NYC Best Bites

/NYC Best Bites

Our Best Bites from New York

A Decadent Time at The Whitby Bar and Restaurant, Midtown, NYC

Looking for a quiet place to dine, we headed over the elegant Whitby Hotel Bar and Restaurant, the second Firmdale Hotel in New York City, that is a celebration of contemporary art and design from founders Tim and Kit Kemp. As we walked in a three-piece jazz combo began their set. We asked the hostess to sit us as far away from the music as possible. They were about to seat us at the furthest table from the music in that room when we noticed tables set in an empty room beyond glass doors and requested that. After some discussion. we were seated in the magnificent room. We sipped the unctuous chianti ($55 bottle) while eating the [...]

By |2019-01-18T18:42:05+00:00February 17th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Grand Sichuan, Chelsea, NYC + Malpaso Cuban Dancers at the Joyce

One freezing evening on our way to the Joyce Theatre, we stopped into Grand Sichuan restaurant directly across the street.  To get rid of the chill in my bones, I had a bowl of their steaming hot, hot and sour soup ($2.95).  Although I've had better (especially homemade), it was good. Good enough for me to decide to return when I'm at the Joyce again. At the Joyce, we saw the exceptional Cuban Malapaso Dance Company with their classically trained dancers and stayed for the curtain chat with founder and executive director Fernando Sáez and some of the company. I highly recommend seeing the Malpaso Dance Company perform when they're in town. Grand [...]

By |2019-01-13T14:28:01+00:00February 15th, 2019|Big Apple Life, Theatre|0 Comments

A Nighttime Nibble at Corkbuzz, Union Square, NYC

After seeing Green Book, the Golden Globe award-winning movie starring Vitto Mortensen and  Mahershala Ali we stopped by Corkbuzz at the original Union Square location for a glass of wine and some apps. I had been to various private wine-tasting events there but hadn't ordered from their menu in many years, as I had found it a bit pricey for what they served. No longer. With our glass of  Stadlmann Grüner Veltliner '17 - Niederösterreich, Austria ($11) we shared the tender Berkshire pork meatballs ($14 for 5) in a marinara sauce snow-covered with grated parmesan and their crisp pommes frites with garlic aioli ($7). Perfection. Corkbuzz Wine Studio Union Square 13 E. 13th [...]

By |2019-01-18T18:42:46+00:00February 13th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

The Polynesian a Tiki Lounge at the Pod Hotel + Noura

After seeing Noura, a play inspired by Ibsen’s A Doll’s House at Playwrights Horizon, we began looking for a place to get a nibble. (For a review of the play, click here.) A few doors east of the theatre, we found the Polynesian, a new — less than a year old — lounge inside the Pod Hotel. Actually, our noses followed the enticing fatty aroma to the restaurant. They offer a multi-page exotic island drinks menu plus a few bar snacks. We skipped the tropical for regular beverages and shared a couple items, all of which I'd recommend:  the spicy Persian cucumber salad ($12), sliders on sweet buns ($18 for three) and — of course — fries. [...]

By |2019-01-18T18:44:02+00:00February 11th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

New Greek Restaurant Kyma in Flatiron, NYC

Kyma — serving Greek fare in a large lively new restaurant on two floors — opened last summer in Flatiron district. We arrived for our reservation on time, yet their CMS's calendar had us scheduled for two days later. I was told this wasn't the first time it happened. That said, the maitre d' said not to worry, he'd take care of us even though the restaurant was fully committed. Lucky for us there were two small tables in the front window that could accommodate the four of us. We didn't mind the gentle refreshing cold breeze each time the door opened and it was less noisy where we were sitting than [...]

By |2018-12-31T09:27:47+00:00February 9th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Girls Night at Black Barn, No-Mad, NYC

A group of girlfriends met for dinner at the Black Barn, a restaurant where SD26 from Tony and Marissa May had been. The space has turned modern, sort of a barn-inspired setting that was a tad too noisy to be able to easily hear each other. As we sipped our cocktails, we shared the white porcini rectangular pizza ($19) topped with caramelized onions, cured coppa and fresh arugula, all drizzled with truffle oil. I do recommend, as I do the special cocktail I ordered: The NoMad, their version of Manhattan ($17) made with barrel-aged Hudson maple rye whiskey, vermouth and orange bitters. Must share that we had to "fight" to [...]

By |2019-02-05T09:40:09+00:00February 5th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Obicà Mozzarella Bar Pizza e Cucina, Gramercy-Flatiron, NYC

One of my book groups replaced our book-discussion gathering with a holiday luncheon with an exchange of books. We were each asked to bring a wrapped book (new or used) that was a favorite for swapping. We met at Obicà Mozzarella Bar Pizza e Cucina in the Gramercy-Flatiron and enjoyed their prixe-fixe luncheon menu ($15 - 26, depending on your selection, available from 12 to 2 pm). The food was fine, the camaraderie fabulous.  If you go, realize that the $15 express lunch that we had with a bowl of very thick (screaming for seasoning) butternut squash soup and a small salad won't really fill you. Those small portions became enough [...]

By |2018-12-31T08:51:20+00:00February 3rd, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Cafe Sabarsky, Upper East Side, NYC

Silly us thought we'd get into the popular Hilma af Klint exhibit at the Guggenheim on a rainy day. The ticket holder line has an hour and a half wait. We left, heading a couple of blocks south to Café Sabarsky the Viennese eatery at the Neue Galerie to get caught up over a glass of wine and bowl of soup. One of my friends who had been recommended the goulash soup. I tried that; the others opted for the creamy chestnut soup topped with creme fraiche. Although the beef was a bit chewy and fatty, I liked the nicely balanced the flavor of the classic soup. With that, we [...]

By |2019-02-03T14:12:40+00:00January 30th, 2019|Big Apple Life, NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Another Visit to Maialino, Gramercy, NYC

I've always enjoyed Maialino. I still dream of their eggs cacio peppe – soft scrambled eggs with pecorino cheese and lots of black pepper when I went for breakfast. Yes, that good. Lunch is also yummy. This visit was for a prix-fixe luncheon, served family-style, with the "Ex-expats of New York" group that I belong to. We dined there after the others helped our city's economy at the Union Square Holiday Market in December. We started with assorted salumi, olives and perfectly cooked marinated market veggies that included carrot, celery potatoes, sunchokes and diced winter squash. Our main course consisted of lemony spinach and ricotta ravioli in a light cream sauce, market [...]

By |2018-12-17T15:23:16+00:00January 28th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Zavo Mediterranean Restaurant, Midtown, NYC

There was a little mix up with my comp press-tasting reservation. Seems the publicist forgot to make it but the staff at Zavo, the multi-level Mediterranean restaurant gladly recognized it. I started with the smoky "Blood & Smoke" cocktail made with mezcal, a chili pepper liqueur, Cointreau and blood orange puree ($16), my guest had their Bulleit bourbon "Bumblebee's Knees: with bergamot and Moscato liqueurs ($16).  We liked both of the seafood apps that we shared — the grilled jumbo prawn with marinated tomatoes ($12) and the four garlicky shrimp in parsley butter ($13). The roasted red and golden beets salad included orange supremes and an airy goat cheese mousse [...]

By |2018-12-31T09:28:13+00:00January 24th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Returned to Lafayette, NoHo, NYC + Merchant House

A group of us ate at Lafayette, where I have enjoyed many good meals, as it was close to the Merchant's House where we were heading for a special production of "A Christmas Carol." If you're not familiar, the Merchant's House Museum is New York City's only family home preserved intact — both inside and out — from the 19th century. It's complete with the family's original furnishings and personal possessions, including clothing. During the holidays, they offer a one-act one-performer production of this Charles Dickens classic. Because I was with a large group, I didn't photograph as many dishes as usual. Sharing what I did take. The handmade Pain de [...]

By |2019-01-23T19:48:54+00:00January 22nd, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Brunch at Greenwich Steakhouse, West Village, NYC

One really rainy Sunday, my friend and I headed to Greenwich Steakhouse to sample their new midday brunch and lunch menus. We sat in the bar area of the sleekly designed, comfy three-story restaurant at the banquet in a corner. Ideal for easy conversation. Juan Carlos greeted us warmly. That quiet day, he was everything but the cook. He started by making me a bloody Mary to accompany my tastings. With that, we shared the flavorful crab cake (I prefer mine with slightly less breading) and a thick slice of whole wheat toast piled high with an avocado blend then topped with poached eggs ($12). My friend ordered the eggwhite omelet ($16), requesting [...]

By |2019-01-21T10:26:12+00:00January 18th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|2 Comments

Missy Robbins New Misi, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC

Of course, I had to head to Williamsburg to sample Missy Robbins' newest pasta-focused restaurant. It's one of the hottest tickets in town. As you may know, Missy is the acclaimed chef behind Lilia, the Brooklyn restaurant; that's what she received this year's James Beard Best Chef: New York for... Misi's is near the Domino Sugar redevelopment on the East River. From it, you see the Williamsburg Bridge and the open kitchen. The restaurant offers only three things: veggie starters, pasta and gelato. Service is well-trained, as you'd expect considering Missy's restaurant lineage. We started with one plate piled high with marinated peppers, the other with whipped ricotta piped onto thick slices of charred [...]

By |2018-12-08T15:18:05+00:00January 16th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

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

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