Provo – Food for Thought 2015

Caicos Cafe - Grilled Calamari

Caicos Cafe – Grilled Calamari

Another fun eating trip on the island we call Providenciales.  The weather was a mixed bag of sun, clouds, wind and seaweed.  An island version of Guess is in the works, where you try to guess which hotel got the seaweed this morning.  February may not be the best month to experience Grace Bay at her best, but its the best month to escape the Gotham frozen tundra, among many other reasons.  We are back rejuvenated, even if a little bruised.  The seas were angry for much of the week, and the palapas were just standing there.  “Why the scar?  Did you belong to a gang?  Tough childhood? ”  “Nope.  Ran into a  a palapa”.

As I stated in the past I dont write negative reviews for various reasons.  One of which is the increased cost of Krav Maga trained body guards these days (my depandant duo unexpectedly quit last month).  However, since this is just a harmless not so Google friendly recap, I offer a rare glimpse of the good and the ungood…

Kalooki’s – The new kid on the Blue Hills block produced mixed results overall.  A mature, promising feel, friendly knowledgeable service in an inviting location by the water.  Lemongrass Seafood Chowda was the New England creamy kind, good but forgettable once compared to other chowders we had later on.  The cod fritters were like thin plain latkes that Jewish moms throw out because they didn’t come out as the other latkes.  Jerk Chicken and Ribs were missing that oomph that Sailing Paradise used to deliver just down the road.  Whole fried Snapper was a little over fried, but manageable with good flavor.  No comparison however to what they do with it in Bugaloos.  Not terrible by any means, but there’s plenty of room for growth.

Kalooki's Fried Fish

Caicos Cafe – More of the same from our old fave after two more meals.  CC continues to hit on all cylinders, and chef Mad Max shows he still got tricks up his sleeve.  A food recap here may result in a dangerously long and tedious paragraph, so instead I will offer you these suggestions.  Pay close attention to the right side of the menu, the left side, and the specials insert page in between.  What I’m trying to say is over the years we pretty much had every single item on the menu, and the hits keep coming.  I will try to write a more detailed post about some of our favorites soon

Caicos Cafe Tortelli

Le Bouchon – Another must for us at this island institution.  They should really name a street after them, or a village at Beaches…  “Le Bouchon du Village” or something.  Julian and papa continue to fill the chalkboard with all sorts of French inspired goodies.  The classics continue to shine, including the always delightful Escargot.  More than worthy of garlic breath Mrs Z.  We love the soups here (conch chowder and black bean soup) especially on those cold winter nights when the temps dip from 82 to 80.  The great Steak au Poivre is still the main draw, while the grouper, and lobster were expertly grilled as expected.

Le Bouchon Escargot

Lupo – This is becoming a regular lunch spot for us.  I don’t see Lupo as an Italian restaurant, but more of a fun sidewalk café with an Italian inspired menu.  The smoky lettuce continues to be a favorite, the refreshing caprese continues to refresh, but the bulky Arancini, oozing with deliciousness, stole the show early.  The basic flatbread pizza filled one void, and the Orecchiette filled another.  Desserts are always good here, especially the top notch Tiramisu

Lupo Arancini

Crackpot Kitchen – Dubbed Crackpot-hole Kitchen by me on the message boards.  On the way to this closest middle of nowhere establishment you essentially need to maneuver between a bunch of potholes, a can of coke, and three kittens.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from this place which came out of the gate rather strong.  But we liked it enough to return and recommend.  The conch fritters (more like kebabs) were different and quite good.  The lobster salad was essentially a crab salad gone wild.  The conch salad was fruitier and zestier than the norm.  The ribs were of the wet and flavorful variety, and the goat curry was that island goat curry we know and love.  The glaring big miss was the grilled lobster, a dry overcooked mess.  But we’ll be back for sure for more

Caravel – Brand spanking new, in place of Sora which closed last year.  The funky Japanese lights remain intact which gives the place a rather strange look, and the ice cream-like name doesnt help.  But the few items we tried by the former Mr Grouper’s chef were very promising.  In particular, the fish tacos; lightly fried to flaky perfection, inside toasty flower shaped tortilla shells.  Add the homemade hot sauce and you got perhaps the new fish tacos to beat.  The jerk chicken was another winner.  Its on the menu as a sandwich, but they can plate it.  Go!

Caravel Fish Tacos

Bugaloos – Another regular spot for us after a morning at Taylor Bay.  People enjoy the coconut cracked conch and the conch salad is always a winner, but we come here for the magnificent Sautéed Whole Snapper.   Gorgeously cooked with onions, bell peppers, thyme, garlic, and coconut milk producing this light sauce that compliments the fish well.  For the time being Bugaloos has replaced Las Brisas for us on the south side, but you still need to get to LB at least once to for the views.

Bugaloos - Snapper

Via Veneto – Broke my heart, Fredo style.  Not even Al Fredo could have saved these pastas.  Sadly not much worked on this particular night.  Between the bland Gnocchi with Shrimp, the Carbonara that got boring in a hurry, the stringy, chewy lobster with the linguine, and the pricey Fettuccine whose truffles lost their luster.  I was a fan after the first meal when they first opened, but I dont think we’ll be back.

Coyaba – After a long hiatus we decided it was time to revisit this old friend, and the result was a mixed bag overall.  Wine menu filled with 2010 Barolos all over $100 is the first clue about the price levels.  Lobster Bisque was still satisfying but the creamy Gnocchi got even creamier.  The Thermidor was still good, but felt heavy sooner than expected.  Same kind of heaviness was present in the Ravioli, while the lone shining star was the $60 Snapper for two.

Coyaba Snapper

Flamingo’s – Another regular lunch spot for us.  Rum punches are strong, and the Curries Groupers are even stronger.  Don’t worry if the menu doesn’t mention them… “x Curried Groupers please” one for each person.  And if another item does some magic, like the jerk chicken did on this day, consider its a major bonus.

Flamingos Grouper

Seaside Café – A lunch and a dinner is now firmly part of the rotation.  The Blackened Fish Sandwich and the Peruvian Conch Salad are still the lunch musts, while the Tuna Sashimi and the Lobster Risotto are the staples for dinner.  New discoveries were the excellent Conch Chowder, and a Japanese style Salmon that was the topic of conversation for the next few days (we really need new topics to talk about)

Seaside Salmon

Hemingways – Only half of the family made it here this time, for the great fish and chips and fish tacos fix.  Nothing changed.

Sweet T’s – Still the best deal in town.  On the way from the airport last time, on the way to the airport this time.  As you exit the Airport road, and start smelling that fried chicken, just follow the smell to the round pink building.

Sweet T'sSweet T's Chicken

Coyaba Molten Cake

Coyaba Molten Cake

Categories: Turks and Caicos | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

What to Eat in New York City

 

Best Pizza

Best Pizza

Oh no you didn’t…  Oh, yes I did!  A post on.. well.. everything.  I’m not writing about pizza or Indian food, or where to get the best Cheesecake, this is a post on everything.  A one time stop for the confused visitor that knows only what he reads in his guide book, and Trip Advisor ranking.  In other words, just a tad smarter than Klauss.  I have news for you Mr visitor.  We New Yorkers don’t eat Cheesecakes, Knishes, and Manhattan Clam Chowders.  Well, the last one on occasion, but having the word “Manhattan” in it should not automatically qualify it for the guidebooks.

A month ago at our company we had visitors from Minnesota.  When we ordered food for lunch, there was a moment that shook me a little.  One member of the Minnesota gang pointed to something and said “What’s that”.  To which I replied “this my friend, is a Falafel”.  Locals eat more falafels than Cheesecakes, Knishes, and Manhattan Clam Chowders combined in NYC, but you would never guess by just reading the guidebook.  Let me help set you straight

I will try my best to make it as comprehensive as possible, and update as often as I can.  Something to chew on before I leave for yet another trip to Turks (lobsta calling my name).  But there’s a chance I may forget a few things, so I would appreciate some help via comments if that indeed happens.  Its essentially a guide to help you understand what you should be targeting in NYC.  Here we go…

Eat Pizza – Yes, we eat a lot of pizza.  Every block where I live has these 3 essentials.  Pizza, Bagels, and a pharmacy to help you cope with all that pizza and bagels.  There’s great pizza everywhere in NYC and I’m not going to even attempt to name all the best spots, but here are a few

Merilu (2)

Merilu

   Slice – You have the usual suspects like Joe’s on Carmines and Di Fara in Brooklyn, but the truth is that there are plenty of solid slices out there and the 50th best slice is not really that far behind the 2nd best slice taste wise.  Consider Sacco in Hell’s Kitchen, Prince Street Pizza, Best Pizza” in Williamsburg might very well be best with their wood burning oven slice, and for something a bit different and not very New Yorky consider the thin squares at Merilu.  BTW, for those Di Fara bound, the pilgrimage may cost you half a day of travel and waiting for quite a while for your slice.  Not worth it if yo ask me, but if you must…

   Pies – While the guide books will guide you across the bridge and make you stand for 30-90 bone chilling minutes on a long line (and fail to tell you that the real Grimaldi is actually next door dishing them out at Juliana’s), you can get similar or better quality all over the city.  Consider Capizzi in midtown, where you will not find any long waits whatsoever.  Or how about the thin vodka pies at Rubirosa, an offshoot of the great Joe and Pat’s in Staten Island.  For your fancy Neapolitan pies there are a lot of great options and I strongly suggest to try at least one.  Consider Motorino, Don Antonio, Keste, Paulie Gees, and Roberta’s at a food festival near you (if you cant Bushwick it).  You can even get a decent pie in Eataly.  Also consider the Neapolitan archenemy, the mighty Roman pie at Marta.  Well, its not very mighty with its matzoh like thickness, but its quite delicious, not to mention everything else Marta offers.  You can have a great meal here without even touching the pies

Marta Patate alla Carbonara

Marta Patate alla Carbonara

Eat Burgers – As with pizza this is a very difficult topic to cover as there are so many choices, and so many kinds.  You are not only dealing with a plethora of Burger joints but you also have them on just about every French/Italian/American, you name it menu and everyone trying to outdo each other.  For your fast food smallish burger, yes, I suppose Shake Shack will do, and the pain that comes with it (long lines, fighting an old lady for a seat).  But head to Gotham West Market, and you can find another solid burger at Genuine Roadside where you’ll find no lines, and no old ladies to fight.  Try the terrific Chicken Sandwich too while you at it.  For the middle of the road, regular burger try Corner Bistro, Island Burger and Shakes and the rest of my Hell’s Kitchen picks I outline here

Dutch - Burger

Dutch – Burger

For the fancier stuff, Minetta Tavern’s Black Label is still the king, as one of a few burgers out there where the meat is so good, you can get it practically naked.  Meaning the burger!  Also consider Minetta’s sister Cherche Midi’s much hyped burger these days.  Bowery Meat Company uses the same supplier for its excellent patty (though I wish the fries would have been better).  Other solid players include the Breslin’s terrific Lamb Burger, Bar Sardine’s popular Fedora burger, The Gender’s burger with beef aioli, and the Spotted Pig with its addictive fries.  But if you’d point a gun at my head and make me choose one, I would ask you to please put the gun down, then proceed to kick your ass and call the cops.  Once you are out, I would direct you to the NoMad Bar where you’ll find the best combination of quality burger, fries, and ease of getting a table (No reservations tho)

Spotted Pig Burger

Spotted Pig Burger


Eat Bagels, Lux
 – No shortage of great bagels all over town.  With Absolute Bagel, Pick-a-Bagel in midtown, Ess-a-Bagel, and Murrays you pretty much have all the corners covered.  And while Russ & Daughters doesn’t bake their own, their Brooklyn Supplier is as old school and solid as they come.  R&D is an icon, and so very touristy for good reason.  But once you experience it, consider something like Shelsky’s in Brooklyn, or Nordic Preserves in Essex Market, for much of the quality and none of the pain.

Russ and Daughters lox

Russ and Daughters lox

Eat Italian – In NYC, one should take advantage of our Italian dining. Even Italians coming from Italy do so, and appreciate the wide array that NYC has to offer.  From the amazing seafood of Marea, to simple neighborhood spots like Da Andrea.  Consider Mercato and its southern Italian fare (real southern, not Brooklyn southern), or perhaps Bat Pitti in the village.  How about All’onda, and Piora for some Asian influence.  Or a taste of Emilia Romagna in Osteria Morini or Salumeria RossiMarta can certainly enter the discussion, and its sister Maialino is perhaps my favorite of all.  If you need to choose one, thats the one.  Or consider Scarpetta whose menu includes many popular staples.  Babbo is possibly entering icon territory, Del Posto may be already there among the high ends, while the inventive Lincoln remains under everyone’s radar.  In NYC we also have the classic New York Italian, aka red sauce American Italian cuisine that one may try.  The Guide Books will direct you to the Theater District and Little Italy, but for proper tasting consider something like Rubirosa or Carbone

Lincoln Strozzapreti

Lincoln Strozzapreti

Eat American – This is another big topic.  The one place that always comes to mind where you can get that old quintessential NY feel is Minetta Tavern.  Eleven Madison Park light, The NoMad is another solid choice with its celebrated Chicken for two.  In Midtown consider Betony, runner up for James Beard’s Best New Restaurant award last year.  Louro is a dependable neighborhood joint with rotating menus, and theme dinners on Mondays.  Consider the Dutch and its terrific fried chicken and more, which brings us to Root and Bone where the bird reigns over a solid southern inspired menu.  The veggies reign supreme at Narcissa, and the Marshal is not only extremely veg friendly, but covers all the classics well.  For something different consider the winter game festival at Henry’s End.

You also have a slew of Asian inspired American like the inspiring Annisa, and the David Chang’s empire, especially Momofuku Ssam Bar, and Ma Peche.  Consider a visit to newcomer Tuome, featuring a young chef with an attitude.

NoMad Chicken

NoMad Chicken

Dicksons pastrami

Dicksons pastrami

Eat Pastrami – Yes, yes go to Katz’s.  That’s not a tourist trap, but the real deal.  In Midtown, Carnegie Deli keeps chugging along, while Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop in Flatironhas been raising New York’s cholesterol since 1929.  Try perhaps the Montreal Jewish style pastrami at Mile End.  Or for something completely different, consider the pastrami sandwich at Dickson’s the great meat purveyor in Chelsea Market where the pastrami is more marbled and comes with a smear of apricot chutney or however they do it that day.  Yummo!

Eat Steak – Visitors come to NYC looking to eat steak in something called a “Steakhouse”.  It’s one of the most common questions on Trip Advisor… what is the Best Steakhouse.  Well, you do have the icons like Keen’s, and Peter Luger that folks will no doubt pick over Wolfgang’s which started by an employee that worked for Luger for 40 years and offers a similar Porterhouse.  But the beauty of NYC steaks is that just like burgers, you can get great steak anywhere pretty much including in modern “I cant believe this is not a steakhouse” steakhouse.  Consider the Bowery Steak at Bowery Meat Company, which consists of the Ribeye cap (the best part of the ribeye).  The Minetta Tavern Cote de Boeuf is perhaps the most celebrated cut in Manhattan.  Though for us, that honor would go to the Costata Tomahawk Ribeye which like the Cote de Boeauf, can feed a small Armenian village.

Costata - Ribeye

Costata Ribeye

Eat French – Classic french, new and old are still plentiful in the city.  You got the usual haute suspects with Per Se, Le Bernardin, Jean-Georges, Bouley, Daniel (who am I missing.  I dont want to upset anyone and get hate mail).  Then you have the bistro fair like Balthazar, and yes even Minetta Tavern which I’m adding to just about every category here (they even have a take on the Italian Carbonara, called Pasta Za Za).  Consider Benoit in Midtown, and Chez Napoleon may be as old school as it gets.  For something different however, consider Le Philosophe for a fresh take on old classic

Le Philosophe - tournedos rossini

Le Philosophe – tournedos rossini

Eat BBQ – A few years ago, the proper recommendation would be to skip BBQ in NYC.  But time, they are a changing.  In midtown if you must, head west to Daisy May’s BBQ USA, in case you forget what country you are in.  In Brooklyn you have Fette Sau and BrisketTown which also sells its sick brisket on the High Line in the warmer months.  But the mightiest of all might very well be Mighty Quinn’s which you can enjoy in both West and East village, among other more remote locations.  For the “I cant believe this is not BBQ” experience that almost no one talks about, consider Georgia’s Eastside BBQ in the Lower East Side.

Eat Ethnic – Need to take a break.  More to come after these words from our sponsors…  Are your menopause changes causing bleeding, irritation, pain during sexual intercourse?  Try Premarin, a Virginal Cream you can count on.

Ok, I have a confession.  This was not a real commercial!  But, I do need to take a break, as my arm is tired and I already used all the adjectives known to me on one page

The ethnic plays will have their own page when the time comes.  Stay tuned…

Mighty Quinn's Brisket

Mighty Quinn’s Brisket

 

Categories: Brooklyn, Chelsea, Chinatown, East Village, Gramercy, Flatiron, Lower East Side, Midtown East, Midtown West, New York City, SoHo, NoHo, Nolita, TriBeCa, Upper West Side, West Village | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Top 10 Things We Ate in Emilia Romagna

Italy 2014 1668Culatello at Antica Corte Pallavicina – When life gives you a pig, you make Culatello.  Prosciutto so prized it has a different name.  And the best Culatello in the world can be found in this old castle perfectly situated by the foggy Po.  After you visit their legendary cellar, ride their bikes, and play hide and seek with their black pigs, you are ready for this “Podium”.  Three Culatello aged 18, 27, and a black pig beauty aged 37 months sitting on top like miss universe.Italy 2014 781

Eggs with Black Truffles at Locanda Mariella – An hour south of Parma in the hamlet of Calestano in the mountains, there’s this foodie paradise.  Mariella is at the helm, and will take care of you like no other woman.  She knows her wine, and she knows how to make eggs, among many other things.  Richness and creaminess levels I have yet to discover out of eggs.  And Black Truffles, mightier than some whites we’ve had days before, were the icing on the pan.  Quite possibly the best egg dish I ever had.Locanda Mariella eggs

Tagliata Fassone at Cocchi in Parma.  The star of a fine meal at this Parma legend was not surprisingly the all too dependent Fassone.  This Piedmontese cattle continues to surprise me with its lean, but sharp flavors.  Add some artichokes, aged balsamic vinegar, olive oil and of course Parma cheese and you got yourself a major crowd pleaser.  Cocchi, albeit a bit touristy, felt like one of those local institutions one needs to experience, with its ancient menu, and old timers that even speak English.  Try the terrific Sformatino as well.Italy 2014 1077

Minestrone Fritters at Hosteria Giusti in Modena- Perhaps the biggest taste/look ratio of the trip as those fritters didn’t look very hot, but after tasting them they looked rather perfect.  They add to Minestrone soup that is thickened overnight, Parma cheese, flour, egg, and deep fry a spoonful at a time.  Sprinkle some of their own ultra aged “Traditional” balsamic vinegar and the result is outstanding.  Mario Batali’s favorite restaurant in Italy delivered quite a few punches that afternoon.Hosteria Giusti Minestrone Fritters

Salumi at Salumeria Garibaldi in Parma – At this busy Salumeria in Parma, grab one of the two little tables on the right, and watch the locals do their thing.  Try the prosciutto of course, the wonderful Felino dubbed “King of Salami”, and the Strolghino, a fresh thin Salami made out of the lean leg of the pig and the “prosciutto” of Culatello, among other leftovers.  They dont throw out anything in ItalyItaly 2014 1028

Burrata with Bottarga at Sale Grosso in Bologna – Yes, there’s also great seafood in Italy’s food capital.  Hidden in a quiet alley near the university, this newish joint dishes out quality Puglia inspired Seafood day after day.  And some dishes fairly unique, like this Bottarga, sticks of salted dried tuna roe, coupled with creamy Burrata that was oozing with deliciousness. Sale Grosso Buratta

Tortellini in Brodo at All’Osteria Bottega in Bologna.  “I live here all my life, and this is best in Bologna” our trusted waitress warned us.  Who are we to argue.  After sampling Tortellini in Brodo on a daily basis in the region, we saved the best for last turned out.  Done the traditional way, but with an added oomph, or “Love” according to the happy owner.  While I haven’t written a post about All’Osteria Bottega, I highly recommend spending an evening there.

Picture taken elsewhere, but they all look about the same

Picture taken elsewhere, but they all look about the same

Pork Ribs at Vicolo Colombina in Bologna – Another no brainer here.  Ribs are slow cooked for 40 hours Sous Vide style (I used my regular “I cant wait that long, we have a flight tomorrow” joke.  Didn’t work too well here).  Great texture, not too fatty, crispy where needed but mostly tender, wonderfully juicy, flavorful meat.  Here in NYC we pay a lot more for similar and less successful dishes than the 15 euros we shelled out for this.  This particular dish was a recommendation by Carmelita Caruana who runs a popular local cooking school http://www.cookitaly.com/Italy 2014 1725

Piada at Trattoria Via Serra in Bologna – There were quite a few memorable items from this Slow Food gem, including the outstanding organic house red.  But this dish stood out for several reasons.  Piada or Piadina is a flatbread typically made with lard, a delicious traditional snack normally associated with the coastal Romagna towns.  Here it was a Sunday special served with fresh eye popping Squacquerone cheese from the nearby Castel San Pietro, and prosciutto.  There was something about enjoying this fun snack on a lazy Sunday afternoon with local families at that moment that its hard to put into words.Trattoria di Via Serra Piada

Parmigiano Reggiano at CiaoLatte in Noceto - Best 10 euros I spent in the region was at this dairy producer near Parma.  You get a tour with Serena who speaks English, almost unheard of in the Parma dairy producer universe.  She will guide you through the entire process if you show up early enough, and let you spend some quality time your camera in the ageing room.  And the tasting of the various aged Parmigiano Reggiano will make you go straight to Eataly when you get home.Italy 2014 808

Categories: Italy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hosteria Giusti – A Hidden Legend in Modena

Hosteria GiustiIts taken me over three months to write about our food adventures in Piedmont and Emilia Romagna over the fall.  And I can easily write for another month or so as it was that kind of a trip.  But I think its time to wrap this up, and I cant think of a better way than with one of Italy’s true icons, considered by many one of Italy’s greatest.  I will also have a post about our top dishes in the region later this week.

Giusti is a Salumeria in the center of Modena, not too far from one of the most celebrated Duomos in the country, and not too far from another famous church, Osteria Francescana, considered one of the best restaurants in the world.  But when you arrive at this Salumeria Monday-Friday between 11-5, you notice a peculiar thing, its closed.  That’s because they are busy making all sorts of magic in the back, to those lucky enough to snag one of the 4 tables that one needs to reserve weeks, sometimes months in advance. 

Hosteria Giusti dining roomHosteria Giusti also happens to be Mario Batali’s favorite restaurant in Italy.  Baltali’s dad was a close friend with the late Adriano Morandi who opened the Hosteria in 1989.  The shop itself however is over 400 years old.  400 years!  I’m no historian, but this sounds like pre-texting to me.  Most folks come to Modena with their little Trip Advisor rankings miss out on this jewel.

To get to Giusti, you don’t got to through the store, but to this quiet back alley off Via Emilia.  Walk until you reach a gate where you wait for someone to show up to hear the secret password.. “Ummmm Jewsty?” Bamm!  You are in.  Cecilia, Adriano’s daughter served us and spoke better English than some of my relatives living in NYC.  I was suffering from a cold (I only get sick on vacations, becoming quite comical), and this was the worst day.  But taste buds were intact, though no wine for me, homemade Lambrusco for her which she enjoyed.Hosteria Giusti Gnoccho frito salumi

We started with some Gnoccho frito salumi. Every town off Via Emilia makes these little buns differently it seems with different sizes, degree of puffiness and different names. Here are the large puffy ones that pop on the first bite into this nice marriage with the various salumi sitting on top. The lardo in particular was of the rich, buttery, high quality variety.

Minestrone Fritters – Perhaps the most interesting thing we ate here. They take a Minestrone soup that thickened overnight, mix in Parma cheese, flour, egg, and deep fry a spoonful worth and voila.. but wait… there’s more… sprinkle some of their own ultra aged Traditional balsamic vinegar and Voila!  I now know what “Traditional” means after visiting a Balsamic producer in the area earlier that day. Those fritters don’t look very exciting, but carry a lot of punchHosteria Giusti Minestrone Fritters

More excellence followed with the Maccheroni with Zampone (stuffed pig’s trotter, a Modena specialty) sauce.  Tagliatelle with veal ragu was even better. More of that scrumptious, robust ragu we’ve come to expect throughout the trip, and this was perhaps the best one

Cecilia recognizing my pain when I was choosing our lone secondi to share and offered half portions.  Another exceptional veal cheek that we just couldn’t get enough on this trip. This one, no frills, smothered with its own juices, just melt in your fork deliciousness.  And I had to try the Cotechino, another Modena specialty served normally during Christmas time.  It comes coated with a rich, sweet Zabaione sauce made with Lambrusco.  Cotechino is a very tender slow boiled fresh sausage made with pork meat, skin, plenty of fat and is very nicely spiced.  And together with the Zabaione you got some very nice contrasting flavors.  Marry Christmas to us.  Sorry, no picture for this one.

Overall, an extremely memorable, top 10 of the year meal.  Hosteria Giusti and Modena is another strong reason to stay an extra day in Bologna.

Maccheroni Hosteria Giusti veal cheek Hosteria Giusti Salumi Hosteria Giusti prosciutto Hosteria Giusti cut Hosteria Giusti

Categories: Italy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tuome, Can You Hear Me

Tuome SkateI had the entire conversation rehearsed in my head while sitting in the car waiting for our table.  The smiling dude from Tuome said we came too early and that our table wasn’t ready, but the good news was we could wait by the bar.  Memorandum to restaurant owners of NYC:  If the tiny little bar of yours is completely full with no standing room allowed whatsoever, don’t point to it and say you can wait by the bar.  You look like an ass.  I said we’ll wait in the car (freezing conditions btw), while staring at the two empty drafty tables by the entrance making him aware that I see those tables and he better not give them to us when the time comes.  Reminiscing about a certain Yemeni cafe in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn where we froze to death, and they built a museum around us.  When we finally got the callback, we were offered a choice of a drafty table, or not drafty one in the center of the room.  Hmm.. let me go back to the car and think about this one a little bit.  OK, I’ll take the nice and warm one in the middle of the room.  Close call, but we are off to a fantastic start.

TuomeThe front room is rather small, rustic, and quite East Villagy.  Tables very close together which can be a good thing (more on that later).  When someone walks behind you, you bounce a little like that bouncy at the Museum of Sex.  The only other room I explored was the tiny unisex bathroom.  It was one of those cold, pee every 2 hour days in NYC which brings yet another tip.  Before watching a Russian movie like ‘Leviathan’, going an hour before is way too soon.  You need to visit the bathroom right before the movie, as the concept of editing still hasnt made it to mother Russia.

Where was I, oh yes, Tuome.  Or “Toe Me” as Thomas Chen’s parents used to pronounce “Tommy”.  Formerly with Eleven Madison Park and Commerce, this is Toe Me’s first crack at managing one.  The American menu is interesting, playful, and full of Asian influences.  Annisa light if you will.  Unlike Annisa and the momofukus out there however, there’s a clear sweet tone in some of the dishes.  And the playfulness in a way backfires a little while showing some immaturity (“Pig Out” for 2 can easily be pork dish for 1, table side “espuma” squirting).  But, at the end of the day, the outcome was quite positive.

Chicken Liver – Good, Very good actually according to liver freak mrs Z.  Silky smooth, looking like a plate of hummus with a pool of olive oil in the middle.  Except in this case its Maple syrup which added much sweetness but an enjoyable dish nonetheless

Tuome Deviled EggsDeviled Egg – Nothing like any deviled eggs I’ve had in my young Deviled Eggs career.  Three eggs, breaded and fried, with a nice dollop of chili-garlic sauce that made all the difference.  Just a great combination of textures and nice deep lasting flavors.  Perhaps the dish of the night

Octopus – This is an excellent puss.  One tentacle, surrounded by porky XO sauce on one side while waiter squirts “Espuma” (fancy for foam) on the other.  Doubt East Villagers are impressed by table side squirting any more.  Maybe a better fit for Theater District where you can even get away with “Espuma”.  The leg was nicely cooked, not too mushy or too hard, and the XO sauce I couldnt get enough of.  Reminiscent of the All’onda XO with Soppressata.  The only thing is I wished the leg was a bit bigger, like Portuguese octopus I see on occasion.  A few bites of the meaty part and you are left with a long slightly overcooked skinny dude.  Great dish still.Tuome Octopus

Next was a welcomed wait after all three small plates came at the same time 10 minutes after we sat down. Proper pacing of the dishes seems like a rarity these days.

Short Rib – Another exceptional dish.  Extremely tender and juicy, with a sweet glaze and more sweetness from the sweet potato puree.  Very good dish, but felt all too familiar.  Unlike the other dishes, nothing out of the ordinary here but I’d order it again.  Its just that the city is suddenly loaded with exceptional short rib and beef cheek plates

Skate (top) – Good, really good according to Mrs Z.  Nice size, lightly fried, with cauliflower bits and Marcona Almonds.  Good flavor though got a little boring toward the end.Tuome short Rib

Brussels Sprouts – Outstanding side.  One of the better ones we’ve had in NYC.  Mixed with more of that Pork XO, with raisins and grapes providing a nice balance

Rice – Yet another great side.  Sticky rice with sweet Chinese sausage (a bit too sweet), duck fat packed inside Lotus leaves.  Another dish where most of the excitement came from the initial touches, but I would certainly order again.  This is one of those places where sides require special attention.  The Corn looked good as well

Pig Out for two – This is their specialty but with just the two of us we opted to try more of the menu and sides instead of being in the mercy of one dish.  The gimmick seems to work for them, but as a customer I dont see a reason why they cant evenly divide the 10 pork belly squares by 2 and offer individual sizes.  So the brilliant plan was to get friendly with the neighbors and try theirs.  We half succeeded… jokingly offered any help if they required and even gave some advice on visiting Iceland, but no {porky} dice.

Chinese Beignets – Dessert is not a strong suit here.  This is at the moment the only option and if it continues than perhaps some help from Anita Lo may be required to perfect these Beignets.  However, this wasnt nearly a complete loss as the three condiments provided especially the ice cream with red bean paste saved the moment.

For such a young chef who started out as an accountant, Tommy is doing a lot of things right.  I’ll be back (if I’m still welcomed)

Tuome
536 East 5th Street
$$$
Recommended Dishes: A rare all of the aboveTuome Liver Tuome Rice Tuome - Brussels Sprouts Tuome Beignets

 

Categories: East Village, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Best Things We Ate in Piedmont

Italy 2014 203When you research food in Piedmont, its usually a matter of minutes until you see “Most Underrated” mentioned by some food writer.  Its almost cliché.  Many believe that the Langhe region, especially the 20 mile radius around Alba has some of the best concentration of great dining in the country.  And now that I finally got a good taste of what this region has to offer, me and my chocolates are jumping on the bandwagon to Serralunga.  Here are some of the best bites we had from a recent trip…

Fusilli with pork shoulder at Agriturismo il Cucchiaio di LegnoLake Orta’s lone Slow Food hidden gem produced a feast to remember.  While its nearly impossible to pick one dish from this 10 courser, the Fusilli is etched in my mind perhaps more than anything else.  The title explains the dish almost in its entirely.  Light on ingredients, but big on flavor.  Young master Luigi learned from the best.. Mother!

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White Truffles at La Bottega del Vicoletto – We came, we conquered.  We came for White Truffles during Truffle season, and we took full advantage eating them for lunch and dinner every day and even bought one that we named Raffi.  What we quickly realized was that not only every place served them differently, but quality varied.  Some shave them in the kitchen, some do it table side, and some leave the truffles in the middle of the room.  But my favorite way to enjoy truffles was in places like Vicoletto in Alba where they weigh them first, leave the truffles on the table, and weigh them after the meal to figure out how much you ate.  Since truffles are mostly about that magical scent, you are enjoying them for the duration of your meal while they just sit there looking pretty.

The family behind La Bottega del Vicoletto used to own a Michelin Starred restaurant in the same location, until they closed it.  Now they are back opening a deli with a small room in the back serving all the classics like Agnolotti del Plin (very good), Tajarin, Beef Cheeks, and some of the best white truffles we had on this trip

La Bottega del Vicoletto Poached Egg

Chocolate at Alba Saturday Market – Saturday is market day in Nutella land (as in many cities in Italy).  You will find stands scattered all over town selling everything from curtains, toys and truffles during truffle season.  But the biggest action is in the huge parking area in the northern part of the town (Find on Google Maps:  Locanda Dell’oca, Catiza, or Rainbow Board Shop, and go to that area).  One particular stand was selling chocolates that will make you regret not buying more.  Nice selection of outstanding hazelnut chocolates… so good, and so satisfying when craving strikes.  In the picture below its mostly the stuff in the lower left

Alba market chocolate

Tajarin with Sausage Ragu at La Torre in Cherasco – Let me start by saying we had this dish next to another Tajarin dish filled with 10 grams of white truffles that cost 3x more.  That’s how good this Tajarin was.  Bra Sausage which is a mixture of Veal (mostly) and Pork is at the helm of this Piedmont classic, and the result is rich and explosive.  Like Mardi Gras in your mouth.

La Torre Tajarin

Carne Cruda at Il Centro in Priocca – Picking one dish from the meal of the year is like asking Evander Holyfield to pick his favorite illegitimate kid.  Raw beef, expertly cut by hand, helped by a generous shaving of white truffles.  A pure joy with every morsel.  Just don’t you dare call it Steak Tartare.

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Anchovies and Tuna at Ca del Re in Verduno – This all female crew is making all sorts of magic in the restaurant of Castello di Verduno winery.  Anchovies covered by the best tuna salad you will ever have, consisting of tuna, hazelnuts and olive oil.  Surprising big flavors from this little Slow Food hidden gem.

Ca del Re - Anchovies and Tuna

Grissini at Fratelli Cravero - When in Piedmont, you eat Grissini.  Everywhere!  You show up at any restaurant and there they are, waiting for you on the table like a bouquet of roses.  But the best way to have them is in the center of Barolo, while watching the Cravellos make them in the only family owned bakery in the area.  Meeting energetic Daniella is worth the price of admission alone (which is zero btw – its just an expression).  And if you are a good boy, she will even let you smell her truffles

Courtesy of Cravero website

Courtesy of Cravero website

Onion at Trattoria La Coccinella – In a meal such as this, that featured a truffle delight one after another, one particular onion stood out.  The onion is baked with salt then filled with chicken liver, baked some more, sprinkled by some more salt, and the result is heavenly.  Even onion hater Mrs Z was all over this one

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Baci di Cherasco in Cherasco – Cherasco is a town known for two things dear to my heart (perhaps because I dont get enough of them).. snails and kisses.  Snails, you can get all over town in every way shape or form (I like the Parisian style), but its those little kisses (“Baci”), that made me weep during a recent foreign movie.  I finally finished all the Baci I bought at Ravera.  Ravera is one of two shops (that I know) selling these crazy delicious chocolates in the compact center.  The other one is the famous Barbero a few steps away, who only been selling these kisses since 1881.

Ravera Baci di Cherasco

Braised Beef Cheeks Everywhere – Cheating or brilliant pick.  I vote the latter.  More often than not in Italy and NYC restaurants, Primis outshine the Secondis, and on occasion we skip secondis altogether.  In North Italy however, we find a much better balance between courses partly due to the exceptional meats, game and seafood (e.g. Venice).  In Piedmont you got the double threat; arguably the best cattle and the best wine in the country.  Beef or Veal cheek (Guanciale) braised in Barolo, or even cheaper Nebbiolo can be found just about everywhere.  And once you taste one you will want to order it again and again.

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Categories: Italy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Not Your Typical Village Food Tour

BrigadeiroWe are well into January, mucus season here in snowy New York City.  Its also the beginning of the end of resolution season, where we start to forget about all the resolutions of the new year.  Normally the end of resolution season coincides with Cassoulet Week which starts on January 10th, but with the news of obesity rates going up, resolution season has been extended a few more days.  This is after all the season where we ask ourselves that all important question, “Did I gain weight, or am I just bloated”.  Well, you’ve been bloated for 4 weeks, hence its time to take a break.  Reflect, relax, hibernate, and come up with a sensitive plan for this new year.  Food, travel, what else is there to plan.  Maybe babies.  Food, travel, and babies.

I personally haven’t eaten anything noteworthy for almost a month, and my left leg is starting to shake.  Actually its my left thigh really, my Culatello.  So instead of featuring one player today, lets grab our selfie sticks and take a walk in one of the best eating areas in the country, West Village, for a little food tour.  Part of it is in Greenwich Village actually, but for the purpose of this blog its West or East, so if its not East, its West, Kapish?  Lets eat..

Taboonette

Taboonette – Lets start the walk in Union Square.  Close your eyes while crossing 14th st and Mazal Tov, you made it to the village.  On 13th st, you have tiny but deadly Taboonette which can be described in 3 different ways.  A pocket food place, fancy street food, or Middleterranean (Middle eastern with Mediterranean touch) hole in the wall.  Contrary to what it may say on its site, No Falafel For You in this baby Taboon.  But its time to try something new anyway, like the Sabich (with a jewish spitting on your phone ch), a pita sandwich of fried eggplant, hard boiled eggs, Tehini and more, invented in Ramat Gan Israel.  More Israeli veg options like the Kruvit, (roasted cauliflower) fill the menu, or try some of the platters like the Chicken Sawarma (below) or the “Kebab” which is more like hefty delicious Lamb cutlets.

Taboonette Shawarma

AmorinoAmorino – We are breaking all the rules here on EWZ and heading straight to Ice Cream for stop #2.  Normally I start my Gelato relationship with Nocciola and this was love at first Nocciola.  Every cone filling is done with a lot of love and to prove that love they shape it like a flower.  Or perhaps the dude took a fancy to me.  Since then I also discovered the sick Amareno flavor, but only because the Nocciola has been absent.  The ingredients here are top notch, as you taste every fruit and every nut.  A chain in Europe, but quite possibly the best Gelato in NYC at the moment.  At this point a walk in Washington Square Park is in order to kill some calories, or you can head straight west to the next pit stop.  I wanted to recommend Forbes Galleries but I just noticed they are permanently closed

Lumpia Shack Snack Bar - You know what they call a food tour without Lumpia?  A food tour without Lumpia!  These are Vietnamese inspired spring rolls and this Smorgasburg veteran is a good place to try them.  Try all three kinds and guess which is my favorite (hint: its the truffled mushroom).  And while you ate it don’t leave without trying the garlic chips made from tapioca starch infused with tamarind powder.  Yes I said “ate it” on purpose.

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Bar Sardine – Time to share a not so average burger.  The $10 Fedora burger is generating some buzz and for good reason.  A well crafted creation featuring smoked cheddar, sweet barbecue mayo, cucumbers, and a shoestring fries loaded inside the burger to give it that crunchy bite.  Fries on the side are an extra $7, but if you really want to try something else, go for the Octopus Hushpuppies.

Bar Sardine BurgerEmpellon Taqueria – I wasnt about to include this one but its practically across the street from Bar Sardine.  The Beer Braised Pork Tongue Taco will run you at $7 a pop but its arguably New York’s best taco.  Just like Bar Sardine you can sit at the bar and be in and out in no time.

Percy Pizza – An exception to the rule, a dollar slice that doesn’t suck.  Very popular with university students, and underpaid professors.  You can go to the more famous Joe’s nearby for a $2.50 slice, but for a dollar slice this is as good as it gets and the smaller size is perfect for this itinerary.Percy Pizza

Brigadeiro Bakery – We end our tour in this spanking new hidden gem where I almost got arrested.  Mariana 1 and Mariana 2 were selling their Brazilian Truffles (Brigadeiros) from a basement in a restaurant around the corner until they finally found this spot.  And according to the feminine inner Ziggy, this little shop is adorable.  Fantastic spiced hot chocolate, and a wide range of freshly baked Brigadeiro.  I’m partial to the bright ones over the chocolate, but try as many as you can.  Last time I left with the feeling that I forgot something until I finally remembered 5 blocks later..Paying!  Yes, I went back, ask Mariana 2.

Brigadeiro2 Brigadeiro Bakery

Categories: New York City, West Village | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Restaurant Week is Over. Here’s What You Missed

Ziggy:

Reblogging a post from last year around this time in preparation for Restaurant Week 2015….

Originally posted on Eating With Ziggy:

photo (7)1) A Slew of participants.  None of which are the hottest/trendiest places at the moment.  Mostly establishments that can use more bodies during Monday-Friday.

2) Menus designed for restaurant week.  A $25 lunch menu that normally includes a minuscule or none inspiring appetizer like the ever so trendy kale soup.  A main entree that is either off the regular menu, a smaller version of the regular menu item, or a new cheap invention.  You certainly did not miss the signature dishes, or the dishes that truly define the participant establishments

3) Dessert.  Seriously, who orders dessert during lunch anymore in NYC other than the business lunchers or “Ladies Who Lunch”.  At the end of the day, once you calculate all you had versus what the regular menu offers, you wind up with a free dessert

4) Cold Service.  Yes this will vary from place to place and certainly debatable I…

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Categories: New York City | Leave a comment

Emilia Romagna – The Producers!

Italy 2014 797Suppose you are really into Hummus.  You eat it almost daily, you feed it to your family every other day, and you live in an area that is known for it. Hummusville, Kentucky, the birthplace of Hummus!  Many moons ago it was established that the 30 mile radius that surrounds Hummusville, Kentucky has the perfect terroir for growing the most perfect organic Chickpeas.  And some time later, the formula for Hummus was created, only to be challenged by less than perfect Hummus from imitators all over the world.

Fearing sudden danger from those pesky imitators, and a slip in quality from some producers who opted for second grade ingredients in order to increase their margins (a scandal dubbed Tehini-Gate), a Hummus Consortium was established to protect the integrity of its product.  A Hummus Czar was appointed, and Hummus cops are dispatched daily to inspect the producer’s daily production.  They inject a special strip made by HumTech that determines the quality of the product.  The items that pass make it to the market as “Hummus”.  Those that fail make it as well, but labeled “Sabra Hummus” as a more affordable item that should be eaten immediately.

You get the idea, right?  Because if not I can go on and on and talk about the Annual Hummus Festival that includes the famous Hummus donkey race, the tossing of the chickpea game, and the famous Hummus Bucket Challenge.Italy 2014 1147

Such is the food culture in Italy, and especially in Emilia Romagna.  I visited Eataly in NYC the other day and I saw this “Felino Salami – Made in Utah” Is there Felino in Utah?  I asked the girl.  Because as far as I know Felino is a small town south of Parma, famous for its Felino Salami, dubbed King of Salami in Italy and US.  How can it be made in Utah.  “Its just the style” she says.  Hmm, “Parmesan” is a style as well.  EU Courts have been banging heads for years trying to determine whether “Parmesan” is a generic name that can be sold in other countries.  I’m no expert but “Felino” resembles “Felino” name more than “Parmesan” resembling “Parmigiano Reggiano”

Emilia Romagna is the home to the famous Prosciutto di Parma, Aceto Balsamico di Modena (Balsamic Vinegar of Modena), and Parmigiano Reggiano, king of cheese.  If these items dont excite you than most likely your home country did a masterful job selling you poor imitations.  All three are protected by governing bodies that protect the authenticity and integrity of their products.  The point of this post is to highlight some of the area producers that accept English speaking  visitors.  If you dont have a car there are tours you can take from Bologna, Modena, and Parma, some of which will take you to all three in one day.  But I recommend renting a car in order to do it at your own pace, visit some castles, and eat something delicious while doing so.  The challenge is to find producers that Speak English…

Italy 2014 737Prosciutto

I dont have Prosciutto producer recommendations (Bravo Ziggy, what a start).  Instead I got something similar but much more prized.  The creme de la creme of cured hams, the Culatello di Zibello.  Prosciutto so good it has a different name.  And the place most known for it is Antica Corte Pallavicina which I already discussed in full length.  A visit to this old Castle/farm and its world famous Culatello cellar, preferably over night, will leave a lasting memory and a plethora of wet dreams.

http://www.acpallavicina.com/

But if you rather visit another producer, you can contact the consortium.  I’m aware of one member that is open for English speaking visitors and that is Terre Ducali which you may contact at export@terreducali.it

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Italy 2014 817Parmigiano Reggiano

CiaoLatte is a small family producer located between Parma and Fidenza.  For 10 euros per person, you get a private (unless other show up) tour with young Serena who speaks English well and is a wealth of information.  But you will need to be there early (8 am if I recall) in order to see the entire process that lasts about two hours.  Well, not the whole process.  For that you will need to spend the night in their Agriturismo and help milk the cows early in the morning.  The farm is very popular with local schools, mainly due to efforts of Serena’s mom who is quite a character (she turned into Liza Minnelli as soon as we mentioned NYC).  Also included is a tasting of various aged Parmigiano, jams and other homemade goodies.  Well worth a visit

http://www.ciaolatte.it/chisiamoi.htm

ciaolatte@libero.it

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Italy 2014 1158Balsamic Vinegar

Forget everything you know about Balsamic Vinegar.  Unless you already know what you are supposed to know.  Know what I mean?  Out of the three amigos (Parma cheese, ham and balsamic), this one may completely change your buying habits, and the way you use Balsamic.  Ice cream anyone?  Don’t leave Villa San Donnino, just outside Modena without having some ice cream with Traditional 18 year aged Balsamic Vinegar.  “Traditional” has an entirely different meaning in the Balsamic Vinegar universe.  You will learn all about Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale, its much younger, hence more affordable cousins, and the eye opening process.  An absolute must.  Free of charge.  After that, a power lunch at the legendary Hosteria Giusti in Modena is in order.

http://www.villasandonnino.it/index.html

Buon Appetito my friends!

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Categories: Italy | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Houston Street, We Have a Problem!

161A Note from the Editor:

In the summer, during my much anticipated staycation, there was a moment on the High Line that is etched in my mind.  We found ourselves almost paralyzed, stuck in rush hour Sunday afternoon traffic behind a family of 4, a rooster, and a pair of parakeets.  It was like a zoo!  We’ve seen our share of tourists at the High Line before but not to this degree, and with characters no less.  We needed to get out of there and we had to do it fast, after a bite of the Delaney Brisket of course.  A trip to the storied High Line coupled with braving the crowds of the Chelsea Market is now firmly on the tourists path.  Great for NYC, and all those Chelsea eateries that must be thriving just about now, right?  Not exactly.

A few weeks ago someone asked me if my knowledge of Hell’s Kitchen extends to Real Estate, for the purpose of finding a new home for La Lunchonette, a long time Chelsea institution.  In what seems like a daily occurrence of businesses closing its doors, La Lunchonette is just another one to bite the dust of rising rents.  Culprit in this case:  The High Line.  The park, along with new zoning permits attracting Real Estate developers who now see a lot of green in West Chelsea, and I’m not talking about the plants along the High Line that no one looks at anyway.  Current building owners succumb to offers they can’t refuse, essentially forced to evict their tenants in many cases.  According to Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, the High Line is the cause of La Lunchonette’s demise, and presumably, many more will follow.

I guess we are done with gentrifying the island and now focusing on hyper gentrification?  I’m not pretending to know anything about economics or real estate.  I’m just a poor software developer who wants to have a f*** bagel or matzoh whenever I choose to, or whenever Jewish holiday dictates.  Excuse my Yiddish there.  Oh did I mention Streit’s Matzo Factory is closing soon and so is the original Ess-a-Bagel to make room for Bank of America and you guessed it.. a bagel shop.  How can anyone afford to run a business or live in NYC anymore.

The Union Square Area alone is one giant “For Rent” sign, led by Union Square Cafe which is forced to move after its lease is up.  Restaurants are getting squeezed left and right from 57th street to Houston Street.  In Hell’s Kitchen the action is slowly shifting to the West.  A Mexican restaurant owner recently told me he couldn’t afford being on 8th ave anymore and had to move all the way to 10th.  Meanwhile downtown, Brigadeiro Bakery finally found affordable space in Soho after selling their Brazilian Truffles from a Basement nearby for years.  Do you have a Bodega (Mexican deli) near you nowadays?  Bodegas are closing all over or forced to transform and unbodega themselves.

So whats in store for 2015 and beyond.  Brace yourself for more Bank of America, 7-Eleven, Chipotle, and Eataly which plans to open two more stores in NYC in the future.  While I love Eataly as much as the next guy (I spent 3 hours there last Sunday), I need more Eatalys like I need a pimple on my ass.  This expression never made much sense to me, until recently when I finally got one.  Those things can be truly annoying.  Anyway, I cant help but wonder how many more small mom and pops will close as a result of two more Eatalys.  Places like Di Palo’s, where you get a much more personal service, need to cherished like we cherish our kids.

But is it time to panic?  Yes!  I suppose 2014 also saw many new restaurants open, and I believe I even saw “Record Year” being proclaimed somewhere out there.  But with that I also noticed that my spending has increased, so no doubt I’m paying for the rent hikes as well.  How many of the new openings are truly affordable, with entrees below $20.  For every Lumpia Shack there seemed to be 10 Batards opening last year.  In Hell’s Kitchen new business owners used to find refuge on 9th ave, but now they find it on side streets where foot traffic is much lighter, or 10th ave where traffic is even worse.  Whenever I walk to Inti, a Peruvian gem on 10th where the Rotisserie chicken rivals anyone’s, I always wonder how they are still in business.  My co-worker believes they have a healthy delivery business

I still believe NYC is the greatest food city in the world, don’t get me wrong.  And the options I have in lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Queens are limitless.  But I’m a little worried about the direction.  Perhaps the worry is for nothing and I should stick to writing about food.  Time will tell.  Meanwhile, avoid the High Line

Ziggy

Editor in Chief

Categories: Brooklyn, Chelsea, Chinatown, East Village, Gramercy, Flatiron, Lower East Side, Midtown East, Midtown West, New York City, Queens, SoHo, NoHo, Nolita, Staten Island, TriBeCa, Trucks, Upper West Side, West Village | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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