Category Archives: Dining

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

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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

Alice’s Arbor- Farm to Table Eats in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn 

 

Located between Clinton Hill and Bed- Stuy in Brooklyn this richly wooded rustic eatery with a homey feel features farm to table fare sourced by local purveyors with the menu rotating seasonally.

The crafted cocktail menu features cocktails like the “Bad Hombre”, our favorite: Hornitos tequila, Jalapeño & Cilantro infused syrup and fresh lime juice. The beer menu is plentiful with rotating IPA’s on tap.

During our dinner we were encouraged to try the specials. The red snapper was light and flaky while the Sullivan country farms trout was full of flavor in a rich brown butter sauce served with fingerling potatoes and green beens. The Pork Chop was a thick cut served with roasted carrots and apricot chutney. The baby back ribs are a must try and can be shared as the serving is plentiful. The meat is tender and practically falls off the bone. Also highly recommended are the brussels sprouts with bacon and maple syrup. For dessert Chef Mike’s favorite grandmother cheesecake is a perfect way to end the meal.

Alice’s Arbor is equally perfect for a romantic date night, weekend brunch with the kids, or a night out with friends.

Alice’s Arbor is open 7 days a week. Breakfast is served all day from 9am until 4:30pm on weekdays and brunch on the weekends. Dinner is served nightly 5:30pm – 11pm Mon-Thur. 5:30 to Midnight on fridays and saturdays and 5:30 to 10pm on sunday evenings.

Location: 549 Classon Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11238 alicesarbor@gmail.com (718) 399-3003  Alicesarborbk.com

Craven- Midtown’s latest Restaurant and Lounge makes a splash at New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week ended a couple weeks ago and as much as we all enjoy it, the craziness can get to the best of us. We are always on the lookout for the newest gathering spot for fashionistas and model types to unwind and munch in-between shows, presentations and after parties. 

Craven NYC located on the border of Hudson Yards and Hell’s Kitchen upped the ante and actually held fashion shows at the venue itself. Designed by Gene Kaufman Architect the 6000 square foot space is decorated in white brick, rich wood and polished brass. An outdoor patio is open during summer months for outdoor dining and cocktails.

The menu is mostly American Classic with a couple Asian delicacies thrown in like Big Eye Tuna Poke and Korean Beef Bulgogi Kebab Kebabs. Our favorite was the Backyard BBQ Spareribs, made southern style with Kentucky Style BBQ Sauce served with corn on the cob.

A long list of cocktails and wines are available to enjoy. We foresee Craven to be a hotspot in the future, considering Fashion Week is rumored to be working on locking down a permanent home at Hudson Yards once the space is ready to open.

Craven 346 west 40th street New York, NY 10018 (212) 956-7020 CravenNYC.com

The Black Derby: New Bistro in The Heart of the West Village NYC

The Black Derby is the kind of eatery that reminds of why the west village restaurant scene is so important to New York. Set in a 130 year old landmarked building on a quaint block, the name derived from one of the founder’s fathers, Jack Brady. a long time west village resident, who wore his black derby daily, his original black derby still sits in the bar next to his favorite whiskey.

The cuisine is “New York at Heart” ,a blend of American and French fare using the highest quality ingredients. Recommended dishes include the The Black Derby Goat Cheese Sliders, a Pat LaFRieda Hanger Steak Frites, Max’s Famous burger new for 2017 and our favorite The Daily Market Fish. The must have dessert is The Black Derby made with homemade molasses and grapefruit zest doughnut, creamy bourbon ice cream, dark chocolate ganache and branded cherries. 

The bar scene is an important part of The Black Derby experience. An extensive wine and beer menu is available with many classic specialty cocktails like The Mermaid Avenue, made with Brooklyn Gin, Lime, and St. Germain liqueur.

A neighborhood draw for regulars who gather for after work drinks, a cozy meal, or date night along with visitors from other neighborhoods and tourists alike the Black Derby offers a much needed respite with a relaxed yet sophisticated vibe. 

The Black Derby is located at 310 west 4th street New York, NY 10014. (212) 912-9061 theblackderby.com

Badshah The “Inauthentic Indian Restaurant” in Hell’s Kitchen NYC

Hell’s Kitchen newest Indian restaurant owned by Abishek Sharma is Badshah. Abishek also owns Swagat on the Upper West Side and Surya on Bleeker street. Executive chef Charles Mani describes his cuisine as inauthentic Indian playing with textures and infusing unusual spices to classic Indian dishes.  

The Hell’s Kitchen space is lively with murals adorning the walls and a retractable front window that opens up to bustling ninth avenue.

Our dinner was a an assortment of Badshah favorites along with the most popular Chef’s Tasting Menu. Favorites included the butter chicken which is a different take on the traditional Chicken “Tikka” Masala made with no butter, ghee, or yogurt for a lighter creamier texture that won’t weigh you down. The Badshah cauliflower is a vegetarian version of chinese general tso’s chicken and Chef Charles is the true originator of this dish. The salmon was cooked just right complemented with a delicious coconut curry.

The Chef’s Tasting Menu ($49) is the most popular item on the menu with a variety of favorite appetizers, curries, rice, naan bread and dessert.

The cocktail menu was very creative with a slew of craft cocktails focusing on rum, which is our team’s alcohol of choice.

Badshah 788 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019 (646) 649-2407   Badshahny.com

 

Restaurant Review: Almayass NYC Lebanese and Armenian Cuisine @AlmayassNYC

 

Almayass NYC  is a a blend of modern Lebanese & Armenian cuisine owned and operated by the Alexandrian family. Rooted in Lebanon with locations in Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait City, Doha at The Pearl and Dubai. Almayass first arrived on the New York restaurant scene in 2012 and immediately was a hit and gained a loyal following for it’s upscale food and wines, yet fun casual family vibe with terrific service. In 2017 it continues to impress with new menu options focusing on sharing of small plates, authentic Armenian dishes and Armenian artwork displayed through the entire restaurant.

Our meal began with a variety of salads and their famous hummus dishes including our highly recommended favorite Hummus with cauliflower. Followed by the freshly made hot feta with oven baked feta cheese, vine tomato, oregano & spicy red peppers. The spicy potatoes were seasons with fresh garlic & cilantro. Another house favorite and a must try was the Mantee Traditional with meat, spinach option available. The Chef’s special is marinated diced filet mignon with the chef’s special sauce, and is a tasty option for any meat lover.

For the main course we recommend the Bronzini fillet with a sesame based sauce cooked with onion, cilantro and garnished with Almond. The Alaskan Sablefish (Black Cod) is tender and flaky served with baby spinach. The lamb chops were cooked just right served with brussel sprouts and cauliflower puree.

Our meal was accompanied wines, specialty cocktails, and authentic Armenian Cognac.

Almayass NYC is open 7 days a days for lunch & dinner. 24 East 21st New York, NY 10010 (212) 473-3100 

 

Capital Grille’s 9th Annual “The Generous Pour” Wine Event is back from July 10th through September 3rd @CapitalGrille

 

Wine pairing with delicious cuisine is a truly enjoyable experience for foodies and wine lovers alike. However, this can be a costly venture. For the 9th straight year The Capital Grille  is rolling out it’s summer time “The Generous Pour” wine event with a tasting experience of seven acclaimed wines from California and Oregon.

The wines are selected to pair with the restaurant’s signature menu items. The Generous Pour wine experience is available for $28, for 7 wine tastings, yes that’s $4 a glass, an unheard of price for a fine dining establishment. Price is $38 in the Pennsylvania market.

At the helm of The Generous Pour event is Advanced Sommelier Brian Philipps. With over 15 years experience in the hospitality industry Brian joined The Capital Grille in 2013 through another luxury restaurant Eddie V’s Prime Seafood.

As Advanced Sommelier with The Court of Master Sommeliers and a Certified Wine Educator from The Society of Wine Educators, he is currently pursuing the final Master Sommelier certification.

The theme of this year’s event – The Critics’ Darlings: 90+ Point Finds- brings together wines that have been rated 90 points or higher by respected wine critics.  The lineup this year includes wines from California’s Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Santa Barbara regions, as well as Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

The wines offered are: Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 (92 Points), Arrowood “Sonoma Estates” Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 (90 Points), Siduri Pinot Noir, 2015 (90 Points), Edmeades Zinfandel, 2013 (91 Points), Matanzes Creek Winery Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 (92 Points). Cambria Clone 4 Chardonnay, 2015 (91 Points) and The Willakenzie Pinot Gris, 2016 (90 Points). 

For more info and locations please visit: www.thecapitalgrille.com

 

Restaurant Review: Sushi Seki Times Square @SushiSeki #SushiSeki

 

Sushi Seki is a mini-chain of high end Sushi restaurants that cater to a crowd of sushi devotees that know the quality of their food and are not a afraid to spend a few bucks on it.

The Times Square location is a abuzz with the theatre crowd and guests looking for a late lounge experience as well as weekly saki tastings. “Omakase” a term used when the Chef is given a free pass to pick and choose the tasting menu starting with the lightest appetizers and sushi all the way to the cooked and grilled portion of the menu.

Our tasting menu began with a selection of the freshest salmon, tuna, eel, and yellowtail sushi and sashimi. Followed by mixed shrimp and vegetable tempura, a handful of rolls, ahi tartare, and topped off with tender and perfectly seasoned miso cod. All the selections were paired with appropriate sakis, wines, the Rose was a favorite, and specialty cocktails.

Decorated with a sleek minimalism vibe, with private party dining areas in a 2 floor setting, Sushi Seki is a must try for any sushi fan who wants to mix in quality cuisine and a good time.

Sushi Seki 365 west 46th street New York, NY (212) 262 – 8880 sushiseki.com

 

10th Annual Taste of The Upper West Side Coming to NYC on May 19th and 20th @NewTasteUWS

This years marks the 10th Anniversary of The Taste of The Upper West Side. Two nights of celebrations starting with Surf & Turf on the 19th hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli ( Butter owner/chef) & Adam Richman and “Best of The West” hosted by Jesse Palmer on the 20th. Both nights will feature celebrity chefs and award winning food authors.

Over 85 restaurants will serve signature bite size fare, cocktails and desserts while guests mix and mingle with celebrity chefs and DJ El Media will provide the music for the event.

To purchase tickets and to find out more details on participating restaurants please visit: tasteuws

 

Taste of The Nation for No Kid Hungry is coming back to NYC on April 24th. Buy your tickets now! @NoKidHungry #TasteoftheNation @180MaidenLaneNYC

On April 24th the 28th annual Taste of The Nation for No Kid Hungry will be back in NYC on the East River Waterfront at the stunning Maiden Lane NYC. Hosted by Danny Meyer, featuring over 40 top eateries offering delicious bite size fare, cocktails, and desserts. Live music from the rock band The Strumbellas, who just performed on the TBS Conan show, will headline the evening’s entertainment.

Tickets start at $250 and are still available. Please come out for a great night to support a fantastic cause! Ticket info below. Full recap after the event will follow.

Taste of The Nation-Tickets

 

Restaurant Review: Il Gattopardo NYC @IlGattopardoNYC

Il Gattopardo is set in a renovated townhouse with a garden on a museum block surrounded by the cities best shops. Known for upscale Southern Italian cuisine with a true homemade feel the restaurant enjoys a loyal following of business leaders, celebs, media vip’s and museum goers.

Chef Vito Gnazzo creates dishes from Naples and surrounding areas with pastas being the specialty. The Dover Sole was flaky, tender and flavored just right. The lamb chops were favorites! The formal dining environment combined with an extremely experienced serving stuff, the old school kind that have been with the restaurant for years make for a special experience. The wine list complements the rich Sicilian menu to a tee. 

Open for lunch daily and weekend brunch plus a very special Easter brunch on April 16th.

The restaurant group also has The Leopard and Mozzarella & Vino and they are all worth a visit.

Il Gattopardo 13-15 West 54th street. New York NY 10019  (212) 246-0412 IlGattapardonyc.com

ROKI Le Izakaya: Modern new Japanese Brasserie In The Flatiron District NYC #RokiLeIzakaya

Last weekend we were invited to dinner at the brand new hotspot in the Flatiron District Roki Le Izakaya. A modern take on a traditional Japanese restaurant that fuses typical fare like sushi and sashimi with a Ramen menu and tapas dishes meant to be shared. Using the freshest ingredients the dishes are created with a healthy flair.

Owned and operated by Keiko Ono Aoki and Executive Chef Koji Hagihara. Keiko is the wife of the late Rocky Aoki, owner and founder of the world famous Benihana chain.

The decor is modern and sleek, yet casual with murals and a communal table along with traditional banquettes and a seating area by the bar if you choose to watch the chef at work.

Our tasting menu consisted of Kanpachi Carpacchio, our favorite! Amberjack fish with onion, radish sprouts, wasabi, garlic and ponzu sauce. We then moved on to the Japanese canapés. The menu offers 9 options so we choose the Kani (snow crab & avocado), Amaebi (sweet shrimp) & the Ahi Poke (Tuna). They are served over crispy sushi rice which adds great texture to the dish. The Spicy shrimp tempura roll was crunchy and delicious served with spicy mayo.

Now it was time to try some hot appetizers. We went for the ROKI Shrimp steamed Gyoza. Tender shrimp, pork belly, water chestnut and bamboo wrapped in a gyoza wrapper. My companions favorite dish was the Wagyu shortribs. The meat was cooked just right served with seasonal vegetables.

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Ramen

Ramen is one of the most popular dishes at the brasserie. The ROKI ROKI Ramen Nabe is a hotpot for 2, although it’s enormous and can be shared amongst a larger party. The choices are seafood, original dan dan ramen, the most popular, and the beef & vegetable ramen. Individual ramen choices are the classic chashu shoyu( sliced pork belly, veggies in a soy sauce broth), chashu tonkutso premium ramen(chicken & pork broth, pork belly, sliced pork & veggies), and organic vegetable ramen(soy milk broth, miso, seasonal vegetables, kale noodles & seaweed).

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For dessert we highly recommend the Earl Grey Creme Brûlée. Perfectly fluffy with a hint of Earl Grey and not too sweet.

As of last week ROKI is still working on a liquor license so guests are welcomed and encouraged to BYOB.

Beginning March 14th Roki Le Izakaya will be open for lunch with a special lunch menu served Mon- Fri noon till 2:30.

ROKI Le Izakaya 12 west 21st. New York, NY 10010 (646) 383- 7654  website: rokieleizakaya.com

A Culinary Treat With Nestle Damak @NestleDamak @Tasting Table

 Last week we were treated to a unique foodie experience with Nestle Damak. Who knew pistachios can be used in such a variety of dishes and cocktails? Nestle Damak has been a premium chocolate brand hailing from Turkey since 1933. Damak incorporates pistachios into their chocolate bars available in Fine and Dark Chocolate. Pistachios were used in our dinner preparation of Roast Leg of Lamb, Bean Salad, Flatbreads and a variety of dips as well along with the cocktails. 

The pistachios are sourced from from the Gaziantep region of Turkey which boasts an ideal climate for growing these nuts. These pistachios are considered to be some of the best in the world. Damak is also committed to improving the lives of the farmers who grow the pistachios and making a positive impact on their communities. Nestle Damak has committed over $1 million dollars to fund training in agricultural methods and improve the welfare of the Gaziantep growing region of Turkey.#Sponsored

nestledamak.com

 

 

Cool Fun Restaurants we checked out in February

 

A.G.Kitchen opened up in late 2015 on the Upper West Side. Chef/Owner Alex Garcia of sister restaurant Calle Ocho mixes a variety of latin cuisines into a lively but laid back restaurant. On a cold monday night the restaurant was hopping with a nice mix of families, couples and a happy hour bar crowd. House specialties include guacamole made tableside to your liking, A paella dish stuffed with shrimp, mussels, lobster, crab, chicken and chorizo, big enough to share!, tacos, burgers and The Cubano, some say is the best in NYC. Cocktails that are latin inspired and milkshakes made with booze are must tries.

A.G. Kitchen 269 Columbus Ave.(73rd. st.) New York, NY 10023 (212) 873-9400 agkitchen.com

Adoro Lei, a loungy eatery downtown on Hudson Street serving contemporary Italian cuisine, many dishes that can and are encouraged to be shared. A late night lounge vibe complete with a DJ on weekends and special themed menus. We recently attended a Valentines Day themed soiree with a menu that was available the week of Valentines day with many dishes on the every day menu. A Staple dish and our favorite was The Burrata Divine, Burrata Cheese, eggplant, ripe tomatoes, truffle and honey drizzle. The pizzas are delicious with nearly 20 varieties including 2 options of “Chocolate Pizza”, the Giacomo and the Henriette.  The menu features several fresh pastas and a plentiful wine and cocktail list.

