the pumpkin crawl

L’automne est définitivement présent, les arbres ont encore quelques feuilles orangées à leurs branches, d’autres jonchent depuis quelques semaines le sol trop souvent humide. Les champignons envahissent les étales des primeurs et quelques cucurbitacées décorent mon appartement. Je ne suis pas encore retombée dans ma folie américaine ou je m’étais lancée le défi de manger de la courge tous les jours du mois d’octobre dernier. Mais je reste passionnée par ce légume. Lire la suite de « the pumpkin crawl »

Publicités

The fig crawl – Douces recettes à la figue

La saison des figues est très courte, mais elle annonce l’automne et toutes ses douceurs. J’avais trouvé des figues au marché, sans vraiment savoir comment les utiliser à part réaliser le classique melon-jambondeparme-figue-porto. J’ai un peu surfé sur le web, et j’ai découvert de nombreuses recettes, notamment celle de cette tarte aux figues dont je me suis inspirée. Encore faut-il que je maîtrise la pâte sablée.
Je vous propose donc une recette salée et une sucrée pour vos dîners d’automne. Lire la suite de « The fig crawl – Douces recettes à la figue »

The Brunch-Crawl

Brunch in NYC is a very big thing. It is all about getting together after a Saturday night party, people watching and drinking again. New Yorkers have the habit to keep drinking on Sunday mornings, mimosas or blody-marys, a trend that none of my French friends was able to follow. Brunch menus look like each other in the city. Since the kale, this green cabage is trendy, it is on every brunch menus, like Brussel sprouts, which is another thing French people cannot bear, synonymous of the cafeteria in middle school. However, like any other trend, it might hit France in a couple of years (months?) and you will see soon our “bobos” eat those veggies reinvented for the French palate.

Capture d’écran 2013-06-07 à 21.44.57

The NoMad
The NoMad

The NoMad hotel: If you want to impress your parents or a date, the restaurant in this hotel is the perfect spot. Divided into different areas, you can have brunch in the atrium, or by the fireplace or the parlour… Read more

 

 

Le Philosophe
Le Philosophe

Le Philosophe: Another French restaurant that opened a couple of months ago in NoHo. And the NYC food scene created a buzz about this place. What is so fantastic about this place… Read more

 

 

Raspberry tarte
Raspberry tarte

Eric Kayser: It is a bit the war between Uptown and Downtown people, but some of them are almost crying Eric Kayser takes so much time to open its second location at Gramercy… Read more

 

 

Reynard
Reynard

Reynard: Some places decide to change their name to refresh their image. Last August, Tarlow decided to officially change the name of “Reynards”to… “Reynard”. Since I first came to NY in August 2012… Read more

 

 

Coq-au-vin
Maison Harlem

Maison Harlem: Harlem is more and more having nice restaurants opening. Maison Harlem is one of them. Located in the very quiet West Harlem, this French restaurant is a nice place for brunch once you are done with the traditional Gospel church… Read more

 

The Dutch, Soho
The Dutch, Soho

The Dutch: American Soho restaurant own by the same team than the new Lafayette. The venue is bright, with the same snobby atmosphere you find in these trendy Manhattan spots I talked about in earlier posts… Read more

 

 

Parmesan french toast
L’Apicio

L’Apicio: I usually do not go to Italian restaurant for brunch because what is the point of eating eggs when you can have carbonara? However, since we could get a reservation we ended at L’Apicio… Read more

 

 

Clinton St. Baking
Clinton St. Baking

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… Read more

 

 

Hundred Acres
Hundred Acres

Hundred Acres: Thanks to Open Table, I hopefully skip the 45 minute line to get the precious table. One of the waitress sulks, I don’t care she is not in charge of our table. Some hipsters at the bar, mostly preppies in the venue… Read more

 

August
August

August is a tiny spot in West Village. If offers only a few tables on the front and the surprise comes when you can be seated in the courtyard since it is covered and open all day long. It is really calm so having brunch on weekends… Read more

 

 

Jojo
Jojo

Jojo: one of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurants (Chef at ABC Kitchen) in the UES. We go for the $28 three-course brunch with appetizer/entrée/desert, but without the traditional egg benedict or pancakes… Read more

 

 

Café B
Café B

B Café: this traditional Belgium bistro offers excellent dishes like the mussels, the egg benedict with smoked salmon served on English muffins. Try the Egg sandwich, it looks really simple but the combo of fresh baguette, scrambled eggs, avocado and ‘Belgium’ fries is fantastic.

 

 

Alice Tea Cup
Alice Tea Cup

Alice Tea Cup: This UES tea place was my #1 brunch spot for a while. The décor is a bit too kitchy, especially when you are not having tea time with your mother. I came in fall so they had pumpkin scones, which is probably part of the reason why I came so often. The scones are fluffy and look and taste like more an English scone. The egg benedicts are very well one, served with smoked salmon and a buttermilk scone. But the funniest and more typical to order is the afternoon tea presented on a three-tiered stand with scones, sandwiches, desserts, and tea (with a large selection of course). It’s like being in London.

Café d'Alsace
Café d’Alsace

Café d’Alsace: this other UES café is a great neighborhood restaurant. It has an outdoor place that makes you feel being in France. They have classic from American egg benedicts to the traditional Quiche Lorraine.

 

Jane
Jane

Jane: It is not the Jane Hotel, but it is at least as pretentious as the hotel. Try to book a table ahead on Open Table or the snobby waiters will enjoy having you wait for a long time. Once you pass this first welcome at least you can enjoy the meal. Because they have great crab cake egg benedict.

The Pizza Crawl

It seems that the best food from every country has met in NYC. And pizza is not an exception. Skip the $1 slice-pizza and all the greasy declinations around Time Square. Unfortunately you can also skip Little Italy that is day after day eaten by Chinatown and offers only two very good Italian delis besides touristic restaurants. The city offers excellent options of the Neapolitan style pizza. Here is the map.

Capture d’écran 2013-07-16 à 00.16.55

IMG_5815

Roberta’s: my favorite pizza ever, the trip to Bushwick definitely worth it. Here is the full review.

 

 

 

keste

Keste Pizza &Vino: Bleeker Street is the street I whish I could have lived in. Italian waiters welcome you in this small spot and serve you excellent thin pizza with a great selection of toppings and wines. What else?

 

Keste Pizza & Vino
271 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 243-1500

motorino_logoMotorino: they recently opened another location in Brooklyn but I only tried the restaurant in East Village. The atmosphere and decoration seemed a bit cold to me, maybe because I went late in the night. I slightly prefer the dough of Keste but they are very similar to me.
Motorino
349 E 12th St,
New York, NY 10003
(212) 777-2644

forcellaForcella: this big restaurant in Bowery was empty on a Tuesday night, which is sad for such a nice place. Italian waiters welcome you as well; service was #1 in this restaurant. They obviously made me try different wines so I could choose my favorite one. However, they had an issue with the temperature of the pizza. The margarita was served cold in the middle, but they generously made us another one. The white pizza was excellent, but not that hot neither, which is strange since they have a wooden-oven. To apology, they offered us another glass of wine, excellent technique since it made us forget the cool pizza. Not sure the same thing could have happened in France…


Forcella
334 Bowery,
New York, NY 10012
(212) 466-3300

ovestOvest Pizzoteca e Bar: located right in front of the Hotel Americano in Chelsea, this pizzeria offers the aperitivo like in Italy with a choice of appetizer when you order a drink. I came too late to try it but I would love to get some reviews about it. Otherwise they have very decent pizza in a young atmosphere. Try the pizza with arugula on the top, my favorite one.

Ovest Pizzoteca e Bar
513 W 27th St #2,
New York, NY 10001
(212) 967-4392

National Lobster Day

America always finds a great excuse to celebrate. While everything starts turning into the colors of the US flag, each day has its national celebration.The East Coast has some local specialties, and the lobster from Maine is one of them. It is a lot easier and cheaper than in France to eat lobster. Order it, they cook it, prepare it, just eat it! One of the local think that actually just hit Paris is the lobster roll. What is it? Lot of lobster meat served hot with melted butter or cold with mayo on a roll (yes the same bread than the one for hot dogs…).

Last Saturday was National Lobster Day and what a better place than the Hamptons to enjoy this day? Montauk is the eastern village on Long Island and we stopped by St Peter’s Catch, a seafod market that has outdoor sitting apart of the road. You can get fish tacos, lobster rolls or fries and salads. However, the best deal was the lobster lunch special made of a full lobster with its butter sauce, mussels, corn, coleslaw and fried potatoes…for $21.
St Peter’s Catch
58 S Erie Ave
Montauk, NY 11954
(631) 668-7100
IMG_0617Even though you will never find the quality and quantity of the lobster roll at Neptune, Boston, two places caught my attention in the city.
Neptune
63 Salem St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 742-3474

Lobster Joint opened last fall in the LES. As the name says it, it is a joint, but that offers nice options and even has an alcohol license. The lobster roll is served hot with its salad and pickles. It tastes good and is bigger than the Red Hook Lobster Pound. And if you want to try really good fish tacos, head there on Tuesdays where they have the special. This place is rarely packed and should be known since it is a great joint.
Lobster Joint
201 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002
(646) 896-1110

IMG_0913Luke’s Lobster has several joints in the city. The portion is not big but it tastes really good.
Luke’s Lobster
93E 7th Street
New York, NY 10009
(212) 387-8587

 

 

And finally if you are not scared to make a mess, go to The Lobster Place in Chelsea Market. Recently renovated, you can order your size of lobster and eat it directly in the market. And it is so good. They also offer lobster rolls but they are not as great as the two other options above. And it is served with chips, not fries.
Lobster Place in the Chelsea Market
75 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
(212) 255-5672

L’Apicio

I usually do not go to Italian restaurant for brunch because what is the point of eating eggs when you can have carbonara? However, since we could get a reservation we ended at L’Apicio. There is a small outdoor space but the décor inside is so outstanding I would not recommend to stay outside. The restaurant has different areas, comfy couches for a drink, a bar to get a cocktail experience, a wine room that made me think they must have a great wine list.

The brunch menu is pretty small but offers from italo-americano dishes like pancakes with ricotta to Italian pasta like the carbonara. The parmesan French toast served with prosciutto and egg is pretty and tasty. The toast is crunchy on the side and melts in the middle, which ads a lot of value to this dish. If you are craving for a side, try the Tuscany fries served with their cold spicy dip.

Another excellent Italian restaurant in Manhattan despite the non-fresh squeezed orange juice…

L’Apicio
13 East 1st St
New York, NY 10003
212-533-7400

The NoMad Hotel

If you want to impress your parents or a date, the restaurant in this hotel is the perfect spot. Divided into different areas, you can have brunch in the atrium, or by the fireplace or the parlour, or just having a drink at the bar waiting for the library to open later. Try not to be in the highway that are tables for two, but I would strongly recommend the living room for a quiet, comfy brunch.

Otherwise, the food is delicious and if you think you can’t have a chicken sandwich for brunch you are wrong. It is not exactly like the same preparation than the $79 chicken for two served for dinner. The roasted chicken stuffed with black truffle and foie gras is served in a brioche, and the smell of the truffle is so intense the waiting time to take the picture was really tough.

If you go classic for the crabmeat egg benedict, you will get the finest you can have in the city, served with crabmeat. Yes, they were damn good. Yes it is my favorite brunch spot in the city. Yes, you definitely have to go. Period.

The NoMad Hotel
1170 Broadway
New York, NY 10001
(212) 796-1500

Eric Kayser

It is a bit the war between Uptown and Downtown people, but some of them are almost crying that Eric Kayser takes so much time to open its second location at Gramercy. So in the meantime let’s say you have a good excuse to come to the “suburb” and visit a museum between the brunch and the “goûter” to try everything my Parisian bakery has to offer to New Yorkers.

IMG_0573

They serve breakfast, lunch, brunch, snacks and dinner so you have plenty of options, mostly offered all day. When I came for the opening, the quiche lorraine was several inches high, which I love. But a couple of weeks later it was thin like most of the quiches found here. I am not sure if they realized the American palate preferred this version or if the cost was too high but I would recommend them to go back to the first one. It is not really the season anymore but the foie gras is at least not this duck mousse but has the same consistence that the French one and tastes as good. And bonus every meal is served with a bunch of bread, including my favorite turmeric-hazelnut bread.

Ask for a tea or coffee, they serve it with their adorable mini-financier, but you can also order the full size pistachio one that is to die for.

My favorite desserts on earth are tartes… and Eric Kayser has everything I could dream about. Just watch them and you will understand why French chefs master the art of pastry. It is almost the only time I had real shortcrust pastry covered with either the raspberries or the a creamy, rich chocolate ganache and not this frozen dough bought in grocery stores that almost every pastry has when it comes to pies.

And do not leave the place without your old-style baguette that will keep fresh longer than one day. Trust me, it tastes exactly like the Kayser bakery in France.

Eric Kayser
1294 3rd Ave 74th St
New York, NY 10021
212-7444-3100

Madison Square Eats

This is the last week of the Mad. Sq. Eats that ends on May 31st. Head to this pop-up market open daily from 11am to 9pm. For once skip the line at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park and eat the best of the local food. 30 of the best and most popular NYC vendors offer their best food to new Yorkers for less than a month. Unfortunately I could not taste everything but I tried to make you a great selection.

Roberta’s: Just like the restaurant, but this time the Bushwick team comes to Manhattan with a selection of their best pizza. For $9, you have a smaller pizza than the original one, great to share for appetizer or just for one. The pizza is ready in 4 minutes, which means they must have pre-cooked the dough, but no-worries, they brought the brick oven and the Famous Original is almost as good as the one in Bk. For the full review of Roberta’s, click here.

Mexicue: this was probably one of my favourite food stands. The pulled pork sandwich is served on a bun with pickles and a spicy sauce that make the sandwich terrific! The mac-n-cheese is creamy with green chili that perfectly matches the cheese.

 

Arancini Bros.: Yes you are probably familiar with those fried rice balls that come from Sicily. It is easy to get too fat or tasteless ones. With their balls, they reached the perfect combination. The traditional ragu arancino will be a perfect start.

Red Hook Lobster Pound: I have been fascinated by lobster rolls since my trip to Boston where I had the best lobster roll at Neptune and I haven’t been able to find as good in NYC. Lobster, warm bitter in a roll has started being the new almost trendy combination in Paris. This lobster roll is not bad, it is just not my favourite one.

Sunday Gravy: slow braise of beef and pork, sausage and meatballs, simmered with plum tomatoes, garlic and basil. This ragu pasta looked absolutely delicious, and smelt really good. The flavour was just not as intense as I was expecting.

Dreamscoops: try the affogato for dessert. This shop serves your choice of ice cream in a cup topped with a shot of espresso made by the shop next door Third Rail Coffee. You get the sweet of the ice cream, the bitter of the coffee and a great coffee shake with it’s melted.

Cinco de Mayo

I might be obsessed with some elements and as you probably may have noticed,  tacos are part of it. So when Cinco de Mayo happened, I realized it was another good excuse to have a taco crawl all day. My run in Central Park North in the morning reminded me (just in case I had forgotten) I am actually living in Spanish Harlem, and for once I was pretty happy to hang out in my neighborhood. National Mexican music screaming in the colorful streets, Harlem is great to get coconut ice cream for $1 and huge fresh squeezed orange juice for half the price of the rest of Manhattan.

IMG_6810

Unfortunately, East Harlem is not known to have the best Mexican food in town. Is it because it is mainly made up of Puerto Ricans? I decide to head to the only decent place recommended by most of the guides and foodies: Taco Mix, located on 116th st and 3rd avenue. The line is long, way too long, since we have to wait 30’ to get the precious taco Al Pastor. The pork is sliced to order off a rotating spit and covered with a pineapple that is probably giving only the juice to the meat. No cube of fruit, they are just covered with the traditional cilantro-raw onions mix. If you want to try the traditional Mexican taco, Taco Mix is the place to go.

Toloache 82 is a lot fancier, located in Yorkville. It seems you cannot go wrong with the menu. The guacamole is one of the best I had, the quesadillas are definitely looking original and the black truffle on one of them is really savory even though they won’t feed you. The fish taco is generous, baja-style tilapia with spicy-jicama slaw (Mexican coleslaw-style), topped with guacamole. I would not rate them favorite fish taco but they really worth it (click here for the taco-crawl). Anyway the restaurant offers one of the best Mexican foods in the city, so I would recommend to spend you next dinner out there.

For your upcoming Margarita night, head to Tequilla Park Taqueria. Located on the second floor of the Hudson Lodge, the huge taco-margarita garden is great to hang out, watch people or play the babyfoot. Watch out because your night will cost you a lot with the $16 margarita and the $8 baby-tacos.

Taco Mix
234 E 116th St # 1,
New York, NY 10029

Toloache 82
166 E 82nd St,
NY 10028
(212) 861-4505

Tequilla Park Taqueria
356 W 58th St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 554-6217

Check the Taco-crawl here to get the top 10 tacos in NYC. Bonus, there is a Map!

The Italian food-crawl

Villa Medici

I may have been disturbed by what the city offers for international food that I almost forgot Italian food is in my top 3 fav food. I must split with pizza since I still have to taste one place before posting my recommendation. In the last 2 weeks I had such great Italian food that I cannot wait to share them with you.

I finally got a reservation for L’Artusi in West Village. My expectations were very high since every blogs and food magazine call this place one of the best restaurants in town. The venue is big, with an open kitchen and a second floor. Check the private room filled like a wine cellar, I wish I could have had dinner in there. The place is loud, but it seems very usual for NYC.
Small menu, very goof prices for such a nice place, the wine list is outstanding and they have wine from all the regions of Italy. ALL of them.
Definitely go for the roasted mushrooms. Served in top with pancetta, a fried egg and shred Parmesan, the species used reveal all the flavors of this dish.
Out of the three pasta dishes tasted, I cannot even tell you which one is my favorite since they were all delicious. The peas raviolis got a lot of flavor, even though I usually taste it with pancetta to be more tasty. The white bolognese tagliatelle were definitely not to miss.
For once we ordered a dessert. The crunchy hazelnut chocolate torta matched perfectly with the salted caramel gelato.
Should you go? Book your table now!
But charging $10 for some bread and olive oil brought to your table is not understandable. I only remember cheap tourist restaurants in Rome that could do this.

L’Artusi
228 W 10th St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 255-5757

 

Supper is another tiny restaurant with brick walls. There is an outdoor terrace on 2nd St, which is probably very nice with Spring finally coming. Great wine list for such a small place, it seems that extensive wine list has became common for NYC.

The menu is also extensive, maybe a bit too much when they bring you a lists of 20 ‘specials of the day’…be careful and ask for the price otherwise you will pay your buratta $22… It was excellent, but having an appetizer more expensive than the entrée when it is neither lobster nor foie gras…?
The homemade mushroom ravioli where perfectly cooked with a good amount of sauce, even though the white truffle flavor could have been more intense for me.
My favorite dish, which is on the regular menu, was the grilled polenta served with prosciutto di Parma, shaved Parmigiano and fennel.
My only recommendation, except to go next time you are craving for Italian food: do not stay at the table close to the kitchen, you’ll just leave with a headache at the end of the dinner.

Supper
156 E 2nd St
New York, NY 10009
(212) 477-7600

 

Italian food-crawl

Oregano is a new restaurant that opened in Williamsburg. Very tiny place, I would say it is good to bring a date since no noise will disturb you. The good news is that they still do not have a wine license so BYOB! Bring Your Own Bottle is usually for Korean restaurants or crappy places. There are only a few left in NYC so hurry up!
The tomato bruschetta was more flavored than what I was expected and was a very good surprise. I would recommend the eggplant served with a side of tagliatelle. They were still serving butternut squash ravioli, with a white sauce, which is never a mistake.

Oregano
102 Berry St
New York, NY 11211
(718) 599-5988

The Chinese food-crawl

IMG_0588
Soup dumplings, Shanghai Cafe

Last week I got a great surprise in Chinatown. This part of the city is awesome to bring tourists, when you are looking for disorientation, or even better when you are broke since you can eat 8 dumplings for $2. I still haven’t found good Chinese pork buns like in San Francisco so when I’m craving for those I used to go to Momofuku or Ippudo to get the New York style ones.

IMG_6119
Pork buns, Ippudo

Until last week, my go-to in Chinatown was Shanghai Cafe. Actually I can only remember the address 100 Mott st, on the recommendation of my boss. A bit apart of the mess, closer to Little Italy, those soup dumplings will blow your mind. What is a soup dumpling? Boiled ravioli, filled usually with pork and broth. The technique is to drill a little hole, literally slurp the soup, add the soy sauce and eat the ravioli. I actually watched the Asian guys next to me to learn it. So yes, do not bring a date to eat soup dumplings or it is gonna be a disaster! And try the kumquat bubble tea, just a bit of sweet in this flavored ice tea with tones of chewy tapioca balls.

What I found out last weekend is that in the same street, number 21, Shanghai Asian Manor also serves soup dumpling that always make a great impression to people you bring. Besides they also have Szechuan dumplings; ask not too spicy to be sure you can eat them since this part of China cooks really spicy. Skip the boiled pork and leek dumplings, insipid after this explosion of flavors in your mouth. And do not miss the braised duck; it is so tender you almost want to buy your meat in Chinatown after having tasted it. Served with bamboo shoots, there might be a little to much scallion sauce but this is only a detail.

If you want to see tourists and wait forever, go to Joe’s Shanghai. Big common tables, it is a lot of fun once you actually have your table. But the soup dumpling are not better than Mott street’s.

If you want to go for something more unusual and you are not afraid of spices, try Xi’an Famous food in East Village. The guy started in Queens and created a fusion between Middle Eastern and Chinese food. If you never had Szechuan food it is hard time. This is a fast food so buy your food and leave. Szechuan is a spicy cuisine with tones of flavors. Try the lamb burger, cooked with cumin. After this dish I could even say I am a lamb lover.

Shanghai Cafe
100 Mott St
New York

Shanghai Asian Manor
21 Mott St
New York

Joe’s Shanghai
9 Pell St
New York

Xi’an Famous Food
81 Saint Marks Place
New York

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.
Donna
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.

Lillie’s
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.
Trix
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.

JBird
339 E 75th St
New York, NY 10021

 

Taco-crawl

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!
Ofrenda
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

Pumpkin addict

Ce diaporama nécessite JavaScript.

Pumkin=fall? Not for me!

I have to say, I love pumpkin. Since last year in North Carolina where my friends made my try the pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, the pumpkin bread, the pumpkin chaï latte at the only local bar in Greenville, the pumpkin ravioli at the best Italian deli in San Francisco, I’ve become pumpkin addict. This fall, I had a challenge for myself. Eat/drink/absorbe pumpkin at least once a day until Halloween. This led to a competition to seek for any potential squash. Starbucks didn’t help me that much when they ran out of fake pumpkin latte. I tried pumpkin in so many different ways, it was insane.

I was also in the mood to cook. Here is a slideshow of my best creative recipes.The last one was a pumkin bread I baked a couple of days ago, yummy!