Friday, May 27, 2016

New Brew Friday- Going Local with Grimm & Threes

It's New Brew Friday and the kickoff of Memorial Day weekend!  I have big plans for BBQing, seeing lots of friends and of course enjoying a few delicious beverages along the way from these local breweries.


Both Grimm and Threes Brewing are based out of Brooklyn. While Grimm doesn't have a brick and mortar spot as of yet they have been absolutely killing the beer scene with their bottle and cans releases all year; the most recent of which includes Dreamweapon an IPA brewed with El Dorado and Columbus hops and Future Perfect a Blueberry/Blackberry Berliner Weisse that sounds perfect for crushing in the hot sun tomorrow.

Threes on the other hand has been running an enormous brewpub with food, beer garden and a full bar for over a year now.   However last weekend was their first ever bottle release.  Eternal Return is a Brett beer aged in oak barrels; the 500ml with raspberries and the 750ml with Chardonnay grape must. We tried out the raspberry last weekend and were quite impressed by the soft magenta color and super juicy raspberry flavor up front.  I can't wait to see what these guys come out with next.  Cheers to the weekend!

151 11th Street #1
Brooklyn, NY 11215

333 Douglass Street @ 4th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217  

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Brunch at Two Door Tavern

The morning before my friends hopped back on a plane home we needed some serious brunch.  I wanted to show them a little bit of Williamsburg so  I decided upon Two Door Tavern for three reasons:

Reason #1-  The menu is straightforward.  There's eggs & bacon, pancakes, omelets, things most normal people want to eat in the morning.  You'd be surprised how many places in this city have a Soft Shell Crab sandwich on the brunch menu but look at you crazy when there's an inquiry of French Toast. 



Reason #2- A free drink with each entree- HELL YES.



Coffee was supposed to come along with our free drink but our waitress decided to take a looooooong break before bringing those.  Not exactly the best idea when dealing with a crowd of tired, hungover patrons but luckily this is where my final reason comes into play.

Reason #3-  It's only three blocks from Skinny Dennis and their amazing Willy's Frozen Coffee drink.  


This is basically an iced coffee slushie spiked with whiskey then topped with shavings of dark chocolate.  ELIXIR OF THE GODS!  Seriously.  Plus they give out free peanuts.  Which makes it quite possibly the best bar ever in my book.

Skinny Dennis
152 Metropolitan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 

Two Door Tavern
116 North 5th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249

Monday, May 23, 2016

Eataly & Gramercy Tavern

I absolutely love when friends come to visit.  The weekend almost always begins with a trip to Eataly for a bottle of bubbly and a plate of their luscious prosciutto and mozzarella.


And the weekend usually ends with a stop into Gramercy Tavern; this time for a full meal in the bar area.


Marinated Fluke tossed with citrus, mint and a sprinkle of pine nuts...


...and thick ribbons of rich, marbled Wagyu Pastrami to begin the meal.


My standard Gramercy entree order the Ricotta Cavatelli.  I just love the combination of sage, Swiss chard and oyster mushroom to the hearty pasta.  


Of course the Mushroom Fried Rice with green garlic, cabbage and trout roe is also an excellent choice.


For dessert the Gramercy Tavern Cookie Plate served with a short glass of milk and two scoops of Strawberry Ricotta Ice Cream that was so creamy and decadent it was almost more like eating a cheesecake.  


Good food, great friends to share it with...it doesn't get much better than this.

42 East 20th Street
New York, NY 10003

Friday, May 20, 2016

Clover Club

Once again it's supposed to be a cold and rainy weekend ahead.  My plan is to catch as much of the warm sun today before it vanishes with some happy hour drinks at the Clover Club.


Weekdays from 4-7 this sleek Brooklyn cocktail bar offers half price drinks on many of their specialty cocktails like spicy Moscow Mules and tropical Coconut Daiquiri's.   You can relax in the vintage leather banquettes in back or grab a seat by the open doors up front for prime people watching and sunshine.  

The Clover Club
210 Smith Street at Baltic Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Pop-Up Tasting at Cheese of Europe

The French Cheese Board just moved from midtown to hip new digs in SOHO and this weekend everyone is invited to check out the new space and drink and eat as much wine and cheese as possible.


On Friday May 20th and Saturday May 21st from 11:00 AM -6:00 PM the housewarming party will be in full effect. Expect lots of culinary art and rich buttery Bries. So if those weekend plans happen to be in SOHO this is certainly a party not to miss!  

French Cheese Board
41 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Untitled at the Whitney

I did a quick pop into Untitled the other day, the newest restaurant from Chef Michel Anthony of Gramercy Tavern.  Located on the ground floor of the Whitney Museum the open dining room has a comfortable feel to it with big windows looking over Gansevoort Street and homey touches like blue gingham covering the bread and a cute wooden knife for the butter.



