Monday, April 29, 2013

Brio Flatiron

Located right on Broadway, with enormous glass windows encompassing the entire restaurant, Brio is a fantastic place to grab a bite to eat and do a little people watching.  Mr. T and I stopped in the other night for a little bit of wine.



Which turned into dinner of thinly sliced Beef Carpaccio with Arugula and Parmesan...


...and Seared Octopus with Cannelini Beans, Tomatoes and a light Lemon Olive Oil.



The apps were so tasty we decided to split an entree too of Tagliatelle alla Bolognese.


The hearty meat sauce and toothsome pasta was the perfect way to round out our little date night out.  


Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Quick Bite at Millers Tavern

Sometimes a girl just needs a glass of wine, a nice comfy bar stool and a crisp, zesty plate of greens to end a long day.


The Romaine Salad from Millers Tavern combines spicy fried oysters with roasted beets and a creamy oyster dressing.  It has a distinct southern flair that's light and satisfying, perfect for unwinding.

Millers Tavern

Friday, April 26, 2013

New Brew Friday - Allagash Interlude

The long week is over and I'm ready to break something fabulous out of the vault. This Friday it's one of my favorites from Allagash Brewery the Interlude.



Made from a combination of Belgian Farmhouse and Brettanomyces yeast, this beer has a ton of funky, bubbly flavor that's further enhanced from aging in French Merlot and Sirah oak barrels.



It's dry and tart with strong cherry flavor, gorgeous lacing and such a tannic end it almost tastes like a wine, if it weren't for the thick mouthfeel.   This is one to sit back, swirl and enjoy.  It's on tap various places right now such as Birreria and Fourth Avenue Pub, but you can also pick up a bottle at Whole Foods.  Cheers to the weekend!

Allagash

Thursday, April 25, 2013

One Mile House

This place has quickly become one of my favorite bars in the city.  Located right next door to Bowery Ballroom, One Mile House is an absolute gem on this stretch of Delancey.  The first thing you'll notice walking inside is that this is a serious beer bar.  With a constantly rotating draft list of 30 beers I find something new and delicious each visit.  Last weekend we enjoyed the brand new Founders Doom and the Widmer Brothers Alchemy Ale.



The Alchemy was a tasty, easy drinking pale ale while the the Doom was a crazy bourbon barrel aged Imperial IPA .  Don't worry if you're not sure what beer to order.  One Mile House offers flights, so you can try out a few different varieties and discover what pleases your palate.  Carry your flight to the patio out back and enjoy some brews while basking in the sun.   



 I highly suggest ordering some bar food as well.  I love a saucy bar pizza and this was incredibly satisfying.  The crust was perfectly charred with tons of cheese and crispy pepperoni on top.  I wish all pepperoni could be crispy like this.  Factor in the incredibly friendly bartenders and fantastic beer events and that pretty much sums up One Mile House.  Just an all around great beer bar.

One Mile House

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mojicone at Los Paisitas

I was back in Elmhurst for work the other day and stopped into one of my favorite Colombian bakeries Los Paisitas.  All of the baked goods looked amazing, but the Mojicone called my name.  Maybe it was the sparkly sugar on top...



 ....or the light, fluffy exterior...




... or the swirl of milk and molasses tucked away in the bottom fold.  Such a nice little surprise to find :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Morandi

It seems like only a few days ago the sun was shining bright and the weather was so warm it was as if Spring had finally arrived.  Actually it was only a few days ago and I had a brief moment to enjoy the weather with an al fresco meal at Morandi.  Notice the sun shining on my basket of freshly baked bread.



The big wooden tables at Morandi have a fantastic rustic feel just like being back in the tiny villages of Tuscany.



The food is rustic as well.... housemade Cavatelli with pumpkin, broccoli rabe and sausage topped with a flurry of fresh grated Pecorino.  This is a fresh, simple pasta dish I could eat every day.  The warm sunshine on my back just made it that much better.

Morandi

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mighty Quinns

If you walk down 2nd Avenue on a nice warm day, you'll start to smell delicious smoked meat around 6th Street where Mighty Quinn has set up shop.  It's almost impossible not to stop in for the incredible BBQ they're churning out.  Start with their crackly smoked brisket....



Chock full of flavor without all the fat...its definitely a contender for best brisket in town. 


The tender Pulled Pork is right up there with the brisket and the don't forget about the Baked Beans...


Creamy morsels with crisp hunks of burnt ends make for the best side dish on the menu (and fills a serious bean void left from the closing of RUB).


Cut all the meat with side of pickled veggies and vinegar based coleslaw and you've got a perfect meal of slow smoked BBQ.

Friday, April 19, 2013

New Brew Friday- Raspberry Tart

It's time for a delicious weekend beer.  This one is something I think anyone would enjoy- Raspberry Tart from New Glarus.



One whiff of this beer is like walking into a field of raspberries.  It's light bodied with a little carbonation and a great sour bite that will make your mouth pucker for a moment before hitting the sweet balanced end.  It's made with Oregon berries and Wisconsin hops...truly a fabulous collaboration from both states and an absolutely incredible beer.  If you can get hands on one of these don't let go.

New Glarus Brewing

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Keste Pizzeria

After a few pints at Blind Tiger Monday night Mr T and I walked over to Keste.  The narrow space was crowded but we were able to get the last table without a wait.  We've been to all the Neapolitan joints in town and Keste was the last one we needed to check out.  Since it was our first time we went safe and ordered with the Classic Margherita with homemade mozzarella, pecorino romano and extra virgin olive oil.



The pie arrived with an incredible aroma of basil and oil... surprising since there didn't seem to be much basil on top.




The crust on this pie was absolutely gorgeous.  It was fluffy with an excellent chew and crisp pockets of char on the edge. Of the Neapolitan joints we've been to this was as close to perfection we've either seen.  The simplicity of the pie allowed all of the fresh, fabulous ingredients to really shine through.   




The restaurant has a small wine list with mostly Italian selections.  You won't find anything to crazy in the beer section here but you don't need to with Blind Tiger right down the block.


Keste Pizzeria

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Smorgasburg DUMBO

I woke up Sunday morning and was absolutely starving.  I never ate dinner the night before and it was hitting me hard.  It was a gut wrenching hunger.  A hunger so massive it needed something big...something huge... like a giant food market...Smorgasburg!!  And just like that I hopped on the F train to Brooklyn.


It was such a gorgeous day to walk around but I was so hungry I couldn't enjoy myself until I had a bite to eat.  Brooklyn Piggies would have been a great choice...


...but they were still cooking in the oven.  The Hash Bar sounded like a fantastic idea...


...but the line was way too long for me to handle so I ended up at Takumi Taco.


The Short Rib Taco had a nice spice and although the meat was a bit dried out the wasabi crema on top helped a lot.  The woman next to me was devouring a Spicy Tuna Taco which looked amazing.  I was about to order one of those as well when I noticed I was right next to the Solber Pupusa tent. 


I loved these pupusa's when I had them out in Red Hook so I ordered up a combo platter of chicken and beef.


I was a little worried about filling up too fast when there was still so much food left to try.  Luckily the pupusa guys had me covered.  They had bags, aluminum foil...anything you could want in order to carry food home.  I can't tell you how much I loved these guys.  Because then I spotted something I absolutely had to have...Maple Bacon Cupcakes from Kumquat Cupcakery.


I love anything maple and these were just perfect- a great balance of frosting to cake ratio with a sizable hunk of bacon right on top.


Hunger satiated for the moment I wandered over to the park and relaxed in the sun before heading back into Manhattan.  What a gorgeous way to spend a lazy Sunday morning.

Smorgasburg

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Blue Ribbon Day

I was so excited to see the sun shining Saturday I was ready to jump into summer mode with both feet. What a better way to jump right in then with a flight of ros├ęs from Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar.



I love flights of anything...flights of wine, flights of beer, flights to Paris...you get the picture.



I enjoyed each of these but the standout was the Sancerre which was dry with just a bit of fruit.  We were enjoying ourselves so much at the bar we decided to keep the evening going across the street at flagship Blue Ribbon.



The bakery downstairs was in full swing...the smell of yeast permeating through the air..



We started out a little healthy with a creamy Cesar Salad...



...but then it was onto Fried Chicken for the main course of the night. This is one of those dishes I dream about.  The skin has the most incredible crunch with just enough salt to keep you licking your lips...the inside is chock full of meat and I usually dip each bite into the little bowl of honey on the side.  It's sweet and savory and everything that is right with the world.  I think it's the best fried chicken in the city.  Certainly a Blue Ribbon day in my book.

