Category Archives: Dining

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

 

Restaurant Review: TESSA Upper West Side @Tessanyc1

tlccjtuor-mrnvuyvq_qc3nct-vzw7rt6iwn6a41ana.jpgThe restaurant scene on the upper west side is seeing a resurgence with modern, unique eateries popping up. Tessa, headed by Executive Chef Eric Cope fits the bill with a mostly Mediterranean menu of dishes like Grilled Branzino, Rabbit Cavatelli ,and  Long Island Duck. 

Rolling out a new lunch menu recently with dishes like the TESSA Linguini, our favorite,  an innovative take on cacio -de -pepe, featuring  Tasmanian pepper & lemon, parmigiano basil crunch and parmigiano foam and the Bruised Kale and Marcona Caesar with shaved parmigiano, squeezed lemon and a focaccia crunch. For meat lovers the TESSA Burger is made with prime angus beef, pancetta, fontina cheese, tomato, caramelized onion and Rosemary fries. 

The dishes can be paired with a curated wine list of 16 varieties of wine by the glass, 10 beers on tap, and a selection of refreshing cocktails . The intimate and comfy setting along with outstanding food and friendly and efficient service make TESSA a must try for lunch, dinner or cocktails.

TESSA 349 Amsterdam Ave. Bet. 76th & 77th St. (212)390-1974 http://www.Tessanyc.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restaurant Review: Burke & Wills Upper West Side @Burkeandwills

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Burke & Wills is not your typical Upper West Side restaurant. Delivering adventurous cuisine all the way from Australia combined with seasonal specialties and original artisan cocktails, Burke & Wills delivers a unique experience in a neighborhood filled with lovely but typical restaurant choices.

Owned and run by Australian expats Tim Harris and partner Matilda Boland, they offer several different experiences under one roof, a casual bar, an exclusive cocktail lounge  and The Manhattan Cricket Club on the second floor.

A recently revamped Brunch menu showcases a build your own Bloody Mary Bar where choices range from the original spicy formula with lemon, celery and olive to the fancier option of the works plus with bacon and a shrimp skewer.

Recommended brunch specialties include The Avocado Smash with tomato, frisse, pickled onions and feta cheese.($10), The Swagman’s breakfast for the really hungry customer, 2 eggs, hanger steak, pork belly, roasted mushrooms and potatoes.($20) and the Pancakes with berries and candied walnuts($16).

The dinner menu offers more adventurous options such as a Kangaroo Burger with tomato jam, arugula, and pickled onions. The roasted salmon is a healthier choice and a favorite with heirloom beans, kalamata olives, and lemon nage.

 

 

An extensive Australian wine selection is available to pair with the seasonal menus as well and creative cocktails invented by renowned mixologist Greg Seider. The “Beds are Burning” concoction is a spicy cucumber margarita with Arette Blanco tequila, lime orange bitters, fresh cucumber and Thai chili agave.

Burke & Wills 226 west 79th st. (646) 823-9251

Open 7 days a week for lunch, brunch, cocktails, and dinner as well as a late night lounge. Call for complete details or visit www.burkeandwillsny.com 

 

 

 

 

 

Restaurant Review: Esperanto NYC @EsperantoNY

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Esperanto is a lively, feel good latin- inspired restaurant located on Ave C in downtown NYC. Live music and entertainment including flamenco dancing are part of the experience. The cocktail menu strongly focuses on Caipirinhas, as it should, because it is a brazilian/south american restaurant.

The food is a fusion of Latin American cuisine. Our dinner began with chips, pico de gallo, and guacamole a house favorite and a must try. Followed by a ceviche trio that was very flavorful mixing seafood, red snapper, was our favorite, with heavy lime juice, citrus, and mango. 

The most popular entrees are Feijoida, a traditional pork and black bean stew served with white rice and sautéed collard greens ($22), the Moqueca, a brazil seafood stew made with a choice of snapper or shrimp or both with coconut milk, ginger and cashews served with white rice ($24).

