Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Friday Cocktail Time!

It's the weekend!  I'm shuffling off to Western NY for a visit but please enjoy some cocktails in my absence.



For al fresco boozing head on over to the A Voce Madison patio.  Negroni's, Limoncello and Primavera's abound- there's something for just about anyone- Cheers!


A Voce Madison

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bianca

Mr. T and I have walked by this cozy little Italian place over a hundred times, always noticing the long lines waiting for a table.  When we had to pick a place for dinner with my cousins I decided it was time to see what the crowds knew and I didn't.




We started out with the Ravioli di Ricotta Con Burro e Salvia.




Tagliolini ai Fruitti di Mare with clams, mussels, calamari and shrimp in garlic, extra vigin olive oil and lite tomato sauce.




Lasagna with Bechamel and Meat Sauce.

 


Straccetti di Manzo Pan Seared Filet Mignon with Rosemary.

I have to begin by telling you the most expensive dish of this entire meal was the Filet Mignon at an incredibly reasonable $15.00 followed by the Frutti di Mare at $12.00.  The amount of seafood on my plate for that much money was astounding and quite possibly one of the best values in NYC.  Unfortunately the flavor of the dishes were all a bit bland.  The butter sage sauce on the ravioli completely fell flat and the Frutti di Mare tasted as if it had no seasoning at all. 

So I'm on the fence with Binaca.  Luckily the company was wonderful- maybe it was an off night?  With prices like that I'm willing to give it another shot.

Bianca

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cocktail Time at Bar Centrale

I've been spending a lot of time in Midtown lately trying to win the Book of Mormon lottery.  After four days of failed attempts in the row I figured I could at least treat myself to a drink. There's no better place to do this than Bar Centrale.


This old school hideaway makes the best Sidecar in town and even gives you a little glass of ice to keep it nice and cool.  A few sips of this, some Frank Sinatra on the speakers and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.  Who needs the Book of Mormon anyway!

Bar Centrale

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mozzarelli's

My friend was recently put on a gluten free diet so I've been on the look out for gluten free foods she might enjoy. Mozzarelli's is supposed to be known for their gluten free pizza so I stopped in for a slice.




I have to tell you my Three Cheese slice with Pesto was pretty amazing.  The crust was crisp and buttery while the middle was airy and light.  I'm not sure if I had an amazingly good showing or what but this pizza was pretty fantastic.  Obviously I prefer my gluten filled pizza the best but if you're one of the millions who just can't eat that stuff this is a great option.


Mozzarelli's

Monday, June 25, 2012

I Really Love the NoMad

I seriously can't tell you how much I do.  We returned for Father's Day dinner last week and it was just as wonderful as ever. This time it began with a piping hot loaf of zucchini bread.



 Then onto the Fruits de Mer and that glorious Roasted Chicken again.


I dare someone to try and create a better chicken dish than this...it just isn't humanely possible. 


We missed out on the Nomad le Poulet from Brooklyn Brewery last time so we had to try it with the chicken this visit.


I laughed out loud when this growler arrived to our table.  I would say we certainly had enough beer this time around!


The wonderful and quirky Milk and Honey dessert.


And don't miss out on the Peanut Butter Palette with Milk Chocolate and Popcorn- it's phenomenal.

Mr. T's folks both ordered the Halibut and declared it the best fish dish to date.  I wish I had tried it...too bad I was completely obsessed with my chicken and zoning out the rest of the world.  This is truly a restaurant that is not to be missed.  I will be saving my pennies for another go around as soon as possible.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Let's Go Swinging!

On a delicious Porch Swing cocktail from the bar at Blue Smoke.




Hendrick's Gin, Pimm's No. 1, Lemonade and Cucumbers makes for an extremely refreshing summer drink.  One perfect for those warm breeze in your hair kind of days where you can day dream about just about anything.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Five Napkin Burger- Union Square

When construction started on the corner of 14th and 3rd I was expecting another boring bank to pop up. When a big shiny Five Napkin Burger arrived instead I was thrilled.  This was one place I always wanted to check out. I went for the signature burger described as ground beef, caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, rosemary aioli, soft white roll.



When this arrived I was a little perplexed by all the strange yellow sauce on top. It certainly didn't look very appetizing.




I realized it was the rosemary aioli upon tasting and was completely overwhelmed by the strong flavor and sheer amount of sauce.Besides the sloppy top there was no need for napkins on the meat itself. It was overcooked and dry. Unfortunately the fries followed the same suit.




The shining point of my experience was the beer . This place has a huge list of great beers both on draft and by bottle and a daily happy hour from 3:30- 6:30. So on the bright side- I can enjoy the beer and it’s still not  another bank.


5 Napkin Burger


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Blue Smoke

It was of those rare weekdays where both Mr. T and I had off from work.  We lazed about all morning...and into afternoon...until suddenly evening was upon us!  Time for a neighborhood favorite Blue Smoke.




A delicious Fitz's Root Beer to start.




Then an appetizer and entree to share- Ceaser Salad.




Then onto the Applewood Smoked Chicken with mashed potatoes and crispy onions.  This is a seriously smokey and delicious dish.  I loved the char on the bird and the crunchy onions on the side are such a treat.  So is a weekday lunch with Mr. T!  I wish every weekday was like this.


Blue Smoke

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday Treat

I really need something to help me through Tuesday- what’s better than a cupcake.



This one from Burgers & Cupcakes has a moist cake bottom filled with real strawberries, fluffy whipped frosting and a nice big berry up top. 


 
Yes Tuesday has started to look up.


Burgers and Cupcakes

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The NoMad Rooftop

I truly believe the NoMad is one of the best new restaurants to open this year.  So when they announced dinner service on their rooftop with a brand new menu I was one of the first one to scramble for a reservation.




We arrived just as the sun was setting and the view was certainly beautiful.  There was some jazz music playing softly in the background and the plants swayed in the breeze.  They offered 3 different pairings for the meal a Rose, Classic and Soft.



The options were nice but we settled on a bottle of Sancerre instead which happened to be the perfect choice.




Onto the food. To begin Littleneck Clam with Smoked Sturgeon, Cucumber and Melon.



Tomato Flatbread with Lemon Verbena and Tomato Soda.


Heirloom Tomato Salad with Bufalo Mozzarella.


Roasted Eggplant with Sausage and Bulgur Wheat.




Bass with Asparagus and Black Peas.




Roasted Duck Breast with Apricot, Chamomile and Swiss Chard.




Cherry Sorbet with Granola and Mascarpone Ice Cream.




Shaved Ice to end.




All of the food was great.  I enjoyed the Roasted Eggplant and Duck Breast the most of the savory dishes.  The Cherry sundae to finish was my favorite course of the night.  If you like the Milk and Honey dessert from downstairs you'll like this one as well.  The scene outside also got more beautiful as the night went on.




It was fun trying to figure out which building housed which rooftop.




We had such a relaxing and enjoyable night but in the end we both felt it just wasn't worth the price.  While all of the food was good not one dish made me say "wow" and when I'm paying over this much for a meal I want to say "wow" at least once.


As I write this I am actually getting ready to return to the NoMad downstairs for dinner this evening.  I am lucky enough to be celebrating Fathers Day there and I cannot wait to get my hands on that fabulous Roasted Chicken again and fantastic Fruits de Mer.  I understand the two restaurants are trying to be separate but at no point did I reach the level of excitement I am at right now for the food I experienced on that roof.   That being said I had many "wow" moments downstairs so if anyone can change things around  Daniel Humm is that man.  I have no doubt.


The NoMad Rooftop

Friday, June 15, 2012

New Brew Friday- Heady Topper

It’s that time again- the weekend!!! Let’s celebrate with one of the best beers I’ve tried this year the Heady Topper.



This Double IPA carries 120 IBU’s and is meant for drinking straight from the can.  The aroma is strong- possibly the strongest aroma of hops I’ve ever had in a beer.  The flavor is really hoppy with wonderful lime and grapefruit notes, a chewy mouthfeel (but not heavy) and a well rounded bitter finish.  This beer is currently #3 on Beer Advocate’s Top 100 and it rightly deserves that place.   

Alchemist Beer

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More Tastes at the Tavern

I stopped by my favorite place the other evening and had a quiet solo dinner just me and my meal- Chicken Breast and Sausage, Yu Choy, Spring Onion and Shiitake Mushrooms.



The chicken was rosy and moist with a slightly sweet flavor from the onion and yu choy. Onto dessert a Rhubarb Bread Pudding with Buttermilk Ice Cream.


Quite a perfect little Spring time dinner.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Jacob's Pickles

After enjoying some outdoor drinks at the Boat Basin we headed uptown for dinner at this cute new spot Jacob’s Pickles.




The interior is big and airy with lots of gorgeous exposed brick.  We were torn with the beverages since they had both regular beer and root beer on draft so we ordered a little of both.



And how about going straight for something sweet to start with a Root Beer Float.  Onto entrees the fried chicken sandwiches were the main attraction.



Mushroom Gravy Smothered Chicken w/ aged Vermont cheddar.

 


Sausage Gravy Smothered Chicken



Chicken Bacon Egg & Cheese



And finally a Caesar Salad with fried chicken strips on top.  The chicken itself was good.  It had a nice crunch and quite a bit of heat.  The sandwiches came with a huge bowl of insanely cheesy grits on the side- delicious but deadly in their richness.

We didn’t try any of the pickles- something I kind of forgot about so we’ll have to go back for that and one of their cute mini pilsner sized flights of beer next time we’re on the UWS.

Jacobs Pickles

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Big Apple BBQ

It was another fabulous year at the Big Apple BBQ!  Mr. T and I couldn't get over the fact that the first one was 10 years ago.  Holy Smokes we're old.  Here's a run down on some food.



I started out Saturday morning in the Ed Mitchell line.


I couldn't decide between the Whole Hog or Whole Turkey so I got one of both.


Then it was over to Big Bob Gibson where I had the best Pork Shoulder sandwich I've possibly ever had.


Baby Back Ribs from Pappy's Smokehouse.


Smoked Sausage and Pimento Cheese from Jim 'N Nick's.


Checkered Pig St. Louis Style Ribs.

Not pictured because it was devoured too quickly were Baby Back Ribs from 17th Street and some seriously delicious baked beans.


I returned on Sunday with Mr. T and we enjoyed some beers in the sun while listening to the music.  It was another fantastic event in the park and truly a not miss event for meat eaters and BBQ lovers everywhere.


I look forward to the next decade of BBQ madness.