Showing posts from 2016

New Brew Friday- Best Beers of 2016

2016 was another fantastic year for craft beer especially in New York City.  New breweries have been popping up at an amazing pace and the demand for local beer is at an all time high.  Of course with such quick, rapid growth comes growing pains which can be witnessed at a Saturday morning Other Half can release where lines start as early as 1:00 AM or the crazy race for Grimm cans that fly off the shelf in minutes.  Hopefully things in 2017 will bring a bit more calm to the beer chase but it's wonderful to have so many great brews in our own backyard along with these five fabulous beauties.  Cheers to the New Year!

Hill Farmstead- Clover

I probably could have written a"Best of List" for 2016 with just Hill Farmstead beers and there would be little to argue about.  Shaun Hill is a master at brewing and his recent bottle of Clover was one of my favorites to date.  A blend of three different saison's Ann, Art & Flora, aged for 12-22 months, this beer is a stunning ex…

Best Dishes of 2016

Wow 2016 is almost over and what crazy year it was.  If I was to look simply at the year in American culture I would have to use the word devastating.  So many incredible artists passed away, the political state of the nation was a non-stop roller coaster ride of shock, disgust, anger, frustration and for the first time in a while the future feels incredibly uncertain.  Of course the NYC dining scene took a huge hit this year with the closing of classic restaurants like The Four Seasons, Les Halles and most recently Blue Ribbon Bakery Kitchen.  I was saddened most by the closing of my two favorite cocktail bars; underground vodka great Pravda and the gorgeous Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Terminal.  We also lost the fabulous Juni, my go-to spot for a fancy lunch from Shaun Hergatt.  

But I'm always one to look on the positive side and 2016 was actually a good year on a personal level.  Mr. T and I had some great East Coast trips to BostonVermont and Philadelphia all of whic…

Holiday Drink Guide

The holiday season is in full swing! Now with the city wrapped in a gorgeous white blanket of snow this morning, it seems like the perfect time to get out and start celebrating.

Quintessential NYC- The Plaza Hotel
Whether you grew up watching the Eloise Christmas or Kevin in Home Alone just about everyone has a vision of The Plaza during holiday season.  Although the classic Oak Room is still sadly closed the redone Palm Court is a great second choice for a little holiday bubbly.

The Plaza Hotel 768 5th Avenue at 58th Street New York, NY 10019
Best Christmas Bar- Miracle on 9th Street
Christmas presents hang from the ceiling in shiny boxes, the bartenders have on their best Santa hats and the cocktail menu reads like something straight out of the North Pole.  There's a Christmopolitan with vodka and spiced cranberry, a Christmas Tree Gimlet with pine needle cordial and my personal choice the Bad Santa.

It's got two kinds of rum, pineapple juice, coconut water and coconut butter served…

Rockefeller Center Holiday Guide

It's about that time of year so I'm rolling out my holiday guide once again for the Rockefeller Center/ Times Square Area.

NYC is a wonderful and magical place to visit around the holiday season. The Rockefeller Center tree is gorgeous, all the hotels are decked out in red and gold, holiday pop-up shops fill the parks- what could be better?

Unfortunately you have to be prepared for what I can only describe as controlled chaos. You will be wrangled like cattle to see the tree, stand in line at a Starbucks for 30 minutes, not for a caffeine fix but to use the single smelly bathroom and you’ll probably be so tired out from all of your shopping and touring that you’ll see a TGI Friday’s or Olive Garden and think it’s an oasis in the storm. Two hours later (because you’ll have to wait for a table like all of the other tourists who thought the line at McDonald’s and Subway were too long) you’ll wonder why the food and service were so crappy and suddenly your wallet is empty as well.


The Katsu Sandwich at Hi-Collar

There are so many reasons to love Hi-Collar, the wonderful pour over coffee, those insanely delicious Japanese Pancakes and of course the extremely limited Katsu Sandwich. 

A thick slab of Berkshire Pork breaded then fried, served on crustless white bread with a smear of tonkatsu sauce and a side of pickled veggies. I've never been a big fan of Katsu sandwiches but this one is exceptional.  The breading seals in all those wonderful juices with a crispy, grease free outer shell that manages to feel light and fresh. Only 10 of these sandwiches are served per day after 12:00 so order early.

214 East 10th Street
New York, NY 10003

Brunch at Danji

Finally- my favorite little Korean spot in Hell's Kitchen has starting serving brunch!  Which means I don't have to wait until 5:00 to get their incredible Ginger Scallion Tofu or the wonderful Beef Bulgogi Sliders.

Two potato buns stuffed with beef then topped with a spicy thick sliced pickled cucumber and scallion salsa- delicious! Along with those classic Danji staples they've added three different styles of Korean, Filipino and Mexican breakfast and a small list of brunch cocktails.

This was only Danji's third week of brunch service and the place was already packed so make a reservation to ensure a seat or be prepared for a wait.
Danji 346 West 52nd Street New York, NY 10019

Sundays at 21 Greenpoint

Located just about as far west as one can go before ending up in the East River sits 21 Greenpoint; a new bar and restaurant by Homar Murray, Bill Murray's son.  This place was jam packed opening weekend with Bill himself behind the bar slinging drinks.  Now the restaurant has settled into a cozy, comfortable vibe serving excellent food and one of the best culinary deals in town.

Every Sunday 21 Greenpoint serves a special tasting menu of four to five dishes using leftover items from the weekends dinner/brunch prep.  This allows the chef to have complete creativity with the meal and cuts down on the constant problem of food waste. Plus the entire meal is only $21 which is an absolute steal in this city. 

My first meal began with a wonderful Sauerkraut soup studded with chive, onion and a dusting of pepper.

Next up Pickled Cucumbers layered with ribbons of fennel and onion.

A fluffy golden brown biscuit served with creamy mozzarella butter, eggplant and a tart raspberry compote for the…

An Incredibe Meal at Carbone

It's so wonderful when a restaurant meets each and every expectation.  Especially when the stakes are so high; a Michelin starred, Saturday night 50th wedding anniversary kind of high.  But from the moment we walked in the door of Carbone, this mobstyle red sauce Italian joint decked out with brass chandeliers and tuxedo clad waiters hit the mark in every possible way.

To begin a few gratis bites from the kitchen including a big bowl of rustic Italian bread, tomato focaccia and buttery garlic toasts...

...followed by ribbons of salami, bowls of pickled cauliflower and hunks of parmigiana cheese taken straight from a hollowed out wheel.  This was a delightful way to begin the special occasion and helped ease the hunger pains as we debated just about everything on the Flintstone sized menus.

We finally decided on Baked Clams prepared in three different styles; classic oregano with breadcrumbs, "casino" topped with a slice of lardo and an absolutely stunning clam topped with a…


One of the hottest sushi joints out of  California just opened up in the Flatiron district; Sugarfish a casual but trendy spot touting high quality sushi at an affordable price.   The main draw at Sugarfish are the "Trust Me"menus available at both dinner and lunch which give the diner a sampling of menu items designed around portion size; the regular Trust Me for the average diner, the Trust Me Lite for smaller appetites and the Nozawa Trust Me (named for Chef Nozawa) for those with bigger appetites or in this case for a couple who likes to share.  To begin a bowl of Tuna Sashimi.

Sugarfish uses Albacore for its tuna, a cut usually reserved in NYC for sandwiches and salads.  The texture was surprisingly rich and creamy, sprinkled with chopped scallions and brushed with a bit of soy, I would come here for this wonderful dish alone.

Salt dusted organic Edamame to snack on with the sashimi before moving onto the sushi course. First plate Albacore, Salmon and Snapper...