Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dirty French

Step inside the budoir like room inside the Ludlow hotel and be prepared for a rare feast.Major food group succeeds in dishing dirty, delicious French and North African fare. The warm flat bread with herby cheese is a cross between a Turkish bread and crepe. I went straight for the main of Black Sea bass, clams in a holy basil pistol served en papilote. I ordered the oven bakeD cabbage with. Both dishes tasted of Marseilles on a warm summer night. The portions are small, but packed with flavor. Dirty or not Dirty French is wicked. MUST GO!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Boulevard Bistro

In a charming brownstowne, Boulevard Bistro awaits. The room is on the first floor of a corner brownstone lined with banquettes and two communal tables and a small bar. This is an intimate space with friendly folks there to please. The biscuit to start is perfect. Dark, hot and flavorful served with a Louisiana can sugar butter- this is addictive. I went with the grouper with corn and tomatoes. The grouper wasn't as satisfying. The corn was not fresh and the grouper was underseasoned to taste. The idea of a great soul food spot in Harlem is so appealing, but foodwise things are a bit uneven. Maple whipped sweets fared better, but I would venture back for the biscuit alone. GO!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Marta

Danny Meyer knows how to run a restaurant and Marta is no exception. Housed in the soaring space of the newly renovated Martha Washington Hotel, Marta looks impressive with it's grand, massive and modern pizza ovens. Service is polished as would be expected. You can order a 4 oz beer which is super convenient for a casual drinker. Food has it's stars and it's dim lights. I have eaten here twice and both times were pleased and dissapointed in the same meal. The highlights are the pizza and anything cooked in the oven. The fiore di late pizza with zucchine blossoms and fresh mozzarella soars with it's great cheese and inventive toppings, but it wasn't served hot enough for my pizza taste. The creamed corn arriving in a cast iron skillet is a superstar. A salad of escarole- we asked to substitute blue cheese for another arrived without the blue cheese, but with no cheese and balsamic vinegraitte was a little staid. The pizza bianchi was also tasty. A fish dish arrived perfectly cooked- rare in the middle- fleshy and juicy. Housemade gelato's are a nice finish. GO!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Madison Square Eats

The Fall incarnation of Madison Square Eats is on again till October 5th. Still warm days and cooler nights are the perfect time to enjoy this recurring outdoor culinary marketplace in Madison Square Park. Lots of tables under the vistas of the Met Life Building and surrounding park provide an ideal alfresco dining experience. The line-up this fall includes some familiar standards and some new restaurants. Gumbo Bros. brings bold Cajun and Creole flavors to the park. Gumbo with shrimp and spicy Andouille sausage over rice heat things up. The artisanal breads and divine baked goods by Bread Bakery are among New York’s best and most innovative. Try the chocolate babka or three chocolate chip cookie. Roberta’s Bushwick Brooklyn Pizza and their wood fired oven brings warmth and great pizza to the park. Red Hook Lobster Pound is there for the freshest lobster- love the Connecticut roll with butter and lemon only. Meaty meals by Cannibal Beer and Butcher, Arancini Brothers and some Mexican inspired barbecue by Mexicue. More Mexican is served by Calexico. Also at Madison Square Eats are Asia Dog, Tacumbi Taco, Pig and Khao and Nu Nu Chocolates and more. Bring your pals after work to chow down outdoors at Madison Square Park.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Delaware and Hudson

In the old Egg space off Bedford Ave. sits Deleware and Hudson. A serene meal can be had at lunch unlike it's predecessor. The farm to table food aesthetic works well here. For lunch, I started with a limeade. Muddled and Limey, it was quite refreshing. While there were other tasty options, I opted for the Miss Rose's crave cakes. Not your traditional breaded crab cake. This crabby crab cake served on white bread, with pickled veggies, housemade chips and homemade tartar and cocktail sauce. Perfect lunch @ $14. Lots of thought into it's menu and execution. GO!

Claudette

High brow Provencal dining in Greenwich Village- the food is a homage to the area between Nice and Marseille. This is a luscious restaurant space and a gorgeous kitchen one might imagine in Nice or Marseille. Bread is from Sullivan Street bakery and olive oil very fruity. I went straight for their well known dish, Claudette's Bouillabaisse En Croute for $25, yes $25 at lunch. This is a gorgeous dish served like a savory soufflé. The broth inside, scented by saffron is a nectar of the gods. The fresher than fresh fish is special. I saved room for dessert- a pistachio cake covered by white chocolate- $8. Very inventive and delicious. This is a true destination for top Provencal fare. GO!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bar Primi

At Bar Primi, pasta is primo and many small plates are as well. This combo of small plates and house made pastas make for a satisfying meal. Unlike at Marcos, BK where it's all small plates the pasta addition makes it a full dining experience. I went at lunch and started with a Fascati white. Grissini from Northern Italy starts the service. Now,I enjoy grissini having travelled to Italy several times, though it is not everyone's bread of choice. Go with the ricotta bread with figs and Sardinian honey-$6. Sweet, salty delicious. My other seafood appetizer was a takeoff of a Southern seafood salad with al dente potatoes and string beans- tasty. The superstar dish was the spaghetti Clams Casino- $19. Housemade pasta with a circle of clams, more clam pieces , bread crumbs, chilies- inventive and delectable pasta dish. A next time, I will try the housemate gelato for desert. GO!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Krupa Grocery

In the former Indian news store where the owners were so lovely and called you my dear opens Krupa Grocery in their namesake. Around the corner from my former residence, there is magic-making in their tiny kitchen. Food at dinner can be pricey, but one taste and you will be glad you paid the price. I went with the branzino- bathed in chilies, vegetable stock, preserved lemons and blistered tomatoes. This dish was plate- lickin' delicious. Complex, full of flavor- a perfect dish. The salt and vinegar potatoes ordered to accompany the fish were powerful, salty, hot- kind of naughty original potato dish- tasting a bit of Spanish flavors- like a brava, but the best brava type potato. Finally the burnt sugar pot de crème with crème fraiche top and house-made chocolate biscotti. The crème fraiche could have been thinner- it's sour taste initially masks the sheer orgasmic nature of this pudding- tasting of butterscotch notes this dish is a home run on a slamming meal in Windsor Terrace. GO! GO!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Momo's Sushi Shack

Bushwick is on and poppin'. On the weekend, a flea market of sorts lines the street from the Morgan Ave. train station where you get off for Momo's. It is a shack, literally and a great place to go in warm weather when the doors are off. Bushwick is so cutting edge you feel like you're a part of something here. The food is creative- red wasabi and slightly deconstructed rolls. Miso soup is tasty. There are sushi rolls called "bombs" and they are the bomb. McBombs, unabombs, yellow tail bombs etc. The una bomb with bbq eel, wasabi cream and shiso is uber creative. Momo's is inventive and clever like much of the surrounding 'hood. GO!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mission Cantina

Danny Bowien is a genius. Beginning with that premise, Mission Cantina exceeds the hype. Opened in a large corner spot once housing a burger joint and then Asian fusion, the staff here is warm and welcoming. One option is eating all small plates and with enough you are sated. Nothing is too pricey and you could take out a burrito for $10ish, but that is only take-out. Not on the regular eat-in menu, but definitely a warm weather option. I started with an appetizer of radish salad with anchovies and queso fresco. Super palate starter to mucho mas tacos. A calabazo- stewed winter squash, queso fundido was mad tasty. The hongos- mushroom, parsley and chicharron de queso was juicy and inventive. There are bigger plates of rotisserie chicken and whole fish, but the tacos are so unusual, mixing it up with a large group to taste is the best option. GO! Go!

Tufino's Pizzeria Napoletana

Tufino's boasts a Neopolitan oven from Italy that creates the billowy crust we all love in Neopolitan pizza. The spot is small and friendly with many Italian dishes found on menus, but perfected here. The pizza makers are artisans here, swirling and perfecting the pie and it is perfetto. I started with arancini and a mixed salad. The rice balls dark and lovely for $10 were stuffed with fresh mozzarella and sausage ragu served on top of a nice tomato sauce. Wow! The salad with greens, fennel, endive goat cheese, pears, candied walnuts and balsamic was a great counterpoint to the arancini. For pizza, I went with a classic Margherita- $11. Pillowy balanced with sweet sauce and flor di latte, grana padano and basil- it was magnifico! GO!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

M. Wells Steakhouse

Inside an old garage lies the latest M. Wells incarnation. A lush, lavish spot with wallpapered ceilings and chandaliers. An open kitchen and otherwise nicely spaced seating await those with reservations, otherwise a spot at the bar is available. On tap beers from Rockaway Brewery are available for $6 and mine was lovely- love the local brew. Service starts with a pretzel roll and plain rolls from TomCat Bakery. Good rolls, but I thought they would do their own bread. A ceasar salad was laden with parmesan and a hint of anchovy. I wasn't wild about the ceasar. Better was the East Coast oysters chock full of flavor. The main courses though did not disappoint- Beef butter for $25 with a side of Bernaise and aligot for $10. The beef butter is a fatty piece of Kobe beef cooked perfectly medium rare. It is a small, but loud piece of steak, not gluttonous- just the right amount. Cheesy French style mashed potatoes were the perfect accompaniment. Also, rocking here was dessert, housemade chocolate and caramel were the perfect finish to an exciting meal. GO!