Category Archives: New York City
Una Pizza Napoletana Polishes Its Sweet Tooth with Tiramisu

Restaurants that are known for one thing have a certain niche, with their success largely predicated on the quality of their food and the ability to provide top-notch customer service. In the case of Una Pizza Napoletana, narrowing down the pizza-based menu to four different types that possessed a magical crust helped them garner that success.

 

Having originally been based on East 12th Street, a new-look version of this restaurant now has a Lower East Side location on Orchard Streetthat it calls home. What’s different in this new rendering is the fact that the one sparse dessert options have expanded in some creative new directions.

 

In its earlier days, some free chocolate was good enough to cap the pizza that was served just four nights per week. Those days have passed, with the number of pizza types now increased to a total of six and the partners of this new venture able to deliver in the area of desserts. Now, effort is actually being put into crafting tempting savory options.

 

Tops among them is the tiramisu that’s the offering Fabian von Hauske Valtierra, one of those partners. Choosing to go with lemon sponge cake instead of the traditional ladyfingers, the chef offers a filling rendition that offers samples of bitterness and sweet-tasting creaminess. That bitterness arises in part from the caramel that’s included.

 

Accomplishing this feat is done by managing a convergence of Cynar, rum that’s been lovingly aged and some espresso. While offering hyperbole is the easiest way for a restaurant to tout their offerings, the fact that an avid fan base for this dessert has been created in the span of just six weeks of operation pretty much says it all.

 

Baking the sponge cake daily, the tiramisu is actually made the night before it’s served to guests.

 

French, Indian, and the All-American Ball Park: NYC Food Scene

The New York City food scene provides the state with the good, the tasty, and the downright out there. Plenty of mom and pop spots have stood the test of time, but the market is forever changing to make room for the rookies. Surely to sustain success in such a bustling city, it is important to compete with the best by offering cuisine that nobody else has. Restaurants in the city must add flair and pizzazz to an otherwise boring dish, which is just what these culinary geniuses are doing, as reported by Eater NY:

 

The Bombay Bread Bar

 

This Indian restaurant offers a multitude of cuisine focusing on- you guessed it- bread. Stuffed naans, bhel puri, and Indian street foods are a feel local favorites offer by the restaurant. A plethora of chutneys elevates the bread at this establishment and menu items like the tandoori octopus depict just how broad the cuisine is at the Bombay Bread Bar.

 

Yankee Stadium, Specifically Parm

 

While most would not consider hot dogs, peanuts, and popcorn gourmet and edgy cuisine, the restaurants located within Yankee Stadium are as fresh as they are upscale. Though Parm offers classic appetizers, like mozzarella sticks and meatballs, they throw a curve ball once in a while by offering outrageous items, including their buffalo cucumbers. Their award winning sandwiches are available for both take out and to eat in house, too.

 

La Mercerie

 

The restaurant will have you dreaming of the Eiffel Tower after you have enjoyed some delicious, authentic French pastries. An open kitchen shows guests just how gourmet food is created–with talent, patience, and a true passion for French cuisine. An extensive wine list ensures that the pastries won’t be the only indulgence you shall partake in during your visit.

New York Food Trucks Named Among Best in the Country

The Daily Meal food website released a list of the best food trucks in America on Friday, and five New York food trucks made the grade. From lobster to barbecue, the Daily Meal celebrated the best food vendors on wheels that the Big Apple has to offer.

The site ranked the Cinnamon Snail truck first among New York food trucks and the eighth best food truck in the country. Created by chef Adam Sobel and family, the Cinnamon Snail food truck features a menu full of vegan takes on popular dishes. From its famous Korean Barbecue Seitan to Bourbon Hazelnut Pancakes, the truck’s menu has been a hit with patrons both in New York and in New Jersey.

The distinctive blue and tan trucks of Luke’s Lobster have been trundling through New York since 2009. With their focus on sustainable seafood and penchant for slathering their delicious lobster rolls in vast quantities of butter, Luke’s Lobster has gained a loyal customer following over the years. The Daily Meal ranked the seafood restaurant on wheels 31st in the nation.

Taïm Mobile’s distinctive Middle Eastern cuisine has become a staple in New York City. Since 2005, husband and wife duo Stefan Nafziger and Einat Admony have been dishing out their tasty falafel to hungry diners. Their special roasted red pepper tahini helped them to earn a top spot on the Daily Meal’s list.

Although Korean-Mexican fusion started in Los Angeles, Edward Song’s Korilla BBQ food truck has captured taste buds in New York since 2010 with its tasty bulgogi burritos and pork tacos. The truck’s bacon kimchi fried rice and beef chosun bowl helped to snag the 78th spot on the list as one of the country’s best food trucks.

Uncle Gussy’s food truck earned the 94th spot on the list. The aqua blue truck can often be seen in Midtown dishing out grilled souvlaki and savory yellow rice to famished customers. Uncle Gussy’s also holds the distinction of being on Yelp’s list of the top five food trucks in New York City.

New Pho Eatery Opens in Brooklyn

The culinary trio made up of Kim Hoang, Tuan Biu and Dennis Ngo finally opened their new pho restaurant this week on Greenpoint Avenue in Brooklyn. Di An Di had one of the most hotly anticipated new openings in New York City this spring.

The team behind Di An Di is already well known for An Choi in the Lower East Side, opened in 2009. Dennis Ngo helmed the kitchen and Tuan Bui owns the eatery with his brother Huy. The restaurant became popular for offering Manhattan diners a mid-level indoor space to enjoy banh mi and pho. Together with Tuan and his wife Kim Hiang, Ngo announced in November 2017 that they were opening a new pho restaurant in Brooklyn.

After much anticipation in the foodie community, Di An Di launched this week in the space formerly occupied by the Hail Mary diner. With its airy, well-lit green and white interior, the restaurant presents a soothing atmosphere for diners to enjoy their pho in peace. The fresh taste of the steaming pho is complemented by the space’s abundant greenery and natural wooden furniture.

The menu features five different kinds of pho, including Southern Vietnam-style pho bò, a type of beef pho. Chef Dennis Ngo also cooks up a vegetarian version of his spicy lemongrass noodle soup and a vegan variety of his turmeric món cuốn, a type of Vietnamese roll. The menu also includes other traditional dishes like fried pig tails, as well as a selection of cocktails, beer and wine.

While the venue is hosting private events for patrons, it not yet open to the public. According to the owners, Di An Di is experimenting with a soft open this week and will be fully open to the public next week, although its hours have not yet been finalized.

David Burke Unveils New Restaurant in NoMad

A longtime fixture of the New York dining scene, chef David Burke opened his latest venture on Monday. Woodpecker is located on the northern edge of NoMad on Broadway and specializes in American-style food roasted in wood-burning ovens.

True to its name, Woodpecker is built around two giant wood-burning ovens where much of the menu’s meat and vegetable offerings are cooked. Chef Carmine Di Giovanni of the recently shuttered Mulberry Project has taken charge of the kitchen. The space features a large 35-foot wooden bar that will eventually serve wine and beer. However, as of this week, Burke had not yet begun serving alcohol in the restaurant.

The food is mainly American, but some dishes have a Korean flair that hints at the restaurant’s close proximity to Koreatown. As culinary director, Burke has taken the popular Korean snack food of seasoned crickets and added it to the eatery’s mozzarella-drenched pizza. The pizza dough is made of flour mixed with ground crickets and the nutty-tasting insects are also used as a pizza topping. The menu also includes Korean-style chicken wings garnished with sweet kkwarigochu peppers.

Burke has had a long career in the kitchen. After studying at the Culinary Institute of America and training in France, he returned to New York to serve as executive chef at the River Cafe eatery in Brooklyn. In 2003, he started his own restaurant group, which opened 10 different restaurants in New York and other American cities. In 2015, he joined ESquared Hospitality group as a consultant and culinary partner, opening Tavern 62 and advising on the menus of the group’s BLT brand.

Burke has also been a constant fixture on culinary television programs, competing on Iron Chef and serving as a guest judge on Worst Cooks in America and Hell’s Kitchen. Both Burke and his restaurants have been featured on the Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate and Reservations Required on Voom HD Networks.

Eisenberg’s Not Planning on Change After Ownership Change

Maintaining the legacy established by some iconic New York City restaurants isn’t always on the agenda when an establishment is sold to new owners. However, in the wake of the sale of Eisenberg’s Restaurant in the Flatiron district, concerned diners don’t have to worry about the ambience of this classic place being changed.

Warren Chiu is that new owner and he bought the place on the condition that the restaurant would not be changed in any material way. Doing anything different would likely result in a backlash anyway, while Chiu reportedly has a soft spot for longstanding businesses like Eisenberg’s.

Enhancing the positives of what made the restaurant so great is the main focus, which could involve some minor tweaks along the way. As an executive with Warwick International Hotels, Chiu has the financial support to engage in wholesale changes if he sees fit. However, with decades in the business world, he knows when to stick with the knitting when it comes to running a business with this level of stature.

The former owner, Josh Konechy, had run Eisenberg’s since 2006, but had tired of continual pressure of dealing with the surrounding competition. In addition, having to work with the city government always hovering over them was an annoyance.

Prior to Konechy’s ownership, hamburgers weren’t on the menu. That changed when he installed an expensive upgrade to the restaurant’s vents. Yet with more fixes on the horizon, the financial investment seemed questionable.

Doing the basics well has always been a calling card for Eisenberg’s, with all of the past ownerships not interested in crafting innovative cuisine. Instead, long before the namesakes sold out during the 1970’s, the focus has been geared toward offering standards like egg creams. Chiu noted the appeal of buying a place that still produced the classic.

James Beard Honors Gabrielle Hamilton as Top Chef

An awards ceremony was held on May 7, 2018, to honor New York’s James Beard chefs on achieving this great accomplishment. While many chefs were nominated, very few ever receive this honor. Therefore, you will want to check out their establishments very soon.

Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune took home the outstanding chef award. On top of being a well-known author and speaker, Hamilton’s Prune restaurant in the East Village offers an outstanding weekend brunch and dinner every night of the week. They do not take reservations for their weekend brunch, so you can expect a wait. Additionally, expect the tables to be placed closely together allowing this restaurant to serve as many as possible. While the restaurant is described as New American, there is a directness to the food that leaves a pleasurable memorable impression. This restaurant also does an outstanding job of classic cocktails.

Taking home best chef in NYC honors was Missy Robbins of Lilia. This Williamsburg restaurant has an industrial vibe paying tribute to the building’s former life as an auto-body garage. You will adore the small-plate pasta selections. A reservation can be very hard to obtain at this small restaurant. If you have trouble getting one to fit your schedule, then try stopping in during the day for a pastry and a cup of coffee in the back. The attached bar also serves delicious bar favorites with unique twists.

The James Beard awards are presented on an annual basis. While restaurants and chefs are nominated, the judges who are professional chefs with many years of experience vote on the winners by secret ballot. The honor of being named a James Beard award recipient comes with many media releases, a medal but no money is awarded to winners.

36 Places To Buy The Best Doughnuts In New York City

Doughnuts are just plain delicious and the classic American pastry. They’re so popular that the first Friday in June is National Doughnut Day.

New York City folks love their doughnuts and boast about having some of the best-tasting varieties on the planet. Although NYC is a huge city, expert doughnut tasters from GrubStreet.com did all the heavy research and noshing to come up with their own list of “The Absolute Best Doughnuts In NYC.” The happy crew features 36 strong contenders, and here are some of the highlights:

1. The Supermoon Bakehouse has no phone number but does have a cute pink neon sign that says “Bite Me NYC.” Fat, round doughnuts are amply filled with creative, yummy flavors that change every week.

For example, their chocolate brioche doughnut is packed with thick, gooey caramel with a cacao-nib meringue.

2. Underwest Donuts specializes in cake doughnuts that are freshly fried on the spot and feature lots of appealing glazed flavors like maple waffle, halva and carwash (vanilla-lavender).

Fans love these treats for their addictive fluffiness.

3. Doughnut Plant is another winner in “The Big Apple” and with good reason. Doughnuts are made by hand daily and considered to be in the gourmet class. In addition, Doughnut Plant never uses eggs, preservatives or anything artificial.

Some favorites include peanut butter and blackberry jam, coconut cream and Brooklyn black-out cake.

4. Dun-Well Doughnuts is all about the vegan goodness, and their entire list of doughnuts are made that way. Fans claim the treats taste like Krispy Kremes with their elegant light texture.

Dun-Well likes creating amazing glazes with root-beer and Creamsicle flavors.

5. Du’s Donuts And Coffee is another leader in the bunch with a wonderful variety of cake-doughnut masterpieces. Signature flavors feature peanut butter banana and brown butter key lime.

Unfortunate Restaurant Closings Across New York City

April 2018 has been a difficult month for restaurant lovers in New York City. Specialty, ethnic and trendy eateries are closing their doors all around the city; in some cases, the owners intend to open elsewhere, however, quite a few do not have immediate plans and may not seek new ventures in the restaurant industry. The following is a rundown of the pubs, bistros, cafés, and restaurants closing this month across the boroughs:

McAleer’s Irish Pub

Located in the Upper West Side, McAleer’s has been pouring pints and servings shots of fine whiskey for more than six decades; alas, its closure was announced on Facebook earlier this week. According to a report posted by Eater NYC, the McAleer cousins from Northern Ireland started the pub in 1953; it started off as a hole-in-the-wall bar and progressed to an authentic Irish pub serving traditional snacks such as fish and chips as well as bangers. McAleer’s was once featured on the television series “NYPD Blue.”

Bearcat

This trendy East Williamsburg eatery closed down without notice in mid-April. The owners did not give much notice, although the Williamsburg restaurant market has become extremely competitive in recent years.

El Quijote

One of the best Spanish restaurants in the city is closing due to the transformation of the historic Chelsea Hotel, but it is expected to reopen later this year.

Sazón

Located in Tribeca, this Puerto Rican restaurant is used to getting favorable reviews; however, the high cost of rent in this district may have played a part in the owner’s decision to close down. Sazón is expected to pop up at a different location in the future, but there are no estimates as to when this may happen.

La Carbonara

The future of this West Village restaurant is uncertain; what is known, however, is that the landlord has taken possession. Although the owners have said that the situation is temporary, frequent diners believe that permanent closure is imminent.

Prospect Heights Continues Its Restaurant Magic

The Prospect Heights area is another area of New York that has developed a melting pot of restaurants that serve various ethnic palates while also satisfying those who want the traditional fare in front of them when they dine. A number of them stand out from the crowd that is continuing to expand the number of establishments looking to tap into the surrounding clientele.

 

Geido on Flatbush Avenue was actually around long before the resurgence of the past decade, with their specialty of sushi making it the hotspot for those who prize quality at an economic price.

 

Another early option was James, which has been located on Carlton Avenue for the past decade. They were one of the early adopters of the concept of using items that were derived from local sources. One of their most popular options remains the burger that combines lamb dusted with cumin and Black Angus beef.

 

Those with a taste for Spanish food have come to love Alta Calidad, where tortillas are a prime aspect. Just imagining the combination of chicken albondigas with shrimp tempura and skate wings that are lovingly roasted on top of them whets the appetite. If that didn’t entice anyone, the literal translation of the restaurant, high-quality, should.

 

Garden-based menu options help make Olmsted on Vanderbilt Avenue something to notice. After all, things like rangoons that combine crab and kale or carrots that offer hints of sunflowers and clams aren’t menu options that are ordinarily seen.

 

Those who think of comfort food aren’t left out, with cheese puffs offered free of charge at Meme’s Diner. The seeming oddity is one of many, with potato chips on top of macaroni and cheese also available. Even the brunch’s version of milk and cereal is off-center: Corn Pops on top of yogurt panna cotta.

 

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