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Showing posts from January, 2012

Thirsty Tuesday Pick

My favorite new beer of 2011 was the delicious Bronx Pale Ale from the Bronx Brewery and they'll be pouring tonight at the brand new Growler Station.  A brand new beer at a brand new beer bar?  Sounds like a perfect Tuesday night pick to me.  The boys should be there from 6:00- 9:00 tonight.  See you there!

Restaurant Week at Maze- Gordon Ramsey

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It seems kind of odd to me that I’ve never eaten at a Gordon Ramsey restaurant. I see him shouting all over television constantly you would think it would remind me to eat at one of his places. When I saw the Maze participating in RW I decided it was finally time to try one out. I had the day off of work for some playoff football recovery time so I decided it would be the perfect excuse for lunch.




They started me off with a warm basket of bread and some butter which was incredibly unsatisfying for some reason. The bread had no flavor. Even a little salty butter on top didn’t help- it was just incredibly bland. Luckily that wouldn’t be the theme of the meal. My appetizer the Roasted Spanish Mackerel, grilled romaine lettuce, tomato marmalade, parmesan and basil.



Mackerel is a funny fish- sometimes I hate it other times I love it. Here it was definitely towards the love side. The tomato marmalade was delicious and the bitter greens and parmesan just completely worked with the mackerel. …

Whole Foods Has a Bar

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 Yes that’s right. The Whole Foods Columbus Circle now has a bar in the basement called On Tap with 10 local beers on tap, 8 local wines and some local eats.


Local like this enormous pretzel which came with a local cheese spread of sundried tomatoes the day we visited.


And how about a bag of fluffy popcorn sprinkled with a healthy dose of sea salt.



But don’t forget about the beer. In addition to all the drafts they have a ton of bottles including one of my favorites Allagash Black. I’m not sure this place is destination worthy but it sure makes grocery shopping a whole lot more fun.


On Tap- Whole Foods

The Best Tzatziki Sauce Ever at Avli

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I’m so glad I have to travel around the city for work. Living in Manhattan it’s easy to get stuck in this borough for everything but there’s so much good food in all of them! Case in point- Avli in Bayside Queens. I met up with friends after work and we decided to share a ton of food starting with some pita and that ridiculously delicious tzatziki sauce.


Wow this has it all- rich and thick with a little bit of tang and seasoning. I dare you to find better in the city. I put it on everything we ordered- the Lamb Meatballs…



…my Chicken Souvlaki


Okay I stopped short of putting it on the Greek Fries but I seriously could have.


These guys were delicious all on their own with crumbly warm feta cheese and tomatoes drizzled over the top. Avli is Greek food done right. So order a carafe of the house wine and get ready for some serious delicious sauce.

Restaurant Week at Café Boulud

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My dinner at Daniel last year still remains as one of the best meals of my life. So naturally I was more than excited to try Café Boulud and it just happened to coincide with restaurant week and a visit from my parents.



We were greeted with a piping hot arancini amuse bouche whose salty, melty components were a perfect start to the meal. After a choice of three different breads from the basket my appetizer arrived- Fluke Carpaccio winter squash, fennel, jalapeño ponzu vinaigrette.



All of the flavors in this dish were so clean- the cooling fish, spicy jalapeño and citrusy ponzu sauce. I truly cannot remember the last time I enjoyed Fluke this much. Onto my entrée the Braised Veal Breast celery root purée, wild mushrooms, rosemary jus.



I absolutely loved the celery root puree and rosemary jus on this dish. Unfortunately my veal was cooked just a tad too much and could have been a bit juicier. My parents ordered the other two entrees Winter Squash Ravioli and Blackened Grouper. Both of w…

Dominique Ansel Bakery

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I'm so glad this bakery isn’t in my neighborhood because if it was I would probably gain about 20 pounds. Everything inside this place looks amazing! But please start with a cannele- it’s hands down the best one I’ve ever had.


The bottom is so dark and crunchy it almost looks burnt but instead it’s sweet and caramelized.



Once you bite through the chewy outside the inside is incredibly fluffy and moist.

Look at the eggy light interior! It’s truly a work of art and a delicious one at that. I dare you to try and find a more perfect cannele in this city. There’s nothing that even comes close.



I also picked up one of their Tart Tatine’s the other day. This thing is no joke either. It’s made with a whole apple and has really strong flavors of nutmeg and cinnamon.  There are so many things I still need to try here. I look forward to happily eating my way though their entire line of pastries.

Dominique Ansel

Some Tasty Brews at Birreria

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 Victory did some crazy over the summer. They took their Storm King Stout and put it inside some bourbon barrels from Jim Beam and Heaven Hill Distilleries. The result is what they’ve called Dark Intrigue and I was lucky enough to try a bottle of this at Birreria this past weekend.




This beer is exactly what you would expect a bourbon aged beer to taste like. It’s strong up front with a boozy smell of bourbon and a little chocolate. However the beer itself is really malty and thick. It ended a little strong but I think with time it will age to be quite smooth on the finish. This is the second time Vicory has made this beer but they say this is going to be the last batch- get it while you can. This is one delicious Imperial Stout.


Another beer we tried out was a collaboration between Ommegnag and Liefman the Seduction. This brew had big notes of chocolate with a hint of cherry on the end that I found quite pleasant. The beer seemed a little bit more carbonated than most dark ales which h…

Restaurant Week at the Strip House

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Day one of Restaurant Week this year and I started out with a brand new participant- the Strip House.  This place has been around forever but they never participate because they never do lunch.  Well looks like we were going to be one of their first customers trying out both!



When we got to the restaurant I was a little upset to see a slight change in the desserts from their website menu.  Their Chocolate Layer Cake had been taken off and replaced with a Warm Fudge Brownie.  This may not be a big deal to you but their Layer Cake is legendary for being absolutely enormous and amazing.  I was a little sad about that but didn’t dwell on it.  After all- it was a Monday afternoon and I was having lunch out with my husband- can’t complain about that!  They started us off with some perfectly acceptable but ordinary rolls and then it was onto appetizers where I ordered the Iceberg Lettuce.

I’m not really sure why they didn’t just call this a Wedge Salad but that’s exactly what it was.  Nice cri…

The New Acme NYC

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When Acme, the laid back New Orleans style restaurant in NOHO closed last year, both Mr. T and I were upset.  It’s not that they served the best food in NY but the atmosphere was fun, the waiters were awesome and the food was exactly what you would expect from a southern style place.  So when I heard that Acme was reopening I was incredibly excited.  However this new Acme is different.  So different it may as well be the opposite of “exactly what you would expect”.


We walked in about 7:30 on Friday night and the entire front area was packed with people.  Luckily we had made a reservation and got a nice table along the side wall.  The first thing you can’t help but notice is the complete change in décor.  The kitschy restaurant had been transformed into a dark, sultry place with exposed brick and candlelight.  I started with the Smokin Thyme cocktail made with vodka, mezcal, raspberries and thyme.  I really enjoyed the thyme flavor of my drink but it was nothing compared to the loveline…

A Western NY Favorite at Daddy O's

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Have you ever had a Garbage Plate before? If you answered yes to that question than I already know two more things about you. You’ve probably been to Rochester, NY and you’ve definitely had way too many beers one night. And I say “probably” been to Rochester because this WNY dish is actually being served up right here in NYC at Daddy O’s in the West Village. This is a garbage plate.



Actually at Daddy O’s it’s just called The "Plate" and it’s a huge platter of two cheeseburgers covered with norm's beef hot sauce, mustard and onions on top of home fries and macaroni salad. I have to say it’s pretty authentic to the Nick Tahou’s ones I’ve had back in the day except spicier. Yes- it’s a whole mess of food that doesn’t look so good but trust me. It’s some of the best drunk food you’ll ever have. This plate can also come with hot dogs instead of burgers.




I was so conflicted on the choice we decided to get a couple Zweigles hot dogs on the side- another WNY favorite. We go…

Blue Ribbon Bakery

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I’m continuing my obsession with Steak Tartare into 2012 and my most recent attack was at Blue Ribbon Bakery in the West Village. But first let’s talk about the bread.


This is a bakery after all and here we started out with a nice fluffy loaf and some delicious vermont creamery butter. Onto appetizers I went simple with the Cesar Salad.


My salad was a little disappointing to be honest with you. There wasn’t anything bad about it but for $12.75 I was expecting something a little more. There was a lot more yellow leaves than I would have liked and the dressing was only so so. Not the best Cesar I’ve ever had that’s for sure. But we’re here for the meat right?


This steak tarter came finely minced with onions, capers and fresh ground pepper on top. There was an aioli and spicy mustard on the side but the meat was so nicely spiced on its own no accompaniments were necessary. I absolutely loved the house made potato chips in lieu of toast points. They were the perfect salty vessel for ultimate…

Le Relais De Venise L'Entrecote- NYC

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Remember how Mr. T insisted we go to L’Entrecote in Paris for Steak Frites and I resisted knowing that one had just opened in NYC. Then remember how it was one of the most delicious steak frites we’ve ever experienced. Well I was wrong to doubt him and we loved it so much we decided we had to try out the NYC version as well.  Once again we started out with their walnut salad which was okay but it had a LOT more dressing and walnuts on top then the original.



Then came the steak- a perfect rare with that addictive pesto cream sauce. I’m not sure if it was as good as in Paris. The meat seemed slightly chewier but with that delicious sauce I didn’t care so much.


The French fries were also as addictive as ever. They came around with another portion as in Paris and we gobbled them right down.



We stuck with the house wine as we did in Paris and once again it was completely acceptable and went well with the meat. Unfortunately the service at this outpost was bordering on terrible. The…