Tag Archives: Southern

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

One of the reasons I’m not much of a brunch guy is because it always seems to be the same dishes over and over again. Sure, you can stuff some interesting ingredients inside an omlette or pancake, but generally you know what you’re going to get. It’s not usually a mind-blowing meal.

That’s part of why I loved my experience at the neighborhood favorite Gristmill one Sunday afternoon. The food was anything but typical and it was unbelievably good.

I was tempted by their wood-oven pizzas (I’ll have to save that for another visit and rate them accordingly), but am glad I stuck with two brunchier dishes.

The first dish, which I’ll get to in the next paragraph, was so good that I had to order something else. And the creatively named Loxness Knotster (a pastrami smoked salmon slider piled onto an everything garlic knot) was a very close second to that first dish. (more…)


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

The newest food court to open in the city (there will probably be a new one by the time you read this) is an extension of Gotham West Market but now in Brooklyn. These are all new vendors and the strangely named Spatchcocked Chicken was so good it got me all spatchcocked (whatever that means!)

Price: $10/$17/$32

FLIP BIRD
Inside Gotham Market at The Ashland
590 Fulton Street (at Ashland Place),
Fort Greene, Brooklyn
(718) 624-7703
gothammarketashland.com/vendor/flip-bird/

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

SADLY, CARLA HALL’S SOUTHERN KITCHEN IS NOW CLOSED.

Spice comes in all forms and while the fried chicken at Carla Hall’s Brooklyn restauarant may look harmless enough – it has a serious burn. This is especially true as you get higher in numbers on the sampler plate of her hot fried chicken tenders. They range from a bold honey and hot paprika marinate (Number 2) to a fiery pineapple and habañero (Number 4) all the way up to a hellish trio of banana, carolina reaper, and ghost chili peppers (Number 6). I couldn’t get through the last one, but it was a fun paleate-challenging journey to take. Price: $14.25
CARLA HALL’S SOUTHERN KITCHEN
115 Columbia Street (between Baltic and Kane Street),
Columbia Waterfront, Brooklyn
(718) 855-4668
carlahallssouthernkitchen.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

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

ESME, 999 Manhattan Avenue (between Green and Huron Street), Greenpoint, Brooklyn

I love when I get approached with a food dilemma. And it’s even more rewarding when I can solve it and then be involved in the eating part too.

For Urban Adventures, we often put together customized food and history tours. And this particular project was a very cool tour of the changing Brooklyn waterfront. We started in Dumbo and ended in Greenpoint and we needed a place with a wide range of food options that could seat a large group on a weekday afternoon.

Esme, which I randomly stumbled upon a few months ago in the northern part of Greenpoint, immediately came to mind. And they were happy to have us.

(more…)


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

SADLY, MR. DONAHUE’S IS NOW CLOSED.

MR. DONAHUE'S, 203 Mott Street (between Kenmare and Spring Street), N
When I was in Nashville years ago, I had a meal I will never forget at an old-school cafeteria called Arnold’s. It’s what’s known as a “meat-and-three”, an establishment that serves you hearty American food comprised of one meat and three sides of your choice.

While many American restaurants practice the same concept, it’s rarely done as simply or as well as at a place like Arnold’s. Now a new spot in NYC has tried to emulate that experience.

The chef and owner from Nolita Thai restaurant Uncle Boon’s are the brainchildren behind Mr. Donahue’s, a tiny nostalgic counter (the small storefront literally has 9 seats!!) that brands itself as a modern meat-and-three. It’s quite different from Arnold’s, but it’s great in its own way. (more…)


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