Posts tagged Dinner
Posts tagged Dinner
“I feel cooler for having eaten here,” my friend said as we sat back in our seats, stomachs full, staring at the carcass of our bronzino and remains of mac and cheese. I couldn’t have agreed more. And not only that, I think my palate is grateful for the wonderful dining experience and angry at the same time that no meal for a while will live up to this.
Everything about our meal at the exclusive, hidden Bohemian restaurant was memorable. The service, the food and the other patrons, one in particular spilled invaluable culinary knowledge about dining in New York, D.C., Philly, and Tokyo. He had to be someone in the culinary world, and I will continue to try and figure out who until I see him on the cover of some big magazine. I learned, or attempted to learn, how to cut fish cheeks out of my bronzino and have a new documentary to watch. A meal at Bohemian is not just about the food, it’s being around other foodies, real foodies, and sharing the magical, ritualistic experience that is dining.
Walking down Great Jones Street at 9:45, we searched for street numbers on the dark, but crowded sidewalk. Finally, we saw the little number “57” on a graffitied doorway. A little paper taped sign, that one would not notice unless searching, directed us down the ramp way and through an open doorway. This scenario reminded me of the stories of horrors down hidden door ways, however we were confident and our fears disappeared once we went further down the rabbit hole.
I pressed the buzzer, and a trendy, young Asian women opened the door. Bohemian is an intimate restaurant, with simple decor of signed guitars and little Japanese flare with a simple plants and to in a cutout window at the far end of the restaurant. A sushi bar on the other side seats about four, with masterful chefs creating wonderful, intricate dishes. At the five tables in the restaurant, the seats were low and plush, with pillows attached to each one for added comfort. I immediately regretted wearing heels out, longing for slippers to curl up in a ball in the chair.
Every part of the restaurant, with the simple attention to detail, felt comfortable and special. The napkins were old sheets or rags of some sort. Each one unique from the last. Chopsticks sat on black stone, which reminded me of lava rocks. With this much detail and care put into the decor, I knew the food would blow me away. The waitress placed cold, lemon cloth towels in front of us to wash our hands, ridding us from any dirt from the outside world.
After drinks at Standard Beer Garden and dancing at Hog’s, my friend Rachel and I were starving for the dinner we had missed. Although Meatpacking is home to some of the best restaurants in the city, the prices were far from wallet friendly. We both knew a little salad would not suffice, causing us to turn to the best thing at that hour; burgers.
Rachel had been to the delicious, hidden Corner Bistro. I had actually been to this location a few summers ago for drinks, not knowing about their food.
We entered the dimly lit, dark bar. The place was packed for 11:30pm on a Tuesday night. Friends crowded around tables, digging into the food in front of them. The loud noise and fun atmosphere made this more then just a late night meal.
We sat down at the bar. Unknowingly I quickly ordered a Pilsner, my favorite Czech beer. We looked back up at the tap list and noticed that they served McSorley’s light and dark beer. Bummer. For next time.
The menu is on a board, showing very simple items and inexpensive prices. We ordered the Bistro Burger to share and fries, with a side of mayo.
I kept eying the food placed around us, inhaling the sweet aroma of melted cheese, sizzling bacon and meat, stomach grumbling. Finally, the paper plate of fries and burger were placed right in front of us. They brought a side plate with a knife on top to split the delicious burger. I took all my might not to dive in and devour the burger instantly.
Getting off the M train at Essex Street, my sister posed the question about up and coming areas in NYC. “What determines what is in and what is out? This whole area seems kind of sketchy.” At 10pm on a Wednesday night, without alcohol goggles and groups of friends, the Lower East Side gives off an unwelcoming vibe. The dark, unlit sidewalks, garbage on the street and unfriendly faces, made New York intimidating. However, I knew our destination and led my sister down Essex.
We arrived at our location, with the glaring yellow lights of “Beauty & Essex” giving some life to the dead street.
We walked through the glass doors, with the window displays revealing unwanted jewelry and nick-knacks you would find at your unfashionable Great-Aunt’s house, which hadn’t been redecorated since the first World War. We entered the storefront, with the little room filled with similar pawn shop items, blending in with the entire outside vibe of the street. A large, tough gentleman stood by a back door and a trendy young girl stood behind the check out counter. I said to the gentleman that we had a reservation.
He opened the door to another world.
We entered Beauty & Essex, a creation of Chris Santos’s imagination (he also owns the famed Stanton Social). The dark decor and restaurant gives off a Prohibition Era vibe, with the secretly hidden restaurant, elegant chandeliers, dark floral bouquets and up beat music at just the right volume level.
We approached the hostess stand, decorated with open glass and more pawn shop jewelry. We were immediately led towards the back of the restaurant, to a lovely end table, right off of the main dining room. I sat back on a black, leather couch staring out at the other tables and beautiful people occupying them.
I opened the menu, to the sweet inscribed message, “Start Sharing at Beauty & Essex.”
While in Montauk, it seemed necessary to consume as much local, fresh seafood as humanly possible. We wanted to make a fun dinner reservation at one of the few, but delicious, restaurants on this part of the island. Most places seemed to be booked up for reasonable dining hours, so we decided to go Manhattan on Montauk and head to dinner at 10:15pm. We decided to try South Edison, a seafood restaurant located two blocks off the ocean in the heart of Montauk.
We arrived early, attempting to snag a table a bit earlier. Unfortunately, the lively restaurant was at capacity. We decided to grab a drink around the corner while waiting for our table to become available.
After a glass of wine at Montauk Beach House, we ventured back to South Edison for what would be an unforgettable meal. The adorable host, Dennis, seated us in one of the small rooms, off to the side at a light wooden table. The nautical, but classy decor creates the perfect atmosphere of fine, beach side dining.
We all decided to start the meal off right with some of their unique and delicious looking drinks. I ordered the Montauk Mojito, as recommended by the host. Rachel took a more adventurous route, ordering a Martini with homemade pickle juice.
Graffiti artist turned chef epitomizes the essence of Gastroarte. Here, Chef Nunez, recent contestant on Iron Chef America against Michael Simon (he lost by 1 point) shows off his culinary skills and knowledge of artistic beauty. Not only are the plates presented works of art, but the taste and unique components come together to produce high end, delectable dishes.
I had seen Gastroarte pop up in the shape of a mustache on my ScoutMob* app for a while now, not sure what this restaurant around the corner was. After his Iron Chef experience, I realized that this place was something that needed to be tried.
My sister and I met on 69th for dinner at 9:30pm and were seated immediately with our reservation. The walls were decorated simply, but still allowed for graffiti artwork, with the Spanish theme in mind, covering the brick, scratched up walls. The funky table settings further elevated this high end scrap metal, grunge look.
Restaurant week drew me to Kin Shop’s doors, but the a la carte menu is why I stayed and would easily come back. This Thai Restaurant, owned by Top Chef Season 1 winner, Harold Dieterle, draws a hip, young crowd. It’s very appropriately located on the outskirts of the West Village with their whimsical and playful menu that combines spices and simple ingredients. The simple décor utilizes blues, greens and whites creating almost an ocean side feel. The light, wooden tables are situated close together, but with just enough space to not feel claustrophobic.
We were seated relatively quickly, debating what to order. All of the dishes being served around us looked absolutely incredible. Eventually, Rachel decided to still try restaurant week, since the dishes were unique to Kin Shop’s menu. I ordered a la carte, sticking the appetizer section. To start, Rachel ordered the Kale Salad and I went for the Pork Meatball Soup.
Hidden behind the NYU Hospital in nameless Manhattan is a culinary gem and dining experience that should be discovered by all. Riverpark by Tom Colicchio (owner of Craft and Colicchio & Sons Restaurants and more importantly, head judge of Top Chef) combines the farm to table experience in a way that makes all others fall short. The reason, I assume, for the off the beaten path location is the vast amount of land available. Riverpark grows its produce in an adjacent farm, allowing for fresh seasonal ingredients, picked daily, to shine throughout all of their dishes.
After looking a bit confused, a security guard directed me into a lovely all glass looking office building, located across from the farm. I followed the signs and finally arrived at the restaurant. Elegant lights hung from the ceiling making the room sparkle. The light wooden tables and blue accents created an almost magical dining room.