Category Archives: Dining

Tuscany Steakhouse: Midtown’s Newest Steakhouse delivers Prime Aged Steaks & Italian Cuisine @TuscanySteakhouse #TuscanySteakhouse

slide12052259840507842099.jpg

 

Opened just over a year ago, Tuscany Steakhouse, formerly known as Nino’s Tuscany Steakhouse, has redecorated and rebranded itself. Arched brick walls, elegant tables and a cozy bar provide a premium dining experience. 

 

The seafood possibilities are endless at Tuscany with the freshest seafood served. We opted for the lobster cocktail, jumbo shrimp cocktail, crab meat cocktail and baked clams oreganata.

 

Steaks at Tuscany are aged in-house to deliver maximum flavor. We chose to try the Sirloin and the Rib-eye, both simply seasoned and perfectly prepared. A favorite amongst diners is the Porterhouse, which is prepared for 2 people. There are also quite a few Italian specialties including chicken and veal parmesan. The lamb chops, as witnessed by our dining neighbors were a good portion size and juicy. We chose the creamy mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach as our side dishes.

20190311_1720073753589828439240988.jpg

Linguini Seafood

Another guest favorite and ours is the linguine seafood. Filled with shrimp, lobster, clams and calamari served on a bed of linguini in a spicy marinara sauce.

 

Dessert was a light creamy tiramisu with homemade whip cream and a very indulgent hot fudge sundae. The meal was paired with a lovely and varied wine menu and friendly warm service.

Tuscany Steakhouse 117 west 58th street New York, NY (212) 757-8630 tuscanysteakhouse.com

Advertisements

Russian Samovar: Authentic Russian Cuisine in the heart of The Theatre District #RussianSamovar @RussianSamovar

 

For over 30 years Russian Samovar has been a celebrity hangout for drinks, authentic russian food, and music in the theatre district. Founded in 1986 by Roman Kaplan and later joined by ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and nobel award winning poet Joseph Brodsky.

The decor has remained the same as when it was Jilly’s Canteen, owned by a pal of Frank Sinatra Jilly Rizzo. The red banquettes remain as well as the bar and Baryshnikov’s own baby grand piano which is used daily by performers and guests.

 

 

The cuisine is authentic Russian with lots of caviar options. We started with the fish platter served with blini or potatoes, followed by Siberian Pelmeni (Dumplings) served with sour cream on the side. 

 

 

For the main course I chose the favorite dish of the house, Chicken Kiev. The chicken was tender and buttery served with creamy mashed potatoes. My guest chose the most classic dish of all Beef Stroganoff, lean tenderloin, sautéed mushrooms in a mushroom cream sauce, served with egg noodles.

img-20190225-wa00169000771665151103664.jpg

Napolean

One of my favorite Russian desserts, me being of Russian decent is the Napolean.  A light and flaky pastry cake with bavarian vanilla cream filling. We recommend this dessert to top of the meal!

There is a wide selection of specialty cocktails, lots of them are vodka based, as expected as well as a large selection of infused vodkas to sample.

Every monday evening there is a live show, performances vary, ours was in Russian so check ahead of time to choose a performance you prefer. There is a three course pre-fix menu ($45), tax and tip not included as well as an a la carte menu.

Russian Samovar is located at 256 west 52nd street New York, NY 10019 (212) 757- 0168 russiansamovar.com

Forlinis in Little Italy is a Historic Italian Eatery with rich history and authentic cuisine

20190305_1011422802418983571388730.jpg

Little Italy used to be one of our favorite parts of NYC to find classic Italian food ranging from casual to fancy. These days Chinatown has slowly taken over the neighborhood with only a sliver of eateries left. Thankfully, Forlini’s on Baxter street remains as a holdout with old school decor, vibe, and authenticity. Run by the Forlini family for over 75 years Forlini’s got a jolt in popularity thanks to a NY times article and a pre-met Gala soiree attended by A-list guests with fashionistas, models and influencer types.

These days the crowd is a mixed one with loyal customers who have been coming since the beginning, with their kids and grand kids in tow. During the day the proximity to the courthouse brings in judges, lawyers and other legal types. A demand for private parties means a young trendy crowd looking forward to seeing and documenting a piece of old New York that is fleeting.

The food is fresh and largely homemade. The pastas are made in-house as is the ricotta cheescake. We had the Forlini’s salad, which is large enough for a few people followed by a pasta combo of Gnocchi al Pesto and Panserolli Piacentina. The main course was the Stuffed Filet of Sole filled with shrimp and crab. The dessert was a creamy homemade ricotta cheesecake.

Forlini’s 93 Baxter Street New York, NY 10013 (212) 349-6779 forlinisnyc.com

Tbar Steak & Lounge on the Upper East Side is a neighborhood classic

 

 

Restaurants in NYC come and go, especially in the last few years on the Upper East Side. TBar Steak & Lounge has been around for over a decade and on a frigid monday night in January the crowd was there, a well dressed refined crowd dining on a well curated menu composed of fresh seafood and meat dishes.

 

 

The grill menu  features a prime age bone in Rib Eye, an Aged Strip Steak and the 40oz Black Angus Porterhouse for 2. The Rib Eye was cooked a perfect medium rare and we paired it with buttery mashed potatoes. The chilean sea bass was light and flaky and is a good choose when looking for a lighter option.

 

 

For lunch or a lighter meal the salads are portioned generously and can be topped off with chicken, shrimp or salmon.

 

 

 

Dessert is very special at Tbar. Served in glass bowls they can be shared with up to four people. The strawberry sundae was our favorite, shortcake, meringue, brandy and cream . It is not too heavy and rich yet is satisfies your sweet tooth. 

TBar Steak & Lounge 1278 3rd Avenue New York, NY 10021 (212) 772-0404 tbarnyc.com

Zavo, A Chic Mediterranean Restaurant On The Upper East Side is more than just dinner! #ZavoNYC @ZavoNYC

img_5566-1647929106645861950.jpg

There are a million eateries in NYC so when looking for a memorable evening or special occasion we look for something that stands out. Zavo on the upper east side does just that. Offering fine Mediterranean fare and cocktails with warm friendly service, Saturday night showtime with a pre-fixe dinner menu is what makes Zavo a must visit. 

The rotating show schedule includes Venetian Mystery Night and 1000 Nights, however the newest show premiering January 17th, is titled “Middle East meets Venice”, a mixture of both shows. Buy tickets here: Showtime 1/17. The evening includes a three course meal see ( menu ) and the show, beverages, tips, and tax not included. The menu includes classic favorites prepared with attention and detail including Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Tuna Tartare, Crispy Calamari, Black Sea Bass Fillet, Filet Mignon and to top off the meal Creme Brûlée and Apple Pistachio.

 

 

The ambience is upscale with well dressed patrons looking to have a good time and celebrate. Zavo is perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, or a just fun night with friends. Come checkout out this new show experience on January 17th.

Zavo is located at 1011 third ave between 60th and 61st street. New York, NY (212) 753-5500 www.zavonyc.com

La Pulperia NYC: Rustic Latin Cuisine on the Upper East Side

lapulperia57th_interior-pc la pulperia (1)8955946050262549586..jpg

 

On a balmy september monday evening we ventured into La Pulperia on the upper east side of Manhattan. It was quite lively with a band playing and an energetic crowd gathered around the bar and in the dining area. 

Owned and operated by chef/owner Carlos Barroz and Victor Medina, The eatery serves latin cuisine from a variety of countries with a European flair. The menu is heavily seafood based with a terrific raw bar and a crudo tasting not to be missed.

 

We started with a cocktail recommended by the owner himself. We are rum drinkers so we ordered the Coquito Passion, made with Don Q Silver and Coconut Rum, passion fruit puree, agave nectar and fresh mint. It was very refreshing and not too sweet.

We started our tasting with the salmon brûlée, followed by a crudo tasting, and a portion of tender Alaskan King Crab legs. My meat lover dining companion enjoyed the serving of beef and corn empanadas.

 

For the main course we had to try one of the house specialties, the crab meat black ravioli. The handmade pasta is filled with fresh crab meat accompanied with cherry tomatoes in a saffron clam sauce. We highly recommend this entree! 

The hangar steak is organic from uruguay and is accompanied by five cazuelitas (sides), eggplant chambota, celery root gratin, grilled broccoli rabe, spinach mac & cheese and chimichurri sauce. We had it cooked medium rare and it was very tender and perfectly seasoned.

 

 

The chef brought out two desserts to try. We loved the crepes, filled with chocolate sauce topped with bananas, powdered sugar and served with a side of ice cream. The chocolate mousse was light and not too rich, served with fresh fruit and vanilla ice cream.

La Pulperia is located at 1626 Second Avenue New York, NY 10028. (212) 960- 3176 pulperianyc.com

Perrine NYC: Restaurant Week must visit July 23rd – August 17th.

perrine+-+photo+by+andrew+werner5948172352499518591..jpg

Perrine is a chic eatery in the legendary Pierre Hotel on the upper east side. During Restaurant week, actually a full three weeks, July 23rd through August 17th, guests can try out Chef Ashfer Biju’s culinary creations for a fraction of the cost. Lunch is $26 and Dinner is $42 monday through friday and sundays, beverages, taxes, and gratuitous not included.

Chef Biju carefully sources ingredients locally from upstate farms and lamb from New Jersey delivering a farm to table experience using only the freshest in season ingredients. The restaurant week menu constantly changes but typically can include what we tasted during the preview dinner a couple weeks back. As a serious seafood lover the tuna tartare was fresh and tasty as was the black sea bass, simply prepared in a seafood broth served on a bed of fava beans. Chef Biju also brought out his famous crab flatbread which quickly became a table favorite.

The chef also brought out the Coronation salad, a true house favorite, and yes it was created for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in the 1950’s. A perfect summer salad made with curry chicken and golden raisins. The meat lovers at the table praised the short ribs, not pictured, and the lamb chops, locally sourced from a farm in New Jersey.

20180717_2100022252285163488055844.jpg

warm chocolate cake

Desserts at Perrine are created by Michael Mignano, a legendary pastry chef who creates unique dishes that are visibly appealing and delicious. Our favorite was the Molten Chocolate cake served with Pistachio ice cream. For a lighter dessert option try the strawberry peach sorbet or ask the staff for the sorbet flavors of the day as they constantly change them. You won’t be dissapointed!

Perrine is located at 2 East 61st New York, NY inside the Pierre Hotel. To make a reservation call ( 212) 940-8195 or perrinenyc.com

Oscar Wilde, The Bar has opened in NYC @OscarWildeNYC #OscarWildeNYC

 

Fans of Oscar Wilde rejoice, as a bar with his namesake and two bronze status of him has opened in NYC. The Nomad area bar pays homage to the Irish novelist and playwright with opulent decor, imported murano glass, mirrors, and loads of unique antiques.

14 cocktails at oscar wilde nyc, credit simmer group8945041139080063124..jpg

Cocktails Photo by Simmer Group

An interesting piece of history is that, ironically the building housing the bar was once home to the city’s Prohibition Enforcement Headquarters during the 1920’s. The cocktail menu reflects both the Victorian and Prohibition era with one cocktail aptly named “Oscar Wilde’s Potent Elixir”. It is made with cognac, guinness, gin, cassis, lavender, champagne, and orange zest. And yes it is quite potent!

 

On the menu at Oscar Wilde is classic bar fare with a twist. Our favorites included the buffalo cauliflower, The chicken wings with a curry dry rub, The kale caesar salad, the oscar wilde burger, and the dessert trio.

The bar is quite popular with an after work crowd and tourists alike. Loud music, lots of drinking, good food, so fun is sure to be had with a visit to Oscar Wilde.

