Posts

Showing posts from February, 2017

The Barbary- London

Image
Mr. T and I just returned from our 10 day European vacation where as usual we packed way too much into one trip; four different countries, three plane rides, six trains and one nasty illness later and I have to say even with a few ups and downs it was amazing.  And it all began with our incredible lunch at The Barbary.  After checking into our hotel Sunday afternoon Mr. T and I walked directly to Neals Yard in Covent Garden and the cute and cozy Barbary which takes its inspiration from the countries along the Atlantic Coast leading into Israel. Let me just start by saying I absolutely loved everything about this restaurant.


The Space- I always love watching the excitement of an open kitchen and here the only place to dine was right in the middle of all the action. All 24 seats are part of a circular bar with the kitchen in the center.

The Food- an incredible mix of dips, breads and small plates.  Like the Jerusalem Bagel a warm, fluffy pretzel like roll covered in sesame seeds that was …

Bagatelle

Image
Bagatelle is definitely best known for its over the top afternoon brunch parties filled with magnums of champagne, DJ's and lots of fabulous people dancing the day away.   Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon in my book but what about the other days of the week?  Well actually the other days of the week Bagatelle is a gorgeous, somewhat serene spot with some incredible food and a fun, classy atmosphere perfect for a party, a lively dinner or just some drinks and snacks at the bar.  Here's some shots from a recent food blogger dinner.


Charcuterie Board- Coppa Calabresse, fennel salami, chorizo, country style pate, liver foie gras pate, smoked bacon saute and butter whipped cordo.  Meat upon meat upon meat; this is a great way to get a party started.

Fried Calamari with pesto tzatziki sauce.  The breading on these was perfect- just lightly battered without a hint of grease.

Steak Tartare Croustillant- bite sized rice cakes topped with a beef tartare blend.  I absolutely adore …

New Brew Friday- NYC Beer Week 2017

It's that time of year again- the annual NYC Beer Week returns for another 8 day celebration of New York City beer.  The Opening Bash Invitational kicks off tomorrow night at the Brooklyn Expo Center with 25 local breweries and 25 brewery friends from across the country joining together for a fantastic night of food and drink. Tickets are only $55.00 and can still be purchased on their website.  Can't make it to the Opening Bash- no worries! There are fantastic events all week long. Here are some of my top picks:

Monday February 27th
Grimm at Saint Gambrinus-  Head to Brooklyn for a total tap takeover of Grimm Artisanal Ales.  This brewery is absolutely crushing the NYC beer scene and on tap are delicious sours like Skyspace and Blackberry Orange Pop along with citrus IPA's Lambo Door and Lumen.  Have a few drinks at the bar and then take home some local bottles from the beer store in back.Tuesday February 28th All NY Beer Event at One Mile House- Those looking to check out a…

Tim Ho Wan

Image
Dim sum restaurant Tim Ho Wan has dropped anchor in the East Village and the excitement for these cheap, Michelin starred Hong Kong eats has been non-stop.  The line on 4th avenue stretches around the block most days with waits often quoted at one to two hours.  Inside the small, sparely decorated space buzzes with happy diners ordering an array of small bites from the picture menu like the incredible Char Siu Bao.


Those even slightly familiar with Cantonese cuisine should know of this popular bun stuffed with slices of barbecue pork.  Here at Tim Ho Wan the bun is baked with an outer shell that's both crisp and flaky with a slightly sweet flavor that reminded me of the egg buns my Polish grandmother used to bake.


The inside is stuffed with thick pieces of chopped pork without the gristle or grease of other restaurants; just pure salty BBQ pork goodness.  I honestly never fully understood the allure of the Char Siu Bao until coming here and now I may never be satisfied by one again.…

The Lunch Dish at Wagamama

Image
The explosion of international chain restaurants continue as the first NYC Wagamama opened on 5th Avenue this past Fall, causing a line of hungry guests to camp outside in wait for their delicious bowls of ramen, donburi and curry.  I love all three of those things but I was honestly most excited for their insanely delicious Warm Chili Chicken Salad.


Baby Gem Lettuce studded with stir-fry chicken mixed with red pepper, onion and broccoli then tossed with chili, spring onion and cashews in a sweet chili dressing.  It's spicy and sweet; one of my all time favorite lunch salads.  I've ordered this dish at both the Wagamama in Copenhagen and London so it's nice to finally be able to enjoy on my soil (not to mention 3 blocks from my apartment).

Wagamama
210 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10010

Brunch at Florian

Image
Mr. T and I don't have any children and to be quite honest we have no clue what to do when we're around them.  I remember my sister-in-law bringing her twins into the city when they were about five years old and I suggested we eat at Eataly.  Within 60 seconds of walking into the store a barrel of oranges were rolling on the floor and both kids had manged to touch every single fruit in the immediate area.  Needless to say I didn't exactly think that spot through.  So when my friends suggested brunch with their newborn baby I really tried to think of a place that would be comfortable and quiet during brunch, with wide lanes for a stroller and a somewhat calm pace and Florian ended up being just that place. 

The brunch menu at Florian definitely leans towards lunch fare like creamy Carbonara Pasta, hearty Chicken Parmigiana and a large selection of thin crust pizzas like the Braised Short Rib & Meatball with pomodoro and basil...


...and the crispy Breakfast Pizza with porc…

Dinner at Jing Fong

Image
Mr. T and I are finally getting back into the swing of Chinatown after a hiatus of much much too long.  We used to spend our entire winter rolling through the streets in search of steaming hot dumplings, crispy sesame pancakes and white pillow buns stuffed with pork. 


Well we're getting back into again with the first stop at Jing Fong for some incredible dim sum like Pan Fried Dumplings stuffed with of pork and chives.

Steamed Dumplings (Har Gow) packed full of juicy shrimp meat.

And because we have a soft spot in our heart for the Americanized dish of General Tso's Chicken we added one of those on too.

Jing Fong is best known for brunch where patrons literally line up for a spot at one of the many tables scattered across the ginormous restaurant.  This is an incredibly fun way to spend a weekend morning but for those looking to just have a good meal without the fuss head there at dinner time.

Many of the same dim sum dishes are available off the menu and as you can see it's qu…

Happy Hour at No. 7 Brooklyn

Image
It's always nice to find some drink specials during happy hour but how about some killer Double Decker Broccoli Tacos for just $5 a piece as well- enter No. 7 Brooklyn.


This lively spot stuffs a hard shell taco full of chopped broccoli and creamy feta cheese then tops it with crispy fried shallots and wraps it all in a soft tortilla shell layered with black bean hummus.  It may seem a bit strange and may not even sound that good to some people but I have yet to meet a person who doesn't love them.

Add on a cocktails like the Trigger Happy made with aquavit, vodka and Thai basil or a classic Negroni for the perfect after work pit stop.

No. 7 Restaurant
7 Greene Avenue 
Brooklyn, NY 11238

New Brew Friday- Vacation Edition

Image
Okay so not really talking about a new beer today- just getting totally excited because Mr. T and I are off to Europe tomorrow and heading back to my very favorite geuzestekerij/brewery Drie Fonteinen.


Last time in Brussels we got a chance to check out Drie Fonteinen during their very limited open days event and even meet the man himself Armand.  I absolutely cannot wait to check out the brand new space lambik-O-droom and drink that fantastic golden gueuze on site.  The trip kicks off in London, then it's onto Paris, Brussels, Brugges then back to London before our final stop in Reykjavik.   It's our six year wedding anniversary celebration of sorts. Last year we spent number five at  Hillstone and BYOBed our wine in.  Obviously we needed to kick this year up a notch.  I'll be posting throughout the week on things I've just been really behind on but if you want to see our trip just follow me on Instagram at NYCTastes.  See Ya!

The Houseman

Image
I tend to forget about the little neighborhood of Hudson Square. It's just far enough west that it stays off my radar until I have an event at City Winery or see the glowing neon light from the Ear Inn on the highway.  Which is too bad because I really love this quiet, quaint little neighborhood and even more I love it's quiet, quaint restaurants like the wonderful Houseman.


The casual but elegant dining room is bright and welcoming with big windows overlooking Greenwich street and a long wooden bar running along the front of the house.  The menu is dotted with creative specialties like the Carrot Salad with tahini cream and chili, a confit Turkey & Pork Banh Mi and the incredible Houseman Burger.

Two 5 oz patties layered with melted Swiss Cheese, caramelized onion and chopped mushrooms on a soft potato roll.  I asked for ketchup when this burger arrived but then never touched it- there was no need.  The mushrooms gave the meat an intense earthy flavor which was balanced by …

Daily Provisions

Image
When I was in college up near tiny Allegany, New York my friends and I were so deprived for good food that when Tim Horton's opened up we went there for breakfast, lunch AND dinner opening day.  We were like little Tim Horton cheerleaders.  Obviously that seems insane to me now, or at least it did until Daily Provisions opened last week and I've found myself inside the amazingly cute space eating all sorts of delicacies every damn day.  I'm seriously obsessed.


They have delicious drip coffee served alongside some of the best baked goods in the city like Everything Croissants stuffed with cream cheese, warm slices of toast rubbed with apple preserves and the flaky Kouign- Amann studded with orange and vanilla.



For a more hearty breakfast they offer three types of Egg Sandwiches including an Italian special with peppers and provolone and the classic Breakfast Sausage with smoked Gouda and spicy house wake up sauce;

Along with two Breakfast Gougeres the O.G. with scrambled eggs …

Benvenuto Brunello 2017

Image
Each year the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino releases the most recent vintage of their incredible wine with a seminar and tasting at Gotham Hall in Midtown Manhattan.  The gorgeous space is always buzzing with folks eager to see how the current vintage compares to those in the past. I think there have been quite a few fantastic years as of late but I must say the 2012 Brunello is an absolute beauty.


Although it was known as a relatively hot growing season the 2012 is surprisingly fruity with bright red berries, smooth tannins and a rich but elegant body with lively acidity. This has already been declared a 5 star vintage and I have to say most of the wines I encountered were consistently excellent.  Here are a few of my favorites from the day:

Brunello Di Montalcino 2012 Le Chiuse

Brunello Di Montalcino 2012 Caparzo La Casa 

Brunello Di Montalcino 2012 Col D'Orcia

Brunello Di Montalcino 2012 Pian Delle Querci
I easily could have made this a list of 15-20 wineries and I still …