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.

Angelo Bellini, Midtown East, NYC + York Theater CD Party

After the release party for CDs from three of York Theatre's productions, a group of us went for a drink and a bite around the corner to Angelo Bellini Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria to celebrate. Along with some Chianti, we ordered a small crisp Caesar salad ($12.95) and a large regular thin-crusted brick-oven pizza ($18.00) with tomato sauce, basil and slightly burnt (yummy!) mozzarella. Great place for a simple, reasonably priced bite. Angelo Bellini Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria Midtown East 224 East 53rd Street New NY 10022 212-980-2909

By |2018-10-19T17:19:00+00:00November 6th, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

Happy Hour at Landmarc, Time Warner Center, NYC + Javits Rooftop

Gotta love when cocktails and nibbles are reasonably priced, at least for NYC. After a visit with some friends to the gardens on the rooftop of the Javits center, we headed uptown for a drink.  Yes! there are 6.75-acre acres of green succulent plants atop the convention center, replete with 26 bird species, five bat species and honey-making bees- and they provide free tours. We toured as part of our Untapped Cities $10 a month membership. Noticing  Landmarc's happy hour, I ordered their Moscow mule made with Stoli, ginger beer and lime ($10), while my friends ordered the margarita grilled pizza ($10) from the bar bites menu.  The drink served in the [...]

By |2018-11-09T10:06:40+00:00November 4th, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

A Quiet Dinner at Four Cuts Steakhouse After Bernhardt Hamlet

Theresa Rebeck’s new play, Bernhardt Hamlet, stars the amazing Janet McTeer as Sarah Bernhardt, an actress with enough star power to play Hamlet during a very chauvinistic time. “There are five kinds of actresses: bad actresses, fair actresses, good actresses, great actresses. And then there is Sarah Bernhardt,"  wrote Mark Twain, a line uttered in the play. The play is based on a true story as Bernhardt did play the legendary Prince of Denmark in an adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy. For a full review, click here. After the play, we sat down to a leisurely dinner in the welcoming elegant dining room of Four Cuts Steakhouse in the Sutton Place area of the Upper [...]

By |2018-10-19T20:50:06+00:00November 2nd, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Appreciation Evening at Flatiron Hall Restaurant, Flatiron, NYC

Cocktails and apps were what we indulged in at The Alliance Team's (my realtor) fun appreciation night. Matt, the friendly bartender, made me one of his Diablo margaritas packed with some heat from the jalapeño infused tequila ($14). Loved the hanging giant pretzel served with spicy honey mustard ($12.95) and the Kobe ground beef sliders with onions ($14.95/four). We also sampled the Carnegie Deli pastrami Reuben spring rolls ($13.95) with Gruyere and sauerkraut; tater tots filled with bacon and Cheddar ($10.95) and shrimp tacos with a spicy green tomato sauce ($14.95 for four). A fun bar to meet friends for a drink and some bar food. Flatiron Hall Restaurant Flatiron 38 [...]

By |2018-09-24T12:41:35+00:00October 31st, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

Consider a Spritz While Waiting for Trick-or-Treaters

With its black and orange bottle, Mionetto Brut is perfect for Halloween spritz making. Here are a couple spritz cocktail ideas for you to make for your adult guests on October 31 while awaiting trick-or-treaters, or anytime for that matter. Thanks to the makers of  Mionetto Brut DOC for sharing these with us. Aperol Spritz: combine brut Prosecco, Aperol and seltzer; garnish with an orange slice. Elderflower: combine brut Prosecco, St-Germain liqueur and seltzer; garnish with lemon slice. Sunshine Spritz: combine brut Prosecco, orange juice and Campari; garnish with an orange slice. Arancia Spritz –combine brut Prosecco, San Pellegrino Aranciata and Campari; garnish with an orange slice. Limone Spritz: combine brut Prosecco, [...]

By |2018-10-29T08:39:23+00:00October 29th, 2018|Recipes, Starters|0 Comments

A Spicy Experience at Hao Noodle, Chelsea, NYC

Looking for Chinese food one night, we stopped by the newest Hao Noodle in Chelsea. It's similar to the original one on 6th Avenue, serving noodles and dumplings, but this one also features a large section of single-serve skewers. Hao Noodle part of a Chinese chain from Madame Zhu’s Kitchen, with an attractively adorned large dining room with tables spaced to allow for conversation even in the noisy restaurant. We started with the tiny pieces of spareribs, oddly served at room temperature ($12 ). Next the very spicy flavorful Dan Dan noodles, with crushed peanuts and a minced pork meat sauce (+$3)  so oily we had puddles on our plates and in the [...]

By |2018-10-08T11:19:37+00:00October 27th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

A Mediterranean “Feast” at Shuka, SoHo, NYC

My friend's daughter had been and raved. And so we decided to try Shuka, a restaurant offering a blend of various Mediterranean cuisines —  Israeli, Moroccan, Palestinian and Syrian to name a few. I started with their slightly watery watermelon Haifa, a blend of Tito's, watermelon juice and a Mediterranean Apertivo seasoned with za'atar, a drink best for those who like their libations on the light side ($14). Our overzealous hunger had us order the Chef's Feast ($52 a person) that gave us a chance to sample so many of the mezze offerings. That spread started with a humongous platter, which was almost too big for the tiny table, with housemade labne (yogurt) with harissa, [...]

By |2018-10-31T13:10:08+00:00October 25th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

The Recently Opened Bluebird London, Columbus Circle, NYC Offers Free “Fizz”

D&D, the British restaurant group, crossed the pond recently with it's popular London restaurant. Bluebird London is in the Time Warner Center.  The restaurant was open only for four days when I stopped by with a friend for dinner. Loved the lemony Bluebird martini ($14) made with Grey Goose, lemon and essential lemon oil. We sat over our cocktails long after the glasses were empty noticing the other tables getting food  At that point, the kitchen was mighty slow, so slow that they brought us some Montgomery cheddar puff pastry cheese straws to nibble while we were waiting. Tasty. Although the tempura shrimp ($16) was flavorful especially dipped into the spicy jalapeño aioli, their [...]

By |2018-10-31T13:02:36+00:00October 23rd, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

After Shopping a Bite at BH Kitchen and Bar, Midtown, NYC

After a day of shopping with my sister, which is always exhausting! we were deciding where to grab a light bite. As we were standing in the aisle of Saks looking at our cell phones, Emmanuel, a friendly Saks employee walking by, asked if he could assist. When we mentioned what we were doing, he offered up a couple of options in the neighborhood, describing the food and service at each. Always looking for new places to write about, we decided on the nearby BH Kitchen and Bar — next to the WeWork building literally across the street. His boss Brian walked by and confirmed the option. We lucked out. [...]

By |2018-10-31T13:05:17+00:00October 21st, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

Lunch at 128 Bar & Bistro in The Museum of American Illustration, Midtown, NYC

For the initial fall gathering of a New York ex-expats group, we gathered at the Museum of American Illustration for a meeting, lunch and a docent-tour. We dined at The 128 Bar & Bistro, located on the third floor of the house, in a comfy environment surrounded by illustrations from masters past and present. For our group, we had a choice of a vegetarian pasta or salmon after the initial field green salad, lightly dressed in a sherry shallot vinaigrette. Most selected the miso-glazed salmon, which was flavorful but overcooked, which often happens when serving 24 people at once. They served a plate of chocolate chip cookies for dessert with coffee. I'd [...]

By |2018-10-21T18:39:42+00:00October 19th, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

Make a Special Trip to Timna, East Village, NYC

On the advice of a friend's friend, who raved about a meal at Timna in the East Village, off we went to that part of town for what was a surprisingly good meal. There's little choice at Timna. One-price gets you all the mezze, served family-style tapas, and a choice of entree ($53) or two half-sizes entrees plus dessert ($73).  Add wine pairings for $30. We decided each ordering one entree and ordering our own wine. The amuse started our surprisingly amazing meal: a watermelon, mint jelly and feta one topped with a hibiscus flower that certainly ticked our palate for the feast from the Middle East that was to come. The Middle [...]

By |2018-10-31T13:06:31+00:00October 17th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Hilarious Hostess Gift: The Wine Condom

Looking for something that will make your hostess smile? Tuck a Wine Concom into your note that accompanies your gift. I promise a laugh. At least that was the reaction each time I've done so. Having seen an article in Drink Me that wine condoms topped $1 million in sales, we reached out to the company for info and a sample so that I could share that with you. Unlike corks or pourer caps, wine condoms — as you'd expect from their name — fit flush against the bottle, preventing spills and allowing the bottle to fit in the fridge. You can buy this on-the-go protection in packages of six for $15, [...]

By |2018-10-15T09:15:14+00:00October 15th, 2018|Just For Fun, Products|0 Comments

A Dim Sum Hall: Jing Fong Restaurant, Chinatown, NYC

Lucky me going to Jing Fong old-fashioned Chinese dim sum restaurant with one of my friends who speaks their language. But let me back up. When you arrive, you need to push through the crowds to get inside to where a hostess gives you a number. It's smart to ask how long the wait. Since ours was over 30 minutes, we went around the corner to for bubble tea at Ten Ren.  Once your number is finally called, you ascend a long escalator to the mammoth dining room where you are seated with strangers at a large round table, given a card and wait.  Now, this is where I was lucky to have someone who spoke the same [...]

By |2018-10-16T11:59:13+00:00October 13th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Jacktember Cocktails to Celebrate Jack Daniels

Last month was renamed Jacktember by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey to recognize their eponymous whiskey distillers! I have a soft spot in my heart for Jack Daniels, having visited the Lynchburg (TN) distillery a number of times, having judged their World Championship Invitational Barbecue contest and also friend of the "family" (Brown-Forman Corporation). And, so I'm sharing with you a couple of the cocktails they shared with me. Personally, I prefer my Jack neat. Jack Old Fashioned This simple to make classic never goes out of fashion 1 ½ ounces Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 ½ ounce simple syrup 2 dashes Angostura bitters Garnish: orange twist, cherry Fill half a [...]

By |2018-10-16T11:58:27+00:00October 11th, 2018|Recipes, Starters|0 Comments

Brunch in the Rain at the Veranda, The Breakers, Spring Lake, NJ

One rainy day while visiting Spring Lake (NJ) area at the shore, we met a high-school friend for breakfast at The Breakers on the ocean. When sticker shock hit me, I realized that I had gotten used to NYC's ridiculously high prices. I couldn't believe how inexpensive everything was! One friend's tasty scrambled eggs with tomato, spinach, onion & cheese breakfast wrap served with fresh fruit cost a mere $9. Two of us each had 3-egg omelets, having chosen three fillings, with home fries and toast tipped the bank at $10! I enjoyed mine, more scrambled than an omelet but not complaining with chevre, spinach and bacon. That price included $1 [...]

By |2018-09-22T09:16:09+00:00October 9th, 2018|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Straight from Milan – 10 Corso Como Cafe, South Street Seaport, NYC

A friend proposed a trip to South Street Seaport to poke around the new 10 Corso Como store from Milan that had opened in September and lunch at the eponymous restaurant. Chidingly suggesting this saved us a trip to Milan! The black-and-white (oh, so NY!) facility occupies the first floor of the historic Fulton Market Building. We had some service issues at the restaurant, but let that slide since we knew we were there during its soft opening. That and we lucked out waving down the sweetheart of a managing director, Alessio de Sensi, who from that point made sure we were taken care of properly. We began with their version [...]

By |2018-11-05T08:33:12+00:00October 7th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Bubble Tea at Ten Ren Tea, Chinatown, NYC

While waiting in the seemingly interminable line outside a restaurant on Elizabeth Street, we decided to quench our thirst with some bubble tea around the corner on Mott Street. Ten Ren named one of the best Bubble Tea places in NYC in Time Out, The Gothamist and Yelp. I had tried it a few years ago and wasn't wild about it. Thought I'd give the Taiwanese drink invented in the 1980s another chance. Don't go if you have trouble making decisions. After picking the type of tea and flavor, you select both your sweetness and ice levels. One friend chose 100 percent sweetness for his black milk tea ($5.05 large), the other 50 for her [...]

By |2018-10-06T08:16:31+00:00October 5th, 2018|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

A Bite After the Guggenheim at The New Amity Restaurant, UES, NYC

After seeing the recently closed Brancusi exhibit at the Guggenheim, we were again looking for a place a grab a light lunch in what I've heard referred to as a culinary wasteland.  We walked, knowing we'd find somewhere to grab a bite. Noticing the Greek diner — the New Amity Restaurant — on  Madison between 84th and 85th, we decided to take a chance. We sat at a table in the narrow restaurant that mirrors made look larger. Our friendly waiter handed each of us one of the multi-page diner menus where eggs, a BLT or something simple is de rigueur.   That said, we didn't follow our own rule! Instead one ordered [...]

By |2018-10-16T12:02:39+00:00October 3rd, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

Brunch at The Loyal, West Village, NYC

I had read about The Loyal, chef John Fraser's latest pub-like place in the West Village. Having enjoyed Nix and Narcissa, I knew we were in for a treat. We started with a pitcher of their spicy mimosa's, the orange juice made piquant with Thai chilis ($46) and then shared two entrees, asking them to be served one at a time. The eggs “Benjamin” with sliced smoked salmon on top of a potato latkes, and hollandaise ($18) followed by a Piedmontese burger topped with French Comte cow's milk cheese and a “22-step” tomato. Crispy cubes of duck fat tots, sliced pickle chips and mustard accompanied it. Our waiter didn't have any [...]

By |2018-09-17T11:39:45+00:00October 1st, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Mountain Brauhaus Restaurant, Gardiner, Hudson Valley

I shouldn't have waited so long to write about the delectable meal we had at Mountain Brauhaus in Gardiner (NY) when celebrating my birthday in the Hudson Valley with some girlfriends. I'm remiss, as I've forgotten many details. What I do recall is how impressed we were with the quality of what we were served and the friendly service! This family-owned neighborhood restaurant offers authentic German food with some inventive locally inspired vegetable-focused dishes served by waitstaff in traditional garb. I do recall the housemade vegetable flammkuchen (caraway flatbread topped with local baby beets, garlic scapes and goat cheese all drizzled with balsamic, $12) and the smørrebrød (Danish open-faced sandwich with [...]

By |2018-10-10T10:11:40+00:00September 29th, 2018|Bites from the Road, USA Restaurants|0 Comments