Blue Ribbon Restaurants

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Brunch at Barbounia

When my best friend from college came into the city last week I wanted to schedule some serious catch up time.  We chat here and there through email and Facebook but we needed much more than that.  We needed a few hours of one-on-one talk preferably with lots of champagne cocktails and delicious food to accompany it.   Barbounia offers a regular a la carte brunch on Saturday and Sunday with an option for unlimited champagne, Bellini's and Mimosa's for $18.95 a person.  Looks like I found our place!

I made a reservation for 1:00 Sunday and the gorgeous room was absolutely packed.  Luckily we got seated right away and started with a trio of Mezze...hummus, tzatziki and spicy feta.



All three were wonderful but the standout was the spicy feta.  It was incredibly creamy with a lingering pepper finish that just made you want more and more.



A piping hot baguette was more than ample for our trio of delicious spreads.  We ate so much I was almost too full for my Greek Eggs.



But once I smelled the fried haloumi cheese and sumac I was diving right in.  The baked eggs were perfect with crispy edges and herby roasted tomato   I was so in love I almost forgot to sample Christine's Turkish Eggs.



Spinach, chickpeas, ground lamb and tahni sauce was the base for hers....I think we each finished about half and were almost too full to talk. Lucky for us they extend the champagne drinking to the bar so it was another round of champagne before heading out the door.




It was a lovely boozy brunch to catch with an old friend.  If only it could happen every Sunday.

Barbounia

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lunch at Aquagrill

Ahhh...one of my old standby's.  I've been going to Aquagrill as long as I've been living in NYC and the gorgeous weather this week was the perfect opportunity to check out an old favorite for lunch on the patio.  


If you come to Agqugrill the oysters are a must.  They have an incredible selection that are so fresh you can almost smell the sea in the air.


The complimentary bread is always a treat... onion focaccia, jalapeno corn bread and baguette all arrive at the table so there's no need to choose just one.  I like the spicy cornbread the best but I always nibble on the fluffy focaccia with my oysters.


The classic Rare Yellowfin Tuna sandwich with avocado, red onion and arugula is a perfect choice.  The  flavors work so well together and you can taste a nice smoky char on the tuna from the grill.  It was a lovely lunch...the outdoor space is one of the best places to have a leisurely meal and just enjoy the day. 

Aquagrill

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Brisket and Beer at Rye House

Rye House is one of those places that is just a block too far away to become a neighborhood staple.  The food is always good, the beer list changes frequently and if you avoid the after work crowd it can be quite a relaxing little spot.  We stopped in one lazy Saturday afternoon and split the BBQ Beef Brisket with house slaw and potato salad.


This beast of a sandwich was packed with layers of moist brisket smothered in a sweet Dale's Pale Ale BBQ sauce...on the side some traditional coleslaw and nontraditional potato salad.


We paired this meat bomb with a refreshing Peekskill Simple Sour, one of my favorite beers going right now.  

Rye House

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Char No. 4

We ventured out to Brooklyn Friday night for a feast of meat and whiskey at Char No 4.  The cozy Smith Street spot was absolutely packed and for good reason.  I seriously wanted to order everything on the appetizer menu and we almost did.  To begin House Smoked Bacon with spicy pickled cabbage and cashews.


The thick cut bacon was excellent with a sweet maple glaze and a lingering smoky finish that made me want to lick my lips to keep the incredible flavor going.


The Crispy Cheddar Curds were pipping hot nuggets of goodness made oh so much better with the spicy pimento sauce.


House Cured Lamb Pastrami was so moist and thin it almost looked like raw tuna with flavors leaps and bounds beyond your average deli meat.


The Cornflake Crusted Crab Cake had nice notes of meyer lemon but it paled in comparison to the other appetizers.


My entree of Smoked Chicken with bacon whipped potatoes and mushrooms was incredible.  The buttery skin had a fantastic garlic crunch that reminded me I need to invest more time and energy in roasting a chicken at home.


I didn't think dessert could get better than the intense Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie with graham cracker crust and caramel but then the Butter Pecan Sundae arrived...


Big scoops of creamy ice cream with enormous pecans and caramel were doused in a pool of bourbon.  This is the sundae dreams are made of and I made sure not one bite was wasted.  For incredible smoked meats and a killer bourbon list you can't do much better than Char No. 4.

Char No 4