Posts Tagged With: staten island eats

Lakruwana – The Power of the New York Times

I don’t know anyone who reads the New York Times.  Heck, I don’t know anyone who reads newspapers.  Half of my friends don’t even read.  I just asked my kids if they even heard of the New York Times… No!!  Ok, they are 2 and 3 but still, you get the point.  With that said when a restaurant is mentioned in the NYT positively and gets at least one star, look out.  To some this is a bigger deal than a Michelin Star.  You may even argue that the verdict doesn’t matter as Guy Fieri found out.  Attention is attention


On Saturday I took my wife and 4 friends to Lakruwana, a Sri Lankan spot in Staten Island that I’ve written about before here.  As soon as we entered the restaurant I suspected something was wrong.  Still waiting for water and menus, or a human 20 minutes in, that feeling slightly intensified.  Before you knew it, a ‘Godfather’ like line of locals and hipsters out the door trying to get the owner’s attention which we so desperately needed as well.  The place was packed.  but then it hit me.  I’m there for the exact same reason as everyone else.  I also read the NYT article a few days earlier about Lakruwana and felt the same urge to cancel my plans (Briskettown in Williamdburg) and go there.    

Lakruwana - HoppersEventually things settled down, the hipsters left, and we got our food, albeit all the dishes at the same time which is always fun (since there was no room at least one dish had to be held by someone).  The food for the most part was very good.  Quite an excellent Mulligatawny soup to start things off.  Good Lamprais, Hoppers, Kottu Roti (first for me) but what stole the show on this particular night was the Deviled Chicken which I couldnt get enough of. 

After the meal the owner confirmed to me that they were simply not prepared or didnt know how to prepare for this.  Still, Lakruwana, with its museum like settings and terrific cheap food is quite possibly the best reason for hipsters to take the ferry over.  Except perhaps right after a NYT mention, or during a festival in Bushwick 

Lakruwana - Lamprais

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Staten Island – Nonnas Gone Wild at Enoteca Maria

Thats what you get when you combine Italian nonnas and Nirvana (as in smells like teen spirit Nirvana).  A party!  a slightly unconfirtable one but still.

This Enoteca (wine shop for those scoring at home) comes with an interesting concept.  Nonnas representing different Italian regions taking turn each day of the week cooking.  There’s a set menu on one side and today’s nonna menu on the other.  You can see the stories and more about the concept on their site.  What you also see on the site is something probably 98.3% of the folks dining there miss.  Below the concept, the cooks, the menu, the wine you got this…

The Music: Our music selection is an eclectic compilation from the past and the present: classical, rock, jazz, world, and everything in between. Sometimes…it gets loud!”

He’s not kidding!!  Much to the surprise of some older folks, families, singles, pretty much everybody.  Arguing is useless as I’ve witnessed on a few occassions.

But I’m here for the food.  Sampled quite a few after 2 visits and these were the highlights:  Burrata – Smooth, creamy    mozzarella goodness.  Meatballs – Very flavorful.  Rabbit stew – Tender, meaty deliciousness.  Didnt see the rabbit on the second visit so must have been a specialty of one of the nonnas.  I would time my next visit to coincide with the rabbit nonna.

On an island packed with all sorts of Italian establishments, Enoteca Maria is the only one that has that authentic menu I can only see in other boroughs.   Rock on Nonnas!!

Photo courtesy of Glen Dicrocco  (I’m guessing to the tunes of Iron Maiden in the backgound 👿 )

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

Staten Island – Beso – Manhattan Quality Spanish

Another proud member of Julian Gaxholi’s new Staten Island empire.  This guy is on a mission to transform Staten Island into…. Queens and already roughly .0003% there.   

Beso has to be one of the better options on the island.   Its fairly small and loud with many waiting for a table by the bar so not the best option for families although I’ve seen a few.   Expect to wait about an hour on a Saturday night.   They only take reservations for 5 or more.

You got your normal fare of delicious tapas (A fancy word for “We have a LOT of appetizers” – I’m surprised the local diners arent catching up).  None were disappointing on the one night we visited.  Perfectly grilled and nicely seasoned lamb chops, pleasantly citrucy fried goat cheese with honey.  Crab cakes got more of mixed reaction but I was firmly on the ‘like’ side.  On the main side of things, a very nicely done skirt steak and a juicy fall off the bone Pork osso buco were the standouts.

On an island packed with spanish restaurants, Beso may very well be the Best.  Well done Julian!!

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