Monthly Archives: May 2018

Frenchette Swings and Misses

Frenchette LobsterJust like my 0-7 Fantasy Baseball team.  Thats 0 as in zero, and 7 loses during the first 7 weeks of the season.  In a league that I created and won the most championships, this is very unfamiliar territory to me.  Injuries, luck has something to do with it, and maybe just maybe thats what happened at super hot Frenchette the other day.  A minor Citibike accident on the way to work by one of the cooks, and/or bad choices on my part.  Who really knows.

But what I do know is that Frecnhette did not live up to the hype it is receiving at the moment.  Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson (Balthazar, Minetta Tavern) first solo project is the hottest and most anticipated opening of the year.  I learned a long time ago that expectations need to be in check when you go to such places.  But being a fan of Minetta Tavern and everything I’ve read prior promised a slam dunk birthday meal.

Frenchette Rabbit

Hard to judge a place after just one meal.  Especially a place that is less than two months old.  Professional critics will take their time and make multiple visits, while others like  TimeOut seem perfectly content with 3 dishes.  I had plenty of thrilling meals (Bombay Bread Bar, Faro), and less than thrilling meals (Legacy Records) as of late, but more data is needed before I write about the others.  Although after a recent Adam Pratt review of Legacy I wont be rushing back either

The place looks like a classic Brasserie.  The service was friendly but showing its very young age.  It took some time to get plates on a few occasions, and getting that welcome bread at the end of the meal led to some comic relief.  No harm done of course, but I did wish for that wonderful Arcade Bakery bread to come warm

Frenchette Chicken

The Guinea Hen Terrine shined early on.  The Razor Clams not so much.  They were fully cooked and served with crunchy fried crumbs of something that totally overpowered the clams.  I’ve seen this combination work as a cold crudo wiith less crumbs but this is not Italian.  Brouillade, scrambled eggs with escargot was one of the most interesting dishes. It takes 20 minutes of mostly nonstop stirring the butter and egg to the consistency of soupy polenta (grits).  Its delicate and delicious alright, but the egg lover in me was wishing for it to resemble what it promises, scrambled eggs.

The lobster was your average lobster according the lobster critic at the table (I concurred).  The roast chicken for two was very good but just not different or special enough.  The chicken was well cooked and the accompanied Jus helped.  But when the best part of the dish is the potato puree with Maitake side you wonder if you paid fair price ($64).  However the Stewed Rabbit was probably the biggest dud.  Served with morels (best part) and Pappardelle like pasta with light cream sauce.  The meat was mostly dry and tasteless and we just couldnt get passed the Alfredoish look and feel.  I was intrigued by the $88 Turbot, but we are off to Turbot country soon (Getaria, Spain) so I passed.  We did like both of the desserts on the menu.

Frenchette
241 W Broadway, TriBeCa
Rating: One Z (out of 4)
Stars range from Good to Exceptional. Simple as that
Recommended Dishes: Terrine, Brouillade, Chicken, Desserts

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Categories: New York City, TriBeCa | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Gloria, I Think We Got Your Number

Eating With Ziggy

Gloria ShrimpMay 21, 2018 Update:

Did you see the news?  Gloria retains its 3 star rating!  You probably missed it because, well, the news is not out yet.  But it will be in a minute.  Gloria in Hell’s Kitchen is quite possibly the most underrated restaurant in NYC today, and I have proof.  Gloria registers a 0.12 on the TouristMeter™.  TouristMeter™ is a foolproof way of measuring how touristy a place is by dividing the number of TripAdvisor reviews (mostly tourists) by the number of Yelp reviews (mostly locals).  The lower the number the more local it is.  And when you are walking distance from Times Square it doesnt get much lower than this.

The magnificent Skate has now been replaced by a magnificent Skate!  It is now a mammoth $50 Skate for two which we elected not to have this time.  The Jonah Crab with that Sabayon sauce is pure joy with every bite…

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Categories: New York City | Leave a comment

Popina – Wacky New Italian in WeCo

Eating With Ziggy

Popina NegroniMay 15, 2018 Update:

That chicken!  Its as real as Traveler’s Diarrhea.  I’m not sure I’ve had better Schnitzels in Austria, and I’m not sure I had better Chicken Milanese in Milan.  Its the perfect example of what delicious sweet heat can do to a bird.  Worth braving to WeCo just for this dish.  Well, its not like you have much of a choice here.  This is one of two mains.  The other item on the current menu is the elusive great sounding Porgy which is never there when I’m there.

Popina also makes a killer Negroni.  I think thats the only thing I ever drank here.  The pastas continue to impress.  One of which I had not too long ago was particularly memorable, but for the life of me I cant remember the ingredients (Seriously what kind of blog is this.  Not the serious kind).  But the anchovy Bucatini is…

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Categories: New York City | Leave a comment

What’s New Down Under

Legacy Records Octopus

Legacy Records

I mean Hell, not Australia.  Its been a while since I had some Hell’s Kitchen news but I’m still there at least once a week munching around prior or after a tour.  Here are some recent developments including some tweaks to the Hell’s Kitchen tour:

Legacy Records – Hell is apparently shrinking.  38th street between 10th and 11th and immediate surrounding area to the south is now being re-branded by the giant real estate firms to Hudson Yards.  Well, until I get subpoenaed by the president, I’m not adding another section to the blog.  This is Hell’s Kitchen as far as I’m concerned and will remain so for the time being.  Delicious Hospitality, the team behind downtown restaurants Charlie Bird & Pasquale Jones has opened another Italian, Legacy Records in Hud..err.. Hell’s Kitchen.  After one quick solo meal I’m not quite ready to give you the ye or niet, but I know these guys and what they are capable of.  It may be the most hidden pre theater option out there

Tehuitzingo – Reliable Taco joint and home to the best Lengua in town simply closed with no explanation.  Their other location closed months ago.  As to the reason, I only heard rumors which I’m not willing to share, but its nothing to do with food.

City Sandwich – Sort of under new management, but this is not exactly bad news (departing manager may disagree).  One of the partners is still around, with a new experienced one joining in.  Still the same great Portuguese inspired sandwiches except some weekly classics like the great Roberto are now available daily.  Still the same great bread and mini egg tarts coming from Portuguese bakeries in Newark.

City Sandwich Roberto

The Roberto

Chaan Teng – Is now Qi.  Same decor, same sex toys, and some of the same staff, but different menu.  The main chef/owner left and they needed to change

Ñaño Ecuadorian Kitchen – Ñaño continues to fire on all cylinders.  I know they are out there but this is the only Ecuadorian I know, and visit from time to time.  A staple on the Hell’s Kitchen Survival Guide since day one.  Try the Seco de Pollo, chicken stewed with Naranjilla (sour fruit grown in Ecuador), herbs and spices.  As the city continues to gentrify and become more corporate (See Legacy Records), we need to cherish these mom and pops that survived the storm.

Nano

Nano

Gotham West Market – This is not your ex’s GWM.  If you havent been in the last year or so, you will find a totally different and a lot healthier market today.  The fish happy Seamore’s replaced the meaty Cannibal so expect some elevated poke bowls and other raw goodness.  El Colmado space is now part El Colmado (spanish tapas) and part Whirlybird serving rotisserie chicken.  There’s now Jianbing (Beijing style crepe) by Jianbing Company.  And Waffle de Lys doing their French waffle thing.  All joining Corner Slice, Ivan Ramen, Choza and Genuine Roadside.  This is the most interesting lineup in a while

Hell’s Kitchen Tour – Its been a year and a half now since I quit my day job in order to start my own tour company.  During that time I’ve seen the East Village and Brooklyn tours morph into something I’m proud of, the original Hell’s Kitchen tour pretty much stayed the same.  Until now.  Some new developments in the area made me make some tweaks that I’m very excited about.  So while the reviews mainly focus on the other two tours, I’m here to tell you to give Hell’s Kitchen a chance!  BTW EWZ Tours is now #8 on Trip Advisor Food Tours (Out of 105).  Who said rankings on TA is meaningless!

 

Categories: Midtown West, New York City | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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