Sunday, April 17, 2016

Jue Lan Club

Celebrity driven Jue Lan has that Old Shanghai feel in the Flatiron.Lots of circular velvety booths offer cushiony comfort and clever culinary choices. This is a pricey foray to the upper crust, but worth it if you are so well pocketed. The food is delicious and service attentive as it should be. My entree and veggie came to $36. The green shrimp with spinach and cashews is super duper as was bok chop with ginger. Lots of sumptuous drinks at brunch as well as Al Sharpton and Paul Giamatti this past Sunday. A fine experience at a price. GO!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

La Sirena

Sexy, shimmery La Sirena shines in the MPD with new energy and design compared to nautical La Bottega of yore. Same view of the public housing across the street, but inside is a super glamorous space. Breakfast starts at 7- one of my favorite meals and I would recommend it as a foray into this pricey Batali spot. As a place to drink, at night you could meet someone at the bar and snack on homemade grissini and Seattle made salumi. It's interior beckons. For breakfast, some stellar options await such as house squeezed blood orange juice, farm fresh eggs and thick cut bread. It has not been discovered for breakfast so one can enjoy the glamour without the clamor. Of course, lots of great caffe options abound. GO! GO!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Le Garage

Take the M train to Central Ave. for authentic French food, prepared with love by the mother(chef) and daughter(hostess) team in a reformed garage. The space is very open with one of the nicest bathrooms in all the land with the coolest vintage table. An unusual experience awaits in an unlikely 'hood. While this outer borough hipster 'hood is known for it's bars and alternative style restaurants the food at Le Garage is more classic. I went on a crappy night, but thoroughly enjoyed my experience. I was served warmed Balthazar bread with butter and then ordered a watercress soup. Lots of bite and texture left in the soup as well as housemate croutons which added a nice bite. My main of cod in a ginger butter sauce with brussel sprouts had one of those great French sauces- lots of flavor gingery, buttery, super tasty. With French food, it's all about the sauce not the portion size. Of course, I couldn't resist potatoes cooked in duck fat with Bernaise sauce which was indulgent. I finished with a chocolate chardon with creme anglais. The dense chocolate cake- akin to an American brownie added a sweet finish to the meal. Paired with pineapple, lime and ginger, you couldn't ask for more on a rainy night in Brooklyn. GO! GO!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Salvation Burger

The only salvation was the free fries that came to the table while waiting endlessly to order. So much ineptitude among very good food. Let's grind out this lunch experience. Ate: Fries Giardanara Fish on a bun with cabbage and tartar sauce Toasted marshmallow milk shake The good: the food is very good. Fries tasted like they were cooked in duck fat. Fish on a home made bun was tasty. Giardinara added a vinegary kick to the savory. The toasted marshmallow was the Star of the Show with house churned ice-cream and a taste that was off the charts. The unfortunate: The Salvation franchise loves the Pod Hotels- this space with 4 booths(the only comfy seething) has slim counters with stools and tables with stools. Not a comfortable dining experience at all. I asked over and over for a table and finally got one, but waiting for my credit card to return for fifteen minutes seemed like an eternity. I would return for the stellar shake though. SLOW GO!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Morgenstern's Ice-Cream

When it comes to ice-cream parlor's this new fangled one is top of the cone. It's creamy consistency, creative flavors make eating ice-cream a summer pleasure worth the caloric intake. Morgenstern's has been opened about a year and I have had their ice-cream a dozen times and each time I am excited like a kid in an ice-cream store. The physical store is clean with counters in a small square space. There is water with real glasses and you can get a real bowl if you eat your ice-cream to stay. The one caveat is the line on weekends is prohibitive so go during the week if possible. Also, greatness does not come cheap. My salted chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate with house-made whipped cream adding a marshmallow finish was $7.00 up from $6.50 last year, but oh so worth it. There is a plethora of flavors in each flavor headline like bourbon vanilla or Szechuan peppercorn and sesame caramel along with classic chocolate and Madagascar vanilla or the new classics. A treat in any flavor combo. GO! GO!

Monday, April 20, 2015

El Original

El Original is quite orginal in it's gigantic 7000 foot space in the once seedy stretch of 10th Ave in the Skyline Hotel. It's design is sleek while giving a bow to it's Tex-Mex identity it is gorgeous. Sliding windows with booths and generously spaced tables give you a feeling of space in central Manhattan, how rare. The food is authentic and tasty. Start with warm chips with salsa and order the wicked chile con queso. The queso with bits of tomatoes is gooey and the perfect compliment to your chips and the main. I went with the sour cream enchiladas with chicken and refried beans, topped with sour cream sauce and monterrey jack cheese. Wow- there is a flavor goddess in there as this dish packed a flavor punch. Topping off the meal were Texas pralines- a brown sugary concoction with pecans. Tasty, food, in a generous unique space, El Original rocks. GO! GO!

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. GO! 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


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!


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!