Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Marta

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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Madison Square Eats

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

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Delaware and Hudson

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

Claudette

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

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bar Primi

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

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Krupa Grocery

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

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Momo's Sushi Shack

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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mission Cantina

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

Tufino's Pizzeria Napoletana

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

Thursday, February 20, 2014

M. Wells Steakhouse

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

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Clam NYC

The Clam is far from a clam shack like so many that have sprouted around town. It is a corner spot in the scenic West Village with a local, sustainable mission and food that speaks. Hot, Parker House rolls baked in house are dreamy. A clam dip with zesty chips- the dip is good, could have been more lemony or peppery for me, but the chips were crispy, crunchy perfection. Also, well conceived was a butter lettuce salad, aged cheddar, apples and crispy pumpernickel with buttermilk dressing- fab. The spaghetti with clam sauce sprinkled with arugula was $22. Loved the arugula- I would have liked a richer, spicier sauce, but a good dish nonetheless. The star of the meal was dessert. All desserts are nine dollars. My chocolate, banana pie over chocolate ganache was spectacular. Nods to the pastry chef. GO!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bo's Restaurant and Bar

Bo's is a sweet and smashing Southern surprise right in the Flatiron. Calling this food Creole doesn't quite justify it's breadth and scope. The spacious. dining room with it's white brick walls oozes a select spot with it's 4 seater square tables and roomy design. Love at first sight. They make warm monkey bread a sweet, bread that's starts things off right. There are so many amazing sounding things on the menu, it was tough to pick. I went straight for the main. Shrimp Fra Diavolo- $28. Spicy Gulf shrimp grilled over cheese grits and tomato relish. Orgasmic mix of flavors and textures. For dessert we tried the hazelnut profiteroles and blueberry upside down cake with cardomon ice-cream. Both were delectable ends to outstanding meal. Nice retro bathrooms too. The vibe here is so friendly and laid back and the food well, I can't wait to come back. GO! GO!