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Showing posts from November, 2016

An Incredibe Meal at Carbone

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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…

Sugarfish

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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...

...followe…

Lunch at Lupulo

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Gourmet burgers, skinny fries dusted with salt and great craft beer- it's time for lunch at Lupulo.  This Portuguese restaurant by George Mendes is quickly becoming one of my favorite spots in the city.  In addition to the piping hot Salt Cod Croquettes and spicy Piri-Piri Chicken is a special burger available only during late night hours and lunch- the "O Hamburguer".


Two Pat La Frieda patties, a fatty blend of brisket, short rib and chuck layered with rich Sao Jorge cheese, beefsteak tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and smoked mayo on a seeded bun.


I asked for it medium rare but it arrived closer to medium, always my biggest gripe with thin patties. However the beef managed to retain its juice and those delicious house made pickles, spicy mayo sauce and long, golden fries bumped this dish into the upper echelon of burgers.  It's like having the best Whopper meal of your life.

A teku filled with Grimm Awoogah on the side and my happiness quota has reached full capacity.

Lupul…

New Brew Friday- Other Half Like Whoa

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It's been a looooong week to say the least but luckily I've been getting through it with my favorite Other Half beer to date- Like Whoa their collaboration brew with Trillium Brewing.


This Double IPA pours a hazy golden orange with a small fluffy white head that quickly dissipates.  The smell is an explosion of tropical fruit-  mango, pineapple, orange peel and sweet papaya with big juicy flavors that remind me of biting into a crackly bruleed orange slice with more mango, a creamy mouthfeel and dry hoppy finish.  I absolutely love this beer-  Cheers to the weekend!
Other Half Brewing 195 Centre Street Brooklyn, NY 11231

Comfort Food at the Blind Tiger

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The last 48 hours has been pretty darn terrible.  An emotional roller coaster of excitement, hope, fear, anger and shock that ultimately made me want to crawl into bed and never come out from underneath my warm fluffy blanket.  But I know that won't solve anything and deep down I know I need to face the world and whatever crazy, challenging things that may come along with it.  But in order to prep for everything that lies ahead I need indulge in some serious comfort food first.



Nothing says comfort to me quite like a warm Grilled Cheese sandwich loaded with four different types of melted goodness and a thick creamy bowl of tomato soup on the side. 

A piping hot plate of Buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing for a spicy kick to get the energy flowing again...

...and of course beer "the cause of and solution to all of life's problems."  Maybe not exactly the best time to quote Homer Simpson but he actually makes me feel somewhat comforted too.  We got a long road ahead …

The Birthday Croissant from Union Fare

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This city's seen no shortage of rainbow colored items in the past few years.  Just about everything from bagels to doughnuts, ice cream and cakes has had its colorful moment.  And now it's time to welcome in the newest bright and happy food the Birthday Croissant.


Created by the pastry chef at Union Fare this flaky delicacy is loaded with lush pink mascarpone cream studded with rainbow sprinkles and Funfetti chunks baked right into the dough. The outside is then dusted with pink fairy dust made from the ground up sprinkles.


It might not be as mind blowing as the first Rainbow Bagel (that was like WHOA!) but it's a fun delicious treat perfect for surprising a co-worker or friend who needs a little morning celebration in their life.

Union Fare
6 East 18th Street between 5th & Broadway
New York, NY 10003

More Goodness at Otto

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I absolutely love the change of seasons we're going through right now.  I honestly don't understand why anyone would want to live where it stays one temperature all year round.  Each season brings me back to old favorites; outdoor patios in the summertime, cozy fireplaces in the middle of winter and on a blustery late fall afternoon the bar at Otto calls for a long leisurely lunch.


I always begin with their Baby Spinach Salad drizzled with truffle honey butter and chunky ricotta salata.  I'm absolutely obsessed with the combination of bitter, salty and sweet flavors going on here. 


Mr. T is obsessed with their Spaghetti Carbonara tossed with squares of pancetta, egg, scallions and butter.  We order these two things almost every visit but then we always pick a third to try out something new- this time the Cacio e Pepe Pizza.



Fresh mozzarella, cacio, pecorino and parmigiana cheese dusted with black pepper and extra virgin olive oil on thin, crisp griddled dough.  This pizza was…

New Brew Friday- Plan Bee Precious

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Wow- it's truly been forever since a New Brew Friday.  I've been doing so much beer traveling I haven't had time to sit down and type. Time to unwind with a great local brew this time from Plan Bee Brewery in Pougkeepsie, New York.


Plan Bee Brewery is situated on a working farm and all their beer is made from 100% NY state ingredients with many grown on site including grain from the fields and yeast cultivated from honey combs.  This summer yellow sour ale is packed with a ton of apricots giving off aromas of sweet candy, juicy peach, apricot and oak with a long sticky apricot finish that's tart and refreshing.  Check out their website for bottle sales and self guided tours of the farm every Saturday.  Cheers!

Plan Bee Brewery
115 Underhill Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Happy Hour at Zadies Oyster Bar

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There's no shortage of oyster happy hours in the city but for a truly great experience I highly recommend heading to Zadie's, Chef Marco Canora's cozy little spot in the East Village.


From 5:00-7:00 Monday thru Friday a selection of drinks are offered for half price including a choice of red, white, sparkling, fortified, cider or beer and a rotating daily oyster.  On my last visit I enjoyed a wonderful Melon de Bourgogne paired with some creamy Big Rock Petite oysters from Massachusetts.

In addition to the incredible happy hour Zadie's boasts seven different oyster preparations including baked, steamed, pickled, fried and poached.   Each style comes with a variety of toppings and there are also larger plates like Crab Cake Sliders and Clam Chowder for those looking for more than just slurping bivalves.

Save room for a little something sweet at the end; each meal closes out with an oyster shell filled with salt water taffy.
Zadie's Oyster Bar 413 East 12th Street between…

Star Chefs Congress Day III

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The third and final day of Star Chef's Congress is always the calmest.  Most everyone is tired from the Cocktail Classic the night before and it's a good time to soak in all of the things learned over the past three days with some incredible food.


I was thrilled to see Chef Erik Ramirez on hand doling out a delicious Quinoa-Banana Salad.  I think his Peruvian spot  The Llama Inn is one of the best new restaurants to open in NYC this year.

Another local legend Sam Mason was on hand at Oddfellows with a trio of tea flavored ice creams he created using the Rishi Tea Leaves.

The theme for Eat@ICC Tuesday was Alternative Proteins like this playful Vegan Merguez Sausage with butternut squash rillettes, crumbled "Feta" red sorrel and crispy Papadam from David Kuzma from Yale Hospitality in New Haven...

...and this fluffy Wood Fired Sourdough Pita with lentils, coconut sumac, pumpkin and sunflower seeds from Jason Bond of Bondir Restaurant in Cambridge.

The biggest surprise of th…