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Showing posts from 2019

Happy Hour at Gupshup

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On my continuing quest to find the city's best Happy Hours I stumbled into Gupshup the other day, the trendy bi-level Indian spot that just opened near Union Square.  I had heard the cocktails here were wonderful but I wasn't prepared for the pure delight of the Gold Spot Soda.  


Made with Spring 44 gin, fennel, lemon and cream soda this was like drinking a frothy vanilla and tamarind smoothie.  I almost drank the entire cocktail in one sip it was so delicious.


There are no food specials during happy hour but I ordered the Delhi Butter Chicken anyway served traditional style with a thick, creamy sauce...

...and a side of somewhat nontraditional Multi-Grain Naan which were light, crispy and simply spectacular.  Cocktails are just $10 during Gupshup happy hour but plan to come early if you want to relax.  The bar was at full capacity by 6:00 PM.

Gupshup
115 East 18th Street at Irving
New York, NY 10003

Cote

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Korean BBQ meets American Steakhouse in every sleek, over the top style as possible at Cote in Flatiron. This hot spot is known best for it's Butcher's Feast, a selection of four cuts of meat with Korean sides, but if you're a glutton (like most of us are) you'll probably want to add on a few extra items as well like the Korean Bacon. 


 These thick, squares of pork belly were almost melting when they arrived with a smokey, charred exterior and soft, fatty center kicked up a notch by spicy pickled jalapeno. 


I would also add on the Fisherman Welcome, a briny West Coast oyster topped with a beautiful dollop of uni.  What's not to love about that?


Onto the Butchers Feast a selection of four cuts of USDA Prime meat and American style Wagyu served with an array of Korean sides including spicy kimchi stew, savory dwen-jang stew, a gorgeous egg souffle, scallion salad and red leaf lettuce with ssam-jang.  It's a straight up feast of food.


The waiters cook everything for y…

New Brew Friday- Kane Sneakbox

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It's New Brew Friday and we're heading across the river to New Jersey's Kane Brewing for one of my favorite local beers Sneakbox.



Sneakbox is a pale ale made with 100% Citra hops giving off aromas of orange and mango with more citrus fruits, biscuit and malt on the finish.  It clocks in at just 5.2% making it an incredible sessionable beer, perfect for a long day of March Madness basketball watching.  Cheers to the weekend!

Kane Brewing
1750 Bloomsbury Avenue
Ocean Township, NJ 07712

Happy Hour at Huertas

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There are so many reasons to love Huertas; the tasty bites of tapas, the crispy churros and their fantastic happy hour that includes cocktails, wine and the incredible Basque Dog.


This sausage link stuffed with chorizo comes loaded with creamy aioli and piquillo mostarda.  It's spicy, sweet and easily one of the best things one can buy for $5.00 in NYC.  Paired with a bubbling glass of Cava and the window seat it's just about perfection.

Huertas
107 1st Avenue at 6th St.
New York, NY 10003

Bâtard

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We celebrated our anniversary this year at Bâtard, Drew Nieporent's charming and elegant French restaurant in Tribeca. After having just eaten at Frenchette and Le Coucou, I was a little hesitant on choosing another French spot, but Bâtard not only meet all of our expectations, it stood out among the three as our favorite.  


I began with a lovely Steak Tartare dressed with horseradish cream and everything bagel spice.  Mr. T had read the description from the menu, commenting that this dish was meant for me and he was absolutely right.  It had all the ingredients I love, with the heat from the horseradish pairing perfectly with the silky ribbons of steak and spice. 


He chose the Carrot & Coconut Soup dotted with crispy sweetbreads, vadouvan and spiced peanuts.  There was a wonderful interplay of spicy and savory with the curry powder teasing the richness of the coconut and sweetbreads.


Lobster Tagliatelle ($8 Supplement) with fennel and seafood broth was an absolute dream.  I trul…

Lunch at Frenchette

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When I read the Best of 2018 lists this year, there was one place that appeared in almost every article, Frenchette; a lively little French bistro on the edge of Tribeca. Chef Riad Nasr and Chef Lee Hanson are in the kitchen; a dynamic duo who opened the kitchen of Balthazar  together back in 1997.


The space exudes a mix of characteristics similar to city's classic French spots; the bright, clean elegance of Balthazar and the cool, bar vibe of Raouls; but it's also decidedly different with a small, simple menu and a casual, laid back style of service.


On the weekend lunch menu a rich, smoky Duck Confit served atop a bounty of root vegetables perfect for soaking up all the juicy drippings from the bird. 


A beautiful Brouillade studded with garlic Peconic escargot; a dish that truly showcases the French lust for butter.   



Crispy Pomme Frites with an eggy mayo...



...and a scoop of creamy Salted Caramel Ice Cream for dessert.  C'est Magnifique!

Frenchette
241 West Broadway
New York, …

New Brew Friday- Happy 5th Anniversary to Other Half!

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It's so crazy to think that five long years have passed since Other Half opened up its doors in Brooklyn.  Mr. T and I had been lamenting the nonexistent beer scene in NYC and then that tiny little tasting room opened up and voila, IPA's for everyone!  Of course it wasn't that perfect.  The tasting room was so small only one table fit inside and a single fan spun slowly in the corner, almost mocking us with its false attempt of respite from the scorching hot weather. 


But today the tap room is much bigger, release lines much more manageable and although I miss the single hop series that kicked off their fame, it's really great to have such an awesome brewery in the city.  Cheers to Other Half's Anniversary and New Brew Friday!

Other Half Brewing
195 Centre Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Restaurant Week at Temple Court

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Hidden on the edge of the Financial District sits Temple Court; Tom Colicchio's lesser known restaurant inside the stunning Beekman Hotel.  This sleek little spot specializes in classic American food using the freshest possible ingredients in season.   I wanted to order just about everything on the RW Menu.  There was creamy Burrata with heirloom squash and pesto, Mussels steamed with saffron and Gnudi with shaved Brussels sprout, Granny Smith apples and sage.


To be quite honest, if a dish mentions both sage and brown butter, I'm almost always going to order it and these little pockets of cheesy potato Gnudi were the perfect vessel for that explosive flavor combination.   


Onto entrees a beautiful Skate Meuniere dressed with lemon, capers and a trio of roasted cauliflower.  Both dishes showing classic preparation of protein and winter produce executed to perfection.

Restaurant Week which ends in a few days, so make those lunch/dinner plans now before time runs out.

Temple Court
5 B…

Warming Up at Sarabeth's

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As the Polar Vortex continues to unleash freezing temps across the city, we search for more warmth in comfort food like the Velvety Tomato Soup & Adult Grilled Cheese from Sarabeth's on Park Avenue South. 


Adult here really just means excessive; as in excessive amounts of glorious melted cheddar, Manchego and Gruyere cheese all sandwiched between a buttery Bavarian pretzel roll dusted with salt.


This sandwich has enough cheesy goodness to provide comfort for days, especially when dunked properly into the Velvety Cream of Tomato Soup.


This thick, creamy broth is chock full of chopped shallots, chunky tomato and even more cheddar cheese shredded on top making this the ultimate soup and sandwich comfort combo.

Sarabeth's
381 Park Avenue South at 27th Street
New York, NY 10016

Wagamama Shirodashi Pork Ramen

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This winter has been so cold, I've found myself looking for something warm and hearty to slurp almost every single day.  Which is why Wagamama has become a constant on my neighborhood dining circuit.



This Asian hot spot began in London back in 1992 and has slowly built an empire with locations all over the world.  Mr. T and I have eaten at Wagamama's in multiple locations; London, Copenhagen, Boston, and now of course NYC.   My current obsession is their wonderful Shirodashi Pork Ramen.  Slow cooked pork belly marinated in bulgogi sauce then tossed into a thick chicken broth with noodles, dashi, miso and a tea stained egg.  I just love how clean this ramen tastes; the rich, deep flavors of pork and chicken shine without that salty, fatty layer that coats most ramen.  And the bowls are so big I almost always have enough for breakfast the next day!

Wagamama
Multiple locations throughout NYC



Restaurant Week at The Clocktower

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NYC Restaurant week began on Monday so I stopped into The Clocktower for a relaxing solo lunch.  Located on the 2nd floor of the New York Edition, this sprawling spot definitely aims to impress with a sleek billiards room up front, an chic circular bar made of 24 K gold and three dining rooms decked out in burgundy cushioned seats and a roaring fireplace for that cozy touch.


Sometimes I restrain myself from the bread service when dining solo but at The Clocktower I dove in head first.  This delicious round of sourdough arrived piping hot; so hot steam exuded when I pulled it apart, alongside a creamy whipped butter studded with sea salt.


For my appetizer a thick, Butternut Squash soup dotted with pumpkin seeds, orange and a rich dill creme friache. 


Onto entree the Pan Roasted Cod with cauliflower and pickled romanesco.  The fish was cooked excellent, with a crispy caramelized sear on top and a tender interior complemented by a delicious drizzle of lime and verjus sauce.  


Overall my lunc…

New Brew Friday- Cantillon 20 Ans d'Amite

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It's New Brew Friday and today we're coming from the wonderful Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia for this extra special bottle Cantillon 20 Ans d'Amite.


20 Ans d'Amite was created by Jean Van Roy of Cantillon to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Monk's Cafe and the 20 years he has been friends with the owner Tom Peters.  This beautiful lambic is a blend of Cantillon Nath and Lou Pepe Framboise with Nath being the majority at 70%.  It's light and fruity with delicate flavors of rhubarb, vanilla, raspberry and funk with a refreshing finish.  This was a delightful bottle to both drink and to purchase as the label is just perfect for the occasion. 


This bottle is only available for on-site consumption at Monks Cafe in Philadelphia. We were lucky enough to drink it both on draft and in the bottle at the Monks/Sierrea Nevada Camp Fire Relief charity event last Saturday.  An incredible beverage for an incredible cause.  Cheers! 

Monks Cafe
264 South 16th Street
Philadelphia,…

The Russian Vodka Room

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If I had to give my five favorite spots in NYC, the Russian Vodka Room would definitely make it onto that list.  This place has absolutely everything I love; strong, delicious cocktails, a dark kitschy decor, nightly piano players and some of the heartiest food in the city, like this big bowl of Russian dumplings.


These little uneven pockets of pasta (pelmini) come stuffed with a choice of beef, lamb, cheese or potato alongside a big bowl of sour cream and a heavy sprinkle of dill. This is  'stick to your ribs' kind of comfort food, made even better with one of their house infused vodkas. 


As if all of this wasn't great enough on its own, the Russian Vodka Room also has one of the best happy hours in NYC with $5 infused shots of vodka and $8 martinis from 4:00-7:00 every day.  It's almost impossible to leave this place without a big happy smile. 

Russian Vodka Room
265 West 52nd Street at 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10019

Winter Weekend Wines

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It looks like the East Coast is headed for a winter storm tomorrow, so it's time to stock up on some vino for the long snowy weekend.  Here are three of my favorite Italian wines for such an occasion:


Concerto Reggiano Lambrusco- Concerto is the first world's first single vineyard lambrusco from the great Tenuta La Rampata grapevines in Reggio Emilia. This bubbly wine pours a vibrant ruby red color with lively notes of fresh strawberry, cherry and raspberry.  This is a dry wine, best served cold and perfect for pairing with cured meats like speck, mortadella or my favorite winter food delivery, a large pepperoni pie from Joe's PizzaAverage Price- $22.95


Le Masse Di Lamole- This wine holds a very special place in my heart.  When Mr. T and I went to Tuscany, we attended a small wine festival in Greve and fell in love with this beautiful Chianti.  I searched for it here in the states with no luck until a shipment magically arrived in NYC last fall.  Le Masse stands for the v…

Best NYC Tastes of 2018

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2018 is officially over and what a crazy, wild ride it was from start to finish.  The year kicked off with a bang as my Buffalo Bills finally made it into the playoffs for the first time since 1999.  I was so happy I cried tears of joy every single day leading up to the playoff game.  Of course they lost that Sunday, but I wouldn't give up that fabulous week of bliss for the world.  

Mr. T and I finally got out to St. Louis to check out Side Project Brewery.   This place was honestly one of the best breweries we've ever visited.  The list was loaded with some of their rarest bottles, the staff were incredibly knowledgeable and the space was so clean and comfortable I just wanted to spend the entire weekend relaxing in the tap room. Of course we also made a few fun beer trips to Vermont, along with a new beercation to Miami for Wakefest  and of course there was our amazing European vacation to Paris, Bordeaux and Brussels where we finally had a chance to visitIn De Verzekering t…