Saturday, March 30, 2013

Favorite Lunch Spots

Visited two of my favorite lunch spots this week. Can you name them?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Great lunch at Lupa--Batali's Roman Osteria on Thompson Street. Some might argue that the old Lupa was better and the place has become tired; but Lupa is still a favorite spot for many New Yorkers. I went for lunch with Matt who used to work there; so they hooked us up big time. The bartender poured some bubbly and the food followed. 

Our antipasti:
Sweetbreads with shishito peppers
Beets and pistacios 
Marinated mushrooms and farro

Our Primi
Spaghetti alla carbornara
Ricotta gnocchi with sausage and fennel
Bucatini all' Amatriciana

All delicious! Definitely worth checking out. I think lunch is a good time to go because you miss the crowds. Also always a good backup plan when you cant get into Ushiwakamuri, Miss Lillys, or the Dutch. Check it out!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


My favorite local sushi spot, Suteishi, was destroyed by Sandy and still remains closed, which leaves me in a sushi crisis. Suteishi fell in the category of great sushi at a great value. Sure, it wasn't cheap; but its not gonna force you to sell your unborn children. The higher end sushi spots of NYC put out some of the best raw fish I've ever eaten; but they're not your everyday sushi spots and thats what concerns me. There's a lack of sushi spots like Suteishi that fill the void of value driven sushi. Maybe I'm a snob considering I stay away from low end sushi spots that have the quality of the rolls you find at your local Duane Reade. If I could afford places like 15 East and Sushi of Gari then I wouldn't be on this rant; but there's noway I could spend 100+ every time I crave sushi. Do you know any good value sushi spots that should be on my radar?

So the other night I was suppose to meet my buddy at Kanoyama in the East Village. Kanoyama has been a sushi spot that has gotten much praise for its fish quality while staying value driven. My friend bailed, so I was left hungry and confused. Where should I go? Should I stay my course and hike it up to the East Village or is there something walkable? After racking my brain, I couldn't think of any sushi in the Financial District, so I immediately thought Tribeca. Brushstroke seemed like too big of a splurge and Sushi Azabu seemed a bit too far considering It was snowing. I then thought Sushi of Gari which is always raved about by sushi connoisseurs. The tribeca location was their most recent addition to their UES and UWS locations. I looked up the menu and it didn't seem "too expensive"; but thats before I sat at the sushi bar upstairs. 

Downstairs, the room definitely needed some remodeling. Carpet floors, cramped, and overlit are the first words that come to mind in describing the room. The maitre d' assumed I ordered "to go" and seemed really surprised when I wanted a seat for one. He then told me to wait while he helped an older couple that seemed more fit to dine at such an expensive restaurant. Upstairs, there was a 11-seat sushi counter that was more my speed--super simply fixtures and soft music.  Sitting at the sushi counter is great because you get to talk to the chef and watch him at work. Unfortunately, I didn't get to do much talking because my chef was too involved with the Japanese couple next to me. But sitting at the counter, you almost feel obligated to get the omakase. So when asked, I agreed and my wallet trembled in fear.  At Sushi of Gari, there's no set price on the omakase so the chef starts cooking for you and you tell them when you are done. Unfortunately for me, my dialogue with the chef was nonexistent and therefore he was just preparing whatever he thought was right. I do love when chefs take  control of the experience; however, I would have like to incorporate some rolls into my experience so I wouldn't leave hungry. And I did leave hungry!

Everything I ate was delicious from blue fin toro to salmon roe; but its just way out of my league. If you ever go to a place like Sushi of Gari, make sure you keep a tab of what you're eating because your bill will certainly surprise you at the end. Seven single pieces of sushi could run you $120, so set a budget with your chef or server. If you don't have a budget, you will love Sushi of Gari. A great place for celebrity sighting (I'm still trying to figure out the guy sitting next to me) and great sushi; but not a place where value hits home. 

Probably won't go back unless I hit the lottery!

Met up with some of the guys at The Fat Radish on Orchard Street for some food and drinks. This is my buddy Tim's favorite local hangout and I could see why. Comfortable in both atmosphere and price. Solid food that probably won't blow your mind; but will fully satisfy you. After The Fat Radish, we went to 169 Bar which is Blake's favorite bar in the city. Described as a tiki bar meets a Western saloon--its a solid spot for cheap beers and whiskey.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Good Eats


Gabe Stulman has another hit on his hands with Perla on Minetta Lane. Perla was cozy and homey, much like  Stulman's other restaurants; however; it had a clubby-ness. We went on the early side of dinner on a Monday; but I can definitely see it becomes a "scene" later in the week. 

We started with crostini with ricotta, honey, and black pepper--a combination that never seems to get old. A foie gras cracker reminded me of a nutter butter but Colette disagreed. We dove right into pasta with a black spaghetti with king crab and cauliflower. They sent us fettucine with a lobster sauce and skate as a complimentary dish. The pastas were both delicious; but I was getting full and we still had our secondi on the way. 

Next up we had the beef rib which paired wonderfully with my Rhone wine. Colette went with a lighter red Burgundy that probably paired better with the quail. The beef rib was super tender and mouth watering; but the quail boasted in levels on flavor. The beef rib came with mushrooms, a sweet onion agrodolce, and a bone marrow brodo. The quail was paired with farro, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and a brown butter sugo. 

With no room for dessert, the only move left was amaro which our server brought us over before me asking. He poured us Montenegro which was a great way to end the meal. The staff was super friendly and professional. Great date spot. 

Mighty Quinn's
Serious BBQ--The Old Way! Low and slow has been a catchphrase in the world of BBQ for quite sometime and Mighty Quinns turns that catchphrase into their motto. Some might say that NYC is slacking in great BBQ places, but Mighty Quinns begs New Yorkers to reconsider. Where do you go for BBQ? Fette Sau is my favorite BBQ place in NYC; but a trip to BK often deters my craving. 

But Mighty Quinn's gives an alternative and could probably be a fill in for my BBQ craving. Kristen and I stopped by for a quick lunch and we got a variety of their BBQ including pulled pork, brisket, and sausage. Close your eyes and this BBQ transports you into the South where BBQ is king. Pickled veggies bring Mighty Quinn's New York twist which was welcomed with all the meat we consumed. 

Mighty Quinn's is a cafeteria style restaurant designed as Quick-Serve Restaurant. Order your meats, sides, drinks, and grab a seat. Staff is friendly and prices are value driven. A great addition to the neighborhood and the city!

Jazz and cocktails = good night

Per Se
I know its early, but definitely the best meal of 2013! Menu coming soon...