Maman Soho, New York NY

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Maman Soho


Iced Coffee

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Almond Croissant

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Crème Brulee Croissant

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Housemade Snickers Bar

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Chocolate Pistachio Croissant

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White Chocolate Pretzel Cookie

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Vanilla Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

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Now with three locations in Manhattan, one in Brooklyn and another in Canada it may fairly be said that Maman is a chain, the concept born out of Southern France and brought to America by two entrepreneurs focused on farm-fresh ingredients widely respected for a menu prone to change, though the service at the Soho location on a Wednesday morning was anything but warm.

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Slightly different from location to location, the Tribeca store offering seated Lunch and Brunch while Soho focuses largely on to-go Pastries, Sandwiches and Salads with no WiFi for those wishing to stay and enjoy a cup of Coffee, the interior of the space at 239 Centre Street can best be described as shabby-chic with a touch of kitsch, the bathroom lined in old family photographs while decoration is provided by wooden trunks and woven baskets of plants.

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Featuring the recipes of Armand Arnal, a Michelin-starred Chef still residing in France, diners approaching Maman are visually greeted by a dark Blue façade followed by a counter divided into two-halves by the register, the selection at 10:00am mostly sweet save for a few styles of Quiche with prices that are competitive with most of New York City, the Croissants $3.50 and Cookies similar.

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Opting for two Coffees, an Alain Milliat Nectar and six pastries, the cost of just under $45 divided by two friends, it was at a wooden table in back that Breakfast was enjoyed as one man sat reading a book while three others held a brief meeting, first bites of the Almond Croissant unfortunately finding it flat and flaccid with too much Frangipane while the caramelized Sugar-topped Crème Brulee was surprisingly a bit better off despite the custard, though it still falls far short of the masterfully laminated version at Union Fare by comparison.

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Moving on to a duo of cookies, not near as big as those at Union Fare or Levain despite a similar price, those looking for something sweet and salty would be advised to invest $3.75 in the White Chocolate Pretzel round with a crisp rim and soft center while steering clear of the ‘Vanilla’ Oatmeal Raisin that was clumpy and largely flavored like Sugar.

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Saving the $5 Housemade Snickers Bar for last, the idea essentially a Peanut-studded layer of Fudge atop a Nougat base with a touch of Salty Caramel, those looking for Maman’s most inspired bite should reach straight for the Chocolate Pistachio Croissant that takes the French standard Pain au Chocolat to new heights by adding grated Nuts to the top and interior, though it potentially could have been even better without the thin, green Cream.

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Posted in Croissant, Croissants, Maman, Maman Bakery, Maman Soho Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mah-Ze-Dar Bakery, New York NY

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Mah-Ze-Dar Bakery

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Cinnamon Brioche Braid

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Carrot Cake

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Banana Bread

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Chocolate Explosion Cookie

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Mah Ze Dar Bar

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Brioche Donuts

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A partnership between Tom Colicchio and Umber Ahmad, the later Pakistani by descent but raised in Michigan where her youth was influenced by both family and the diverse cultures around her, Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery on Greenwich Avenue is unlike most of New York’s newer Pastry Shops by design, the ideas rooted in French Technique but the offerings largely American Comfort Food Classics, upgraded.

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Playing on the word ‘Mazedar,’ an Urdu term related to taste that is stretched out to sound like “My Desire” when said aloud, it was early Wednesday morning that Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery was visited, and with two clerks managing the counter while Ahmad and Pastry Chef Shelly Acuña Barbera sat discussing business at a communal table in back the most difficult decisions were what *not* to get as over two-dozen items tempted inside glass cases.

Launched as a Colicchio “Discovery” project, the Celebrity Chef using some of his fame and fortune to shine a light on others, those entering Mah-Ze-Dahr will immediately be struck by the deep blues and polished surfaces lining the space, a few tables to the left of the door with a counter dividing the back room and kitchen from the front, free Wi-Fi with electrical outlets encouraging patrons to stay – something very different from places like Dominique Ansel, Daily Provisions or Manan where it seems almost as if ownership wants people to make a purchase and leave.

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Clearly a restaurant frequented by regulars, nearly half of the patrons greeted by name or a hug, it was with seven items plated or boxed that $28 of Pastry was taken to a standing space where cups of water reside, the Cinnamon Brioche Braid a wispy Roll of Butter and Spice topped in Pearl Sugar while the rounded Bostock is perhaps the best version yet seen in the United States, the crustless circle soft with Syrup and Almond Paste with an edge that bakes golden.

Cleverly offering a Mah-Ze-Dahr “Black Card,” the $300 investment allowing fans one pasty per day for a year, it would be hard to pass up such a thing if the Bakery were located down the block, the obvious talents of French Culinary Institute graduate Acuña Babera clearly visible with items including a lightly fried Brioche Donut that unexpectedly yields creamy Vanilla custard to even the slightest pressure, her time in kitchens such as Le Bernardin, L’Atelier de Robuchon and Aldea also paying dividends in the rich and chewy Chocolate “Explosion” Cookie and moist, naturally sweetened Banana Bread.

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At one time an online only operation, the duo’s goods eventually building a big enough following to go Brick and Mortar, it seems only appropriate that an idea described as “the culmination of years of traveling the world and experiencing people through their food” would be exemplified in their eponymous Bar consisting of Salted Caramel, Chocolate Chips, Pecans, bold Spices and Butter, the Carrot Cake that was saved for last a moist and elegant wedge with both Raisins and Walnuts plus ribbon-thin layers of Cream Cheese Frosting.

Mah-Ze-Dahr Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Breakfast, Dessert, Food, Mah-Ze-Dar, Mah-Ze-Dar Bakery, New York, Vacation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DŌ Cookie Dough Confections, New York NY

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DŌ Cookie Dough Confections

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Samples: Confetti, Sugar Cookie, Chocolate Brownie

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Sugar Cookie on a Birthday Cake Cone

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Confetti with Sprinkles on Pink Vanilla Cone

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Oatmeal M&M Cookie

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Salty Caramel Butterscotch Brownie

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Occasionally lured in by “Instagram-worthy” Food, though places such as Eggslut and Westminster’s The Loop have generally proven excessively priced and underwhelming, it was in the name of compromise that an evening stop was made at DŌ Cookie Dough Confections south of Washington Square Park near NOHO, the 2+ hour lines thankfully nowhere to be found at 8:30pm with rain threatening, though perhaps if they had been we’d have walked away without spending over $30 on such a poorly palatable product.

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Created by Kristen Tomlan, a design school graduate whose childhood love of baking spawned an idea that has grown by leaps and bounds since opening in early 2017 thanks to Social Media and appearances on The Chew, Today Show and more, DŌ brings the idea of edible ‘raw’ Cookie Dough to the mainstream with no less than a dozen flavors served by the scoop or in take-home pints, the Flour heat-treated and thus ready to eat while the moisture is derived from Pasteurized Egg Product, a salmonella-free protein similar to Egg Beaters or the liquid Egg Whites consumed by many fitness enthusiasts.

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At this point as much a product of lines-beget-lines as it is of novelty, DŌ opens at 10am Tuesday through Sunday and is frequently mobbed even before then until just before closing, the website going so far as to advise about “line policies” and how late last orders can be placed, the average customer appearing to be females in their late-teens or younger, the servers mostly the same though each seems painted with a perpetual smile as they dance and sing along to iHeartradio tunes played loudly overhead.

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Additionally offering unique Cones, Toppings and baked treats including Cookies, Blondies and Cupcakes, samples of the raw Dough understandably limited in order to keep the queue moving, it was after a few bites that two in the group opted for Scoops atop Cones flavored mostly like Sugar plus a few cooked treats that seats were taken in the pillow-lined window up front, neither of the two cones finished thanks to the cloying sweetness and clumpy texture, the description of “smooth” and “creamy” used by others not remotely accurate as each bite was actually unpleasantly firm and granular.

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Avoiding the phrase “I told ya so” and instead focusing on a fair-to-middling Oatmeal M&M Cookie that was unfortunately still a bit too soft despite a trip to the oven, the best bites of DŌ came by way of the Salty Caramel and Butterscotch Brownie, a $3.50 wedge that likely weighed at least 8oz with a texture that was surprisingly quite pleasant as the lightly melted Chips helped break up the monotony of the “Salty and Sweet” DŌ.

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Do, Cookie Dough Confections Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Dessert, , DŌ Cookie Dough, DŌ Cookie Dough Confections, Food, New York, Vacation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Williamsburg Pizza, New York NY

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Williamsburg Pizza

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Grandma Square – Fresh Basil, Parmagiano-Reggiano. Olive Oil. Housemade Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce

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Bianco Slice – Housemade Mozzarella, Ricotta, Parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano

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Fortunate enough to have visited the original Union Avenue Williamsburg Pizza shortly after opening, even then the Slices amongst New York’s best thanks to quality ingredients and the skills of Pizzaiolo Nino Coniglio, it was after dinner at Contra that a stop was made at Manhattan’s Lower East Side location tucked away on Broome Street, the Pizza now even better than remembered.

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Opened in late 2013 and felt by many to be the only legitimate place for a slice in the Two Bridges area even now, Williamsburg Pizza #2 is designed no different from many New York slice shops in that those fortunate enough to walk through its doors are greeted by a selection of pre-made Slices ready to be warmed or otherwise allowed to order a whole Pie fresh, additional menu choices including Heroes, Salads and Garlic Knots.

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Said to be one of the nation’s most obsessive Pizza makers, the youthful Coniglio still making everything from Dough to Sauce and Mozzarella from scratch each day even as his operation has expanded to Crown Heights and Barclay’s Center, a proper order at any of Williamsburg Pizza / Brooklyn Pizza Crew’s locations should include both a slice of Brooklyn Round and Grandma Square, the former truly old school with a crisp surface, plenty of bubbles and just a bit floppy while the Grandma puffs up big around the edges with a great chew and bit more yeast notable amidst the high-quality toppings.

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Williamsburg Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Food, Italian, New York, Pizza, Vacation, Williamsburg Pizza Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Contra, New York NY

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Crispy Potato with Flounder Roe and Pickled Pepper

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Green Blueberry, Radish, Fennel, Horseradish, Goat Feta

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Sourdough Bread, Cultured Butter

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Squid, Smoked Rhubarb, Lardo, White Asparagus, Oxalis

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Halibut, Green Peppercorn, Spring Onion, Morels

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Beef, Asparagus, Walnut Pesto

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Strawberry Semifreddo, Tarragon

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Hazelnut Ice Cream, Hazelnut Praline, Blackberry

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As the rare traveling-diner who does not watch FoodNetwork or any sort of culinary programming my knowledge of Chopped is only that which I have been able to glean from discussion, but if the premise is indeed Chefs being given a random set of ingredients with which they are to create something edible then Contra seems to be the Michelin starred equivalent of the hit Television show, dinner for one at 6pm seeing the prix-fixe offering a six course menu of arranged items that were not necessarily bad, but also seldom delicious.

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Opened in 2013 by friends Fabian von Hauske and Jeremiah Stone, stints at Noma and Faviken proudly touted as the pair carved out a tiny space in the Lower East Side known for loud music and interesting ingredients served without compromise or substitutions, it was in the 2017 Red Guide that the duo earned its first star, the original price of $55 since increased to $74 with their walk-in only Wildair offering an alternative for those unwilling to trust the chef implicitly.

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Only accepting reservations two-weeks in advance, the daily menu revealed less than 24-hours prior to Dinner, though usually similar to the offerings from a day before, it was just as the restaurant’s doors were unlocked that entry was made as music boomed overhead, a brief conversation with the waitress declining Wine in favor of water and asking her to not even waste the ingredients for a palate cleanser of Passion Fruit and Spruce, no substitution requested or expected, just a genuine disdain for the ingredients and an understanding of the menu’s rules.

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Seated at a tight two-top sharing a wall with the hallway towards the restroom, not a bad table as it allows for good lighting and full view of the kitchen, dinner at Contra is served in a fashion intended to be accommodating insofar as the Chefs are able to customize the pace at which it was served, the amuse featuring a Potato Chip topped in Pickled Peppers and Flounder Roe a bold bite signaling flavors to come and quickly followed by the bracing combination of sour Blueberries with Radishes, freshly grated Horseradish and Goat Cheese.

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Often spoke of fondly in regards to their Bread, the hefty Sourdough Rounds served as part of the Prix Fixe as well as at Wildair for $4, there is no doubt the Chefs learned a bit about how to make a rustic loaf during their time in the kitchen, the Cultured Butter adding a bit of Salt and Cream as did the Lardo present on plate two featuring several rings of grilled Squid atop a bed of smoked Rhubarb Puree and lightly cooked Asparagus.

Serving sizable portions that will not leave an average diner hungry, the slice of Halibut bathed in Peppercorn infused Butter and Spring Onions likely a bit over 3oz and topped in Morels without a doubt the night’s standout dish, it was only forty minutes after sitting down that the final savory of rare Beef was presented, in this case with tender green spears of Asparagus and Walnut Pesto – a perfectly fine plate, though nothing that would really seem all that out of place at Morton’s or Ruth’s Chris.

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Expecting one last course before hitting the road, though the kitchen graciously proved a bit less hard-nosed than their policy suggests by sending out a puck of Strawberry Semifreddo with bits of Tarragon and fragrant Oil in place of the aforementioned Passion Fruit, dinner was completed by 7:05pm with a ball of Hazelnut Ice Cream set against Praline powder and fresh Blackberries in their juice, the flavors pure and clean but in reality nothing more than a reminder of the importance of employing an actual Pastry Chef.

Contra Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Basket, Contra, Dessert, Food, Ice Cream, New York, Pork, Tasting Menu, Vacation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ice & Vice, New York NY

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Ice & Vice

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Samples: Tea Dance, Shade, Opium Den, Milk Money, Ants on a Farm, Olive Garden

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Detention Ice Cream Sandwich – Malted Vanilla Ice Cream coated in Fruity Pebble Dust sandwiched between Mexican Chocolate Brownies

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Single Scoop 9AM – Vietnamese Coffee and Doughnut Truffle

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Self-applying the term “experimental,” it should seem obvious that Ice & Vice on Manhattan’s Lower East Side is not the traditional Scoop shop, but even for those familiar with the Humphry Slocombes, OddFellows and Cool Hauses of the world the store created by Paul Kim and Ken Lo is aggressively pushing the boundaries of America’s favorite summer treat.

Going out of their way to exclude traditional ideas like Chocolate and Vanilla at first, but since coming to terms with the popularity of those flavors and offering their own twists like Malted Vanilla and Smoked Dark Chocolate “Shade,” Ice & Vice’s late-Spring Menu features a total of eleven flavors plus several toppings and uniquely flavored Cones such as Matcha and Salted Blue Corn with Honey, tastes of the aforementioned Shade as well as the Chocolate-swirled “Milk Money” both unique but familiar while the Celery and Raisin “Ants on a Farm” as well as the Black Garlic and Sweet Corn “Olive Garden” were downright strange, though well-textured and certainly not like anything seen in Ice Cream form before.

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Small and trendy but friendly in terms of service, seating available for about a dozen when accounting for tables and counter space, it was with friends ordering cones that the decision was made to invest in one scoop of the bitter-sweet 9AM with the bold flavor of Coffee and Coffee broken up by soft ‘Doughnut Truffles’ while the “Detention” Ice Cream Sandwich smashed a scoop of Malted Vanilla between two dense Brownies before rolling it in Fruity Pebbles for a flavor that oddly tasted a lot like Graeter’s Black Cherry Chocolate Chip.

Ice & Vice Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Coffee, Dessert, Food, Ice & Vice, Ice and Vice, Ice Cream, New York, Vacation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Clocktower, New York NY

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The Clocktower

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Sourdough with Cultured Butter

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Foie Gras and Chicken Liver Parfait – London Stout, Lentils du Puy, Smoked Duck Vinaigrette

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Fish & Chips – Mushy Peas, Triple Cooked Chips, Tartar Sauce, Ketchup and Vinegar

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Spotted Dick – Glazed Blueberries, Lemon Thyme Cream, Corn Tuille

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Pink Lady Apple Tart Tatin for two – Madagascar Vanilla Ice Cream

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Cold Brew Coffee

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Raspberry Bakewell Tart

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In 2014 a trip was made to London largely for Wimbledon, a Monty Python Reunion show and The Fat Duck in Bray, but left to decide on the trip’s most surprising meal that recognition belonged to Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social, a lengthy Lunch tasting showing the Chef executing bold plates that were both technique driven and innovative, his work finally brought to America thanks to restaurateur Stephen Starr and on display at The Clocktower inside The New York EDITION Hotel.

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Located up a spiral staircase inside the Met Life Building at 5 Madison Avenue, the “World’s Best Restaurant” only a few yards up the street, diners entering The Clocktower are quickly greeted at a hostess podium inside a bespoke space that is soon revealed to consist of at least five rooms inclusive of Bar, Library and Billiards plus two additional seating spaces, each decorated with dozens of framed photos featuring New York celebrities.

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Trained by the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Ferran Adria as well as Marco Pierre White, and now with over twenty restaurants spanning four continents, The Clocktower sees Chef Atherton taking a largely traditional approach to British Comfort Food Classics with a focus on good ingredients and time-honored technique, the weekday prix-fixe a surprisingly good deal with three courses, mignardises and a loaf of housemade Sourdough Bread with Cultured Butter for under $40.

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Troubled by staff turnover ever since opening, the restaurant now on at least it’s third Executive Chef in two years, late-May 2017 saw the space only approximately 1/4 full for Lunch on the Tuesday following Memorial Day weekend and with a nearly 1:1 Staff-to-Guest ratio the service was always present without being intrusive, questions answered without a moment of hesitation and the eventual order consisting of four plates delivered over the course of about eighty minutes.

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Offering three meals daily plus Brunch on weekends, each a little different with the full Dessert menu offered from 11:00am onward daily, it was as a third slice of Bread was debated that the first course arrived from the kitchen, the recently updated Liver Parfait a creamy blend of Chicken and Duck glazed in Beer alongside toasted Brioche and served atop nutty Lentils plus smoked Duck Breast and raw, warmed Vegetables.

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Told that Atherton’s Fish and Chips were something that should have been sought out in London, and thus happy to see the item offered at The Clocktower even though both the Chicken and Beef also seemed tempting, it would be hard to imagine a more perfect version of the British Classic than the crunchy plank of line-caught Icelandic Cod served with smashed Peas and Triple Cooked Fries plus Malt Vinegar, Ketchup and Tartar Sauce, the outside completely oilless while the flesh inside is flaky, moist and faintly sweet.

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Eating far more ‘Chips’ than usual, the thick-cut allowing for a Mashed Potato center and Golden skin, Desserts began with a seasonal steamed Pudding chockablock full of Blueberries and topped with fragrant Cream before moving on to the Pink Lady Apple Tart Tatin “for two,” the warm skillet filled by a flaky laminated base topped in caramelized Apples with more hot Caramel Sauce added tableside, the smooth Vanilla Ice Cream served in a sidecar best eaten as a melted ‘Soup’ to mellow the sweetness while the meal’s last bite, a complimentary Raspberry Bakewell Tart is warm, chewy and perfect with Coffee.

Clocktower Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Basket, Clocktower, Coffee, Dessert, Foie, Foie Gras, Food, Ice Cream, New York, The Clocktower, Vacation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bubby’s Tribeca, New York NY

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Bubby’s Tribeca

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Stumptown Coffee

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Buttermilk Biscuits with Vermont Creamery Butter and Housemade Raspberry Jam

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Fried Chicken Biscuit with Lettuce and Homemade Chips

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James Beard Banana Nut Pancakes – Caramelized Bananas, Toasted Walnuts, Doerfler’s 100% Maple Syrup

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Michigan Sour Cherry Pie with Whipped Cream

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Organic Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

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A Tribeca institution since 1990, and now featuring a second stop along the Highline, Bubby’s is what many may consider a New York classic these days, their focus on farm-fresh Ingredients for three meals a day, seven days a week perhaps less impressive now than it was when they started out but the Food and Urban-farm style still providing a nice Breakfast for both locals and tourists.

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Occupying a corner, the 120 Hudson doorway a bit difficult to locate as a Cow and several potted plants decorate the façade while the lengthier part of the Restaurant runs along North Moore Street, entrance to Bubby’s sees diners greeted by a lengthy bar with purveyors proudly listed on a chalkboard to the left, the hostess podium tucked just inside the dining room with everything from Restrooms to Ms. Pac-man and a functional photo booth found in the basement.

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Focused on classic American cuisine and not a lot of gimmicks, the prices a bit higher than one might expect for such Food but largely justified by a focus on sustainable farming and organic Produce, a look at Bubby’s menu shows Breakfast and Lunch to be rolled into one experience beginning at 8am daily with classics such as Pancakes and Omelets joined by items such as a Fried Chicken and Cuban Sandwiches.

