Showing posts from July, 2016

Return to Momofuku Nishi

I was feeling pretty sentimental earlier this month when Lin Manuel gave his very last performance in Hamilton.  Ever since I had the amazing opportunity to see the show (thanks to my friends Justin and Cate) I listen to the entire album an average of 4-5 times per week. That might sound insane but there's something so addictive about it I just can't get enough. So on Lin's final night I decided to go back to the very restaurant I dined at right after seeing the show- Momofuku Nishi- to pay tribute to the show. 

Since my last visit there have been quite a few changes to the menu and even the service was a bit different than before- in a good way.  The servers seemed more comfortable in the space, more knowledgeable about the menu and beers were poured with care instead of one big glass of foam.

We started once again with the Fried Whole Shrimp dusted with salt and pepper. Mr. T loves these things. Eating the shells always makes me a bit squeamish so I just have one or two an…

Happy Hour at Tarallucci E Vino

In the never ending search for the city's best happy hour we stopped into Union Square's Tarallucci E Vino Friday night.  It was about 5:30 and this lively little wine bar was already jam packed with people at all of tables and bar stools in front. It was about 90 degrees outside so I'm pretty sure the usual patio goers had passed up those outdoor seats in favor of some cold AC.  In a move to beat the heat Mr. T and I went for our usual summer order of pink drinks; a dry Negroni and a crisp fruity rose.

We were heading to dinner in a few hours but looking at their bar menu I started having second thoughts.  Eggplant Caponata with tomato and capers, Cashews, Peanuts and Pecans dusted with chili and sea salt, Blue Point Oysters; finally we decided to cave in and split an order of the Bufala Milk Ricotta.

Creamy Ricotta cheese spread thick atop grilled baguette then dressed with roasted grapes and sweet honey.  This was the perfect little snack to complement our drinks and stav…


Isn't it crazy to think that in a city filled with so many different cuisines like big bowls of Pho from Vietnam, spicy Mapo Tofu from China and even those huge Beef Ribs of Texas, that only two or three places exist focusing on Hawaiian food; and year old Noreetuh happens to be one of them.

Located in a tiny space just off St. Mark's Noreetah is a sparsely decorated, casual spot helmed by Chef Chung Chow (former sous chef at Per Se).  The menu is broken into three sections beginning with "snacks" like salty, earthy Taro Chips dusted with shaved black truffle, perfect for munching on with a crisp cold Hawaiian beer or possibly a bit more daring the Mochiko Chicken Wings.

The first bite of these wings can be a little harsh, almost like biting straight into the rind of a citrus fruit.  That would be the Calamansi; a Filipino hybrid of the mandarin orange and kumquat that has a strong sour, bitter flavor. It can be a bit shocking but I implore you to keep eating. Your tas…

New Brew Friday- Bells Double Two Hearted

It's New Brew Friday and I'm drinking a beer that's so new I didn't even know it existed- Double Two Hearted from Bells Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  I've always been a big fan of their regular Centennial hopped IPA Two Hearted so seeing this double version on tap at the Double Windsor is sheer excitement.

Huge aromas of candied orange, grapefruit and pine burst from the glass.  All the flavors of a regular Two Hearted are present but ultra magnified; intense grapefruit, mango, pine and sweet malt with an aggressively bitter hoppy finish.  This is one big boozy DIPA- cheers to the weekend!

Bell's Brewery

Fette Sau

BBQ and America go together just like beer and pretzels.  So 4th of July we headed to Fette Sau to celebrate and have a much needed meat fest.

Fette Sau is set up very similar to Hometown BBQ with a counter in the back for ordering food, a separate bar focused on local craft beers and big communal tables both indoors and outside. The line was pretty long when we arrived but it ended up taking us only about 20 minutes to get to the ordering station. 

I was pretty bummed that the smoked pastrami and beef ribs both ran out before we got to the front.  I guess that's one of the downfalls of dining over a holiday weekend. However we did our usual over-ordering and had more than enough to eat with Spare Ribs, Pulled Pork and Brisket.  

I really liked the smoky, crackly brisket that was right in between fatty and lean and of course the amazing side of Baked Beans.

The sauce was a bit too rich but the massive amount of burnt ends inside that tiny bowl was astonishing.  There were so many huge…

Ippudo Westside

Sunday of 4th of July weekend felt like a magical snow day of sorts to me.  We had zero obligations, the city was completely empty and there was no work the following day. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to take Mr. T to lunch at one of my favorite Korean spots Danji.  

I'll admit maybe somewhere in our area may have been a better choice. Both of us had a few too many beers the night before and traveling up to the westside didn't exactly seem like fun but I was determined.  I really, really wanted to eat at Danji.  So I dragged Mr. T off the couch and onto the excruciating hot train up to Hell's Kitchen; through all of the tourists and sailors in Times Square finally to Danji where we found the grate pulled shut and lights off.  CLOSED! I couldn't' believe it! I had even checked the website to make sure they were open however in my holiday weekend excitement I kept thinking it was Saturday not Sunday and yeah...we were completely out of luck. I could see this…

Let's Talk Bordeaux

Bordeaux wines are one of the most famous wine blends in the world and along with that distinction boast some of the heftiest price tags.  Even the newest vintage of First Growth Bordeaux wines such as Chateau Margaux and Chateau Mouton Rothschild sell for an average of $1,000 and up.  What many people don't realize is that many smaller producers are creating beautiful, well balanced Bordeaux wines that are absolutely wonderful at just a fraction of the cost.  I had the pleasure of exploring some of these a few weeks ago with the incredible wine maker and consultant Olivier Dauga; whose love of loud shirts and rugby was only surpassed by his passion for creating approachable and affordable Bordeaux wines. Here are four of my favorite from the evening:

Chateau Macay 2011 Classic-  This wine has a gorgeous clear garnet color with bright, aromatic dark fruit flavors and subtle hints of spice. It's a soft elegant wine perfect for just about any occasion.
Price- $20 

Chateau La Piroue…

Lunch at Momoya

Almost every sushi spot in the city offers some sort of lunch special.  Many are pretty terrible (slimy green salad and stringy spicy tuna rolls anyone) but some are absolutely fantastic.  Like any of the 15 different lunch specials at Momoya all for under $20.  

Miso soup or salad always to start; the standard carrot-ginger dressing on top of crisp greens and sliced radish.  Followed by entree choices like Bento Box with Teriyaki Chicken or Salmon, Donburi with Eel or classic Sushi Bar dishes like the 6 piece sushi with California roll.

As you can see each piece of fish is beautifully dressed; sliced jalapeno on Yellowtail, yuzu mayo dollop atop Ebi and fish roe on Snapper.  The sushi is always incredibly fresh and even the avocado in the roll was the perfect ripened texture.  Plus sitting at the sushi bar means conversing with the chef's who are so friendly and eager to share their delicious creations. Momoya offers lunch 7 days a week from 12:00- 2:30 each day.

185 7th Avenu…

La Sirena

La Sirena is the brand new restaurant from Italian superstars Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich.  The last venture these two opened in NYC was Eataly, arguably my favorite spot in the city, so I was beyond hyped up for this meal.  Usually this kind of excitement leads me down a dark path of sadness and disappointment but at La Sirena my every expectation was met and more.

Let's start with the cocktail program which is fantastic.  The menu has over two dozen drinks broken down into six different categories like Fresh & Crisp, Rich & Robust and Stirred & Boozy.  Of course there are the classic Negroni's and Sicilian Sour's but also fun old favorites like the Singapore Sling served here with Cherry Herring and pineapple. 

The space itself is stunning both inside and outside. The weather was fabulous when we dined so we opted for the terrace where the white tiled floors and fresh flowers made it feel like we were at a resort somewhere far away.

And of course the food wa…

JG Melon- West Village

I absolutely love what's happening in the West Village lately.  All of my favorite restaurants from the far reaches of the city are migrating into one small area over there.  Bob White has expanded west onto 7th Avenue South, Tacombi has moved down from Madison onto a busy corner of Bleeker and just a few blocks east of that is the new JG Melon's; one of my favorite burger places from the UES.

There's nothing particularly fancy about this burger which is one of the reasons it's so good; fluffy lightly toasted bun, American cheese and a juicy patty that's always cooked a perfect medium rare the entire way through with just a bit of crisp salty char on the outside.

There's no crazy toppings like foie gras or peanut could add on some crispy strips of bacon if you prefer but I think the original is best.  

Round, crinkly Cottage Fries to round out the experience; comfort food at it's finest and always a solid meal.  Welcome to the West Side!
JG Melon 89…

Summer Fancy Food Show 2016

Each June the Specialty Food Association kicks off their annual Summer Fancy Food Show at the Jacob Javits Center; three days filled with a staggering amount of the latest and greatest in the food and beverage industry.  This year was the biggest event yet with over 47,000 industry professionals in attendance and 2,670 exhibitors.  Obviously I wasn't able to taste everything.  There were so many different coconut chips, specialty chili chocolates and coffee infused items I could have spent a day just on those three food sectors alone.  But here are a few products that really stood out to me over the course of three crazy food coma days.

"Healthy" beverages were a HUGE theme running across the show.  I sampled so many coconut waters, kombucha's, micro-brewed teas and chia seed energy drinks that I was practically floating. One of my favorites was Detox Water created by Kenneth Park right here in Brooklyn, NY.

After Kenneth's Mom experienced severe digestive issues w…