Category Archives: Restaurants

I like to eat. Sometimes I do that outside of my home.

Hotel Chantelle Brunch NYC

A few weeks ago we decided to treat ourselves to a nice couple’s massage on the lower east side of Manhattan and wanted to start the day with some brunch. After reading about Hotel Chantelle in Time Out New York , we decided to give their brunch menu a try.

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Yes, you read that right! 92 cent cocktails? Don’t mind if we do…

While there were several scrumptious looking items on this menu, I felt compelled to get something I’d never be able to eat at home, The Maple Jalapeño Sausage:

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Served with whipped potatoes, fried brussel sprouts and a sunnyside up egg.

Mi amor went with something a little fancier, The Russ and Daughters Lox Crepe:

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With warm goat cheese, sweet red onion, dill crème fraiche

I tasted both of these dishes and, even though I am not a lox fan, they were both incredible. My potatoes were creamy and smooth, the sausage was sweet and savory and who doesn’t love a good runny egg? The crepe was delicate, the cheese was sharp and the crunchy hash brown on top was to die for. I spent the better part of the weekend thinking about these dishes.

But I saved the best part of Hotel Chantelle Brunch for last, this guy:

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I love a man in an ascot.

He’s not joking.

If you’re in the mood for a little class, a little jazz and some impossibly delicious cheap cocktails, Hotel Chantelle is your joint. The food’s not bad, either 😉

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Thai and Nets in Brooklyn

Last week, my person celebrated a birthday, so this weekend we decided to venture into the still-30-degree-even though it’s March-weather and check out the now Brooklyn Nets in their new home, The Barclays Center. As a life long New Jersey Nets fan, my man was thrilled to see their new arena for the first time. But two people need to eat, right? And since we arrived in Brooklyn several hours early, we decided to peruse the area for an easy and delicious pre-game dinner. We found just such a place on Fulton Street; this unassuming thai restaurant:

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I know it doesn’t look like much, but this little Brooklyn gem has got to be some of the most authentic, delicious and non-pretentious thai food I’ve had since Thailand. The space only has four or five tables and is BYOB, which is exactly how I roll, so I was sold. They also had my very favorite Thai Basil Chicken dish on the menu, so double sold:thai food, thai restaurant, brooklyn, flatbush, authentic thai

“Well that tastes like Thailand,” was the review of my person after having one bite of my dish. He, himself, opted for the ever-popular Pad Thai he loves so much. This one did not disappoint:thai food, thai restaurant, brooklyn, flatbush, authentic thai, pad thai, thai basil chicken

Since we B’d our own B, I figured I’d rather look like a hipster than homeless so I swapped the brown paper bag I was provided with this super sexy Freaker from the crazy kids down in Wilmington running Freaker USA. If you haven’t freaked a beverage lately, I suggest you check out their site; they have 18 “Fresh Styles” just waiting to make your day. freakers, freaker usa, thai food, thai restaurant, brooklyn, flatbush, authentic thai, pad thai, thai basil chicken

It was a Colt 45 we were sharing, for anyone interested. … Just kidding, it was a Sierra Nevada. Hashtag-BeerSnob.thai food, thai restaurant, brooklyn, flatbush, authentic thai, pad thai, thai basil chickenAs someone who genuinely prefers to watch sporting events from the relative comfort of my futon, I must admit that this was a very fun night. I think in-person basketball games are superior to in-person football and baseball games and here’s why: they’re shorter and they have constant entertainment. At every 30 second break there is some type of dancing or exhibition making what is already a short-ish game move even more quickly. It was a beautiful arena, the fans were wonderful and the the cake was free. But that’s another story for another time.

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Butter NYC Restaurant Week

January means Restaurant Week in NYC again and, since this very well may be my last winter restaurant week in this fine city, I felt the need to participate. Luckily I can always count on my foodie friend, Mel, for outings such as these. She’s far more responsible than most 25-years-olds, so I left the details up to her. She chose Butter in the East Village, she made the reservation, all I did was show up and eat. But we all know I can eat like a champ. Well, actually, I’ll let you be the judge:

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Braised Octopus.

