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Showing posts from July, 2015

New Brew Friday- Other Half Galaxy

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It's New Brew Friday and I really can't think of anything better than a crisp refreshing IPA on this scorching hot day.  Luckily Other Half just released their newest batch of Galaxy cans so I'm all set to face the heat.



This dark orange beer gives off aromas of pine and citrus with a super fresh grassy flavor with just a hint of malt at the end.  This is just one of many fantastic Other Half single hop offerings and they continue to crush the NYC beer scene with clean styles like this.  Cheers to local beer and happy birthday to Mr. T!

Other Half
195 Centre Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Wildair

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The newest venture from the Contra team opened just a few doors down on Orchard Street; Wildair is the causal sister restaurant with an open kitchen serving up a variety of small plates.



Be prepared for adventure when dining at brunch.  Most of the plates include ingredients like seaweed butter, boudin noir and littleneck clams with lardo.  Probably the only true "breakfast" item on the menu were the wonderful Soft Scrambled Eggs dusted with herbs and a flurry of toasted kale.


The Fried Squid was more of a whole fried platter with slices of lemon and onion fried right along side with the seafood and a squid ink mayo for dipping.



The only dish I really didn't enjoy was the Little Gem Lettuce.  This is one of my favorite types of green but it was overdone by too many sesame seeds and a thick sour lime sauce.



As always the wine list was stellar.  I had a gorgeous sparkling rose and Mr. T enjoyed one of the orange wines by the glass that always taste similar to a gueuze, my favo…

Breakfast at The Love Cafe

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I've always been a big fan of the Love Street Coffee truck so whenever I find myself in Astoria I swing by the brick and mortar shop for a bite to eat.  The cozy space has a takeout window up front for on the go ordering and a big space with outdoor seating in back for lounging the sun. My last visit I ordered a breakfast sandwich and it was incredible.


Two eggs scrambled with a handful of herbs, three strips of crisp bacon, thick melted cheddar cheese and a touch of mayo.  This is the sandwich hangover dreams are made of...I'm pretty sure it could cure any bad morning.

The Love Cafe
32-30 Steinway Street
Astoria, NY 11106

Restaurant Week- The Leopard at Des Artistes

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My first restaurant week meal of summer was an easy choice; a delightful brunch inside the iconic Hotel Des Artists.  The restaurant was absolutely stunning inside with large canvas murals adoring the walls painted by Howard Chandler Christy in the 1920's.  The space has an elegant but comfortable feel of "Old New York" and the scene at brunch was quite lively. 



The meal began with a bread basket filled with thin bread sticks flecked with rosemary, a rustic brown studded with raisins and sunflower seeds and classic white baguette.  



The restaurant week menu had options for both breakfast and lunch so I decided to have a reverse meal beginning with a lunch appetizer- thin sliced Tuna with Pantelleria capers and radish dressed with a light mustard sauce.

Then onto breakfast with "Uova in purgatorio" baked eggs cooked in a spicy cherry tomato sauce with crushed red pepper, basil and toasted county bread.

For dessert a White & Fudge Semifreddo; thick vanilla ice cr…

Brunch at Cosme

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I can still remember opening week of Cosme.  I was at day three of the Star Chef's Congress and had just seen the world famous Chef Enrique Olvera speak when I decided to race home and check out his dinner that very evening.  Unfortunately Cosme was booked solid and the entire bar was full by the time I arrived. I took it off the go-to list until things calmed down a little but it's still just as crazy today. Reservations for dinner continue to be impossible but not many people know they just started serving brunch. When I stopped in last Sunday I was able to score a table alone and there were still open seats at the bar.



There were so many wonderful sounding things on the menu like Corn Johnny Cakes with pineapple passion fruit and Green Chicken Chilquiles with creme fraiche but it was the Duck Enmoladas that really caught my eye. 

The duck was simply shredded into a glorious mound of rich, tender meat then stuffed inside a soft blue tortilla shell and dressed with layers of sp…

Happy Hour at Dos Caminos

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I love a good happy hour and when it comes with nice salty margarita it's even better.


Dos Camino's happy hour has a little something for every taste; $4 beers, $5 glasses of wine and $8 margaritas in both traditional and their signature Prickly Pear.  Not to mention a fantastic selection of bar bites that really serve more as dinner than just snack.


