Showing posts from July, 2017

Tiki Time at Mother of Pearl

The kickoff for Mr. T's big birthday weekend began Friday night at Mother of Pearl.  This hopping little tiki bar in the East Village is entirely vegan and the drinks go way beyond the realm of old wooden tiki cups. How about the bourbon and passion fruit Shark Eye served inside a shark glass dressed with maraschino "blood"? 

Or the tremendous Sugar Cane Magik; a delicious blend of coconut cream, pineapple, lime and almond topped off with a bottle of Ron Zacapa Solera rum.  It's a crazy tropical paradise right on Avenue A.  This place gets insanely packed on the weekends but they accept reservations for large parties which I highly recommend. 

Mother of Pearl
95 Avenue A at 6th Street
New York, NY 10010

Shanghai Asian Manor

Continuing to feed my never ending obsession with dumplings we stopped into Shanghai Asian Manor last week.  This no frills spot in the heart of Chinatown is always packed; which is good sign if your wandering around this area unsure of where to dine.  The menu has everything from Yang Chow Fried Rice to Lions Head Meatballs, but we were there strictly for some dumpling goodness in the form of Xiao Long Bao and Sichuan Style dumplings.

Plump, super juicy soup dumplings filled with pork and crab, these had a thinner outer shell than many soup dumplings I've had and still managed to stay completely intact without sticking to the bottom and ripping.  

The Sichuan dumplings were also excellent; loaded with sliced green onion, crushed peanuts and lots of spicy chili oil.  I could seriously eat this dish every single day of my life and never get tired of it.

In addition to regular dumplings Shanghai had a special Black Truffle soup dumpling listed that sounded incredible.  However we were …

Lunch at Perry Street

Today marks the official start to NYC Summer Restaurant Week; a great time in the city to check out some high end restaurants at a more manageable price point.  I honestly think $42 for dinner is still a bit much so I usually partake at lunch time where its just $29 for three courses.

Jean George's far west spot Perry Street is one of the many participating restaurants on the list.  I stopped in last week for a relaxing lunch and began with their incredible Steak Tartare.  Finely chopped steak studded with Parmesan cheese, basil and a crispy poached quail egg that gave each bite a delicious salty crunch.  

For entree their amazing Grilled Yellowfin Tuna Burger.  I order this dish almost every time I visit and it never disappoints.  Perry Street pickles their cucumbers with yuzu then tops off the rare burger with bonito mayonnaise and grassy shiso leaves.  It gives the tuna a distinctly rich umami flavor that I absolutely adore.

For dessert the classic Molten Chocolate Cake topped wit…

New Brew Friday- Double Dry Hopped Congress Street

It's New Brew Friday and if your in NYC you know it's been absolutely brutal outside this week.  I honestly thought my face might melt right off yesterday walking home from work. These 90 degree days are just too much for this lady so tonight it's all about rocking the AC and cracking open a couple of these awesome IPA's from Trillium.

Regular Congress Street has always been my favorite beer from Trillium.  It's made with Galaxy hops which are loaded with bright tropical flavors.  The double dry hopping of this beer just means its much bigger with a thick milky body and tons of juicy peach and mango aroma.  The flavor follows suit with more mango, peach and pine and a smooth creamy finish that reminds me of a creamsicle.  It's just perfect for this hazy hot weather we are having- cheers to the weekend!

Trillium Brewing
369 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210

Western New York- Brunch at Carte Blanche

Carte Blanche is one of the newest restaurants to pop up  on Buffalo Street in Hamburg.  This little strip is becoming quite the food & drink hub with hot spots like Grange Community Kitchen and Hamm & Fatty's Beer Co. now dotting the street.  Along with new restaurants comes new ideas like BRUNCH! Years ago Buffalo was completely devoid of a brunch scene.  Coming from NYC the pure absence of mimosas and Eggs Benedict in the morning was just shocking.  Luckily this new generation of spots understands the importance of this mid-day meal and Carte Blanche definitely understands the importance of morning after carbo loading with this incredible Toast & Jam Spread.

Popovers and freshly baked bread served with a trio of whipped butter, bright raspberry jam and a buttery caramel sauce for those morning sweet tooth moments.

These popovers were excellent; crusty on the outside with a warm, eggy interior perfect for slathering with all those delicious spreads.

Chicken and Waffles …

Western New York- Lunch at Daniel's

I've always wanted to dine at Daniel's Restaurant.  It's won accolades for "Best Restaurant" and "Most Romantic" spot in Western New York for years but somehow it just never felt like the right time.  I was either busy with family on our sporadic visits or worried about asking friends to join in on a pricey tasting menu.  But recently Daniel's went through a little revamp adding on a beautiful outdoor patio, creating new weekly events like Martini & Oyster Mondays and opening up for lunch every Friday with a special, much more wallet friendly menu from 12:00-2:00.

We stopped in right around 1:00 PM and were able to get a table on the relaxing new patio outside without a wait.  A delicious bottle of Prosecco to begin and a few salads to share.  The Summer Special, a bright spinach salad topped with grilled watermelon, manchego cheese, marcona almonds and zesty vodka pepper gazpacho dressing.

And the classic Daniel's Salad with tomato tartare, …

Mace Bar

I've never noticed this sleek little cocktail bar on Avenue C and 9th Street.  Maybe I'm always distracted by the festive folks outside Esperanto or too busy gazing at the plants in the park across the street, but this is certainly not a place to overlook.  In fact it just might be the best cocktail bar in the city.

Barman Nico de Soto has created a cocktail list that focuses on the flavor profile of the drink rather than the spirit. The menu reads like a beautiful journey into someones spice cabinet with colorful pictures and detailed descriptions of each offering.

I'm obsessed with anything banana and coconut based so the Kewra was an easy choice.  However as soon as the words were out of my mouth I had immediate order regret.  It was such a hot day the last thing I wanted was a rich milky tiki drink.

Imagine my surprise when this arrived.  I almost thought the bartender had given me straight bourbon; but once I took a whiff the sweet aroma of bananas and vanilla came rushi…

Louis Sherry Chocolates

One of my favorite moments from the Summer Fancy Food Show came at the Louis Sherry Booth, where my eyes lit up at these gorgeous pastel colored tins filled with chocolate.  I had seen these tins before growing up.  I'm not quite sure exactly where, but they immediately brought back a feeling of love and nostalgia.

Turns out Louis Sherry opened in NYC back in 1881 at 662 Sixth Avenue.  His elegant tins became an instant success during that era as did his restaurants and the name became synonymous with the elite social gatherings in NYC.   Today the Sherry Netherland Hotel pays tribute to the Sherry name and his delicious chocolates in flavors like Jamaican Rum, Coffee Costa D'Oro and Pistachio Di Bronte continue to be sold around the city.  

I love the Sherry story and it's quite possible I found one of these tins at my grandparents house growing up- they are absolutely beautiful.  This is a fantastic gift for that special occasion and a wonderful remembrance of old New York…

The Office

One of the most anticipated new bars in NYC, The Office from Chicago's Alinea group, officially opened its doors Friday night and we just happened to score one of the last reservations.  Located at the top of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, The Office took over the space that used to be MoBar while the attached Lobby Lounge is currently undergoing construction for the full service restaurant The Aviary.  For now the entrance to The Office is at a door to the right but according to Eater NY the future plan is for guests to enter through The Aviary, be escorted through the kitchen and then enter the bar in true speakeasy fashion from the back.  

The room is decorated with deep brown couches, soft lights illuminating pieces of artwork and a collection of antique office items like an old fashioned typewriter and thick stacks of leather bound books.  The bar currently has a small list of drinks specializing in Chartreuse and "Dusty Bottle Cocktails" created with vintage liquors a…

Ten Years of NYC Tastes at The Bar Bill

When I started this blog so many many years ago my very first post was about this tiny restaurant in East Aurora, NY the Bar Bill.  My photos were absolutely terrible; the camera on my then flip phone had about one pixel, but my love for the incredible food at this spot was real.  So here's an update on this classic Western New York Spot on the 10th anniversary of NYC Tastes.

People always argue over the best wings in Buffalo.  The contenders range from the birthplace of the wing The Anchor Bar, to Obama favorite Duff's but most people I know (at least those that I care to hang out with :) all agree the best place for wings is the Bar Bill.   

They make all kinds of flavors from Honey Dijon and Tereyaki to Zesty Honey Pepper and Cajun but the best are always the Medium Style Buffalo Wing and the delicious Honey Butter BBQ.

These wings are plump and juicy with crisp outer edges and a sweet buttery sauce that leans heavy on the spice for Buffalo style.  Steer clear of anything more…