmosphere. Fast forward to last week when ten years later I finally had a chance to return for a lovely lunch with friends.

The whole experience actually started out pretty shaky. At first we somehow walked right past the restaurant without even noticing. Then once we backtracked the door wouldn’t open. Seriously! We pushed, pulled, pounded- nothing. I was beginning to freak out a little- did they close down and not inform of this? Another older couple walked up as well and had no luck. Finally someone exited the restaurant and we ran in before the door shut. Apparently their door was locked by accident. Well that’s certainly not a way to bring customers inside!

Anyway- once inside the door we were greeted by the amazing smell of apples lining the inner corridor. I felt like some one had slapped me in the face with some autumn love. I…

Il Pesce at Eataly

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I am currently on a quest to eat at every single restaurant inside Eataly. I’ve had all the desserts, espresso, meat and cheese in La Piazza; I’ve ordered take out pizza from Rossopomodoro and focaccia from the bakery; but now it’s time to try out the sit down restaurants and I decided to start at Il Pesce.



Il Pesce is the seafood restaurant in Eataly and has a rotating list of daily specials as well as a nice open kitchen to watch all the cooking. I got a seat at the bar and started out with a nice glass of the Bollicine Rose and some bread and oil.



The specials that night didn’t excite me so I went for a regular menu option the Insalata di Mare (steamed seafood salad). When this bowl arrived I was shocked at how big it was. Mussels, Clams, Calamari and Octopus had all been steamed in a white wine broth and various other herbs. The Mussels and Clams were wonderful- I ate those right away. However the octopus became a bit much for me. There was just so much of it! I don’t know a…

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year- Restuarant Week!

Just a reminder that Restaurant Week starts on January 24th- February 6th this year. Reservations are already available on Opentable. Your old Tasty Trekker was interviewed this year by DNAinfo and you can check out the article here .

As I said in the article I'm really excited about the new Tom Colicchio restaurant Riverpark being a part of the list. I have reservations there already for dinner and I'm hoping to make it to at least one or two more places if I can. I have to tone it down a little this year. I gotta save up some money for February and Mexico!

Tood English Food Court

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I have a Café Sabarsky gift card that expires soon so I figured I could use it last week when my friend came to visit. She got into NYC around 3:00 and we immediately headed uptown to Sabarsky. I was expecting a line but not one as long as we encountered. It was almost out the museum door! She didn’t feel like waiting so we trudged back out into the wet, puddle filled streets and ended up down at the Plaza inside Todd English’s new food court.

Things started off a little rocky. The manager told us it would be a 5 minute wait but then we stood for almost 20 minutes. Then they seated us in the very last section where the door kept opening and closing. I seriously contemplated just leaving but we were really hungry at this point and decided to stick it out.



I wasn’t feeling any of their wine selection so I started off with a safe but boring Hoegarden. The only reason I mention this at all was because of the price. My Hoegarden was a reasonable $7.00. This was a nice surprise sinc…

Christmas Wrap Up and a Surprisingly Great Meal

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So after a few wonderful days of great beer and wine at Mr. T’s parents we flew into Buffalo to visit my family on Christmas Day. We dined and relaxed at the usual places except for one day when we drove into Fredonia to visit an old friend. I wasn’t expecting much from this lunch. Fredonia is a college town, not exactly known for its dining options.

We walked inside the Brick Room and I immediately loved the polished wooden floor, big front windows and cozy brick walls. If I was surprised about the space I was even more surprised at the wine list. They had some of my favorites!



We ended up settling on a lovely bottle of La Crema Pinot Noir which suited our mood perfectly. For my entrée I chose the Crabbie Pattie Sandwich (partly because I like crab cakes and partly because I like Spongebob)



The oven baked crab cake had wonderful crunchy edges and a decent amount of crab meat with little breading. The meat itself was slightly over peppered but I enjoyed the chipotle aioli on to…

Dining Room of Gramercy Tavern Lunch

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I’m slightly behind on my posting so please bear with me. Between the holidays, blizzards and guests I’ve been pretty wrapped up. So let’s go back to the very start of all this madness with our first day off for the holidays. Mr. T’s brother and wife were in town so we met up with them for a lovely lunch at my favorite place- Gramercy Tavern.

I frequent the Gramercy Tavern a good amount but I hadn’t eaten in the back dining room in years! It was nice to have a totally different menu than I’m used to albeit more expensive. They offered a fantastic looking tasting menu for $58 but we were heading up to Mr T’s parents house that afternoon and I was pretty sure that we would be stuffing our faces up there all night. A la carte seemed to be a much better option.



For my appetizer I ordered the Red King Crab with Sunchokes and Apples. The crab meat was so sweet and delicious I would have enjoyed this purely on its own, however I really liked the tart apples slices in contrast to the meat.



For m…

The Meatball Shop

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How in the world it took me this long to finally try out the Meatball Shop I have no idea. Now that I have, I’m obsessed. The Meatball Shop is a cozy little restaurant down in the LES that specializes in one thing and one thing only- meatballs.

Meatballs are something I never really think of that much. However I realized something Saturday night- I love meatballs! Mr. T and I arrived at the Meatball Shop around 6:30. The place was already packed and the wait for a table was an hour and a half. Luckily for us they just opened up a take out window so we ordered up our food and headed over to Local 138 to indulge.



I ordered the Meatball Smash which is your choice of any two meatballs on a brioche bun served with any sauce or cheese you would like and a side salad. That’s a pretty great deal for $8. I went for the Beef Meatballs with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.



As soon as I opened up my box the meatballs literally poured out with steam. I tried to pick my sandwich up but the brioch…

So Long Stoned Crow

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Just wanted to give one last shout out to one of my favorite bars- the Stoned Crow, which served its last beer on New Years Eve. This place was awesome. Mr. T and I came here regularly for cheap beers, awesome burgers and some of the best atmosphere going.



The bar was always filled with amazing pictures, great music and a wildly diverse and quirky crowd. That was as true on my first visit as it was on my last when we stopped in for one last beer on Friday. This bar always felt like classic New York to me and it deeply saddens me to have it close.



It seems like so many great places keep shutting down. Is New York going to be completely devoid of character soon only for the ridiculously rich and boring? I hope not.

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a joyous night out last night and is looking forward to the coming year! As always I have a Wish List of places to dine at in the coming year. Last year I had 16 places on my list and I made it to 8- exactly 50 %. The list was way too long and aggressive so I’ve been a little smarter about choices this year I hope. I’m also assuming Mr. T and I will have enough money to go on a honeymoon to Paris and London which is why you’ll see some international places in there as well. So here goes nothing- my 2011 Wish List of new places to check out!

ABC Kitchen (completed 1/24/11)
Flex Mussels
Riverpark (completed 2/1/11)
Il Trulli
Kin Shop
Lot 2
Bouley (completed 1/20/11)
Lupa
Compose (closed)
Frenchie (Paris)
St John Bar & Restaurant (London)

And these two I’m bringing over from last year:
Locanda Verde
Bonnie’s Grill (wings)

We’ll see how I do! Cross your fingers for some good eats this year!