Oscar Wilde 45 west 27th street New York, NY 10001 (212) 213-3066 Open Mon-Sun 11:30-2am

Morimoto Sushi and Sake Sunset Sail on The America 2.0 Schooner @ClassicHarbor #ClassicHarbor

 

Classic Harbor Line , based out of Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, offers a multitude of cruises along New York City’s waterways on five distinctively different classic sailing yachts. There are cruises to the Statue of Liberty, sunset sails, brunch cruises as well as specialty themed cruises.

A couple of weeks ago we had the privilege of sailing on the inaugural 2018 Morimoto Sushi & Sake Sunset Sail on the America 2.0 sail boat, the top schooner in the fleet. 

20180604_200302.jpg

 

 Iron Chef Morimoto, one of the most revered sushi chefs in the country offers guests a light dinner of 2 platings of the freshest sushi paired with 4 expertly paired sake flights. The sushi is prepared just minutes before boarding to ensure maximum freshness. We had nine pieces of sushi and a roll, all choices created by the chef himself and meant to complement the sakes offered. There is also an open bar with a choice of wines, beers, and sodas onboard.

The 2 hour sunset sail offers specatular views of the downtown Manhattan skyline and The Statue of Liberty while enjoying delicious fare on an elegant sailboat. This cruise is highly recommended for visitors and locals alike. The cruise sails every monday evening at 7 during summer months.

For more info and to book your cruise please visit: Sail-NYC.com

 

Mother’s Day Brunch at Trattoria Italienne @italiennenyc

 

Mother’s Day was a family affair at the richly decorated and cozy Flatiron eatery Trattoria Italienne.  Opened in 2016 by Chef Jared Sippel and General Manager James King, the cuisine is a mix of Northern Italian and Southern French and changes seasonally. 

Mother’s Day brunch offered a menu of house favorites with an option to add optional traditional bar snacks and beverages to the meal.

We started our meal with Bloody Mary’s accompanied with an IPA beer chaser. It is a holiday after all. Mom received a complimentary glass of Rose to toast the day.

We were brought a selection of fresh breads, scones and pastries for the table with Jam to share, followed by a selection of bar snacks. The Potato Croquettes were favorites, made with yukon potato, arugula and black truffle vinaigrette. The thinly sliced prosciutto was fresh accompanied with cheeses and breadsticks.

For the next course we chose to share the Polpettini, pork meatballs with soft polenta and the tortilla carbonara. My son said the meatballs were the best he ever had!

We followed up with soft shell crab and the ocean trout since I am a seafood lover. The crab was crispy and a good portion, and the trout was flaky and cooked just right. 

For a special meal or a few cocktails stop by Trattoria Italienne. Open daily from 5:30pm to 11pm ( tuesday -thursday) and till midnight on friday & saturdays. Closes 9pm on sundays.  Brunch is served 11:30 am to 2:30pm on saturdays and sundays.

Located at 19 west 24th street New York, NY. Call (212) 600-5139 for more info and reservations. https://www.italiennenyc.com

 

Delmonico’s 150th Anniversary Ladies Luncheon @DelmonicosNYC

20180427_135940-1.jpgOn Friday April 20th Delmonico’s Restaurant in downtown Manhattan celebrated 150 years of hosting a ladies only luncheon, comprised of 150 female leaders in business, media, food, and the arts. Delmonico’s was the first restaurant in the United States to serve women independently of men.

Chef Gabrielle Hamilton of PRUNE , a three time James Beard award winner headlined the luncheon exactly 150 years to the date in 1868, that celebrated this victory.

 

The original menu has similarities to the current one offered last week at the luncheon and can be seen here: original luncheon menu.  Our luncheon menu which is still available for lunch & dinner until the 28th started with Trout Roe and Shaved Radish, followed by Malakoff. Entree choices were Colorado Lamb Loin Chop or Cold Poached Mackerel. Dessert was a creamy bruleed rice pudding with strawberry merengue. 

Delmonico’s is an iconic New York institution that helped pave the way and remains diligent in maintaining this tradition. A must visit for a special dining experience.

Amparo, The Story of Havana Club Rum @RealHavanaClub #TheAmparoExperience #forevercuban

Guava Daiquiri at Amparo presented by HAVANA CLUB Rum (1).jpg

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 03: The guava daqueri on display at an immersive theatrical experience “Amparo” presented by HAVANA CLUB Rum on April 3, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Havana Club)

A decades long battle over ownership rights to rum brand Havana Club has been recreated in Theatrical form and titled “Amparo”. A combination of storytelling, song, dance and live music. Bacardi goes the distance to explain why they are the true owners of the brand.

An immersive and interactive experience at Bill’s Townhouse in New York City, created by liquor giant Bacardi, takes the crowd through 1950’s pre-revolutionary Cuba, telling the story of the Arechabala’s family to the United States after the communist Cuban government took control of their company.

Roberto Ramirez, marketing director at Bacardi, believes the best way to convince consumers that they are in fact the authentic Havana Club, is through characters who showcase the journey.

Bacardi purchased the original recipe for the rum from the Arechabala family in 1994, However, Pernod Ricard too sells Havana Club and claims they are in fact the authentic version as it is distilled in Cuba and owns the company’s trademark. This marketing campaign by Bacardi began in Miami, came to New York, and will continue to other cities nationwide later this year.

The evening began with a cocktail reception featuring cocktails made with dark and light rums.

We were all given different color keys and divided into groups. These keys led us to veiled spirits meant to be unveiled with shots of Havana Club rum. Every group explored a different facet of the Arechabala family’s journey and struggle in communist cuba and their eventual exile to the United States. 

  • Havana Club Anejo Blanco is distilled and aged for 1 year in oak barrels in Puerto Rico, blended then aged for a few more months. It is a medium bodied rum perfect for cocktail making.
  • Havana Club Anejo Clásico is distilled and aged for 1 to 3 years then blended and aged some more. Can be mixed in cocktails yet smooth enough to drink neat or on the rocks.

    therealhavanaclub.com

Come Celebrate a Night of Great Food and Drink to Benefit No Kid Hungry: Taste of The Nation Wednesday April 18th @NoKidHungryNY @NoKidHungry #NoKidHungry

20180413_192904.png

On Wednesday April 18th New York City’s Culinary Community will once again come together for a great cause: Taste of the Nation, for The No Kid Hungry Campaign from Share Our Strength.

More than 30 top chefs, restaurateurs and mixologists will descend upon the Brooklyn Expo Center( 72 Noble Street, Brooklyn, NY) for a night of great food and drink.

Taste of The Nation, now in it’s 29th year is focused on ensuring that all children in America have access to healthy food every day of the year. 100 percent of all proceeds raised from the event benefit No Kid Hungry’s work to end childhood hunger in America.

General Admission Tickets are $250, guests can enter at 7pm, $400 VIP tickets allow early access at 6pm. Cabanas are available for purchase and can seat 10, for $10,000. Visit: www.nokidhungry.org/newyork to purchase tickets now.

Participating Restaurants include: American Cut, Baar Baar, Bessou, BKLN Larder, Blue Smoke, Claro, Colonie, CUT, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Kung Fu Tea, Dough Nation, Pizza Loves Emily, Fausto, Ferris, High Street on Hudson, La Newyorkina, Little Tong Noodle Shop, Mokbar, Restaurant Marc Forgione, Restaurant Norman, Samesa, Shuka, Sunday in Brooklyn, Talde Temple Court, The Doughnut Project, Underwest Donuts, Vic’s and Walter’s Hot Dogs.

Full Coverage of the event will follow! Looking forward to seeing everyone in Brooklyn on Wednesday.

 

P J Bernstein Serving Up Classic Jewish Delicacies with a Modern Twist @pjbernsteindeli

 

With 53 years in the business and counting, P J Bernstein has been serving up Jewish deli and diner classics to loyal customers on the Upper East Side. The food is homemade and the quality of ingredient freshness and expert preparation is of utmost importance.

Founded in 1965 by P J Bernstein, who wanted to offer up meals that were truly homemade to his guests. In 1986 one of his most loyal customers Alex Slobodski bought the restaurant and it has remained a family affair over over 30 years now. 

The loyal clientele has included a variety of celebs who made the trip to the 71st and 3rd ave location for a meal. Celebrities such as Liza Minelli, Simon Cowell, and even Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz have visited the eatery. 

During our dinner we experienced some favorites including our favorite, the Triple Delight Soup. It’s a takeoff of on a traditional matzoh ball soup, but with homemade kreplach, choice of chicken or pastrami, a Bernstein original, with noodles and of course matzoh balls with just the right texture.

The smoked nova scotia salmon was beyond fresh, it was served thinly sliced with with a NY Bagel and garnish.

For meat lovers the home- cooked pastrami sandwiches on rye bread are favorites. Huge portions served with coleslaw and pickles these sandwiches can be shared. Corned Beef and Brisket options are also available and my dining companion gave them a rave review. 

For dessert the fresh apple strudel is a house favorite, but me being a chocolate lover, I went with the 7 layer chocolate cake and I’m glad I did, even though I had to take half of it to go! 

P J Bernstein is located at 1215 3rd ave. New York, NY 10021 (212) 879- 0914  pjbernsteindeli.com

 

Elio Filippino Winery celebrates their 50th anniversary at San Carlo Osteria Piemonte @SanCarloNYC #ElioFilippino

Piedmont, A region of Italy that borders France and Switzerland, sits at the foot of the Alps. Turin, the capital is known for sophisticated architecture, cuisine and wine, particularly Barolo and Barbaresco. The Piemonte wine region produces arguably the best wines in all of Italy.

A few nights ago a group of wine and food writers were invited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Elio Filippino winery with a paired dinner at San Carlo Osterio Piemonte, one of the few NYC eateries specializing in Piemonte cuisine.

The chef creates dishes that symbolize the area. Piemonte cuisine is quiet different than other Italian fare. A very strong focus on antipasto, with tarte vegetables and rolled meats served with fresh tuna mayonnaise. The second coarse was the buckwheat gnocchi served in a light cheese sauce with locally sourced herbs and the ravioli, filled with beef, pork, and veal. The main course choices were the Arctic char, light, flaky, and very healthy and for meat eaters The beef cheeks with chickpeas.

IMG_20180227_153532.jpg

The wine flowed throughout the evening. Some of the wines we tasted included the 2012 Barolo, the 2012 Barbaresco, The 2014 Langhe Nebbiolo and the 2016 Dolcetto.

DSC_0137.jpg

Our favorite pairing came at the end of the evening with The pairing of The Moscato d’ Asti 2015. The dessert wine is sweet enough, but not too sweet and was paired with the traditional Piedmontese flan. Chocolate flavor, caramel, and cookie crumbs create the perfect texture and taste. A light and creamy Tiramisu was also a big hit with the guests.

For more info on the Elio Filippino winery visit ElioFilippino.com and to make a reservation at San Carlo Osterio Piemonte (90 Thompson Street) visit SanCarloNYC.com

Cafe Bilboquet: Authentic  Casual French Fare on the Upper East Side #cafebilboquet

Le Bilboquet, one of the most coveted and fanciest eateries in New York City, make that anywhere, just opened a casual french eatery next door. Cafe Bilboquet opened last August with plenty of much deserved hype. The cafe serves breakfast and lunch as well as snacks and desserts and a newly opened nightly wine bar. 

On the menu is Lobster Bisque, Creamy and flavorful and seemed like a favorite as almost every guest was enjoying a bowl. The salads are farm to table with generous portions with a reasonable price range of $9 to $14 dollars. We tasted the Nicoise salad, the Chicken cobb, and the Spinach salad and were impressed with the ingredients and the homemade dressings. 

There is a wide selection of sandwiches and mini brioches. The Smoked Salmon and The Caprese were favorites along with the house favorite Croque Monsieur. Thick white bread, fresh ham and gruyere pressed to order, also available on a croissant.

Saving room for dessert is a must with so many authentic french desserts including the very french “Paris Brest. Choices include opera cake, chocolate eclairs, apple tart tartin, various flavors of macarons, and much much more.

Beverages choices range from American and European teas, coffees, unique soft drinks, Beloit lemonade and Alain Milliat juices. 

Cafe Bilboquet is located at 26 east 60th street New York, NY 10022   Phone: (646) 869-8660

Benares: Modern Indian Cuisine In The Heart of Tribeca #BenaresNYC

43a603b7577c84e8369c5db2c706be9d_full_size

Benares is a modern Indian restaurant with banquet seating, dark hardwood floors, and a bar/lounge area. The eatery celebrates the cuisine of Northern India with a western twist. 

During our meal the Chef brought out some of the restaurants most popular dishes tweaked with a few requests from us of classic Indian dishes. 

We started out with the Bhel Puri, puffed rice crisps with chopped onions, potatoes, avocado & corn kennels served a trio of chutneys. The chutneys were flavorful yet not overly spicy.

Next came the Chicken Tikka, an indian classic, grilled Tandoori chicken marinated in yogurt & spices. A delicious vegetarian option, the Khasta Gobhi, lightly battered cauliflower cooked with garlic and crushed pepper in a tangy sauce. The final appetizer was the Konkani Shrimp, tossed in a spicy tomato sauce with cumin, cinnamon, and black pepper.

The entree list is extensive with a dedicated Tandoori menu. We highly recommend the Cheem Thenga, jumbo prawns grilled and simmered in coconut curry. The grilled fish marinated in spices, served with lemon sauce was also quite good. We did mention to the chef that we are seafood lovers and don’t eat much red meat so he brought out a seafood/chicken centric menu.

 For meat lovers the “Barrah Masaledar”,lamb chops,  and the “Raan E Akbari”, rack of lamb in a rum flavored sauce, served oven roasted with a vegetable medley have gotten winning reviews.

Indian restaurants have notoriously not been known for their desserts but the Atom Bomb changed our mind. Super moist chocolate lava cake served with rose petal cream is a must try!

There is an ample wine and beer list along with specialty cocktails. There are many classics like the Dark & Stormy and The Moscow Mule along with house specialties like the Benares Martini made with Bulldog Gin, Lillet, Grapefruit and Orange Peels Soaked in Housemade Bitters.

Benares is open 7 days a week for lunch & dinner. Take out and delivery options are available as well as a lunch menu.

Benares- Tribeca 45 Murray Street New York, NY 10007 (212) 766-4900 benaresnyc.com

Mozzarella E Vino: Italian Mozzarella & Wine Bar in the heart of midtown @mozzarellaevino

 

Located on one of the most elegant blocks with luxe boutiques, hotels, and The Museum of Modern Art around the corner this chic eatery is heaven for mozzarella & wine lovers.  Tourists and locals alike can stop by for a glass of wine and a “Affettati & Formaggi” sampling or a full meal of homemade pastas, lasagnas and meat dishes.

Mozzarella & Vino (Courtesy Jim Taylor)

We started our meal with the classic tasting of Buffalo Mozzarella, Buffalo Provola, and the freshest Burrata served with cherry tomatoes. The mozzarella is made in Campagna and shipped to New York every few days. You can mix and match the cheeses and meats to your liking. The waitstaff will advise on wine pairing suggestions depending on your selection.

We also tried the fried zucchini sticks which were crispy and golden and not greasy. The homemade pastas were next and are a must try. The ravioli is homemade and filled with fresh ricotta, also shipped in from Campagna. The lasagna is delicious, tender layers filled with fresh ricotta, mozzarella and sausage. The sauce is classic Marinara perfectly spiced. Gluten free pasta is available and is possibly the best we ever tried.

For the main course I opted for the Scottish salmon. Flaky and tender it is served on a bed of organic greens. A tasty and healthy option. My companion went for the chicken medallions flavored with black summer truffles served with fingerling potatoes, french beans and organic cherry tomatoes. For veal lovers we hear the “Vitello Tonato” is a must.

For dessert we chose to split the Torta de Mascarpone “tiramisu style” and the chocolate cake filled with Sicilian orange compote. The tiramisu was creamy but not too heavy and is a staple in classic southern Italian cuisine.

Mozzarella & Vino is located at 33 west 54th street between 5th and 6th ave. New York, NY 10019 (646) 692-8849 mozzarellaevino.com connect@mozzarellaevino.com

Sister restaurant Il Gattopardo located along the same block at 13-15 west 54th street is another option for the freshest Southern Italian comfort food located in an intimate and elegant townhouse setting.

 

 

Tapa Lounge and Hookah Bar Murray Hill NYC 

 

The newest addition to an area that is filled with Indian eateries is Tapa. Led by restaurateur Abishek Sharma (Swagat, Surya, and Badshah), this colorful cocktail and hookah lounge serves Indian Tapas and cocktails in a relaxed laid back environment. 

 

Setting Tapa apart is the menu focused on an extensive bread bar with eight varieties of the classic Indian naan bread. Our favorite was the Prime Time, sliced prime cut rib-eye steak, cheddar, monterey jack and mozzarella, served with a smoky chipotle dipping sauce. A nice vegetarian option is the Eat Your Veggies lay with mushrooms, olives, and truffle oil, topped with marinara or mint sauce.

Our favorites from the Tapas menu include the Badass Chicken Tikka marinated in a houseblend of spices, yogurt and jalapeños, Agni “Fire Wings” prepared spicy or “want to cry” extra spicy, or for none spice enthusiasts, butter-chicken style, and the Masala Calamari tossed in Indian Masala sauce.

Mixologist Warren Bayami (Summit Bar, Badshah) created signature cocktails like the Sari Not Sari (tequila, lime, cucumber, mint, with a salted rim), Flight to Mumbai (gin, lime juice, cardamom), and Sassy Lassi, our favorite, made with housemate mango lassi and rum.

Over 40 flavors of Hookah are available to enjoy divided into three sections in different price ranges from the House Hookah, Exotic Hookah, and the Exclusive Hookah.

Tapa is located at 102 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10016. (646) 657- 0512. tapaloungenyc.com

Imli: Urban Indian Food Restaurant on the Upper East Side, NYC @ImliRestaurant

Indian Food is very common in NYC so it’s nice to see a restaurant that tries to set it’s self apart from the masses. If anyone has ever travelled to India one thing they will notice is how good the street food is. There are so many flavors and spices fused together to create dishes that are tasty and very inexpensive. 

Chef Manuel Butler created a menu that comprises of classic Indian cuisine mixed with street food from all over India with many options offered in the form of Tapas, meant to be shared so guests can try a greater variety of dishes.

We started our meal with a selection of tapas the chef prepared. The crispy okra topped with fennel and herbs was crunchy and flavorful. The tandoori wings were moist and not too spicy but yet had a nice texture and flavor. 

For the main courses we opted for a couple the seafood dishes with the lamb chops thrown in the mix. The ginger salmon was flaky sauted with ginger and garlic in a turmeric sauce. Not having eaten salmon very often at an Indian restaurant we were pleasantly surprised by the dish. The coconut shrimp was a favorite prepared with coconut milk, turmeric, spices and garam masala. The lamb chops were tender and cooked just right.

We paired the dishes with two sides of lemon and coconut rice along with delicious garlic naan, so good we ordered a second round.

My cocktail choice for the evening was the Mumbai Mule, me being a rum drinker was a no brainer. Dark rum, pomegranate juice, ginger mint and beer. It’s not to sweet and pretty strong, perfect for a saturday night. A very nice wine menu is available with a master wine expert curating the list to highlight the various flavors of the dishes when paired together.

Imli Restaurant 1136 First Avenue New York, NY 10065 (212) 256-0073 contact@imlirestaurant.com website: ImliRestaurant.com

%d bloggers like this: