Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Best and Worst Restaurants of 2013

The best of 2013 by Eastern European, former Soviet aficionado Florian

Food Perestroika

I feel like I spent all my dinners out eating in Eastern European and other post-Soviet restaurants this year! As is now the tradition, here’s a summary of the places I reviewed, rated on a scale from 0 to 10, and grouped into three categories: recommended (rating > 6), not worth a special visit (rating between 5 and 6), and avoid (rating < 5). While I usually mention decor and service in my posts, only the food is being graded.

2013 was the year of the Manhattan restaurants. Call me lazy, but I figured I might as well review some of the eateries closer to home before venturing too often to Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay. The conclusion is that they tend to be better than their Brooklyn neighbors (with one exception that’s so blatant that it can only confirm the rule). This doesn’t really come as a surprise: a restaurant…

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Categories: New York City | Leave a comment

Balaboosta – Vey Zmir What Flavors!

Balaboosta - HummusThis is gonna be a goodie and a quickie.  Or maybe just a quickie, we’ll see how it goes.  I’m just a little busy lately with all sorts of things going on including an invitation to the latest Jean Paul Gaultier collection.  Yes, another thing you didnt know about me I suppose but I am a Jewish Fashionista of sorts.  When I’m not busy travelling and eating, I am busy checking out the latest fashion trends.  Jean Paul (or JP as we friends call him) latest tells me that I need to get a new buyer (wife).  She keeps buying me black and I’m starting to suspect that this is her way of calling me fat.  But at the same time, JP’s Rabbi Chic collection at the Brooklyn Museum yesterday tells me black is still the new black and my buyer will be kept.  For now.

Balaboosta (which loosely translates in Yiddish to “She who will drop the lobster remains on your shoulder during dinner time if you say anything negative about her mother again.  Next time will be your head”) is one of those places that’s been on my list for a while.  Pretty much ever since seeing owner Einat Admony won Chopped.  I’ve been a fan of Taim for a while now, even while enduring the suffering of seeing them misspell S’chug over the years.  And of course, after all that, Einat was not there to receive the complaint directly as she had a family function to attend.

As I explained recently to a friend, I dont write posts about bad meals.  If I have a bad meal I simply dont write anything (which happened quite a few times this year).  Balaboosta is Israeli/middle eastern at its best…

Crispy Cauliflower – With lemon,​ currants, pine nuts.  Sweet, savory and delicious.  This is sort of a celebrated dish here, mentioned on forums, various websites, cookbooks.  Children books written about it; “Goodnight Balaboosta Cauliflower!”

Hummus “Mortar and Pestle” – tahini, roasted garlic, za’atar pita – We know our hummus and this is damn good hummus.  As with Taim pitas, love the use of za’atar.  No surprises here, like Brian Boitano announcing he’s gay

Homemade Swiss Chard Spaghetti – With heart of artichoke, ricotta, crispy garlic and walnuts. Simple and delectable.  Kids, wife attacked it like its the last day of the Mayan calendar.  Leaving almost nothing for Ziggy

Yemenite Pizza – shaved fennel, caramelized onion, feta, arugula.  Put this one under “why did I order this category”  not a fan of this combination to begin with.  Oldest child proclaimed “Interesting”

Braised Short Ribs – sauteed okra, oven dried tomato, spinach, chickpea cake,   hawaïj & white wine reduction – Meaty and tender.  Chickpea cake’s texture a little off, mushy, but tasted fine

Lamb Kebabs (special) – Excellent.  Tasty, herby, like a nice cross between Adana and Indian kebabs.  Sitting on top of crisped pita on a bed of eggplant tahini (fancy for babaghanouj)

Moroccan Curry Seafood – seared fish filet , shrimp, scallop, eggplant, baby carrot, kale, bokchoy.  Terrific, though not quite sure how its Moroccan or “Curry”.  Mild bright sauce, letting the well cooked seafood do the talking.  My Balaboosta thought it was too bland but probably due to trying this after the well spiced kebabs.  I liked it

I must say the desserts here were exceptional.  Banana Bread pudding is NOLA quality!  For those who’ve been to New Orleans know what I’m talking about.  Knafeh, or as we called it while touring Israel, “The Hairy Baklava” is quite good as well, with rose water ice cream which was a pleasant surprise.