Our favorite was the Carne Grelhada, a marinated hanger steak, cooked medium rare, chefs choice, served with rice/ beans/guacomole and chimichurri sauce ($26).

Esperanto 145 Avenue C and 9th street. New York, NY 10009 (212)505-6559

EsperantoNY.com

 

Restaurant Review: Da Tommy Osteria NYC @DaTommyNYC

 

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Da Tommy Osteria is a charming Italian Restaurant located in the West Village. With a tavern like feel the comfy space allows guests to relax and enjoy the authentic Italian cuisine including homemade pastas made onsite. A wonderful selection of Italian wines are available along with a varied cocktail menu to complement the meal or if you are relaxing at the bar for the evening.

Tommy the owner is a young and charming Restaurateur who chose a tasting menu for us of some of his favorite dishes. We started with the beet salad with fresh goat cheese. Followed by a zucchini cake with truffle fondue that was delicious, I’m usually not a big fan of zucchini. The grilled octopus was cooked and seasoned perfectly. 

We tasted a few homemade pastas, but the downright favorite was the award winning Genovese style  “Trophie Al Pesto” by chef Alfio Longo. The Pappardelle ai Funghi with homemade  Pappardelle, Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Truffles is a must try.

For the entree the “Branzino al Forno” is highly recommended. Pan roasted Sea Bass with olives, capers, vegetables, in a white wine sauce. Other chicken, steak and seafood options are also available.

As requested we left room for dessert. The Creme Brûlée was creamy and light and the Tiramisu was baked just right.

Da Tommy Osteria

14 Bedford St. (212) 675- 9080

daTommy.com

Restaurant Review: Ben & Jacks Steakhouse on 5th ave @BenandJackSteak

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Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse on 5th ave is a richly wood paneled traditional Steakhouse that was started by a group of waiters from famed Peter Luger’s Steakhouse. With The logo “Experience a Steakhouse like no other” puts pressure to deliver a unique and satisfying experience for the guests.

A large space in the heart of midtown Ben & Jacks is know for hosting many private and corporate functions upstairs as well as charity benefits to give back to the community. A family business with a rich history and a desire to deliver top quality food and service.

Meats are the specialty here and quality “Prime” cuts are grilled to perfection using very little seasoning to not take away from the natural flavor of the aged meats. We started our meal off with a very fresh yellowfin tuna tartare and baked clams. Followed by a rich and cheesy french onion soup, a must try. For the seafood lover Seafood platters are available and can be customized to include shrimp, lobster, crab, oysters, clams and more…

For the entree we chose the Surf & Turf. The lobster tail was huge and the filet mignon, medium rare, was tender and full of flavor. My companion also had the lobster but chose to try the 12oz Sirloin instead and was very satisfied with the steak. The restaurant specializes in Porterhouse steaks that can be served for 2 to 4 people.

As a side dish the Lobster Mac’ Cheese is highly recommended, made with quality cheese and chunks of lobster. Sautéed Spinach adds a little “green” and healthiness to the meal.

Dessert was a creamy creme brûlée and a traditional tiramisu accompanied by freshly brewed coffee and a dessert wine. An extensive wine and cocktail list is available and wine pairings are suggested by the experienced waitstaff.

 Ben & Jack’s serves lunch and dinner daily and private rooms are available for corporate functions, rehearsal dinners, bachelor/bachelorette parties, holiday parties and more…

Ben & Jacks Steakhouse

255 5th avenue New York, 10016

(212) 532-7600

http://benandjackssteakhouse.com

 

Restaurant Review: Olma Caviar Boutique & Lounge Upper West Side @OlmaCaviar

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Olma Caviar Boutique & Lounge recently opened on The Upper West side and is an extension of the very successful boutique & bar in the food hall of The iconic Plaza Hotel. A much larger space than the Plaza here guests can sip champagne and dine at the bar or can recline on royal blue banquettes.

The Visionaries behind Olma and the idea that Caviar should be made accessible to everyone, and not to a select few are hospitality veterans Edward Eliachov and his partner Igor Eliachov who is president of Olma Food (www.olmafood.com), a manufacturer and wholesale distributor of the finest caviars since 2001.

The concept is that caviar should be available for purchase in single servings or platters and not in the usual per ounce way. At Olma a $5 dollar tasting is possible with a blini topped with Salmon Roe Caviar. To splurge a bit a single serving of Beluga is available for a reasonable $32.

Our tasting included The Caviar platter, which is highly recommended and included a tasting of Salmon Red, Paddlefish black, Hackleback, White Sturgeon and Russian Osetra Karat and Beluga. Arranged in price starting lowest on the left and ending in the top of the line Beluga on the right.

In addition Olma carries plenty of other dining options like salads will grilled chicken, mango duck or prosciutto, varies paninis like arctic char, salmon lox, and foie gras and more….

To complement the Caviar and other delicacies a cocktail menu is emphasized using only top shelf premium brands. Popular cocktails include the Moscow Mule, Rye Manhattan, Basil Martini, and the Uptown. In addition there is an extensive red and white wine list and a Champagne menu featuring Dom Perignon, Krug, Veuve Cliquot, Cristal, and Ace of Spades. Non- alcoholic options include a complete Italian Espresso bar and and a selection of fine green, white, and black teas.

Olma Caviar Boutique & Lounge 420 Amsterdam Avenue at 80th St. (212)390-0708 

http://www.olmacaviar.com

Restaurant Review: Anisette Country French Wine Bar & Cafe @AnisetteNYC

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Anisette is a new French Country Wine bar & Cafe serving deliciously inspired Provencal food. Occupying the former space of Italian Restaurant La Follia, which is moving a few blocks away and opening soon, same owners. Located on a lively corner (226 3rd ave & 19th st) this restaurant serves dinner nighty and will begin serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week in September.

Chef/Owner and Sommelier Suzanne Letulle Riva delivers a varied menu with French Provencal specialties such as Housemade Chicken Liver Pot with Cornichons and Crostini as well as a few tasty Italian dishes her loyal customers crave from The La Follia days.

Some of our favorites included the very fresh tuna tartare, the Avocado toast, and the Goat Cheese Tart. The wines are chosen from Regions of France with a lot of focus on Rose during the summer months and a full bar and cocktail menu is available as well.

Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays 11:30 – 3pm and is offered pre-fixe or A La Carte. Brunch specialties include Pain Perdu with Bananas & Coconut Whipped Cream and Classic Croque Madame with Baby Lettuces and French Viniagrette.   

http://www.AnisetteNY.com (646) 850- 2540

Restaurant Review: Industry Kitchen South Street Seaport @IndustryKitNYC

Industry Kitchen has many fine qualities, but none are as special as the view when seated outdoors on a beautiful summer evening. A panoramic view of both the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges and the passing sailboats on the East River create a special vibe that makes for a fun night of cocktails and cuisine with either friends, a special someone, or with the family.

Customer service is very important and “Eddie” our host and restaurant manager was very accommodating and assured us that this quality is something expected from all the Industry Kitchen employees to assure a quality experience for the guests. Many visitors hail from all over the globe and are looking for a trendy and fun experience by the Seaport. Industry Kitchen is also a favorite amongst locals and wallstreeters during lunch hours midweek.

We started off our meal with the blistering Shoshito Peppers ($9) with sea salt and olive oil. They were tasty and flavorful. We followed up with a Fresh Pot of Mussels ($15) infused with shallots, butter, garlic and white wine. For the main course The Grilled Marinated Miso Salmon ($23.50) was prepared just right with tomato-jalapeno- pineapple salsa accompanied with roasted potatoes and grilled asparagus. My partner had the Oven-Poached Shrimp, Cod, and Clams with Chorizo ($23) and was delighted by the spicy flavor of the red pepper aioli and Anaheim peppers.

