Showing posts with label New York City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York City. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


A couple of weeks ago we left the kids with the grandparents and went to do our taxes.  After we were done we needed to get some shopping done, but were in need of a bite to eat first.  We decided to head over to the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle to do both!  We went to Bouchon Bakery and it was the perfect spot for what we were looking for.  We had a light and delicious lunch, enjoyed some wine, and admired the beautiful views of Central Park and the hustle bustle of the city while we ate.
I had a kale salad with roasted chicken, parmesan cheese, pickled red onions, and bottarga and baguette croutons.
 I was a bit skeptical of eating a kale salad, but it was soooooo good!  It basically tasted like a really gourmet caesar salad!  Rich had a turkey panini which he really enjoyed.
Then we indulged ourselves and split one of the most amazing chocolate soufflés for dessert...there was nothing left!  Bouchon was great and we'll definitely be back!
Later on that night we had dinner plans with my sister and her husband at Il Cantinori.  It was my sister's birthday and she had been dying to try this restaurant after Carrie and the gang went there on "Sex and the City."  We had bufala mozzarella and prosciutto as an appetizer, a few different pasta and main course dishes and superb hazelnut ice cream sandwich for dessert.  It was a fun dining experience (loud and lively)- a great date night spot with another couple.
On a side note:  I think the reason I decided to write about these restaurants today is that tomorrow Rich and I start a three-day juice basically we will be fasting and not eating on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday!!!  I will write more about the experience this Thursday, when we'll be right in the middle of it.  Wish us luck!  ;)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


After yesterday's post about Asbury Park being one of the 50 spots, 50 states to visit according to, I figured I might as well tell you all about a great new restaurant in AP that we checked out last weekend- Pascal & Sabine.
This place is owned by the same people who own PORTA which I blogged about here.  Well, Pascal & Sabine is just awesome in its own way!  This place is sure to be the new shining star in this Jersey Shore town.  It's a European brasserie that is classy, elegant, eclectic, and it really rivals many of great top restaurants you find in New York City!  We visited on a Sunday for brunch, and while the French menu was limited to mostly egg items, duck confit and a burger and fries, it was perfectly sufficient for us.
We went with the boys and my in-laws and we all started out with an Americano coffee and one of their freshly baked chocolate croissants.  OMG!!!  This thing came right out of the oven, and the chocolate was oozing out and the flaky dough just melted in your mouth!
 We then all ordered the burger and fries.  The burger comes with gruyere cheese (LOVE) and the fries are triple fried in duck fat (yeah, bad for the thighs, but such great taste, it's worth all of the calories).  This may be our new spot when we want to eat in Asbury!

Bottom Line: Pascal & Sabine is another reason why "It's Happening" in Asbury Park!

WHERE: 601 Bangs Avenue Asbury Park, NJ 07712

Monday, January 6, 2014


Porta means door in Italian, and at Porta Pizzeria in Asbury Park, New Jersey, the restaurant's front door is one you'll want to walk through again and again!  Porta opened a couple of years ago, and we've been there many times (for dinner, lunch, and for the first time this weekend for jazz brunch), but yet I realized I hadn't blogged about it yet, and boy is it blog worthy!  The food here is AMAZING!  Everything from the pizza (cooked in ovens imported all the way from Naples, Italy), to the pasta and salads is incredibly delicious and at good prices!  The menu changes from brunch to dinner, and also changes with the seasonal ingredients available different times of the year.  That being said, so far in all the times I have been there, they have always delivered and never disappointed.

 The space itself is also very worthy of a mention because it is so cool!  It's a huge loft space inside (feels like something you would find in Williamsburg, Brooklyn), with a bar area, and big communal picnic tables where you sit to eat.  In the nicer weather, there is an outside area as well with more picnic tables, and there's also a bocce ball court.  They don't accept reservations, only walk-ins, but other than a Friday or Saturday night, I have never had to wait that long or wait at all- which is much appreciated with you go out to eat with two kids under the age of three.  And speaking of kids, this place is totally kid friendly.  It's loud, they have highchairs, and a menu pretty much any kid would be happy ordering from.

 They have a great wine menu too that has very affordable options.  Pretty much every time we've eaten at Porta, we've had this bottle of Lambrusca which goes for $20!
We were served bread with olive oil and seasonings while we sipped our wine and waited for our food.
 This time we started out with their Bibb Salad (we've had this salad almost every time we've been there because it's that good).  It has bibb lettuce, gorgonzola, roasted walnuts and comes dressed with an apricot vinaigrette- not too sweet, but just the perfect amount to cut through the tanginess of the blue cheese.  
For pies we had their Margherita with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, basil, and is drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.  These simple flavors are classic and delicious, and the kids love it too!
We also had a new one we've never had before- the Winter Betty which has goat cheese, homemade ricotta, broccoli rabe pesto, roasted garlic, thyme, chile flakes, and extra virgin olive oil.  This was AWESOME!  Rich is not much of a goat cheese person and even he loved it!  The taste of the goat cheese is very mild, and the chile flakes give it a nice kick.  This pie is one of my new favorites!  (Along with one not on the brunch menu, only on the dinner menu and not pictured here  known as the 14 and 1/2 which I highly recommend too which has spicy Calabrian chiles and soppressata).

We also tried an order of their Lasagna which has San Marzano tomatoes, ricotta, fresh mozzarella and basil.  I prefer some meat in my lasagna which this obviously doesn't have- so it wasn't my favorite, but it was still good, and the boys loved it!
For dessert we just could't help ourselves, and decided to order one of their Nutella pies.  Need I say more?  AMAZING!!!
So again, one walk through Porta's door, and you'll be hooked.  It's a great spot if you live near the Jersey Shore, but it's even worth the 1 hour and 15 minute drive down the parkway from New York City!

Friday, March 23, 2012


A bunch of you have been asking how we celebrated Rich's birthday, so I thought I'd tell you about the great restaurant we went to with his family in Harlem last week- Covo Trattoria E Pizzeria.  (It's almost where we had Richie's Baptism Party- so we were happy to finally check it out and to taste the food).  This is a great place tucked underneath the West Side Highway just north of Fairway.
 The restaurant is located inside of a former commercial space, but the inside Tuscan decor will make you forget about that the second you walk in the door.
 This is good Italian comfort food at reasonable prices.  Their pizzas are fabulous- made in their brick oven.  We started with their Margherita (tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil) and fell in love!!!  The crust was sweet, crunchy and nice and thin- just the way I like it.
 Next we had their Rucola Salad (baby arugula, pear, gorgonzola cheese and walnuts with balsamic vinaigrette)- it was excellent!  The dressing was sweet which worked well with the tanginess of the gorgonzola- it was perfect.  Their pastas are great too and all homemade.  We ordered the Penne Alla Bolognese (an original Italian recipe made with ground beef, celery, carrots and onions), the Barese (mini shell pasta with spicy sausage, light tomato sauce, rosemary and sage), and Spaghetti Positano (with clams, cherry tomatoes, garlic and extra virgin olive oil)- all were so good that I wouldn't know which one to order the next time I go back.  The one dish I was disappointed with was the one I ordered (go figure)- it was the Baccala' Alla Livornese (Pan-seared cod fish with capers, black olives and tomato sauce with a side of sautéed spinach and carrots).  The sauce was great, but I wasn't a fan of the fish- I would have preferred something thinner and more flaky- this was meaty, but not in a good way.  Who knows, maybe they were having an off-day with their fish, but bottom line- it was not good and I only ate the side of spinach which was very good I have to say.  We wanted to have dessert, but there was only one waiter manning the entire restaurant that night, and so we figured we would have dessert at home (didn't want to push our luck with a baby who did sleep through dinner...sweet little boy!)

All in all, I would recommend Covo if you are in Harlem, or the Upper West Side, or just looking to try a new Italian spot in the city.  Bon Appetito!  Happy Weekend to you and you and you!

Covo Trattoria
701 West 135th Street New York, NY 10031
(212) 234-9573

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


The other weekend I had an errand to run in the East Village and when I was done I was hungry.  
I first made my way over to Crif Dogs (113 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A).
 Their dogs are made of naturally smoked beef and pork.  I had one of their Chili dogs which comes smothered with mustard, onions and their secret chili sauce.
 I have to say I wasn't crazy about the taste of their dog.  As a native New Yorker, I'll take the one from a Food Cart any day over this one (I know.  I know.  They're made of things I wouldn't even want to know, but they are oh so good!)  But, it was still fun to try.  They have a menu of dogs with pretty much any topping you can imagine, and if you don't find one you like, you can order one up any way you like it.  After that I wanted to head to Butter Lane- perhaps one of my all time favorite cupcake places in the city, and I realized it was just around the corner!  As I was walking to Butter Lane, I came across First Avenue Pierogi and Deli (130 1st Avenue between 7th Street and St. Marks Place)- a truly authentic little place which makes some of the BEST pierogis I have ever tried!
Seriously, whenever I crave pierogis from now on I will go here.  I ordered the potato and cheese ones to go and made them at home.  They have everything from potato and onion, to sauerkraut and mushroom to meat.  They also sell cheese blintzes which I didn't get to try, but have heard they are awesome.  Anyway, it was a great find and made us want to continue our little Food Tour.  A couple of doors down from there is South Brooklyn Pizza (122 1st Avenue between 7th Street and St. Marks Place).
Wow!  This place could easily be missed.  In fact, it looks more like a cheese shop than a pizzeria on the outside.  This might just be one of the best slices in this part of the city.  It is perfect.  It is fresh.  You don't go here to sit...instead, grab a slice of their neapolitan margherita pizza (with fresh creamy mozzarella and fresh basil) and put some of their roasted garlic on it and eat it standing up or on the go...amazing!!!
Then a few more doors down from South Brooklyn Pizza is Wechsler's Currywurst and Bratwurst (120 1st Avenue between 7th Street and St Marks Place)- a German beer and sausage place- how great!!!
 The line at this place was insane, and we were pretty stuffed from hot dogs, pierogis and pizza at this point- so we didn't try it, but have it on our list to try in the future.  Afterwards, we finally made it to Butter Lane (123 East 7th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue A).
 Their cupcakes are soft and delicious and made from all natural ingredients.  They are dense, but not too sweet.  You can choose between one of three different types of cakes (vanilla, chocolate or banana), and then you can choose your icing.  My favorite is the banana cake with vanilla frosting...oh my gosh, I'm drooling just thinking about it!  
Bottom line- this place is so good, and I have tried a lot of cupcake places in New York City.
 So, who knew that 7th Street and St. Marks Place was such a good foodie destination?!?  
Plus, Tompkins Square Park is just across the street and has a great dog run...Riley loved it!
(Coat: Club Monaco, Scarf: South Moon Under, Jeans: Anthropologie, Sunnies: Fendi, Boots: Unity from Famous Footwear, Handbag: Cole Haan)
 Do you guys know about any other good One Block NYC Food Tours?  If so, leave me a comment.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Want all of the tastes of Italy without the long flight? Then head to New York City's EATALY! Created by three of the most beloved Italian-American restaurateurs and chefs (Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Matticchio), EATALY is basically an imported eatery filled with gourmet food and wine straight from Italy. It has even been described as a 50-thousand square foot Italian Culinary Funhouse. EATALY opened this past August, but I finally got a chance to check it out this weekend, and was truly amazed! Inside, you'll find individual retail departments selling everything from pastries, to breads, to handmade pastas, to fresh fruits and vegetables, to gelatos, to paninis, to pizzas, to coffees and wine. There's even a fishmonger and a butcher, a bookstore, and a housewares name it and it's here! You could literally stop in for a quick panini, something to drink, and a gelato for dessert (like I did), or you could spend an entire afternoon roaming around, trying different foods and wine, and getting the true EATALY food experience. In the words of Mario Batali, EATALY is a "temple...where food is more sacred than commerce." Bottom line...jet set over to EATALY for a taste of Italy and skip out on the jet lag while you're at it!
200 5th Avenue (between 23rd & 24th streets)
New York, NY 10010
Monday-Sunday 10am-11pm

Thursday, October 28, 2010


If you didn't grow up in the south and if you don't have a southern grandmother to cook for you, then visit Amy Ruth's in Harlem! Opened in 1998, I had heard this place was the best to visit in New York City for Soul Food and Chicken and Waffles. So, I had to go there for myself and see if it lived up to all of the hype...and it so did! I ordered the Rev. Al Sharpton (chicken and waffles that you can order fried or smothered in gravy). I have to tell you, this was some of the best fried chicken I had ever eaten, so crispy and not too greasy at all. As for the waffle (I am not that much of a waffle person to begin with), this waffle was hands-down THE BEST ONE I EVER ATE! No exaggeration!I also tried their macaroni and cheese, candied yams, and collard greens on the side, which were good, but nothing great. Next time I want to try the "Stan Hoffman & Lu Willard" (BBQ spare ribs). You can also find things like fried catfish, chicken and dumplings, and ham hocks on the menu here. I was too full for dessert, but I know I will be back there again for sure!AMY RUTH'S
(212) 280-8779