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September 04, 2008

New York Burger Madness: People on the Street

Posted at 12:19:44 PM in Brooklyn restaurants, Flatiron District restaurants, Food and Drink, Meatpacking District restaurants, Midtown restaurants, Upper East Side restaurants, West Village restaurants
by Melanie Berliet

Photo of Pop Burgers borrowed from Flickr.

Every culture has its signature dish, and in this country there is perhaps no food more American than the burger. What beats a minced meat patty, properly seasoned and sandwiched in a bun? Maybe a minced meat patty, properly seasoned, sandwiched in a bun and served on a gold platter by Brad Pitt. But that's about it. Inevitably, in a city like New York, with so many restaurants, it's easy to become flustered by all the varieties out there. We know which spots we like for red meat, but what about our fellow New Yorkers? We took to the streets and talked to locals to find out about the best in burger breeds. Consult our findings in our Battle of the Burgers feature. The opinions might vary, from the advocate of the get-what-you-want-on-it DuMont Burger, to the traditionalist with a preference for Corner Bistro. But if you're craving a burger and need some inspiration, here's a little guidance from your fellow citizens.  

May 23, 2008

Delicious Dish: Caviar at Mas

Posted at 01:17:43 PM in Delicious dish, West Village restaurants
by Kathleen Squires


Sure, it's American caviar, and yes, it sounds like it's named after that annoying chick from The View, but don't turn up your noses just yet. The hackleback ($25 1/2 oz.) they're serving at Mas is damn good--nuttily flavored, firmly textured, and not overloaded with saline. The airy brioche toast it comes with was also so good it nearly outshone the caviar, but not quite. Pair it with the rosewater martini with a lavender sugar rim. Drink. Nibble. Repeat.

May 21, 2008

Cool Cocktail: Cabrito's Hot and Dirty Martini

Posted at 01:03:04 PM in At the bar, Bar buzz, Just opened, West Village nightlife, West Village restaurants
by Kathleen Squires


Popped into the Village's newest cantina, Cabrito (50 Carmine St), the other night to suss out the scene. In a word: caliente. Not feeling tequila, I bypassed the margarita-like drinks and found my new best amigo: the hot and dirty martini, a combo of vodka, olive juice and pickled jalapeno. Picante, salado, delicioso. But cuidado: it's muy fuerte, so more than one will definitely bring out the borracho in you.

May 13, 2008

Bar Blanc Debuts Brunch on Sunday

Posted at 05:01:05 PM in West Village restaurants
by Kathleen Squires


The West Village's morning-after options just got better, as Cesar Ramirez's fashionably rustic Bar Blanc will start serving brunch this Sunday. Among the menu items: steamed hen egg over polenta parmesan froth with aged balsamic vinegar ($12), an open-faced mozzarella, tomato and basil sandwich on toasted brioche ($12) and a ploughman's lunch of cured meats and cheese with mixed greens, toasted country bread and fruit chutney ($15). Even better is the list of eye-openers, including a bloody Mary with pickled ramps, a white bloody Mary martini (tomato vodka and tomato water with a celery salt rim) and a Cucumber martini (all $12). Brunch will run from 11am-4:30pm, so you can still sleep in, and if the white-on-white interior is a bit bright first thing in the morning, just wear shades.

May 06, 2008

Another Reason Not to Leave the House: 'ino Now Delivers

Posted at 11:02:01 AM in Cheap eats, Restaurant gossip, West Village restaurants
by Kathleen Squires

InoAny day that begins with truffled egg toast is a great day. And so I started the week off right yesterday by visiting 'ino for breakfast. I learned a few pieces of good news while digging into the cheesy treat. First, they now deliver. The parameters are small, however, but the staff assured me that the area will expand after they get their "delivery legs" strong. And fans of owners Jason and Jennifer Denton's first cookbook, Simple Italian Sandwiches, can look forward to a sequel, Simple Italian Snacks, coming in the fall, not-so-coincidentally when the spot turns 10. Quite an achievement in NYC's restaurant scene. A hearty, early congrats to the little sandwich shop that could.   

May 02, 2008

Delicious Dish: Chocolate Pudding at Market Table

Posted at 03:47:05 PM in Delicious dish, West Village restaurants
by Kathleen Squires


I'm a sucker for chocolate pudding. When I was growing up, I raced home from school every Wednesday in anticipation of my grandparents' weekly visit. Grandma always made chocolate pudding, sometimes even chocolate pudding pie. Her pudding carried a trademark creaminess, and it never had that nasty skin on top.

A lunch at Market Table today brought those fond memories back. Their chocolate pudding smoothly filled a coffee cup, certainly holding its own in terms of creaminess. Topped with a tiny dollop of whipped cream and a mint sprig, it came with a brittle-y nut cookie, which was fun to crumble in for texture. But the real charm was its hazelnut undercurrent and extraordinary lightness. Even Bill Cosby would get all goofy over it.

Get this delicious dish while supplies last, as it's running only as a special.

May 01, 2008

Academy of the Overrated: Corner Bistro

Posted at 11:14:12 AM in West Village restaurants
by Kathleen Squires


It's been a week of old chestnuts, hasn't it? Yesterday I stopped in for a late lunch at Corner Bistro for the first time in eons. Crazily enough, at 2:30 on a Wednesday the place was packed and there was a wait for tables and even the bar. It must be making the rounds in all the guidebooks because the crowd was heavy with tourists. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but the hordes seem to be affecting the kitchen. The burger arrived cold and undercooked. We sent back the fries, which tasted like they had been sitting around for a week. The replacement plate was only mildly better. I hit it right with the chili, though. Spicy and flavorful, it was perfectly seasoned, if a little watery. Still, it wasn't enough to change my opinion that the glory days are gone for this legendary spot.

April 25, 2008

Happy ANZAC Day! Ozzie and Kiwi Eats

Posted at 03:28:48 PM in East Village restaurants, Food events, Lower East Side restaurants, Nolita restaurants, West Village restaurants, Williamsburg restaurants
by Kathleen Squires


Today is ANZAC Day--the Memorial Day of Australia and New Zealand. Why do we care? Because Down Under dining spots, like Kingswood, Eight Mile Creek and Wombat, are sure to be aflurry tonight. The Sunburnt Cow, for example, is hosting a tournament of Two-Up, an Australian coin toss game, and sister Bondi Road will supersize your cocktails tonight. Both places will be giving away free ANZAC biscuits, made of rolled oats, coconut and golden syrup. But you can keep your cookies. All I want for ANZAC day? Tickets to see Flight of the Conchords at Town Hall on May 6. Thank you so much for asking.

(Photo courtesy of HBO)

April 21, 2008

Chef Talk: Jared Stafford-Hill of Bobo

Posted at 11:56:45 AM in Chef talk, West Village restaurants
by Kathleen Squires


When atmospheric townhouse restaurant Bobo opened this fall, an instant scene came along with it. But so did kitchen trauma when opening chef Nicolas Cantrel (now Bagatelle) was out after only a few months tenure. Then Jared Stafford-Hill (ex-Hearth) stepped in. His new menu--and green initiative--is finally drawing more attention than the celeb patrons, the name (a David Brooks-coined combo of bohemian and bourgeois), and the gorgeous interior design. I chatted with the chef recently about exactly how he's making his mark.

KS: What do you bring to the Bobo equation and what changes did you make to the menu to reflect that?

Jared Stafford-Hill: Well, I'm somewhat of a Bobo myself. I'm a creative type that enjoys the finer things in life. So I think I bring a passion for the highest quality ingredients and some refinement and luxury to the Bobo equation. The jamon Iberico and beef Fiorentina with oxtail soffrito are dishes that show that.

KS: Which dish on the menu do you feel is the most "bohemian?"

JSH: The charcuterie rustique (pork rillettes, parsley'd ham terrine, frisee and bacon salad, pickled pearl onions and carrots) because it's authentic, traditional country food.

KS: Which dish is the most "bourgeois?"

Continue reading "Chef Talk: Jared Stafford-Hill of Bobo" »

April 18, 2008

New Tequila Bar at Mi Cocina

Posted at 11:31:01 AM in At the bar, West Village restaurants
by Kathleen Squires


Despite recent reports of shuttering, long-standing Mexican Mi Cocina was alive, well and celebrating the opening of its new tequila bar last night. The front dining room has been transformed by a communal bar table, snug window-side seats, and a curving, elevated shelf displaying 80 brands of the good stuff. At the party, proprietor Jose Hurtado Prud'homme (pictured) mentioned that Mi Cocina is the first restaurant in New York to be certified by the Consejo Regulador del Tequila, which is basically the AOC/DOC of Mexico. Some of the new fiesta-worthy cocktails being served: "Que Curvas," a smooth blend of tequila, mango and lime; "Besame Mucho," which blends tequila with damiana, the Mexican fertility flower; and a quirkily delicious combo of anise, tequila and honey liqueur. The tequila bar at Mi Cocina is officially open to the public tonight.

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