The menu has four different sections of snacks, small plates, veggies and mains.  Of course any time I see Beef Tartare it's a must order and this one was fantastic. 



The beef was chopped fine then dressed with shavings of black radish, fresno chilis, Sorano beans and pumpkin seed salsa. Each bite had a little bit of heat and satisfying nutty crunch. Delicious!

Untitled at the Whitney
99 Gansevoort Street
New York, NY 10014

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Everything Glorious at Katz's

Have I talked about Katz's Deli yet?  Of course I have.  It's one of my favorite places in NYC and so good I think it deserves to get mentioned again.  It's just a no frills, down and dirty institution for incredible food like their famous pastrami sandwich.



Mr. T is a purist just pastrami on white bread for him but I prefer mine in Reuban form...



...piled high with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing with a couple of super snappy hot dogs on the side.



 Just looking at these pictures make me feel all warm and happy inside :)

Katz's Deli
205 East Houston Street
New York, NY 10002

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Natsumi Tapas

The corner of 24th Street and 3rd Avenue has been a revolving door of restaurants for the past 10 years.  I finally thought we had a solid place when Intoeca e Liquori moved in then BOOM!  All three of the Inoteca's shuttered at once and the space sat vacant until just last month when Natsumi Tapas moved in.


They kept the layout of the restaurant alone; the same sleek bar with great corner windows and sexy low lit dining room.  Plus they've added a daily happy hour including a spicy Jalapeno Margarita and a small list of wine and beer.


The menu is described as Japanese- Italian fusion with specialty sushi rolls, flatbread pizzas and pastas like Green Tea Gnocchi and Shrimp Fettuccine with yuzu tobiko.


The Tuna Roll and Yellowtail Sushi were solid; definitely up to neighborhood sushi joint standards.  And the Filet Mignon Tataki was cooked perfect but overpowered by too much garlic truffle on top.   A slightly lighter hand with the sauce and this dish would be fantastic. Maybe this will be the place that finally sticks around...

Natsumi Tapas
323 3rd Avenue @24th Street
New York, NY 10010

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Amali

Just steps from the crowds of Bloomingdale's sits Amali an elegant Mediterranean restaurant inspired by the food of Greece, Turkey and Italy.   With the UES address I was a little worried about a pretentious atmosphere but the low lit space was incredibly comfortable; much too easy in fact to settle in with a few bottles of wine and spend the entire night grazing on gorgeous Burrata drizzled with olive oil and balsamic.



It's so satisfying to slice into this rich ball of cheese and watch all the beautiful cream and curds seep out.  Perfect with just a piece of thick rustic bread but also a great companion for hearty pasta like the Tagliatelle Bolognese.


But if there's one dish you absolutely must order at Amali it's their famous Roasted Chicken "Under a Brick" with garlic mashed potatoes and jus.  


The skin on this chicken was absolutely marvelous; golden brown, insanely crisp, full of fresh garlic, rosemary and pepper with an interior of meat that stayed perfectly tender and juicy.  Everything about our meal was wonderful and since Amali is also dedicated to sustainable dining it just makes me love this place even more.

115 East 60th Street
New York, NY 10022

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Sake Bar Hagi

Ahhh...there's nothing better than checking out an old favorite after a long break.  Walking down the stairs into this subterranean sake joint I was brought back to so many fun nights spent chowing down on endless skewers of yakitori...


...and pitcher upon pitcher of Sapporo beer.


There are some great things in life that never change.  Hopefully Sake Bar Hagi will always be one of them.

Sake Bar Hagi
152 West 49th between 6th & 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10019

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Brunch at Delaware and Hudson

Saturday brunch in Williamsburg...four words that send a shiver down Mr. T's spine so big it could shatter his back.  But he should have more faith; this brunch was different.  Chill banjo music on the overhead, warm cinnamon doughnuts to share and a rich frothy Coffee Egg Cream to kick off the meal.


Take a look at this gorgeous beverage; just perfect for pairing with the House-Cured Corn Beef Hash with two poached eggs...


...and the hearty "Moose" sandwich served with crispy Saratoga chips and pickles.


There was nothing light about this dish.  This was a fierce "let me take that hangover and stomp it into the ground like...well like a moose" kind of sandwich.  Stuffed with bacon, eggs, mushrooms, cheese and a spicy special sauce; serious comfort food.


 All this great food, drink and with no reservation!  We walked in at 12:45, got a table and were walking out stuffed and ready for the day before 2:00.  This is a brunch I can get behind.

135 North 5th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Brooklyn, NY 11231