Adoro Lei 287 Hudson Street New York, NY 10013 (646) 666- 5096. adorolei.com

Coffeemania was introduced in Moscow in 2001 and now has over 25 locations including a brand new location in the heart of Bryant Park. A fancy coffee house featuring an extensive menu with a focus on Russian specialties like Borsch Soup, A Solyanka Soup made with Kielbasa , green olives and lime in a hearty and spicy tomato sauce, and traditional Russian Pelmeni. Standouts for us were the lobster Uni Carbonara, a large chuck of butter poached lobster with Fettuccinni, soy, red seaweed and shiso and the cowboy steak for 2. For dessert diners are encouraged to walk through the bakery featuring fresh pastries and cakes along with a multitude of coffee choices.

Coffeemania 1065 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10018 (212) 221- 2510 coffeemanianyc.com

Delilah, a newly opened restaurant and lounge on the lower east side is serving a mediterranean tapas menu and craft cocktails. Owner Mino Habib is also the owner of trendy establishments The DL, Veranda, and The Attic Rooftop. Replacing St. Jerome’s, a dive bar that was a favorite haunt for Lady Gaga. The decor is sleek with plush velvet banquettes and a back room with a DJ available for private parties. Spicy lamb sliders, crispy lobster flatbreads, garlic shrimp and creative cocktails  mixed by Rael Petit are reasons to check Delilah out. 

Delilah 155 Rivington St. New York, NY (212) 777-2520 delilahnyc.com

 

Restaurant Review:Bocaditos Bistro Inwood,NY @BocaditosBistro_eb @ChefAlexis

 

Bocaditos Bistro & Espresso Bar is the newest member of the very well established and popular restaurant family in Inwood, other members being The Mamasushi and Mamajuana Cafe. A bakery in the front with European flair and decor, and a bi-level dining room in the back serving Tapas combining Mediterranean and Asian cuisine.

Owner Susana Osorio is warm and friendly and the vibe is of a quaint family style eatery and lounge with a varied wine list and a cocktail menu comprised of champagne and Sangria cocktails.

Favorite dishes included the Rose Soy Paper Wrapped Salmon stuffed with crabmeat in a thai curry sauce, Short Rib Fettucini, Miso Glazed Japanese Eggplant, and the Stout Braised Short Rib Empanadas. We topped dinner off with The Red Velvet Tres Leche cake with lychee cream and strawberry spheres, a must try.

Bocaditos Bistro & Espresso Bar 4863 Broadway (204th Street) New York, NY 10034 (646) 649-4212 http://www.bocaditosbistro.com

 

 

Restaurant Review: Sixty 5 On Main Nyack, NY @sixty5onmain

 

Nyack is known for it’s dining and entertainment scene and is also seeing a growth in art galleries and the hotel industry, with the recently opened NYC outpost of the TIME Hotel. As more New Yorkers are searching for weekend getaways, that are convenient and unique, yet exciting the foodie scene is following in their footsteps and opening Eateries to satisfy their needs.

Sixty 5 on Main has an international feel with furniture, many one of a kind pieces, that were obtained from markets or antique stores ,while the foundation is local with some of the wall panels and tables made from trees in the Hudson Valley.

The Bar is the focal point of the space with a hand-made wine cellar showcasing bottles from the local Hudson Valley, to France, Italy, and Australia. The bartenders create specialty crafted cocktails depending on the season. Chef Moshe Grundman, formerly of Michelin-star winning restaurant Oceana, in NYC, created a menu with small plates perfect for sharing.

The cuisine is a mix of international flavors with a focus on Mediterranean dishes and plates with an Asian flare, utilizing locally sourced ingredients from the Hudson Valley. Our meal consisted of a tasting menu featuring fresh tuna crudo, fluke ceviche, fried calamari, meatballs on spaghetti cakes, a favorite, short rib fritters and Homemade ravioli, also a favorite and highly recommended.

The Music at 65 Main sets this restaurant apart with performers ranging from local bands to performers brought in from other venues. Jazz and Blues fills the room on many nights. There are three rooms in the venue with the Main Room, where all the action happens, The Cave Room, a dark intimate lounge ,and The Library, a smaller private space perfect for private parties and events.

Sixty 5 On Main: 65 Main Street, Nyack, NY 10960 (845) 358-5200 http://www.sixty5onmain.com 

Restaurant Review: Machiavelli on The Upper West Side @Machiavellinyc

Walking into Machiavelli is like walking into a Museum with “Renaissance” inspired murals, upholstered chairs and banquets, candelabras and a a live piano player on most nights.

A Northern Italian eatery owned by Nathalie de La Fontaine who lived in Northern Italy for several years and managed La Foccaccia in the West Village. Nathalie recently chose a new chef Gian Pietro Ferro, who was the executive chef at Osteria al Doge and head chef at Fiorello. His job was to revamp and revitalize the menu to celebrate the restaurant’s fifth anniversary.

Machiavelli’s menu focuses on pasta rolled by hand, pizzas, salads, and a variety of classic Italian dishes. We started our meal with the highly recommended “Sformato di Spinaci”. A flan made with fresh ricotta and spinach, topped with a classic fontina white truffle scented fondue cheese sauce.

The “Bruschetta”  is made to order with traditional red and yellow tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, basil over Tuscan Bread.

My favorite was the “Carpachio di Manzo”, thin slices of seared rare beef, baby arugula, grand padding and truffle oil. I am very picky with my Carpachio ,so I was pleasantly surprised by the texture and the flavor.

Farfalle Neri al Salmone

The pasta course was the most anticipated since this is what Machiavelli prides itself on. The “Farfalle Neri al Salmone” with Canadian Salmon in a pink sauce was served al dente with large chunks of salmon.

The “Tagliatelle Al Ragu di Vitello”, egg pasta ribbons served with veal ragu is also a very popular choice.

 Lamb Chops

Traditional Northern Italian Specialties include The “Pollo all Chichi”, breaded free- range Chicken Milanese served with baby arugula, onions and tomato, and my guests recommended “Costoletta d’Agnello alle erbe fresche”, Roasted Colorado Lamb Chops served with roasted potatoes and veggies. 

Prosciutto di Parma Pizza

The Pizzas at Machiavelli are made using the traditional Italian method with extra virgin olive oil, san marzano tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. They are very good sized portions and can be shared. Pictured above is our favorite the “Prosciutto di Parma”, tomato, mozzarella, tomatoes, arugula and prosciutto di Parma.

 

 Tirimisu

Dessert was a traditional and very tasty Tirimisu, However many options are available. The wine selection was plentiful with many choices, either by the glass or bottle along with well crafted cocktails.

Machiavelli  519 Columbus Ave. New York, NY 10024 (212) 724-2658 http://www.machiavellinyc.com

Restaurant Review: Halifax at The W Hotel in Hoboken, NJ @WHoboken

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Halifax recently opened at the W Hotel in Hoboken, the only hotel in downtown Hoboken, NJ ,a city that is seeing quite a resurgence with many eateries and bars popping up as scores of young New Yorkers are flocking to the area with several luxury living options, many with views of NYC, with only a 15 minute PATH train commute to midtown.

A creative collaboration between owner Michael Barry and Executive Chef Seadon Shouse, who hails from Nova Scotia himself. Halifax is a taste of the Northeastern coast with land and sea options that are locally sourced from the Mid- Atlantic to New England.

Architect and designer Gwathmey Siegel and Peter Bentel of Bentel & Bental, whose other past projects include Le Bernardin, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park and Craft, to name a few collaborated in creating a space that fits the concept the owner and chef envisioned. The decor at Halifax captures the essence of the menu which evokes the sea, sky, and coastal farmland with light blues, light greens, whites, and grays.

Our dinner began with a serving of popcorn dusted with smoked seaweed and horseradish along with  warm house baked rolls served with butter and sea salt personally harvested by Chef Shouse from the atlantic ocean. 

The first course on the tasting menu, or ala carte if preferred is the highly recommended smoked fish, charcuterie and cheese boards for the table. There are options to choose from one category or from all three for your party.  Our favorites were the maple glazed smoked wild salmon, the duck liver pate and Slyboro goat cheese.

The raw bar selection is extensive with East and West Coast Oysters, Long island Littleneck Clams, Poached Shrimp, and Seadon’s house smoked mussels. The selection of Crudo changes depending on the season, with the current section being the Montauk fluke, topped with lime, fresno chillies, radish and sun chokes.

For the entrees the Maine Lobster Rigatoni was a favorite with large chunks of lobster meat, trumpet mushrooms and lemon. For land lovers the Smoked Amish Chicken, brined and lightly smoked in-house, then roasted, served with warm salad of toasted bread and local greens, with currants, pine nuts and scallions was deliciously prepared and served. Other guest favorites were the NJ Lamb Ragout with ricotta cavatelli, tomato confit and chanterelles.

Pastry Chef Stuart Max who has worked with Chef David Burke at Fromagerie and with Dominic Filoni at Avenue created a dessert menu with Northeastern inspirations including Boston Cream Pie, Maple Cream Brûlée, Strawberry Rhubarb and white chocolate parfait and Apple Fritters with caramel sauce.

Halifax has a rich wine menu that can be paired with dinner with a knowledgeable Sommelier at the helm. Wines come from upstate New York, the vineyards of Long Island including The North Fork and other locations along the coast along with traditional wine choices from California, France and Italy. Beers on tap come from Departed Soles in Jersey City, Singlecut Beersmiths from Queens and other local breweries.

Halifax is open 7 Days a week. On weekends the Bubbles Brunch with unlimited small plates and a bottle of Champagne is served from 11am -3pm

Halifax at the W Hoboken 225 River Street Hoboken, NJ (201) 253-2500 http://www.halifaxhoboken.com

 

Where We Ate In September 16 NYC #Foodie

 

Guac Tacos & Tequila opened September 16th on National Guacamole Day, in the East Village, 179 Avenue B between 11th & 12th St. (212) 254-4822. http://www.guacnyc.com

11 types of Guacamole, hence the namesake, 10 types of Tequila. Authentic Mexican Cuisine, fresh ingredients with tons of flavor. Recommended: Guacamole Trio Sampler, Tacos: Steak, Shrimp, Grilled Chicken, Cactus. Traditional Mexican Dishes: Chicken Mole. Good Portions and Lively Ambiance!

Adoro Lei is an interesting combination of an Italian Eatery with a specialty in Pizzas, including the Highly Recommended, Henriette: (Sweet Cocoa Zeppole Pie/ Jacques Torres Cocoa & Chocolate Ice Cream/ Fresh Cream/ Berries/ Chocolate Drizzle.thanks to collaboration with Jacques Torres and the Giacomo: Savory Cocoa Crust Pie/Jacques Torres Cocoa & Nibs/ Home Made Mozzarella/Bacon/Fig Puree/ Gorgonzola/Caramelized Onions.

Come for the food, stay for the fun with extensive list of cocktails and wines with in-house DJ. 287 Hudson Street New, NY 10013 (646) 666-5096 http://www.adorolei.com

China Fun is a classic Chinese Restaurant located on the Upper East Side. A long time neighborhood favorite that serves up an extensive menu of Chinese dishes and Japanese offerings, However it tends to specialize in Cantonese Cuisine. Favorites included the Soup Dumplings, Peking Duck, and The Crispy Whole Seabass topped with Scallions and Ginger. 

China Fun 1221 second ave. New York, NY 10065 (212) 752-0810 http://www.chinafun-ny.com

Ola VivaBar, a latin infused restaurant owned by a family, synonymous with Italian food, the Inzerillo brothers (Sal, Rosario, and Joe), who own the UBER popular Italian eatery, Salvo’s next door.

Headed by Peruvian chef Antonio Acuna. Dishes served from Mexico, Peru, El Salvador and Guatemala. Authentic latin food which is pretty rare in this neighborhood with a lively vibe, good wine and cocktail list and beers on tap. Favorites: Empanadas, Ceviche, Tuna Tartare, and Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce served with rice, beans and grilled mexican corn. 

Leave room for dessert: Tres Leche Cake, Dulce De Leche Cheescake, and the Coconut Flan are must haves!

Ola VivaBar  453 east 78th st. New York, NY 10075 (646) 767-9970 http://www.olanyc.com

 Teremok, a popular Moscow fast food chain just opened their second NYC location in less than a year. Specializing in Blinis, crepes that are filled with savory and sweet fillings, Russian soups, salads and desserts.

Using simple and fresh ingredients that resemble a Russian grandmother’s recipes from back in the day, favorites include The Red Stars( Caviar & Sour Cream) Bliny, and the Chicken Pot Pie Bliny. The “Borscht Soup and the Russian Salad “Olivier are authentic Russian dishes to try. Our favorite Sweet Bliny was the Chocomok Dark Chocolate and the Dulce de Leche with Apples. Other popular desserts are the “Syrniki” small russian style cheesecakes filled with a choice of sweet fillings. 

Teremok 555 6th avenue New York, NY 10011 (917) 472-7322 http://www.teremok.com

 

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