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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Weekly NYC Blog Post - 6.13.2012


French Roast
My friend said this was the late night highlight of most of her weekends and it was late night on a Sunday so we tracked this place down to give it a try.  We ordered the mac n' cheese, the French onion soup and the asparagus ravioli with cherry tomato, asparagus and parmesan.  None were particularly good.  I also wasn't that inebriated so maybe that's a requirement?  I also felt like it was REALLY expensive for what you got!  Checking this off the list for good.

Photo Credit: French Roast Website

The more I go here the more I like this place.  It is RIGHT down the street from me so extra points for convenience and it's not very expensive which is additional points.  Just a great place to watch sports, be fratty, and drink pitchers of beer.  There is never a line yet it always feels full and they have hockey which is not always a given.  I like the attitude there although the line for the bathroom gets a little annoying.  Secret loophole is to go to the bar next door which is miserable and no one goes to.  Hopefully they don't notice you do it :-)

Photo Credit: Snap Website


Went here for my friend's quiet birthday dinner and decided to splurge on the tasting menu and a $200 bottle of amarone which was INCREDIBLE.  I think our waiter was impressed.  The restaurant itself is dark, red and very romantic.  Great date spot!

 Photo Credit: Hearth Website

First up on the tasting menu was fava bean salad with spring onion, pecorino toscano and parsley.  Not quite enough toast to go with all the beans but the olive oil they were doused in was so flavorful. 


Next was the porcini trifolati with ricotta sformato, gremolata and grana padano.  I HATE mushrooms which is pretty much what this dish was but as always I insist on at least trying it.  Turns out it was delicious.  The mushrooms were crispy and covered in herbs and the cheese added another layer of texture so I actually ended up thinking it was pretty good.

The olive oil poached swordfish with freekah, pickled ramps, snap peas and trout roe with not quite flakey enough but the sauce was great.  I do like my fish drier than most people though so it could've just been me.

The pappardelle with pork ragu, rosemary, peas and ricotta was obviously a huge hit with me considering this is one of my all-time favorite dishes.  The pasta was very fresh, there was plenty of ragu which is a major plus and the ricotta was soft and sweet.

Next up was the Colorado lamb with roasted lamb, spiced-smoked rib, merguez sausage, peas, carrots and cilantro which was very good but not spectacular.  Too much "extra" not enough meat.

Our first dessert dish was poached rhubarb with rhubarb soup, frozen yogurt and pistachio which was a little too much on the rhubard (the soup was kind of weird) but the yogurt was refreshing.  A for effort though!

This raspberry bomboloni was the BOMB-oloni (sorry had to do it).  It was so soft and melty and sugary.  A delicious end to a lovely dinner.  I left the restaurant feeling VERY content.

Pomme Frites
Another one that's been on my list but it's just a French fry place so I've never had an excuse to go.  Finally happened to be in the area when I was in need of a snack.  When you walk in you order a size of fries (the smallest one is a lot even for two people FYI) and can then taste-test a bunch of different sauces.  My favorite was the curry ketchup.

Wine Bar
They sure snagged a popular name for a bar!  This place was adorable.  It's right at 2nd and 4th in the East Village and we were able to walk right up and snag an outdoor table where we sat and drank $36 bottles of great wine and people-watched.  Such a relaxing evening!  The waiter let me try multiple wines before selecting one that he had recommended.  Also when our third friend appeared he made a huge effort to find them a chair.  Love this place - would definitely go back.  The interior also looked really cute.  Great place for a casual Friday with friends or a laidback date.

Photo Credit: Wine Bar Website


Prudential Center
Every mother needs to brag a little so I have to start this with "GO KINGS!"  My beloved L.A. Kings finally made it to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993 and were playing the New Jersey Devils so I clearly had to go to a game.  Below are photos from the Prudential Center for Game Two of the series.  I splurged on seats obviously - Section 6, Row 10, Seats 12-13 which are on the left side of the section.


Stanton Social
I've heard rave reviews about this place and never manage to go so when I heard some friends were gathering there for brunch I jumped on board.  It's tapas style so we had an assortment of things.  The boys were starving so I didn't manage to get photos of everything.   Below are photos of the ricotta fritters with raspberry jelly which were buttery soft, sweet and delicious (very rich) and the breakfast bruschetta with soft scrambled eggs, ovendried tomatoes and asiago.  The bread was a little soggy and it could've used more cheese/tomato but overall was very good.

We also had the Stanton Social sliders with double smoked bacon, egg and cheese on a buttermilk biscuit which wasn't very good.  A little too McDonalds for my taste.  The croque monsieur 'satays' with mini brioche, country ham, gruyere and muenster were good although really rich.  Lastly the blueberry buttermilk mini muffins were very good and very small.  Watching the boys eat them was kind of hilarious.

Overall I'd have to say that I was somewhat disappointed after hearing such great things.  Maybe I ordered the wrong stuff or went in with expectations that were too high?  I don't know.  I can say that their bloody mary is terrible and their other drinks aren't much better.  I opted for a Brooklyn Lager because even their beer selection left something to be desired.  It's too bad because the waitress was nice and the restaurant is very cool looking but no need to go back.

Photo Credit: Stanton Social Website

Sweet n Vicious
Back again because I LOVE this place.  And who knew that the best part about it I hadn't even yet uncovered!  MARGARITAS!  No joke the margaritas here are amazing.  Very alcoholic yet you can't taste a thing.  Not too lemon-limey and all blended together with the ice to ensure it's freezing cold delicious.  Only problem is trying to pace yourself when you are drinking this out on their awesome patio!


So I have a major propensity (it's my word of the week) for people in costume so when we were wandering in the direction of the West Village we ran into this crew of characters and followed them to Gazzetta in Meatpacking.  The best part?  They ordered rose!  Hilarious.  The place seemed pretty cool with outdoor seating and delicious looking food so I may need to hit this place up at some point!

Photo Credit: Gazzetta Website


I went to A.O.C for drinks having heard that the food isn't that spectacular.  Our goal was to find somewhere nice in the West Village where we could sit outside without eating.  Fedora was the original destination but it was stuffy and crowded on a really hot day.  We wandered around and then passed this place and saw that they had an open-door wooden patio with a small bar that had four stools.  So we decided that was perfect and enjoyed a couple glasses of rose with a view of the back patio.  Another great place for a date or for an Italian-inspired evening with friends.

 Photo Credit: AOC Website

Bleecker Heights Tavern
Not that I don't love Village Tavern with all my heart but I needed a break this week and this place had been suggested to me for hockey games (can you tell it's ruling my life right now?).  For those that are too lazy to figure it out you have to go INSIDE Five Guys and walk to the back and walk up the stairs to get to this "speakeasy" bar.  Not a speakeasy AT ALL - much more standard dive bar.  Simple beers on tap, small crowd, intimate setting, dark.  I liked it.  I'm actually going back there today.

Photo Credit: Bleecker Heights Tavern Website

Blue Ribbon Bakery
For those loyal readers you'll remember that I first went to Blue Ribbon Bakery on New Year's Day for brunch.  Big night so the food tasted good but a little bit like dried cardboard.  So I was excited to try it out again with a clear, clean palate.  I ordered the French toast deluxe (because you have to - why get it if you don't go all the way?).  I'm pretty sure they douse this in crack not powdered sugar because I couldn't stop eating it.  Multiple friends started tasting it and they couldn't stop eating it.  Magically delicious.  And they have good bloody marys.  And the waiter was sassy in a good way with a nice tie - all high marks - highly recommend.

Fat Cat
So we went to meet up with friends at this place and when you first arrive you walk down a flight of stairs and pay a $5 cover for the music.  I FULLY anticipated this would be a tiny, dark, eight booth jazz bar with fancy drinks.  Maybe it's the name that made me think that.  So when I turned the corner and saw a massive underground basement filled with every type of bar game there is I was SO surprised.  It looked like a guy's dream bar.  We didn't stay for long but they did have PBRs which I noticed before I left!  I'll have to check this place out again.

Photo Credit:

This place piqued my interest on another one of those days when I was trying to get into Red Farm.  It looked really cute and smelled amazing so when my cousin was in town on town we decided to hit it up.  We started with the antipasti platter which had artichokes, peppers, etc.  It was delicious.  Then we had the Goat Cheese pizza which was SO good.  I haven't had this good of pizza in awhile (not counting the deep fried pizza in the LES).  I'm in big trouble now that I know about this place and it's so close.  They also had a reasonable craft beer and wine selection and outdoor seating without a wait.  Will definitely be back.

Photo Credit: Slice Website


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