Tag Archives: Greenwich Village

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

When my wife and son go out of town to visit family like they did recently, my first thought is “What cocktail bar can I check out?” Since I am always at home being a good dad in the evenings when I’m not working, I find it hard to explore the cocktail scene like I used to.

I knew all about The Up & Up and it has been high on my list of spots to visit well before my son was born earlier this year. Just never made it. Now that I had the city to myself, it was time to finally stop in.

The Up & Up is a great bar. First off, it’s intimate but spacious providing a refined setting for trying classic or innovative craft cocktails. It looked as though there wouldn’t be a seat for me on a busy Saturday night, but once we started chatting, the door man and owner decided to let me stand at the service bar. Which was much appreciated since this was my rare night out.

The menu was very exciting and normally I would agonize for hours over what to order (and don’t think I didn’t). But one description kept calling my name. It was just weird enough for me. (more…)


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

When a dish comes out of the kitchen glowing red and spiked with peppercorns, I’m expecting some heat. The only thing that hinted at the spice level for this clear green fish soup was the name “spicy” and the two pepper symbols on the menu. It was a unique floral, numbing spice and was one of the most exciting dishes I’ve tasted at a Chinese restaurant.

Price: $25

HAO NOODLE AND TEA BY MADAM ZHU
401 Sixth Avenue (between Waverly Place and Greenwich Avenue)
Greenwich Village
(212) 633-8900
madamzhu.com

Come back on Wednesdays for more funny, informative videos documenting my inept food adventures. In Around the World in One City, I travel around the world and taste authentic dishes without ever leaving New York.

I have been sitting on this video for a while. A few things have gotten in the way and stalled me. First off, I am entrenched in another exciting project that took me to Europe this summer. The videos from that will be live soon. I’m excited to share them with you.

Secondly, one of the restaurants featured in this video closed due to rising rents in Greenwich Village. When I first learned the news, I wasn’t sure if I should re-film or edit it out or what. So I sat on it.

But when the political climate reached sweltering this past week with unconstitutional immigrant reform, I realized just how important these videos are. Especially since Iran was named as part of the Executive Order.

You’ll also note that in the video I decide to not discuss politics. That was well before this current situation. If filmed today, I would have taken a bigger stand about the importance of this culture and its gracious people here in the United States.

But I still do want to focus on the food because as Saeed Pourkay says in the video, it can “do nation building.” So enjoy this video about a sadly underepresented cuisine and a now opressed culture. If you have never tasted Persian food, you really don’t know what you’re missing and it’s more important now then ever before.

On this episode, I first meet Saeed Pourkay who has followed his passion and is running a successful steam table in the corner of a generic pizzeria in the Flatiron District. The food is homemade and you can taste it in every bite. Then I head downtown to meet Shiva Stein, a British-born woman of Iranian decent who resides with her family in Brooklyn. We have a lovely meal at the sadly closed Cafe Nadery, modeled after an all-day artist hangout in Tehran. Transport yourself to Iran and get to know the people and its food as I go Around the World in One City.

For those that would like to get a taste for themselves, my friends have organized a food crawl that visits the businesses owned by people from the countries affected from the ban. Donate to help and eat for a good cause by clicking here.


Category: Video

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

Ho Mok was definitely one of the most unique and interesting dishes I have tried in a long time. This is rather obscure Southereast Asian dish that is essentially a steamed fish custard. It’s much better than it sounds. The two pots of rich, creamy mousse are comprised of striped bass and a coconut based red curry. Maximum flavor is revealed through herbal kaffir lime and sweet Thai basil. Its unique texture and rich complex flavor make this a must try.   Price: $4

KIIN THAI EATERY
36 East 8th Street (between Greene Street and University Place),
Greenwich Village
(212) 529-2363
kiinthaieatery.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

2016 was a tough year. From a whirlwind political circus to the loss of many beloved celebrities to worldwide tragedies, the news was full of sad things. But there was still joy out there and as usual, I found a lot of that joy through food. And here in New York, these are the 5 dishes that gave me the most joy….

NUMBER 5: RICOTTA HOT CAKES at TWO HANDS BAR & RESTAURANT

Australian-owned coffee shops and cafés are taking over the city. And if they all do brunch as well as Two Hands, I’m happy to give it to them. I’m especially taken with their amazingly gluten free ricotta hot cakes. The large hotcake is browned to the edge yet the interior is cheesy and doughy (although not with actual dough). It’s topped with a tangy whipped ricotta, seasonal berries, and pecans for crunch. Of course, as any brunch cake should, it’s served with a side of maple syrup. Price: $14

TWO HANDS RESTAURANT & BAR
251 Church Street (between Leonard and Franklin Street),
Tribeca
twohandsnyc.com

NUMBER 4: U & I at MU RAMEN

This is an appetizer fit for a king. I probably went a little overboard eating it by myself, but it’s been a tough year. If translated into English terms, the uninitiated might not want to try the sea urchin gonads (uni) and fish eggs (ikura), but these are two of the greatest culinary pleasures I can think of. And together, they are just amazing. The bright orange uni is as creamy, sweet, and rich as it gets. The four lobes sat on a bed of warm rice and a spicy tuna mixture. More texture was provided in the abundant briny roe which was tamed by the strips of toasted dried seaweed. And then on top, sat a round of potent and fresh wasabi. Market Price

MU RAMEN
1209 Jackson Avenue (between 48th Avenue and 47th Road),
Long Island City, Queens
(917) 868-8903
ramennyc.wixsite.com/popup

NUMBER 3: PASTRAMI BACON at HOMETOWN BAR-B-QUE

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Hometown Bar-B-que is the best barbecue we have in New York. It’s worth trekking out to Red Hook to get a taste of anything they smoke. This year, I was brought to meat heaven by a slab of grilled, smoked bacon. It was seasoned generously with pepper and pastrami spices and featured char marks along the exterior. It had the perfect layer of fat, which was buttery but not unctuous. Each bite was peppery, smoky, and luscious. I can’t think of a better pairing than the accompanying sweet and spicy honey mustard sauce. I’m excited to see what smoked meat from Hometown will end up on next year’s list. Price: $14 per 1/4 pound

HOMETOWN BAR-B-QUE
454 Van Brunt Street (at Reed Street),
Red Hook, Brooklyn
(347) 294-4644
hometownbarbque.com

NUMBER 2: CARROT CREPE at OLMSTED

This particular dish is not just at the top of my list, but many restaurant critics and bloggers around the city. Olmsted was hand’s down one of the top dining experiences of the year. And this crepe made from carrots was impeccable. Yes, it’s a crepe made from carrots, but it’s similar in texture to a giant tender ravioli. Inside littleneck clams are buttery and briny and pair perfectly with the creamy complex carrot reduction. Sunflower seeds and sweet carrot ribbons provide crunch and texture. It’s a gorgeously plated dish and one of the rare ones that tastes as good as it looks. Price: $15

OLMSTED
659 Vanderbilt Avenue (between Park Place and Prospect Place),
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
(718) 0552-2610
olmstednyc.com

NUMBER 1: SHIITAKE “CACIO E PEPE” at NIX

Cacio e pepe is a classic Roman pasta dish that is as simple as it gets: cheese and black pepper. It has also somehow become quite trendy in NYC lately. Chef John Fraser’s version loses the pasta and replaces it with rich polenta and tender peppery shiitake mushrooms that are sliced to provide an al dente texture. The rich woodsy notes of those shrooms are countered with sweet bites of corn kernels and a few bright green beans. Of course, as is appropriate, the dish is showered with plenty of sharp pecorino cheese. It’s honestly a dish I have been thinking about since I tasted it and it’s the best thing I tried all year. Price: $24

NIX
72 University Place (between East 10th and East 11th Street),
Greenwich Village
(212) 498-9393
nixny.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

You wouldn’t expect what looks like a giant charred bone-in rib eye steak to walk through the dining room of vegetarian-focused Nix. It’s actually not a steak but a game-changing dessert cut to resemble a steak. A quartered tandoor-roasted pineapple is crisped and brushed with a tangy tamarind glaze, vegan whipped cream (made from chickpeas), and toasted macadamia nuts. It’s absolutely amazing – and needs to be ordered in advance.

NIX
72 University Place (between East 10th and East 11th Street),
Greenwich Village
(212) 498-9393
nixny.com

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