Thursday, February 16, 2017

Dinner at Jing Fong

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 quite a calmer, quieter affair.

20 Elizabeth Street
New York, NY 10013

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Happy Hour at No. 7 Brooklyn

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

Friday, February 10, 2017

New Brew Friday- Vacation Edition

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!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Houseman

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 the sweetness of the onion and salty charred exterior. It was served with two thick sliced dill pickles and a choice of fries or salad but the burger was certainly the start of the show.  This is a fabulous neighborhood spot perfect for a dinner with the parents, a cozy date night or even a ladies night out.  It's just a great comfortable spots that NYC could certainly use more of.

The Houseman
508 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Daily Provisions

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 and pepperjack...

...and the Spinach with green eggs, ham and pepperjack cheese that cascades from the warm cheesy shell with each decadent bite.

All of these items are incredible, but the very best thing are the mind blowing Crullers.

These delicate circles of pastry dough are light as air with crisp edges and an inside much more akin to a cannelle than a doughnut with a creamy, custard like texture and pockets of airy dough.

I've had all three varieties- cinnamon sugar, glazed and maple and all three are amazing but I'll never be able to show you a picture again.  I simply I have no will power to wait even one second before eating these. I can say without any shadow of doubt in my mind- these are the best crullers in the city.  Possibly even the world but I don't exactly make a habit of eating crullers in other countries:)

In addition to the morning fare they serve three different sandwiches at lunchtime along with Rotisserie Chicken, wine and growlers of beer to go.  I mean I am OBSESSED with this place.  It's so incredible. Just when I think Danny Meyer has done the very best he goes and tops himself again.  So happy to have this place in my neighborhood- please don't eat all of my crullers.

103 East 19th Street
New York, NY 10003

Monday, February 6, 2017

Benvenuto Brunello 2017

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 would have more to add; this vintage is just that lovely.  I plan to stock up and enjoy this wine for many many years to come.  Benvenuto Brunello 2012!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Resturant Week at Amada

When I heard Chef Jose Garces was opening an outpost of Amada in NYC I was pretty excited.  I've visited the original location in Philadelphia quite a few times and I love the lively atmosphere, the small plate menu and of course the incredible food.

This new spot tucked away in the corner of Brookfield Place in Battery Park City has a very similar feel inside with a big open kitchen, bright tiled walls and lively Spanish music playing overhead.

Since it was restaurant week I looked at the menu online and had my entire meal planned before even sitting down. However it seems they switched to a Restaurant Week brunch menu for Sundays instead which was a little annoying at first but then my basket of complementary brunch pastries arrived and I was a much happier lady.

A trio of flaky Pain au Choclat, sweet Banana Bread and a powdered sugar croissant studded with cranberries and strudel.  This was a really nice way to kick off brunch and a surprise addition to the regular three course menu.

For appetizers delicious triangles of aged manchego cheese served with truffle lavender honey and a bright springy salad of shaved asparagus, avocado, green beans and fava beans.

Moving on to entrees the Soft Scrambled Eggs Piperade was incredible.  The eggs were cooked perfect with a delicate tossing of onion and red peppers along with beautiful poached lobster meat and grilled bread topped with pancetta.

The only thing I didn't love was the Double Smoked Bacon that was just too rich and greasy for me to enjoy.

For dessert Tocinillo de Cielo a frothy egg custard cream with vanilla, orange meringue and pistachio for a light lovely end to the meal.

Brunch at Amada costs $29 on Sunday's during Restaurant Week until February 10th.

250 Vesey Street
New York, NY 10281