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COVID Phase 2 Boucherie, Gramercy Park, NYC

We chose Boucherie on Park Avenue in Gramercy Park as they had semi-outdoor seating with glass stanchions dividing the tables. I say semi, as they had 2-tops half in and out of the cool air-conditioned restaurant. We chose one of those. Service was attentive with the server as happy as we were to be there. Like last time, we ordered the 6-0unce hand-formed dry-aged Pat LaFrieda blend burger ($12) topped with caramelized onions, aged gruyère, sliced tomato and lettuce on a brioche bun. Crunchy on the outside, steamy in fries accompanied that burger. One bite as like a bit of heaven, realizing that the city had begun to open.   [...]

By |2020-07-12T08:51:49-04:00July 11th, 2020|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

During COVID: Rezdôra, My First Take-Out

Rezdôra is a New York Times three-star restaurant in the Flatiron district near me serving authentic Emilia-Romagna cuisine. Before COVID, reservations were challenging. During the pandemic, the restaurant began offering take out. Having never done take-out before, I was trying to figure out timing. (Odd, I know for a New Yorker, but I either ate out or cooked.) I decided to pick up my lasagna Bolognese to bake at home ($38) midday to avoid the daily protests. I followed the directions to a tee, resulting in something inedible. When I stopped back at the Rezdôra, the chef apologized for the mistake of giving me the already cooked lasagne. He then [...]

By |2020-07-12T09:03:16-04:00July 5th, 2020|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Another Korean One: Bann Restaurant + All The Nathalie Portmans

(Written before COVID-19 quarantine) After seeing All The Natalie Portmans at MCC Theatre on 52, we headed out to dinner at 350 West 50th Street to Bann Restaurant, a BBQ Korean restaurant in a welcoming upscale setting. The unusual show at MCC Theatre is about a family on the brink of eviction while the 16-year-old daughter dreams of a better tomorrow and interacts with her muse, Natalie Portman playing all her iconic characters. For a full review, click here. We were seated at a table with an unlit grill between us that we used to "grill" our selection of meats, poultry or fish, which of course is the quintessential dish [...]

By |2020-06-04T09:24:50-04:00June 27th, 2020|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Aqua Boil, Hells Kitchen, NYC + Jagged Little Pill

(Written before COVID-19 quarantine) I had no idea what I was in store for when I was invited to Aqua Boil, a casual Cajun-inspired restaurant that spotlights seafood boils, encouraging diners to get messy. We arrived at the small restaurant when it opened at 5 pm, as we had a 7 pm curtain. The restaurant had only been open a couple of months necessitating the person tending bar to search the internet to learn how to make the Manhattans we ordered! Nice service, producing a quite decent version. Everything is served in paper and utensils are plastic other than the tools for the seafood. The mostly all fish cod cake [...]

By |2020-05-27T12:23:35-04:00June 4th, 2020|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|1 Comment

Morrell Wine Bar, Rockefeller Plaza, Midtown, NYC + The Minutes

(Written before COVID-19 quarantine) We met at the elegant Morrell Wine Bar just south of the Rockefeller Plaza for dinner before heading to theatre to see Tracey Letts in The Minutes. The Castiglion del Bosco Rosso di Montalcino, 2016 ($64), a nice red fruit dry wine, went so well the Foie Gras Torchon ($28). That dish consisted of four tiny squares of toasted brioche with a slice of patè drizzled with port syrup and sprinkled with candied walnut dust.  We shared everything, which is how I love dining! Our refreshing salad ($21) contained poached pears, candied yellow beets, chevrè and mesclun in a white balsamic vinaigrette. Nice sized portion. The [...]

Return to Daniela Trattoria, Hell’s Kitchen, NYC + We’re Gonna Die

(Written before COVID-19 quarantine) Before seeing We're Gonna Die, described as "the non-musical/non-play/non-concert that is not about dying" at the Tony Kiser theatre, we stopped for dinner at Daniela Trattoria. I had been to Daniela Trattoria seven years ago when the now $42 prix fixe menu was only $29. My dining partner had no desire for dessert, so we opted to skip the menu and share two entrees instead. We asked for the garlicky scampi ($30) to be served first as an appetizer. That included five shrimp with lots of white beans served with broccoli and cauliflower, the veggie of the day. For our entree, we ordered the Ossobucco ($33) [...]

Turkuaz Restaurant, Hell’s Kitchen, NYC + Tina, The Musical

(Written before COVID-19 quarantine) With a 7 pm curtain for Tina, my friend and I grabbed an early bite at Hell's Kitchen's Turkuaz, which has recently relocated to northern Hell's Kitchen convenient for theatre. I had been invited by the owner, who I had met at a Broadway Association function a couple of years ago. We sat down, looked at the menu but didn't order. The owners had selected various combo plates for us to sample. We started with the cold appetizer platter ($38) with hummus, cacik (blend of yogurt labneh and cucumbers seasoned with mint and dill), eggplant salad (chopped grilled eggplant and roasted peppers), baba ghanoush (chopped grilled eggplant [...]

By |2020-04-03T12:17:57-04:00April 5th, 2020|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Aux Epices Restaurant, Tribeca, NYC + The Sickness

After being invited as media to The Sickness, I made a reservation at Aux Epices Restaurant as it was only a couple of blocks from where we were seeing the show. It's a narrow inviting restaurant with friendly service serving beer and wine. Cash only. Aux Epices means cooking with spice in French. The restaurant adheres to its namesake. The small order of BBQ spare ribs ( $8) contained three ribs well-coated in cumin-forward seasoning with the meat falling off the bone. The grilled (5) jumbo prawns come in a turmeric-ginger sauce served with a tall inverted cone of white rice ($20). I would have ordered differently had we realized [...]

Lunch at TBar Steak & Lounge, Upper East Side, NYC

I met a relative at TBar Steak & Lounge for lunch, as it's his favorite place to dine in his hood. I chose my meal from the bargain Restaurant-week menu ($26 for two courses), he ordered one of his favorites, the soba noodle salad ($23.00) with chicken in a miso vinaigrette. My lunch started with a retro iceberg salad. The thick slice of iceberg lettuce came topped with crisp bacon pieces, chunks of blue cheese and fresh tomatoes. I'd recommend. By the time my grilled Irish salmon (a tad overcooked) over shredded zucchini in a honey mustard dressing was served, I was already full. I took a doggy bag home, [...]

A Return to Morso, Upper East Side, NYC

After eight years, I returned to Morso, Tuscan pioneer Pino Luongo's Mediterranean restaurant under the 59th Street Bridge, as their guest.  "Morso" is Italian for small bites, with most dishes offered either "Tutto" (regular sized) or "Morso" (a smaller bite, generally two -thirds the size of Tutto). What a fabulous option! Since we were sampling lots, we ordered all Morso portions with the kitchen dividing those for us. Prices in this post indicate both sizes when available. Our first taste was of their polpo alla griglia,  some of the most tender grilled octopus I've ever had (Yes, that good!) with arugula and roasted tomatoes ($22/30). Don't miss. Our salads were [...]

By |2020-02-07T11:01:49-05:00February 27th, 2020|NYC Best Bites, NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

In Times Square: Patricks Restaurant & Oyster Bar, NYC + A Soldier’s Play

What a find. Little did I know when I walked into Patricks Restaurant & Oyster Bar (in the space where Chevy’s Tex Mex was about a year ago) that I would have a memorable meal. This restaurant is from the Wetanson family, also owners of Dallas BBQ and Tony DiNapoli’s. Patricks is basically a pub on 42 street in Times Square just down the street from the American Airlines Theatre where we saw the hunky Blair Underwood in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play A Soldier's Play.  He walked to the center of the stage, breaking the fourth wall, to talk to the audience with his shirt wide open showing his six-pack as [...]

By |2020-02-23T10:44:33-05:00February 23rd, 2020|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Cuban Food and Music at Guantanamera After Theatre

I had read that I'd find some of the city’s best Cuban food at Guantanamera in the Theatre District served with live music at night. That seemed like a perfect place to meet some friends after their theatre matinee.  We arrived in time for their happy hour that offers $6 mojitos, caipirinhas and wines until 7 pm, but a bit too early for the live music that doesn't start until 9 pm. We sat at the bar drinking to get the discount pricing until our other friend arrived, then moved to a table and ordered the sauteéd Chorizo sausage with crisp plantain chips ($14) and the garlicky shrimp in a [...]

By |2020-02-16T16:15:09-05:00February 15th, 2020|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Italian Feast at Bottino, Chelsea, NYC

When I read the bio of Chef/Partner Jamie Kenyon that the publicist sent me, I couldn't wait to dine at Bottino as their guest. I had learned that Chef Kenyon hails from Daniel, Bar Boulud, Manzo at Eataly, Perla, Lupa and La Sirina to name a few dining establishments where he left his mark. The night we arrived, sous chef Annabel Sharahy was at the helm of the kitchen. She stopped by the table to share the details of their newest menu. I began with a delicious cocktail, their spicy margarita made with jalapeño infused Patron tequila, Triple Sec and blood orange and lime juice ($15). Nice balance of flavors [...]

By |2020-01-04T10:01:31-05:00January 28th, 2020|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

A New Location For Pastis, Meat Packing, NYC

Pastis re-opened in the meat-packing district on Gansevoort Street a 2-minute walk from the Whitney Museum still serving traditional French fare. Other than the new location facing north instead of west, the new location feels just like the old. I stopped in one day recently with some Connecticut friends on a rainy day and ate outside under the heat lamps, which I highly recommend. Inside was way too noisy and overheated. I began with their slightly bitter and refreshingly "mon amer" cocktail ($16), replacing the gin with vodka and the splash of grapefruit with orange juice. It also contained Aperol, herbal bitter and come champagne. I'd recommend. Service was attentive. [...]

By |2019-12-15T07:10:35-05:00January 26th, 2020|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Bombay Eating at Gupshup, Flatiron-Grammercy, NYC + The Good Liar

I'd been reading about GupSup for months. I finally got there recently after seeing Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen in "The Good Liar," a fun movie with twists. We were seated upstairs, which was spacious and quiet enough to carry on a conversation without straining. Our meal with the house chutney & pickles ($10 for four). I suggest the ones that we chose — the gooseberry cilantro, heirloom tomato and fennel, smoked minced pineapple and ghost chili and garlic. A must with a choice of warm naan. We chose the garlic whole-grain variety ($8). Never having seen guacamole on and Indian restaurant, we had to try it. The avocado mixture [...]

By |2019-12-01T11:08:22-05:00January 6th, 2020|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Prix Fixe at Kings’ Carriage House, Upper East Side, NYC

My friend Lydia suggested the reasonably priced meal at the Carriage House on the Upper East Side. As I was heading to a doc appointment in the hood, I decided to stop by for lunch. Their prix fixe lunch menu of either the soup of the day or a baby green salad plus one of their entrees cost only $20.95. (Their website still says $18.95 for lunch.) How could I resist? There is an upcharge of $4 for some items including pan-seared salmon and grilled duck breast. Although in the mood for soup on the dreary day when I stopped by, I skipped the cream of cauliflower soup. Preferring to [...]

By |2020-01-04T10:05:46-05:00January 4th, 2020|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Farmer & The Fish, Gramercy-Flatirion, NYC + A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I admit I had a couple of tears drip down my face watching Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." I recommend this feel-good movie. After the movie, we celebrated my friend's birthday at Farmer & The Fish, a spacious Park-Avenue restaurant close to the movie theatre. For starters, we shared the odd grilled Japanese eggplant. Odd in that it was served chilled and with too much of the syrupy date sweetness drizzled over the thick slices of eggplant with candied cashews (Those were yummy!) and golden raisins made refreshing with mint ($14). My friend ordered the big eye tuna, cooked appropriately, quite rare with [...]

By |2019-11-27T13:27:45-05:00December 31st, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Shun Lee Cafe + Paul Taylor Celebrate the Dancemaker

The best thing about Shun Lee Cafe is its proximity to Lincoln Center where we had seen the amazing Paul Taylor dancers in "Celebrate the Dancemaker." We sat in the black and white checkerboard restaurant noticing the silver Chinese calendar images hanging from the ceiling. I looked forward to selecting my dim sum from the rolling cart that passed through the dining room. Since we arrived at about 9 pm after the performance, we had to order ours using a check-off paper menu instead ($9 each). The best were both the steamed shumai (3) and dumplings (4), both with wrappers chockful of shrimp. The two small spring rolls were crisp, [...]

By |2019-11-26T10:22:43-05:00December 19th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

AnTalia, a Mediterranean Turkish Restaurant, Theatre District + Underlying Chris.

AnTalia is a Mediterranean Turkish restaurant in the theatre district that was listed in the Second Stage Theatre subscriber handbook as a place offering a complimentary glass of wine with an entree. We stopped by before seeing "Underlying Chris," a world premiere play from Pulitzer Prize finalist Will Eno. The play is described as "a life-affirming and high-spirited look at how a person comes into their identity, and how sometimes its life’s tiniest moments that most profoundly change our lives." For a complete review of the show, click here. AnTalia offers a prix fixe $31.95 three-course dinner menu. Not wanting that much food, we each ordered the lamb shish kebab [...]

By |2019-11-09T11:27:33-05:00December 15th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Trying The New Chef Gotham Bar and Grill, Greenwich Village, NYC

Victoria Blamey is the new executive chef at Gotham Bar and Grill, replacing Alfred Portale, whose name had been synonymous with the restaurant for 34 years. (Portale's eponymous restaurant opened on 18th Street in November.) She had been at Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, Upland and most recently, Chumley's. I had to try the new chef's menu, as I loved the restaurant under Portale's helm and went for many special occasions. Would it be as good as it was? We started by sharing the overpriced ($27) ribbons of red beets and stracciatella cheese topped with a smidgen of preserved tomato and pickled celery. The seeded, chewy-crusted bread we asked for [...]

By |2019-11-19T11:13:21-05:00December 1st, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments