Category Archives: DISH OF THE WEEK

Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

I just got back from another trip to Philadelphia. And while there, of course, I had to try another of the city’s famed cheesesteaks. One day (after many more trips to Philly), I will have an answer for what I think is the best cheesesteak in the city of Brotherly Love. For now, I say it is Dalessandro’s.

No question, you need to head 90 miles southwest to appreciate a real cheesesteak. But I often get asked (mostly by international visitors), where to get the best cheesesteak in NYC. I have a few suggestions (Phil’s Steaks, Shorty’s), but my newest discovery will definitely be the most controversial.

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Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

I’ve been to Lisbon three times now. Really not sure how that happened. A few years ago, Portugal wasn’t even on my radar as a destination. Now it’s the place I’ve visited the most in Europe.

And I love it – it’s a beautiful city, with heartfelt people, and an amazing undiscovered culinary culture. Each time I visit, I drink lots of Vinho Verde, eat a ton of incredible seafood (I’ve visited the legendary Ramiro all three times), and consumed my weight in pastries. One thing I’ve never been able to do (but always wanted to) was explore the African and Indian cuisines available in Portugal.

Mozambique, Goa, and Angola are all former colonies of Portugal, so due to many immigrants in Lisbon, the food is pretty authentic (at least that’s what they tell me). All three of these cuisines are rather underepresented in New York so since I was here, I wanted to explore it.

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Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

A few years ago, an unexpected pizza combination caught the eye of the New York food world. It was the first time I had ever had brussels sprouts on a pizza and it was absolutely amazing. I still talk about that pizza from Motorino.

Now there is another brussels sprout pizza in town and it’s much different than the Motorino pie but just as good. It’s from an exciting new hotel restaurant called Covina from the team behind the very expensive sushi den O Ya. The full menu is a bit more extensive but between lunch and dinner they offer salads and pizzas only. Including the aforementioned brussels sprout pizza.

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Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

For those of us who have been lucky enough to eat at a high-end fine dining restaurant, we know that even after the dessert course is served, there is still more to come. You should expect some little petit fours and a handful of well-crafted chocolates, macarons, bon bons, or truffles. But often times, you are so stuffed from the previous meal that those little chocolate bites are eaten mindlessly.

One such fine dining restaurant is Gabriel Kreuther and his pastry chef Marc Aumont is pretty adept at getting loads of surprising flavors into bite-sized chocolates. I’ve been fortunate enough to try a number of his creations. And now, thanks to the opening of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate (right next to the restaurant itself), you can splurge on some of these chocolates without the foie gras and lobster consommé.

I decided to pick up a few of these for Valentine’s Day and needless to say they were a huge hit. (more…)


Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

In the last few months, there have been a series of big Japanese chains that opened their first US location in New York. Normally, I don’t like to eat at chain restaurants, but it’s a bit of a novelty and Japanese fast food is generally more nourishing and exciting than American fast food.

Wagamama, TsuruTonTan, and Ichiran were the three major Japanese noodle players that have debuted to long lines in New York City. The one that intrigued me most was Ichiran partly because they are located in a big factory in Bushwick but also because they have special solo dining flavor concentration booths.

In the booths, you are completely alone excpet for a button and a curtain. When the button is pushed, the curtain is partially raised and the torso of a waiter appears who will respond to your needs.

The entire experience, including the recommendations on how to be savor the soup is a little precious. As a busy New Yorker who often deals with many people, I did appreciate the opportunity to dine completely alone and not have to deal with anyone else. But I imagine the ramen would taste just as good if I was sitting at a table with a group of people.

You also get to customize your ramen from the firmness of the noodles to the richness of the broth to the amount of added toppings. I went down the menu circling the options the restaurant recommends for first timers.

So my soup ended up on the medium side of just about everything. And it was pretty great. The thin chewy noodles were truly fantastic and the complex super porky tonkotsu broth was indeed worth savoring. The other notable addition, besides some serious garlic, scallions, and a meaty pork chashu, is their signature top secret spicy red sauce.

It was one of the better ramen soups I’ve had recently. Like many, I was dismayed by the prices  here (almost double the price of the Japanese locations) and the gimmicky flavor booths are a little too serious. But there’s no denying that this is one seriously good bowl of ramen. Price: $18.90

ICHIRAN
374 Johnson Avenue (between Bogart Street and Morgan Avenue),
(718) 381-0491
Bushwick, Brooklyn
ichiran.com/en

Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

Despite all the complaining about price, I must really like Great Northern Food Hall. I find myself here once or twice a week. Granted one of the tours I lead begins at Grand Central Station and I often need to find a quick lunch before it begins. But I drift here before most of the other food courts in the area.

Also, this is the second dish of the week I have discovered from the Danish food hall. My go-to is usually the open-faced Smørrebrød sandwiches. However, I recently discovered something much heartier from one of the other kiosks. And I can’t get enough.

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