Bonnie from BiteoftheBest.com

/Bonnie Tandy Leblang

About Bonnie Tandy Leblang

Blogger Bonnie Tandy Leblang has been covering food since before it was hip to do so! She’s penned magazine, newspaper and syndicated food columns in addition to cookbooks. Follow her on twitter @BonnieBOTB and on Instagram@BiteoftheBest and at @BonnieBOTB "I eat for a living!” is her mantra, sharing what she’s sampled so you’ll know where (or where not) to go, plus what food products and gadgets to try. For her full bio go to the about us page.

Charlie Marshall’s Wine Bar: Dianne & Elisabeth, Theatre District, NYC + Pretty Woman

Just north on Tenth Avenue past Charlie Marshall's first restaurant, The Marshall is his newest Dianne and Elisabeth, named after Charlie's business partners' mother and his own mother. D&E opened in 2016. Like his eponymous restaurant, this is also farm-to-table small plates with main courses inspired by seasonal ingredients. I've been twice recently. The first time, a group of us stopped by after seeing the Broadway version of the iconic movie Pretty Woman, a show that we all thoroughly enjoyed. Most pundits did not, click here for a complete review. The second, we were Charlie's guests. Since I sampled so much, I'm sharing the dishes that I am suggesting you try.  I can never [...]

By |2018-12-17T15:21:51+00:00January 12th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

For a Quick Bite at Massoni, NoMad, NYC

I had been to the Arlo NoMad Hotel for an event with Shackleton Whiskey where I met both the manager and the publicist of Massoni for Three Kings Restaurant Group, consisting of Chef Dale Talde, David Massoni and John Bush. In addition to some apps, the menu features pan-pizza, pasta and sandwiches. It's not a place to visit if on a high-protein regime, as most of the tasty morsels are carbohydrates. I started with the Vespa, a gin martini made with Fords gin, Lillet and fennel bitters ($14) plus lots of apps. As their guests, we sampled their super garlicky knots with meatballs (three of each $14), that I'd recommend. Their burrata [...]

By |2019-02-01T14:04:10+00:00January 10th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Chinese Food in the Flatiron Area at Jue Lan Club, Gramercy-Flatiron, NYC

Silly me. I had walked past the Jue Lan Club on West 20th Street many times, thinking it was a private venue in The Limelight Church. It's not, instead it's a wonderful Chinese restaurant open to the public! I recently enjoyed their hospitality when invited in to sample their menu. We began with cocktails. The Madame Adventurist ($16) caught my eye and tickled my palate with its spiciness from the Szechuan chilies added to the tequila, the Ancho Reyes (a spicy liqueur from ancho and poblano chiles) and agave. Our first app was dumplings filled with pureed edamame, drizzled with truffle oil and sitting in miso broth ($18 for 6). [...]

By |2019-01-12T14:19:00+00:00January 8th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Middle Eastern Meal at The Palomar, Chinatown, London + Company

I had been hearing about the new London production of Company — the Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical comedy about life, love and marriage — from my NYC theatre friends who are producers of the show. Company opened at London's Gielgud Theatre in November to rave reviews. And so, while across the pond during the holidays visiting family, I took the Eurostar to London to see it. What a delight! Marianne Elliott’s new production stars Rosalie Craig in the central role of Bobbie, Patti LuPone, Mel Giedroyc and Jonathan Bailey. Before the show, we stopped in at the Palomar for some small plates, each meant to be shared. Once ordered, the food arrived quite quickly [...]

By |2019-01-07T10:37:13+00:00January 6th, 2019|Theatre, World, World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Wagamama, East Village, NYC

Heading to Wagamama was a lucky accident. We had planned to eat in the East Village at a Chinese restaurant that specializes in crustaceans sold by the pound, that is until we arrived and noticed the "B" on the door. No way I was eating "fresh" seafood there. I searched for restaurants in the area that I hadn't yet been to and remembered that someone had mentioned that I should try Wagamama, a popular Asian casual food chain that's been in London since '92. I quickly made a reservation and headed over. We first asked if there might be a booth in a quiet area so we could talk as the [...]

By |2018-11-19T17:38:13+00:00January 4th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

High in the Sky Manhatta, Financial District, NYC + Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof

What incredible views and spectacular service at Danny Meyer's (Union Square Hospitality Group) newest restaurant Manhatta in the Financial District. The hospitality begins as you check your coat on the ground floor before ascended to the 60th floor and continues throughout. Manhatta offers a 3-course prix fixe menu at $78 per person. Like Union Square Hospitality Group's other locations, this is a non-tipping restaurant, meaning gratuity is included. Dave, the friendly sommelier, came by and poured us each a glass of Pierre Gerbais champagne while we soaked in the amazing views even on a foggy night! Be careful not to fill up on their wonderful crusty bread with a chew interior [...]

By |2019-01-02T09:34:30+00:00January 2nd, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Cafe Gourmand at Le Sancerre, De Marais, Paris

After lunch, we walked around going in and out of the shops then headed to Rue des Archives to sit outside under the heat lamp to keep warm while sipping an espresso. Not just for the coffee, but for a special cafe gourmand that's served with treats. The one at Le Sancerre is served with four mini desserts and a chocolate along with the beverage. Ours had a mini muffin, an apple pie, chocolate mousse, a chocolate-covered almond and — my favorite — the crème brûlée (€9). A lovely way to people watch in Paris. Le Sancerre 3rd arrondissement 87 Rue des Archives 75003 Paris, France +33 1 42 72 [...]

By |2018-12-31T07:02:31+00:00December 31st, 2018|World, World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Birthday Brunch at East Pole Kitchen and Bar, Upper East Side, NYC

Sunday brunch on the UES is often a family affair with restaurants filled with noisy kids. I'm only mentioning this as a warning of the racket you will experience during brunch time as we did at East Pole Kitchen and Bar where we went to celebrate a friend's birthday. When I made my reservation, I requested a candle in a dessert and confirmed that with the hostess when I checked in. We were four, seated in a booth more intended for three. Unless we had wanted to wait, there wasn't a larger table for us. We squeezed in. Each of us ordered a different one of their interesting libations. I requested their "spicy" [...]

By |2018-12-30T14:09:49+00:00December 29th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Greek Food Court at Fournos Theophilos, Theatre District, NYC

From the website, I knew Fournos Theophilos was a fast-casual place to get a quick Greek meal but both I and my friend misinterpreted the fact that there was table service upstairs — at least not during lunch. Sadly, I oh, so dislike food halls like this! To say Fournos was disorganized is being kind. We had opted for the hot lunch, so we had to stand in one line to first order our base (either orzo or lentils and rice, I chose the latter, fakorizo). We then moved to another line for the other selections. My first option was a choice of two of the four sides. I took their version [...]

By |2018-11-13T12:19:44+00:00December 27th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Lunch at Jaja, Le Marais, Paris

While my granddaughter was at Creche, we stopped for lunch at Jaja a restaurant in Le Marais described as "a piece of countryside in the heart of Paris." It's a small bistro offering creative house-made dishes using regional produce and serving ten grand crus by the glass. My favorite of the three dishes we shared were the tender scallops, grilled and served with slices of Granny Smith apple and blood sausage topped with crunchy fried Tuscan black cabbage (€15) chips. Also delicious was the thick slice of roasted cauliflower tandoori style, first marinated in yogurt and spices, topped with sliced pear and served with tahini (€19). Along with those, we [...]

By |2018-12-20T14:46:17+00:00December 25th, 2018|World, World Restaurants|0 Comments

Maglia Rosa, Industry City, Brooklyn and M.C Escher Exhibit

A group of friends schlepped to Industry City (34 - 34 Street, Building 6) to see the exhibit of one of the world’s greatest graphic artists, Maurits Cornelis Escher. The exhibit closes February 3, 2019. If you go, be sure to allow yourself enough time. I had visited Escher in The Palace (Lange Voorhout 74, 2514 EH The Hague) with Eric and a group of his schoolmates when they were attending The Hotel School in The Haag. The boys and I spent hours there, mesmerized by Escher's amazing woodcuts, lithographs and more, including many interactive works where you become the subject. We did the same thing in Brooklyn, spending over [...]

By |2018-11-17T22:20:42+00:00December 23rd, 2018|Big Apple Life, Other happenings|0 Comments

Moroccan CousCous at Kish-Kash, West Village, NY + Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me

Fans of Einat Admony's Balaboosta (a Yiddish term that means the perfect housewife and mother) will enjoy a visit to her newest place Kish-Kash (named for the special sieve traditionally used to make the small semolina pasta). This North African casual dining couscous restaurant specializes in hand-rolled, hand-sieved Moroccan couscous and authentic North African Jewish cuisine. I was intrigued, having read about her opening earlier this summer as the first-ever couscous bar in New York City, featuring the couscous topped with braised meats and fish, plus salads, challah with hummus, pickled veggies and wines from North Africa and Isreal. The hummus that comes with challah ($9) was fine. I also liked the [...]

By |2018-12-23T09:36:09+00:00December 22nd, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

A Quick Cheap Eats Lunch at Gogi Grill, Chelsea, NYC

On the suggestion from a woman in my building who had lived in Korea, I met a friend at Gogi Grill, a new Korean BBQ grab and go. Or, you can actually sit at the very few tables in the tiny restaurant for a quick bowl, burrito, salad or tacos. I grabbed one as I looked over the menu to make my choice. This is not the place for someone indecisive! I knew I was going to order a bowl but hadn't yet decided on the starch (rice, fried rice or vermicelli), the meat (beef Bulgogi, beef Galbi, chicken or shrimp) and the choice four toppings from the bakers' dozen [...]

By |2018-11-10T15:10:30+00:00December 21st, 2018|Big Apple Life, Rambling|0 Comments

Brunch at Burger & Lobster, Midtown, NYC + The Lifespan of a Fact

I had been to Burger & Lobster but not at the Midtown location nor for brunch. Having been invited to sample their fare, I headed there one Sunday morning before seeing The Lifespan of a Fact. An amazing cast of Cherry Jones, Daniel Radcliffe and Bobby Cannavale star in a new play where a fact checker (Radcliffe) is assigned by an editor (Jones) to fact check John D'Agata's essay (Cannavale). A true tale. For a full review, click here. The welcoming Times Square location restaurant has 300 lobster traps lining the entrance and all sorts of fish paraphernalia hanging from the rafters. We sat at a booth and ordered a build-your-own Bloody Mary to start the meal. [...]

By |2018-12-23T09:53:03+00:00December 19th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Inside the Jane Hotel, Lunch at Old Rose, West Village, NYC

Some Connecticut friends came in for the Warhol exhibit at The Whitney. I walked over to meet them for lunch at the quaint and quiet Old Rose restaurant inside the Jane Hotel on Jane Street. One had their special Negroni made with gin, Campari, Carpano Antica and vermouth ($13), I had and liked their Carpathia made with bourbon and Dolin Blanc with lemon peel ($14) and our teetotaler had a couple glasses of ice tea ($4 each). We all shared — and were delighted with — the quinoa bowl ($15) with roasted eggplant, sun-dried bell peppers, broccoli rabe, romesco (pureed red peppers, garlic and nuts) with added chicken (+$5). Our [...]

By |2018-11-10T13:28:01+00:00December 17th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

A New French Kitchen: Le Privé, Hell’s Kitchen, NYC

A new French kitchen, Le Privé, opened this summer in Hell's Kitchen. They had invited me to come in and sample their cooking, saying that they would create a special tasting menu for me and my guest and would be sure to add a candle to the dessert, as it was my friend's b-day. Perfect, I thought, as we didn't have to make any decisions and would get to sample many of their dishes. Silly me, it slipped my mind that one should never assume anything. What they meant was that they would select menu items that we'd be eating, not providing tastes of many things. We were both served their [...]

By |2018-11-08T11:51:10+00:00December 15th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Lunch near the UN at La Pecora Bianca, Midtown, NYC

My friend had an appointment at the UN and asked me to find a place to meet for lunch in the area, which is how we ended up at La Pecora Bianca. It'a bright, inviting place to dine with an interesting affordable lunch menu. We each sipped from our glass of Gavi di Gavi, Giordano Lombardo 2016 Piemonte ($11) while waiting for the waiter to take our order. Sadly, service was way off and so was the food we ordered. The chicken (+$6) that topped my shaved Brussels sprouts salad with pickled raisins and sunflower seeds ($14) was dry and overcooked, my friend's salmon (+$7) topping his farro salad with [...]

By |2018-12-23T09:39:41+00:00December 13th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Finally Made it to Via Carota, West Village, NYC

For years I've been hearing raves about Via Carota just off Seventh Avenue in the West Village. My issue with the restaurant —like Buvette also by  Jody Williams and Rita Sodi — is they don't take reservations. That meant to not wait hours, I made a date to meet a friend there at 5 pm. By 5:30 there was a wait. We started with the large oval nduja arancini (5 for $13 ). That's fried rice balls filled with spicy pork sausage and sitting on a sprinkling of grated Parmigiana Reggiano. These were better than the arancini I had when in Sicily. Next, we shared the carciofi ala Griglia ($18), their [...]

By |2018-12-23T09:43:19+00:00December 11th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Legacy Records, Hell’s Kitchen, NYC + The Play That Went Wrong

Before theatre, we walked way west to 510 West 38th Street to dine at Legacy Records, run by Delicious Hospitality the company behind Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones. I suggest Pasquale Jones over Charlie Bird. At Legacy Records, I tried the Pac Man (basically a Manhattan) made with Sazerac 6-year Rye, Cocchi Americano Rosa and Baines Pacharan de Aranon ($18). We ordered their warm crusty bread that came with sprouted seed bread, cultured butter, salt and rosemary lardo ($8) to nibble while we perused the menu. Be careful about eating too much bread, as it's that good that you want to. From what I hear, the crudo is what to have, but I don't [...]

By |2019-01-16T07:44:43+00:00December 9th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Etcetera Etcetera, Theatre District, NYC + Days of Rage

Etcetera Etcetera, a restaurant on West 44th Street close to the theatre district, has a warm spacious setting with decent service. The food is sadly quite mediocre, at least what we sampled before we went around the corner to see Days of Rage at 2nd Stage. To be fair, perhaps because we ate there on a Monday, it was the chef's day off. We shared tough (over handled) veal meatballs screaming for a smidgen of salt (5 for $28) that oddly came with fries. Those fried morsels were the best part of what we ate. We also shared eggplant parmigiana ($19) that looked good -- but was also missing seasoning. The best [...]

By |2018-11-02T12:19:50+00:00December 7th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments