Showing posts from 2019


Fast casual restaurants have taken over this city the past few years, and while I personally think most are best suited for a generic lunch, there's one spot that works amazing well for any meal, Mexicue. 

This laid back Mexican/BBQ spot began as a food truck back in 2010; roaming the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn serving up delicious tacos filled with pickled cabbage, cotija cheese and all kinds of smoked meat. Then in 2014 they set up shop at three locations across the city, expanding their menu from tacos and sliders to bowls, burritos and all sorts of fantastic cocktails.

Today the menu at Mexicue continues to evolve with items like Cornbread French Toast at brunch, bourbon fueled Mexican Mules during happy hour and their delicious Impossible Tacos, that taste exactly like the ground meat tacos Mom used to make but completely vegetarian. 

Of course the old favorites are still around as well, like those spicy brisket tacos topped with thick lime crema.  This is one fast casual…

Mother's Day Trifecta

Mother's Day is just around the corner so here's a trifecta of delightful, delicious ideas from NYC Tastes for celebrating that special person this Sunday.

Raspberry Croissants at Patisserie Chanson- These pink striped pastries from Chanson not only look incredible with those stunning pink hues, but they taste incredible too. Buttery and flaky on the outside with ribbons of sweet raspberry woven through each layer and a chunk of creamy chocolate in the center. This is the perfect way to kick off a Mom filled morning.

Ravines Winery Argetsinger Vineyard Dry Riesling  It's always nice to toast Mom on her special day and New York's Ravines Wine Cellar has a Riesling just perfect for the occasion.  This dry white bursts with notes of white peach and sage with a lively acidity and a crisp, clean finish.  It's the perfect addition to some bubbly at brunch or a lovely afternoon aperitif. 

Isogud Preserved Flowers- Your Mom loves flowers and the movie Beauty and the Beast~BOO…

New Brew Friday- Belt Line Brewery

It's New Brew Friday and today we're drinking a delicious Double IPA from the new Belt Line Brewery in Buffalo, NY.

This frothy orange DIPA give off delightful aromas of fresh mango and pineapple with more juicy citrus fruit flavors on the palate of orange, mango and lychee with a bitter  finish.  This is a fantastic summer beer; full of fruit goodness but low enough abv (6.7%) to crush all day long.

In addition to beer, Belt Line has a full kitchen serving up a doughy Breadhive Everything Pretzels with white beer queso, a hefty Diner Double Cheeseburger and a few great veggie options like the Beyond Meat Chicago Dog loaded with Barrel + Brine pickles, Weber's Mustard, tomato and onion jam.

If you're headed to the Shelton Brothers Festival this October, Belt line is a great place to add to the beer weekend itinerary.

Belt-line Brewery & Kitchen
545 Swan Street
Buffalo, NY 14204

The Queens Night Market

The Queens International Night Market returns to Corona Park for it's fifth season this Saturday, with an incredible line-up of food vendors representing over 80 countries.  Since it began in 2015, the market has welcomed nearly one million visitors; many drawn to diversity and affordability of the event where all food is capped at just $5 dish.  The price cap continues today with only a handful of $6 exceptions.  

This year the Market is selling a limited number of ticketsto two "Sneak Preview" nights on  April 20th & 27th.  Guests can purchase a $5 ticket here for market entry before the public opening on May 4th, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit The New York Immigration Coalition and City Harvest.

Here's a run down of some of the fantastic food you can expect this year:

Native NoodlesSingaporean Laska Noodles- rice noodles, prawn and laska leaf in a coconut curry sauce

Joon RicePomegranate Walnut Chicken- a sweet and sour blend of chicken, ground wa…

La Barra at Little Spain

The new Hudson Yards opening has completely changed my quality of life at work.  What was once a desolate wasteland of crappy bodegas and a lone Subway sandwich shop, has now exploded into an actual food and drink destination.  Restaurants by world renown chefs Thomas Keller, David Chang and Michael Lomonaco dot the upper floors of the mall while the incredible Chef Jose Andres took over the basement with Mercado Little Spain. 

I've heard this space being referred to as the Spanish Eataly as guests can eat, drink and shop as they peruse the different market stalls. However the focus here is much more on the prepared foods than bringing separate ingredients home to cook on one's own.  

I was solo on my first visit so I focused on the tapas bar La Barra, where I could sit and order food and drink without moving around from kiosk to kiosk.  My glass of Spanish Rose was absolutely delicious but at $17 a glass the meager pour I received was disappointing to say the least.

Things impro…

Wine Time~ Camille Braun Sparkling Brut Rose

It's beginning to look a lot like Rose season and I'm kicking it off with one of my favorite pink bubbly wines, the Camille Braun Sparkling Brut Rose. 

This beautiful cremant comes from the Braun family whose roots in Alsace date back to 1523. It's made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes with aromas of red fruit, cream and biscuit with flavors of ripe strawberry, cherry and honey.  It's absolutely bursting with fruit but completely dry with delicate bubbles a lovely creamy finish. This is the perfect wine for celebrating Spring, Summer or just sitting on the couch. 

Corso Wines
Domaine Camille Braun
16 Grand Rue
Orschwihr, France

Spicy Village

There's not much to see on sleepy Forsyth Street in the Lower East Side.  In fact, one might pass by this tiny, florescent lit Chinese spot if it weren't for the crowds of people standing outside, looking hungry and often carrying a six pack of beer from the nearby bodega. These people are all waiting for the same thing, a tiny table inside to sit down and devour some Spicy Big Tray Chicken. 

This dish is exactly as it sounds; big chunks of chicken doused in spicy chili oil sauce loaded with cumin and peppercorn, usually served with fresh cilantro on top and a suggested order of hand pulled noodles. This chicken has the perfect amount of heat, just enough to leave some lingering flavor on your tongue but not enough to start sweating.  The noodles also add a cooling element to the dish as do the BYOB beers you hopefully brought along for the meal. 

There are other items on the menu worth trying out like the crispy pancakes stuffed with pork and the Scallion Sauce dumplings.  But …

NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting

The annual grand tasting of NY Drinks NY took place last week, high atop Rockefeller Center in the gorgeous Rainbow Room. This NYC landmark was absolutely buzzing with local winemakers, trade and professionals seeking out the best of  New York state wine.  

There were so many great producers on hand it's impossible to name them all but here are a few of my favorites.

Anthony Road Art Riesling- This beautiful Riesling from Seneca Lake was spontaneously fermented using native yeast giving it bright peach, pear and a slightly funky flavor. The entire winery is family owned and operated down to the very last touches, like the beautiful artwork on the bottle painted by winemaker, wife and mother Ann Martini.

Dr Konstantin Frank Sparkling Brut Rose- I love pink, bubbly roses and this might just be my favorite from the NY area.  It's made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes from the 2nd oldest vines in the United States using classic methode champenoise, giving it a creamy texture with flavors …

New Brew Friday- Other Half Green City

It's New Brew Friday and we're chilling in the neighborhood with an Other Half Green City at Blue Smoke.  

This New England style IPA is brewed with Citra, Centennial and Simco hops giving it juicy, tropical flavors of orange and pineapple with a dry biscuit finish.  It clocks in at just 7% and is the perfect pairing with some of Blue Smoke's Alabama White Sauce Wings, which are half off during all March Madness games. Cheers to the weekend!

Blue Smoke
116 East 27th Street at Lexington
New York, NY 10016

Happy Hour at Gramercy Tavern

It's no secret Gramercy Tavern is one of my favorite restaurants in the city and now they've added a weekday happy hour, which just makes me even more in love with this beautiful spot.

From 4:00 PM-6:00 PM each day the Tavern offers special prices on wine, beer, cider and specialty cocktails like the bubbly Roger Fitz Spritz with Grapefruit Liqueur, Aperol and prosecco and the frothy pink New York Sour with Templeton Rye, egg white, lemon and red wine.  All the drinks are fantastic and there's also a small menu of bar snacks in addition to the daily tavern menu. What a great excuse to head to the Tavern a little bit earlier during the week!

Gramercy Tavern
42 East 20th Street
New York, NY 10003

Wine Dinner at Park Avenue Winter

I love the restaurant Park Avenue Winter. The concept of changing not only the menu, but the entire decor of a restaurant for each season is just amazing.  Bright rays of yellow dot the ceiling in the summer, brown and gold leaves in fall, and in winter an elegant sheath of white sprinkled with sparkling glass globes.  It's simply stunning.  Now they've introduced a nightly wine dinner where guests can chose any appetizer, entree and dessert along with unlimited tastings of four different wines for just $69.

Our meal began with glasses of Prosecco as we mulled over the extensive choices for dinner.  Then it was onto a bright, grassy Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, which paired perfectly with my blood orange & chili Hamchi Curdo.

Next a lovely Pinot Noir from California poured alongside a Roasted Halibut dressed with earthy black truffles...

 ...and to finish a hearty Antinori Sangiovese with dessert.

Once we tasted our way through all four wines we were free to go back to ou…

Happy Hour at Gupshup

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.

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


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

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

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.

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