Posts Tagged With: Bruno Pizza

Top 10 Dishes of 2015

Aquavit Bird's NestDid you think I had forgotten about this?  You were right, I did.  But then I remembered!  Then forgot again… remembered… but then decided not to bother.  Then I changed my mind again when someone wished me Happy New Years just the other day.  If its not too late for that, its not too late for this.  Personally I think about a week of Happy New Years sounds about right to me before the notion expires.  And I dont quite get the writers who list their best of, weeks before the end of the year.  How can they possibly be so sure that they wont eat something amazing in the next few week.  I had one of the dishes below in the last few days of the year….

Uni Mushroom Ramen at Jun-men

Calling this one Ramen is like calling Maialino’s Cacio e Pepe, Ramen.  Its essentially a nicely crafted, rich, and beautiful looking pasta.  Mushrooms, salty Pancetta, Porcini butter, truffle oil, noodles, and Uni that gets better and better in quality.  I’ve had this dish three times last year.

Uni Jun-Men Ramen

Courtesy of Jun-Men

Pastrami Sandwich at Harry & Ida’s

I’ve eaten many fantastic sandwiches during my youngish adult life, but very few left a mark like this one.  Thick, plentiful, tender, perfectly spiced slices of pastrami with cucumber and dill.  The greatest thing to enter the pastrami scene in many years

Harry & Ida's PastramiFairytale Eggplant at Bruno Pizza

One of the standouts from a standout meal.  Pizza is in the name, but the attention to detail spreads throughout.  Eggplant and Shishitos come with this mild black cashew paste that transforms this dish, like a fairytale.

Bruno Pizza EggplantMission Chinese Chicken Fingers at Fuku+

Momofuku and Mission, a marriage made in heaven.  As much as I love high spice and heat levels, I find the Mission Chinese wings a bit too intense.  But applying the seasoning to the meaty boneless Fuku chicken is a whole ‘nother ball of wax.  Pair it with the mini Fuku sandwich for a nice fiery lunch

Mission Chinese Choicken Fingers Fuku+Squash Carpaccio at Santina

I was all set to list the wonderful Cecina of the wonderful Santina which I must have each time.  But after the last visit, I think I have a new favorite.  Thinly sliced squash with pumpkin seeds adding a nice texture, crème fraiche dropped like Hershey kisses, brown butter, pink peppercorn and other spices and herbs.  Get this.

Santina Squash CarpaccioBreakfast Ramen at Ivan Ramen

Take out my favorite dish (White fish turned Salmon Donburi), replace it with something like this, and I quickly forgive and forget… until you change your mind about the whole “available all day” thing.  Rich cheddary Dashi, Scallion omelette, ham, noodles, and more.  Magic in a bowl

Ivan Ramen Breakfast RamenEggs with Caviar at Ko

Picking a favorite from this meal is like Ray Lewis picking his favorite illegitimate child.  Soft scrambled eggs with Osetra caviar and breadcrumb-like fried potatoes, with homemade bread and radish butter. Like breakfast at Putin’s!

Momofuku Ko eggsPastrami Rubbed Rib Eye at Khe-Yo

Lets first clarify a few things, and please dont shoot the messenger.  There’s no pastrami, and there’s really no steak here.  The steak is a rare special, but can be found at sister American Cut, and we are talking about pastrami spices, not actual pastrami doing its best bacon impersonation.  Steak of the year!

Courtesy of Zagat

Courtesy of Zagat

Truffle Seafood Broth at Oiji

Mussels, Shrimp, two Crispy Rice “Sheets” that sizzle when the broth is poured table side.  But its all about the beautiful, dark, rich broth that makes this a winner.  Just a small hint of truffle, perhaps not enough to be part of the name, but just enough to round up the perfect broth

Oiji Truffle Seafood BrothArctic Bird’s Nest at Aquavit

Perhaps the most instagrammed dessert on the planet.  The more I learn about Scandinavian chefs (see Chef’s Table on Netflix) the more I understand the motivation.  A masterpiece!

Happy New Year! 😉

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

Most Memorable Meals of 2015

Pulker's Heuriger Feast

Pulker’s Heuriger

And just like that, its over Johnny.  2015 was yet another year of great eats, great drinks, and yes great chicken wings.  I’m grateful!  Grateful for living in the greatest food city in the world.  Grateful for living with someone who not only supports this addiction but also willing to sleep with that thing.  Grateful for the kids who will eat anything as long as its not made by mom and dad.  Grateful for the friends and family.  What will 2016 bring?  Sicily!  Other than that who knows.  Most likely more chicken wings.  Here are the most memorable meals of 2016…

Momofuku Ko (NYC) – Quite possibly the best meal we ever had in NYC was at this new Ko 2.0 location.  An 18 courser, counter sitting, feast for all senses extravaganza.  Perhaps the best, most unique dining experience NY has to offer at the moment

Momofuku Ko Venison

Bruno Pizza (NYC) – The best meal with the most unassuming name.  While there wasnt anything earth shattering food wise, the entire meal from start to finish was just brilliant.  And before Danny Meyer made the news with his no tipping policy, there was Bruno implementing its own spin on the controversy.

Bruno Pizza Eggplant

Aquavit (NYC) – Emma Bengtsson’s Chef’s tasting menu is quite possibly the most underrated tasting menu in town.  The kicker here is that not only you are presented with tasty opulence coming out one after another, but you also got the anticipation and the arrival of one of the most Instagrammed desserts on the planet

Aquavit sorbet

Caicos Cafe (Turks and Caicos) – An odd mention considering we’ve been here over a dozen times, but still very much memorable in my mind.  Two meals on every visit is our ritual these days, and both meals this past year featured all our favorites and then some. It just gets better and better.

Caicos Cafe - Tagliolini

La Taqueria (SF) – Strange for me to choose this one over the great meals we had at Cockscomb and NOPA.  But this rather hectic light lunch was the one that gave me food envy like no other.  I’ve been eating tacos and burritos for many years, but the carnitas tacos and Carne Asada Burrito here was like eating this stuff for the very first time.  Cliche, but true.

La Taqueria food

Pulker’s Heuriger (Rührsdorf, Austria) – Our first foray into the Austrian Heuriger scene was memorable to say the least.  A wine grower’s wine tavern that serves menuless, fresh, local homemade food.  This one is right by the Danube, in the picturesque Wachau Valley.  This is why you rent a car

Pulker's Heuriger

Hibernia (Anguilla) – Still fresh in our minds, we are still awestruck by this one.  A 30 minute drive East brings you to this foodie paradise.  Brilliantly executed Asian inspired food with a French flair in an absolute stunner of a setting, surrounded by essentially an art gallery.  A dining experience like no other

Anguilla Hibernia Smoked Trio

Categories: Anguilla, Austria/Czech Republic, California, New York City, Turks and Caicos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Food-pourri

Reviver Mahi

Reviver Mahi

Random EWZ food news, announcements, and other nonsense

Ziggy gains weight!  This means two health plays entering the Hell’s Kitchen Survival Guide.  Fairly newish Reviver is a small take-out fast food spot on 8th ave with a varied health, gluten-free conscious menu.  And Mooncake Foods, a chainlet with three locations offering various Asian inspired meals like tuna, salmon over rice, and some excellent soups I’ve been enjoying the last few years.  Perhaps I should finally join… what’s that thing called… Googling… a Gym (stop laughing family, friends).  The closest thing to a gym in my life was when Mrs Z brought me the wrong deodorant one day, just so I could come home from work a little stinky, or manly, as if I’m coming from the gym.

Mark the date.  The Ziggat 50 is coming, December 9th!  The Ziggat 50 (will be changed to the Ziggy 50 once I get sued) will feature Ziggy’s favorite $10-100 meals in NYC.  This means it will feature places that are generally less than $100 per person (no Marea, Ko, etc), and more than $10 person (no pizza slices, cheap tacos, etc).   A list for the rest of us 99%.

Capizzi Pizza

Capizzi Pizza

Staten Island Pizza – I’ve always said that the only reason to cross bridges to Staten Island is for Sri-Lankan.  Well, I’ve been saying that for years while secretly enjoying some amazing pizza in SI as of late.  Joe & Pats, Giove, Nonna’s, Lee’s Tavern, the inventor of the bar pizza, and of course the classic, always busy Denino’s.  Check out this recently produced One Minute Meal on Denino’s.  And in a couple of weeks there will be another big name joining the gamg, Capizzi of Hell’s Kitchen.  Owner Joe is no stranger to Staten Island.  He’s converting his old classic NY-American La Bella on Hylan blvd, promising to dish out pizzas just like in Ziggy fave Capizzi.

Bruno Pizza – one of my favorite new restaurants of the year is getting a lot of attention as of late.  Pete Wells gave it zero stars in his somewhat bizarre, disgruntled yelp style review.  The attack on hype machines along with other things has instigated heated discussions on Chowhound, and hype praising articles.  Try it yourself, order what I recommend, and judge for yourself.

Hell’s Kitchen Food Tour is closed for the season, and maybe for good.  I’ve met so many great people during the last few years, some of whom are now friends.  On a recent tour with a photographer I brought my big boy camera as well for an upcoming blog post detailing the entire tour.  Stay tuned for that one.  I haven’t made up my mind if this is something I want to continue doing next year

Peace and Love

Ziggy

Bruno Pizza fluke

Bruno Pizza fluke

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

Bruno Pizza – Don’t Judge a Book by its Name

Bruno Pizza flukeIf you pass on this post because of the name, you may want to hang on a little longer.  But first I would like to present to you this very related Ziggy’s Guide to Tipping in NYC:

1.  If the service has been stellar – Tip 20% (on top of the tax, before tax is up to you)

2.  If the service has been a little less than stellar – Tip 20%

3.  If your water hasn’t been filled on time, your food hasn’t arrived on a timely basis, and no one asked you if you like your food – Tip 20%

4.  If your server made numerous errors with your order, hasn’t smiled the entire time, and looks rather stressed out – Tip 20%

5.  If the servers made you feel uncomfortable and unwelcomed the entire time, to the point of never returning – Tip 20%

6.  If the server along with another server collaborate to follow you to the bathroom, blindfold and kidnap you via the back alley, lock you in an apartment for 15 days and let you watch nothing but Full House reruns before leaving you in the middle of a bear infested forest naked – Tip 15%.  Yes, this is where I draw the line

Why then Ziggy?  Why do you recommend tipping 20% no matter what?  Because this is their salary.  Because the servers are humans like me and you.  Humans who make mistakes.  Because if you make a mistake at your line of work, your salary most likely doesn’t take a hit.  Because people can have bad days.  Because there are other workers relying on this tip.  I can explain much further but this post is not about that.  It’s about one of a handful of places in NYC that ditched the tipping practice completely, while charging a fixed 20% “administrative fee” (no tipping allowed).  I give them Kudos for that and I hope others follow suit.  Its just that over the years tipping has become sort of automatic.  And the more you eat the more you understand the ins and outs of running a restaurant and the reasoning behind bad daysBruno Pizza Eggplant

Bruno Pizza would have gotten major props even if they allow tips.  The food is much more creative than the name implies.  The name sucks!  I don’t know how else to put it.  Its one notch less generic than Rays.  “Not Another Bruno” would have made more sense

But let me tell you how much I loved this place.  It was on the radar since they opened, but leaped to the top of the mental queue when an Italian chef I respect told me to go.  They just got their liquor license and already featuring an impressive drink menu including a few beers on draft (liked the Italian one, didnt like the San Francisco one, forget the names).  The place has a funky, east villagy, minimalistic, rustic look.  Very loud.  Space between tables… maybe good enough for a Jenner, but definitely not a Kardashian.  As for the food…

Bruno PizzaFairytale Eggplant – More like Fairytale Eggplant and Shishito peppers.  A fairytale perhaps because they make them so meaty, and great tasting?  Comes with this mild black cashew paste which makes the dish resemble a squid ink mess after a few minutes.  Get this!

Fluke – Stunning all around, look and flavor.  Quinoa grains puffed and boosted with Tapioca add a coffee like flavor to the fluke.  A few uni pieces add more color but I would gladly sub them for one more killa fluke piece.  Need more cowbell, and fluke.

Margherita Pie – Good.  Not as wildely different as I was expecting after reading about the pizza elsewhere.  Just a little different texture, chew and a kinda whole wheaty flavor.

Nduja (pizza) – Thats more like it.  Nduja (spicy pork) with cauliflower which adds a nice crunch.  Great tasting pie

Cavatappi – Excellent.  Like fat Gramigna, or supersized curly elbows, with collard greens, smoked bone marrow, breadcrumbs, bacon and clams, all work nicely togetherBruno Pizza nduja

Grayson-Agnolotti.  The glaring miss of the night.  Its 5 tiny ravioli with light cream sauce, chanterelles, squash and hazelnuts.  Ok flavor, with hazelnut bringing unnecessary sweetness, and Agnolotti that has no resemblance to any agnolotti I’ve ever seen.  But the main issue is the size.  It would be tiny even as an appetizer, but priced as a main ($22)

Desserts –  This is where that brilliance is really showing off for me. Two items on the menu currently and both outstanding and very creative.  The rose gelato is made on the spot, and its so airy and fresh. It comes dusted with powder they make from lovage (that comes on the Margherita as well), and a berry compote thats not overpowering.  The peach sherbert was equally great, especially the accompanied plum merengue.

Kicking myself for not bringing the big boy camera for this one, but oh well.  Highly recommend Bruno Pizza.  One of my favorite new restaurants of the year

Bruno Pizza
204 E 13th St
$$
Recommended Dishes: Fairytale Eggplant, Fluke, Nduja, Cavatappi, both desserts

Bruno Pizza Cavatappi Bruno Pizza ravioli Bruno Pizza Margherita Bruno Pizza gelato Bruno Pizza peach sherbert

Categories: East Village, New York City | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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