Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dinner at Marrow

Newly opened and much hyped Marrow. New place in West Village that must be visited. I stopped by on a Friday night at around 8pm and was not surprised when I got denied. Place was at capacity. Lesson? Make a reservation! So that's what I did, had a lovely meal and an evening of people watching.
Of course we start with a cocktail. There's a good wine list but I'm always curious about what the bar has to offer. Drink one was The Marrow 75. Nice, refreshing cocktail. A little bubbly, which was a pleasant surprise. Number two was The Old Fiend, a more serious drink.
Next comes a great pretzel bread with crispy, salted crust accompanied by honey mustard sauce and olive oil. We went for the mustard over the oil. Good choice. Easy to fill up on this so you have to pace yourself.
Two appetizers. One is FOIE GRAS MOUSSE and the other PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED DATES. Both a win. The mousse was pleasantly airy with a hint of sweetness. Delicious. The dates were a combination of salt and savory. A classic item done right.
A delightful BRAISED BEEF BRISKET BRACIOLE is so tender that it effortlessly falls apart. Polenta soaked up all the juices and was a perfect accomplice to the flavorful dish. All around a yummy and I think a sophisticated creation.
The second main dish was BRAISED DUCK & PRETZEL DUMPLING SOUP, definitely not how I imagined it would look. Not a standard dumpling, it was more of and inside out style. Mushroom and kale broth was very tasty indeed. Not sure I could tell where the pretzel was but either way, very pleasant and delicate.
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE was rich and creamy with light whipped cream and pieces of brittle. Nothing crazy unusual here but it was a great finish to dinner.
I really like this restaurant. Trendy atmosphere inside, big open windows looking out to the West Village streets, delicious food and cocktails, great place all around.

The Marrow
99 Bank St.
New York, NY (212)428-6000 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dinner at Cherry

There is a luscious Cherry in the Dream Hotel. It's new and there's not much information about it yet so your only choice is to go and experience it for yourself. The atmosphere is a combination of amazing comfort, luxurious space and modern feel. Every table looks special so I'm convinced there's not a bad table in the place. Definitely make a reservation. Current menu is not yet complete. There are several delicious dishes that I wanted to order but alas they are marked as NP, meaning No Price, meaning not available till February 20th. Bummer but there's even more reason to come back now. Get exited, there's a new gem in town.

First choice is BLACK SEA BASS CARPACCIO. Extremely thin and delicate slices of fish simply melted in your mouth. Just the right amount of peppers give it an extra boost. I really think this is the best carpaccio I've had in a while. 

This is an absolute must. FOIE GRAS SHORT RIB GYOZA. So unique and deliciously unusual that you sure to finish them all.  List of ingredients might look a bit complicated for one dish but the flavors go together and complement each other so nicely that you don't experience each ingredient separately, you simply have a delicious gyoza. 

Oh, what to choose next. LOBSTER TACOS it is. Succulent lobster is packed into a hard taco shell. It tastes light and fresh due to the sweetness of the lobster, crunchiness of the taco and the complementing texture of lettuce.  

For something even more unusual and special try the WAGYU BEEF TARTAR. Mix the egg with the meat and spread on lightly toasted bread. It feels like a delicate fresh textured spread. Another must try. 

There are many good roll options. We went with a classic SHRIMP TEMPURA ROLL. Very nicely done. It's not nothing new but was exceptionally fresh and crunch, as it should be. Don't even need soy sauce, just pop it in and enjoy. 

Salmon Belly, Striped Jack and Maguro. I can't say enough about how fresh the food here is and it definitely applies to SASHIMI. I was pleasantly surprised to find that salmon belly was a little grilled on one side, I've never had it like that before. I simply loved it. Other fish was perfect, just the right sized slice as to not overwhelm. Obviously we had to order another round of the exact same selection.

Now for dessert. We just couldn't make up our minds and the only way to fix this problem is to order all. GREEN TEA MOLTEN CAKE was wonderful. Not too sweet and you can actually taste the pleasant green tea. Simple and perfect.

Second was a fruit dessert. Yummy BANANA TART topped with a scoop of airy ice cream and a side of black cherries.  Tasty pastry. 

CHOCOLATE, obviously. Can't do without it. Great mousse consistency, rich tasting layered chocolate was a joy for the eyes and for the mouth. This makes me so very happy!

What a great place. I was actually sad to leave. Could have stayed longer and eaten more food for another hour or so but alas it was late and time to go home. Can't say enough good things. It seems that the BondSt guys have the right formula for amazing all around dining experience. 

355 West 16th Street
New York, NY
(212) 929-5800

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dinner at Viande Rouge Steakhouse

I went away for a weekend but I didn't go far. My hometown of Atlanta, GA is where I visited a delicious new restaurant called Viande Rouge. The atmosphere is that of a steakhouse with velvet red furniture, black and white pictures, black leather menus, and sharply dressed waiters. I've heard many good things about it so there I found myself on a lovely Saturday evening.

ESCARGOTS BOURGUIGNON was the first choice. It was prepared with crispy garlic, cremini mushrooms and red wine sauce, all contained within a flaky pastry. Very nicely done. Usually escargot is served in a special plate and eaten with tongs and fork but this was a different, fresh take on the preparation. Really liked this one.

Second on the menu were WAGYU BEEF MEATBALLS. I've been having terrible luck with meatballs lately so there was a lot of hope for this dish. Thankfully it didn't disappoint. Finally, some good meatballs. Juicy and delicious, not overwhelmed by the sauce, they met all my high expectations.

LOBSTER THERMIDOR is not on every menu and since I've never had it before we had to try it this time. It was a balanced dish with amazing cheesy sauce. I wish it was a little less grilled though, lobster was not as delicate as I was hoping for but either way it's worth ordering

Since it's a traditional steakhouse obviously you have to get some sort of meat. The choice for this evening was BONE IN FILET MIGNON. Simply and nicely prepared, delicious. Not much else to say here. Spinach and baked Alaskan king crab sauce with asparagus on the side made for an excellent steak dinner.


I definitely recommend you visit Viande Rouge. It's a great date spot as well as a wonderful place to get together with your friends and family. I know it's a little out of the way from downtown Atlanta but if you're willing to make the trip you wont be disappointed.

Viande Rouge
9810 Medlock Bridge Rd.
Suite 900
Johns Creek, GA
(770) 623 4959

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dinner at Sotto 13

A new pizza, tapas and cocktails place, what's not to love. I went on a Wednesday so it was a bit empty and we sat in the bar area because it seemed livelier than the dining room. Cute place but the food was sadly not as interesting.

Ah, the CROSTINI. Prescuito, ricotta and fig on crispy toast. It was pleasantly light and fresh but really no different then every other place that has prescuito crostini.

MEATBALLS. I'm just having no luck with them lately. These were incredibly rubbery, hot on the outside and cold on the inside. Wow. How can simple meatballs be such a fail? On the way back from this place we desperately tried to correct the situation of disappointing meatballs by going the Meatball Shop but alas there was a 40 minute wait so decided to pass on it this time. Get it together Sotto 13.

It seems that every Italian restaurant has some version of this PIZZA. Mushroom with truffle oil. There's one word to describe this one: Meh. It really was nothing special, at all. The mushrooms were shriveled up and scarcely tossed, not enough cheesyness and the crust was sort of bland. There was a hint of truffle there but really it didn't add anything interesting to this.

The final insult was the bread. Two dry, stale, and small pieces all wrapped up in random white paper. Seems lazy to me. I get what they were trying to do but it really didn't work.

Overall, this place has potential. The atmosphere works but the food doesn't, yet. Granted they've been open for only two months and looks like they're still trying to figure things out. As of right now I really don't see this place lasting a long time though, but hopefully I'm wrong. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cheese Board at Murray's Cheese Bar

If you love Murray's Cheese Shop with all it's awesome cheeses and meats on Bleeker street than have I got a place for you. Murray's Cheese Bar is just a few doors down. Randomly stopped by for a cheese board and what a good choice that was. We recognized some of the cheeses on the menu but decided to ask for recommendation from the cheese-master. Blue and goat cheeses were a must, as well as some sort of cheddar. In addition, prosciutto and salami completed our tasty creation. Obviously this was accompanied by a glass of a delicious red wine. Highly recommend this place, definitely visit ASAP. In fact, I say go right now!

Murray's Cheese Bar
264 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014
(646) 476-8882 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dinner at La Fonda del Sol

I was looking for a dinner spot and turned to, my trusted source or restaurant recommendations. So I found La Fonda del Sol, critic's pick. I love tapas so this was a sure win. I was, however, somewhat disappointed. Ultimately, i did not find the food to be good at all. I mean, it was alright but no where near what I was expecting, especially nymag recommended.

One of the things to try was TUNA TACOS. The tuna did not seem to be that fresh and the entire things was extremely plain. I didn't think tuna tacos were a complicated dish, they are usually hard to mess up. This place managed to do just that. Sad tacos.

It being a Spanish tapas place we had to try SPANISH MEATS and CHEESES. The cheeses were good and the meats were alright. I was expecting a little more from the meat plate, not necessarily just cut up pieces of dried sausage.

Meatballs are usually a must try for me, and LAMB MEATBALLS just have to bee good, right? Wrong. These were so dry and bland that I really didn't feel like having more after one bite. That's a new one for me, not eating all the meatballs.

Lastly there was CHICKEN LIVER PATE. It was a mousse-like consistency and I felt like it lacked actual taste substance. It definitely left me wishing for more flavor.

So here it is. An unexpectedly underwhelming dinner, only good thing about it was the apple tart that we got for dessert. The atmosphere is nice and lively though, good place for a beer or cocktail if you want.  

La Fonda del Sol
200 Park Avenue
New York, NY
(212) 867-6767