New York rss

Restaurant recommendations, new openings, and highlights from the NY Chowhound community.

Puffs on Parade at Panade

Panade is all about puffs, savory and sweet. They’re made with care and they’re delicious, says Miss Needle. They come plain or in such flavors as cheese, herb, onion, garlic, and ham and cheese. And besides the usual sweet fillings—including fresh fruit or chocolate, vanilla, or banana cream—they’re made into sandwiches stuffed with meats, cheeses, or roasted vegetables.

This tiny shop was opened a year ago by a one-time schoolteacher and passionate baker whose talents appear to go well beyond puffs. Brownies and muffins, among other things, come recommended by hounds. Coffee is unexpectedly fine, and the mood is warm and homey.

Panade Cafe and Bakery
129 Eldridge Street (between Broome and Delancey), Manhattan

Board Links: Panade

Splendid Ice Cream Sandwiches in Park Slope

Park Slope’s Chocolate Room knows how to put together an ice cream sandwich. Well-conceived combinations include burnt orange ice cream between dark chocolate cookies and banana rum ice cream between chocolate–peanut butter cookies. They’re really good, declares Brigita. Look for them among the specials.

The Chocolate Room [Park Slope]
86 Fifth Avenue (between Warren and St. Mark’s), Brooklyn

Board Links: Ice cream cookie sandwiches at Chocolate Room

Promising Turkish at Peri Ela on the Upper East Side

A Turkish restaurant called Peri Ela replaced a middling Greek diner a couple of months ago, and Carnegie Hill hounds seem happy with the trade-off. “Really delicious Turkish and quite a pretty place,” sums up foodyum. He prefers to skip the entrées and feast on meze. Highlights of these small plates, which run $6 to $9, include midye dolma (rice-stuffed mussels on the half shell), sigara boregi (feta-stuffed phyllo, lightly fried), patlican salatasi (smoked eggplant mashed with garlic and olive oil), and cacik (yogurt with cucumber, garlic, and dill). Among main courses, the karisik izgara, or mixed grill, is a good bet. It comprises chargrilled ground lamb, chicken and lamb kebabs, and lamb chops, all well seasoned and nicely cooked, MMRuth reports.

She gives Peri Ela’s entrées the edge, in quality and variety, over those at neighborhood competitor Beyoglu. jbnyc likes the newcomer but will stick with Beyoglu.

A few blocks north, Straight from the Market is another welcome spot for lovers of Turkish chow. This friendly corner grocery recently added a decent selection of foods from Turkey, reports lucybobo, including soft drinks and juices, soujouk sausage, Kashar and other cheeses, canned goods, legumes and grains, confections like pismaniye and lokum, and good fresh pide (from Taskin Bakery in Paterson, New Jersey).

Peri Ela [Upper East Side]
1361 Lexington Avenue (near E. 90th Street), Manhattan

Beyoglu [Upper East Side]
1431 Third Avenue (at E. 81st Street), Manhattan

Straight from the Market [Upper East Side]
1488 Lexington Avenue (at E. 96th Street), Manhattan

Board Links: Peri Ela–new Turkish–UES
Dinner near the 92nd St. Y
Great little Turkish market on the UES

Crowd-Pleasing ’Cue at Williamsburg’s Fette Sau

Throngs of carnivores are packing a converted garage in Williamsburg for barbecue, beer, and bourbon at Fette Sau. A Southern Pride smoker turns out a lineup of meats highlighted by meltingly rich pork belly. “Heaven,” sighs brooklyncook. Other winners: brisket, ribs, and sweet, delicious pig tails. Hounds blow hot and cold on sausage and pulled lamb or pork, which can be dry. Meats are lightly smoked, and seasoned and cooked in no particular regional style.

Sides are uneven in quality. At least most hounds like the rich, porky baked beans and crisp sour pickles (from Guss’s). Other choices include sauerkraut, potato salad, and broccoli salad. The house sauces—smoky ketchup, Tabasco-like hot sauce, and a vinegar variety—have won few fans. “I would rather use Kraft Bullseye,” carps JacksonR. Better yet, skip the sauce altogether.

Beverage choices are plentiful, as you’d expect from a joint opened by the owners of Spuyten Duyvil (a beer bar). On tap is a short but interesting lineup of craft brews, served in half pint, pint, half gallon, and gallon portions. The bar also stocks a well-chosen selection of bourbon, among other spirits.

The setup is casual and convivial. Order at the counter (where you can chat up the meat cutter), then hunt for a spot at one of the communal picnic tables. “You end up talking with folks,” notes brooklyncook, “and that really adds to the vibe.”

Fette Sau [Williamsburg]
354 Metropolitan Avenue (near Havemeyer), Brooklyn

Spuyten Duyvil [Williamsburg]
359 Metropolitan Avenue (near Havemeyer), Brooklyn

Board Links: My Fette Sau review
Fette Sau is open in the WB
Fette Sau to open in Williamsburg Fall 06

Primo Pork Chops from the Bronx to the East Village

Generations of hounds have queued up at Biancardi Meats for such delicacies as stuffed pork chops with tasty sausage-and-bread filling. Roasted fennel makes an especially nice side dish, Striver advises.

Also recommended at this Arthur Avenue landmark: stuffed chicken breasts, dried hot sausage with fennel, and—by advance order only—whole prosciutto. This is an annual family tradition for gardengirl: “We visit it regularly before it is ready and even have a naming ceremony. Yeah, we get a little too excited about it.”

Another houndworthy pork chop, Ukrainian style, is the enormous breaded and fried specimen sold at Kurowycky in the East Village. kobetobiko loves the distinctive porky, almost gamy flavor of the meat. Just heat it up in the oven.

Biancardi Meats [Bronx]
2350 Arthur Avenue (between E. 186th Street and Crescent Avenue), Bronx

Kurowycky Meat Products [East Village]
124 First Avenue (between St. Marks Place and E. Seventh Street), Manhattan

Board Links: Arthur Avenue Review
Kielbasa/Polish butcher

At Tisserie, a Cookie that Wants to Be a Brownie

It’s a cookie with the heft and richness of a brownie. The melted chocolate chip cookie at Tisserie is moist, intense, studded with bits of chocolate, and really is more like a brownie, swears nyccookie, who’s hooked.

Other offerings at this Union Square bakery-cafe seem to be hit-or-miss. Among the hits, hounds report, are pain au chocolat, cheese bread, strawberry lemonade, hot chocolate, and pastelitas with guava, cream cheese, and other sweet or savory fillings.

Tisserie [Union Square]
857 Broadway (at E. 17th Street), Manhattan

Board Links: best brownie
Tisserie on Union Sq.

Poutine Discovery at Brooklyn’s Sheep Station

New York hounds, especially those who have spent time in Quebec, get the occasional hankering for poutine, the French-Canadian specialty of fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. Their craving usually goes unsatisfied—but now they’re in luck. The newish Brooklyn gastropub Sheep Station serves poutine as a Tuesday night special. And they do it right, says gfood.

Sheep Station [Park Slope]
149 Fourth Avenue (at Douglass), Brooklyn

Board Links: Poutine or canadian food!

How Does a Grilled Chicken Vendor Get to Carnegie Hall?

Greek chicken master Tony the Dragon has taken a younger street vendor under his wing, so to speak. The king of the East Side lunch hawkers has passed along decades of souvlaki wisdom to friend and countryman Carnegie John, who paid close attention and (as you must have guessed) practiced, practiced, practiced.

The protégé now slings superb chicken pita sandwiches from a cart at Seventh Avenue and 56th Street, reports Spoony Bard. The meat is juicy, smoky, and deftly seasoned, with a strong herbal note. Optional add-ons include tzatziki, hot sauce, vegetables, and lettuce and tomato.

John’s menu—which also includes rib-eye, shish kebab, and burgers—is nearly identical to his mentor’s at Madison and 62nd, and even his cart is of the same model. “Tony’s been at it for 25 years,” Spoony Bard writes. “John’s a newcomer at 6 years, but is nearly as good as the old pro.” Look for him on weekdays till around 4.

Carnegie John’s grilled chicken cart [Carnegie Hall]
Northeast corner of W. 56th Street at 7th Avenue, Manhattan

Tony “The Dragon” Dragonas’s grilled chicken cart [Upper East Side]
Southwest corner of E. 62nd Street at Madison Avenue, Manhattan

Board Links: Tony Dragonas’ pupil- Carnegie John

Eye-Opening Pastas at El Chivito d’Oro

At South American restaurants where beef is king, many diners go for the meat and ignore the customary selection of pastas. This is a mistake, insists JH Jill, who’s still swooning over the transcendent chicken-and-spinach cannelloni she had at El Chivito d’Oro. At this Uruguayan-owned restaurant in Jackson Heights, you can order your canelones “a la Rossini” (with both red and white sauces) or topped with peceto, a round of tender stewed beef.

“This is a magnificent dish. The chicken adds another dimension, which I find preferable to spinach alone,” writes Jill. (La Fusta also makes a decent version. Other worthy Italian-inspired dishes at El Chivito d’Oro are gnocchi, lasagne with ham, and spinach ravioli with marinara sauce and peceto.)

Among the grilled meats, Jill recommends entraña (skirt steak), asado de tira (ribs), and vacío (flank steak). “I always order them medium, which is medium rare anywhere else, in my experience,” she adds. Also good: pickled tongue, mollejas (sweetbreads), and palmitos en salsa golf—hearts of palm with ham, hard-boiled egg, and a Thousand Island-like dressing. Chimichurri sauce is uneven, and the namesake chivito (platters or well-stuffed sandwiches of beef or chicken with bacon and cheese) gets mixed marks.

El Chivito d’Oro [Jackson Heights]
84-02 37th Avenue (at 84th Street), Jackson Heights, Queens

La Fusta [Elmhurst]
80-32 Baxter Avenue (between Broadway and 41st Avenue), Elmhurst, Queens

Board Links: Transcendent Canelones
Best Uruguayan Chivito sandwich in NYC?

Splendors of the Sea at Nanase (A Westchester Sushi Update)

Surprising, well-chosen garnishes embellish gorgeous fresh fish at Nanase in White Plains, which has quickly become a high-end favorite for Westchester sushi hounds. It’s the county’s best sushi by far, declares Marge, whose splendid $85 omakase dinner was highlighted by the sushi. Tuna (two kinds), salmon, hamachi, fluke, eel, and freshwater shrimp were each paired with an accompaniment: fish roe, scallion, lime zest, seaweed, even gold leaf. (Other memorable courses, she adds, included sublime raw scallop topped with shaved truffle, sea salt, and citrus juice; Kumamoto oysters seasoned with a spicy mignonette; and broiled black cod with wonderfully crisp skin.)

Opened a couple of years ago by a chef who worked at Masa and Nobu in Manhattan, Nanase excels at the details. Much of the seafood is flown in from Japan. House-made soy sauce has a pleasing sweetness and less salt than the commercial stuff. Sea salt blends, also made in-house, get a kick from citrus zest. Prices are higher than the competition. “A nice splurge and worth it,” promises cervisiam.

For more traditional sushi, Azuma in Hartsdale is a longtime favorite. “Nothing but the highest-quality fresh fish,” says chocolate chick. Here, too, prices are higher than average.

Toyo in Mamaroneck has won fans with its inventive rolls and first-rate fish, including meltingly tender toro. “I wanted to roll myself in it,” raves cervisiam—who resisted the temptation, we think. Some, however, are put off by the nontraditional offerings and unusually large cuts of fish. “I go to Toyo when my children want sushi,” writes elizabean. “Toyo is more about funky rolls than superior fish.”

Others recommend longtime local favorite Hajime in Harrison, Kira in Armonk (which also has a newer location just over the state line in Greenwich), Yama Fuji in Briarcliff Manor, Koo in Rye, Sazan in Ardsley, and Ichi Riki in Elmsford (try the sashimi salad, urges 2boys4me).

Another recent hound hangout in Greenwich, Toku Shin on Putnam Avenue, has unfortunately gone out of business. “It’s a sad day,” mourns Alex318. “I cringe at the thought of the mediocre sushi that awaits me now in Greenwich.”

Sushi Nanase [Westchester County]
522 Mamaroneck Avenue (near Bloomingdale), White Plains, NY

Azuma [Westchester County]
219 E. Hartsdale Avenue (between Rockledge Road and Metro-North station), Hartsdale, NY

Toyo Sushi [Westchester County]
253 Mamaroneck Avenue (near Prospect), Mamaroneck, NY

Hajime [Westchester County]
267 Halstead Avenue (near Harrison), Harrison, NY

Kira Sushi [Westchester County]
In Armonk Town Center, 575 Main Street (Route 128, near School Street), Armonk, NY

Kira Sushi [Fairfield County]
4 Lewis Court (near Greenwich), Greenwich, CT

Yama Fuji Sushi [Westchester County]
Formerly Yama Sushi
1914 Pleasantville Road (near Old Briarcliff), Briarcliff Manor, NY

Koo [Westchester County]
17 Purdy Avenue (between Second and McCullough), Rye, NY

Sazan [Westchester County]
729 Saw Mill River Road (near Center), Ardsley, NY

Ichi Riki [Westchester County]
1 E. Main Street (near Central), Elmsford, NY

Board Links: Sushi Nanase White Plains
Excellent Sushi in Greenwich or Westchester???
Kira Sushi–Greenwich CT
amazing sushi in westchester-where should i go?
TokuShin?? Did it close