NYC Best Bites

/NYC Best Bites

Our Best Bites from New York

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 |2018-11-12T10:55:39+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 means 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 |2018-11-02T12:03:57+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 |2018-11-10T13:27:34+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

Bice Cucina, Midtown, NYC

Peter Guimaraes relaunched Bice Cucina, his company's NYC restaurant that had closed about four years ago, around the corner from the 54th location where it had been for 30 years. I was invited to sample their fare. We started with one of the small shareable bites, their eggplant parmigiana baked in a small cast-iron skillet with tomato sauce and mozzarella then topped with fresh basil. I highly recommend. Peter stopped by the table before departing to the Garden to courtside seats at a Knicks game. He wanted to find out what dishes we were ordering; he then mentioned that we must add one of their Pinsa Romana to that. It's a [...]

By |2018-11-07T09:39:37+00:00November 28th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Fireside Meal at Ristoro del Cinghiale, NoMad, NYC

Ristoro del Cinghiale, a Tuscan-style restaurant, is from Nicola Marzovilla, the restaurateur who also owns i Trulli, the classic Italian restaurant next door. In olden days, a ristoro was part restaurant, part inn that was a place to go after a day of hunting the cinghiale (wild boar). These animals were pursued to keep them from trampling the vineyards and devouring the grapes. The menu offers multiple ways to enjoy the boar, some prepared in the wood-burning oven in the open kitchen. We had an early reservation as we had lots to catch up on. As we were seated near the fireplace, I noticed we were their very first clientele that evening. Our first course, a black truffle ricotta [...]

By |2018-12-01T07:07:32+00:00November 26th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

An Invite to Tuscany Steakhouse, Midtown, NYC

Steve H. (that's all his card says) sat with me to chat nearby the wine room at his Tuscany Steakhouse as I had been invited as his guest. The atmosphere is part Tuscan farmhouse part quiet steakhouse. Steve opened the restaurant earlier this year on West 58th where Nino's used to be. To start, we tried their baked littleneck clams oreganata ($16.95),  a sizzling piece of extra-thick Canadian bacon ($5.95) that was too fatty to eat and their housemade burrata salad served with tomatoes and arugula ($18.95).  I like how they served the Caesar Salad ($12.95) nicely chilled, tossed with their homemade dressing and topped with thick shreds of cheese. I, [...]

By |2018-12-01T07:11:23+00:00November 20th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

The Persian Persopolis, UES, NYC after an Exhibition at Sotheby’s

After an exhibition at Sotheby's viewing jewelry that once belonged to Marie Antoinette and trying on some other fabulous jewels, we wanted to get a little something to eat. Two nearby Thai restaurants had been recommended, but sadly they were closed until 5. It was 4:30 and we were hungry. We recalled passing Persopolis, a Persian restaurant, that was still offering their two-course lunch ($19). It is offered from noon until five. Three of us decided to try that special, sharing all the first courses. We sampled their tabouleh salad (chopped tomatoes, lots of parsley and scallions with cracked wheat in a lemony dressing), hummus (ho, hum) and, our favorite, their borani - [...]

By |2018-12-01T07:06:09+00:00November 16th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Gluten-Free Senza Gluten, Greenwich Village, NYC

Senza Gluten is not the most organized or together restaurant that I've visited, but I'd still recommend it for celiacs or those allergic to wheat as there they can enjoy pancakes, French toast and more. Senza Gluten is a gluten-free small restaurant just north of Houston on Sullivan Street. We began by ordering cocktails, being surprised when we were told they couldn't make our first two selections as they were out of bitters. How could a bar be out of bitters??  I ended up with a refreshing Moscow mule served in a copper mug ($16) made with Stolichnaya vodka, lime juice and Brooklyn's Q spicy ginger beer. Thinking it would [...]

By |2018-10-19T18:27:49+00:00November 14th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Fabulous LES Find: Le French Diner + The Hysteria of Doctor Faustus

Before heading to the Seeing Place Theatre on West 4th to see The Hysteria of Doctor Faustus, we got a bite to eat at a place where I know I'll return. That now-closed play explored a pact made between the devil and a man who thinks he has nothing to lose. It sparked memories of the musical comedy Damn Yankees also based on that Faust legend. Le French Diner is a tiny restaurant with surprisingly wonderful food! This small storefront does not have many seats. Having arrived at 5:30 as the manager was opening up, we asked to be seated at that window-side table. "If a party of four arrives, we'll [...]

By |2018-11-12T09:31:12+00:00November 12th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

A Few Visits to Bond45, Theatre District, NYC + Waverly Gallery

You might think that Bond45 restaurant would be located on 45th Street. It used to be until about a year ago when they moved one block north to 46th in a much larger space.  I had serendipitously made a res before I had received the invite from their publicist to sample the new breakfast buffet. A group of us dined there prior to seeing Kenneth Lonergan’s acclaimed memory play about a feisty and chatty grandmother’s final battle Alzheimer’s disease, starring an amazing cast including Elaine May, Joan Allen, Lucas Hedges, David Cromer and Michael Sera. The first thing I noticed as I walked through the door and was led to my table, was [...]

By |2018-10-22T15:39:34+00:00November 10th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|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

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

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

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