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Showing posts from August, 2017

Cafe Sabarsky

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The family week continued after Upland with a stop at the Arlo Rooftop for a bottle of rose and then onto an itzakya dinner at Sake Bar Hagi before the Book of Mormon.  Monday we decided to uptown to my fathers favorite place in the city for lunch Cafe Sabarsky.  This gorgeous restaurant is styled after the great Viennese Cafes from the turn of the century.  In addition to hearty platters of Bavarian Sausage and Wiener Schnitzel, Sabaraky is the perfect spot to indulge in some wonderful desserts.


My father and I always get the same thing the beautiful Klimttorte, a chocolate and hazelnut layer cake studded with smooth chocolate ganache and a shiny gold leaf.  It's a rich, elegant dessert that pairs perfectly with one of their strong Viennese coffees.


My Mom always gets the classic Apple Strudel while my brother tried out the Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte, a light chocolate cake with whipped cream and cherries.  I honestly don't think there's any dessert here that I wouldn't …

Brunch at Upland

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My family came in for a quick visit last week and we kicked things off with brunch at Stephen Starr's buzzy restuarnt Upland.   I always enjoy Stephen Starr restaurants.  Even his big spots like Buddakan and Morimoto, while somewhat over the top, always leave me feeling excited. They bring me back to the way I first felt when moving to NYC so many years ago. Upland has very similar characteristics. Although much more laid back than bumping Buddakan his crisp blue and white checkered linens and gorgeous dining room lined with peach filled vases makes an exciting, more refined NYC impression.


The brunch menu has a variety of egg dishes alongside pizzas, pastas and sandwiches.  I highly suggest the Quiche Lorraine, a smokey bacon and gruyere stuffed pie that was impossibly light.


Two Eggs served with a thick slice of grilled country bread, spicy pork sausage and buttery smashed potatoes.


Or for something a bit heartier the Porchetta & Egg Sandwich loaded with fresh arugula, guindill…

Everything Wonderful at Nur

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The block of East 20th Street between Park Avenue and Broadway has always been a favorite of mine.  The beautiful Gramercy Tavern has been there for ages and newer restaurants like Barbounia, Fusco and ever crowded Sugarfish have really made this block a culinary Disneyland. The newest restaurant to pop up on this street is Middle Eastern gem Nur.  A place so tiny its easy to miss just walking by but quite possibly the best restaurant on the entire block.
Nur was opened by Gadi Peleg of Breads Bakery and Israli star Chef Meir Andoni.  When I first saw the menu online I knew I absolutely had to come and try out one of my favorite dishes from our last London trip the Jerusalem Bagel.


This warm pretzel like roll was very similar to the one we had at The Barbary but with a fluffier texture studded with sesame seeds and served with a delicious za'atar and lima bean messbaha.  I love this bagel; it puts all other regular NYC bagels to shame with its cracly exterior and warm cloudlike inna…

Modern Indian Cuisine at Badshah

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The Hell's Kitchen restaurant scene grows bigger and better every day, most recently with the arrival of Badshah, a restaurant helmed by Babu Ji veteran Chef Charles Mani. The small space is bright and lively with an open window overlooking the hustle of 9th Avenue and a playful mustache mural on the back wall depicting the whimsical characteristic of Chef Charles himself.

The menu here is listed as Modern Indian cuisine but Chef Charles will tell you that's he prefers the term "inauthentic".  He learned the foundations of Indian cooking from his mother growing up in Chennai but has since furthered his academics with a culinary degree and is constantly tinkering with classic dishes and remaking them in his own "inauthentic" style.


The meal began with Gol Goppa, a traditional Indian road side dish of crispy semolina stuffed with chutney.  This bite sized snack was surprisingly beautiful with bright red and green chutneys hidden in in the center.  It was the pe…

&Pizza

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When &Pizza made its New York debut I honestly wasn't that excited.  I knew people in Washington D.C. were obsessed with this place but New York City already has tons of amazing pizza shops. How could this be any different?


Short answer- because it's all about variety. For just $10 you get a long, thin pie with any amount of toppings you want.  Meaning you can literally create a pie in hundreds of different ways.  They have a few specialty pizzas already to choose from but even those can be customized.  For this visit I chose half Gnarlic pie and half American Honey with extra mozzarella on both.

The Gnarlic side had garlic ricotta cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan and grilled onions studded with a bright basil pesto; while the American Honey side toted a spicy tomato sauce base with pepperoni, arugula, red pepper flakes and goat cheese layered with some sweet hot honey.  

Both sides were delicious; I loved the thin crispy edges of the pie and the balance of strong garlic and spic…

New Brew Friday- De Heeren Van Liedekercke 20th Anniversary Blend

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It's New Brew Friday and time to crack open something wonderful, my favorite style of beer a delicious gueuze. Mr. T and I bought this bottle in Brussels back in February at De Heeren Van Liedekercke.  It was brewed by Brouwerij Lindemans, a blend of one and two year old Lindemans lambic with a two year old Girardin lambic, to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of De Heeren restaurant.



Opening this beer was a bit frightening.  As I cracked the cap the cork shot straight up and pushed itself over halfway out before I was able to stop it.  I held it for a minute slowly letting the cork rise and thankfully the bottle didn't gush; just a puff of smoke and everything settled.

The aroma of this beer was big on barnyard funk; lots of hay, sour lemon and green apple.  The flavor was full on funkiness; tons of brett, wet hay, a bit of sour cherry with a tart acidic finish.  It was a great celebratory beer and the perfect start to the weekend. Cheers!

Lindemans
Lenneksebaan 1479
Vlezenbeek Belgi…

Superiority Burger

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When Superiority Burger opened two years ago all the hype and rave reviews were just too much for me.  As someone who is quite a serious meat eater (steak tartare is my favorite dish in life) I just assumed everyone was wrong and that all these vegetarians didn't really know what they were talking about.  I assumed it would taste like cardboard and I assumed I would hate it.  Well I assumed incorrectly.  I love this crazy little veggie burger!


No one seems to be quite sure exactly what its made out of but definitely got some nuts and grains, maybe mushroom; I'm not really sure what else but it doesn't really matter because you just need to know it tastes delicious!

The texture is a little bit mushier than normal burgers but pass by that small quibble and focus on the rich, salty flavors smothered in melted Munster cheese, lettuce, tomato and dill pickle.  

Not only are the burgers delicious but the sides are incredible as well.  Crispy brown potatoes doused with fiery hot sau…

Cookie Goodness at Besfren

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I have a new favorite cookie spot in NYC and it tastes every single bit as good as it looks- the Triple Chocolate Cookie from Korean bakery Besfren.


This enormous cookie doesn't just look incredible, it tastes amazing as well.  It's thick and soft in the middle, like it had just come out of the oven with crunchy brown edges around the rim and TONS of chocolate chips- the classic bittersweet chip, dark chocolate and milk chocolate squares.  The dough has a wonderful buttery brown sugar flavor that just pulls it all together.  I am absolutely in love with this cookie.  I honestly just wish it was a tad smaller because I have no will power and devour the entire thing.  

Besfren
315 5th Avenue at 33rd Street
New York, NY 10016



Catching Some Rays at Pier I

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Summer in the city means long leisurely afternoons at Pier I Cafe, soaking in the suns rays and catching a nice breeze off the waters edge.   


Located right off 70th Street at Riverside Park this casual cafe is a hidden oasis in the heart of the city.  It's quite similar to the Boat Basin but with more of a family friendly vibe.  There's lots of outdoor seating and a casual menu including burgers and hot dogs in addition to more upscale items like Blackened Salmon with corn & tomato salad and Grilled Skirt Steak.

I like to take a walk up here late on Friday afternoons for their delicious Cesar Salad topped with sheets of Parmesan cheese and creamy dressing.  Paired with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and some sunshine, it's the perfect way to kick off the weekend.
Pier I Cafe
500 West 70th Street
New York, NY 10023

New Brew Friday- Circa Brewing

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It's New Brew Friday and today I'm checking out NYC's newest beer spot Circa Brewing which just opened shop about 5 blocks from my office in Downtown Brooklyn.


This massive brewery is located on Lawrence Street, directly across from my weekday dumpling spot Yaso Tangbao.  It has a small outdoor seating area up front...


...and a long wooden bar that snakes around the front room showcasing all of their steel brewing tanks.  Danny Bruckert, former head brewer for Sixpoint Brewing in Red Hook, is in charge of the beer operations and focused on creating easy drinking session beers.  

When I stopped in the beer list included three different IPA's, a Pilsner, a Pale Ale and a Nitro Stout. All four I tried out were solid but the Double IPA really stood out for its wonderful tropical flavors and light body that hid the 8% abv.    

In addition to house beers Circa has a small list of wines and cocktails and a food menu with various pizzas, veggies and meat dishes getting cooked over…

Benares Tribeca

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I was invited to dine at Benares in Tribeca last week, a restaurant helmed by all star duo Chef Peter Beck of the Tamarind empire and restaurateur Inder Singh, formerly of Devi and Baluchi's.  The restaurants focuses on the classic Indian cuisine of Utter Pradesh, the western city where Benares is located.  Walking into the restaurant I was delightfully surprised by the beauty and size of the space.  Big cushy booths lined the wall with seating for at least six people, large round tables dotted the dining area and there was even a sleek little bar up front for those who just wanted to have a few cocktails.


The menu boasts an eclectic mix of vegan, meat and seafood dishes with each meal starting with a whimsical bowl of rice crackers taking on a rainbow flair.

Classic chickpea, potato and wheat crisp Papri Chaat got an exciting boost of flavor from the addition of coriander and pomegranate chutney.

While the plump Tandoori Shrimp left a long spicy tingle on the tongue of chili, ginger…

Bohemian

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To close out the big birthday weekend for Mr. T we ended with dinner at Bohemian.  It had been over five years since we last ate at this secret spot, tucked away behind a Japanese butcher store.  It had been so long I was actually worried they changed their secret phone number but luckily the number I had still worked and we were able to snag a reservation for Sunday night.


The menu was much larger than I remember it being in the past. American dishes like Macaroni and Cheese and Grilled Lamb Chops were listed right along with the Japanese classics.  We decided to forgo the tasting menu and instead order a variety of plates a la carte (which actually was a much pricier option).


To begin the gorgeous Tuna Lau'ai a super smokey bluefin tuna sashimi topped with white ponzu sauce and microgreens.


Washu Beef Short Rib Sashimi with soy marinated garlic.  I absolutely love eating beef sashimi. None of the fat gets cooked off so it's extra rich and silky.


One of the newest dishes to the m…