Eddie insisted that we could not leave until we tried their specialty Wood Fired Pizza and brought us the “Bianca” ($14) with fresh mozzarella, aged pecorino and olive oil. 

Our dining experience was enhanced with the wide variety of wines and cocktails, but truth be told, with a view like that, a glass of wine and a wood grilled pizza would be enough for a great night by the Seaport.

Industry Kitchen 70 South Street at Maiden Lane New York, NY 10038 (212) 487-9600 

http://www.industry-kitchen.com

 

 

 

 

 

Restaurant Review: Philippe Chow NYC @PhilippeChowNYC

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Philippe Chow is a contemporary, chic high end Chinese restaurant specializing in authentic and upscale Beijing style cuisine.

Executive Chef Philippe Chow who has had over 25 years working for the iconic NYC eatery Mr. Chow’s brings in a contemporary version of traditional Chinese cuisine in a sleek and trendy setting located on an exclusive block on the Upper East Side.
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Owned by Merchants Hospitality Group, a hospitality company that owns upscale hotels, restaurants and residential properties around the world.

Philippe Chow is presided over by John Villa, who brings in his 10 years of experience running the Uber successful TAO group and contributing to making it what it is today. It is John’s vision to lead Philippe Chow to the next level, and we discussed his plans for the future, including an expanded and dedicated lounge area ,and how he is working towards gearing Philippe Chow towards a younger demographic while still catering to his loyal customer base.

Philippe Chow has been awarded many accolades since opening in 2005. The New York Observer deemed Philippe as having the “Best Peking Duck ” and was voted “Best in Chinese” by Zagat.

Our tasting began with an array of signature appetizers including the dumpling trio, chicken and beef satay and shrimp spring rolls. The chicken satay  is “World Famous” and it did not disappoint. The Red King Crab Platter for 2 is a seafood lover’s dream and the American Black Bass, half in black bean sauce and half ginger-garlic sauce is expertly prepared. Other signature dishes include The Beijing Chicken, 5 pound Whole Lobster, Green Prawns and of course the 7 pound Peking Duck.

Dessert is usually not a specialty in Chinese restaurants ,but Philippe Chow is known for his Baked Alaska and Red Velvet Cake.

An inspired cocktail menu with specialty cocktails like “The Lychee Martini” and an extensive wine list complete the dining experience. Philippe Chow is pricey, but you get what you pay for, and the experience is unforgettable, as is the clientele that ranges from celebrities, socialites, sports stars, and politicians.

Three Course Lunch Specials are offered Monday through Saturday 12:00-3:30 for $23.95 per person or the $32.95 Power Lunch which includes a Lychee Martini.

33 East 60th Street, NY, NY 10065 212.644.8885 • philippechow.com

Restaurant Roundup: Restaurants to Check out this Spring in NYC

Natsumi Tapas merges Italian and Japanese cuisine with dozens of small plates from hot to cold like sashimi rolls, a spicy tuna caviar flatbread, seared salmon toro don with caviar and avocado and heartier dishes like the ciao meatballs and the short ribs. Surprisingly similar in textures and ingredients these cuisines fuse quite well and the results are delicious. Haru owner Barbara Matsumura created this concept in her desire to expand the traditional flavors of Japanese cuisine. Natsumi Tapas 323 Third Avenue (212) 889-2182

Saffron On The Upper West Side (320 Columbus Ave (212) 724-6363) is an authentic family friendly Indian Restaurant within walking distance of Lincoln Center and The Museum of Natural History. The chef incorporates spices, herbs, and exotic fuits to create traditional Indian dishes with a twist. The Sunday Brunch offers a huge selection and is priced around $15 bucks.

Alfredo 100 took over the space of Bice at 7 east 54th street. (212) 688-1999 Owner Russell Bellanca, formerly of Alfredo of Rome, relocated his Al Hirschfeld lithographs to the new space and will once again focuses on the generous portions of hearty pasta dishes such as their famous fettuccine alfredo and our favorite, the whole lobster with linguini in a spicy marinara sauce. The wine list is extensive and the lounge area has a nice vibe.

Frankie & Johnny opened up their new location recently at 320 west 46th st. (212) 997-9494. The bi-level 140 seat restaurant with a private dining room and an expansive bar houses their historic photo and poster collection of celebrities who used to frequent the restaurant. The menu is traditional steakhouse with a few Eastern European flavors like potato pancakes and calves liver with sautéed onions. The Ribeye that was perfectly cooked was our favorite! Top shelf spirits and a large wine list make this restaurant a favorite especially for theatre goers with a 3 course $30 pre-fixe menu.

Photos by Noah Fecks:

Restaurant Review: Maroni Hot Pots @MaroniHotPots

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Husband and wife team Michael and Maria Maroni started Maroni Cuisine in Northport, Long Island 15 years ago and quickly became known for Grandma Maroni’s 100 year old gourmet meatball recipe. They began using enamel red pots for to-go orders in Long Island and recently brought this idea to Manhattan’s Upper East Side with their new spinoff Maroni Hot Pots( 307 east 77th st. 212-535-2866), http://www.maronihotpots.com).

The Hots Pots come in 3 sizes: small $30 (1-2 people), medium $45 (3-4 people, and $65 (6 to 8 people). If the hot pot is returned clean then the customer will receive a $4 dollar credit towards the next order.

 

The food is fresh and homemade and the small restaurant where the hot pots , as well as other items can be found on the menu is decorated with a music theme as inspired by music lover and chef Michael Maroni. Favorite hot pots are Grandma’s meatballs with or without spaghetti, Penne ala Vodka, Fresh Ricotta Ravioli, and Cacio E Pepe. Pans are also available in half  $28 (1-2 people) or  full  $40 (4-5 people). Homemade Chicken Parmesan and Chicken Milanese were our favorites. Other recommendations include the Lobster Bisque and Baked Clams Oreganata. 

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Friendly Service and Homemade food make this restaurant a neighborhood favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Village Prime Steakhouse: Uptown vibe in the heart of the Village

image The West Village is a neighborhood that’s always on trend, but it has been lacking one type of establishment and that is a refined steakhouse with an uptown feel, a classic seafood and steak menu plus a raw bar and a diverse wine and cocktail menu. At the helm of Village Prime is Executive Chef Vincent Ricciardelli and Chef/Owner Paul Singh who strive to give diners excellent steakhouse fare offering classic dishes like Lobster Bisque, Colossal Lumb Crab Meat Cocktail, a favorite of ours, Classic Caesar Salad as well as daily specials. The salmon, tuna, and steak tartare trio is a must! For serious meat lovers there is a wide range of USDA prime meats to choose from with popular options being The Cowboy Rib-eye 18oz. ($46), Skirt Steak 16oz.($32), and The Classic Porterhouse that can be shared from 2 to 4 diners and is priced accordingly. Our favorite happened to be The Surf N Turf ($58) which combines a juicy lobster tail and a choice of a meat entree. I chose the Filet Mignon in a Bearnaise Sauce and it was perfectly cooked and seasoned to my liking. Classic sides include a wide choice of potato options, creamed or sautéed spinach, lobster mac n cheese and much more. Dessert options include a creme brulee brought out in a  long white porcelain dish, cheesecake, a rich chocolate cake, and a choice of ice cream flavors as well. Village Prime is open 7 days a week and offers a 2 course lunch menu ($14.95) as well as a weekend brunch menu ($19.95) with unlimited champagne or sangria for a 90 minute seating time. image image Village Prime 302 Bleecker Street New York, NY 10014 212.727.7463 http://www.villageprimenyc.com

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