My favorite is the Chicken Enchilada- a massive corn shell taco covered in mole poblano sauce and queso fresco.  It's saucy, cheesy and loaded with lots of tender chicken. The famous Dos Caminos guacamole is also available during happy hour in a single size portion along with a rich Chorizo Fundido and Pumpkin Seed Fritters.  Happy Hour at Dos Caminos runs from 3:00-6:00 every day so arrive early to take advantage of this great deal.
Dos Caminos373 Park Avenue South at 27th StreetNew York, NY 10016

The Chicken Shack at Shake Shack

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Fried Chicken = always good.  Shake Shack = always good.  Fried Chicken Shake Shack sandwich...how could this possibly be a bad.



The newest item to hit the Shack Shake menu includes a white meat chicken breast with thick sliced pickles, shredded lettuce and buttermilk herb mayo on a butter toasted bun.



The chicken is seasoned with lots of black pepper and served super crisp.  I really liked the crunchy outer coating and the meat was incredibly tender.  However as I sat there eating I started to think about all of the other things I love about Shake Shack.  Those plump tomatoes, melted cheese and that awesome Shack Sauce...maybe even some crispy bacon.  Could I possibly customize my own Chicken Club Shack sandwich?

Stay Tuned...

Shake Shack
Brooklyn Locations only for a limited time

Dominique Ansel's U.P.

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Mr. T and I were two of only eight lucky people to score opening night reservations for Dominique Ansel's dessert only tasting menu Unlimited Possibilities (aka U.P.).  The tiny space above Dominique Ansel Kitchen was transformed into a cozy candlelit space with jazz music playing overhead and table that descended from the ceiling for us to dine (check out his table descending video here).



The meal began with an array of fresh veggies, a little something raw to cleanse the palate for the desserts to come.



The eight course tasting menu was designed around the "first" of everything in life.  Dominique explained that he not only wanted to focus on the flavors but also recreate the emotions that went along with each of these experiences.  A week before dining each guest received an email asking to reply with his/her first word and course number one was designed around each response.

First Word- sweet pea, rice milk, gin, carrot cake, yogurt meringue



A soft mummer went round the …

An Evening of Delight at Contra

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Mr. T and I kicked off our 4th of July weekend with dinner at Contra; one of the newest hot spots serving a prix-fixe only tasting menu.  Immediately upon seeing the space and cuisine I thought of Manfred's & Vin; the cozy restaurant we fell in love with during our visit to Copenhagen last year. The idea is much the same- small courses, built around three or so ingredients, that change daily.  As with Manfred's & Vin I was completely blown away by the incredible food combinations and creativity by the chefs.   


Gem lettuce, milkweed, almond- this crunchy stalk reminded me a Cesar Salad with a salty, nutty tang that was addictive.

Bread & Butter- this was a $3 addition to the regular prix fixe and possibly the best $3 I've ever spent.  That luscious creamy butter and warm sourdough bread...YUM

Summer squash, burrata, sorrel- just a bright, vibrant summer dish.

Crab, english peas, potato- this combination surprised both Mr. T and I.  We're not exactly fans of eng…

Burger & Lobster in Madison Square Park

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One of the greatest perks of summer in NYC are the fabulous free concerts going on in the parks. The biggest shows are always in Central Park of course but my neighborhood green spot has some fantastic shows also and some delicious food that caters each event- the Oval Concert series at Madison Square Park.


Burger & Lobster is the main food scene this year with a variety of Lobster Rolls including the classic with light Japanese mayo and a BLT with bacon, lettuce and garlic confit tomato.

Both come in a buttery toasted roll with a slice of lemon and chives on top.  Plus they sell wine and beer from local breweries like Sixpoint and Brooklyn Brewery so all that's needed on your end is a blanket (no chairs allowed).


It's a great way to sit back, relax and enjoy the best of summer.
Oval Lawn Series Madison Square Park
Burger & Lobster39 West 19th StreetNew York, NY 10011

Boilermaker

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I'm pretty sure this is my new favorite bar in the city.  Where else can you get delicious drinks like this amazing Mai Thai made with lots of crushed ice and fresh mint leaves for only $9.00 a pop during happy hour and $11.00 all other times?



That place is Boilermaker a retro style bar located at the nexus of the universe (1st & 1st for those not into Seinfeld).  



They have tons of incredible cocktails from the classic Tom Collins to refreshing Pimm's Cup and Mr. T's favorite Negroni. 

Not to mention a pretty delicious burger topped with fig aoili and some solid french fries and onion rings.

The only thing I would skip would be the wings which come with far too much breading for my liking.

Boilermaker also has a couple of cocktails on tap like the crazy Cracker Jack a buttered popcorn infused spiced rum and coke.  Where else can you get something like that!
Boilermaker13 1st Avenue @1st StreetNew York, NY 10003