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DeStefano's in Willamsburg

DeStefano's does a homemade ricotta cheesecake that is OUTTA THIS WORLD! One of the best cheesecakes I've ever had: exceptionally fresh, sweet, moist-yet-crumbly cheese held within a buttery yet not-to-heavy crust. I've been back just to have this cheesecake and it totally hit the spot.

I don't eat meat so I can't attest to the quality of the steak but my dining companions all said it was excellent and were very satisfied with their meals. The steaks were served without knives, and, when this was brought to the waitstaff's attention, the owner came over to the table and said, "Our meat is so tender that If you need a knife to cut through it, dinner's on me." Needless to say, we were the one's paying.

Thumbs up-- check it out.

Sep 06, 2008
shazay in Outer Boroughs

Di Fara's and Yeah Yeah Yeahs

A noteworthy addition to the discourse on Di Fara's and Dom's pizza has been posted on the website of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, a popular NY-based rock band (and it includes a shout-out to Chowhound!)
http://site.yeahyeahyeahs.com/

Jul 12, 2008
shazay in Outer Boroughs

Korean vegetarian?

Thank you all for your suggestions.
I like the point that contempt made that "most Korean food here is 'city food' rather than 'country cooking." The experience I had in Korea felt very much like "country cooking," a style of meal that was connected to specific land and region that might seem more difficult to duplicate if removed from its original context. But, I know that sort of cooking is here somewhere. Maybe just need to start talking to some people...

Jul 12, 2008
shazay in Outer Boroughs

Korean vegetarian?

On a trip to Seoul a while back I had one of the most outstanding meals of my life at a Korean Buddhist restaurant. Needless to say, the meal was all vegetarian and the variety was astounding; it didn't take long before our table was covered with plates, bowls, and platters of a huge assortment of delicious, fresh, and simply prepared Korean vegetarian dishes. I've been struggling to find something similar here in New York: I'm not interested in Bibimbap without the beef or fancy tofu places, that's readily available. Hangawi in the city comes close but not really the same. Does anybody have any suggestions as to a restaurant (or even a temple?) offering Korean vegetarian or Buddhist cuisine? The place doesn't have to be restricted to just that but at least part of the menu should reflect a veg positive approach.
Thanks!

Jun 13, 2008
shazay in Outer Boroughs

Great Indian near JFK

I remember Tandoori Hut and almost went in. I'll be sure to give it a go the next time I'm making my JFK pit stop.

Jul 09, 2007
shazay in Outer Boroughs

Great Indian near JFK

Was coming back from a JFK dropoff last Friday and hit Van Wyck hell traffic. I decided to pull off at the Atlantic Ave exit (exit 5) to try out a shortcut of cutting across Atlantic Ave to go up Bushwick Ave (I live in Williamsburg). After driving for a few minutes I realized I was in an Indian community with some primarily Punjabi restaurants and markets calling to me from the street. I park and walk around the neighborhood and decide on a place called Sohna Punjabi. It was between 118th and 117th st., I believe, on Atlantic. The menu featured many regional dishes and I opted for the tinda masala and the dal fry. I've made a tinda dish before but this was the first time I came across it on a menu and a chance to have it prepared in a way by people that 'know.' Tinda is a small round green vegetable that resembles squash but with a much thicker skin. The dish was excellent. The texture of the tinda was perfect, still a little firm on the outside but the inner 'meat' of the vegetable was soft and pulpy. It was served in a tomato based gravy, with the sweetnness and tangyness of the vegetable taking center stage supported by a bold spice/flavor team of onions, cardamom, chiles and cumin/coriander powder i'm guessing. The boldness of the flavors coming from this kitchen can't be emphasised enough, since, after alll, it's competing with the energy generated by Atlantic Ave and JFK, among other things. The Dal Fry was comprised of black gram beans and soy beans. The sauce reminded me of a dal makhni sauce and it was ghee-licious (I love the prominence of ginger in north Indian dals). The food was great and felt like it was a strong expression of a specific Place (I've never been to the Punjab region so what do I really know). Highly recommended.

Side notes: upon further internet research when I got back home, the Punjabi Kabab House, which is about 3 blocks away from Sohna, was chosen by Robert Sietsema as a "best of 2003.." pick. Oddly enough, I couldn't find Sohna anywhere on the web. The closest I came was a site for the Royal Indian Palace, which has a map of the area and is located one block east of Sohna.

Jul 08, 2007
shazay in Outer Boroughs