NYC Restaurant Reviews

//NYC Restaurant Reviews

Our New York City restaurant reviews

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. 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. 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), the four small snacks with a savory filling, were fine. The dish included one beef and one cheese empanada, [...]

By |2019-05-24T10:40:39-04:00June 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

A Trip to Morningside Heights to Dine at Elysian Fields Cafe

Elysian Fields Cafe, a rustic-modern restaurant near Columbia University, offers Mediterranean cuisine with lots of Greek specialties. A friend and I walked up there one weekend day to sample their fare, as their publicist had invited me. We shared a bottle of the light Greek wine, the Assyrtiko, Dougos Winery, Drama, Greece, 2017 with citrus and mineral overtones ($39) as we looked over the menu. As I generally do at Mediterranean restaurants, we started with a meze. Specifically, their selection of three spreads ($13.95) with pita bread: whipped feta with smoked jalapeño (tirokafteri),  hummus and the tzatziki, yogurt with cucumber, dill and garlic — our favorite. We added a full serving [...]

By |2019-05-08T17:03:04-04:00May 10th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

A Return to Norma Gastronomia Siciliana for Authentic Cooking

For authentic farmhouse-style Sicilian cooking, I head to Norma's, a small restaurant taking no reservations.  I met a wine colleague for lunch. In addition to a glass of Barone di Villagrande, Etna Rosso, 2016 ($16), we shared two items. I'd go back for the wonderful porchetta cabbuci ($19). It's a sandwich of roasted pork, arugula and provolone on a bread similar in thickness to pita, cooked in the wood-fired oven. Half was almost more than I could finish! That cabbuci would have been enough for me, but we had also ordered Norma's pasta con le Sarde a timballo ($22) — saffron-scented spaghetti with Portuguese sardines, wild fennel, raisins and pine nuts ($22) [...]

By |2019-05-12T08:53:51-04:00May 6th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|1 Comment

A Trip for Oaxacan Food at Claro, Gowanus, Brooklyn

The trip from Union Square to Gowanus, Brooklyn took 20 minutes as the subway gods were with us. We arrived at Claro restaurant so early, the gate was still down! Once we got in, we were down to business negotiating what to order. We hadn't a clue that the portions would be so humongous that the two of us — who are really good eaters — ending up sharing one of our four dishes with the table next to us and took half of another home. We would have been stuffed with one less dish. That said, I wouldn't know which one to have given up as they were all [...]

By |2019-05-12T08:55:30-04:00May 2nd, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Henry at the Life Hotel Brought Back to Life by J.J. Johnson

After hearing that J.J. Johnson was a semi-finalist for the James Beard Restaurant Best New York City award, I was looking forward even more to sampling his quasi-African cuisine at Henry at the Life Hotel in NoMad. Pete Wells (NYTimes), credits J.J. Johnson with bringing the small restaurant back from the dead. The chef's pan-African cuisine (a blend of the flavors of Africa, the Caribbean and the American South) is evident as you taste each dish.  We started with the shrimp and Portuguese sausage steamed dumplings in a curry sauce, garnished with a plantain chip ($16 for 4) and lamb kebabs ($18 for three) served skewered with housemade kimchi, za’atar [...]

By |2019-04-28T10:39:08-04:00April 28th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Whiskey Tasting at The Foundry at The Westin Times Square

I met a friend at the Foundry Bar for their Whiskey Wednesdays and to sample their new menu, as their guest. The publicist had shared that they'll be offering a complimentary taste of one whiskey each week through August. That night, David Bailey Jr was pouring (and representing) Jack Daniels, graciously answering any queries about the whiskey. We shared some bar food while I sipped my Jack. The beer-battered shrimp ($19 for 5) arrive over a savoy cabbage slaw, drizzled with remoulade.  The freshly made guacamole ($16) generally comes with only chips and salsa; we requested some veggies for dipping. They were quite accommodating. In addition, we received sample portions [...]

By |2019-03-25T08:45:10-04:00April 24th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Eléa for a Greek Brunch, Upper West Side

Like its sister restaurant Kyma in the Flatiron District, Eléa is an all-white coastal Greek looking restaurant with a hip downtown vibe. Eléa, which means “olive” in ancient Greek, opened for brunch earlier this year. When we arrived, the staff was quite friendly and helpful. Sadly, the service petered out once they took our order so much so we had no idea which person was ours!  I started with their Dirty Greek cocktail, their version of a bloody Mary with feta-stuffed kalamata olives in an oregano-and-salt rim. One friend ordered an Aperol Spritzer ($13, each).  The breakfast entrees were fine, nothing special. The friend who ordered the Loukaniko Omelet filled [...]

By |2019-04-19T12:13:14-04:00April 18th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

A Birthday Celebration at Simon and the Whale, Flatiron, NYC

My friend had been wanting to try Simon and The Whale, Gabriel Stulman's eclectic cooking restaurant since it had opened about a year ago. I got a reservation for us for her birthday. We selected a Mauro Veglio, Barolo, 2016 ($78), a rich wine crafted from 100% Nebbiolo with intense fruit and an aromatic bouquet. Our first two selections arrived together. Don't miss the cheese croquettes ($9/four) in a red pepper (pimenton) coulis. They are fried balls of pâte à choux dough mixed with lots of gouda so much that when fried, resulted in oozing cheese in the center. Delicious. The house cold-smoked sea trout ($16) comes tucked over a [...]

By |2019-04-20T20:51:33-04:00April 14th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

Il Punto, Almost Theatre District + Yiddish Fiddler

Before heading to the uptown version of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, I returned to Il Punto for a quick dinner. This Italian restaurant is a bit off the normal pre-theatre dining path as it's a couple blocks south of 42nd street on Ninth Avenue. I knew the food is good, the prices lower than other theatre area restaurants and that it would be a mere 5-minute walk to Stage 42. Their ziti comes tossed with oven roasted eggplant in a simple tomato sauce with a mountain of shredded mozzarella ($19); the red snapper ($28) arrived swimming in a tomato, olive and scallion wine sauce and served along with [...]

By |2019-04-20T20:54:40-04:00April 12th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

The Dining Room at the Met, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

My last visit to the Dining Room at the Met was last summer for a delicious brunch. This time I met a friend for lunch before taking a guided tour of the Islamic section. Although a Met member, my friend had not yet indulged in the food served in the dining room on the fourth floor accessed via the elevator in the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts galleries. Knowing that members can request special seating by the window with views of Central Park, we had done so. I indulged in the royal trumpet mushroom carpaccio with fennel, arugula, hazelnuts and parmesan from the John Fraser-curated menu exploring forest mushrooms. He's the chef from [...]

By |2019-04-20T09:01:16-04:00April 4th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments