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The best City Bites from New York

La Piazza at Eataly, Gramercy-Flatiron, NYC

One friend and I stopped by La Piazza for a glass of wine after a board meeting. We befriended an adorable server, who when he learned we were heading to Italy, asked if we could take him with us. While sipping a glass of the 2016 Nicolis Angelo Valpolicella Classico, Veneto ($14), Italy, we ordered their barbabietole e arancia ($8), a combo of roasted beets, oranges, goat cheese and EVOO — a tasty dish that needed salt. Our friendly server came by with their wonderful crusty bread, some grassy award-winning EVOO to try and a grinder to add some fresh salt to our serving. Wondering how can we fit him into [...]

By |2018-04-05T08:34:49-04:00April 25th, 2018|City Bites, NYC Best Bites|0 Comments

JAX B-B-Q, Hells Kitchen, NYC + Come From Away

We stopped in at JAX BBQ before heading to see the amazing musical,  Come From Away, that takes place following the September 11 attacks telling a true story of the people on the planes that landed unexpectedly in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland. For a complete review of the show, click here. As their guest, we sampled as much of JAX offerings as feasible. Realize that some food photos contain only a partial portion. Starters include southern delicacies like Bayou alligator fritters ($14.95), that are not to be missed. Having eaten alligator many times before, I knew how good these fritters were - as the meat was not rubbery at all [...]

By |2018-04-11T16:11:31-04:00April 10th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Feinstein’s 54 Below, Theatre District, NYC

Earlier this year, I accompanied my friend from Theater Pizzazz to Feinstein's 54 Below, an intimate supper club offering dinner and drinks, to see Ben Vereen. The food had been so remarkable that I requested my return to sample more for a real review of the food of Executive Chef Lynn Bound. They invited me when Linda and Laura Benanti — mother and daughter — performed. Laura is a Tony Award-winning actress who began her Broadway career at the age of 18, starring opposite Richard Chamberlain in The Sound of Music; this show, The Story Goes On marks Linda’s return to the stage. We arrived at 5:15 when they opened the [...]

By |2018-03-04T17:13:59-05:00April 1st, 2018|NYC Best Bites, Theatre|0 Comments

Piccola Strada, East Village, NYC + Rosemary and Time

Piccola Strada a tiny Genovese restaurant across from the theatre where we were attending a performance of Rosemary and Time came highly recommended by more than one friend. It's a BYOB place with a mere $5 corkage fee. Our waiter offered suggestions. We might have been better off if we hadn't listened to him. We started with the Carciofini Al Forno, artichokes hearts sprinkled with parmesan cheese and olive oil then baked ($11). Nicely done, but nothing special. Same goes for their Ossobuco Di Manzo of very tender beef shank braised in red wine accompanied by tender gnocchi all in in a bolognese sauce ($22). My least favorite was one of the specials [...]

By |2018-03-14T10:40:47-04:00March 28th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|Comments Off on Piccola Strada, East Village, NYC + Rosemary and Time

Red Farm, Upper West Side, NYC + Admissions

Red Farm's chef Joe Ng had just been nominated by the James Beard Foundation as this year's "Best Chef in New York City" making me even more excited to head to the UWS location of this Chinese restaurant. We got to the 77th Street location early as we had ticket to see a Jessica Hecht ensemble performance at Lincoln Center. It wasn't until after we arrived that I learned that my dining partner was a dear friend of owner Ed Schoenfeld, who then proceeded to send us out some goodies. My favorite of the evening was the first dish that Ed sent. They call it a bruschetta, but there's no bread. [...]

By |2018-03-14T10:41:46-04:00March 26th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Kubeh, West Village, NYC + Relevance

Kubeh refers to a Middle Eastern dumpling that I had read about being offered in my hood at a restaurant by the same name. We stopped by on the way to the Lucille Lortel to see one of our favorite actresses Jayne Houdyshell (who had won a Tony nomination forDolls House 2, and a Tony for her Humans performance). This time she was an angry feminist in Relevance. The noise level at Kubeh was deafening once we past the bar and into the dining room. We ordered some drinks and a couple of items from the meze part of their menu. The chunks of chilled roasted eggplant, pomegranate arils and fresh mint leaves [...]

By |2018-02-21T09:10:00-05:00March 22nd, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Estiatorio Milos, Midtown, NYC + In The Body of The World

The best way to experience the pricey Estiatorio Milos down the street from City Center is to order their reasonable prix-fixe menu. Their pre-theater menu, served between 5:00-6:00 pm, offers three courses for $55, containing both the Faroe Islands sustainable organic salmon my friend ordered a la carte for $49 and the grilled Mediterranean Octopus, I ordered for $29. But wait, I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. We ate there wanting to be close to the theater where we were seeing In the Body of the World as it was quite cold out. The restaurant is known for their fish, their pricey fish. As you can see from the fish-0n-ice photo, [...]

Lucciola, Upper West Side, NYC + Parisian Woman

I was invited to Lucciola, a new restaurant uptown on 90th street and Amsterdam Avenue. My friend and I headed there after seeing an amazingly good production of The Parisian Woman. The buzz was they play wasn't very good, but Uma Thurman's performance was worth seeing. My Tony-voting friend and I loved both the play, the current references to that man in The White House and all the performances. I highly recommend! For a complete review on TheaterPizzazz, click here. When we arrived at Lucciola, my friend ordered a classic Sazerac ($12) and I asked to sample their Santa Clara ($12). I was told they didn't have any mezcal but [...]

By |2018-03-16T08:48:53-04:00March 12th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Brooklyn Diner, Theater District, NYC + Cardinal

Knowing that diners are generally a good option for breakfast/brunch, we decided to try the theater location of the Brooklyn Diner as it was down the street from the Second Stage theatre. That's where we were seeing a matinee of the Cardinal, a 90-minute play where Anna Chlumsky and Adam Pally— as the characters in Greg Pierce’s new play — literally paint their town red. We sat at a booth in this nostalgic diner-style space. In an ice tea mode, I tried Brooklyn Diner’s version of the Long Island ice tea! Quite good. We both ordered the hearty New Yorker Breakfast ($25) of eggs over easy with crispy bacon, a toasted everything [...]

By |2018-02-01T11:22:54-05:00March 10th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Amali, Upper East Side, NYC + Balls in the Air

Balls, at 59E59 theatre, takes place beginning in 1973 at Houston's Astrodome where Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs face-off in The Battle of the Sexes tennis match. Interesting concept and execution, with a number of side stories some of which didn't seem to belong. For a full review on Theater Pizzazz click here, although that reviewer liked it much more than I did. After the 85-minute performance —  long enough for us —  we headed to Amali,  an Italian restaurant on 60th near the theater. We started with two interesting apps. One, a spicy tirokafteri dip made of whipped feta, roasted red pepper and chili served with grilled pita ($12). I'm planning [...]

By |2018-03-08T08:49:13-05:00March 6th, 2018|NYC Best Bites, Theatre|0 Comments

Afghan Kebab House, Hell’s Kitchen, NYC + Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses

First we saw “Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses,” the rock musical at the Theater at St. Clement’s. Interesting musical about master builder Robert Moses, how he reshaped New York City in the 20th century and all the controversy around him. After the show, we decided to try what I was told was cheap eats at the Afghan Kebab House. The service was friendly, the setting quite basic and the food merely okay. Seasoned lamb kebab came with a pile of brown rice topped with sliced almonds, carrot strips and raisins served with a hunk of white bread and a tossed undressed iceberg salad ($22). I found the lamb a [...]

By |2018-03-02T12:09:15-05:00February 28th, 2018|Theatre|0 Comments

Lodge at Gallow Green, Chelsea, NYC + Flight

The McKittrick Hotel isn't a hotel at all, but the home of the immersive theatre Sleep No More and their latest offering Flight, which just got a rave review from The NYTimes.  This unusual place is located way west in Chelsea between 10th and 11th Avenues on 27th street nestled among the art galleries. This winter, the McKittrick Hotel added brunch to their offerings at the rooftop restaurant. I didn't make it for brunch but did go for dinner one evening. I also experienced Flight, a story of two young orphaned brothers who embark on a desperate odyssey to freedom and safety done in a multi-level rotating minutely detailed diorama that you watch while seated in your [...]

By |2018-03-02T08:35:49-05:00February 24th, 2018|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

The 2018 James Beard Award Semifinalists

In case you haven't yet heard that the James Beard Foundation has released its list of semifinalists for this year's best chefs and restaurants, her are some of those nominated: Best New Restaurant A restaurant opened in the calendar year before the award will be given that already displays excellence in food, beverage and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come. The Anchorage, Greenville, SC Annette, Aurora, CO The Blue Hen, Rehoboth Beach, DE Brewery Bhavana, Raleigh, NC The Charter Oak, St. Helena, CA ChiKo, Washington, D.C. Cote, NYC Del Mar, Washington, D.C. Empellón Midtown, NYC Felix Trattoria, Venice, CA Grand Café, Minneapolis [...]

By |2018-02-18T21:54:05-05:00February 20th, 2018|City Bites, NYC Best Bites, Other|0 Comments

The Children: Theater Pizzazz

An apocalyptic vision, infused with hope? Hard to imagine – that is, until you see The Children, Lucy Kirkwood’s astonishing new play at the Manhattan Theatre Club. From the moment the play opens – with the ominous image of a woman standing in a kitchen, blood pouring from her nose– you are held in the play’s relentless grip. Though the wound turns out to be harmless, the circumstances are not. From Theater Pizzazz review by Carol Rocamora. Click here for the complete review.

By |2019-05-05T10:33:36-04:00February 1st, 2018|Theatre|0 Comments

How to Get Discount Theatre Tickets

Before I became a full-time New Yorker, I would purchase theatre tickets ahead paying full price or come into the city and roll the dice, hoping I could get what I wanted from the TKTS discount ticket booth. Most out-of-towners are also aware of that Times Square booth that sells same-day matinee and evening tickets. TKTS also has outposts at Lincoln Center, at South Street Seaport and in Downtown Brooklyn that sell same-day evening and next-day matinee ones. You can select your seats when you buy them. When I moved to Gotham, I learned of many other ways to get show tickets — both on and off Broadway — without paying full [...]

By |2018-01-22T10:06:09-05:00January 23rd, 2018|Big Apple Life, Other happenings, Theatre|0 Comments

A Baker’s Dozen Pre-Theatre Eats in West Village

Our third round up of restaurants near theatre, this time in the West Village near the Lucille Lortel, Cherry Lane and Barrow Street. This post offers a baker’s dozen sampling of West Village restaurant reviews from 33 Greenwich 33 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014; 646-609-3615 A take on Southern foods; don't miss the fried or roasted chicken. AOC 314 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014;  212-675-9463 A French bistro with a garden open when the weather permits. Bar Bolonot 611 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014; 212-390-1545 One of chef/owner Einat Admony's Middle Eastern restaurant. Buvette 42 Grove St, New York, NY 10014; 212-255-3590 No reservations at this [...]

By |2017-12-26T09:53:40-05:00December 25th, 2017|NYC Best Bites, Theatre|1 Comment

The Warren, West Village, NYC + Enrico IV

We had an early dinner at The Warren before heading to Cherry Lane to see Enrico IV, one of the three new plays at Cherry Lane theatre, an hour monologue about (as the publicist wrote) "a man who is mad enough to think he’s a King (any similarities to Donald J. Trump are purely coincidental)." Dinner was much better than the play! We shared their perfectly cooked Asian-style steelhead salmon ($25) over tender sauteed soy-marinated eggplant with three sticky rice tots doused and decorated with sweet chili sauce. We also shared their signature burger, topped with Cabot cheddar and onion jam, served with wonderfully seasoned fries. I'd recommend stopping in at the [...]

By |2017-11-19T08:47:13-05:00December 23rd, 2017|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|1 Comment

Ivan Ramen, Lower East Side, NYC + (The Band’s Visit)

I headed downtown to a press event at Ivan Ramen after seeing The Band's Visit on Broadway — the musical about the Egyptian Police Band mistakenly ending up in a remote Israeli village with no bus until morning and no hotel nearby. In this based on a true story, the musicians are taken in by the locals. (Click here for review on Theater Pizzazz.) The event at Ivan Ramen was to celebrate the November Anime NYC’s Ramen Summit, a dedicated celebration of Japanese animation and culture. Ivan Orkin, a Long Island Jewish guy who's the man behind Ivan Ramen, sat with us and shared his story of living in Japan and opening [...]

By |2017-11-19T17:41:49-05:00December 17th, 2017|Rambling, Theatre|0 Comments

Bluebell Cafe, Gramercy, NYC + The Box

We went for a bite to eat at the Bluebell Cafe after seeing The Box Show — one woman (Dominique Salerno) hilariously performing over 25 characters from inside a small  3' x 3'x 2' box — at the People's Improv Theatre on 24th Street. We found Bluebell Cafe, a warm friendly restaurant that's so accommodating. We were four and each wanted to share, as women often do. They were so eager to please, giving each of us a half an order of their creamy cauliflower soup  ($10 a bowl) from the special of the day. If offered,  I'd recommend that! For entrees, we tried the salmon ($23), cooked medium-rare as requested, with [...]

By |2017-11-06T08:36:37-05:00December 13th, 2017|Rambling, Theatre|0 Comments

A Baker’s Dozen Pre-Theatre Eats: Near The Public

Our second post answering the question “Where should I eat?” when heading to theatre offers places not too far — by New York City standards — from The Public at 425 Lafayette Street. Acme  9 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012; 212-203-2121 Good food in a noisy environment. Atla  372 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012;  646-837-6464 A modern neighborhood Mexican restaurant from chef Enrique Olvera (Cosme). Bleecker Kitchen & Co. 643 Broadway, New York, NY 10012; 1 212-253-7467 A neighborhood American restaurant with good simple food.   Cafe Standard 25 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003; 1 212-475-5700 The cafe at the Standard Hotel when [...]

By |2018-04-07T08:21:23-04:00December 7th, 2017|NYC Best Bites, Theatre|0 Comments