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Showing posts from 2013

Some Last Minute Holiday Ideas

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There's only a few more hours to celebrate so here's a couple ideas to keep the holiday spirit alive:

Sip an Eggnog at The Nomad



The white frothy head is so thick it sits like a big marshmallow cloud on top a nutty concoction of bourbon, rum, cognac and scotch before getting finished off with a dusting of fresh cinnamon.  It's a little boozy, a little sweet...it's everything an eggnog should be.




Enjoy this at the long bar up front or head to the back room for a true holiday experience in the library. 

Take a Trip to Lanterns Keep

This tiny bar tucked into the back of The Iroquois Hotel is a bit of a Midtown secret.  It has an old school speakeasy feel and boasts a number of classic cocktails along with a few creative twists on some old favorites.  We visited last week and while the fireplace was barely at a flicker, the cozy low light spot still exuded a special holiday charm.



The Daisy de Santiago was quite charming as well made from White Rum, Yellow Chartreuse and Lime. …

Best of 2013

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As I look back on the past year I'm shocked by how much delicious food was involved.  I didn't come even close to hitting all the restaurants on my 2013 Wish List.  I made it to only two out of fourteen...yet I still consider this year an incredible success of food and drink moments for both old favorites and brand new places.  To the list!

Best Wings- Pork Slope/Talde




This is a complete tie between Dale Talde's two Brooklyn restaurants.  Both are fried in rice flour for an ultra crisp exterior; the first coated in garlic, butter, Sriracha, Franks Red Hot and honey while the second combines crunchy peanuts, sweet chili and hot sauce.  I can't choose between the two and with both restaurants being just blocks apart there really isn't a need to:)

Best Foie Gras- Marc Forgione



There aren't enough words to adequately describe how silky and luxurious the Foie Gras is at Marc Forgione.  This may have been the best thing I've eaten all year.

Best Pizza- Paulie Gee&…

Solo Sunday Lunch at Gramercy Tavern

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It's the holidays so that means extravagant lunches on the town, too much wine with friends and eating cookies for breakfast...at least that's the way I treat the holidays. So when I was craving both a fabulous meal and a little alone time I hopped on down to Gramercy Tavern without a second thought.



As always a thick, fluffy piece of bread to start with fresh butter and a sprinkle of sea salt. Then onto the Butternut Squash Lasagna with Hen of the Woods Mushrooms and Kale.



Look at these gorgeous layers of nutty squash, creamy cheese and mushroom.



It's really quite a work of art and an incredibly delicious one at that.

Gramercy Tavern

Lunch at Tocqueville

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It was a cold, snowy Saturday filled with drunk Santas stumbling around the city.  The annual Santacon seems to bring the worst out of people and Mr. T and I wanted no part of it this year.  So instead we planned a fancy lunch with friends where it was quiet and serene...one of my favorite little rooms in the city Tocqueville.  I'm just going to begin by saying that this was easily the best dish of the afternoon- California Sea Urchin and Angel Hair Caronara.



This dish was the definition of Umami.  It had these incredible buttery tones that are deeper and richer than I've ever tasted before with a salty, almost roasted flavor that stays right on the tongue for long satisfying seconds after taking a bite.  This is one of those dishes that you just want to savor with each and every bite. I had actually ordered this as a last minute addition for the table to share but I wished it could be all mine when it finally arrived:)  Oh well I wouldn't have room for the prix fix lunch i…

Nutella Milk Bread at Dominique Ansel

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Let's be honest...I've been living at Dominique the last couple of days.  I'm always going in for a canelle or two (which are still the best in the city) but now it's turned into a daily stop for DKA's, S'mores and whatever else happens to look good like this Nutella Milk Bread.


It's shaped like a big pretzel with braids of dough encasing sweet hazelnut spread and sesame seeds...it's too big for just one person but would make any breakfast spread complete so bring some home to share.

Dominique Ansel

New Brew Friday- White Chocolate Moo Hoo

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I've told you about Terrapin Brewery a few times already...remember that  Wake and Bake Oatmeal Stout last year...or maybe their fantastic Espresso Stout which was my favorite beer of  2009?  Well if you don't remember that's okay, it just means more for me!  And I would love to drink as much as I possibly can of the their newest release the White Chocolate Moo Hoo.



Terrapin takes their regular Moo Hoo, a creamy chocolate milk stout made of cocoa nibs from the Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Company, and add in a slew of white chocolate slabs to create a sweet but incredibly balanced stout with lots of smooth chocolate and hints of vanilla.  It's gorgeous to smell, even better to taste and just the beginning of Terrapin's special series.  The next release, a Cinnamon Roll'd Wake and Bake!

Terrapin Brewery

Straw and Hay at Macelleria

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Italian steakhouses are quickly becoming my thing.  I absolutely love Manzo inside of Eataly and Quality Italian is right up there on the list to explore more.  Now enter Macelleria, an Italian steakhouse that's been open for years down in the Meatpacking District.  The gorgeous space practically begs you to come inside and while away an afternoon sipping wine and possibly indulging in a big bowl of pasta.



I honestly ordered the Straw and Hay Tagliolini because I wasn't exactly sure what it was.  Thin strands of green and yellow pasta bathed in a light cream sauce with prosciutto and peas.  It wouldn't be in my top pastas of all time but it had a homey, rich flavor that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Just what a bowl of pasta is supposed to do. 

Macelleria

Brunch at Corkbuzz

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Union Square biggest wine bar Corkbuzz just recently starting serving brunch. I saw the menu online and it looked delicious but the promise of participating in their Champagne Campaign is what sealed the deal for me...all bottles of that bubbly good stuff is 1/2 off during brunch hours.   I made a reservation immediately:)

We met up with some family and sat at one of the communal tables in the back.  I'll begin by saying the service needs some serious work.  Every time it was "Let me know if you have any questions on the wine- I'd love to give recommendations"...then walk away without asking what we wanted.  This happened three different times before we actually were able to order something to drink before he walked away.  Then it took forever to put in our food order in as well...our simple brunch ended up taking over two hours when we only ordered a dish each...not very efficient.  Onto food Mr. T ordered the Shortrib Hash with sunny side up eggs, scallions and a ja…

The S'more at Dominique Ansel

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I was feeling adventurous this past Sunday and walked down to SOHO in search of a Cronut.  I arrived around 10:00 am and the line of people waiting outside was absolutely enormous!  Let's be honest here...I didn't really think this trip through.  I love my baked goods but I'm not standing outside in the cold for hours in order to eat one.  So I strolled past the Cronut line and put on a new game face...the S'mores game face. 



The first thing you need to know about the S'more is that it's made to order...each one gets a nice long blast from the blow torch right before delivery to ensure the marshmallow outside is just the perfect toasted brown color and stays perfectly warm and gooey.


Inside lies a core of thick vanilla custard ice cream which is then encased by crisp chocolate wafers. It's like eating a Choco Taco stuffed inside a gooey campfire marshmallow...in other words it's AMAZING!


I have never enjoyed a S'more as much as this before.  It was cru…

Craftbar

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Tom Colicchio's more casual offshoot of Craft has been in our neighborhood for years.  Aside from a glass of wine here and there it wasn't until last week that we actually stopped in for a full meal.  The place was absolutely packed on Saturday night but we were able to get two seats at the bar. We skimmed the drink menu and were both happily surprised to see some incredible beers...Cigar City Jai Alai, Westbrook Citrus Ninja and Imperial Biscotti Break Natale were just a few of the great beers on the list.  After settling into our drinks we began with an Autumn Squash and Kale Salad.


I found this salad to be very strange.  Each piece of Kale was shredded into long lengthwise segments which made it really difficult to get a big satisfying bite.  This combined with a smattering of under cooked cubes of squash on top made for a most disappointing dish.

The Skate fared better than the salad with a delicate brown butter sauce on top and crispy roasted brussels sprouts on the side.  …

Brunch at Brazen Fox

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Mr. T and I stopped in for brunch last week at the brand new Brazen Fox. This two story bar/restaurant sits right off of Union Square and is the perfect spot to begin an East Village crawl.  The bar has over 20 beers on draft with a few standouts like Founders Red Rye and Captain Lawrence Winter.



Mr. T began with a Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale while I enjoyed the complimentary mimosa which comes with every entree.



The menu has some interesting options like a Sesame Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich made with fig preserves and OMG I stopped by tavern on Jane to request a table in the middle for tomorrow and they double booked! Whole restaurant has been reserved for a private party tomorrow! I'm scouring the west village for another spot.a Fritatta with red peppers and feta.

I wasn't super hungry so we ended up splitting an order of the Pork Belly Grits.

The grits were smothered in cheddar cheese with hunks of fried potato and egg layered on top.  It was a quite a hearty dish comp…

Excellence at Otto

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In a city where most places are trying to be the next best thing, it's easy to get lost in the hype.  I love trying brand new restaurants and revisiting when menus have been revamped and chefs have moved...but sometimes I just want to sit and relax with a familiar face.  Spend a cozy night at the bar with a nice glass of red and feel content knowing that I'm going to have fabulous meal that I've had countless time before.  When I feel like having one of these nights I almost always head straight to Otto.


There's not much better in life than a plate full of their gorgeous prosciutto...it's so tender and soft it almost melts away with each bite.

Pair that with a trio of wonderful cheese like their creamy ricotta, fresh mozzarella and pecorino accompanied by truffle honey and amaretto soaked cherries for the complete meat and cheese experience.

I usually throw in a salad of some sort because I genuinely love salad and it's also a refreshing break before the pizza arr…