NYC Best Bites

/NYC Best Bites

Our Best Bites from New York

Il Divo, Upper East Side, NYC

I discovered the cozy Il Divo on the Second Avenue at 71st Street when looking for a place to have lunch with a friend heading to Hospital for Special Surgery for an MRI. Like many other UES places, this one is quite pricey. We shared a salad that the menu described as mixed greens with roasted tomatoes and ricotta ($18), yet now that I'm writing about it I realize ours was missing the tomatoes and was all arugula (I was happy about that). Hidden at the bottom of that bowl was fresh pesto. We each followed that with an appetizer portion of tender and moist pan-seared octopus with white beans [...]

By |2019-08-19T12:06:50-04:00August 19th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Jean-Georges’s new The Fulton, South Street Seaport

I somehow missed that Jean-Georges opened a new seafood restaurant at South Street Seaport. My friend knew about it as her millennial kids always know the latest hottest places. She took me for my birthday. We sat outside with a breath-taking view of the three lower island bridges — Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg. I sipped on an unusual Lemon Drop made with vodka and sprinkled with cinnamon. (I would have preferred a lighter hand on that aromatic spice.) If still available, don't miss the crispy soft shell crab. It's one large crispy one sitting in jalapeño–coriander salsa topped with purple radishes ($19). Also worth ordering is the fried fish salad [...]

By |2019-08-15T13:02:16-04:00August 13th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

A Return To Nur, Gramercy

I returned to Nur, the small 60-seat neighborhood Mediterranean restaurant with modern Middle Eastern cuisine from creative Chef Meir Adoni. I had to start with the two apps I had on my last visit as they were that good. Do not miss the large Israeli sesame bagel almost bigger than the plate, served with a lima bean messabaha ($15) seasoned with cumin and Bulgarian shipka peppers. Think: flavorful hummus. Also don't miss the artistically plated smoked fire-roasted eggplant carpaccio with raw tahini, pistachios and feta drizzled with rose water ($23). The seared lamb chops ($53) were cooked to perfection, pink inside served with a pumpkin spread and intensely flavored carrots [...]

By |2019-08-15T13:19:49-04:00August 11th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Jean-George son Cedric’s Wayan, Nolita, NYC

Was so looking forward to sampling Jean-George son Cedric Vongerichten’s first solo restaurant, Wayan.  I learned that in Balinese culture, there are four names based on birth order. Wayan is the name given to the first-born child. Cédric is JG's firstborn, hence the restaurant name. We both started with the Thorn of Jalisco cocktail ($14) made with blanco tequila, Cocchi Rosa, Thai chili and grapefruit juice. Oddly, my dining partner's drink was spicy; mine was not. Although the waiter said they were from the same batch, he did take one back to the bar for more spice. Do try the Jimbaran-style littleneck clams topped with soy, garlic and coconut topped [...]

By |2019-08-15T13:17:39-04:00August 9th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse, Churrasco Experience, Midtown + The Ferryman

After seeing the amazing The Ferryman for the second time, we headed uptown to Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse located on 53rd Street near Museum of Modern Art for our Churrasco Experience arriving before the dining room was open. By the way, The Ferryman at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater is not to be missed! For a complete review of this powerful play, click here. This three-story, 16,000 square foot flagship location of the steakhouse opened in New York City at the end of 2013. We arrived early, heading upstairs to the inviting bar for cocktails. Bartender Chris made us two of their specialties, the Fogo caipirinha and a caramelized [...]

By |2019-07-22T08:52:15-04:00July 22nd, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Bazar Tapas Bar and Restaurant, Flatiron

One of my building-mates shared details about his newest discovery in our hood, a tapas bar on 26th. He suggested I give Bazar Tapas Bar and Restaurant a try. Our Argentinian Salentein Reserve Barrel Selection Malbec, 2016 was worth the trip. Bazar charges only $50 for this bold wine that gets a 4.0 (4-star) rating from ~ 2000 oenophiles on ViVino, indicating a $36 price tag. The octopus was not ($19) as the char-grilled tentacle wasn't fresh. I do recommend the baby lamb chops ($8), just skip the tasteless odd green coulis. I'd go back for Bazar's pomme frites ($8) anytime, as they were plentiful and cooked the way I like [...]

By |2019-05-23T10:54:15-04:00July 18th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Ferris at MADE Hotel, Gramercy Flatiron

Our plan was to start at Good Behavior, the rooftop bar on the 18th floor of the Made Hotel for a drink but there was a private party. So instead, the helpful man in the lobby re-arranged the seating at the bar lounge so there was room for the two of us. We indulged in their unusual cocktails, ones I'd recommend. I sampled the La Bruja made with spicy mezcal, saffron and lemon, garnished with fresh red pepper ($16). My friend tried the Ninth Petal served up like a martini with a full glass container on ice containing more of the gin, white vermouth and jasmine ($16). Once it was [...]

By |2019-05-16T15:16:46-04:00July 10th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

A Return to Cosme, Gramercy Flatiron, NYC

My last visit to Cosme was close to perfection. Could still be as good? The folks who put together the "World's 50 Best" think so. Cosme came in 23rd, the highest U.S ranking on this controversial list. The prices are a bit steeper than my last visit. Mexican-born Daniela Soto-Innes, the chef, who won a James Beard Rising Star Award in 2016 at age 25, was just named the world’s best female chef at the ripe old age of 28. Lucky me, some friends took me for my birthday. I started with the Scoville sour, made with a choice of three heat levels of infused tequilas. This margarita-like drink was good, [...]

By |2019-08-15T12:59:27-04:00July 6th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Friedmans in Edison Hotel, Midtown + Ain’t Too Proud

We started our afternoon on Broadway with the life and times of the most successful group in Motown history, the Temptations. "Ain't Too Proud" had us dancing and singing in our seats. For a complete review, click here. After the show, we headed to Friedmans in the Edison Hotel, as I was invited to sample their fare. I started with a vodka martini with vermouth and orange bitters, while my dining companion had the Paper Plane with bourbon, Amaro Nonino and Aperol ($14 each). I'd recommend the latter. Their veggie potstickers (6 for $11) come drizzled with sriracha aioli and accompanied by a ginger soy dipping sauce. The meaty chicken [...]

By |2019-07-22T21:40:42-04:00June 30th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Dinner at Brazil, Brazil + God Shows Up

God Shows Up is a new play by Peter Filichia that opened off-Broadway recently at The Actor's Temple Theater. For a complete review, click here. It's a fun, controversial and irreverent show that asks, what happens when God chooses to drop in on his creation of Earth. I recommend it. For a complete review, click here. I don't recommend dining at Brazil, Brazil as we did only because of its proximity to the theatre on a rainy day. The service is fine, as are the caipirinhas - the Brazilian drink made with cachaça. We both had the spicy jalapeño one. The Salgadinho ($10), four small snacks with a savory filling, [...]

By |2019-08-15T13:01:28-04:00June 26th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Café Altro Paradiso, SoHo for Lunch

Knowing Café Altro Paradiso is from chef and owner Ignacio Mattos (Estela), I knew the food should be good. It was. I recently went to lunch with some friends on a day nice enough for outdoor dining. We started with salads. Two of us shared the thinly sliced fennel salad ($17) piled high over sliced Castelvetrano olives and provolone. The others shared tiny radicchio leaves filled with hazelnuts and crumbled gorgonzola flavored with anchovy ($19). I highly recommend both. Be sure to request the fabulous crusty sourdough bread, served with half each butter and balsamic-olive oil in a small round dish. I liked both their cacio e pepe ($20) made [...]

By |2019-06-22T15:50:59-04:00June 24th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Brunch at the Renovated Wilfie & Nell, West Village, NYC

Wilfie & Nell, a 10-year West Village pub, prides itself in serving good drinks and locally sourced food. I started with the house spicy Bloody Mary ($7 with brunch) made with McClure's spicy pickle juice. My friend had a Negroni. Both were good, just as you'd expect from a bar. The unusual huevos rancheros  ($14) consisted of two sunny-side-up eggs,  sliced avocado and crisp corn tortillas over black beans all topped with a soupçon of salsa fresca and crema.  Although tasty, I prefer the dish made with soft corn tortillas that soak up the beans end egg yolks. My friend tried the pulled pork hash with a poached egg, sliced [...]

By |2019-06-22T15:39:36-04:00June 20th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

The Newly Opened Barolo East, Midtown, NYC

Barolo East opened earlier this spring. I missed the opening party as I was out of the country so the publicist set up a tasting for me at this northern Italian restaurant. The 32-year-young chef Alessio Rossetti stopped by the table to meet me, mentioning that he had worked with my friends Tony and Marisa May at SD26 and San Domenico. On his recommendation, we sampled three of his housemade pasta. The fettuccine with Bolognese sauce ($19), the tender semolina gnocchi with mushrooms and Gorgonzola ($20) and the linguine with white clam sauce ($24). We cleared our palate with an arugula salad with Parmigiano  ($12), before being served the evening's [...]

By |2019-06-22T15:17:43-04:00June 12th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Lattanzi, Theatre District + Be More Chill

I was invited to meet some out-of-town friends at Lattanzi before theatre. It's is one of those theatre-row restaurants, close to the performance with mediocre food served elegantly. I do recommend the fried Jewish-style artichokes($18), a serving of three large tender ones in garlicky oil, but not the veal. One of us had the scaloppine piccata style and two of us, Marsala. Mine was overcooked, both the veal, potatoes and veggies with the sauce a bit gloppy. Be More Chill, is a show that's become a teenage cult, replete with screaming teens and young 20s. Although it was a bit too noisy for me, I'm glad I saw it.  For [...]

By |2019-06-10T00:39:18-04:00June 10th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

A Return to Becco + Tootsie

Becco is one of the theatre row restaurants skilled at turning over many tables to get patrons out on time for their curtain. We were seated in the front room, which my dining partner said is where they seat the all-women parties and older folks, like us. I hadn't noticed until it was brought to my attention. All three of us gobbled up Becco's version of the classic Caesar salad. My friend had the thin slices of grilled swordfish resting on a tasty spinach salad with batons of bacon, sugar snap peas, pickled ramps and roasted red peppers ($26). Her mom had the sautéed shrimp, scallops and other seafood broth [...]

By |2019-06-08T08:17:52-04:00June 8th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Azalea, Theatre District + Beetlejuice

My friend didn't want to be more than a block or two from the theatre. I found Azalea, less than a 5-minute walk, from the Winter Garden Theatre where we would be seeing Beetlejuice. We shared everything, starting with our pasta course, of their lasagne. We followed that with a spinach salad garnished with two sliced of spiced pears and a tiny escarole leaf filled with goat cheese and chopped tomato.  The best tasting  — what I'd suggest if you go  — was the tender and moist branzino fillet served with garden-fresh green beans and the mashed potatoes we requested. Perfectly prepared. Instead of dessert, we finished off with cappuccino [...]

By |2019-05-03T11:00:04-04:00June 6th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Bar 314: A Morningside Heights Neighborhood Hangout, NYC

Responding to an invitation to this fairly new Morningside Heights neighborhood bar, I met a friend there one night to sample their menu. Co-owner and mixologist Bruno Molfetta was there to greet me and offer me a smoked negroni, one of the most unusual cocktails I've had in a long time.  The server delivers the cocktail in a smoke-filled vessel that he rotates to mix a bit before pouring the liquid over large ice cubes. Usually delicious. Do try the zucchini parmigiana ($9), a tasty app that could almost be your entree.  Also, don't miss the grilled broccoli rabe with mushrooms ($8). I liked the garlicky roasted artichokes ($10), preferring [...]

By |2019-05-24T10:32:23-04:00May 28th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

A Return to Friend of a Farmer, Gramercy Park, NY

I hadn't been to Friend of the Farmer in years. Neither had my friend. We both avoided their long lines on weekends. This weeknight, I wanted a burger and fries before leaving the country for a couple of weeks. We made a res and headed over, being seated upstairs in a spacious room. The moist cornbread topped with fruit as an amuse bouche was worth the trip! So was the grass-fed burger topped with sauteed onions, bacon, tomato and chipotle aioli ($18). It came with fresh arugula and crispy fries. Perfection. We also shared a bottle of Koha, Sauvignon Blanc ($54, Marlboro, New Zealand) and a platter of local country [...]

By |2019-05-27T10:38:29-04:00May 16th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Danji for Lunch in the Theatre District + Kiss Me, Kate

After raves from one friend, I decided to meet another for lunch at Danji, a small Korean place in the north Theatre District where Chef Hooni Kim combines French techniques with Korean foods. I did so before heading to see Kiss Me, Kate at Studio 54 on West 54th Street. Don't miss this toe-tapping Cole Porter revival starring the amazing Kelli O'Hara. For a complete review of the show, click here. Be sure you make a reservation at this 36-seat restaurant. I'd recommend the beef bulgogi bibimbap, the national Korean dish ($17), asking for the sizzling version. That one is served with hot crispy rice crust (+$3) in a castiron [...]

By |2019-05-10T08:04:46-04:00May 14th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Finally Made it to Frenchette, Tribeca, NYC

Having read that dinner reservations at Frenchette "are scarcer than Burgundy truffles," we decided to go for the lunch they began serving in the fall. I learned that you sometimes may even be able to get at a table as a walk in. We had made a reservation. (NB: This may now be a bit more difficult as Frenchette just won the James Beard Foundation's Best New Restaurant 2019 award!) I dined with my friend, Italian winemaker Alessandro Pasqua. His publicist had asked the restaurant whether he could bring a bottle of their new Pasqua 11 Minutes Rosé (*) to sample with our meal. She was told, "we have a [...]

By |2019-06-25T12:02:54-04:00May 12th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments