I discovered this restaurant on our last stay in NYC and wanted to go back again to enjoy their fantastic Wine Dinner. This basically means that after 8pm you can order any starter, main and dessert from their normal menu and you can have unlimited pours from selected wines all for $79 (plus tips). Its probably one of the best deals in NYC especially as their Filet Mignon (my preferred cut) is $48.
Hubby and I went on a Friday evening and it was surprisingly quiet. We had a great table in the middle of the dining room so we had plenty of space and were also not hidden away waiting for our glasses to be re-filled!!
I had a glass of prosecco whilst making my selection of starters. I opted for six oysters to start while hubby had a monster salad. We enjoyed these with a Stags Leap Chardonnay.
For the main course we both had the filet mignon, and shared a side portion of fries. Both steaks arrived hot and cooked perfectly, the fries were enough for a small family to share.
Along side the steaks we had a delicious Bordeaux.
Dessert was wood oven apple tart for the hubby - which was apparently delicious, and ice cream for me. This is an amazing deal at a lovely restaurant of you are hungry. You have to be able to eat all three courses for it to make sense, and of course be able to drink at least one glass of wine... for us that is never a problem. We will go back here again as it actually turns out to be a relatively in-expensive evening for oysters, steak and red wine.
Maloney and Porcelli 50th Street between Park and Madison - New York City.
We arrived at this Hell's Kitchen restaurant with no expectations at all. We'd had a very disappointing Italian meal at Michael White's Ai Fiori the evening before and still had a craving for pasta. We were pleasantly surprised. We were given a lovely table in the window (this is a great area for people watching) and were promptly given water and the menus.
We ordered wine by the glass - and there were plenty of options, and were served an amuse bouche. My husband ordered a starter Caprese - which was better than any of the others he had had during our six week stay !! The accompanying bread was also scrummy.
My main course was a lobster risotto which had fabulous delicate flavour and was substantial in size without being too big.
My husband had a pasta with a meat ragu which he said was very tasty and it was certainly devoured quite quickly.
We chose not to have dessert as we were really quite satisfied with the amount of food in the main courses but were pleasantly surprised when a small complimentary plate arrived of home made chocolate and biscotti.
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal here and would go back again over the Michelin Star restaurant Ai Fiori anytime. It is also a place where I would feel quite comfortable dining alone.
Il Punto, 507 9th Ave at 38th Street. New York City.
We found Thai Select on Trip Advisor and on the strength of the reviews we decided to give it a try and I'm so glad we did. We went on a Wednesday evening and it was fairly busy, which is a good sign !!. They had a happy hour which was half priced wine, beer and cocktails until 8pm which was a bonus... and most of the staff were from Thailand, which was an even bigger bonus.
We had a beef red curry and a chicken green curry and both were just as good as any we have eaten in Thailand, so good in fact we went back the following evening to try their noodle dishes which were also excellent. The staff were pleasant, cheery and everything arrived quickly and hot - what more do you need in a restaurant !!??
Thai Select 472 9th Avenue 10018 NYC
New York - Thank You. We have had a thoroughly amazing 6 weeks.
As you can see if you have been reading my Restaurant Blog we have been eating at a load of amazing places from Michelin Star restaurant Daniel to the best burgers we ate at Burger Joint... and well the whole spectrum in-between.
To counter act the effects of six weeks of restaurant food my husband and I took our exercise routine quite seriously. I took 3 Pilates classes a week at and worked through a couch to 5k program. My husband got a temp membership at a gym and worked out with a trainer 3 times a week also. I really think all our efforts have paid off.
Despite all the food we still fit into our clothes and as a a bonus we both feel a lot stronger.
The shopping didn't go entirely to plan. Overall I was quite disappointed with the winter collections.
I like colour and what I found here was similar to the drab greys and blacks I sees everywhere in Zurich.
I already have a bulging wardrobe so its not the end of the world.
I did manage to acquire 2 fabulous new Michael Kors handbags and some running shoes so It wasn't a complete disappointment.
We generally just enjoyed 'being' in New York. There was no rush to do the tourist 'hot-spots' or fight with people wanting to go up the Empire State Building as we have been here many, many times before.
I've walked hundreds of kilometres according to my FitBit and made friends with the local dry cleaner/shirt laundry guy, the hotel staff.
We've enjoyed walks around Central Park and tea and cakes in the afternoon.
We've met up with friends for dinner who have come from destinations as close as Brooklyn and as far as Hong Kong, with Boston and Zurich in the middle.
We have crossed off more things to do from our list and we are ready to go home.
Of course I'm already planning our return - hopefully in the first quarter of 2015, but until our flights are booked those plans are just buzzing around in my head with the others plans I have for the next 'big' trip in two weeks to Tokyo.
Firstly - What a great name for a Fish and Chip shop.
Secondly - what a surprise this was to stumble across on a Saturday afternoon.
We were on our way back from lunch when we found ourselves chatting to two guys sitting on the bench outside A Salt and Battery. It turned out they were both from Manchester and one of them owned both the Fish & Chip shop and Tea and Sympathy next door. There was a black cab at the curb side which has also drives around in !! So, as a fellow Manc I felt some loyalty and we decided to go back for Fish & Chips the following day.
A Salt and Battery looks like a typical English chipper with the high counter housing the fryer and with that smell of cooking oil that lingers.... They don't have quite the selection of pies as you would get in England but they have two home cooked varieties that are sufficient to squash any feeling of home-sickness Brits in the NYC may have.
Their Fish & Chips are completely authentic. The mushy peas were perfect and they even have bottles of Sarsons. What more can you ask for ??
Battered sausages? They have them too. Deep fried Mars bars? - oh yes and the perfect accompaniment - Dandelion and Burdock. Ok well, that may just be my personal favourite.
No fear, They have Irn-Bru or a selection of beers (London Pride and Stella amongst others) for the southerners!!
The fish (pollock) arrived and was freshly battered to order (just like at home) and was absolutely delicious. The chips were proper potatoes and cooked perfectly. They were a little too thin for my taste but that it purely a personal opinion. All in all a very pleasant and unexpected experience. I only wish I knew about this place when I lived upstate, this would of been worth a trip to the city.
There is a bench outside where you can enjoy your Fish & Chips if the sun is shining or space for maybe 8 people inside for when its not. The turnover is fairly fast so even if its busy its worth the wait.
A Salt and Battery 112 Greenwich Avenue (between 12th and 13th) New York City
Now believe me the irony of this post being written by someone who writes a restaurant blog and posts reviews online is not lost on me.... but bear with me.
I do a lot of online research when we are booking up places to eat during our various trips. I look up the Michelin and Zagat guides and read Trip Advisor. Even if we are choosing somewhere to eat at when we are at home I will still take a look on Trip Advisor to see what people have to say.
I've learnt however, from friends in the industry, that many restaurants use marketing/PR companies who write false reviews. I've also learnt to ignore those people who only write one or two reviews to slag-off a restaurant they had a bad experience at. The last thing I've learnt to do is to read a couple of the other reviews people have written. If I read a sparkling review from Debbie in Dallas (!) and I look at her profile and see that she considers Olive Garden to be a good Italian restaurant then I know I can pretty much ignore anything else she has to say.
I try to review most of the restaurants we go to as I like to think my reviews offer a fairer perspective for others. I review restaurants if they are good, bad or mediocre.
During our recent six week trip to New York City we decided to treat ourselves to dinner at a Michelin Star restaurant every week.
The choice in NYC is HUGE...these were the ones from the 2014 list that we have eaten at so far.....
Three Stars: Three stars reward exceptional cuisine where diners eat extremely well, often superbly. Distinctive dishes are precisely executed, using superlative ingredients. Worth a special journey.
Two Stars: Two stars denote excellent cuisine, skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality. Worth a detour.
One Star: One star indicates a very good restaurant in its category, offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard. A good place to stop on your journey.
Gotham Bar and Grill
Gramercy Tavern - I ate here last time I was in NYC
For 2015 were Betony and Resto were added. Daniel was downgraded to 2 stars and in 2013 sadly, Gordon Ramsey at The London lost his 2 stars.
Now I don't consider myself to be an expert on the criteria for Michelin Stars but I can say that I no longer hold them in the high esteem I once did. the Michelin Star rating is all madness to me.
How Ai Fiori has one star and yet Gordon lost his is a real puzzle to me. We had amazing food and service at The London whilst at Ai Fiori we had lukewarm food, no bread service and empty wine glasses whilst our bottle was sitting unattended near by.
We were once at Joël Robuchon in Tokyo which has three Michelin Stars. It was one of the worst meals we ate in that whole trip. Not only were we very disappointed with the food and bread but I was also served wine from a bottle that belonged to another table.
We left feeling about $400 lighter and also feeling that we really wanted to go and find something else to eat.
So, whilst I will continue to read the Michelin Star list, I'm going to cross reference it with Trip Advisor and also with Zagat before making any more expensive dinner commitments.
However, I do admit it is still all a bit of Madness....
I love this little place. We visited it regularly while we stayed in NYC. It was close to our hotel and so it was a good option for a light evening meal and I also dropped in for a lunchtime bowl of noodles when I was alone when I would sit at the counter and the kitchen action kept me entertained.
Their menu isn't huge but everything we had tasted very authentic. I loved the Sutamina Noodles the best. A little spicy and full of flavour. most noodle dishes come with different meet options or veg.
We have walked past many times and seen queues out of the door and so whenever we go we try to get there just before lunchtime to be sure to get a table. They are usually full by the time we leave.
Its fairly 'fast' food but way better than any of the usual options of pizza slices and burgers.If you are in the West Midtown area this is definitely worth a try.
Tabata Noodle 540 9th Ave (between 39th and 40th) New York City
From the outside Minetta Tavern doesn't even look open...
However, once you are through the door you find yourself in a beautiful dining room with a lovely old-fashioned wooden bar.
The restaurant opens at 5.30 and until EXACTLY 5.30 no one is allowed past the bar, which was fine for us as we had had a long day of walking and a nice draft Kronenburg was very refreshing.
Once seated we were greeted by our waiter who happily gave us tasters of the wines they serve by the glass so we could make a selection. As with a lot of other NY restaurants, they have a good choice of wines by the glass and once we decided we were given a very generous pour indeed.
I opted for a starter of Bone Marrow and the hubby ordered oxtail and Foie Gras Terrine. Mine was by far the better choice and luckily it was so big I could share some of it with him.
We both went for the Black Label Burgers and they were served up with a small mountain of french fries. My burger was cooked perfectly (medium) but the medium rare my hubby selected was a bit too rare for him. It was more like a beef tartare.
There was a great atmosphere in the restaurant. The music helped to cover up any excessively loud conversations without being too intrusive. the tables int he middle of the room allow a bit more privacy than the ones along the side of the room where as is often the case in NYC the tables are VERY close together. The people next to us had to bring their table all the way out to even be abel to sit down.
The burger was good, but not the best we have had in NYC so I'd order something else next time. We would come back again and I'd definitely recommend Minetta Tavern, but its not a last minute decision. They are full for the next two months and most evenings have a waiting list. I guess having a Michelin Star will do that to a restaurant.
Minetta Tavern 113 MacDougal Street, New York City.
Don't make the same mistake as we did and arrive right in the middle of lunch time. This place has a great reputation and so it gets BUSY. Be prepared to either wait or compromise and sit at the counter. We actually preferred the counter because the tables at the back were quite squished in and right next to both the kitchen and the toilet.
There are many things on the menu aside from the Lobster Rolls however that is what are famous for and so that was what we ordered. The bun was a little too sweet for my taste especially as lobster meat is on the sweet side already. It was however deliciously moist and came served with a generous helping of french fries.
Their service was quite speedy given that there was a queue at the door and every seat was taken. This is a great place to stop at if you are out shopping and because of the bar seating its also an easy place for solo diners.
Ed's Lobster Bar 222 Lafayette Street New York City
We have been to The Strip House before after being introduced by a colleague of my husband. Inside its quite dark and red and has a bit of a 'boudoir'. If someone said it was a mafia hangout then you would believe them - or maybe I watch too much TV ??
We didn't have starters as the steaks are always way too big especially if you have a side dish too.
Both my husband and I had the filet mignon and both were cooked perfectly. I had the goose fat potatoes which came looking like a hard dome/pudding shape. Not at all like the roast individual potatoes I expected. They were good though - just a surprise. My husband had what was possibly the hottest (temp) jacket potato ever. It was still steaming way after we finished dinner !!
Service is good, exactly how you would expect it to be in a high end steak restaurant. The tables are a little too packed together for my liking. I don't really want to hear the whole of the conversation on the table next to me, which was about 6 inches away from ours.... and there was no room to get out to use the bathroom without moving tables.
On a Friday evening we booked ahead and the restaurant was very busy but there is also a very fast turnover.
Its much nicer than the Wollenskys and Mortons In my opinion. It has a bit more character.
I'm not sure this is somewhere I'd go on my own, its nicer to be able to relax and people watch here with someone else. Also with the tables so close to each other the temptation to join in with a conversation on the next table would be too much for me.
The Strip House 13 East 12th Street New York City NY 10003 Tel 212 328 0000
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