Special thanks the young French waitress helping us out.

Balaboosta

214 Mulberry St

Balaboosta - cauliflower Balaboosta - Pizza Balaboosta - Spaghetti Balaboosta - Kebabs Balaboosta - Seafood casserole Balaboosta - Knaffe Balaboosta - Bread pudding Balaboosta

Categories: New York City, SoHo, NoHo, Nolita | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Turks and Caicos – Via Veneto

Via Veneto - Fetuccinne“Do you come with your own plunger” my friend Elizabeth wondered once she saw me unpack my equipment after running into each other in Via Veneto.  “Ahhm, not exactly, its actually my flash diffuser”.  I realized right then that I need to add a new flash diffuser to Santa’s list (sitting besides me was the actual island Santa so it was convenient), right between a new car and Mensch on a Bench.  This was actually an improvement over last year when I borrowed my brother’s camera bag which had sort of peculiar male genital shape.  To any patrons after a few Chiantis sitting there it may have looked like I was  really happy to be there.  This year I walked everywhere with a plastic bag.

I’ve been waiting to eat in the new Via Veneto for almost a year, after just missing the coming out party in the spring.  Luckily owner Aldo subscribes to the “do it right or dont do it at all” mentality, which meant delaying the opening.  Coming from a competitive environment such as Rome is a big plus to Provo.  Early reviews have been a little shaky but thats the Provo norm these days as building relationships with vendors can take some time.  Everything except the meats is imported from Italy; From the chefs, the tiles, the paintings, to the girlfriend, all imported from Rome.  Hence, app page a bit pricey but contrary to the forums chatter the rest not too bad at all.  This is indeed the closest you get to eating in Italy.  Perhaps one Cacio e pepe dish shy from a Roman Trattoria.  As with any Italian establishment in the USA, sticking to dishes from one region only is quite impossible and a recipe for failure.

Via Veneto - Lamb Chops

Once we were seated outside, the gods got angry and it started pouring.  Those were the Italian tile gods going “go a in to a check out the a tiles”.  Our tables were swiftly moved inside on top of the tiles.  It felt like eating at a Russian family house without taking my shoes off.  We were no there on a saturday which meant “No Pizza for You!”.  The pizza is Roman which if true, and I have nothing to doubt its not, expect thin almost Matzoh like crust.  The less toppings the better from my experience.

We started with a Coccetto app of mushrooms, bread and ham topped with cheese which was fine.  While I’ve had various Russian/French variations of this dish, I never heard of Coccetto

As is often the case with Italian Trattorias the highlights are the pastas.  Spaghetti Carbonara was as good as we’ve had in Rome.  Creamy, a but runnier than I like, but still quite good.  The Fetuccinne with Guanciale (pork cheeks) and black truffles (top) was best of show surprisingly considering its white truffle season at the moment.  The dish had plenty of truffle aroma to satisfy all senses and convince the brain that its pretty darn yummy (foodie technical term).

The lamb chops as our shared secondi was slightly uneven but cooked well and quite delectable for the most part.  We finished off with a nice ice cream duo, one topped with chocolates and the other with cherry sauce.  Cherry won 3 “Mmmmmm”s to 1.

Via Veneto - coccetto Via Veneto - Carbonara Via Veneto - Ice Cream

Categories: Turks and Caicos | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Turks and Caicos – Jerkey’s

Jerkies - Goat CurrySailing Paradise no more.  It is now Jerkey’s located in what’s becoming Provo’s Restaurant Row on the road between Seven Stars and Leeward Highway.  We sampled more of the same between the two of us.  Same sublime Jerk Chicken – moist, juicy, and flavor packed, especially once you add their homemade Jamaican sauce.  Still my favorite Jerk on the island.  We eat it as if its the last day on the Mayan calendar.  Same goes for the succulent, “Sarah Jessica Parker” boney Goat Curry.  At some point I looked at both dishes and had to make a Sophie’s choice.   BTW, if you dont see something on the menu like the Jerk Chicken, or the Caribbean platter featured in the Top 7 dishes in WhereWhenHow, ask for itJerkies - Jerk Chicken

Although we enjoyed this lunch and Jerkey’s is now much closer, I and others I know very much miss the magical Sailing Paradise location.  You can still visit those colorful huts, and who knows perhaps the tables are still there so bring some Jerkey’s takeout and a small oven

March 26th, 2013 Sailing Paradise post…

Sailing

What a difference a year makes!

For the first time ever we opted to do something different on our last morning in Provo.  Instead of sit by the beach and drag the agony, only to continue the agony at the airport, staring at the array of Pringles (i.e., lunch) at the terminal store trying to remember our favorite flavors, I decided to leave a little earlier and head to Sailing Paradise for a final feast.  And what a feast this was.

Last April, a few weeks after Sailing Paradise reopened with new owners after being closed for some time, we were sitting there discovering our new favorite local spot.  It was just the 4 of us and I remember a lady approach Orville, the man in charge, and ask him “Well? do they like it?”.   Well, I think we like it even more today.  Orville, owner, chef, and sometimes driver (more on that) told me there were moments last year where shutting down looked like the only option.  This is not exactly prime location as far as Provo dining goes which is why Orville offers a free shuttle service to the beach potatoes of Grace Bay to bring them to Blue Hills.  He does not have much a choice here.

Sailing Paradise - The PlatterAnd on this particular lunch we discovered the Caribbean Platter, i.e., The Dish, the mother of all combos, the Kila of Manila (my childhood dream was to be a WWE announcer).  Seriously folks this is one sick dish (British readers – sick means good) and the most likely leader of the number of times we said “OMG, this is F**ing good” during a meal.  Jerk chicken, jerk pork, fried fish (lightly fried grouper, so so good.  Is this Escovitch?), goat curry, plantains, rice and peas.

This is my favorite jerk on the island.  Juicy, tender seasoned to perfection, and with that homemade Jamaican sauce (if they dont bring it, ask for it) you got this finger licking, heavenly goodness of the Caribbean.  The pork was more of the same.  It looks dry, but its moist and tasty.  And then there was the goat curry (not pictured, I ate it all) with all that goat glory, a joy ride with every morsel.  Easily best dish of the trip nominee.  Screw you Pringles – OriginalSailing Paradise - Fish Tacos

We also enjoyed some tasty “fish tacos” (more like wraps actually pictured above).  Or according to my iPhone auto correct, Fish Racists! Those auto corrections are so bizarre sometimes (Reminiscing over “Doomsday and Seven Stars are gorgeous!!”  Doomsday of course means Somerset).

Now here’s the thing, obviously all this was made to order as it should be.  But I’ve been to some local places where the jerk chicken for example was great one day and dry the next.  I suspect in Sailing Paradise you will get better consistency for the same reason Orville has to drive you there.

So check it out everybody.  And check out the Dish.  Here’s more from Sailing Paradise at Blue Hills

Sailing ParadiseSailing ParadiseSailing Paradise

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

Eating With Ziggy – Literally! All About the Hell’s Kitchen Food Crawl

October 2016 Update:  I’m not doing these anymore.  But as of October 2016 I got a sightseeing license and now run similar paid tours in Hells Kitchen, East Village and Brooklyn.  More details here.

Since I’ve had a few people asking me about this, I thought I would put this in writing finally.  A few months ago I’ve decided to offer free food oriented walks in Hell’s Kitchen.  I will spare you the details of what prompted me to do it, but I assure you there are details!  This is more of an eating meetup than an actual tour.

Here are the details…

What:  Hell’s Kitchen Food Crawl.  HK is a neighborhood in Midtown West
When: Send me your dates to losameach@gmail.com.  Generally Thursdays and Fridays are best.  We start at 3:40
Where:  In front of Pigalle restaurant, 790 8th Ave.  Corner of 48th street.  We will not eat in Pigalle dont worry
Who:  Up to 4 people.  Generally best if you have a certain passion for food, culture and/or want to experience NYC through the eyes of a local.  Dont do this just because its free, or with small children as it will not be fun
How long: Allow 4 hours.
Price:  Zero.  I’m not accepting tips.  Free is FREE!  You will just need to pay for the food
What will we eat and see:  Some people prefer to be surprised so I will not mention the places.  But out of about a dozen possibilities I’ve narrowed it down to 5 fairly diverse spots.  We will also visit a few non food related places and learn a bit about the neighborhood.  Worse case you will get to spend some time meeting a fun, interesting local, and I will do my best to find that individual 😉
How much will the food cost:  It depends on what exactly we’ll order and what you’ll be drinking.  Two of the places are casual quick sit-downs where we’ll share some dishes so some of it also depends on the number of people.  Here’s a very rough estimate without drinks…
1 person  – $40
2 people – $35 per
3 people – $30 per
4 people – $25 per
Any other questions please forward to losameach@gmail.com
Categories: Midtown West, New York City | Leave a comment

Maialino – When in NYC do as the Romans do

**** Terrible old post with terrible Iphone pictures replaced by a slightly less terrible post with more terrible Iphone pictures.  I didnt take my camera to this one since I wasnt planning to make a post *******Maialino - Cacio e pepe

Just the other day I was giving a food tour of Hell’s Kitchen to a young couple from the Philippines, and the subject of this blog came up.  I told them something I realized lately, that this is the weirdest blog they will ever encounter as its all about eating in 3 peculiarly different places:  NYC, Italy, and Turks And Caicos, a place they were not even familiar with.  “Its in the Caribbean” normally follows (Although technically its part of the Atlantic Ocean really).  But when my wife is often busy at work with older customers and does not have the time for 20 questions she prefers to just follow with “Turkey” instead.  Its not that I had any sort of plan when I started blogging, but now over a year later I find myself trying to please 3 different audiences somehow.

In a strange way Union Square Hospitality’s Maialino in the Gramercy Park Hotel connects all 3 subjects together, at least in my mind.  With TCI becoming increasingly Roman, I finally had my first Carbonara there (In Via Veneto).  In NYC, I now have all sorts of Roman options including Lupa, and even Eataly where you can get a decent Cacio e pepe.  But when I asked on Chowhound recently where do Italians eat in NYC, I was not surprised that the answer is A) a lot of what we call Italian food, and B) Maialino, according to one distinguished Roman and Food Author Maureen Fant.

For me to come back to the same place twice in one year is almost unheard of.  But I just had to impress my Aussie friend Tanya and had to play it safe.  The only thing I dislike about Maialino is the bar area.  Its always packed with beautiful single people.  So whenever I have to pass by it quickly to my seat in the back, it always serves as a gruesome reminder that I never had much of a single life.  @NickAnderer, any chance you could give me some back door access next time.  Anyway, another exceptional meal at one of New York’s exceptional Italian establishments.

Salumi Misti – You can select 3.  We’ve chosen Finocchiona, Prosciutto di Parma, and Mortadella.  All very good with the Finocchiona (salami with fennel) being my favorite.

Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe – Beautifully simple, simply beautiful.  Along with the carbonara perhaps my favorite pasta here.  Perfectly creamy, peppery, and addictive.  Having it sit there among the other pastas is like visiting the bunny ranch after trying out all the bunnies, and constantly picking you favorite.  Sorry you had to read this Tanya, Mrs Ziggy, ex girlfriends.

Tortelli – Wow this was good.  Little explosive mini pillows stuffed with pork and chicken liver drizzled with tasty balsamic oil and almonds.  Poignant, surprising flavor.  Not the type of surprise like Brian Boitano announcing he’s gay.  Really surprising.

Spaghetti with lobster – Delicious!  Not quite as sharp as the Lobster Fra Diavola I just had at my favorite restaurant in the Caribbean, Caicos Cafe led by a San Domenico veteran, but delicious nonetheless.

Oxtail – Roman style, slow cooked with tomato sauce.  Tender, falling off the fork, absolutely scrumptious piece of meat you just want to attack.  But we couldnt.  We were stuffed.  Just stared at it thinking how in the world I’m passing on this thing, reminiscing on the great oxtail we had at Cesare al Casaletto.  Nick, thanks for correcting my pronunciation of Cesare al Casaletto at the Bonci/Parla event at Paulie Gee’s

In the past we also enjoyed the terrific Carbonara (better than the ones I had in Rome), octopus app with beans, Pappardelle, and a fine Garganelli al Sugo di Coniglio (yum).  We skipped dessert this time but enjoyed the bread pudding over the more popular (I think) olive oil cake last time.  Check out Maialino boys and girls

Maialino Salumi Maialino - Tortelli Maialino Spaghetti Lobster Maialino - Spaghetti lobster Maialino Oxtail

Categories: Gramercy, Flatiron, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Long Bay Beach Kite Surfers

Kite SurfersLong Bay, Turks and Caicos – Beautiful beach, beautifully isolated, beautiful people.  We fit right in! 🙄

We were invited by our friends from Ottawa to watch them fly in gorgeous, windy Long Beach.  An ideal spot for Kitesurfing, and most ideal to learn how to kite surf due to the shallow waters.  While things got to a rough start where we met with an angry rain shower (kites = great shelter), followed by dying winds, things got back to normal as the skies cleared and the winds came back.  Besides,  it was a good time for me to practice my true passion, Beach Yoga!

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Roberto from kitesurftci.com

Roberto from kitesurftci.com

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Meryl from Spa Tropique

Meryl from Spa Tropique

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Categories: Turks and Caicos | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mis Amigos – Turks And Caicos

Mis AmigosIts been 33 hours and 25 minutes now since I’ve said goodbye to our friends in Turks, and I have to tell you readers (both of yous), I miss my Turks amigos already.  There’s a lot to write about this time.  And when I run through the possibilities in my head on where to start, there’s always one that puts a smile on my face.  That’s the one.

Mis Amigos

Mis Amigos is the perfect first stop from the airport and to the airport.  Not only it is a good place to start practicing your right turns, its convenient, delicious, and you feel like you are visiting friends, rather than a restaurant.  Friends with benefits!  Friends that can cook well (a luxury in the city of NY).  Tina the owner runs the place, the kid serves, and the husband does nothing.  Oops, got caught day dreaming again.  I mean the husband cooks.  Its one of those places that you simply don’t want to leave.  So not surprisingly two nights ago it was packed with locals.  Remember when I said that this is one of those places you don’t want to leave?  The KILLER Margaritas may have something to do with it.  Avid readers of EWZ know that I don’t use upper caps cheaply.  I only use them when I mean it, or when I get paid to do it.  They were KILLA! (joking about the paid stuff of course)

Mis Amigos Chips And salsaFreshness is key in this 6 month old Mexican cocina/cantina.  Sometimes, on a remote island it can be more economical to make things from scratch.  Which means everyone wins!  On my island of Staten, everything is done fresh by a guy named Joe.  Trader Joe’s! (we are strong supporters of the farm-to-freezer-to-my freezer-to-microwave-to-belly-to-why is the microwave smells of fish for a week concept).  That freshness and special attention to detail is felt right off the bat with some of the best Chips and Salsa north of Tijuana.  The salsa has a nice kick, thick, and easy to scoop.  This is not your typical watery, soggy restaurant stuff.  I normally don’t care much for chips and salsa wherever we go and I normally stop eating them after a couple scoops.  I cared here.

A hefty Poblano pepper stuffed with pork sitting on a corn veggie Quesadilla was more than satisfying.

Chille Relleno – Anaheim pepper filled with cheese deep fried in beer batter had pleasant mild heat and was good

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Lobster Quesadillas – “Pretty Pretty Good” Larry David quotes sometimes come to mind while eating.  I should probably see someone about that.  Fresh Lobster chunks with cheese in those perfectly crisped tortillas.  Good luck finding this in your neighborhood Chili’s.  Our favorite item here so far.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich – with homemade mayo and slaw. Honestly one of the juiciest, tastiest chicken sandwiches I’ve had in a long time.  Nice buns from Caicos Bakery

For a place that is still trying to get its bearings with its vendors Mis Amigos is doing a lot of things right. You can really sense the passion of the owners and the attention to detail here.  Check em out, Amigos!

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Categories: Turks and Caicos | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Things We Ate in Tuscany

Il Pozzo RavioliI’m off to the Island I like to call Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, but meanwhile here is something to chew on…

Pollo al Burro in Sostanza (Florence) – Call it chicken with butter, butter with Chicken, doenst really matter.  Two generous breasts are cooked over coal before pan fried with eggs and one stick of butter.  Thats still 2 sticks less than the similarly celebrated BBQ Shrimp at Mr B’s in New Orleans, but rich nonetheless.  The result is tender and addictive goodness.  With the massive Sostanza Bistecca Fiorentina side by side, for the first time ever my fork was reaching for the bird over a well cooked medium rare steak.  Long live pollo!Sostanza Chicken

Pappa al Pomodoro at Da Ruggero (Florence).  Love on first bite.  My first Pappa al Pomodoro of the trip might as well have been my last.  The waiter reassure me that this is one of best Pappas in town, so who am I to argue.  Who knew tomatoes and stale bread can taste so good.  And I could have easily included some of Ruggero’s killer pastas (with a nice kick) here as well.

Da Ruggero

Cecina at Da Felice (Lucca).  Oldest Pizza in town, and the most popular with locals.  We sampled some great pizzas, one with salami, and another one with prosciutto that blended oh so nicely with the rest of the ingredients.  But I came for the Cecina, thin pancake like or crepe if you will, made of chickpea flour.  Delicious!  Add a little bit of seasoning, Delicious-er!

Lucca - Cecina

Charcuterie Board at L’Incontro (Volterra).  Holy smokes this was good.  Leave it to local Annie Adair from Tuscan Tours to take us to this treasured local bar.  A feast for all senses that included great Salami, Prosciutto and all sorts of Pecorino cheeses (not seen below).  But the highlight was a first-rate Porchetta they just happened to have prepared that day.  Highly recommend having lunch here when in town.

Charcuterie Board at L'Incontro

Pecorino at Podere Il Casale (Near Pienza).  Like eating cheese for the first time.  The views did not hurt, but the smells and flavors from the Sheep’s milk cheese like the grape aged or walnut leaves age was nothing like we ever had.  And did I mention the views?  Oh yes, looks like I did

Italy - 2013 969

Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli at Il Pozzo (San Angelo in Colle). (Top Picture).  Magical dish in another magical setting in stunning San Angelo in Colle.  Watch the monks sing nearby at Sant’Antimo abbey before having this beauty with butter and sage.  This is a typical Tuscan dish you can have anywhere, but it was especially memorable here, as was the marvelous Pici.  Or Pinci as they call it in nearby Montalcino, a town too proud (of their Brunello) to simply call it like everyone else. 😉

Bruschetta at Gattavecchi (Montepulciano).  Carnival in my belly!  Fantastic Salsa Verde with melted cheese, savory liver pâté (best of the trip – Lilian the Brazilian cook makes it with wine and fruit), all kinds of great concoctions in a cup including potatoes-onion-bell pepper thingy (foodie technical term), and my fave, white beans spread with bread and veggies – ribolita.  Heavenly stuff at this heavenly city.

Gattavecchi - Bruschetta

Insalata Lagumi at Da Roberto (Montisi).  Simple, beautiful, and highly palatable.  One man show Roberto lets the ingredients do the talking.  5 different beans with pecorino, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, carrots, stem of garlic, olive oil.  All work together like a beautiful symphony, showcasing Roberto’s true passion.  The wrong place to ask “Whats good here” in this Slow Food Ambassador’s place.

Da Roberto - Insalata lagumi

Polenta with Porcini at La Tellina (Siena).  On a Porcini filled trip this was most memorable.  Grilled to perfection Polenta with these delicate, great textured Porcini, a nice app before the great seafood arrives.  All prepared with a lot of love from the family that runs this picture perfect trattoria.

La Tellina - Poricini

Ravioli with pigeon from Guastini (Valiano).  This was a tough pick since everything in this meal of the trip was so good.  I could have easily inserted the glorious fennel crusted duck, or the divine Tagliata, or the sinful fried rabbit I suppose.  But these pigeon stuffed Ravioli with 2 succulent pieces did the trick and more.  No wonder this place was full with locals

Guastini - Ravioli

Categories: Italy, Tuscany | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Major HKSG Update

Inti CevicheMajor facelift to the Hell’s Kitchen Survival Guide folks.  Not just a little botox job, I’m talking about a Joan Rivers.  Many additions, 1 extraction, and some clarifications (what to eat in Pure and Mercato), and a bunch of breakfast places.  A marked improvement over the previous number of breakfast places, zero!

Click here for the full guide

Additions:

Peruvian – Inti.  10th ave is the new 9th ave.  Can someone go here please? Anyone?  Bueller?  Its always empty for some reason and it would be a real shame if it closes.  A Pio Pio alumni with a twist.  And the twist being empty ceviche.  Great looking and tasting Ceviche Mixto (top), Fresh fish chunks, shrimp, octopus and calamari with red onions, cilantro and rocoto hot pepper.  Add sweet potatoes for much needed contrast and baby corn and you got yourself a heck of a dish.  Or try the always reliable Rotisserie chicken which I’ve had so many times prior to snapping the streak finally

Dominican – Lali.    Read this while listening to this.  Ready? Lets go.  Love this new discovery.  Home cooking cant get any more homey than this.  Small, Diner-ish, Reggaeton music blasting in the background to help you chew.  And the 2 nonnas serving including Lali,  well you just want to take one of them home.  You get whats available today which will normally include some sort of beef stew, chicken, ribs.  Go for the braised chicken if available, or the beef stew, with rice and beans of course.

Lali stew

BBQ – Daisy Mays.  After a 5 year hiatus I’ve decided to check it out again to see if its HKSG worthy and looks like it is.  Well, barely.  Not so much of an endorsement I know but if you are looking for delicious ribs, while its not the best BBQ in town, its satisfying.  And as is the case with everything in life, Dry Rub over Wet.

Mexican – Toloache.  I realize that there’s a better chance seeing Lindsay Lohan win an Oscar than seeing tourists (without guides) in one of those bodegas I’ve recommended.  So another option is needed.  Try to sit downstairs (a chili’s atmosphere otherwise).  Good tacos (lobster yum!) but on the small side.  You can make an argument that its not considered to be in Hells Kitchen, but its close enough.

Korean Fried Chicken – Hell’s Chicken.  Or “Hell’s Kitchen” as I read it in my head 100 times while passing by, mumbling “how can another restaurant call itself Hell’s Kitchen” until I finally looked closer and its CHICKEN, not Kitchen.  The wings are glossy, meaty and tasty.  Try the Garlic Soy.  This is a very tentative addition to this list as I’ve only been here once and reports out of Yelp hint on some inconsistency.

Gotham West Market.  The most exciting thing to happen to Hell’s Kitchen since Ezra the Falafel Nazi cracked a smile 4.5 years ago.  I’ve been here only a couple of times (day 1 and day 2) so much more on this during the next update, but meanwhile here’s a post on what its all about

El Colmado -Deviled Eggs

Farmer’s Markets – Stiles on 52nd is a tiny market with a big heart and Outer Boroughs prices.  You also have the 57th st Greenmarket on 57th and 9th open Wednesdays and Saturdays from about mid April to December.  What fantastic timing on my part, eh?

Café/Bakery – Bis.Co.Latte.  How did I miss this spot the past 10 years.  50 shades of Biscottis baked in the back of this colorful cheerful Café.  GREAT daily Risottos,  soups like the Tuscan inspired Ribollita, and the Tuscan inspired Tuscan White Bean soup.

BisColate Risotto

Café – Café Ole.  Click on the Reggaeton link for this one as well.  This hole in the wall has been here for some time now and the place I probably frequent the most.  Simple, delicious sandwiches, paninis, soups and my go to place for fresh salads.  And then you have Anna the owner who will teach you how to salsa by the time your order is ready.

Café – Rex.  The new kid on the block and by kid I mean Rex, the hardest working baker in HK.  And only 3 years old!  Ok, not really, he’s 4 now!  Ok, not really again, his father helps out a little but still.  Nice muffins here – Try the Morning Glory.

Bagels – Pick-A-Bagel.  Ess got nothing on these guys.  This is by far my favorite bagel place in the area, and trust me I’ve looked.  A good place to try the walnut raisin spread but I normally go for a simple bagel with butter.  Muffins are great in size and taste, and the only place that has Ziggy’s fave banana nut.  Its a great concept:  You say “Bagel” and they pick one for you.  🙄

Diners.  Westside is the classic, Georgio’s Country Grill the not so classic, and Renaissance is somewhere in between.  All 3 offer your no frill basic diner fare.

Removing:  Uncle Nick’s.  Just one too many dry kebabs.  Took a group here last time and just cant think of any reasons to keep recommending this

Places tried but didnt like:  Nook, Turco twice (seems geared more toward tourists than Ziggys

Click here for the full guide including what to order in Pure, Meske and much more

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