NYC Best Bites

/NYC Best Bites

Our Best Bites from New York

Aunt Jakes, Greenwich Village, NYC

Like the old Chinese menus, you select one from column A and one from column B. In Aunt Jake's case, you select your pasta (housemade) and then your sauce. Sort of a DIY pasta in a bowl.  You can choose from pastas that include squid ink (black) fettuccine, beet pappardelle (red), cavatelli, and even gluten-free rigatoni, and then select the sauce from 10 different ones including marinara, broken meatball, puttanesca and carbonara. The hearty portions are served in a bowl garnished with fresh basil and slices of Italian bread.  We sampled the Sunday sauce (+$4; sausage, veal and shredded short ribs in a flavorful tomato sauce) over tagliatelle ($14) and the arribiata [...]

By | April 19th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Almayass, Gramercy-Flatiron, NYC

Had to laugh that I learned about Almayass, a Lebanese-Armenian restaurant in the heart of the Gramercy-Flatiron area AKA my hood, from my sister who only lives in the big apple a short time each year. She discovered it when looking for a place for my brother-in-law's big birthday that offered a meze. We went together for a tasting. Everything was so delicious that we had difficulty narrowing the menu for the party. I went back to have lunch one afternoon after visiting the birthplace of Teddy Roosevelt, a National Historic Site literally around the corner on 20th t0 write about it. The restaurant has an inviting atmosphere with super [...]

By | April 12th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

JAX B-B-Q, Hells Kitchen, NYC + Come From Away

We stopped in at JAX BBQ before heading to see the amazing musical,  Come From Away, that takes place following the September 11 attacks telling a true story of the people on the planes that landed unexpectedly in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland. For a complete review of the show, click here. As their guest, we sampled as much of JAX offerings as feasible. Realize that some food photos contain only a partial portion. Starters include southern delicacies like Bayou alligator fritters ($14.95), that are not to be missed. Having eaten alligator many times before, I knew how good these fritters were - as the meat was not rubbery at all [...]

By | April 10th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

The Palm Too, Midtown East, NYC

It wasn't for the food that we headed to Palm Too for lunch; instead, it was to see the new caricature of my friend's late husband on the wall of the restaurant he often frequented. Her daughter-in-law had made the arrangements. I arrived first and was greeted warmly as I walked in, which is Palm Too's MO as they treat guests like family. I mentioned how I was looking for a new face on their wall; the manager walked me through a couple dining rooms to the back one not being used that day for lunch right to the wall. When my friend arrived, I took some photos to capture [...]

By | April 8th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Tudor City Steakhouse, Midtown East, NYC

Walking east on the north side of 42nd Street from Second Avenue, look for the stairs to walk up to Tudor City Steakhouse. I had been to this location in one of its previous incarnations, specifically L'Impero. Weather permitting, this new bi-level restaurant will also have al fresco dining. As guests of the steakhouse, we tried to sample many items often asking for small portions so not to waste. When you look at my photos realize that many are half portions! My friend requested the sizzling strip of extra thick bacon ($6.95/slice) to start along with the not-to-be-missed yellow corn Venezuelan open tamale ($11.95) with roasted diced corn and zucchini. For [...]

By | April 5th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Mani in Pasta, Gramercy, NYC

After learning Mani in Pasta didn't yet have a liquor license, I stopped in at Trader Joe's wine shop across 14th Street before heading to the second location of this Roman-style pizza and Cucina restaurant, which had a soft opening in December. This little gem is easy to miss if you're not looking. As their guests, we were greeted by chef  Giuseppe Manco and his partner Pietro Toscano as if we arrived at their home. We were told to sit back and relax and they would feed us. We started with a medley of lightly coated then deep-fat fried zucchini flower, potato croquette, mozzarella cheese, frittatina (fried pasta with ham [...]

By | April 3rd, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Feinstein’s 54 Below, Theatre District, NYC

Earlier this year, I accompanied my friend from Theater Pizzazz to Feinstein's 54 Below, an intimate supper club offering dinner and drinks, to see Ben Vereen. The food had been so remarkable that I requested my return to sample more for a real review of the food of Executive Chef Lynn Bound. They invited me when Linda and Laura Benanti — mother and daughter — performed. Laura is a Tony Award-winning actress who began her Broadway career at the age of 18, starring opposite Richard Chamberlain in The Sound of Music; this show, The Story Goes On marks Linda’s return to the stage. We arrived at 5:15 when they opened the [...]

By | April 1st, 2018|NYC Best Bites, Theatre|0 Comments

Piccola Strada, East Village, NYC + Rosemary and Time

Piccola Strada a tiny Genovese restaurant across from the theatre where we were attending a performance of Rosemary and Time came highly recommended by more than one friend. It's a BYOB place with a mere $5 corkage fee. Our waiter offered suggestions. We might have been better off if we hadn't listened to him. We started with the Carciofini Al Forno, artichokes hearts sprinkled with parmesan cheese and olive oil then baked ($11). Nicely done, but nothing special. Same goes for their Ossobuco Di Manzo of very tender beef shank braised in red wine accompanied by tender gnocchi all in in a bolognese sauce ($22). My least favorite was one of the specials [...]

By | March 28th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|Comments Off on Piccola Strada, East Village, NYC + Rosemary and Time

Red Farm, Upper West Side, NYC + Admissions

Red Farm's chef Joe Ng had just been nominated by the James Beard Foundation as this year's "Best Chef in New York City" making me even more excited to head to the UWS location of this Chinese restaurant. We got to the 77th Street location early as we had ticket to see a Jessica Hecht ensemble performance at Lincoln Center. It wasn't until after we arrived that I learned that my dining partner was a dear friend of owner Ed Schoenfeld, who then proceeded to send us out some goodies. My favorite of the evening was the first dish that Ed sent. They call it a bruschetta, but there's no bread. [...]

By | March 26th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Fig & Olive Uptown, Upper East Side, NYC

After shopping at Saks for two mother-of-the-groom dresses for my friends from CT, both of whose sons were getting married, we looked for something nearby to grab a bite. I made a reservation at the uptown location of Fig & Olive as we were walking there. Our meal and libations were just what we were looking for. One friend began with the tart and sweet Rossellini ($15) made with passion fruit vodka and blood orange and lime juices; the El Matador ($14) made with tequila and rum, plus lime juice, a cilantro syrup and muddled jalapeños that I had packed a potent punch! The refreshingly healthy quinoa salad ($15) topped [...]

By | March 24th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Kubeh, West Village, NYC + Relevance

Kubeh refers to a Middle Eastern dumpling that I had read about being offered in my hood at a restaurant by the same name. We stopped by on the way to the Lucille Lortel to see one of our favorite actresses Jayne Houdyshell (who had won a Tony nomination forDolls House 2, and a Tony for her Humans performance). This time she was an angry feminist in Relevance. The noise level at Kubeh was deafening once we past the bar and into the dining room. We ordered some drinks and a couple of items from the meze part of their menu. The chunks of chilled roasted eggplant, pomegranate arils and fresh mint leaves [...]

By | March 22nd, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Sorbillo, Bowery, NYC

Word has it Italians stand in hour-plus lines at Sorbillo's Naples and Milan locations, like New Haveners wait for Pepe's. Sorbillo pizza, that arrived in NYC just before the new year, has gotten rave reviews for it's soupy, very wet in the middle pies. New Yorkers can't pick up and fold these slices, they may need a knife and fork! I was invited to sample their fare. While our pizzas were cooking, we started with their tender potato gnocchi I had heard so much about. This one in the style of Sorrentino ($19) with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. We also sampled the garlicky escarole with olives and a smidgen of chili [...]

By | March 20th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Black Ant, East Village, NYC

The Black Ant is not like most other Mexican restaurants, except Temerario another one of Jorge Guzman Hospitality's fabulous places. They had invited me to try their outstandingly unusual and delicious offerings with matching cocktails. I started with perfectly balanced Mexican clover with reposado tequila, jalapeño agave with pineapple and lime juices in a Tajin (chile peppers, lime and salt) rimmed glass ($13), my dining partner tried the smoky jalapeño margarita made from silver infused tequila, Cointreau, lime and orange juices with a rim of Black Ant salt ($12). Don't miss the unusual Black Ant guacamole ($14), traditional guac with green apple, sesame seeds, lots of fleshy pomegranate arils and [...]

By | March 18th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Estiatorio Milos, Midtown, NYC + In The Body of The World

The best way to experience the pricey Estiatorio Milos down the street from City Center is to order their reasonable prix-fixe menu. Their pre-theater menu, served between 5:00-6:00 pm, offers three courses for $55, containing both the Faroe Islands sustainable organic salmon my friend ordered a la carte for $49 and the grilled Mediterranean Octopus, I ordered for $29. But wait, I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. We ate there wanting to be close to the theater where we were seeing In the Body of the World as it was quite cold out. The restaurant is known for their fish, their pricey fish. As you can see from the fish-0n-ice photo, [...]

Lucciola, Upper West Side, NYC + Parisian Woman

I was invited to Lucciola, a new restaurant uptown on 90th street and Amsterdam Avenue. My friend and I headed there after seeing an amazingly good production of The Parisian Woman. The buzz was they play wasn't very good, but Uma Thurman's performance was worth seeing. My Tony-voting friend and I loved both the play, the current references to that man in The White House and all the performances. I highly recommend! For a complete review on TheaterPizzazz, click here. When we arrived at Lucciola, my friend ordered a classic Sazerac ($12) and I asked to sample their Santa Clara ($12). I was told they didn't have any mezcal but [...]

By | March 12th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Brooklyn Diner, Theater District, NYC + Cardinal

Knowing that diners are generally a good option for breakfast/brunch, we decided to try the theater location of the Brooklyn Diner as it was down the street from the Second Stage theatre. That's where we were seeing a matinee of the Cardinal, a 90-minute play where Anna Chlumsky and Adam Pally— as the characters in Greg Pierce’s new play — literally paint their town red. We sat at a booth in this nostalgic diner-style space. In an ice tea mode, I tried Brooklyn Diner’s version of the Long Island ice tea! Quite good. We both ordered the hearty New Yorker Breakfast ($25) of eggs over easy with crispy bacon, a toasted everything [...]

By | March 10th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Machiavelli, Upper West Side, NYC

Machiavelli offers classic Northern Italian cuisine along with live music for brunch and dinner. We decided to go for dinner — I was greeted by a masked server in costume, as I had arrived in the midst of the Venice Carnival celebration. That particular night the performance was the opera with the New Camerata. We arrived early enough (at least we thought) to enjoy our meal prior to the performance, starting with cocktails. I tried the Paolo Uccello cocktail named after the Italian artist, whose work adorn the restaurant walls. This refreshing cocktail is made with Hornitos Reposado Tequila, Solerno blood orange liqueur, fresh blood orange and lime juices with fresh rosemary [...]

By | March 8th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Amali, Upper East Side, NYC + Balls in the Air

Balls, at 59E59 theatre, takes place beginning in 1973 at Houston's Astrodome where Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs face-off in The Battle of the Sexes tennis match. Interesting concept and execution, with a number of side stories some of which didn't seem to belong. For a full review on Theater Pizzazz click here, although that reviewer liked it much more than I did. After the 85-minute performance —  long enough for us —  we headed to Amali,  an Italian restaurant on 60th near the theater. We started with two interesting apps. One, a spicy tirokafteri dip made of whipped feta, roasted red pepper and chili served with grilled pita ($12). I'm planning [...]

By | March 6th, 2018|NYC Best Bites, Theatre|0 Comments

Bar Six, West Village, NYC

When I dined at Periyali, I learned that their group had a number of other restaurants including Bar Six that is in my hood. I looked forward to sampling it. I glanced at the menu before heading there and noticed a couple of Moroccan options including a tagine, vegetable couscous and my favorite  — Bisteeya. I knew that dish well as I had recreated it after attending a cooking class by Moroccan-guru Paula Wolfert for the New Haven Register  (NHR) when I was the food editor. I remember fastidiously making the multi-layer classic Moroccan chicken pie in phyllo sprinkled with cinnamon confectioners' sugar. That resulting dish was fabulous. (After scheduling this post, I added [...]

By | March 4th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Afghan Kebab House, Hell’s Kitchen, NYC + Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses

First we saw “Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses,” the rock musical at the Theater at St. Clement’s. Interesting musical about master builder Robert Moses, how he reshaped New York City in the 20th century and all the controversy around him. After the show, we decided to try what I was told was cheap eats at the Afghan Kebab House. The service was friendly, the setting quite basic and the food merely okay. Seasoned lamb kebab came with a pile of brown rice topped with sliced almonds, carrot strips and raisins served with a hunk of white bread and a tossed undressed iceberg salad ($22). I found the lamb a [...]

By | February 28th, 2018|Theatre|0 Comments