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Anyone been to SRO pizza speakeasy?

oh my. that paccheri. that burrata! it sounds so good. i definitely want to return and try it.

it's too bad the eggplant parm wasn't hot on her visit. ours was definitely warm and delicious.

about 4 hours ago
gabandgobble in Manhattan
1

Anyone been to SRO pizza speakeasy?

I never made it out to SRO, and probably never will, but I did stop by Prova. I had the uni pizza, and I was surprised by how much I liked it. I was a little apprehensive of this pairing, like when someone swears by dipping french fries in their ice cream, but it worked. The uni was cold and briney, and there was a lot of brightness from the lemon that really made things pop. also really enjoyed the eggplant parmigiana appetizer. really solid all around.

Mar 26, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Ramen Lab in Nolita

i went tonight at 8 pm, and there was no line! I had a bowl of the shoyu ramen this time, and it really hit the spot. i love the clear, simple chicken broth. we also had the gyozas this time, which i would recommend. the filling was super fresh, and i liked the thin, crispy skin of the gyoza wrapper.

a line 8 people deep did form at 8:30, which probably made my ramen taste 10x better

Mar 25, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Acadian Cuisine at King Bee, East Village

I made it more explicit that the Acadians were essentially kicked out in my blog post, sorry if that wasn't clear! I've only been to New Orleans, but would love to go back and explore the backcountry for more Acadian eats. It'd be great to get to the bottom of "what is Acadian vs. Cajun" debate, if it's even possible

And that video is hilarious, almost up there with some of the best School of Rock videos

Mar 24, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Kiin Thai Eatery

I also thought my meal at Kiin Thai was very average. Maybe I ordered the wrong things, but we had the pad thai, the grandma's grilled pork and the royal seafood omelette, and the grilled pork was the only dish I enjoyed.

The royal seafood omelette was horrible, there was nothing regal about it. It had this unappetizing, gray color, and I'm pretty sure the crab in there was not fresh, probably canned. Even the egg felt like it came out of a can, like the powdered stuff the industrial cafeterias serve people.

We ordered the pad thai, which curiously came with the sugar, peanuts and chili flakes on the side. I'd prefer that the restaurant confidently season a dish fully as opposed to playing it safe and letting the guests season it to taste. It came wrapped in a thin egg omelette, which was novel to me, but I don't think it added anything to the noodles. It wasn't bad, and definitely better than takeout quality, but not something I'd order again.

The grilled pork was the only dish I actually enjoyed. The meat was seasoned well, and the spicy dipping sauce was really key in bringing a lot of flavor to the meat. I'd maybe do take-out from here, but it's really more of a nice NYU, college-date type place.

Mar 20, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Acadian Cuisine at King Bee, East Village

Hi all,

I had dinner at King Bee in the East Village last week, and I was a little leery of having "Acadian" for dinner, even though I didn't really know what that was, and I'm glad that I took the gamble. As a quick reference, Acadia was actually a French colony in Eastern Canada, and when the British took over, a lot of the Acadians moved to Louisiana. So there's a lot of similarities to Cajun/French Canadian food in Acadian cuisine.

The dishes here are rich and hearty, but they’re presented in a much more refined way. Chef Jeremie Tomczak trained at Aquavit, so the fine dining background really shows.

Absolutely loved the boudin ball and grilled oyster appetizers. Thought the pork cracklings were solid, although a little rich and chewy depending on the piece you get, and the louisiana crawfish and brioche was just okay. The roasted cod and duck breast were amazing, the salt pork confit lobster was solid, and even the vegetarian buckwheat risotto was good. And of course, the doberge cake for dessert is a must. The gateau de sirop, on the other hand, tasted a little like chinese medicine, unfortunately.

My only issue was the service, which tended to be slow, and things dragged out between meals. But the food was good so I got over it. I have pictures and more detailed description on the blog.

http://gabandgobble.com/king-bees-aca...

Mar 20, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Ramen Lab in Nolita

I was a big fan of the shoyu, but yes, an hour outside in the cold is a bit much. If I had to do it again, 30 minutes in pleasant weather.

Mar 18, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

El Rey Coffee Bar

i agree, it does get pretty packed during the day, but at night, there's significantly less people and it becomes the mellow place that it was meant to be. we sat in the back counter and talked to Gerardo for awhile, such a nice guy.

Mar 09, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

El Rey Coffee Bar

I know, how do they manage to shave those almonds?? Do they soak them first and dry them out? Even chopping them can be a struggle (for me). I'm impressed by your attempts to recreate the salad, sorry to hear about your fingernail!

I can never say no to a kale salad...

Mar 09, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

El Rey Coffee Bar

One of the things I love about NY is that you can find good food anywhere--even in the quirkiest and tiniest of places, such as El Rey Coffee Bar in the LES.

The place does very brisk brunch/lunch business and just recently started offering dinner. I had heard very good things about the AM menu, especially the kale salad and the baked goods, and it really lived up to expectations. There are so many kale salads out there, but El Rey's is in a league of its own--it's the bright, sweet almond vinaigrette and the almond shavings that really do it. It's one of the top 2 kale salads in my book, the other being Northern Spy Food's. You can't go wrong with any of the baked goods, but the sweet potato bread is especially moist and delicious.

I also returned for dinner service, where the restaurant assumes a distinctly Latin vibe. The menu offers a selection of small plates with a lot of heat and spice. I tried the papas bravas, the shaved cauliflower, the green mole burrata, the sardines tostada and the chorizo. I was very impressed by the sardines, and generally preferred the plates with more subdued flavors (cauliflower, green mole, sardines).

The place has about 15 seats, and it's first come first serve, but tables turn very quickly. If you're lucky, you can speak to Chef Gerardo Gonzalez in the back booth, who is the nicest and chillest guy on earth. And of course, you should walk on over to nearby Morgenstern's for some raw milk ice cream.

You can check out my blog for more pictures and detail, but seriously, the kale salad, sardines tostada and sweet potato bread are amazing.

http://bit.ly/1F52i67

Mar 09, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan
1

Anyone been to SRO pizza speakeasy?

https://www.theinfatuation.com/new-yo...

wow the infatuation basically ripped it apart

Mar 09, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

review of Batard in Discussion

Yes, older would be accurate--on the night I went, the crowd was mostly well-dressed men and women in roughly their 50s. The handful of times I've been to the Metropolitan Opera, I remember the audience looking very similar.

Mar 08, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

review of Batard in Discussion

I went a week ago, and I was very impressed by my meal. Initially I didn't want to go, as I wasn't in the mood for a fussy, expensive meal in Tribeca, and the minimalist decor and Lincoln Center looking crowd didn't alleviate my concerns.

The two of us went for the 3 course for $65 option--the octopus "pastrami", ora king salmon, branzino, beef cheek "pot-au-feu" for two, and the caramelized milk bread. I personally wasn't a fan of the signature octopus pastrami, I guess I was expecting something juicy and robust like the sandwich that inspired it. The fish dishes, on the other hand, were incredible. The salmon filet literally melted in your mouth and the branzino was equally good. The beef cheek was extremely hearty and homey in rustic country fare fashion, but a little too heavy for my taste. And the caramelized milk bread lived up to expectations. Can definitely see what the fuss is all about!

http://bit.ly/1wPq30K

Mar 07, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan
1

Pearl and Ash...not so delicious

it's been awhile since my dinner at pearl and ash, but i remember being pretty annoyed by it. i agree 100% with you on the meatballs, i remember them being very unappetizing, and i would imagine this would be how dog food tasted. also was not too impressed by the scallops and the ice cream sandwich. thought the octopus was actually the only dish that hit it out of the park. and it didn't help that it was so loud and clubby in there.

Mar 04, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

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

Feb 28, 2015
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

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
1

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