Tag Archives: Hotel Dining

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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My search for the best pizza in New York continues….

I wouldn’t necessarily think that a pizza review is the place to address the discussion of no tipping in New York City restaurants. But Marta is no ordinary pizza place. It’s one of Danny Meyer’s casual fine dining restaurants (I know that sounds oxymoronic but that’s where we are) and that means the servers are no longer accepting tips. The gratuity is included in the price.

The main reason for this is that it’s much less confusing for the diner to have to figure out the math of 20%. And more importantly, it helps even the paying field and pay the kitchen staff a better liveable wage.

I’m not going to get too far into this, but only speak on my first experience dining at a no-tip establishment. And one from the hospitality king Danny Meyer no less.

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Category: Pizza

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

I had some issues with the service at Danny Meyer’s Roman pizza palace, but I can’t ignore the fact that the food is pretty great. Especially the mushroom loaded pie. The perfectly charred thin crust provides a perfect showcase for the simplicity and complexity of hen of the woods and chanterrelle mushrooms. It’s dotted with both sharp fontina and buttery mozzarella. And then thyme and red onions bring out the woodsy and earthy notes. Price: $16
MARTA
29 East 29th Street (between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue South),
In the Redbury Hotel
(212) 651-3800
martamanhattan.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 10 dishes that gave me the most joy….

NUMBER 10: HOT DOG at FELTMAN’S OF CONEY ISLAND

A Coney Island historian named Michael Quinn bought the Feltman’s brand this year. For those that don’t know, Charles Feltman was the originally creator of the hot dog in 1867 and was the employer of the more famous Nathan’s. Pepper and garlic flavors explode with each snap of the lamb casing. The warm grilled sauerkraut and homemade apple cider vinegar mustard plus the addition of no nitrates or chemicals help put this in the running for best hot dog in the city. Price: $4

FELTMAN’S OF CONEY ISLAND
80 St. Marks Place (between First and Second Avenue),
Inside William Barnacle Tavern,
East Village
https://www.facebook.com/Feltmans-of-Coney-Island

NUMBER 9: PUEBLA DRINK WITH NO NAME at MAYAHUEL

It’s no secret that I love Mayahuel. It’s become one of my favorite bars, visiting it often on the Craft Cocktail tour but also bringing friends who are in town by for a drink. I was looking for a smooth, chocolatey drink to pair with their excellent churros and one of the servers suggested this classic. It has no name (well, sort of) but lots of intense flavors – spicy and smoky mezcal infused with chile de arbol, a moscatel sherry infused with ancho cili, some aged rum, cacao, and mole bitters. It’s modeled after a Oaxacan mole sauce, but it’s also the perfect final sipper to a night out. Price: $15

MAYAHUEL
304 East 6th Street (between First and Second Avenue),
East Village
(212) 253-58888
mayahuelny.com

NUMBER 8: KUBANEH BREAD at TIMNA

It’s hard for me to justify paying for a basket of bread. But this is not just any basket of bread. It’s called kubaneh and is a traditional Yemenite breakfast bread with a yeasty, steamy center. It arrives in a flowerpot with accompaniments of jalapeño salsa, crushed tomatoes, and a dollop of yogurt. Each piece rips apart easily and releases aroma and steam that adds to the experience. This slightly sweet, soft and tender bread disappeared too quickly. It had the sweetness of a brioche, the softness of a popover, and the brownness of a pretzel. Imagine that lovechild. Price: $12

TIMNA
109 St. Marks Place (between First Avenue and Avenue A),
East Village
(646) 964-5181
timna.nyc

NUMBER 7: CLASSIC BURGER at SALVATION BURGER

After Salvation Burger finally re-opened following a debilitating fire, I finally made it up to check out April Bloomfield’s hip, swanky burger palace. I was hesitant to spend so much money for a burger and even more doubtful that it would be worth it. It well-exceeded my highest expectations. The classic burger is modelled after thin-patty fast food burgers but it’s full of meaty char and topped with a secret cheesy sauce, sweet caramlized onions, and bold tangy pickles. If McDonald’s burgers tasted this good, I would have a serious problem. Price: $17

SALVATION BURGER
230 East 51st Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue),
Inside the Pod 51 Hotel
Midtown East
(646) 277-2900
salvationburger.com

NUMBER 6: PANDI-ICE CREAM at HOUSE OF INASAL

We’ve all probably had an ice cream sandwich, but not necessarily one quite like this. The popular Filipino street food is composed of sweet eggy pandesal bread that is toasted and liberally painted with thick halaya, which is ube (purple sweet potato) jam. Then it’s topped with a scoop of the same deep purple-colored ice cream. And finally, it’s garnished with some pinipig (crunchy rice) and young coconut. It’s sweet, warm, cold, crunchy, and absolutely luxurious.  Price: $5.50

HOUSE OF INASAL
65-14 Roosevelt Avenue (between 67th Street and 65th Place),
Woodside, Queens
(718) 429-0709
houseofinasal.com

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

JEAN-GEORGES, 1 Central Park West (between West 61st Street and Columbus Circle), Upper West Side

My birthday, as it does every year, just came around. And while it means I get another year older, it also means I get to have a blow out meal and hit one of the high-end restaurants I wouldn’t dream of going to the rest of the year.

This year, it was Jean-Georges, which recently received a second round of four stars from the New York Times. Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is one of the city’s most lauded restaurateurs with a range of restaurants around town. His namesake (and one of the few I have not been to) is in the Trump Tower just across from Central Park.

It’s a little different from most haughty French fine dining restaurants since the chef adds some international (mostly Asian) twists to the refined food. Also, service at these types of restaurants often strike me as stuffy, but the young lady who took care of us was genuinely helpful, considerate, and without any pretense. Along with the food, it made for an excellent birthday meal.

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

DIRTY FRENCH, 180 Ludlow Street (between Houston and Stanton Street), Inside Ludlow Hotel, Lower East SidePrices at New York restaurants are getting out of control. I understand there a lot of factors to this (rent hikes, food costs, aggressive PR), but it’s getting to the point where I laugh in shock every time I open a menu.

At Dirty French, it’s so hip and expensive that the prices aren’t even posted on their online menu. This is one of the more recent openings in the Torrisi-Carbone powerhouse and they focus on classic French brasserie food. I haven’t made it to Santina yet and have not been able to save up enough to check out Carbone. But I am a fan of the food at the more affordable Parm, so I thought a lunch excursion to Dirty French was in order.

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