NYC Restaurant Reviews

//NYC Restaurant Reviews

Our New York City restaurant reviews

Crave Fishbar, Upper West Side, NYC

The friend I was dining with and I always thirstThe friend I was dining with and I always thirst for some spicy drink to commence our night. The Good Life at Crave Fishbar a modern rustic space on the Upper West Side did the trick this time. It contains spicy tequila, ancho reyes, passion fruit and lime juice in a glass with a salty rim ($14). That drink satisfied as we looked over the menu. While we were doing so the waiter brought us some of their fresh baked (oh, so good) part whole-wheat sourdough bread to nibble. We opted for the Italian burrata ($16) with lots of fresh corn, large [...]

By | September 21st, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Emily, West Village, NYC

I read and heard raves about Emily's pizza. When she finally opened an outpost in the West Village on Downing Street that took reservations, we headed there for lunch to see what all the fuss was about. I'm here to tell you not to go for the pizza, but instead, order the soul satisfying burger topped with — of all things — American cheese on a Tom Cat Pretzel bun along with curly fries ($26). This is not your ordinary burger, instead, it's two patties of LaFrieda dry-aged beef, topped with caramelized onions, pickle slices and Emily's secret sauce. You'll be licking your fingers – and downing liquid all day [...]

By | September 19th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Vinetaria, Harlem, NYC

One of the best things about being invited to a restaurant like Vinetaria as their guest is the ability to try more menu items than I could normally eat. We had small — not regular — portions, except for the branzino! Our fabulous Somm selected wines from their unusual wine list that would go well with the variety of dishes that were to come. The Venetian Contra Soarda (2016) as our white; the Sicilian Masseria Setteporte (2013) as our red. We started with the tender grilled octopus tentacle accompanied by small potatoes all drizzled with a pimentón aioli ($17), torn Tuscan kale with brown anchovies in the Caesar dressing and [...]

By | September 17th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Taqueria Diana, East Village, NYC

Last time I was in the mood for nachos, we had found ravings about Taqueria Diana's on the web. We ended up down the street (not a place I'd recommend) as we wanted to sit, yak and enjoy some libations and Taqueria Diana is not for that. It's a very tiny storefront Mexican restaurant on Second Avenue that serves mainly take out with a couple of tall stools and teeny counter top nestled in the back between the kitchen and the service area. This time, I opted for one of those stools, ordering the al pastor nachos with it spit roasted pork, cheese, black beans and fresh chips ($9.87) with [...]

By | September 15th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Il Violino, Lincoln Square, NYC

Occasionally my afternoon book group ends up at a restaurant when the attendance it too large for the host's apartment. That's how we found ourselves at Il Violino near Lincoln Square to discuss My name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout. I started with the lightly dressed refreshingly crisp salad followed by the huge portion of chicken parmigiana served with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli and carrots along with a glass of Montepulciano. Although comments and opinions varied widely, everyone liked the book as well as the amazing $22 prixe fixe lunch menu that included that glass of wine and coffee. A decent place to get a bite before heading [...]

By | September 13th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Obica Mozzarella BarPizza e Cucina, Gramercy-Flatiron, NYC

Love finding and sharing details about good food and great prices, such as the $19 lunch deal at Obica in the Flatiron district.  They offer an appetizer and a main course for the price you’d pay for one entree! I started with fresh mache salad with arugula, radicchio almonds and avocado, my friend the flavorful chilled organic tomato, red pepper and basil soup. Both good. Next, I had the lightly breaded and grilled eggplant slices, topped with some buffalo mozzarella and organic tomato sauce. The lightest version of eggplant parmigiana I've had!  My friend had the free-range chicken sliced with mache, arugula, tomatoes olives and Parmigiano Reggiano in a caper [...]

By | September 12th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Somtum Der, Lower East Side, NYC

Somtum Der is a Isaan (Northeaster) Thai restaurant on Avenue A and 6th Street. I had learned it's one of the Michelin inspector's favorites for a good value. I like finding cheap eats to share. I highly recommend their $12 lunch special with one of their not-to-be-missed spicy papaya salads along with deep-fried crispy chicken thighs, sticky rice and a dipping sauce. Worth the trip alone. We also shared their house-specialty grilled pork kati ($13) marinated in coconut milk and served with a savory dried chili dipping sauce. Larb Pla Dook Yang ($14) spicy minced grilled catfish salad was my least favorite, with little discernible catfish flavor. The only thing [...]

By | September 11th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Ribalta Pizza, Greenwich Village, NYC

By accident, we ended up at Ribalta pizza on 12th Street as we wanted a pie and theirs looked like the chewy crust Neapolitan style we were seeking. Afterward, I learned the team behind this place had done pizza before. That includes Rosario Procino, former founder of Keste pizzeria, and Chef Pasquale Cozzolino, former Executive Chef at Dellaroccos in Brooklyn Heights and Pizza Arte. We tried the ciliegino, one of the pizza in pala rossa (red, $30) with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella and topped with buffalo mozzarella. Yes, it was so good that I'd go back for again when in the mood for a pie! - bonnie BonnieBOTB Follow [...]

By | September 8th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Gazala’s Place, Hell’s Kitchen, NYC

My friend went to pick up our theatre tickets only to discover that the date she bought was for the following week! We had a good laugh, then decided to walk up Ninth Avenue and find a fun cheap eats place to dine; she had worked in the area years ago and recalled some good places. We stopped outside Gazala's Place window to look at the menu. This very small restaurant offering Druze  (a type of Israeli) cooking. As we stood there discussing it as an option, a couple got up from one of the tables in the completely full, very tiny, place. "Let's do it!" As we squeezed into [...]

By | September 7th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Pier A, Battery Park, NYC

I much prefer Pier A's casual outdoor benches during summer and fall than their white tablecloth section upstairs. From the patio, there's a view of the water with the Statue of Liberty and boats in the Hudson. A perfect place to grab a bite when down at Battery Park. We did so after walking downtown and stopping in to see the reproduction of Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel at Oculus Plaza at Westfield World Trade Center, which was there this summer. The ceiling frescoes from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel were reproduced at museum quality near original size. After that walk, we were in the mood for a burger. The Long Hall hand-pressed [...]

By | September 5th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Bryant Park Grill, Midtown, NYC

We stopped for lunch outside at Bryant Park Grill for a cocktail and light lunch before heading to see the now closed Six Degrees of Separation with Allison Janney, John Benjamin Hickey and the deservingly Tony-nominated Corey Hawkins. Sadly, this revival didn't match up to the comedic tone of the original production. I tried Bryan Park Grill's "spicy" margarita ($16) with muddled jalapeño, lime juice and El Jimador Blanco Tequila. This margie was not spicy at all. My friend tried the coconut basil gimlet made with fresh basil, lime juice and coconut vodka. A refreshing drink with only a hint of coconut. When the weather is not too hot, lunch [...]

By | September 2nd, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Santina, Meatpacking, NYC

A perfect Sunday in New York: the Calder: Hypermobility exhibit at the Whitney, followed by brunch almost next door to the museum outside on the deck at Santina, We started our meal with the Bellini service ($65) of a chilled bottle of proscecco and three juice concentrates for adding to the bubbly: blood orange, white peach and passion fruit. One was better than the next. We all agreed that this was a great idea for an at home brunch. As I had mentioned during my first visit, the glass-boxed Renzo Piano-designed restaurant is reminiscent of a seaside Italian restaurant with the bright striped orange and blue umbrellas outside with Murano [...]

By | September 1st, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

La Sirena, Chelsea, NYC

Located on the Plaza Level of Chelsea’s Maritime Hotel, La Sirena is one flight above ground so you’re not as bothered by street noises. The tables are spaced so far apart, you almost don’t realize you are in Manhattan until you hear sirens. Not surprising, the Michelin-starred menu from Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich offers foods from various regions of Italy. Having loved a previous bar menu’s piquant cocktail Spice Me Baby One More Time, our server asked the bartender to add a chli-pepper rim to their new Scream Contest ($16) for me. That spicy drink is a blend of chili-infused Maestro Dobel tequila, Vida mezcal, pineapple, lime and smoked [...]

By | August 31st, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Bâtard, Tribeca, NYC

Add dinner at The Myriad Group's Bâtard to your must try list. Yes, this restaurant that focuses on classic European fare and elegant service is that good. Bâtard, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Tribeca, had been on my "go to" list since it opened. I finally made it there during a recent Restaurant Week.  The friends I was meeting were late, so I decided to try one of Batard's cocktails while waiting. It is a blend of Russian vodka with Aperol, a splash of grapefruit juice and hibiscus syrup garnished with a ribbon of cucumber ($11); I'd recommend this Café Racer, especially if you're a fan of Aperol Spritzers. With four [...]

By | August 29th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

King, Soho, NYC

Two veteran chefs of London’s River Cafe, Clare de Boer and Jess Shadbolt, and their friend Annie Shi, opened King last fall to much acclaim. King is on the corner or King Street and Sixth avenue. A small but inviting restaurant serving crisp paper-thin crackers doused in olive oil and herbs to nibble on when perusing the menu. King's menu changes daily offering seasonal food with influences from Southern France and Italy. That's great although I would have gone back for our appetizers alone. We had the first of the season yellow and green bean parmigiani with mint ($17) or for the poached lobster with spring peas, parsley and baby fennel ($18). [...]

By | August 27th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Lilia, Williamsburg, Brookyn

The casual Lilia with Missy Robbins at the helm is worth the trip to Williamsburg. The restaurant is located on the corner of North 10th and Union in a re-vamped auto-body shop. The friendly wait staff has been trained to truly assist you in your menu selections. We started with a spring veggies — peppers, zucchini, fingerling potatoes, radicchio and romanesco broccoli — served with a warm dip with a huge dose of anchovies - the bagna cauda ($16), which was almost a meal in itself! Next we tried the half head escarole, fanned out and seared/roasted until wilted then topped with an anchovy vinaigrette, shredded ricotta salata and crispy [...]

By | August 23rd, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Sabbia a Rooftop Pop-up at Eataly, Flatiron, NYC

Sabbia, which I learned means sand, is a pop-up Italian seaside (actually rooftop) restaurant at Birreria on the top of Eataly. We lucked out and were seated in one of the secluded (quiet) cabanas. With the roof open, the blue sky and top of the Flatiron building statues were visible. We indulged in their two items from their bruschetta bar, one of their two pasta dishes (after all it is Eataly) and one rosés from their special menu featuring more than 50 producers of that type of wine that incorporates some of the color from the grape skins. For bruscetta, we chose the Liguria with chopped marinated artichokes a top [...]

By | August 21st, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

La Loteria, West Village, NYC

We had decided to sit outside at La Loteria on Seventh Avenue in the West Village until we learned that happy hour drinks and food were only available in the bar area. We moved inside,  ordered their classic margarita ($7) and indulged in their delicious and beautifully presented inexpensive antojitos ($5 to 6). We first ordered the Tostaditas de Atun, three to a portion, with chile-rubbed pan-seared tuna on flour tostadas topped with guacamole, chipotle aioli and a mango salsa. Next, the not to be missed Flautitas de Pato en Trilogía de Salsas, two crispy corn tortillas filled with shredded duck confit, corn and caramelized onions, topped with pomegranate arils [...]

By | August 18th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Red Rooster, Harlem, NYC

Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster was our destination. I like walking from one end of the city to the other and when I do, we pick a place to end up eating afterward. One day recently, we walked north along and through Central Park, the 6 miles to dinner at the Harlem restaurant that channels the spirit that area. A spirit obvious in what we ate! The Yep, Chicken and Waffle circa 1930 ($17), came with not enough of either the smoked maple syrup for the waffles nor the salsa poblana topping the fabulous juicy fried chicken. I highly recommend, being sure to ask for more of the toppings when you [...]

By | August 16th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Hudson Garden Grill, Botanical Gardens, Bronx

If you haven't been to the Bronx Botanical Gardens to see the approximately 20 new monumental artwork installations by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly, I suggest you do so, being sure to make a reservation at Hudson Garden Grill, the only sit-down restaurant there. We sat outside as it was one of those perfect weather days. Our waiter did a good job of selling their warm monkey bread (hot buns) served with honey butter and fleur de sel ($9), being so hungry we consumed them as we ordered our drinks and food. I shared the crunchy soft shelled crab club sandwich ($26) filled with avocado, bacon and tomatoes on jalapeño mayo-spread [...]

By | August 14th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Rocking Horse Cafe, Chelsea, NYC

My friend, who I was attending the opening of the L.A. Dance Project at The Joyce, raved about the housemade tortilla chips and guacamole at a Mexican place catty-cornered to the theatre, Rocking Horse Cafe. "The best chips in the city," she said. I had walked into their happy hour (Monday - Friday 3 to 6) with their pure RH margarita goes for $7!  A basked of chips are complementary; we ordered  — of course —  guacamole ($5) to go with. And then tried the burrito stuffed with chicken ($7) a light meal in itself and a small taco mushroom taco ($4).  I'd recommend the burrito! Great — albeit a [...]

By | August 12th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Rouge Tomate, Chelsea, NYC

It was my first time at the newly opened Rouge Tomate in Chelsea, after having frequented the now-closed uptown place that also served seasonally inspired cuisine. As a starter for brunch, my favorite is a bloody Mary, the spicier the better. Rouge Tomate offers two boozy brunch tomato-based options; I chose the poblano chili bloody Mary ($14) that was good although I would have preferred it with more of the spice pepper trio. The food at Rouge Tomato is as tasty if not even better than the original restaurant. Wanting to sample the chilled beet soup, one of us ordered and three of us put our spoons in the bright [...]

By | August 10th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Republic, Union Square, NYC

We ended up at Republic on Union Square as we were looking for a happy hour to have a drink after seeing "Six Degrees of Separation" with the deservingly Tony-nominated Corey Hawkins as the mysterious young con man. It was their alfresco area that was the draw. We sampled their Siracha Bloody Mary ($8 at happy hour) garnished with a cucumber slice and a jumbo green olive. Good, yet I would have liked mine spicier. With that, we had their version of Thai green papaya salad with fresh kale, (too many) bean sprouts and topped with crispy shallots and their well-pounded chicken skewers topped with crushed peanuts garnished with pickled [...]

By | August 8th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Thai Villa, Flatiron, NYC

Earlier this year, I was invited to Thai Villa on behalf of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)  to meet their new Director, Mrs. Charinya Kiatlapnachai. We had Thai-inspired cocktails and classic dishes from Thailand that were so good, I had to return. I stopped in for some broad noodles with chicken and Chinese broccoli (pad se-ew), asking for it spicy. "Spicy or very spicy?" Remembering the heat from the dishes during my last visit, I was glad I asked only for spicy — as the pad se-ew had more than enough heat for me — and I love spicy food! - bonnie BonnieBOTB Follow @BonnieBOTB Thai Villa Gramercy-Flatiron 5 East [...]

By | August 7th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Taproom 307, Kips Bay, NYC

I stopped by Taproom 307 for lunch one day with a friend. They offer over 40 craft beers on tap with 10 new ones added each week along with a friendly staff ready to help you match the right beer to what you order. I did have a recommended draught beer with lunch, but decided to start with a cocktail. I skipped the unique pickle back shots (that juice with whiskey, tequila or Jameson) - and instead tried the Fuego Verde ($13), a cocktails made from in-house- pressed "green" juice, muddled jalapeño, mezcal and agave served in a spiced rim glass. Really good, although I prefer more spice! We started [...]

By | August 5th, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments