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Virginia's, New upscale restaurant on Ave C

this restaurant is on ave c, regardless of whether that is surprising or not, i hope people will venture out and visit.

Jun 25, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Virginia's, New upscale restaurant on Ave C

restaurants come and go, so eventually something would open up. there aren't that many high end new american restaurants so the restaurant would be differentiated. i still think they're taking a risk opening there

Jun 25, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Best ice cream in manhattan

nicoletta's is not an ice cream place, but they have really really good soft serve. probably my favorite soft serve in the city.

dominique ansel's burrata soft serve is way overpriced at $7 and not worth it, fyi. AND they don't pack the whole cup completely with ice cream, they leave a huge air bubble in the middle of the swirls. not cool.

Jun 24, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Acadian Cuisine at King Bee, East Village

i'm glad that you felt the same way about your meal! love that place.

Jun 24, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Virginia's, New upscale restaurant on Ave C

ok, fair enough, my frame of reference is from 2011-2014, when I lived on 2nd Ave. But even so, I don't think Ave C is really the first street I would think of as being home to a high-end or nice restaurant. I get that there's Ko and Tuome and all that a few avenues over, but to a lot of people, Ave C physically and psychologically is far, and I would think an owner of a high-end restaurant would keep that in mind and would want a more highly trafficked area with maybe a more yuppie clientele. I guess there's an Edi and the Wolf over there, and Bob White? I'm sure it's cleaned up a lot, but I'm still surprised they made the choice to open on Ave C than a 1st or 2nd Ave.

Jun 24, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Virginia's, New upscale restaurant on Ave C

I wanted to report back on my meal at Virginia's, the new restaurant on Ave C and 11th run by two former alums of Charlie Trotter's. I was very surprised to find a restaurant of this caliber opening in this scrappier part of town, but I hope that the way east address doesn't deter people from trying out this place. The food here is very good. I would describe it as a seasonally driven new American small plates, you can expect things like roasted duck breast, hanger steak and gnocchi, along with interesting things like sweetbreads and romanesco.

The caramelized romanesco was one of the best vegetable dishes I've had in a long time--meaty, served in a sweet glaze, rounded out with some speck and cheddar cheese. The roasted duck was cooked to perfection, plump and juicy with the skin and fat perfectly intact, and the sea bass was excellent as well. The portions were a bit small and priced very high (the curse of the small plate!), but the flavors were so good that we didn't hold it against the restaurant.

The only downside is again the far east address (more relevant for those who live west of Broadway perhaps), and the music, which was a weird mix of loud EDM that didn't match the ambience or crowd at all. Also, the furnishings were a little classic and retro to my taste, but above all, the food was great.

http://bit.ly/1FBTws4

Jun 24, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Best ice cream in manhattan

you read my mind, i was literally going to follow up with a question about DF mavens. i tried their samples at the vegetarian food festival and they were decent, but not amazing.

i have never come across the coconut whipped cream flavor (guessing this is a special rotating flavor?), but that just sounds delicious.

Jun 23, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Best ice cream in manhattan

Oh so they finally renamed the place! I'm always so afraid that it'll shut down and I can't get my pbj fix. Haven't tried the root beer float yet but clearly I need to get on it!

Jun 21, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Best fried rice

i love the crab fried rice at uncle boon's.

Jun 21, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Best ice cream in manhattan

i think morgenstern's is the best by a long mile. the raw milk ice cream is amazing. lately the line situation has been out of control. oddfellows and ample hills (the one in gotham west market) are very good, but not quite morgenstern's good.

for vegan ice cream, the shop formerly known as lula's sweet apothecary is the best, especially any flavor involving peanut butter.

Jun 21, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

The Four Horsemen, new neighborhood bar in Williamsburg

I had dinner last week at The Four Horsemen, a new wine bar in Williamsburg run by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. I wasn't sure if a great musician would make a great restaurateur, but it looks like Murphy has another hit on his hands.

A modern, minimalist aesthetic defines the space at Four Horsemen, similar to the functional pragmatism that you find at many Scandinavian restaurants. The space is small and intimate, with seating for maybe 20 people in the back dining room. 8 pm is prime hour, where the bar out front and all the seats are filled, but the noise never reaches intolerable levels.

The food menu is a bit limited-it's more of a bar menu of small plates to go along with your wine-but it's a well-edited selection that features inventive, seasonal dishes. There were so many interesting things to choose from, but ultimately, the deciding factor for us was quantity, which is why we ordered the pork shank, as well as the snap peas with cashews, ricotta salata and Calabrian chili.

The pork shank was fall-off-the-bone delicious and very filling, especially with the beans, which served our purpose of getting the most bang for our buck. The snap peas was such a well-balanced mix of flavors and textures that showcased this crisp spring vegetable at its best. The peas retained their crunch, while the shavings of cheese and the nuts added a subtle depth of richness that fleshed out the vegetables. Even the house bread and butter was prepared with thoughtfulness. It was hearty and rustic, and the side of butter was mellow and creamy.

I'm not really a wine expert, but I do know that Four Horsemen specializes in funkier, natural wines. We ordered two bottles of red that were at a reasonable markup, the first being a medium-bodied Santenay that was interesting but still very drinkable, and the second being a Patapon that was very floral. I loved how accessible the wines were, as well as the overall low-key, comfortable vibe of this place. It's the perfect neighborhood spot, but it's also worth a visit as a destination.

http://bit.ly/1Ig3Bgl

Jun 20, 2015
gabandgobble in Outer Boroughs

Via Carota on Grove Street in the Village

it depends on what you want. for a low key meal nearby, then solid and well prepared food is more than good enough. however, if you need to travel far or cross town for a meal, and you're definitely going to have to wait an hour or more for a seat, and you're paying highish prices, then you want something more than pretty decent tasting to make it worth it, right? especially in a city where there are lots of restaurants that serve really good food with less fuss. i'm not asking for a cronut level knockout dish, i'm usually okay with pretty solid!

Jun 05, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Via Carota on Grove Street in the Village

I had the bunless "burger" as well. i thought it was very tasty but so overpriced for what it was. overall i liked via carota, it's a good neighborhood spot with a nice vibe that people of all ages would like. they also make great cocktails--the negroni was awesome. food is solid and well prepared, but to be honest, no one dish was particularly amazing.

http://bit.ly/1G3Ij9u

Jun 05, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Oiji, new Korean restaurant in EV

that looks amaze. canned meat is the best.

May 12, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Oiji, new Korean restaurant in EV

Spam, such a polarizing protein. I grew up eating a lot of it, as my Korean parents used it in their fried rice or as a side dish. I told some of my Western friends about this and they were horrified.

May 07, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Oiji, new Korean restaurant in EV

I don't know if you guys have ever had Side Street Inn, but if it's a refined version of that, that would be phenomenal.

May 06, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Oiji, new Korean restaurant in EV

it's also interesting that oiji opened up in the former dok suni space, another korean restaurant. i was surprised to hear that noreetuh was also korean owned and the name is a korean term for playground. i wonder if the hawaiian food there slants korean. one of my japanese friends was expecting hawaiian food with more japanese flavors and found that wasn't the case. he wasn't really a big fan, but he did like oiji

May 06, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Oiji, new Korean restaurant in EV

My husband and I have average appetites, i would say, and we ordered 5 dishes, and we were EXTREMELY full. We probably could have done without the oxtail stew and the honey butter chips. That would leave us with the beef tartare, the ssam platter and the jang jo rim. The ssam is pretty substantial, even if visually it looks small, and it comes with rice, and we also ordered an extra side of rice, so that created a lot to eat. The jang jo rim also looks appetizer sized, but it is so rich (buttered rice!) that a little goes a long way. the beef tartare was appetizer sized, and honestly we probably could have done without that too.

if you don't do the ssam, then i would say 4 dishes would be enough.

May 04, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Oiji, new Korean restaurant in EV

No, you're totally right. I'm being unfair to my people's restaurants. I was anchored to the places I usually go to, like Kunjip and Kangsuh. Obviously places like Kristalbelli or Hanjan are very serene and beautiful.

May 04, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Oiji, new Korean restaurant in EV

I had dinner at Oiji, the new Korean restaurant in the EV run by chefs who trained at Bouley and Gramercy Tavern, and was pretty impressed by my meal. With this pedigree, Oiji's Korean food is fancier than what you'd get in Midtown, but for the ambiance and the presentation, and the good service, I didn't mind paying up for my dinner.

The space inside is beautiful and quite romantic, and didn't feel Korean at all. I felt like I was inside a very nice lounge. The presentation of the food is also very refined, but the kitchen very much preserves the strong, traditional Korean flavors, which I appreciated.

The jang-jo-rim rice was a standout, which featured thin slices of beef shank, garlic, kimchee and mushroom on top of a bed of buttered rice. Butter isn't a common ingredient in Korean cooking, but this bit of culinary creative license was key in making this dish work. I also loved the stewed oxtail, which tasted like a sweet and juicy galbi jjim (short ribs). The ssam platter looked very pretty and fancy, and the pork is extremely spicy and tastes very similar to what you'd get at a traditional restaurant. Ssam usually comes with some deonjang mungbean paste which you can dab onto the pork, and it's something I hate because the funkiness of the fermented beans is too much for me, but the way they prepared it at Oiji had me spooning out every bit.

The beef tartare was extremely instagram worthy, but flavor wise I thought it was just okay. We were intrigued by the presence of honey butter chips on the menu, which is apparently all the rage in South Korea, so obviously we had to order it. The chips tasted similar to warm buttery movie popcorn, except sweeter, and while they were interesting, I probably wouldn't order them again.

The wine menu is very interesting, as are the craft beers that are available. We ordered a lot of the heavy items for dinner, so I'm looking forward to trying some of the lighter things like mackerel or buckwheat noodles on my next visit. But obviously i'll save room for the buttered rice!

http://bit.ly/1bP86oZ

May 04, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Eleven Madison Park (Chase Sapphire Dinner Series)

the pastrami was pretty fantastic, i can't believe i forgot to call that one out specifically! i wished they had more, those were gone in a hot second. less gougeres, more pastrami would have been ideal. :)

Apr 20, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Eleven Madison Park (Chase Sapphire Dinner Series)

We did get some passed hors d'oeuvres as well during the cocktail hour. Some gougeres, a pastrami bite, carrots on top of a cracker, and maybe something else. are these also part of the amuses?

Apr 20, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Eleven Madison Park (Chase Sapphire Dinner Series)

that bread is so awesome. they say not to fill up on bread, but we couldn't help ourselves and took an extra roll.

Apr 20, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Eleven Madison Park (Chase Sapphire Dinner Series)

I definitely tasted some cheddar, which was why it reminded me of a Ritz cracker cheese sandwich (although 10x better!). I don't think ours had anything sweet in there, wish I had kept my notes.

Apr 20, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Eleven Madison Park (Chase Sapphire Dinner Series)

EMP gets plenty of love on this board, and now I can see why, having recently enjoyed a fantastic five course tasting dinner at the restaurant.

My experience at EMP is a little unique in that I attended a special dinner series for Chase Sapphire cardmembers. I'm sure things were tweaked slightly for the event, and some might say it isn't completely representative of a true dinner there, but paying $210 a person for five courses and wine pairings, tax and tip included, is a pretty phenomenal deal. Plus, we got to mingle with Daniel Humm beforehand, who seemed like a cool, low-key guy. Chase throws similar events like this throughout the year, so if you're a cardmember, take advantage!

We were served two pre-dinner bites: a savory black and white cookie and a smoked sturgeon sabayon in chive olive oil. I was blown away by the smoked sturgeon, and the cookie tasted like a fancy cheese cracker sandwich. I'd be curious to know if these amuse-bouches are the norm at the restaurant. We were also served this amazing bread that resembled a croissant roll. It was buttery and flaky, and it tasted even better as you peeled away the layers. Of the five courses that followed, I loved the striped bass and the roasted beef. Obviously everything tasted great, even the foie gras, which I'm actually not the biggest fan of.

I like how the cooking is very clean and classic. There's nothing overly complicated or elaborate about the presentation. I noticed some French influences, but overall something about the food seemed very new American. If you need a special occasion restaurant to splurge on, I can't really think of a better place.

http://bit.ly/1O68W2h

Apr 19, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan
1

Dinner in West Chelsea -- near Sleep No More

i would highly recommend Friedman's Lunch, which is on the corner of 10th Ave and 35th St. Very reasonably priced American classics like burgers, fish tacos and grilled cheese sandwiches in a cute, rustic setting. Only a couple blocks north of the Sleep No More venue.

Apr 06, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Help with my Morning Muchies

i need to finagle a workweek trip to tribeca during 9-5 pm. this is not an easy task!

Apr 05, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan
1

Help with my Morning Muchies

i would definitely recommend el rey, although they don't start serving food at 11 am. that might be too late in the morning for you. however, they probably serve their amazing pastries (the sweet potato bread is awesome) as soon as they open

an interesting option could be one of the breakfast sets at hi-collar, a japanese coffee shop in the east village.
http://gabandgobble.com/japanese-coff...

also highly recommend the vietnamese breakfast at mission cantina
http://gabandgobble.com/mission-canti...

black seed bagels is doing some fun collaborations with other chefs and is currently selling danny bowien's squid-ink bagel, although that ends today i believe and on monday missy robbins' sesame bagel with burrata will be for sale

i've also been very intrigued by arcade bakery in tribeca, which is located in an office building but sells apparently the most amazing bread and pastries

Apr 05, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Kiin Thai Eatery

I like Lan Larb in Soho, if you want something in manhattan and pretty authentic. I believe the chef used to work at larb ubol in midtown, which you mentioned as having visited and enjoyed. it is a very informal atmosphere, you can reference my post for more context

http://bit.ly/1E4xoZ3

Apr 02, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan

Kiin Thai Eatery

Thanks for sharing your perspective. I'm sure that the omelette wrapped pad thai and the seasonings on the side is a thing there, but even so, they should be well-seasoned to begin with, and then perhaps customers can make the decision to season to taste. At Kiin Thai, this was not the case.

Apr 02, 2015
gabandgobble in Manhattan