Cocktail bar-crawl

1. Experimental Cocktail Club
1. Experimental Cocktail Club

1. Experimental Cocktail Club: run by the same owners than the club Rue St Sauveur in Paris or London, it is all about you what love from cocktail bars. Elegant, smart, crazy cocktails. The venue is small, and we were lucky to have a table a Saturday night but I would recommend making a reservation. Experimental is all about the presentation, and I love it!
Experimental Cocktail Club
191 Chrystie St
(between Delancey St & Rivington St)
New York, NY 10002

2. Employees Only
2. Employees Only

2. Employees OnlyYes you are right; a fortuneteller is in the front of the bar to make the show. Another bar in NYC where you feel like in the 1930s. It is like they all want to be speakeasy bars, even though only some of them are really hidden. The atmosphere is totally art deco and very stunning with all the bottles used as an ornament at the bar. Avoid Saturday night since it is so packed you cannot really move in the tiny standing area at the bar. Try the ‘Fraises Sauvages’ or the ‘Amelia’ cocktails; bartenders in their white period costume know their job.
Employees Only
510 Hudson St,
New York, NY

2. Donna
2. Donna

3. Donna: located in South Williamsburg, almost on the water, this bar is a mix of hipster/vintage in a great atmosphere. When you get there you just fell good. Have a sit at the bar in the middle of the room; you’ll get more space to watch what is going on. Go on Saturday night in March, they serve Brooklyn Tacos. Ok this is not Manhattan, but still.
27 Broadway
New York, NY 11249

4. Angel's Share
4. Angel’s Share

4. Angel’s share: Japanese speakeasy hidden in a Japanese restaurant in East Village. Go up the stairs and open the wooden door on your left. Welcome to an early 20th century bar with Japanese waiters wearing braces. Very tiny, you cannot make reservation so be there at 7 when they open.
Angel’s Share
Village Yokocho
8 Stuyvesant St
New York, NY 10003

The Cockail bar-crawlCocktail bar-crawl

5. The Raines Law Room
5. The Raines Law Room

5. The Raines Law Room: Is that really a speakeasy with the outdoor porch? Whatever, welcome to the Roaring 20s. Loved the comfy tiny spot. Go to the bar to the very end to order your cocktail and go back to your assigned table. The only downside is that out of the 3 cocktails, I would not recommend any of them. Or maybe for guys…

The Raines Law Room
48 W 17th St
(between 5th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas)
New York, NY 10011

6. Lillie's
6. Lillie’s

6. Lillie’s: when you are trying to escape the madness of Times Square, head to this Victorian Bar, you will be definitely out of the time. Stay at the bar and enjoy the late 1800s time.

249 W 49th St
(between Broadway & 8th Ave)
New York, NY 10019

7. The Campbell Apartment
7. The Campbell Apartment

7. The Campbell Apartment: Yes it is one of the hot spots where they filmed Gossip Girl, so this venue is even more exciting! And even more for those like me whose best afterwork meeting point is Grand Central, this place is great. You have to go through another restaurant to find this almost secret spot. Very dark and comfy, prices can be a bit crazy when you pay your glass of Sancerre $19. Another tip: DO NEVER ORDER FOOD. I know it is a bar, but the plastic American cheese and the frozen pizza are factors to make you run away.
The Campbell Apartment
15 Vanderbilt Ave
(between 42nd St & 43rd St)
New York, NY 10017

Photo courtesy of Pouring Ribbons
8. Pouring Ribbons

8. Pouring Ribbons: A new bar in EV. Remember the exact address otherwise you will pass it even without noticing the blue door. The bar is upstairs with a large window on the street. Like many bars I’ve been to in Manhattan (or the Violet Hour in Chicago), you are necessarily assigned to a table. You’d better go there not to meet new friends or you would be disappointed.
Pouring Ribbons
225 Avenue B Second Floor
New York, NY 10009

9. Trix
9. Trix

9. Trix: One of the great Williamsburg bar for people-watching without the pressure and prices of Manhattan. Try the Amelia.
145 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Photo courtesy of Milk & Honey
10. Milk and Honey

10. Milk & Honey: Manhattan is always about the latest bar that just opened. Last December everybody was whispering about the new Milk & Honey that opened in Gramercy, since the Lower East Side location was shut down. Wednesday, 9.30pm, we go confident with the confirmation email we got from Karla. Once again get the exact address, we could not even see the hidden grey door at the first sight. No member card requested anymore, welcome to the new speakeasy! It is pretty empty, Karla shows us our booth. Nonexistent decoration, art deco lights, the venue seems unfinished. Karla introduces us the concept: we tell her what we like, she asks us questions and offers us a choice of cocktails. This amazing experience and the quality of cocktails we had made us almost forget the “non-decoration” policy.
Milk & Honey
30 E 23rd St
New York, NY 10010

11. JBird
11. JBird

11. JBird: I would not say finally we have a good reason to go out uptown because I would lie, but at least we got a cocktail bar. The empty venue might be due to the fact it is Tuesday night, still I wish there was more people so I could have truly enjoyed this UES bar. Really easy cocktail menu when you are lost where you can choose between ‘Sours’, ‘Old-fashioned’, ‘Fizzes’, or ‘Aromatized’ cocktails.

339 E 75th St
New York, NY 10021



Macaron Day

photo (14)

Happy Macaron Day! Initiated by Pierre Hermé in Paris, it is a way to celebrate the first day of spring and supporting a good cause. Thanks to François Payard who brought this annual tradition since 2010, NYC is celebrating the day too with other pastries such as Epicerie Boulud or Bouchon Bakery. And if you want more than one macaron, a portion of the sales will be donated to City Harvest.

Free treats around NYC? Hopefully for once I have been working in the city and I am more than happy to enjoy what the city can offer for this gorgeous first day of spring. My first and only spot has been the head master of the day, FBP, François Payard Bakery in the Financial District. The passion fruit-chocolate ganache was delightful, even though it was less melting in the mouth than basic fruit macaron because of the chocolate that makes it more dense.

photo (15)

Otherwise, if on a regular day, you are craving for a macaron, since Pierre Hermé has not moved to NYC yet, the classic Ladurée is still a good option. Go for the lemon, raspberry or even the surprising black liquorice.

Vendôme Macarons, sold at Saks Fifth Avenue and at the Brooklyn Winter Flea Market has a tasty pistachio macaron. However, I would not recommend tasting the strawberry and champagne one since it tasted almost the cough syrup you had when you were a kid.

So stop feeling guilty because you are savoring for the good cause.

And if you ever go to Paris, since I had a macaron-crawl last summer, I would definitely recommend running to Pierre Hermé and getting his classic flavors. He was indisputably the winner.

FPB (François Payard Bakery)
210 Murray St
New York
(212) 566-8300

Betches Love This

Last Wednesday night was the release of the book « Nice is just a place in France » by Betches Love Thisa popular website run anonymously who chronicle what she loves or not since she’s the one who has everything figured out. I am still a bit confused about this website but I guess that night I felt like a ‘Betch’…

Two sisters (are they really anonymous?) had invited all their friends of the gilded youth to celebrate the launch party at The Jane in West Village. I guess this party was my first and last time at this hotel since my skirt was not tight and short enough and my heels way too boring.

Anyway the sisters hosted such a great party. [yellow tail] and Liquor 43 were largely poured at the bar, and chocolate covered pretzels (my favorite US candy) were all over the tables  before guests decided to turn them into a danse floor.

Great party? Ohh yes! A regret? Who stole my ‘Betches Love This’ glasses?

The Jane
113 Jane St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 924-6700


Urban food-crawl is all about getting the best of a single dish or area. My first crawl is dedicated to tacos. Since my first trip to California in March 2012, I’ve been obsessed with this Mexican dish. I would say even more with fish tacos. But the real ones, not those fake crispy tacos you can have at Taco Bell or any other bad Tex-Mex restaurant.

For my friends overseas, what is a good taco? Pork, chicken, shrimp, salmon or even lobster, onions, cilantro, salsa and avocado for the California version wrapped into a fresh homemade corn or flour tortilla. Since I am in NYC I’ve been tracking the best one. This is not California, I agree, but you can still find great options in the Big Apple.

1. Ofrenda
1. Ofrenda

1. Ofrenda:  great spot in West Village, the restaurant is trendy, awesome cocktails, authentic fish tacos made of tilapia baja style ($12 for 2). A go-to!
113 7th Ave S
New York, NY 10014
(212) 924-230


2. Empellon Cocina
2. Empellon Cocina

2. Empellon Cocina, East Village: a whole chapter should be dedicated to Empellon Cocina.  Acclaimed by the press to be one of the best new restaurants in town, I do agree. The tacos are really simple, maybe too much at the first sight with its sea scallops and caramelized cauliflower. A bit expensive ($16 for 2), but extremely tasty,  having sea scallops in a tacos does worth the price.

Empellon Cocina
105 1st Ave
Manhattan, NY 10003
(212) 780-0999

3. La Esquina
3. La Esquina

3. La Esquina, Nolita : go for lunch at the Café. The restaurant is actually way nicer than the outdoor area. Get the fish tacos, really tasty, with red cabbage that makes it taste different ($9 for 2). The corner Deli, a bit tacky, is one of the three restaurants at the same spot. Come by night, a hidden restaurant, La Brasserie, opens downstairs. Reservation 3 weeks ahead though…
La Esquina, Café
114 Kenmare,
New York, NY 10012
(646) 613-1333

4. Dokebi Bar & Grill
4. Dokebi Bar & Grill

4. Dokebi Bar & Grill, Williamsburg: If you are looking for a Korean BBQ place, head to Williamsburg. This restaurant has such good vibes, and the music playlist is so much better than any Korean joint you will ever find in the depressing Korean town. But the surprise is the Korean style tacos. Go for the fish taco, battered white fish, only $4 each, with plenty of other options.  It doesn’t look Korean at all, with its apparent brick wall, modern art wall and its red Vichy tablecloths. If you like kimchi and fish tacos you will love this nice fusion.
Dokebi Bar & Grill
199 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
718) 782-1424

The Taco-Crawl Map:

Taco-Crawl Map

5. Friedman's lunch
5. Friedman’s lunch

5. Friedman’s lunch, Chelsea. The Chelsea Market reminds me the Ferry Building in San Francisco. The food looks great everywhere, but because it is busy and indoor in the basement, you need to find a cozy place to sit. Friedman’s Lunch offers you the solution. Good quality of fish, plenty, grilled and not fried, with fresh vegetable and covered with a white sauce, the fish tacos is a really good value ($13 for 2)
Friedman’s Lunch at the Chelsea Market
75 9th Ave
New York, NY 10011
(212) 929-7100

6. Brooklyn Tacos
6. Brooklyn Tacos

6. Brooklyn Taco at Donna, South Williamsburg : As part of the Armory show, Donna, the hot cocktail spot in South Williamsburg is hosting Brooklyn Taco each Saturday of March. The venu is fantastic, the bar is relax and the decor elegant and beautiful. Grab a cocktail ($7 happy hour) and a cole-braised pork tacos ($4), promised you will enjoy your night!

Brooklyn Tacos at Donna
27 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(646) 568-6622

7. El Toro Blanco
7. El Toro Blanco

7. El Toro Blanco, West Village: I already talked about this new spot, go see the review here.




8. Pinche Taqueria
8. Pinche Taqueria

8. Pinche Taqueria, Nolita: Just like an authentic taqueria, you don’t want to spend to much time in there. Good just to grab a taco and leave. This place got pretty good reviews, but once again I got disappointed since I thought it was not tasty enough (despite the whole guacamole on the top). Tacos are really cheap though ($2.95-$3.95) and you probably feel closer to Mexico than places like El Toro Blanco.

Pinche Taqueria
227 Mott St
New York
(212) 625-0090

9. Takumi Tacos
9. Takumi Tacos

9. Takumi Taco, Street food: Featured at the Brooklyn Flea Market, Williamsburg Saving Banks, and soon returns at Smorgasburg on April 6th, Williamsburg, try these Japanese inspired tacos. I got my spicy tuna taco in a crispy gyoza shell. I would recommend the traditional corn tortilla since this version reminded me the taco bell commercial with its crispy taco.
Takumi Taco at the Brooklyn Flea Market
1 Hanson Place,
Brooklyn, NY

10. El Aguila
10. El Aguila

10. El Aguila: I live in Spanish Harlem, and oddly this is not the best area to get good tacos. Made with industrial tortillas, the meat is not really tender.  I would not recommend the trip, even though I am sure East Harlem has some good suprises…
El Aguila
137 E 116th St # 1
New York, NY 10029
(212) 410-2450

Recently added:
– Taco Mix: East Harlem taco joint
Toloache82: fancy Upper East Side Mexican restaurant
Tequila Park Taqueria:  taco-margarita garden

A Goldmine of Bordeaux Wines

IMG_6363On March 5th, Planet Bordeaux, the syndicate of Bordeaux Appellation, was featuring an event called “A Goldmine of Bordeaux Wine” at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC.

20 importers and producers were part of the event; more than 60 wines were featured. The aim of the event was to bring the most affordable and accessible wines from France’s most famous wine producing region. Since the US has become the world’s largest wine-consuming nation for the first time in 2011 (even though it is 5 times bigger than France), there is a real opportunity for our wines to increase exportations.


We know that French wines and everything France related is appealing to the American consumers. However, there are two challenges for French wine, which is the basic consumer challenge, as they do not understand it and is not necessarily appealing to him because of the lack of differentiation. It is then also a distribution challenge created by producers themselves. Retailers have stopped importing top wines in the States as they will not be bought by the consumer who does not know about it.


However, I don’t know if it is because of the 4 wine tastings organized in Manhattan on the same day, the bright sun, or the disappointing French style cheese and charcuterie buffet that cost the event a small number of participants.

Like every tastings, people just walk around the room with their glasses, talking to producers. However, some of them did complain since they could only feature their wines from any other appellation than AOC Bordeaux and AOC Bordeaux Superieur. It could have been one of the reasons of the poor involvement.


The funniest part of the event was the Master Class led by Kevin Zraly. The guy was hilarious, trying to teach us how to taste and appreciate affordable 2009-2010 Bordeaux. I would have appreciated a bigger discussion about tasting notes. 10 wines tasted later, I leave the event with a great wine list for my dinners to come.

Clinton St. Baking


You probably don’t understand why New Yorkers are ready to do the line for 2 hours to eat but sometimes you just pass the door and you get it. Clinton St. Bakery opens at 9am on weekends. We got there at 9.02, the restaurant was already full and the waitress was putting your name on the iList. Minimum 45 minutes wait for a party of 2…that early…


But you will notice soon that Clinton St. Bakery cares about their customers. Slices of warm pancakes and small biscuits are served to people waiting.

I am eating my usual eggs benedict-weekend-brunch. The scallion and red bell peppers added change the usual taste. The biscuit is fantastic and remind me the soul food I used to eat last year in North Carolina. I can even claim these are the best egg benedicts I have had in NY.


However, people make the trip especially for pancakes. Eat them and you will get soon why people can be crazy about food. February was #pancakemonth, with special pancakes served during weekdays so you can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are fluffy, huge, and the blueberry on the top are just sweet enough. Just check the picture to understand how good it is, and run there (before 8.30am though!).

Clinton St. Baking
4 Clinton St,
New York, 10002
(646) 602-6263