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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Weekly NYC Blog Post - 7.25.2013

So I know it's been almost a month since the last "weekly" NYC blog post but hey I've been traveling.  Hopefully you've been enjoying the posts from my trips.  Today's restaurants and bars are a bit all over the place from West Village to Brooklyn and from fancy feasts to late night diners.


The Counting Room
Post birthday celebration, we ended up here LATE at night and my face somehow ran into the Nutella sandwich.  My face liked it.  I've since been back and the grilled sandwiches are just ALL good.  Love this place.  And it's a cool looking location with good beer.  Love love love.

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Wythe Hotel Rooftop
Beautiful views of Manhattan abound from the top of the Wythe Hotel.  I haven't had a problem getting up to the rooftop bar the couple times I've been but we also go at random times so not sure if you might run into a problem during "bar rush hour."  It definitely gets pretty crowded up there and can get cold!  Lots of room if it's nice out though.  My favorite part is that the drinks are really good (although expensive) but it's not too pretentious.  And you can wear whatever you please... dress up or down cuz this is classy Brooklyn kids.  I'll  be back.

Photo Credit: Wythe Website

5 Leaves
I've heard a lot about this place but never managed to eat there because they don't take reservations and I always end up in Brooklyn during major meal time with a ton of people on a Saturday night.  So never had any luck.  Then I end up being out in Brooklyn on a Wed night late and realize PERFECT let's eat here!  The meal was pretty good although sadly not up to the expectations that had been set for me by friends who have eaten here.  The bacon wrapped dates were really sweet and the mustard just seemed kind of standard.  The Shepherd's Pie was rich as expected but pretty good.  It was a filling meal but I wasn't that impressed.

Photo Credit: 5 Leaves Website



I was lured here by my old boss (I'd never heard of this restaurant even though it's three streets from me) on the understanding that the Brindle burger has been written up as being in the same league as the Minetta Tavern burger.  That's such a bold claim that I had to try it.  We started off with the chicken wings which were juicy and huge and the crispy pork belly which was just a lot of lettuce and burnt pork.  Then came the burger which was good, don't get me wrong, but nothing in comparison to Minetta.  Cute restaurant but not sure I need to go back.

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Now this is a place I'd been dying to try! So when my friend was looking for something fun for her birthday dinner I immediately pounced.  The whole concept is that they have three "feasts" to choose from - veggie, meat and seafood.  You HAVE to get at least two of each feast as a group.  So we ordered three veggie and three meat.  The second part of the gimmick is ALL your food comes out at once with each plate holding one bite for each person.  So for example, a steak dish (from the meat feast menu) would have three bite size pieces because three of us did the meat feast. 

The food was good but nothing was memorable.  I don't know if that's because it just wasn't unique or because everything came out at once so it was hard to keep track of what I liked/disliked.  Overall it was a fun experience but at the end of the day insert "tasting menu" for "feast" and it's the exact same thing.  The restaurant itself is gorgeous though.  Whoever designed it did a beautiful job.

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Flea Market Bistro
Ugh, I hate to write a so-so review about this place since the owner is such a nice guy but I have to say yet another of the Ten Degrees franchise of restaurant/bars that I just wasn't super impressed with.  The Eggs Hemingway were pretty good but the muffin was soggy.  The home fries were yummy though.  The burger was fine but nothing terribly special.  I do LOVE the place though.  The wall on the street side was wide open so we could enjoy the lovely day outside and the wait staff was super attentive.  I feel like this group is SO close to really making it, they just need a little something special to make them stand out.

Photo Credit: Flea Market Website


Mighty Quinn
Finally an awesome BBQ place in the East Village so I don't have to go all the way to Fette Sau in Brooklyn!  They've got pulled pork, beef brisket, pork ribs, etc.  All delicious on their own or with the housemade sauces.  Oh and they sprinkle sea salt on the beef ribs which makes them even better.  Totally a man lunch.  Go here with the bros... or go to look at bros.  Either way I'll be back.

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Stopped by this small spot with some girlfriends on a weekday night because ramen just sounded sooo good.  They only have a couple options and it's cash only but the wait staff is super sweet, the ramen was large and hot and packed with meat and eggs and noodles.  It was exactly what I wanted and I'm a total ramen snob.  This place is definitely making the neighborhood love list.

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This little restaurant is right across the street from me and looks so unassuming but turns out they have great food and "Watermelon Dranks."  Yes, that is spelled correctly... they are watermelon cocktails that we insisted on getting in a pitcher (even though it doesn't come that way) and they are refreshing and very alcoholic.  YUM!  We shared a bunch of different dishes.  The sliders were standouts to me.  I'll definitely be back.  Great neighborhood vibe for a fun date or night out with the girls.

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Katz Delicatessen 
Everyone who has been to New York has probably heard of Katz.  It's crazy famous.  I've walked past it a million times but I feel like you have to be in a "deli" mood to go in which I rarely am.  But late night after dancing the night after for my friend's birthday, all she could think about was a Reuben.  So low and behold I got my opportunity to try out the infamous deli.  We ordered the Reuben to split and a plate of pickles which the birthday girl promptly at ALL of... she tried to fork me when I went for one of the pickles!  The sandwich and pickles were fantastic... not that I'd wait in a three hour line for it but it was damn good. 

One thing to note though is that it's traditionally a cash only place.  But if all you have is a card, and it's late, and you're drunk you can nicely convince the guy at the very end of the counter to let you pay with a card.  Just don't lose your slip of paper EVEN if you didn't order anything on it because you need it in order to leave.  Just some things to think about.  Enjoy!

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There was a Yelp Elite event at Manon that I attended.  The drinks were pretty terrible but the venue was super cool.  I would suggest going there just to see it... assuming on a regular night there isn't a line or something.  It's three stories and the top story is a restaurant.  The menu looks pretty solid so that might be a good reason to try it out too.  No need for me to go back but worth a one time stop I think.  I also question if the drinks were just bad because they were servicing SO many people at once since it was an event.  Who knows if the bartenders had a little more time... maybe they'd whip up something better.



Gilligan's at the Soho Grand Hotel
I LOVE THIS PLACE.  How have I never heard of it or been there????  Built along the side of the Soho Grand, Gilligan's is a little respite from the busy streets of NYC.  It transports you to an idyllic island community complete with pitchers of fruity drinks, people dressed in flowy white outfits and plush couches to sit on.  Living the good life.  I'll be back... hopefully tomorrow.