NYC Best Bites

/NYC Best Bites

Our Best Bites from New York

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

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 |2018-10-16T12:01:18+00:00October 7th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|1 Comment

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

A Respite from the Greenmarket: Bocce USQ, Union Square, NYC

After attending the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, we walked up to the north side of Union Square Park for lunch at Bocce USQ, the airy open restaurant that opened this summer replacing The Pavillion. This new one is replete with a bocce court. Although they serve pizza pies from a Roberta’s-trained chef, we opted for other goodies. I recommend the big hollow loaf of Bocce bread served with whipped ricotta drizzled with EVOO ($13). It's made with the same dough as their pizzas. We also shared the perfectly cooked al dente ribbons of fresh pappardelle with a light pesto made with ingredients from the adjacent greenmarket and a dusting [...]

By |2018-09-04T15:49:34+00:00September 25th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Tapas at Lamano, West Village, NYC

This is the second Lamano from Jorge Guzman Hospitality the team behind The Black Ant,  Temerario and Lamano Chelsea all of which I've tried and recommend.  This West Village Lamano, which opened this year, is a cozy restaurant just off Seventh Avenue. Like the other location, it is a Spanish wine bar serving a tapas. For a refreshing starter, I recommend Polaris Spritz, made with Aperol, rosé, strawberry shrub and seltzer ($14).  We started with the fresh heirloom tomato salad with half-mini balls of Cigolini cheese topped with arugula in a Spanish wine (Garnacha) dressing ($14), and continued with the classic dishes of patatas bravas ($9), potatoes, in a garlic aioli and a spiced tomato sauce (salsa [...]

By |2018-08-31T11:56:07+00:00September 23rd, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Estiatorio Milos, Midtown, NYC

Returning to Estiatorio Milos during restaurant week, I dined with a couple of friends enjoying their fabulous bargain of a 3-course lunch for only $26. A server stopped by our table, poured some EVOO and then snipped fresh oregano into the oil for us to use with the chewy-crust bread while we perused the menu. I started with a serving of grilled sashimi quality sliced Mediterranean octopus over pureed yellow split pea fava.  I nudged my friend, who said she didn't like the cephalopod, to sample it. This tender-cooked octopus changed her mind. Yes, that good. Her portion of lightly coated and fried RI calamari was also worth the visit. Our [...]

By |2018-09-15T15:23:26+00:00September 21st, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Trattoria Italienne, West Village, NYC

Soon after sitting down at Trattoria Italienne, owner and general manager James King stopped by to greet us, as we were to be their guests at this casual restaurant with Northern Italian and Southern French cuisine. James proudly explained that their menu — that changes quite frequently — highlights the best products of the season and focuses on their relationships with the purveyors. We started with their unusual cocktails. My friend had the citrusy Bitter Word cocktail made with Cimarron tequila, green chartreuse, cappelletti and aperitivo. I enjoyed the chocolatey Old Fashioned (Cocozza Group) made from Old Forester bourbon, Ramazzotti, crème de cacao and orange bitters ($14 each). I recommend both. [...]

By |2018-09-15T15:23:20+00:00September 19th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Churrascaria Plataforma, Theatre District, NYC + Desperate Measures

Desperate  Measures, the musical-comedy western loosely based on Shakespear's Measure for Measure, recently moved from the York Theatre across town to the New World Stages after what I heard was its three-time extended sold-out run. I went to see this show again, one that my friend Bill Castellino directed and choreographed and I enjoyed it as much the second time! Pure fun! After the performance, I went with Bill and some of his friends (including actress Gayle Turner) across the street to Churrascaria Plataforma, a Brazilian steakhouse for a drink and nibble. Such a friendly place, I do recommend for drinks after theatre and heard that that is what it's [...]

By |2018-09-15T15:31:41+00:00September 15th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Manhattan’s Only Distillery – Our/New York and Bar

I recently joined Untapped Cities, as some friends and I wanted to do one of their events. We figured for $10 a month, we'd try it out. Through them, I attended a tour and vodka tasting at Our/New York, which opened in May. This small-batch, micro-distillery Manhattan’s first since Prohibition. It is part of Pernod Ricard, the French-based wine and spirits company. Before the tour, we tried their too sweet for me Excelsior '64 cocktail made from their vodka, lavender, elderflower and sparkling wine. I was happier with the straight vodka we tried after learning how it was made. OUR/New York is not only a distillery, it's also a bar [...]

By |2018-08-13T17:52:11+00:00September 13th, 2018|City Bites, Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Spring Natural Kitchen, Upper West Side, NYC + Twelfth Night

After picking up our tickets to see the musical version of Twelve Night at Shakespeare in the Park, we headed west to find a place to grab a bite. Wanting only a nibble on this very hot evening, we decided to share the guacamole ($13), which was flavorful but served with a plethora of stale colored chips. With that, I sampled their happy hour Upper West Side Manhattan ($7),  nicely done. As our main, we shared the quite small chopped salad ($17) that looks better in the photo than it was: all the "chopped" items are sprinkled on top. The menu described it as mesclun, romaine, shredded kale, roasted corn, [...]

By |2018-08-12T15:46:53+00:00September 11th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Tagine, Hells Kitchen, NYC + Mary Page Marlowe

On our way to see the Mary Page Marlow at The Tony Kiser Theater, we stopped into the dark Moroccan restaurant Tagine, as it was one of the nearby restaurants offering a discount with our subscription.  Six women play the main character of Tracy Letts’ play at different times of Mary Page Marlow's life from infancy to her golden years. For a complete review of the show, click here. Before ordering, we asked to sample the two wines by the glass that also came by the bottle to decide what to order. We opted for only a glass of the Carta Sauvignon Blanc ($12/glass), which is not worth trying. Seeing Mary Page [...]

By |2018-08-08T07:42:59+00:00September 9th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Insane Shakes at Shake and Burger Bar, Murray Hill, NYC

Oddly, I only accepted the invite to Shake and Burger Bar on Third Avenue because of its proximity to my friend's home on 25th. It's a cavernous TV-lined wall restaurant for sports lovers. Ones with big appetites. Sarah, our more than proficient waitress recommended the grilled season corn seasoned with spicy paprika mayo & cotija cheese ($9 for three pieces). As good as what you get in Mexico. My friend liked the deep-fried pickles ($9) that reminded me of a trip to Natchez. I skipped, as cucumbers don't like me. The bang-bang sauce helped the too-bready fried shrimp. The only app I wouldn't order again is their cheese-sauce covered nachos ($13). [...]

By |2018-09-03T09:20:02+00:00September 5th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Pastrami Queen, Upper East Side, NYC + Little Rock

Next time that we join a scavenger hunt, we decided we'd do so in an area smaller than the 843 acres of rolling hills we know as Central Park. That was where we had needed to find 52 locations in 2 hours while attending an Untapped Cities scavenger hunt in conjunction with the Museum of the City of New York! Hungry for sure, we opted to head to Pastrami Queen on Lex where we shared one of their "our world famous" giant overstuffed lean pastrami sandwich ($18). The friendly staff  — knowing we were sharing — divided that in thirds! Yes, thirds, which was almost too much to eat as we [...]

By |2018-09-04T15:58:01+00:00September 3rd, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Madame Vo, East Village, NYC

In the heart of Little Tokyo in the East Village is a restaurant with a red rickshaw in the front window serving the regional homestyle Vietnamese dishes of owners Yen Vo and Jimmy Ly.  I had only heard good things about it. We sat towards the front at one of the ~50 tables at this long and narrow place, close to the small bar where you also can dine. To start, we ordered a bottle of Gruner Veltliner, Von Donabaum, Austria ($36) that went well with the fare.  First up one of the rolls. Our waitress recommended the Cha Cio, fried spring rolls filled with shrimp, crab and pork served with fresh mint and large lettuce [...]

By |2018-08-06T16:18:08+00:00September 1st, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Happy Hour at Boucherie, Gramercy Park, NYC

Boucherie, a French bistro, opened in the cavernous space where Florian, Park Avalon and others had been. This is the second outpost of this restaurant, the first located in the West Village, from The Group (Olio e Piu, Dominique Bistro and more). We walked by early one evening to grab a bite when we noticed the Green Hour from 4 to 7 listed on the menu that,  available in the bar area. We hopped on the high stools and ordered the burger ($12) a 6-0unce hand-formed portion of dry-aged Pat LaFrieda blend, topped with caramelized onions, aged gruyère, sliced tomato and lettuce on a brioche bun along with crunchy on the outside, steamy [...]

By |2018-09-03T10:15:10+00:00August 30th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Happy Hour at Lotus Blue, Union Square, NYC

Not sure about you, but I love happy hour specials! I noticed a sign in the window of Lotus Blue when walking by, announcing their special pricing Monday to Friday 5 to 7 for the summer of 2018 and made a date to meet a friend there. I opted for their refreshing house spicy Margarita, a mere $6, made with mango juice. Unusual and delicious. With that, I chose two of their good specials, their scallion pancakes ($5) that were too bland for me even with their hoisin-based dipping sauce and their yummy spicy chicken cubes ($7), with a solid spice kick. I'd recommend the latter.   Lotus Blue Union Square [...]

By |2018-09-03T10:17:39+00:00August 26th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Demarchelier Restaurant, Upper East Side, NYC

Walking into Demarchelier restaurant on the Upper East Side is akin to being in France — without the typical French attitude. This bistro is ideal for a quick bite, a romantic rendezvous or lengthy dining. We did the latter. As their guests, we had been seated in the one window table for two on a small riser, letting us view the outside world and the rest of the restaurant lined with paintings of Eric Demarchelier. We started with their tasty cocktails. My dining partner had the grapefruit rosemary mule, a blend of grapefruit vodka, fresh lime juice and ginger beer classically served in a copper mug; I sampled the raspberry lemon [...]

By |2018-08-22T13:08:36+00:00August 22nd, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Otto’s Tacos, Hell’s Kitchen, NYC – Cheap Eats near Theatre!

For really quick cheap eats on your way to theatre, stop in for a couple tacos. It's counter service for flavorful and quite filling meats in a tortilla with salsa, cilantro and chopped onion. You choose between chicken, carnitas, carne asade, veggies, shrimp and the taco of the day. All are only $3 with carne asade and the taco of the month $4, with extra guac at market price ($2 the day I went). Our special was panko-crusted cod with jalapeño tartar sauce and pico de gallo. I used the hot sauce on the table, as it wasn't spicy enough for me. And I recommend the special, the pork (carnitas) and [...]

By |2018-08-21T22:01:24+00:00August 20th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Island Oyster, Governors Island, NYC

I took some out-of-towners on the ferry ride to Governors Island for lunch at Island Oyster, an only-summer destination. It's the seasonal restaurant under the tutelage of Kerry Heffernan, also the chef at Grand Banks, another seasonal restaurant, this one on a schooner moored at Pier 25 in the Hudson River. We sipped the rosè on tap — this time an Everwild from Venice 2016 ($48/bottle) — while taking in the amazing view of Manhattan. One wanted to try oysters but felt they were a tad overpriced. Our friendly waiter suggested she just try one, saying the set-up was the same for one or multiple. She ordered — and savored — [...]

By |2018-07-26T16:28:49+00:00August 18th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Bella Blu, Upper East Side, NYC

Coming from a fabulously informative visit to the Public Art special exhibit — open through September 23 — at the Museum of the City of New York along with one of its curators, we started looking for a place to get something to eat. If you can get a tour of "Art in the Open: Fifty Years of Public Art in New York" do so. It was one of those beautiful nights, where sitting outside would be preferable, so we kept walking south to try to garner an outside table. By the time we walked from 103 to the 70s, we became more hungry and less fussy about our table and [...]

By |2018-08-22T13:13:42+00:00August 16th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments