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Vic's in NoHo

I've been several times for dinner--it's a great neighborhood restaurant! A lot of seasonally driven, vegetable-based appetizers, traditional entrees like roast chicken and steak, as well as a selection of pizzas and pies.

My favorites - the "little purse" borsa pasta filled with ricotta cheese, the burrata pizza, roast chicken and long island porgy. my friends also love the onion rings, although i personally just don't like huge chunks of onions all that much. I also posted a write-up on my blog if you want more details on the atmosphere and other things I was able to try that were solid but not my favorites

http://bit.ly/1EzsVzH

about 19 hours ago
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Vietnamese Breakfast at Mission Cantina

I went to Bunker over a year ago--did a write-up on the blog. I remember getting to the restaurant was quite a trek, and the long walk from the subway stop was not pretty at all (a lot of potholes). I thought the food was pretty good--loved the spring rolls, the garlic tomato fried rice and the coconut tapioca pudding. Wasn't a fan of the bahn xeo and the lemongrass pork. If the restaurant were in Manhattan, I would frequent it more often, but otherwise the long subway walk, the no AC in the summer!! and the very hands-off service aren't worth the trouble. I wonder if it's still BYOB?

http://bit.ly/12RD3g5

Feb 25, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Vietnamese Breakfast at Mission Cantina

they were out of the bo kho the day I went, but after reading your response i'm not too sorry that i didn't get to try it! i like the fact that the menu is small, focused and consistent so that you can try the whole thing in just a few visits.

Feb 22, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Fitzcarraldo--Ligurian food in Williamsburg

i was looking up several recipes for liguarian farinata, and a link to one on food & wine notes that it is usually baked in a wood-fire oven, although another article from the ny times suggests that while that is the norm, making one in a normal oven yields a farinata just as good http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fa...
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/19/din...

it looks very easy to make...on my winter to-do list

Feb 22, 2015
gabandgobble in Outer Boroughs

Best Dishes of 2015

Dirty French - chicken for two and the bread basket
Take Root - beluga lentils cooked in coffee with ham hock and truffles
Mission Cantina - duck porridge
Fitzcarraldo (Brooklyn) - cured steelhead trout with miso cream
The Modern - scallops and cauliflower

Feb 22, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan
1

Vietnamese Breakfast at Mission Cantina

It's always hard getting up early for a proper breakfast on the weekends, but we pulled it together and made it out to Mission Cantina to try the Vietnamese breakfast served from 9-11:30 am. I was never a big fan of Bowien's fusion cuisine, and I wasn't too impressed by the Mexican fare at Cantina, so my expectations were pretty low, but the Vietnamese breakfast far exceeded them. I've posted on my blog if you want the full recap:
http://bit.ly/1Fes8lF

Everyone gets a complimentary plate of shrimp crackers and a fried egg seasoned with maggi sauce to start. It sounds all very simple, but the maggi sauce was key in giving the egg this great savory, soy flavor that made all the difference.

The real standout here is the duck porridge. Sometimes porridge rice can be extremely bland, a blank slate that relies on the accompanying seasonings to dress it up, but the version here comes fully loaded with flavor, ensuring a nice and salty, savory base. The key here is to swirl everything around so that you get a little bit of the egg yolk and the heavenly bits of duck meat all in the same bite. It also comes with a side of fried shrimp toast, a golden, crispy slab of bread covered in this insanely delicious briney and salty spread. I am going back again just for this porridge and toast.

I also liked the chicken pho, a dish that showed a little more restraint in flavor. It featured a broth that was very clean and light, with some hints of lime and cilantro. It’s different from the more robust, more infused beef-based broths that you might get at a traditional Vietnamese restaurant, but I personally liked this understated version. They also use wider rice noodles in their Hanoi-style pho, which I found interesting only because I’ve never seen this type ever used before. The broken rice was also very good, especially the lemongrass sausages that came with it--chunky, juicy, delicious.

In short, the Vietnamese breakfast is worth checking out, and it adds some much needed variety to the eggs and oatmeal that seem to be part of our daily breakfast rotation. And it's an easier way to get a table at Bowien's restaurants, which tend to involve long waits (ours was only a few minutes for the 3 of us)

Feb 22, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan
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Lively, fun, reasonable dinner on LES on a Sat night?

you should try bara, a french-japanese tavern on 1st St between 1st and 2nd ave run by a momofuku alum. it's very close to mercury lounge, and most of the entrees are near the $20 price point, vegetarian and fish options includes. the roasted black sea bass rocks, i took a lot of different pictures of this because the presentation of it is pretty bad ass
http://bit.ly/1yZzlkP

Feb 18, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

First date - with restrictions

That's definitely a valid point regarding the cross contamination of pasta in italian restaurants. However, Risotteria Melotti's website says it is a 100% gluten free kitchen and there are no pastas on the menu.

Feb 17, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

First date - with restrictions

I think you should consider Risotteria Melotti. It's an Italian restaurant in the East Village that features risottos, and so a lot of the food is naturally gluten free, and they aren't shy about pointing this out. The price point is within the range of the 30-40 you mentioned. I thought the food was pretty solid, definitely a good neighborhood spot

Feb 16, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Fitzcarraldo--Ligurian food in Williamsburg

wow that is a good looking farinata. i've been searching ligurian restaurants in nyc and there are really none to be found...at least according to google

Feb 16, 2015
gabandgobble in Outer Boroughs

Fitzcarraldo--Ligurian food in Williamsburg

Fitzcarraldo hasn't been mentioned on any of the brooklyn threads yet, but I think this restaurant deserves more attention, because it really has one of the best bang for your buck tasting menus around. It's a little out of the way in east Williamsburg, and you have to walk down an industrial stretch to get there, but it's worth the trip.

The restaurant specializes in Italian food from Liguria, a coastal region in the northwest. It's where pesto originated from, and it's also known for simple produce and seafood. I think the most interesting thing I tried was the farinata, a chickpea flatbread that reminded me of an especially satisfying quiche and Korean pajeon.

Although the food is inspired by Liguria, I noticed some Asian influences as well. The steelhead trout with miso cream was incredible, the tuna with congee less so. One of the best dishes was actually of Roman origin, a bowl of cacio e pepe. We ordered it separately from the tasting and it was so worth it.

The bar and open kitchen make the space very warm and inviting, and I loved the casual vibe about it. There are plants hanging from the ceilings which provide a romantic touch. The main menu looked more traditional than the more experimental tasting, although maybe Ligurian food has dishes like that and I just didn't know. My pictures are a little dark, but it should give you a good feel for the ambiance and the seasonings used.

http://bit.ly/1EyzfVH

Feb 15, 2015
gabandgobble in Outer Boroughs

Who has really good Patatas Bravas?

I remember the patatas bravas at Tia Pol in Chelsea being especially crispy, golden and delicious and topped with aioli.

Italian

Bianca in Nolita

Feb 13, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Anyone been to SRO pizza speakeasy?

Thanks for the feedback! It sounds like it was a solid pizza, but not a total slam dunk in the way that a pizza from Motorino or Di Fara might be. Your experience sounds very similar to the one I had at the old Forcella on Bowery--pleasant and decent food, but nothing to rush back for. I'll probably check out Prova or Rossopomodoro before this one. The uni pizza sounds interesting although gimmicky.

Feb 12, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Anyone been to SRO pizza speakeasy?

Has anyone been to the new SRO pizza speakeasy in the East Village? The "speakeasy" part piqued my interest, but then I learned that it was run by the former owner of Forcella pizza, and I was a bit meh on the pizza there. Any thoughts would be appreciated--thanks!

Feb 09, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Green Tea Matcha Lattes

This is a cool looking spot! I really should try to make it out to Queens more often.

Feb 09, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

The Modern for my birthday

I also went a few weeks ago, and I thought it aged really well as a restaurant. We had the scallops, shaved brussels sprouts and the lobster sausage, and they were all very good, especially the scallops. We had the apple cider doughnuts, which were good, but in a pedestrian sort of way. I would definitely come here more often if I lived/worked in midtown

http://bit.ly/16BsgAX

Feb 09, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Take Root

as an fyi, they are raising the tasting menu to $120!

http://ny.eater.com/2015/2/9/8006771/...

Feb 09, 2015
gabandgobble in Outer Boroughs

Take Root

I want to jump on the Take Root love bandwagon. I just had dinner there this weekend, and I absolutely loved it. It definitely lives up to the Michelin star hype. With the 12 seat dining room, it certainly makes for a cozy and intimate tasting experience. Chef Elise Kornack and her wife Anna Hieronimus are so friendly and competent, you just want them to do well.

I know the menu will change come spring or summer, but I absolutely loved the lentils and yukon gold potatoes from last night. She is great with vegetables and fantastic at plating. If you want to get a feel for the presentation, you can reference my blog for more details, although the pictures aren't the best due to the dim lighting, apologies.

http://bit.ly/1C9eU9q

Feb 08, 2015
gabandgobble in Outer Boroughs

40th birthday location

I've been to both, and you're right that the ambiance is widely different at the two. Beauty and Essex is very sceney, in my opinion, and I feel like it has more of a clubby atmosphere. Blue Hill has more of a traditional American dining room environment.

In terms of food, I wasn't a fan of either. I love Blue Hill at Stone Barns, but I feel like the city version isn't as memorable. If you can get a table at the one in Stone Barns, I would highly recommend that. If you are looking for a trendier, fun place, then I think Dirty French would be a good choice. And I always have to plug my favorite Estela.

Feb 08, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan
1

Green Tea Matcha Lattes

I checked out two almond versions this weekend--one at Maman and another at Ground Support Cafe. The Maman one lacked depth and tasted too much like almond milk. It was also a bit overpriced at $5 for a very small cup.

I loved the version at Ground Support. Very full and creamy, and there was enough matcha without it being too bitter. New ranking:

1. Cafe Matcha Wabi
2. Takahachi
3. Ground Support
4. Bosie Tea Parlor
4. Chalait
5. Harney and Sons
6. Maman

Feb 08, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Where are the good Japanese hot pots at?

There's also a Hakata Tonton in the West Village, which is very good

Feb 08, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Green Tea Matcha Lattes

oh you can definitely get them with soy or almond milk! at all of the 5 places i listed soy is definitely an option, and sometimes soy and almond. i've gotten mine with soy at bosie, harney & sons, takachi and chalait. i think the one at maman is supposed to be made with almond milk. the full fat dairy milk version at macha wabi was pretty good, though. :)

Feb 05, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Green Tea Matcha Lattes

after going to japan this summer, i became obsessed with green tea matcha lattes, but it was a struggle trying to find convenient places in the city that made them. but now all of a sudden there seems to be this matcha boom, and it's never been easier to get your hands on a cup.

I was curious to know what people's thoughts were on their favorite matcha lattes? I've been to 5 different places so far, and i was wondering if the other stores in the grub street article were worth checking out, specifically maman and ground support. Here's my ranking of the 5, which will likely change as i try more matcha lattes

1. Cafe Matcha Wabi in the east village - i thought this one tasted the closest to the ones i've had in japan. slightly sweet, thick and creamy
2. Takahachi Bakery in Tribeca, a close second, although maybe a little too sweet
3. Bosie Tea Parlor in West Village, liked the very thick texture of this one, and how they go easy on the sweeteners. the bitter matcha flavor is also more apparent. i guess i rank this 3rd because i like the sweeter, less bitter versions, but it is very high quality.
4. Chalait in West Village. something about this place irritated me and the latte wasn't all that memorable
5. Harney and Sons in Soho, this was completely unsweetened and intense, i felt like i was drinking unsweetened, slightly bitter soy milk

http://www.grubstreet.com/2015/01/whe...

Feb 04, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Chinese New Year 2015 - Year of Goat /Sheep

Han Dynasty doesn't have a special Chinese New Year's menu, but I would highly recommend getting a group of 8+, reserving a table, and ordering the bargain $25 tasting menu. A LOT of food comes out, including the famous dan dan noodles, to the point where it was overwhelming.

And the duck dinner at Decoy could also be a good, festive choice.

Feb 03, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream?

i tried the raw milk ice cream. it's freaking delicious. it tastes like a very rich custard. i loved it. on par with the mascaporne at il laboratoria. my favorite "vanilla" flavor so far.

Jan 31, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Tuome - Modern American Chinese

i went to tuome several months ago and loved my dinner. i'll keep this recap in mind when i make a return visit. surprised that there are so many detractors, although many of my asian friends don't seem to like it. i loved the deviled eggs and the side of sticky rice. i had the pig out for two, but it was a little too rich for me. did like the peanut noodles though, but thought it was odd that you couldn't order them separately on the menu. i think for an asian fusion restaurant it does a very good job.

Jan 31, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

small plates and great cocktails in Manhattan

yes, I hope you make it out soon! it's a really under-the-radar restaurant that deserves more attention.

Jan 31, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Help please with picking the tastiest.

loratliff's list is pretty much spot on. definitely agree with estela, dirty french, contra and cherche midi. i would swap out the remaining three for cosme (very hard to get a table), gramercy tavern, the elm and marea

Jan 30, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

small plates and great cocktails in Manhattan

I would recommend Wallflower in the West Village. They make tasty small plates of French food, and were voted as making the best bespoke cocktails in nymag at one point. the atmosphere is a little more romantic.

They also have a sister restaurant The Eddy in the East Village which I love--similar small plates but more american in taste/feel, great drinks, and more casual atmosphere

Jan 30, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan
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