NYC Best Bites

/NYC Best Bites

Our Best Bites from New York

Hotel Americano, Chelsea, NYC

A couple years ago a friend and I had a Calandria cocktail at Hotel Americano in Chelsea that we've never stopped talking about. It was the most delicious and spicy blend of Maestro Dobel Tequila, passion fruit juice, mango juice and ginger liqueur served in a chili-rimmed glass. Having tried to reproduce it at home, my friend really wanted to recipe. Recently, we headed to the hotel to stop in at the bar to see whether we could obtain the recipe from the bartender. Sadly neither Joanne the bartender or Cyza the manager knew of the drink but were more than willing to try to re-create it with what they [...]

By | 2018-06-17T10:34:08+00:00 June 17th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Temerario, Chelsea, NYC

I returned for brunch at Temerario, a wonderful Mexican place on Eighth Avenue as I was meeting some friends who were off to the Joyce (almost across the street) for a dance performance. I ordered and highly recommend their smoky jalapeño margarita made with chile morita infused tequila, Cointreau, agave and lime and orange juices. It's bottomless for 1 1/2 hours for $20 when you have an entree, $10 otherwise. To start, we shared their unusual queso fresco and seed topped Guacamole Rojo ($12) with tomato and roasted chipotle peppers served along with fresh tortilla chips. Laughing as for me once was enough, we skipping the optional addition of grasshoppers [...]

By | 2018-05-22T12:12:55+00:00 June 15th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

The Band’s Visit Sweeps the Tonys

Here’s the full list of Tony Award nominations and winners with some words from winners when they came to meet the press in the media room. (This post come from our partner Theater Pizzazz)  Theater Pizzazz’ Mark Ryan Anderson was there to note the responses and take photos.   Best musical WINNER: “The Band’s Visit” – (on a possible revival of The Full Monty) “I kind of miss those songs…I would love to work on Full Monty again.” “Frozen” “Mean Girls” “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical” Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical Harry Hadden-Paton, “My Fair Lady” Joshua Henry, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel” WINNER: Tony Shalhoub, [...]

By | 2018-06-11T11:21:23+00:00 June 11th, 2018|Big Apple Life, NYC Best Bites, Theatre|0 Comments

Il Violino, Lincoln Square, NYC

Lincoln Square area restaurant Il Violino was so good and accommodating the last time my afternoon book group met that our hostess decided to have our meeting there again. The book this time was Being Esther: A Novel by Miriam Karmel. The restaurant offers an amazing $23 prix fixe lunch including both a glass of pinot grigio or Montepulciano and coffee. Most everyone started with the lightly dressed crisp salad, I had a steaming hot bowl of their minestrone soup. The tender chicken piccata with capers and the salmon accompanied by mashed potatoes, carrots and broccoli were the most popular selections. I tried the waiter-recommended huge portion of chicken parmigiana. Although [...]

By | 2018-06-11T09:29:46+00:00 June 11th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Vintage61 Sports Bistro, South Street Seaport, NYC

During one of the recent torrential rainstorms, I headed with some friends to the opening of Vintage61, a South Street Seaport sports bistro with a wine focus. Vintage61, a collaboration between Jason Casano and Laurent Vasseu, is inspired by the year 1961 and the owners' passions. Sixty-one had one of the best NY Yankee lineups and was one of the best years in Bordeaux.  It's also a nod to Roger Maris 61 home runs. We started with one of their unusually well-blended mixologist's concoctions: The French Goal ($14) made with 42 Below vodka, Midori, peach schnapps plus cranberry, orange and pineapple juices. So yummy that my no-drinker friends had seconds! Generally, [...]

By | 2018-05-21T19:50:30+00:00 June 9th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

The Penrose, Upper East Side, NYC

I'm a spicy drink gal, ordering the Penrose Bloody Mary extra spicy. This blend hit the spot garnished with sliced pickles ($8). My dining partner, who doesn't drink, ordered their Down and Wavy, a delicious concoction of Libertine botanical beverage, grenadine with apple, lemon and grapefruit juices and baking spices ($9), one of the best non-alcoholic drinks I've sampled. As their guest, I was able to sample lots of their offerings. We shared the farro salad with Cara Cara orange supremes, asparagus, pistachios in a Calabrian chili vinaigrette topped with shaved Ricotta Salata. ($15). I wasn't impressed with the vegetarian zucchini and mushroom "meatball" ($16) sandwich topped with marinara sauce [...]

By | 2018-05-21T20:06:02+00:00 June 7th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Maysville, Chelsea, NYC

Ever since Charlie Marshall, chef at The Marshall, recommended the Southern-inspired Maysville as one of his favorites, it's been on my list to try this American whiskey bar and Southern-inspired restaurant. I stopped by for lunch with a friend. Because of their focus on whiskeys — they feature over 200 American whiskeys plus a selection of Scotch, Irish, Canadian and Japanese ones — I ordered their Old Smokey cocktail ($14), sort of a smokey old fashioned with Evan Williams Small Batch Bourbon, Vanilla and Smoked Rhubarb Amaro. That was the best part of my visit. We shared a few items. The best were the four crispy grit croquettes purportedly with smoked ham [...]

By | 2018-05-22T08:12:39+00:00 June 4th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Oiji, East Village, NYC + Miss You Like Hell

Before heading to The Public to see the musical "Miss You Like Hell" from Tony award-winning Quiara Alegría Hudes ('In the Heights') and genre-breaking songwriter Erin McKeown, about an undocumented immigrant and her estranged daughter, we ate dinner at Oiji. Making a res at Oiji was more complicated than usual. I had made one by calling the place, was called back and told it was a mistake that I didn't have one as they don't take reservations until 14 days ahead. I then had to mark my calendar to do so. The door's opened at exactly 6 and the place was completely filled moments after. Oiji, named for cucumber kimchee, [...]

By | 2018-05-22T08:12:27+00:00 June 2nd, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Russian Samovar, Theatre District, NYC + Angels in America

We for sure needed sustenance between "Millennium Approaches” and “Perestroika," parts one and two of the Tony-nominated Angels in America, the play with Nathan Lane and Andrew Garfield about life that's as relevant today as it was during the early AIDS epidemic. At a break in our theatre marathon, we headed next door to the quirky yet elegant Russian Samovar as their guests. Years ago at the restaurant's height, it was part-owned Mikhail Baryshnikov and attended by the Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack. They are gone, but the classic Russian comfort food establishment has remained the same. In fact, their menu lists "grilled sturgeon" that hasn't been served in years. I love to enjoy [...]

By | 2018-05-21T16:08:13+00:00 May 31st, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

A Baker’s Dozen Medium-Priced ($$) Pre-Theatre Options: Theatre District

Here's another round up of restaurants, this time medium-priced ($$) ones in the Theatre District, offering a baker’s dozen sampling of's restaurant reviews. Bea 403 W 43rd St 212-602-1910 Intimate eatery with interesting small and large plates. Becco 355 W 46th St 212-397-7597 Pasta specials at Lidia Bastianich's lower-priced sibling to Felidia on theatre row. Blue Fin 1567 Broadway, New York, NY 10036 212-918-1400  Seafood restaurant on Times Square. Gallo Nero 402 W 44th St 212-265-6660 A hidden gem; an Italian friendly and comfy neighborhood spot. Il Punto Ristorante 507 9th Ave (at 40th) 212-244-0088  A friendly Italian place with good food. Don't miss the warm chocolate souffle. Marseille 630 [...]

By | 2018-06-03T08:40:31+00:00 May 29th, 2018|Theatre|0 Comments

Ippudo Ramen, East Village, NYC

This is my year for ramen, with visits to Ichiran Ramen, Ivan Ramen and E.A.K. Ramen before meeting some relatives at Ippudo Ramen, a bustling place in on Fourth Avenue and 10th Street in the East Village. I'm told there's always a wait. Once we were seated, we ordered drinks and apps. I sampled their version of an Old Fashioned made with Japanese whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters. Not bad. My relatives had beer. We started with flash-fried shishito peppers served with yuzu salt ($9) and two servings of steamed Ippudo buns spread with both Ippudo's spicy sauce and mayo and filled with pork ($9 for two buns). Neither was remarkable, both [...]

By | 2018-05-21T10:47:37+00:00 May 27th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Oscar Wilde, Chelsea, NYC

Oscar Wilde pays homage to the spirit of this Irish playwright’s prolific story. As their guest I sampled a good deal of their menu. After sampling a good deal of Oscar Wilde’s menu as their guest, I recommend you visit this fun establishment bedecked with an extraordinary Victorian art and object collection for drinks and their delightful appetizers. I recommend The Travesty created by mixologist Johnny Swet, that is if they’re still serving this specialty cocktail that was created for a partnership with the show Travesties (that was) playing at the American Airlines Theatre. It’s a nicely balanced mixture of vodka Lajay Crème de Cassis, lemon juice and Prosecco garnished [...]

By | 2018-04-30T06:59:07+00:00 May 23rd, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Andaz Kitchen & Bar, Financial District, NYC

A few months ago, I attended the opening of the new Andaz Kitchen & Bar, at the eponymous hotel and met the general manager and the chef, who invited me to come back and sample the menu. I did so recently, asking for small portions of items so I could sample lots. Keep in mind that many of the photos are only a partial portion; what you get at the restaurant are more plentiful! Still on a hunt for the penultimate spicy cocktail, I began with the Lighthouse made with jalapeño infused tequila, Campari, simple syrup and lime juice. Nice, but not spicy enough for me ($15). The three apps [...]

By | 2018-04-11T23:38:30+00:00 May 21st, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Breads Bakery, Union Square, NYC — Chocolate Babka

One of the stops I need to make before heading to visit one of my sons is Breads Bakery (on 16th just off Union Square) for their incredibly decadent chocolate babka ($14.95 or 2 for $22). Theirs has rightfully been voted the best in New York City. Babka — the braided, chocolate-veined interior — was made mainstream by Seinfeld in the '90s, babka. It's a half-yeasted-bread, half-cake irresistible treat to eat anytime. Breads makes theirs using butter and spreads the dough with a blend of Nutella and dark chocolate chips. They bake it several times a day, so it's always fresh. If you've never tried this crisp crust, moist babka, [...]

Lillie’s Times Square, Theatre District, NYC

Having been to Lillie's in my hood, I looked forward to sampling  Lillie’s Victorian Establishment in Times Square when the publicist invited me. Like the Union Square area one, the ornate wooden carvings and antiquities  at Lillie’s were procured from a ballroom in an 1800′s estate in Northern Ireland, according to their website. On the hunt for a really good spicy drink, I ordered their Spicy Reposado made with El Destilador Reposado tequila, agave and Hellfire bitters, garnished with a charred poblano pepper ($15). Good, but not at all spicy. Our server steered us toward the beer battered fish and chips ($22), with two large strips of fried cod along with [...]

By | 2018-04-11T16:02:15+00:00 May 19th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Flatiron Room, Gramercy-Flatiron, NYC

My friend suggested we go listen to jazz one night, suggesting the Flatiron Room. On 26th Street is this restaurant-club where the groups performs in the background on a velvet-curtained stage and regulars store their bottles of whiskey until they return. Flatiron offers almost 700 bottles of whiskey to choose from including the rare 27-year-old limited-run Glenmorangie Pride priced at about $800 per gram!  I also learned that a private room upstairs offers tastings and classes ($35 to $125). When we sat down at our booth, our waiter Simon pointed out the drinks and bites that were available at Happy Hour prices that  included some drinks and two of the flatbreads until [...]

City Bakery’s Pretzel Croissant, Gramercy-Flatiron, NYC

An out of town friend emailed to meet at City Bakery. She wrote, "Gotta have one pretzel croissant per visit." I was looking forward to both seeing her and also trying my first pretzel croissant ($4.50). It has a crisp, salty slightly crunchy crust sprinkled with sesame seeds — the inside is pure flaky croissant. An absolute treat. If you've never had one, be sure to stop in on 18th Street when in the hood. City Bakery Gramercy-Flatiron 3 W 18th Street New York, NY 10011 (212) 366-1414

AOA Bar & Grill, Hilton Garden, Tribeca, NYC

Looking for a hotel partner for The Next Big Bite, the October 1, 2018 event that I'm chairing again for Les Dames d'Escoffier at The New York Law School, I sat down to lunch with the director of group sales at one of their properties. I began with an AOA Bar & Grill's Diablo Reverse made with Tanteo jalapeño tequila ($14), black currant liqueur, lime and basil with a little spice. We then shared their fire-cracker shrimp ($14, three large), known to some as bang, bang shrimp because of the spicy wasabi sauce served with the shrimp that are topped with roe. Worth trying. Next, we shared the fresh Southwest chicken salad, with [...]

By | 2018-04-05T09:23:07+00:00 May 9th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Nios, Theatre District, NYC + Amy and The Orphans

I'm always looking for NYC theatre area restaurants to try and suggest. I recently stopped in Nios in the Muse Hotel for a casual bite before heading across the street to Round About theatre to see Amy and The Orphans. It's the story of siblings heading to bury their dad; Amy has Down syndrome, like the actress (Jamie Brewer) playing her and spouts recognizable movie lines. She's spent most of her life in state-funded institutions. We learn during the moving play that she had housed been at Willowbrook. (For a complete review on Theater Pizzazz, click here.) I chose the Sokol-Blosser Evolution Pinot Noir ($14) to sip while looking at the [...]

Old Town Bar & Restaurant, Gramercy-Flatiron, NYC

Around since 1982, Old Town is one of the city's oldest taverns with a mahogany and marble bar, tin ceiling and an antique still working dumbwaiter. Like Pete's Tavern a few blocks away, you can feel the history as you enter. NBC awarded it "Best Old Bar in NYC," Esquire Magazine named it one of "Best Bars in America." Head there for simple fare. The Old Town burger platter ($12.50) comes topped with lettuce and tomato, on a sesame seed bun served along with skinny fries. Only a dollar more for a cheeseburger. Enjoy with a pint! If you're sitting near the end of the bar, you'll notice your food [...]

By | 2018-03-14T10:40:32+00:00 April 28th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments