Posts Tagged With: NYC restaurants

Louro – Another Fun Option For the Village People

Louro - House Made Tortellini

November 17, 2014 Update:

Another fantastic meal at Louro a few nights ago.  The place hasn’t skipped a beat since it opened two years ago.  Sometimes you get caught up with all the sexy new openings and forgetting about the current neighborhood spots that continue to hit on all cylinders.  The place is packed every night seems like, with the ultra talented chef Santos still doing his thing.  In addition to the constantly rotating seasonal menus, Santos continues his Supper Club tradition with the popular Monday night theme dinners like “Lobster night”, “Breaking Bad”, and “Breaking Bald” for those villagers suffering from Frontal Baldness.  Ok, not really, but tonight they do have “White Man does Szechuan” which looks very interesting.

We tried a variety of items again including some of the old favorites, and on this night new favorites emerged.  Like the tremendously flavorful Kimchi Fried Rice (below) which comes sizzling hot loaded with calamari, mussels, shrimp, clams, and egg juice poured table side for you to mix in.  Plenty of pleasant heat and plenty of joy with this one.  More great flavors came out of a simple Lobster soup from its clean, well balanced broth.  And then came the Venison (below).  Two medallions expertly cooked, rare, just slightly seared on the outside.  Because venison is so tender and lean, cooking this more will result in eating two hockey pucks.  It came with some pasta (looked like Cavatelli) as part of a groovy smoked onion jus.  Only the why-so-bitter Broccoli Rabe stood in the way of perfection.

The chicken last time caused me to start seeing other chickens!  On other menus that is.  While this time the chicken was still juicy, tender, very nicely sauced and veggied (Yummy Yam and nicely cooked Brussels Sprouts), it was missing that perfectly crisped skin.  Still a very solid dish overall.  The Monkfish delicate tomato sauce and rice was replaced by a wintery bean cassoulet, and the Octopus Bolognese is still the same old hearty, rich Octopus Bolognese.  One of the staples on the menu along with the Piri Piri Shrimp

This is just about the most eclectic, fun, constantly changing menu I know.  Each dish is well crafted with great tasting sauces and veggies, and the missing “Sides” column almost feels refreshing, as you get plenty of “Sides” with each dish.  Choosing what to order from this menu is as complicated as choosing the manliest umbrella on a rainy day.  Do I go with the white circles, colorful polka dots, or black with pink piggies.  Why cant we have a black umbrella like normal families

Louro Kimchi Fried RiceLouro Venison

April 8th, 2013 Post:

My house smells of fish!  It smells of fish for the past week now. And get this..  we haven’t cooked any fish in the past 2 weeks and so don’t have the slightest idea where the smell is coming from.  Wish it would smell of curry or cumin instead.  Don’t get me wrong, I love fish, but I don’t want my house to smell like it.  Same goes for chicken soup.  When Mrs Ziggy starts making it early in the morning its as if a guest just came in, said hello, threw up, and immediately left without cleaning his mess.

What does it have to do with Louro?  Absolutely nothing.  I’m not even gonna make a clever transition with this like “we had to escape the house and go eat at Louro” because its not really true.  I’ve been planning this meal ever since I saw the Best Dishes of 2012 thread on Chowhound.  I just had to try that much talked about gnocchi dish since my family sort of became gnocchi junkies over the past few years.

5 month old Louro by David Santos is another great addition to the West Village dining scene.  At first glance inside I was a little surprised at the upscale diner look.  Booth tables right by a long bar.  It gets less diner-ish in the back however.  The food is sort of Portuguese, Italian, American and as usual we tried quite a few items.  Here’s a great, good and ugly breakdown.

The Great:

Piri Piri Shrimp – Really enjoyed them.  Not as good as Aldea’s preparation and similar dishes we’ve enjoyed in Portugal but cooked and seasoned very well nonetheless.  Not too spicy so the kids were able to enjoy as well.  Love anything Piri Piri

Louro - Piri Piri ShrimpOctopus Bolognese – So good.  All about the sauce.  Tiny bits of octopus and goose pancetta?  (sort of a Pancetta goose blend I suppose).  Anything would taste great with that sauce including car keys.  Thankfully the waitress convinced us to get more bread.

Monkfish – Delicate, perfectly textured and absolutely delicious. And with that light Portuguese tomato sauce and rice, YUMMO! I couldn’t stop eating it. Until I tasted…

Louro - Monkfish

Roast Chicken – Wow! I did not want to order it.  But wife and kids wanted to try and I’m glad I lost that argument.  I suppose I forgot that the Portuguese can crank out some delicious chickens.  Comes with a nice rye berry risotto and spinach, but that chicken was very flavorful and that skin was so perfectly crisped I could eat just that.Louro - Roast Chicken

The good:

Seafood fritters –  Enjoyed them.  Not bad at all.  Like those seafood beignets you get in New Orleans

Louro - Seafood fritters

House Made Tortellini (top) – Pleasant, light, filled with Nettles among other things.  Not very memorable but tasted good.

Striped Bass –  A popular dish here normally with a snapper instead.  Bok Choy, shiitake, coconut ginger broth. Very pleasant dish and well done.  Thank you baby Jesus for sending me a family that doesnt eat mushroomsLouro - Striped Bass

The Ugly:

Gnocchi Romana – Ahhh, the irony.  As often is the case the first thing I wanted to try was the least favorite.  I dont think its the same dish the chowhounders were raving about.  The cream sauce just tasted like a regular cream sauce to us (they call it permesan foam) and the gnocchi was semolina but had the texture of tiny breakfast potato cubes.  I just kept trying it just to see what I was missing until me and the kids finished the plate.

The menu OCD chef keeps changing the menu and it did not match the menu on their site at all.  Overall a very good meal and something to keep in mind when visiting the village. The wife much preferred the food here over future Michelin star Aska the day before.  Check out Louro readers.  Both of yous

Advertisements
Categories: New York City, West Village | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Osteria Morini – From The One Who Knocks

Osteria Morini CalamariUpdate 9/30/14:

Another fantastic meal at one of my favorite Italian trattorias in NYC.  While the entire city is still recovering from their brunch or stands in line to see the new Central Perk, we enjoy our traditional early Sunday meal at a half full restaurant.

Breaded Grilled Calamari as good as before, except that I’ve enjoyed the little salad with the yogurt a little bit more this time.  Used the bread to “Scarpetta” the heck out of this thing.  When in Emilia you eat the Salumi which is top notch here.  Mortadella from Bologna, not upstate NY as you find in other places.    Funky aged Prosciutto di Parma, and even funkier Felino Salame.  I will be passing by the town of Felino where that Salame is made in the ER in about a month time.  Wait until Mrs Ziggy finds out that we have an hour drive for lunch that day

Osteria Morini Salumi

Had another great round of the fabulous Cappelletti and Stracci as the middle course.  The Stracci with mushrooms especially is addictive.  Its wide ribbon pasta that takes a lot of that braised mushroom juice with a little bit tomato, garlic, and rosemary oil.  I wouldn’t mind eating just those mushrooms as its own dish.  Tagliatelle Ragu is as good as Tagliatelle Ragu Bolognese can get in NYC.  The freshness of the pasta is very evident.  The only thing we didn’t care for was their deconstructed oversalted Porchetta.  Cauliflower and Escarole Gratin side dish was fine.  No dessert, 2 glasses of wine, 2 kids, one wife, $210 after tip

Osteria Morini Stracci

Original 9/24/13 Post:

Its the last Breaking Bad reference this month I promise you readers.  I have no doubt that when I will look at this post a year from now I may either not understand the title, or feel too embarrassed about it.  I already feel that way when I look at my old posts.  At the very least some posts trigger a “What was I thinking” like this one.  Did I really take that picture just so I can have a picture.  Whatever!  Sometimes, the content correlates with the mood at the time.  And when I read them with a different frame of mind I cant help but wonder.

I not only have trouble keeping up with NYC restaurant scene, I have trouble keeping up with the Kardashians, and Michael White, who is opening new places left and right seems like.  I already wrote about Costata where I met the man, and Marea has long been my favorite.  While I still haven’t made it to Ai Fiori, I finally made it to Osteria Morini today (yes with the hummus whisperer yet again).  I have to admit I was a little skeptical about this one, but boy was it good.

Calamari breaded, “cheesed” and lightly fried was some of the best calamari Ive had in a while.  Served with a yogurt sauce and a nice salad.  Fantastic starter.

Prosciutto and Mortadella Meatballs – Cant get much more flavorful than this.  Melt in your mouth tender goodness.  Well donOsteria Morini - Cappellettie!

Stracci (wide ribbon pasta) with wild mushrooms and Rosemary Oil – Delicious!  Mr White sure loves his Rosemarys.  Ive seen this pasta on some “Top 100 pastas in NYC” list.  You may think this is not saying much, but in NYC it does.  Its an honor to be nominated.

Cappelletti (above)- Basically ricotta ravioli with prosciutto and hints of truffles – Outstanding.  Airy sweet and savory ravioli, reminiscent of a similar dish at Giovanni Rana.

This is Emilia Romagna cooking at a high level.  The only other place I know that does ER well is Da Andrea but something tells me without setting foot in ER (planning next year) that Osteria Morini stays a bit truer to the region .  Here White pays homage to his mentor Gianluigi Morini owner of the famed San Domenico near Bologna.  This is the source of Mr White’s inspiration

Mr White is a trend setter.  He Is The One Who Knocks!

Osteria Morini
218 Lafayette St
$$$
Recommended Dishes: Meatballs, Calamari, Salumi (choose 3 or 5), Stracci, Cappelletti, Tagliatelle with Ragu

Osteria Morini Taglietelle Osteria Morini Porchetta

 

Osteria Morini meetballOsteria Morini

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

Cata – LES is More

Cata - QuailTo find my next dining destination, I turned to a little site I like to call Eating With Ziggy.  While browsing the site I noticed the following 3 things:  I haven’t eaten anything in the Lower East Side for a while; I haven’t eaten tapas in a while; My fonts are terrible; and my tagline “Eating Well Spelling Poorly” makes no sense whatsoever since I use a spell checker.  Ok, that was 4 things.  It was 3 when I started writing the sentence I promise you that.  So I figured its time to eat something in the Lower East Side, and make it tapas.  And as to the terrible fonts?  Well, that’s your problem!  I don’t read the stuff, just write them.

Although I have a list of new restaurants to try that’s almost as big as my Netflix cue (one of those words I hate spelling properly, like “tho”), I tend to sometimes ignore the list and look elsewhere for much added excitement.  This time I looked at the newly released Michelin Bib Gourmands.  Or “Baby Michelin Stars” if you will, given for quality cheap(er) eats.  And I noticed a place that somehow slipped through my radar, Cata.  Coupled that with an endorsement from Kathryn off Chowhound and off we went.

While taking a closer look I noticed Cata was Alta’s sister, a place we enjoyed in the past.  And like many of my friends and coworkers, Cata owners are big fans of 4 letter words looks like.  I suggest Nada for the next one (private joke for my Providenciales friends)

An array of Gin and tonic drinks is one of the specialties here…  I liked the Kaffir Lime one.  While Mrs Ziggy would not even look at the rest of the menu once she sees her Aperol Spritz.  She gets up and does the Macarena from excitement – starting to get embarrassing, for her.  The food menu is much better organized than Alta which is one giant list.

So is Cata short for Catalonia or Catastrophe?   Lets see..

Baked Cana Cebra – Goat cheese with honey.  Quite good.  Perhaps not as good as Alta version with lavender infused honey but quite good

Deviled Eggs with fried oysters – Very tasty, if not a tad on the salty side.

Quail Egg Bendecits with chorizo, hash browns (top picture) –  Another nice dish.  Pretty to look at too.  Wife much preferred this over the deviled but the opposite was true for me.  So far so delicious

Mushrooms with shallots, red wine – I got to have my mushrooms (especially since she doesn’t eat them) and this did not disappoint.

Tuscan Kale – With Parmigian thin “crisps”.  Simply grilled and tasty.  Wife liked this one especially

Long Island Razor Clams – Cant pass on fresh razor clams.  The one must coming in.  Simple, “Meaty”, a tad chewy and absolutely delicious overall

Gambas al Ajillo – One of the best dishes of the night.  4 jumbo perfectly cooked shrimp.  I prefer this dish more garlicky but this was tasty nonetheless.  I still haven’t found something similar to the Gambas al Ajillo that we had in Ramiro in Lisbon if anyone familiar.  Where readers?  Where can I have these beauties?

Jamon Iberico Bellota – I asked if they can bring a little sampler instead of the $27 full plate of it and they did for I believe $10.  This tasted just fine to me.  Not something I would order again.  This is some of the finest Jamon Iberico on the planet, made from pigs eating only acorns (Bellota) as their last meals on earth.  Coincidentally, this was my wish as well

Skirt Steak – Good, a little uninspiring but good.  This is perhaps a good time to complain that it was a little hard to read that menu with dimmed lighting as I initially didn’t see the “Add: Organic farm egg $2”.  I would definitely add the egg here.

Charcuteir Board – lard toasts were fine,  jamon Serrano we didn’t get due to the Bulotta, Chorizo we didn’t care for – not much flavor.  The best part of the board by far were the Almonds.  Perhaps this is the only miss of the evening

Torrija – Excellent!  Like the crème brule and bread pudding had a baby. A beautiful, delicious baby.

Terrific meal overall

Cata - Devils Cata - Charcuterie Cata - Jamon Cata - Steak Cata - Kale Cata - Baked Cata - shrimp Cata - Razor Clams

Categories: Lower East Side, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Betony – From Russian With Love

Betony* Terrible pictures alert, due to a combination of poor lighting and zero photography skills with poor lighting! *

You know that you spend too much time with a couple when the following happens.  You start receiving texts from them intended for each other.  Such is the case with Mr and Mrs Hummus Whisperer.  Examples:

From MRS HW:  “I bought bananas”.  Ahhm, OK?!?

From HW:  “Just picture everyone naked!”.  What?  Oh I see.  The wife is away presenting something in a conference.  Ok, that took me a few minutes

Thankfully, none of the texts were about us or embarrassingly kinky.  Though the last one came close.  The moment I get a “Carlos Danger” type text from HW it will be pretty much over between us.  Pretty much!

A few weeks ago we took Mr and Mrs Hummus whisperer to Betony for HW’s birthday.  Betony is the latest brainchild of Russian entrepreneur Andrey Dellos who previously owned Brasserie Pushkin in the same space.  This time he brings with him 2 Eleven Madison Park veterans.  Bryce Shuman is no stranger to the kitchen and according to his bio, an enemy of cats!  Eamon Rockey is formerly with new Michelin star Aska and EMP, and his bio is not clear where he stands in regards to cats.  Betony is now a tough ticket after recently getting 3 stars from the New York Time.  Many will kill for just one star.  And Betony most likely just missed the Michelin 2014 cut, but there’s always a 2015, I think (I dont have the Mayan calendar next to me at the moment)

I must say I was a bit in awe when we entered Betony.  A mature, sophisticated vibe that quite frankly we are not used to.  But we were comfortable.  Not only we were comfortable but the ladies bags were comfortable.  You know that you are at a high end place where your bag has its own seat.  And I dont mean this.  I’m talking about real furniture.  The menu is designed for you to spend a little, but eat very very well.  They advise you to share the first courses, and to have your own middle and main.  Sorry, not gonna fly with us.  Sharing is for caring! (Yes I’m looking at you Mrs HW) Something I learned a long long time ago.  So imagine our surprise when we ordered just 3 middle courses for the 4 of us, we all get our plates and the birthday boy is the one stuck with a beautiful empty plate.  Overall however, good, knowledgeable service and the food delivered big time

Foie Gras Bonbons wrapped in cashew – Quite good.  Though the salt from the cashews was a little too dominant, this was enjoyable.

Chickpea Panisse – Liked this one a lot.

Fried pickles – Surprisingly a bit greasy but pleasant nonetheless.

Beet amuse – A bit on the salty side surprisingly as well.  So far a bit of a salty start including the salty bread sticks which I didnt care for at all.

Gnocchi with corn – Smokey, super large, very soft and tasty.  A bit too soft for me but still enjoyed this.

Chicken liver mouse – Rich and decadent.

Marinated Sardines – Oh this one was quite good.  Lovely with that tomato “salsa”  Broke a mini streak of stinky sardines

Short Ribs – A revelation!  Best of show.  Tender and full of flavor.  It takes 3 days to make them we were told and HW was please to find out that it doesnt mean we needed to stay there for 3 days.  We were free the next day, but not the day after.

Poached lobster –  Very tasty as well, but very light (to me at least).  Great broth.

We opted to skip dessert on this night.  A fine and enjoyable meal overall.  Hard to say if I will be back partly because I’m allergic to that location, but I would like to sample that chicken and anything else Mr Shuman got up his sleeves.

Betony - Bonbons Betony - Fried veggies Betony - Amuse Betony - Pate Betony - Gnocchi Betony - Sardines Betony - Lobster Betony - short ribs

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

The Spotted Pig Burger – Its the Fries, Stupid

Spotted Pig Burger

The Russians have a saying that loosely translates to “like sunflower seeds” which basically means “I cant stop eating this”.  In a culture obsessed with sunflowers seeds, its not unusual to see it served as an after meal snack, and if you don’t hold a bag full of seeds on the Brighton Beach Boardwalk, you risk being frowned upon.  And its not that they think sunflower seeds are really that special.  They just enjoy eating sunflower seeds, and since its not that filling they have trouble stopping sometimes.

Such is the case with the fries at the Spotted Pig.  They don’t seem that amazing as you first eat them, but you soon discover that you cant stop eating them.  The fries are shoestring cut (very thin as you can see) which I don’t normally love as I prefer them “meaty” like Belgian style.  But all the seasoning, rosemary and garlic chips make SP’s fries truly addictive.  Like eating Sunflower seeds!

The burger itself was very good.  Especially if you like burgers with Blue Cheese.  The Roquefort here is slightly overwhelming for my taste as any blue cheese would, but I still enjoyed it.  The meat was cooked well (medium rare, leaning toward rare) but I had to send the first one back after getting it practically well done.  While not quite in Minetta’s Black Label territory, a solid burger overall and I can see why its consistently ranked as one of the city’s best.

I don’t know why it took me so long to get to the Spotted Pig, the mother of all the city’s gastro-pubs.  The place was busy on Friday lunch time.  Two teachers to my right were talking about the teachers favorite subject these days, lice.  A Dutch couple to my left was very eager and excited about the meal.  And judging by some of the items they ordered they did their homework well (deviled eggs one of the specialties here).   My waitress was running around holding my bill for a few painful minutes (for me), forgetting that final crucial step of actually handing it to me.  We had a good laugh.  She was I must say, very friendly and knowledgeable.

Spotted Pig

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

Back to Khe-Yo for the Khe-Yosk

Get it?  Khe.. Yosk.  Its a play on… oh never mind.  Its Khe-Yo week on Eating With Ziggy.  Sort of like fashion Week but with less fashion and more eating.  By the way last week I came out of my office and noticed an unusual looking crowd walking on 54th, most likely coming out of pier 94.  And I realized right away that its Fashion Week.  Thank god I was wearing my fashionable 10 year old red Calvin Klein shirt that day.  It has a few small holes here and there but they are not that evident.

