Archive for Restaurants

Cookies and Good Deeds Collide in New NYC Bakery

A tiny new bakery has opened on Wall Street, in a space barely larger than a closet. What’s even more interesting, though, is that this space is actually a significant step up for the Feed Your Soul Café, a boutique cookie shop which grew from infancy in a small studio apartment.

Fast forward 10 years and it’s now a popular online retailer for baked goods and cookie dough with a philanthropic twist: for each order that is placed, a freshly baked cookie is donated to The Coalition of the Homeless. These cookies play a significant role in their everyday milestones and special events like birthday parties.

Owner Mya Zoracki has said that while the brand has big dreams for the future, it will never lose sight of its primary goal: “to inspire and help everyone it can along the way.” The new Manhattan location is the first Feed Your Soul Cafe, and serves babkas, brownies, sticky buns and cookies.


We’ll Take The Lamb Please

What do people eat these days on Easter in New York? Historically, the tradition was ham but it seems times they are a-changing. aside from the numerous vegan options when it comes to meat eats, the ham may get a shove to make room for the lamb…

According to a recent New York Post article by Kim Severson:

“Today, the American taste for lamb is changing, in part because both new immigrants and more adventurous younger eaters are changing the American palate. Good-tasting, well-raised lamb is becoming more available. Since 2009, lamb sales have jumped by about 28 percent, rising to 59 million pounds in 2016 from 46 million pounds, according to a study of store scanner data. (The numbers do not include stores like Costco or lamb sold to restaurants.)”

So where can one go to enjoy a nice side of lamb, lamb shoulder, lamb chops or a leg of lamb? Given this spring seasonal delight it does seem to fulfill the Easter requirement of getting in a “taste of spring.” If one were to follow the advice of the investigation undertaken earlier this month by Foursquare Lists, they might have made their Easter booking yesterday at: The Breslin (16 West 29th Street), Xi’an Famous Foods (81 Saint Marks Place), The Halal Guys (West 53rd Street) or one of the other 12 places on their list of ‘15 Best Places for Lamb in New York City.’

But if one still finds lamb just too meaty, the vegan Easter options seem to be getting increasingly creative too. Sam Sifton recommended taking it simple with mushrooms on toast (having sampled David Tanis’ latest recipe) and then there was the latest Pop-Up to greet the region, the Vegan Shop Up, the first Vegan pop-up market in New York, which made its debut yesterday with an Easter Bunny Bash.

So whatever your tastebuds are telling you, New York probably had it somewhere for Easter yesterday! Hope you enjoyed!


Euro Cuisine Arrives in Yonkers

Le Moulin is its name, fresh is its game.  Yonkers restaurant owner Josyane Colwell does not believe in using food item from the freezer to prep for her catering company; she prefers aromas and fresh ingredients, something she learned while being raised by her grandparents in Cote d’Azur, near Cannes.

It seems very much like a back-to-basics kind of place as Colwell recalls her youth spent picking up olives and putting them in baskets.  It was a far cry from the iPads of today! The eatery – located at 1 Pier Pointe Street – opened in the summer for weekend business, just opening after 5pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  With a chalkboard menu (which changes weekly), small menus are created by Colwell who “needs to make [herself] happy,” which means appealing to her sense of sight and smell, ensuring the dining experience she provides is “stimulating and not mindless.”

For other classic old school restaurants in New York, you can try: McSorleys Old Ale House at 15 East 7th Street, Patsy’s Italian Restaurant at 236 West 56th Street and Fraunces Tavern at 54 Pearl Street, the latter of which has been in business since 1762.

Flaky Pastry Comes to East Village

Actually it is Patisserie Florentine that is making its way to New York for the first time. Originating from New Jersey, this bakery is best-known for its flaky almond croissant and now New Yorkers will be able to purchase fresh-baked pastries locally.

The bakery – to be located at 280 E. 10th Street – is being run by Itay and Tomer Zilkha who are hoping that New Yorkers will love their sweets as much as New Jersey counterparts have done until now. In particular, their almond croissant is extremely popular, having been its strongest product, being a major draw.
What is interesting about the patisserie is that its kitchens have ovens from New Zealand which use steam and a bi-directional fan system. Through this particular concept, a very specific desired flakiness is created. This is what the video in this article, shows.

Fun Eats in East Village

ribsAccording to The New York Eater, “the East Village has the most kinetic, rapidly evolving, and downright fun restaurant scene in the city.” Featuring originality with tastes from around the world, there is very little in the world of cuisine that one will be strapped to find in the area.

The east Village food scene really began gaining credence back in the 1980s.  And then by the year 2000, things really started moving up for the region.  But there are some timeless pieces too.

But if you want to experience a bit of history in an Italian way, check out John’s of 12th Street.  This traditional Italian eatery has been serving East Village customers for more than a century.  Having opened in 1908, it brags of being “rich in history, rich in food [but] easy on the wallet.”

And for traditional ribs (that are at the same time unique) Mighty Quinn’s goes back to basics by getting the best quality ingredients and leaving them to do their own thing…not complicating the matter just barbecuing old school with plenty of wood and time with “just the right amount of salt and spice to let that lovely marriage of process ad product evolve into something transcendent.”

Take in breakfast at the Black Seed Bagel, a Chinese dry hot pot from the Mala Project, a French bistro at Lucien, and one of the best schnitzels New York has to offer at Edi & The Wolf.

We know one thing for sure; if you leave the East Village hungry, you sure missed some boat or another.

What’s New to Eat in East Village

wrapsKati Roll Company is new. With the opening of its outpost in East Village’s Second Avenue five days ago, this popular street from Kolkata is offering traditional skewer-roasted kebab rolls, as well as more modern protein-filled ones with beef, chicken, shrimp and more. Customers can choose to have them wrapped in roti also.

Three days ago they were offering free stuff too, in the form of chicken and aloo rolls. And there are some added menu items including the Kosha Mangsho Roll (a slow-cooked pulled goat meat, with red onions, chilies and lime juice). For those who want to make their own, that is also an option. Located on Macdougal Street, the new eatery is larger than the previous location and can seat up to 18 people with further expansion planned in a third location some time in the not-too-distant future.

And then there is n’eat. Combining ‘neat’ with ‘eatery,’ Swedish chef Gabriel Hedlund together with Danish Mathias Kaer, the restaurant is serving up affordable Nordic food ($8 for snacks and $16 for other plates) such as their deep-fried sourdough bread with mushroom powder, chicken confit with carrots and burned garlic sauce, and rehydrated beets with goat-cheese ice cream.

East Village Food Tour

Lawrence Weibman is the host of NYC Food Tour. In this video, he takes viewers around the East Village delighting them to a “truly memorable meal, ” highlighting three cuisines the average Joe has probably not tried but will undoubtedly love.

Summer Happenings in NYC

sunshineSummertime and the livin’ is easy…at least in New York City it has the potential of being…

What’s better in the summer than ice-cream?  Learning how to make it yourself from the experts and thanks to Sarah Lohman, historic gastronome and Laura Weiss, ice cream historian (who even knew such professions existed?) one can now learn about the history and mechanics and ice cream and making the yummy cold stuff first hand. Last week, Brooklynites were invited to the Brooklyn Historical Society, located at 128 Pierrepont Street from 7-9pm on July 28th to learn all about that.

And then tomorrow for food lovers who are looking for something on the savory side that is a bit hotter, the Brooklyn Historical Society hosted Scott Wiener, a pizza historian, together with a panel of Brooklyn pizza-makers on The Search for Authenticity will be discussing who makes the most authentic pizza in New York City. The event will boast a classic old-school slice shop, alongside an historic coal-fired pizza parlor, a traditional Neapolitan pizzeria, and a new-school pie innovator. What more could food connoisseurs ask for?

Staying cool and keeping hot in New York is what it’s all about this summer.

East Village Pizza Pie

pizzaPizza, pizza and more pizza. You can never have too much pizza.  Well that seems to be the sentiment in New York City at least.  With the recent opening of Baker’s Pizza on Avenue A, there is something new happening in the world of NY pizza.  It is hoped by owner-chef Jordan Baker-Jamie Cacace that “the power of the New York-style pie [will] become a destination stop of any pizza journeyman’s map.”

So what actually goes in to making these pizzas different?  First, the pies are very filling with an extremely generous base and exploding with toppings. Second, there are funky toppings such as brussels sprouts, bacon and white truffle oil (the B&B) or speck, broccoli rabe, roasted red peppers and parmesan (the Speck-tacular).  It is these ingredients which set the pizza place apart from Muzzarella Pizza which is just down the block.

New York City certainly has quite a history with pizza.  According to a blog post referring to Ed Levine’s book, ‘Pizza – A Slice of Heaven,’ “The story of pizza in America starts in New York City, on Spring Street in lower Manhattan, in 1905 when Gennaro Lombardi, a baker and pizzaiolo from Naples is granted the first license in the United States to sell pizza. Lombardi had come to America at the age of 14. He was already a baker by trade, and soon found work in a Brooklyn bakery and a grocery store on Spring Street in Manhattan. He had the idea of baking pizzas at the bakery and selling them the next morning at the grocery. It was a very good idea.  [and then it spread around America]… A year after Antonio Pero opened Totonno’s in Brooklyn, another Neapolitan immigrant pizzaiolo named Frank Pepe opened Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (1925), the first pizzeria
in New Haven, CT.”

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Beetle House Bar

cocktailsThree days ago Tim Burton got his own bar. Well, sort of.  Beetle House took its inspiration from him and opened on May 6 as a gothic eatery on 308 E. Sixth Street. With its witchy interior, featuring medical equipment artwork, straitjackets and more based on Burton classics, it’s sure to be a popular address for diehard Burton fans.

However, punters can rest assured that real beetle juice will not be on the menu – just a cocktail with that name, alongside Alice’s Cup of Tea and The Headless Horseman. Some of the items on the dinner menu are: Chesire Mac and Cheese, Eggs Skellington and Edward Burger Hands.

And then of course there’s the guy (who’s not being paid by the owner) who just keeps coming dressed in a Beetlejuice costume.  They might want to think of giving him a salary though since he seems to have been quite popular with the patrons until now!