As usual, my date was more adventurous than I as she ordered, and thoroughly enjoyed, this braised octopus dish. I had a bite and, for my first taste of octopus, I must say… I liked it.

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Pasta with spicy lamb sausage & yellow tomato sauce.

It looks like mac and cheese, but it’s really a tomato sauce. Clever! This spicy lamb sausage was divine. Potentially my favorite item of the evening.

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Roasted salmon with braised lentils

It’s tough for me to overlook a salmon dish on a menu, so I didn’t. And this one came with lentils. It was crispy-skined and flakily tender; me likey.

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Braised pork shoulder with a pretzel crumb crust.

This was a heavy dish, but my dainty date devoured it like a baller. By the time dessert came, I was loosening my belt. Classy, I know.

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Ginger cookie ice cream sandwich.

But who could resist a ginger cookie ice cream? Not this girl. I’m not made of stone. Although the cookie might have been. It was really quite difficult to eat with a spoon, and this was not the sort of establishment where I could dive in with my hands (much to my chagrin). So’s not to embarrass my date, just my own cutlery skills, I fought the cookie hard and won. I won.

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Lemon sorbet with kumquat marmalade.

I didn’t try this lemon sorbet, although it looked tasty and much easier to ingest than my dessert. The savory portions of this meal well made up for the challenging finish. If you’re feeling fancy in the Village, check out Butter. It’s buttery. 🙂

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Chelsea Market Crepes

As someone who works from home, I have the great luxury of also being able to work from any coffee shop or restaurant with wi-fi. Now truth be told, I love my apartment, and it’s where I’d rather be 75% of the time. On nice days, however, I do like to venture into Manhattan for a sip of all the human energy until I inevitably drink in a little too much pretension and am forced to retreat to my simpler Queens.

Over the summer my prime destination became Chelsea Market. There is a constant in and out of new humans to watch and a varied cornucopia of eateries for me to choose from. It’s a food bloggers dream come true. Or it would be if I’d ever made it past Bar Suzette, the creperie. They have this Walnut, Pear and Gorgonzola crepe and I think we’re in love.

Chelsea Market, crepes, NYC, restaurant, chelsea, draught beer

How I was ever supposed to try something else?

I enjoyed this for the first time with some Texan friends, one of whom likened this crepe to “God’s breath,” now I’m not exactly sure what that means, but it sounds very complimentary. It was on that day that I also discovered The Filling Station.

Every shop at Chelsea Market is a specialty shop and The Filling Station is no different. It has special sea salts and olive oils (like bacon sea salt and chili-infused olive oil) that you can take home in a variety of sizes. They also have really special draught beers from local breweries for sale that they serve you in a jar for $4. So yeah, they had me at “serve you in a jar” and they kept me at “$4.”

I have yet to try something new at Chelsea Market because this crepe truly has my heart on a string, but the hefty price tag it carries ($9!) has made me want to take my heart back. In Thailand we saw street vendors making pancakes (which are basically crepes) in woks and other non-crepe hot surfaces so I’ve become inspired to try to make crepes in my cast iron skillet. Has anyone seen success or failure with this? I will report back with results. Wish me luck!

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High Heat and Heads Up

Some info about me: I live with a magical person. He’s magical in several ways, one being his magnetic ability to attract odd and awesome opportunities that he always has the good sense to grasp. The latest of these was his role as Sleight-of-hand consultant/Hand double on the short film Heads Up, which played last night at the Big Apple Film Festival. One great thing about NYC is that, no matter the night, there is always something weird and artsy going on. So we went!

But two people gotta eat, right? So before heading down to Tribeca for what promised to be a delightfully hipsterentious evening, we stopped by High Heat for a a burger and some beer.

(Hipsterentious: Where “hipster” meets “pretentious.” See other uses: When bloggers create their own douchey words.)

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A growler of Ithaca’s Flower Power IPA.

To my utter delight, this wonderful establishment had my very favorite IPA on tap, Ithaca Beer Company‘s Flower Power IPA, so we indulged in a growler of this tasty swill.

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Appetizer: asparagus with tom-toms and parmesan.

It’s not easy for my man to resist an asparagus dish on a menu, let alone a deliciously cheese-covered asparagus dish as this. This was a tasty addition to one of the tastier burgers I have had in this city:

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This may be the best burger I’ve had in NYC.

The meat was well seasoned and cooked to perfection and the bun was crunchy but soft. It was served with their own B&B pickles, lettuce, tomato, onions and cheese. Since I’m a woman who loves her side dishes, I was enchanted to learn the french fry options were unique and plentiful. We opted to share two orders: one parmesan and herb, the other garlic oil — both were so good I required no condiments.

If you find yourself in Greenwich Village feeling carnivorous (or not! They have a veggie burger :-D), I highly recommend a stop by this great spot! They have pizza, too, so they’ve really covered the “goes-with-beer” foods to perfection. Has anyone tried the pizza? Is it worth a second trip?

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Sweet Grass Grill

About a month ago, the stars aligned in such rare form as to grant me and my paramour a week day off together. Even more serendipitous was the access we had to a car, something that is almost never the case (and never necessary) for us in Queens. But on this fateful Friday, we were in New Jersey and we wanted to go on an adventure. There was just one hiccup, it was pouring down rain. This only strengthened my resolve to have a great start to a 3-day weekend, so we scrapped our initial plans to drive down to Seaside for an impromptu interpretation of The Jersey Shore, and opted for the creepy Sleepy Hollow, a nearby town that had haunted my childhood.

Turns out Sleepy Hollow, NY is much more sleepy than creepy, but it was pretty and I’m glad we went. The little town next door, called Tarrytown, seemed to boast a more happening downtown scene, so we stopped there, after a roll through Sleepy Hollow, for a bite to eat. After checking out a few menus on the main street, the Sweet Grass Grill really tickled my fancy:

sweet grass grill, draught beer, IPA, tarry town, new york

We chose two different IPAs. Jared’s was better 🙂

We had planned to stick to water originally, but the plethora of craft ale options on tap forced me to shrug and say, “YOLO, I’ll have a brewski.” Unfortunately I cannot recall the names of these IPAs, but I can assure you they were bold and tasty, just like an IPA should be 🙂

Next came the food:

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Jared chose a chicken pesto sandwich, the food of his people.

It takes a lot for my man to overlook a chicken pesto sandwich on a menu. Unless another option is lamb or mushroom-based, he’ll almost always opt for something in a chicken-pesto variety. He said this was one of his favorites, and the fries were perfection.

sweet grass grill, draught beer, IPA, tarry town, new york

And I chose the bacon mac and cheese, the food of my people.

Equally as challenging is for me to overlook a mac and cheese dish, especially one that includes bacon. This particular béchamel sauce was light, yet flavorful and the cherry tom-toms were a cool, fresh burst of yum.

If you find yourself driving around the sweet little villages of Westchester County, check out this little gem, you won’t be disappointed!

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TGIF= Happy Hour, Ya’ll!

In celebration of Friday, I thought I’d encourage everyone to get out there and TREAT YO SELF to a beverage and/or tasty treat from your local watering hole. Here are a few of my favorite haunts:

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This is the “Windjammer” and a Peak Organic IPA

First up, we have my local Astoria bar, Blackbird’s, which specializes in craft beers and tasty appetizers. My favorite Friday afternoon treat from here is “The Windjammer,” a dip made of black beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes and onions. I also don’t mind that they serve my IPA to me in a mason jar, just like down home.

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Buffalo Chicken Spring Rolls and a Harvest Wheat

Next up we have the most embarrassing of the three bars I frequent, the world famous Heartland Brewery. World-famous if you’re a tourist, that is, as these are the only folks I am ever sharing this bar with. I don’t care if it’s an over-priced NY chain, I like that they brew their own beers and these spring rolls are freaking delicious.

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These are Fried Pickles with an Icy-Cold Shiner Bock

Lastly, for the Austinites who might be reading this blog, I recommend heading a few miles north to the sexy and risqué village of Round Rock for a nice visit to the HomeField Grill. The outfits are tacky, but the brewski selection is impressive and you really can’t go wrong with pickles battered, deep fried and served to you by a bartender in a referee’s uniform.

Oh, “Home Field…”… I GET IT!

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