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Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Dinner category.

I Can’t Wait To Go Back To Westville East

courtesy of westvillenyc.com

I’m a big meat eater. I was a vegetarian throughout my teenager years and appreciate vegetarian meals, but (unfortunately) the majority of my meals consist of meat. However, as I sat at the counter of Westville East the other night, I felt like having a meat free meal, and I am so glad that I did.

The restaurant was tiny and crowded, as are many of the new restaurants in New York City. And after glancing at the menu I wanted to clap my hands. They had one of my very favorite things to eat in this world, an arugula and parmigiana reggiano salad. It’s so basic, but incredibly flavorful. They only added lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. I was swooning. For my entrée I got the veggie burger with mixed mushrooms and spicy tartar sauce, which also came with a side of fries. It was, I swear, the best veggie burger that I have ever had. It had bite to it that made you feel like you were eating something substantial and the taste was beautiful. I was taken aback by my first bite and then munched happily away. And may I just say that their fries reminded me of Burger King fries, and I love Burger King fries so that’s a good thing.

Of course I had to get dessert, so I grabbed two of their cream filled cookie sandwiches. Keep in mind that these a decent sized dessert sandwich the diameter around 3-4 inches. One was called “Oreo Cookie” because it was made up of chocolate cookies and a vanilla butter cream filling. It was good, but I would have rather had a real Oreo. But the “Little Devin Cookie” ? I could not put that damn thing down. I kept saying, just one more bite and put it away, but I couldn’t. I’m a sucker for cream cheese frosting and this was sandwiched in between 2 tasty granola, cranberry and walnut cookies. I was in Heaven.

Westville East, was a wonderful restaurant, even if it was crowded. I can’t wait to go back. After that fantastic first meal, I know that I definitely want to taste their other baked goods, in particular their carrot cake and their cobblers. I also would love to try their smoky mac and cheese with bacon, arugula with smoked mozzarella and pears, their beef burger, hot dogs, sausage and peppers, chicken cutlet, beer battered codfish and chips and pretty much their entire brunch menu.

9 out of 10

173 Avenue A, New York NY10009

-Juice


Klong, My Favorite Thai In New York City

courtesy of klongnyc.com

I’ve been going to Klong for probably almost a decade. I was in college and when they had first opened, I wandered in and wanted to see what was going on in there. The interior design of this Thai restaurant is fantastic. Gorgeous abacus walls, metal sculptures and beautiful statues decorate the room. And when you see how lovely everything looks, you are taken aback when you see how affordable the prices of their dishes are.

Klong has extremely tasty food, for a really good price. Oh gosh, looking at their menu right now, I’ve probably tasted 60% of the items on it and have never been disappointed. Though I will warn you, their cocktail are only average, but they are still a lot of fun to sip on. Like their Frost in Night Market Bangkok. Made with pandan leaf juice, vodka, Malibu, midori, coconut milk and jackfruit, it is a very darling drink. And did you know that Red Bull originated in Thailand? I didn’t. I only found out when I saw that interesting tidbit next to their Red Bull and vodka cocktail. But, if you are in a non-alcoholic mood, you can never go wrong with their Thai ice tea. Those things are addicting!

Gosh, appetizer, entrée and dessert-wise, you will be happy with what you order. They also have a great vegetarian selection that tastes great. My favorite entrée on the menu overall though, has to be the Spicy Basil Noodles with beef, hands down. Every time I go with someone new to this restaurant, they are blown away by the spices and the overall taste of it. Broad noodles and tender beef are sautéed with tons of basil and spice. Layers of heat overcome my mouth with each bite that I take, and because I can’t handle that too well, I ask them to make it with very little chili and it is still just as amazing.

And for the price, their dessert is pretty good too. That reminds me, it’s been a while since my last visit, I think that I’ll have to pop in soon.

9 out of 10

7 St Marks Pl, New York NY10003

-Juice


Oh Me, Omai

courtesy omainyc.com

It had been a very long time since I have had a taste of Vietnamese, so when I entered Omai, one of my dinner companion’s favorite restaurants, I was delighted. Far off on 9th ave, it wasn’t crowded and we were seated immediately. The space was simply decorated, clean and crisp. The light reflecting off of the white walls made the room seem bigger than it really was and the seating was comfortable.

Our drinks came immediately, my Manhattan wasn’t bad at all. On the recommendation of my friend, we decided to get a bunch of appetizers and just split them. And you know me, I always over order, but in this case, I was very happy with her decision because their appetizers are very generous, portion-wise, compared to other New York City restaurants. It was a very pleasant surprise.

The wok seared monk fish with peanuts, chili, basil and served with a sesame rice cracker was very good. All the ingredients came together beautifully, and even though it was a very flavorful dish, it was light and not at all heavy.

The seared beef over tomato and watercress was amazing. The meat was beautifully seasoned and incredibly tasty. I loved the bitterness that the watercress added to it. Yummy!

And let me tell you, they really know how to make meat here. Our next dish were the baby back ribs with 5 spices and we polished them off right away. Tender meat and great flavor. What more could you want? Simple and to the point.

However, our last appetizer was a disappointment. The shrimp ravioli fell apart immediately the second we tried to transport it to our plates, and while it wasn’t a bad dish, it was definitely the worst savory dish we had that night. It is also something that I would recommend that people not order, the shrimp were chopped too small, and the skin very thin. They also should have served it with a sauce to give it more oomph. It was very bland.

And last, the dessert. Maybe I ordered wrong. We got the banana bread with warm Tahitian vanilla ice cream. The ice cream was decadent and so good, but the banana bread was a downer. It was some type of tapioca texture bread layer, covered with a banana and topped with ice cream. It didn’t have that come out of the oven banana bread that I was expecting. A bit sad, but at least the majority of my appetizers were good right?

7 out of 10

158 9th Ave, New York NY10011

-Juice


Family Style Italian Dinner At A NYC Institution

courtesy of carminesnyc.com

Nothing makes me happier than seeing huge portions of good food. When I’m with a large group of people who don’t have a ton of money to spend, off to Carmine’s we go. I’ve been to both locations in Manhattan and the consensus is that the service is never great, unless you get an upstairs table at the theatre district location.

Carmine’s is the epitome of family style Italian dining. You’re surround by hustle and bustle, loud talking and laughter everywhere. And you will never leave hungry.

Dishes I’ve devoured at Carmine’s:

Baked clams: Good, not great but good. Scoop the sauce at the bottom of the dish for a big hit of garlic.
Zuppa de mussels: Yummy, yummy, yum, yum. And I love dipping my bread into the leftover sauce.
Carmine’s salad: Think leafy green mixed with antipasto, chunks of salami and cheese all throughout
Ceasar Salad: It is what it says and doesn’t disappoint.
Mixed seafood pasta: Their pasta is always al dente and they do not skimp on the seafood.
Pasta with white clam sauce: Like I said, perfectly cooked, you cannot go wrong with their pasta dishes.
Chicken Marsala: The wine flavor is a bit overpowering for me, but the chicken was cooked well.
Chicken parmigiana: A very tasty dish, I probably could have eaten the entire plate if I had more time.
Broiled porterhouse: HUGE portion, great for meat eaters.
Porterhouse Contidina: This blew the plain porterhouse out of the water. I could cut the meat with just a fork and the sausages, potatoes, peppers and onions added an incredible amount of flavor. Love at first bite.
Strawberry shortcake: To me this tastes amazingly when done simple and to the point, which is how Carmine’s does it. A delicious winner.
Chocolate Torta: A must have for any chocolate lover. Think of an oversized, good quality, rich brownie that is slightly undercooked. Grab a side of ice cream to go with it.

I know, I know, I complain about the service at tons of other places, why don’t I let it affect about how I feel about Carmine’s? Part of it is because it’s a family style restaurant so it’s very laidback in my eyes. Another part is that the restaurant is simply understaffed. They should bring on more waiters, but at the same time if they do, the waiters would make less money. One more part. The cost of the food is extremely reasonable. One bowl of pasta can feed 4 people and have them leave full. I can’t complain about that.

8.5 out of 10

Various locations

-Juice


The Dirty Stinkin’ Whore Martini At Divine Bar West

courtesy of divinebar.ypguides.net

There is something very touristy about Divine Bar West that is a turn off. Think pre and after theatre crowd. But they make some really amazing martinis and tasty treats. If you stop by make sure to ask for a table upstairs. There’s more to the place then just the bar. If you are lucky enough to visit during the warmer months, you might want to try for an outside table.

I cannot rave enough about their Dirty Stinkin’ Whore martini. A massive potato vodka martini is lined with celery salt and garnished with a blue cheese stuffed olive, a roasted shallot and a sliver of red roasted pepper. It goes down so lovely and clean and the celery salt is a heavenly touch to the cold vodka. And when I say that this is a big drink, it really is a big drink. It might even be twice the size of some of the martinis I have had in my life. The rest of their special martini list has beautiful flavors as well, like their Champagne-Grapefruit martini, which is grapefruit vodka, champagne, citrus syrup and a gorgeous sun-dried citrus garnish. It’s looks beautiful in addition to tasting good. The Platinum Cosmo is refreshing and pretty. Made from platinum sipping tequila, white cranberry juice, triple sec, lime juice and a lemon and cranberry garnish, it’s a fantastic twist on a regular Cosmopolitan.

I’m not going to lie. With all of that booze, you will surely want food to munch on. My general opinion of the menu is that the food is good, not amazing, but good. BUT! But, there is one dish that I always have to have when I go there. Hands down, I always have to get the baked brie in a puff pastry with honey, walnuts, dates and apples. You will be using those apple slices to scoop up every last bit of honey and pastry. The funny thing is that it doesn’t taste like they use honey. It tastes like they poured yummy caramel all over it.

Dishes that aren’t mind-blowing, but that are worth giving a go are the tuna sushi roll (wrapped tortilla style, but if there were ham in there instead of tuna I probably wouldn’t have know), the antipasti (this is great if you want quantity, it’s a big platter), the bruschetta with warm goat cheese (absolutely delicious, but their bruschetta portions are very small, 3 to a plate).

How are the desserts you ask? Just like the rest of the menu, not to-die-for, but definitely good and will satisfy and please you. And will plates like pumpkin poppers with butterscotch gelato and a bag of mini doughnuts, how can you resist?

6.5 out of 10

236 W 54th St, New York NY10019
(212) 265-9463

-Juice


Supper In New York, Anyone?

courtesy of supperrestaurant.com

Supper will definitely be seeing me again for dinner. Delicious and well-executed dishes come out of this Northern Italian influenced kitchen and is definitely a must try for those who haven’t been yet. The restaurant is cozy and very tight, but is rustic in the way that you would imagine a restaurant in Italy would be like. The second you sit down you are hit with wafts of sauces, meats and cheese and wondering what everyone ordered and hope that everything tastes as good as it smells.

I sipped on a glass of prosecco and nibbled on bread with a white bean sauce while we ordered and after a while put down the bread and started eating spoonfuls of the beans when no one was looking. Soon, our aromatic appetizers were placed in front of me and my friends. We decided on grilled calamari, burata mozzerella and veal meatballs. The grilled calamari? I barely remembered it was even there when I tried the other two. It was good, but not memorable. On the other hand, the burarata mozzerella was one of those dishes where you thought you might orgasm with each bite that you took. It was a rich flavor explosion in your mouth and one of those dishes where you would come back to Supper just to eat this dish. The veal meatballs? Simple, savory and fantastic. This was a wonderful start to our meal. I was really praying that our entrees wouldn’t let us down.

Sunday gravy is one of my favorite things to eat so I knew I had to try their version. I got their grandpa pasta (long thin tubes) with Sunday gravy and ricotta. Basic and tasty. It wasn’t mind blowing like the meatballs and the burata, but I definitely was not disappointed and was wishing I had another bowl of it later on in the night. As you know, I love dishes where the ingredients really stand out and are the stars of the dish. Buried flavors make me sad. I don’t need an entrée that has 20 ingredients and has fireworks coming out of it to be satisfied.

I cannot wait to try the other restaurants that the owners of Supper also run and I can’t wait to return to Supper as well.

My only one complaint? Community tables. Maybe it’s because I grew up in New York, but I don’t like sharing tables with people I don’t know because I feel like someone is always trying to steal my wallet.

156 East 2nd Street
New York, NY 10009-7719
(212) 477-2732

8 out of 10

-Juice


New York City Gets Hundred Acres – Restaurant That Is

courtesy of hundredacresnyc.com

You know what I liked about Hundred Acres immediately? That they took reservations. So many restaurants do first come first served and it drives me nutso! I have to work, I can’t camp out all day on your sidewalk goddamnit. The seating was definitely comfortable. No squishing or squashing anywhere and big chairs. Loved the big chairs because you can keep drinking and drinking and drinking and no matter how drunk you are your booty won’t slip off of it!

Appetizers:
-Cauliflower and Brussel Sprout gratin: I know, I know…everyone is using brussel sprouts now, it is the ‘hot’ vegetable, lol, the fact that there is a ‘hot’ vegetable of the moment is funny. It was freaking good. Like really good. Creamy, salty and yummy, the vegetables give a good bite and texture against the melted goodness. I have to learn that recipe.

-Grilled flatbread with cheese, red onions and chili-rosemary oil-I wish it were cheesier. I like cheese. I think cheese likes me.

-Braseole platter-It was only one quick bite that I had and I could have sworn that the tomato was sweetened with something. I don’t like that. I like my air dried meat savory.

Entrees:
Keep in mind that I can be very annoying when it comes to food. Very, very, very annoying. My friend and I decided to split two entrees, but when I couldn’t find anyone else to order the burger with me and I didn’t shut up about it, half the table agreed to split it with me.

Medium rare burger with white cheddar, pickles, onion, lettuce and a side of fries and mayo:
Hard to say because it sat there for a few minutes before I got to eating it, but it was a good burger, nothing that I need to have again, but a good burger. I was hoping that it would be juicier, it wasn’t. Though, I loved the full sour pickles and the fries were quite good.

Seafood chowder:
Not your typical thick chowder…think of it as a slightly creamy broth. Amazing. I could have drank the broth all night. The lobster melted in my mouth. The mussels, clams, scallops and fish were beautifully cooked as well. I wish I had some right now.

Sirloin flap steak with roasted onion and scalloped potatoes:
First off! The potatoes did not work at all. The edges were so hard I felt like I was biting into raw rice. The onions looked cute, but I didn’t really need them. The steak was gorgeously cooked and very flavorful, but the cut wasn’t very good. It was very chewy in certain areas and I made myself swallow certain pieces that I probably should have spit out, but I didn’t want to because I was in public.

Dessert:
Chocolate pot du crème with sugar cookies:
Simple and delicious. Beautifully silky and full of chocolate-y flavor and topped with fresh whipped cream. But while sugar cookies were what drew me in to this dish, they weren’t sugar cookies. They were butter cookies/shortbread. While they were very good, I would say that it felt like false advertising.

Cocktails: I tried three, the chipotle margarita, pear crush and then some prosecco one. They weren’t bad, but I could do without them and just stick with my Jameson. You would figure that all those magical and hoity toity ingredients would create something mind blowing….not so much.

7 out of 10

Hundred Acres

MacDougal St, New York NY10012
(212) 475-7500

-Juice


If You Love Steak, Definitely Try Ben and Jack’s

courtesy of benandjackssteakhouse.com

Delicious. Absolutely delicious. I love me some good steak. And let me tell you something, Ben and Jack’s Steakhouse has some damn good steak.

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to write this post. I went to Ben and Jack’s a year ago and it is still fresh in my head. It’s definitely a typical steakhouse. Waiters in white buttoned up shirts, patrons of all age groups, unimaginative menu (but I mean, you’re going for steak, not something wrapped in pretty flowers and shaped into a sculpture).

My date and I started off with a lobster cocktail. Perfectly cooked and chilled, all I did was squeeze a little lemon over it and it was scrumptious. Next came our porterhouse and side of bacon. The steak was a gorgeous medium-rare and melted in our mouths. Our thick slab of bacon with flavorful and heavenly, just the way that I like it. Sometimes I wonder if I prefer the bacon over the steak and then I realize what difference does it make, just order both!

How does Ben and Jack’s compare to Peter Luger’s? They’re about the same. I mean think about it…the owners use to work at Luger’s, the bartender use to work at Luger’s and the chef use to work at Luger’s. It’s pretty much Luger’s, just with different owners and a different name. If one had an edge over the other, who would it be? I would say Luger’s and I say this because I am not scared of fat. The bacon and steak at Luger’s has a teeny amount more fat on it, and because of that can be more flavorful than lean meat. Ben and Jack’s meats were slightly on the leaner side. My dinner at Ben and Jack’s was definitely fantastic though, don’t get me wrong. I definitely want to go back. It’s been too long.

8.5 out of 10

219 East 44th Street
New York, NY
(212) 682-5678

-Juice


The Prime Grill Not So Prime

courtesy theprimegrill.com

Prime Grill has the big name and has had celebrities walk through its doors before. But I do have to say that while it is a good restaurant, I will never order one of their steaks again.

I love steak. When it’s a perfectly cooked medium-rare it’s flavorful, buttery and juicy. Prime Grill’s filet mignon was a complete disappointment. A $39 disappointment actually. I did keep in mind that the chef has more rules that he must adhere to because it is a kosher restaurant, but if that’s what kosher steaks taste like, I don’t need them. I got to try two sauces with my meat, one was too sweet, another just didn’t taste good. The lovely bartender recommended a BBQ sauce that is usually paired with a different dish and that was much better. Though I must say, that when you have a great steak, you don’t even need sauce. This steak lacked flavor and I need something to dip it in.

Another issue that I have with Prime Grill. It’s prices. The prices don’t match up with the taste of the food. Again, this may be the kosher aspect kicking in again, where it’s hard to find kosher restaurants that serve food like they do. So while people who keep kosher may love it, to me, it is sub-par to other NYC steakhouses. Take your money and go somewhere else.

5 out of 10

-Juice

The Prime Grill
60 E 49th St, New York 10017
(212) 692-9292


Scarpetta: The Fancy Restaurant With The Most Amazing Spaghetti

courtesy scarpettanyc.com

I understand that it’s spaghetti. And I understand how nuts it sounds for someone to charge $24 for spaghetti. But if this is the only restaurant where I can get this dish the way that Scarpetta makes it, they can gladly have my $24 (providing its not the same week that I’m paying rent).

Scarpetta is a must try restaurant in New York City. The décor is beautiful. The main dining room has a skylight and the set up is quite comfortable, you’re not fighting for room. I love the high ceilings, the simple, but unique lighting fixtures and the sleek furniture. Though, all their mirrors are decorated with belts and it makes my nose crinkle in a bad way whenever I see that. Would look much better if they just ripped them off. Anyway, on to the food!

What I have tried and what I thought:

Spaghetti with tomato and basil: Homemade thick spaghetti in a slightly creamy tomato and basil sauce. The creaminess might come from cheese that melts into the sauce, not actual cream. The pasta is reminiscent of Asian noodles my grandmother makes from scratch and the flavorful sauce clings to it wonderfully. I overheard a waiter tell someone that it was the best thing on the menu. I haven’t had everything on their menu, but from what I have had, it is the best thing.

Raw yellowtail olio di zenzero & flaked sea salt: Light, balanced and tasty, a great way to start a meal.

Braised Short Ribs Of Beef  vegetable & farro risotto: Definitely a good dish, nothing to write home about, but well prepared and executed.

Duck And Foie Gras Ravioli  marsala reduction: You would think that this might be an overpowering dish, but its not. The filling is flavorful and balances nicely with the sauce, but I wish there was a bigger foie gras taste to it. I wonder, because when they present it to you, its on a plate so that each ravioli has its own space, if this dish could be taken to the next level if it were just duck ravioli, with a foie gras garnish on each one.

Roasted Sirloin  potatoes, chanterelles & braised oxtail sauce: Perfectly cooked meat, but the highlight of the dish was the potatoes. Think mashed potatoes wrapped in cheese and fried. Fried cheese. How can you go wrong with that?

Ash-Spiced Venison Loin  polenta-bacon dumpling, baby cabbage, & dried cherry reduction: Soooo, my date thought this was an OK dish, but it didn’t mesh with my taste buds well at all. Maybe it was the crust of spices they used, but when I took a bite, I wanted to spit it out.

Various wines and martinis: Great wines and icy martinis, thumbs up!

Service: The wait staff and bartenders are so friendly and available whenever you need anything.

In the end, the thing about Scarpetta is to stick with the pastas. Yes, except for the venison, their dishes are always tasty, but their pastas have always been the standout dishes. And if you are going on a weekend, definitely make a reservation. I was craving their spaghetti the other night and the only time they could fit me in was 530pm. I took it.

8 out of 10

-Juice

Scarpetta
355 W 14th St, New York 10014
(212) 691-0555