Thursday, August 18, 2011


Please stop visiting this site!
I've moved my blog to:
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Sunday, July 10, 2011


Please visit and subscribe to Carey's Culinary Adventures at the NEW and improved website:

I will no longer be updating this site and all new entries will be posted to the above link instead from now on.

Buhbye Google Blogger. Good riddance.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vermicelli: 1492 2nd ave. New York, NY

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wild Edibles: 535 3rd ave, NY NY

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chez Carey! Summer Shrimp Salad

Monday, June 27, 2011

Candle Cafe: 1307 3rd Ave. NY NY

Monday, June 20, 2011

Omonia Cafe: 3220 Broadway Astoria, NY

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Iron Horse Grill: 20 Wheeler Ave, Pleasantville, NY

Anyone who thinks you need to be in NYC to have an amazing 5 star meal, PLEASE go try this place. Up in suburban Pleasantville, NY in the old train station, is a lovely, small, incredible dining experience waiting for your visit. The owner, Philip McGrath, has a ridiculously impressive resume having chefed at many of NYC’s top restaurants, but as a family man he wanted  a quieter, more intimate setting to call his home. His attention to detail and integrity comes through as he comes out to personally meet each of his customers, engaging in friendly conversation, and making sure that every plate is perfect. It’s special touches like these that set Iron Horse apart from the sea of above average restaurants as far as I’m concerned.
Nothing trendy about the atmosphere here, just classic, traditional decor and waitstaff who not only know their stuff, but clearly look at it as a career and not just as a job.
My mother and I were celebrating her birthday and since we have the same tastes in food, we decided to share all of the apps, entrees and dessert that we ordered. How wonderful was it that the kitchen was willing to half-plate everything for us so there was no clumsy plate-swapping involved? It was so luxurious to be served our 3 courses in what felt like a 5 course meal.
A lovely , fresh bread basket and crisp, green olives were brought out promptly to wet our already voracious appetites. The first course served was a chilled carrot/dill soup, complete with homemade, waffled potato chips and a small pile of delicious flaked crab. This soup was phenomenal and light- no cream, just the veggies and crab. Perfect for a warm summer evening.
Next we had the peakytoe crab with corn, avocado and caviar and WOW, this was a perfect dish. Also incredibly summer-ific, light and totally succulent. Each flavor stood on it’s own as well as complementing the others that sat beside it. One of the things I love about this chef is that he never overwhelms flavors with excessive seasoning or oil. The dishes are all quite healthy and unmasked and you really get to enjoy the flavor of each top-quality ingredient without disguise. The actual plating of this dish was really quite beautiful as you can see in my photos.
For our entrees we shared the sole over mashed potatoes and the special of the day: my favorite, soft-shelled crabs which were served over wild rice, fiddleheads and almonds. This was a remarkable dish- that stood out to me even among it’s exceptional menu-partners. I don’t think it’s possible to go wrong at this restaurant.
By this time we were SO full, but it WAS a birthday so we HAD to at least look at the dessert menu. And okay, maybe we didn’t exactly need our arms twisted to try the special of the day, a key lime pie with coconut sorbet. I was really glad we went for it, with it’s crisp meringue topping and the delightful coconut sorbet, this key lime was refreshing and as light as can be and perfectly polished off our outstanding meal. This is officially one of my all-time favorite restaurants and I would love to return.
If you are ever in the area, or want a lovely escape from the city, take metronorth up to Pleasantville and you are right there at the Iron Horse. You will thank me, I promise.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Switching to wordpress....

Hello all!
I am in the process of moving over to wordpress after countless frustrations with blogger...
Please visit and tell me what you think of the new format...

Cozy Soup 'n' Burger: 739 Broadway, NY NY

What better way to replenish iron levels after blood donation than indulging in a ridiculously large burger?? None that I know of. I love a good burger. I probably eat one every 2 months or so and looked forward to this for a couple of weeks knowing it was coming. The burger menu at Cozy's is an entire page long. Burgers with just about everything you can think of on them. I decided to go for their signature burger with cheddar, fried onions and mushrooms and Mmmm, good choice. Although I ordered it 'medium' it came out closer to well done, but that was just fine by me. Smothered in cheese and toppings, it was basically just a melty, delicious pile of more protein, carbs and fat than one person should really ever consume in one sitting....but ohhhhh so worth it. I figured at that point, I may as well have the classic chocolate egg cream that compliments such an overdo, and compliment it did. So chocolatey good and creamy. To amuse myself, I ordered a side salad instead of the french fries that would have made this a 'deluxe' platter. Making the healthy choice at this point is pretty much laughable. That said, I did taste the fries and thought they were kind of undercooked and mushy. I didn't miss out on those at all.

 The service at this diner was actually pretty awesome. Our waiter was super friendly and funny- when we asked him exactly who had awarded their milkshake as #1, which was boldly written on the menu, he chuckled and basically said that they had given themselves the award. He was attentive and quick to serve our food and refill our water. The atmosphere is exactly what it should be, a cozy, little, old-fashioned, greasy-spoon diner. The burgers are a step or 2 above typical diner food but are priced very fairly. Is this the best burger in the city? No, but it was damn enjoyable, and I will happily be running long today to compensate.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

BLT Fish: 21 West 17th st. New York, NY

I'd been wanting to try BLT fish for a while and a super sticky summer day provided the perfect opportunity. When my date and I found out that happy hour oysters and clams were just a buck each, we were all over it.  Arriving right at the start of happy hour, it was clear that we weren't the only ones who knew about this deal and the bar filled up very quickly.
Not pictured is the awesome mojito I ordered. I drink very rarely, but love a mojito on a hot day and it went oh-so-well with the seafood we shared. Filled with tons of freshly muddled mint and lime, it totally hit the spot. Deeeeeelcious and so refreshing without totally knocking me on my ass. Okay, maybe it knocked me on my ass a little bit.
On to the food! We ordered an assortment raw shellfish and apps.
The blue point oysters, top neck and little necks arrived quickly on a bed of shaved ice. The two sauces, one cocktail and the other a wine/shallots/vinaigrette mixed really well together and were the perfect topping on the fresh shellfish. They were all so fresh and succulent that we polished them off and ordered more. At $1 per, how could we not?!?!
The peel & eat shrimp arrived and were surprised to see they weren't the typical boiled or steamed ones that are commonly described that way. These had a strong rosemary flavor and were either broiled or grilled which added a lovely smokiness to them. Cooked perfectly, they didn't need any sauce at all but were even better with a squeeze of lemon over the top.
We also ordered the stuffed jalapenos and WOW. They were so awesome. A light batter coating added to the triple layers of texture. The jalapenos themselves were still slightly crunchy and stuffed with a gooey melty cheese,       they were pretty much perfection. Add a spicy aioli dipping sauce and voila, couldn't be better.
Our bill came to around $60 total, and considering the amount of excellent food and drink we'd just enjoyed, I thought that was incredibly reasonable. I will definitely be back.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

La Maison Du Chocolat, Summer Collection Tasting event. 1018 Madison Ave NY, NY (Multiple locations)

What an absolute honor to be invited to an industry-only tasting event at the finest chocolate shop in New York. I was warmly greeted by Haley-the-hostess who presented me with my press kit detailing the delectable chocolates I was about to enjoy. I was led into the back room to find a dozen other food writers schmoozing around small tables of the sweets I was about to indulge in. I found Horacio, the gentleman who invited me and profusely thanked him for allowing me in on such an exclusive event. I honesty felt privileged to be there and was treated like a V.I.P the whole time.
I was then given an extensive tour of the desserts on each table, and had plenty of one-on-one time to learn about the specifics and ask my many questions. I took my photographs during this tour so that I'd be able to taste everything afterwards without the distraction of my camera.
I started with the Salvador Raspberry Mousse Cake. As beautiful to the eyes and it was in my mouth. The slight crunch of the raspberries in the filling contrasted wonderfully with the smooth, creamy mousse. The ganache on top glistened and melted in my mouth. The overall flavor was incredibly rich, but somehow light and airy as well. A perfect first course.
Next, I moved on to try the BEST macaron I've ever had in my life. Not to be confused with coconut macaroons, macarons are a French pastry, more like a crisp meringue cookie made of egg whites and almonds and filled with various delicious creams. This one was the Macaron Sylvia: made of a shell with cocoa, and filled with luscious milk chocolate ganache, notes of biscuits and honey.  The flavor and texture was unbelievable and it turned out to be my favorite treat of the day.
Ready to move from the pastries on to the 'hard stuff', I sipped on a glass of cold water to cleanse my taste buds before the next adventure. The collection of chocolate is the new summer offering from Maison, and they are each little pieces of art with tastes as exquisite as their designs. The first was Etzia, a creamy milk chocolate ganache with a hint of 2 honeys, one which was floral and the other which was from chestnuts. What a unique flavor this combination was, I thought about having a second piece, but alas there was still so much more to save room for. I moved on to the Txokolate Iluna (what a lovely name) which was a dark chocolate with a hint of smokiness. Next was the praline macaron which was smooth with almonds and the slightly crisp bits of macaron inside. I loved the texture of this one, and thought it was quite different than the smoothness of the others. My favorite piece was the Almond paste with Patxaran. A mouthwatering dark chocolate with almond paste inside. Totally and completely delicious. This is the one that I will most likely return for, a crave-able flavor for sure. Last was the Espeletako Piperra, a dark chocolate with two different kinds of pepper. I found the pepper to be extremely subtle, and had to wait for it in the aftertaste as it was not immediately noticeable. The chili pepper pattern on top was a delightful touch.
I thought it was really charming that the next step, as my host explained, was the palette cleanser: a quintet of ice creams and sorbets to finish the day. They were presented in icy shot glasses, each with their own little perfectly fitting lid. Having been in to try the fantastic chocolate sorbet on a prior occasion, I decided to start with the caramel ice cream. Creamy, smooth, rich and complex, this flavor is perfect on it's own- no need to follow the trend of adding salt like so many restaurants are hip on doing these days. The pistachio was outstanding and I must add it to my list of favorite foods. No fake, chemically green color here, oh no. This pistachio ice cream has way too much class and integrity for shenanigans like that. Both the strawberry and raspberry sorbets are light, refreshing, and truly did work as a perfect end to a delightfully rich afternoon. It's very hard to find anything less than perfect about this 'meal' although I did find the fruit sorbets slightly too sweet for my own preferences. Then again, maybe that was just because I was in complete state of sugar overload at that point and anything aside from water might have been one step too far.
As I said my goodbyes, I was handed a gift bag and was thrilled to find a couple of truffles and two more the best macarons ever inside. Oh, I am a lucky girl indeed.
 All in all, La Maison is a true treasure and I am incredibly flattered that my blog allowed me to take part in this event. My hobby has come full circle at this point, turning something that I started just for fun into a truly valuable passion. I think the famous saying can now be changed to "Do what you love and the chocolate will follow."  To me, chocolate of this caliber is worth far more than it's weight in gold.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bocca East: 1496 2nd ave. New York NY

Bocca East opened about 3 weeks ago in my neighborhood, finally replacing a restaurant that closed after a fire last year. On a block with a few other excellent Italian places, I was surprised that every time I walked past it's been totally packed. Huge windows allowed a peak into the restaurant, which is rustic, cozy, warm and welcoming with brick walls, tons of displayed wine bottles, fire places and artsy chandeliers. The bar goes the entire length of the restaurant and looks very conducive to eating and drinking alone. Towards the back, the windows continue and you can look in on the kitchen which I really like...Nothing to hide.
A friend and I met for dinner tonight. We made reservations for 7:30 and were seated immediately. Water and bread were brought out right away as we browsed the menu- which was very similar to Uva, one of my local favorites just a few doors over. The wine list is extensive, 3 times the size of the food menu, so I decided to have a taste size glass of Pinot Grigio. I LOVE when restaurants offer this petite size, perfect for someone like me that has a low tolerance but loves the taste.
The bread was fresh and had a great consistency, but I felt the olive oil for dipping was not the best quality. I ordered the artichokes starter which came with a delicious basil aioli dipping sauce and I was very impressed with it. The artichokes were quartered and pan fried. They were not coated in any kind of breading or batter so you could really just taste the vegetable without grease or crust in the way. Fantastic appetizer for an artichoke lover like myself. For my entree I had the Rigatoni with eggplant and ricotta and I absolutely loved it. The pasta was obviously homemade and cooked perfectly al dente. The light tomato sauce and eggplant were hearty without being heavy, and the cubes of ricotta added a rich, creamy touch. I had ordered a half size portion (another size option that I love) and cleaned my plate. The only negative here was the service. Our waitress was clearly rushed in telling us the specials and did not check in us much at all. They have a staff of busboys who pretty much take over after orders are placed and we literally sat and chatted for half an hour after we were offered dessert and declined. When we finally saw our waitress, who had pretty much vanished, we asked for the check. Now, don't get me wrong. I  DO like to be able to chat without feeling like we are being rushed out the door, but I also feel that in periodic check-ins are the wait staff's responsibility and that was clearly not part of her repertoire. I think they are a bit understaffed since they are so new, and they will probably work out these kinks as they go forward.
 Overall this is very comparable to it's neighbor Uva, with a similar vibe and similar menu, but here they take reservations, a total plus. Being that it's a 2 block walk from my house, I'm quite sure I'll be returning. Glad to welcome it to the neighborhood!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Red Bamboo: 140 West 4th st. New York NY

 Yay! I finally had an opportunity to try Red Bamboo tonight, a restaurant I have heard good things about for years but for some reason never went to until now. The menu is a lot more extensive than I expected. For some reason I thought it was all asian-based, but it's not at all. Although there are plenty of asian options, there are also plenty of other choices including Italian influences, southern, indian etc. and it's all vegan.
We started with the crab rangoon and though it didn't really taste like crab, it sure was tasty with a zippy dipping sauce. Not cream cheesy like the 'classic' rangoon, but so enjoyable. For my entree I had the mango chicken, which my photo really doesn't do justice for. It was really quite pretty, presented in the hollowed out mango shell and served with peppers, onions and strips of mango in a sweet sauce. The soy chicken was a shockingly close replica to 'real' chicken and I could totally consider going back to vegetarianism (I was veg for 12 years in my younger days) if I could make it taste like that at home. I had a taste of my date's oxtail stew, and while we agreed that it really didn't taste anything like oxtail, and it's consistency was something from another planet, it too was interesting, complex, totally unique and hearty. The best part of our meal was the oreo cheesecake. As dense, rich, creamy and amazing as a 'real' cheesecake would be, but with zero dairy. Our waitress assured us that it was indeed dairy-free but also that it really wasn't any less indulgent health-wise than the real thing. In this case, it was worth every forkful but even between the 2 of us we were unable to finish it despite it's deliciousness. I would absolutely recommend Red Bamboo to vegans, meat eaters and everything in between. They have a real talent for the non-animal, and I think you should let them impress you too!

Brasserie Julien: 1422 Third Ave. New York, NY

 I met a friend here for brunch today and was greeted by the hostess who actually recognized my voice from when I called to make the reservation last night. VERY impressive! It's that kind of attention to detail that I really love and take notice of.
We were seated immediately in a partially indoor/partially outdoor spot. Ice water, bread and butter were served, and I thought I tasted a faint orange flavor to the butter, nice touch! (or maybe the butter is just stored near the orange juice in the fridge and takes on it's flavor. Either way, I liked it)
I ordered the eggs benedict. (with the hollandaise on the side because I don't usually like it) As you can see, it was a lovely presentation and included fresh fruit, a small salad, and a piece of sweet potato gratin. The eggs were slightly warm, but definitely not hot. The english muffin and spinach that it sat atop was sort of on the cold side, and the bread tasted stale to me. The sweet potato gratin was close to inedible. I had one bite and then rejected the rest. Slimy, cold and greasy. Definitely NOT worth the carbs this time. I ate the eggs (which were cooked very nicely even though they were cool), the salad and the fruit and picked at the spinach and half of the english muffin a little. The rest remained on my plate. For dessert, I had a taste of my friend's 'Berry Avalanche' and though the berries were fresh and plentiful, and the custard rich and creamy, the filo pastry was definitely stale. Again, not worth it. The service, aside from the hostess, was lacking. Although she was friendly, she was very slow in between courses and even slower to bring the check and have the plates cleared even though we'd been finished eating for a pretty long time. When my friend asked for 1/2 and 1/2 for her coffee, our waitress told her they only had milk. At a French restaurant? What? That was totally impossible to believe knowing how many French foods require cream for their preparation. My friend decided to ask the busboy for some cream and he replied, "Would you like 1/2 and 1/2 or milk"? Ummm, okay. He brought out a small pitcher of 1/2 and 1/2 a minute later for her. Ooooookay. Anyway, though seeing my friend is ALWAYS a complete delight, I thought this restaurant was sub-par. It's always crowded with a typical Upper East Side clientele though- just another case of diners with little discretion for food as long as it's a hip place to be seen.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chez Carey! Crab stuffed mushrooms (and peppers for another day)

What's a rainy day good for? An opportunity for a cooking experiment of course! Remember that crab I had in the freezer that I used for this: Well, I STILL had 1/3 of it left and have been on a crab kick lately so today's experiment's object was to use it up. Using ingredients I already had on hand, I decided to make some stuffed mushrooms- a dish I play around with pretty often, but I must say, this is the best version of it I've ever made. I started by removing the stems from white mushrooms and chopping them up with shallots, parsley, (fresh from my city farmer fire escape window box garden!) a little chicken broth, black pepper, chopped garlic, and a few tablespoons of light cream cheese. I filled each mushroom with that mixture and topped each one with a sprinkle of grated parmesan, and a few pine nuts. Since I had some extra stuffing left, I decided to split and fill an orange pepper that I just put in the freezer for another day. Into the oven the mushrooms went, with about 1/2 cup of white wine in the baking dish. 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes and out they came, golden brown and simply delicious. I put some on top of my 'standard' salad (with balsamic and olive oil) for lunch and it was FANTASTIC. Give it a try! It's hard to mess this one up! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chez Carey! Soft shell crab almondine, salad & herby/lemon/mustard dressing

Soft shell crabs are one of my favorite foods in the world. They have a super short season, and tons of restaurants feature them. It seems like they are always really expensive and never as good as when I make them myself, so I was really excited when I saw that Fresh Direct had them on sale for only $3.99.
My favorite way to prepare them is almondine. That way, the crunch of the almonds makes the crunch of the shell slightly less disturbing. I dredged the crab in a mixture of a little flour and some old bay seafood seasoning, heated up about a tablespoon of light oil and sauteed them for a couple of minutes per side until they turned crispy and golden brown. Next, I toasted some raw almond slivers and topped the crab with them. While it cooled off a little, I made a salad of 5 different types of lettuces, red peppers, radishes, cucumbers, pepperoncinis, carrots and tomatoes. I happen to have some lovely herbs growing in my window box right now, so I made a light dressing out of lemon juice, mustard, cilantro, mint, parsley and a little olive oil. Yum yum yum. For a SUPER fast and easy lunch that's pretty healthy to boot, this one was a total winner. I'm hoping the crabs are still on sale next week because this one definitely warrants a repeat!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cafe Mogador: 101 St. Marks Place. NY NY.

 I met a date here for dinner last night and despite a packed house, a line of people outside waiting, and being told we'd have a 25 minute wait, we were pleasantly surprised to be seated at an outdoor table in the 'perfect' corner spot within about 5 minutes.
I'd never had Moroccan food before, but as soon as I started perusing the menu I realized it's really quite similar to Mediterranean or Middle Eastern, which I am very familiar with.
We started with the hummus appetizer, which was fantastic. The olive oil on top was silky and very high quality, and the texture of the hummus was just right, not too gravely, not too smooth, and extremely rich and creamy. The fresh, hot pita bread was the perfect scooper for it and we polished it off quickly.
I was feeling pretty full already and was glad that I ordered a relatively light dish compared to the heavy meats and grains that the menu consisted mostly of. I was very impressed with my delicious salmon (although it was supposed to be medium rare and was definitely closer to well-done). It had a crispy crust and sat on a bed of beets and crunchy turnips (or maybe parsnips) that added a nice textural element to the fish. The cous cous, which is normally not my favorite grain, was actually really enjoyable, especially with the flavors of the salmon's sauce mixed in. A taste of my date's lamb was awesome and extremely tender, and I could see why it's one of his favorite dishes at a favorite place.
Next time I am asked if I've ever had Moroccan food I won't have to say no!

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Mussel Pot: 174 Bleecker St. New York, NY

Hooray for monthly-Friday-restaurant-adventures-with-Betsy! She picked this deal up on Bloomspot- so we had $60 to spend for $30. Awesome! Glancing over the very reasonable prices, Betsy was a little concerned that we might not be able to even spend all $60, but I assured her that I could easily eat that much worth in oysters alone if need be.
My photo just does not do this lovely garden justice. Even with beautiful Betsy sitting there in vacation-mode, it just can't capture what an unexpected city oasis this is. There is a coi pond, rock garden, and a small waterfall quietly tink-tink-tink-ing. It happened to be a gorgeous,  70 degree day that was exactly perfect for eating lunch outside.
 Our waiter, Shane, was excellent right from the start. Funny, charismatic, well-informed, polite AND cute. He made some great recommendations for us and gave us plenty of time to decide while Betsy and I caught up. (she also let me have a taste of her delicious strawberry/basil mojito which I loved- but alas refrained from ordering since I had to go work in a little bit)
 I was SO excited for oysters- one of my favorite foods, but Betsy was skeptical. She'd only tried them once before and was not a fan. As my theory goes, it sometimes takes a second try to like things and I was ecstatic that such was the case here. We ordered 6 west coasts and 6 blue points and they arrived promptly with a trio of sauces; horseradish, cocktail and a champagne vinaigrette (that was gulp-able on it's own). They were outstanding oysters. Not too brine-y, super-fresh and the perfect size. The only thing I didn't love was that they weren't loosened from the shell already as some restaurants do, and they required a little manhandling.
Next we had 2 different kinds of mussels, because after all- anyone who comes to the Mussel Pot and DOESN'T get mussels, well frankly, why would you do that? I was laughing the other day as I read a review on Yelp that complained about how bad the fried chicken was. Ummm. Ya. Don't go to a mussel restaurant for chicken, genius! Oiy. Anyway, I felt a bit like I was cheating on Flex Mussels since that's one of my fav go-to spots, but WOW, this was worth cheating for. We had the Asian Thai mussels (red curry, lemongrass, cilantro, coconut milk, couscous) which were creamier than I would have expected, with a little spicy kick that was perfect. We also had the 'Chef's Best' mussels (lobster cheese fondue, pancetta, black truffles  ) which were totally rich, indulgent, and luxurious. The two types actually went well together, which was VERY surprising. When the waiter brought us some bread for dipping, we were pretty much in heaven. (especially with the cheesy one)
I wasn't stuffed enough to refuse dessert and since Betsy doesn't have a sweet tooth like I do, she let me pick. I asked Shane about the Nutella Flan and he raved so much about it that I knew I'd made a good choice. I am not a big flan person, but this sounded interesting with chocolate ganache, caramel, roasted almonds and berries and I was SO SO SO glad I ordered it. A deep, rich chocolate/hazelnut flavor that somehow tasted dense and light at the same time. I had no problem cleaning the plate- even with Betsy's singular teaspoonful.
I would strongly recommend a visit to the Mussel Pot if you love mussels and/or oysters and/or dessert. Try to get a spot in the garden and you will feel like you've escaped from the hustle and bustle for an hour. Oh, and don't have to go to work afterwards so that you too can enjoy a beautiful cocktail!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Frankie's 17: 17 Clinton St. New York, NY

 It's true. I rarely venture downtown much anymore unless I'm meeting someone or I have a gig. Well, luckily for me today the friend I was meeting suggested this great lower east side brunch spot. I read up online a bit, and it was clear that I may as well get my long run in early to offset the amount of carbs I was about to consume. The french toast was reviewed glowingly by so many people that I was sure it's what I'd be ordering.
We were seated immediately and ordered lattes that turned out to be really excellent and beautiful. We shared the beets and avocado appetizer which was quite tasty, but not terribly exciting.  The French toast, on the other hand, was definitely noteworthy. Wow. Dare I say the BEST French toast I've ever had? Why yes, I do dare. Freshly made with bread from Grandaisy bakery did not leave anything else to be desired. Perfectly crisp on the outside and decadently eggy and sweet on the inside. A light maple syrup and a dusting of confectioner's sugar finished it beautifully, as did the few pieces of fruit who's purpose was clearly to ease the indulgent guilt of eating sugary bread for a meal. I was completely stuffed to the brim after only one piece and am rather excited to have the other half for a midnight snack tonight or for breakfast tomorrow.
I surprised even myself by being too full to order my own dessert, but of course I DID manage to find enough room to taste my friend's red-wine prunes and marscapone, a dessert that really wouldn't have appealed to me at all (what with the absence of chocolate), but was surprisingly good. The creamy marscapone was so buttery and rich that the wine-soaked prunes actually cut it with their rich, juicy, sweet flavor. Overall, Frankie's 17 was definitely worth the bus ride down and I would strongly recommend it if you are in the area.


Friday, May 6, 2011

E.A.T. 1064 Madison Ave. New York NY

 My mom and I were walking in the area so we went in to have lunch. She had an omelet that came with a small fields greens salad. I had a shrimp salad with field greens. We both had a lemonade. My mom had a cup of coffee. Not a latte, not a cappuccino, a simple cup of coffee that was FIVE BUCKS. Ridic. With tip, our grand total was $70. Ummm what you ask? Did I read that right? Yes you did. I said SEVENTY DOLLARS! I find that completely and totally appalling. We could have gone for a prix fix lunch at a fancy restaurant for the same cost. Seriously E.A.T? You are basically a casual diner-type place in a semi-fancy area so you think you are justified for this kind of pricing? REALLY? Wow. I guess a lot of the folks who live in the area don't even bother looking at the check before they pay it, which is the only
                          explanation I have for the fact that this place is always busy. As far as I'm concerned, I will never go in again.
Don't get me wrong, the food was tasty. The service was attentive and fast. But the price? Ohhhhh the price. Unforgivable. It's places like this that give Upper East Siders like me a bad name and I do not appreciate it. Boooo E.A.T. Boooooo. You get one star. I kind of wish the food wasn't good so I could give you zero.

Friday, April 29, 2011

V-note: 1522 First Ave, New York, NY

When V-note first opened in my neighborhood and I found out that it was the same owners as Blossom Cafe on the
UWS, I wasn't really all that interested in trying it. (See my review of Cafe Blossom Here:
When I saw a Groupon for $30 worth of food for $15, I decided that maybe it was worth a try after all. The decor was totally appealing with sexy black lacquer walls, white leather banquettes and modern throw pillows. I pass by frequently and often see good crowds dining there late in the evening.
My friend and I headed over for a late lunch today and were 1 of 2 full tables which ended up meaning really attentive service. Our waiter was friendly and made some great recommendations for us. Even though I didn't adore the burger at Blossom, I decided to give it another try here since it's still the most popular dish. Well, I am so glad that I have my 'try everything twice rule' because this time, I was completely blown away. The soy cheese was crispy on the outside, but gooey and melty inside. The soy burger and soy bacon were both hearty, earthy, and really delicious. The bacon had a shockingly 'real' crispness to it and could hardly tell the difference. How do they do that? The caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms and chipotle aioli topped it off beautifully and even though I was stuffed after half, I managed to find room for another few bites. My friend got the sweet potato fries and I got the side salad and both were perfect accompaniments to the burger.
For dessert I just had to try the chocolate ganache cake with peanut butter. It was ridiculous. (Ridiculously good) I couldn't believe that something dairy free could be this rich. If I could afford to eat out everyday, I think I could really do the vegan thing after all. I'm so glad I gave this place a try and I will definitely be back with my veggie friends!