photo (48)Anyway, a few days ago I told you about Khe-Yo and today I met Hummus Whisperer for lunch in the brand new Khe-Yosk offering delicious Banh Mi sandwiches for lunch only.  Banh Mi is the Vietnamese version of the Po’boy.  Essentially an airy baguette with some sort of meat and veggies.  Here you got 2 kinds.  Beer Lao Braised Berkshire Pork Belly with pickled carrots and other veggies was a delicious combination.  Although I was wishing for a bit more pork belly (duh!) this one had plenty of flavor.  The Jurgielewicz Duck salad in Khe-Yo is quickly becoming their best dish for dinner.  For lunch same duck is featured as a Confit with baby arugula, red and yellow peppers and something called bang bang sauce.  I didnt know the Vietnamese were big Tarantino fans.  The meat was more evident here and all the ingredients worked beautifully together.  The baguettes here are top notch and the counter guy didnt want to disclose the source.  He probably didnt know.  Both sandwiches had pleasant, mild lingering, heat.

photo (50) photo (49)

Categories: New York City, TriBeCa | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Khe-Yo – Your Laotian Fix

Khe-YoDear Readers, it is official.  Tribeca is now a culinary hotspot.  A few Years ago I wouldnt touch the area with a 10 foot pole (mainly because of the difficulties involved) but now I found the area refreshing.  I can now have a great Falafel in Nish Nush, amazing Korean in Jungsik, and now Khe-Yo.  Just like Jungsik, the first modern Korean to hit NYC, Khe-Yo is the first place purely devoted to Lao cuisine.  But Lao cooking has been around here for a while now.  In my best Troy McClure voice…

“Hi, I’m Troy McClure!  You may remember this Laos dish from movies such as Yum Yum, An Officer and a Thai Dish, Yum Yum 3, Eat Drink Man Woman Tranny”

What I’m trying to say is Lao dishes like Larb and the spicy papaya salad can be found in many Thai restaurants all over town.  But in Marc Forgione’s Khe-Yo things get a bit more inventive. I visited Khe-Yo about a month a ago, 2 days after it opened and since then Khe-Yo has gained a lot of media attention.  Marc now has places in both Duane and Reade streets! Ok, it sounded much more meaningful in my head.  Executive chef is Laos born Soulayphet Schwader (AKA better call Saul!)who will occasionally come out to serve the main course himself

They start you off with a bang here. Sticky rice comes with 2 fantastic condiments and a prolonged explanation on how to best enjoy the sticky rice.  Eating with your fingers.  Dip it in the Heirloom puree or the addictively sick spicy Jeow made with 4 different Thai chili, cilantro, fish sauce and garlic.  I was dipping everything in that thing including car keys

I love small menus.  This one only has 5 apps, 5 entrees, and a few salads.  Crunchy coconut rice with spicy kaffir lime Sausage was good and original.  I just wished there was a bit more sausage.  Jurgielewicz Duck salad was even better.  Nicely done, freshly butchered (24 hour) duck along with lightly fried crunchy duck tongue, lemongrass, nice palm sugar vinegar, and jalapeno skins to balance things out.  Nice start

Berkshire Spare Ribs were just ok.  A bit fatty for my taste and on the salty side.  But I liked the accompanied cold long beans salad.  Pork Jowl Red Curry was more like it.  Like a super delicious mild pork stew with tasty grilled shiitake mushrooms and baby eggplant on the side.

Dessert menu consists of coconut rice pudding with sliced peach and cashew bits which was fine, and a pricey but promising native cocktail ($13).  A fine meal overall.  I would love to come back and explore the rest of the menu, like the whole black bass and the chicken.  Marc Forgione told me since they opened 2 days ago 15 Lao natives told him how thrilled they were with this place.  They also recently opened “Khe-Yosk” for lunch.  Get it?  Khe..yosk.  Its a Banh Mi Sandwich takeout place, and I hope to to try it next week

Khe-Yo Sticky Rice Khe-Yo Coconut Rice Khe-Yo Duck Salad Khe-Yo ribs Khe-Yo Pork Jowl Khe-Yo shiitake Khe-Yo Pudding

Categories: New York City, TriBeCa | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

HKSG – The Update

Hell Food5.7 pounds (and counting) and 3 months later it is time to update this beast.  But first a word from our sponsors… oops we have none.  But, I do want to say a few words about this list because it became more popular than the original intent.

This list is not for everyone.  If you are looking for the prototypical pre-theatre dinner where you are nicely dressed, most of these options are not for you.  This list is all about the food, mostly on the casual, cheap side, and mostly really its about what Hell’s Kitchen does best – ethnic food.  If you want to eat at a “Nice” place than I suggest picking a different area.  If you are looking for that special pre-theatre meal and really care about the food than I would suggest looking at places that are not in the area but not too far.  i.e. Betony, Marea, NoMad, The Modern.  You are already spending $300 for a show, surely you can afford a $5 cab fare to add.  Although after a nice long meal, I rather take a nice long walk.

The complete guide is here…

https://eatingwithziggy.com/2013/06/27/the-hells-kitchen-survival-guide/

Here’s whats being added to the guide…

Italian – Mercato.  This is quickly becoming not only my favorite Italian in the area but my favorite restaurant in the area.  I cant quite explain how I missed it all those years.  Truly flavorful, mostly authentic southern Italian dishes like the excellent homemade Trenette with garlic, almonds, tomato and basil.  Check out the simple spaghetti, and the flavor rich gnocchi.  Owners from Sardinia, chef from day 1 from Sicily, good looking all Italian wait staff means I fit right in.

Thai – Larb Ubol.  My favorite is still Pure overall but this new kid on the block is quickly gaining traction.  Larb Ubol is an offshoot of Zabb Elee in the East Village, specializing in authentic Isan cooking.  Like Pure, some of these dishes not for the faint of heart.  Even more so here actually.  If you want your typical American Thai dishes this is not the place.  Go to something like Kare Thai on 10th or Wondee Siam 2 instead.  In Larb Ubol what you get is complex flavors like you never experienced before (unless you did!).  Try the Pad Ped Moo Crob – Crispy pork, thai eggplant, basil, peppercorn, ginger, and spicy curry paste

Ramen – Ippudo Westside.  Perhaps the most exciting HK opening in 2013.  One block away from Totto making HK a NYC Ramen powerhouse.  Just like Totto, this is an experience but quite a different one, starting with all the yelling in Japanese every time a new guest arrives, leaves, a dish on its way, or a guest going to the bathroom. I have no idea what they are yelling but its fun, and after a few minutes you start to yell as well.  Clearly my favorite here so far is the Akamaru Modern, but you must add the egg, and for a little more spice add the spicy miso paste.  Highly recommend this one

Chicken Over Rice Guy – 11th and 51st (Northwest corner).  Every neighborhood has a favorite chicken over rice guy.  This one is mine.  Try the chicken over rice!

Tried a few other new places like Nook…  Feh!

Randon tidbits on existing places…

Szechuan Gourmet 56 – I had my first terrible meal here, followed by an excellent meal.  Keeping it on the list for now but inconsistency will not fly

Gazala’s Place – I’m not big of the Bourekas overall, but the cheese and sun dried tomato Bourekas here is the bomb.  The bomb I tell ya

Sullivan Street Bakery – Quickly becoming one of my favorite breakfast places in the area.   Discovering all kinds of bread goodies lately

Guelaguetza – Spicy chicken burrito is now officially my favorite Burrito in the area.  Readers, its official!

The Complete Guide…

https://eatingwithziggy.com/2013/06/27/the-hells-kitchen-survival-guide/

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

Citibike Confessions 2 – Battle of the Bridges

photo (49)“We are going shopping”, the most beautiful words for a man to hear since “I do”.  “We” – as in just us, without You”.  Here’s how I took advantage.  A Labor Dy trip report if you will…

Picked up Mr Hummus Whisperer and parked the car by the Brooklyn Bridge on the Brooklyn side.  Picked up a Citibike and rode the Bridge over to the other side.  Unlike the day before where we walked the bridge after (and before) visiting the Smorgasburg in Dumbo (will try to write a separate post) the bridge in the morning was fairly quiet.

“Cruised” Lafayette and dropped the bikes by Houston.  Wanted to try La Colombe Coffee after watching the guy on the travel channel exploring the world for coffee beans but it was closed.  I was surprised to learn how many places are closed on Mondays in NYC.  Like being in Milan in August.  Too hot for coffee anyway.  We made our way to Russ and Daughters, picked our bagels and went to a nearby park where an elderly Asian couple were doing an exercise I haven’t seen before:  Bouncing a basketball.  Buttery Lox, cream cheese, tomato, onions, on a fresh crispy bagel never tasted this good.  R&D, one of many Lower East Side institutions is touristy for good reason.   We were without the wits of our women which means without napkins but we somehow managed with minimum stain action.photo (50)

We proceeded to pick up the Citibikes nearby again and rode to Delancey and Williamsburg bridge.  We crossed over to Brooklyn and just biked around Kent Ave without a plan whatsoever.  None of this was planned BTW.  Feeling hungry again we decided to park and just walk to Egg for another round of breakfast.  But the line was too big so we just went to Verb Café nearby on Bedford and had ice coffee with our takeout Bialys from R&D.  Ok, the R&D mention again reminds me that I need to go back to work.. Ok I’m back.. where was I… Oh ye.  Verb Café  – Ive been there before.  If you ever need a reminder that you are in Williamsburg you head to this café and the mini mall attached to it

We picked up the bikes again and rode the Williamsburg bridge back.  An unfortunate incident occurred where a bra-less woman riding a bike was accidentally flashing more than the laws allowed.  Unfortunate for her.   Anyway, we had a good laugh and continued riding by the East River toward midtown.  Nice views of the manhattan skyline open up at some point with the river a few feet away.  This is a nice section to bike on.  We U-turned on 30th and turned on 20th toward the flatiron area.  Just rode around aimlessly until it was time for you know..eat.

We dropped the bikes in the East Village.  A trip like this is incomplete without eating something in the East Village.  Opted to go to Maharlika but we got distracted by a little piggy and shared a Porchetta sandwich in Porchetta.  In here they do it differently than in Italy.  They get whole loins with the skin and all, season, roll it, and roast it for 7 hours.  The result is one fatty, garlicky, porky goodness.  Fantastic sandwich.  Highly recommend Porchetta.photo (51)

Time for a cleanser.  Liquiteria is thee place in town according to my juice obsessed friend.   I’ve been there before and ordered the same thing again, the Grasshopper – a great blend of apple, pear, pineapple, wheatgrass, mint, old cellphones, or god knows what else they put in there.  All freshly squeezed, naturally sweet and very refreshing.  A little pricey but you pay for quality

Too full for Maharlika we pick up the bikes yet again and head to Tribeca.  Dropped the bikes by Whole Foods and spent some quality R&R time (Relieve and Read) in Barnes and Nobles.  This branch has my favorite travel section.  We are in Tribeca which means we have to go to Nish Nush.  Shared a Masabacha which is essentially hummus with Tahini, some other sauce, chickpeas and boiled egg.  Added some Falafel balls as well to this party.  Since I introduced HW to this place a month ago he’s been here 6 times.  He was so excited he stained himself again right next to the R&D stain.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is the best falafel in the city.photo (52)

Time to pick up the bikes again and cross the Brooklyn Bridge back to the car.  Now its raining which means I finally look cool on those bikes.  I tried the one hand move before and nope.. need it to rain.  The bridge is much busier now even with the rain and those darn pedestrians are all over the bike lanes.  Of course I was also all over the bike lanes when I was a pedestrian the day before

We dropped the bikes for the last time and started to head home.  But hey, we are already here, next to a place I wanted to visit for a while now, so whats the rush.  The only one who has the balls to open a pizza joint next to Grimaldi’s is.. well.. Grimaldi.  The place is called Juliana’s and the Margherita pie was absolute perfection.  I’m not gonna go into the details of the story and controversy here but the gist of it was that Grimaldi’s sold the Grimaldi name rights years ago and now he’s back.. right next door.  So when you come to Brooklyn to stand on the hour long line to Grimaldi’s just keep in mind that the place next door with no lines has probably better pizza – I think it does.    And for the sake of the neighborhood locals who finally got their pizza back this is the last time I will mention this.

And that’s how I spent my Labor Day.photo (53)

Categories: Brooklyn, East Village, Lower East Side, New York City, TriBeCa | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.