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Serving refillable cups of Stumptown Coffee, one of the better deals in town for bottomless Brew at just $3, it was while waiting for two others that a large order was placed only to arrive mere seconds before they joined the party, a total of $86 after tax and tip admittedly expensive for Breakfast and the $20 Pancakes certainly overpriced, though still largely worth it considering the sharable size and bubbly Sourdough Batter topped in Caramelized Bananas and Toasted Walnuts plus as much as a whole Jug of 100% Maple Syrup, if one were so inclined.

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Unwilling and unable to resist Buttermilk Biscuits anywhere, the tanned rounds at Bubby’s sold $6 for two or $10 for four along with Butter from Vermont and housemade Jam, those looking for a pricey but delicious way to dress the softly-separating layers are encouraged to top them with a juicy Chicken Breast and Lettuce for $17, the side of hand-cut Chips unfortunately in need of a bit of salt but otherwise crunchy and completely oilless.

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Known primarily for their Pies, a total of six offered daily long before Petee’s, Pie Corps or Four & Twenty Blackbirds were a ‘thing,’ Bubby’s continues the seasonal theme by way of locally picked Apples, Rhubarb and Cherry, the latter a lip-puckering slice with just enough Sugar added to make the Fruit burst and become sticky while the famous Organic Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie was stacked high and very rich, the flavor more savory than it was sweet and something best shared with others plus a cup or two of Coffee or Milk.

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Bubby's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Breakfast, Bubby's, Bubby's Tribeca, Coffee, Dessert, Food, New York, pancake, Pancakes, Stumptown, Stumptown Roasters, Vacation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Arcade Bakery, New York NY

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Arcade Bakery

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Cranberry Walnut Bread

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Chocolate Bread with Macadamia Nuts and candied Citrus

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Raisin Danish

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Chocolate Hazelnut Danish

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Open from 8am until Four o’clock on Weekdays, its obscure location in the lobby of an office building on the edge of Tribeca near the Financial District likely not conducive to weekend business, Arcade Bakery may just be one of the oddest settings for food in New York City, Chef Roger Gural’s Croissants, Baguettes and Danishes completely hidden from plain view save for a small sign easily passed by on Church Street.

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Said by many to be one of the best bakers in all of Manhattan, the Chef and small window within the building offering only a dozen or so choices daily as voices echo off the terrazzo and wood lining a long hallway, those fortunate enough to happen upon Arcade Bakery are in for a treat whether they choose something sweet or savory, a breakfast for one limited to four items though those taking loaves home are greeted by unique options such as Breads made from Quinoa or Onion and Caraway.

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Offering Sandwiches and Pizzas at lunch, the morning menu largely laminated Pastries and Coffee from Parlor, it was after a short bit of browsing that items were bagged, purchased and carried away to nearby wooden alcoves lined in Water glasses, first bites of the Cranberry Walnut Bread offering a thin skin but good chew with plenty of yeasty notes while the dark Chocolate Roll was moist despite quite a bit of Cocoa and pocketed with Macadamia Nuts and bits of candied Citrus.

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Only baking Butter or Chocolate Croissants on Tuesday morning, but making up for the lack of their Almond version with several styles of Danish, it was with Cream Cheese left behind that a Raisin Snail coiled around Custard that Gural showed off the sort of skills rarely seen outside of Paris as each bite was rich yet delicate and not too sweet, the Chocolate-Hazelnut version certainly not to be confused with Nutella as the pastry was more or less a laminated puff around melted Chocolate resting atop nutty base that was exceedingly flaky and far lighter than it looks.

Arcade Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Arcade Bakery, Breakfast, Food, New York Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Decoy, New York NY

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Fried Branzino Skins, Spicy Mango, Pickled Cucumbers and Cauliflower

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Katz’s Pastrami Egg Roll with Honey Mustard

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Foie Gras Strawberry Tarts

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Oxtail Dumplings

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Soft and Crunchy Vegetable Fried Rice

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Consomee Shot

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Hoisin, Cranberry Jelly, Peanut Sauce, Peking Duck, Cucumber Salad, Spring Onions, Asian Pancakes

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Owned by Joe Ng and Ed Schoenfeld with a location at 529 1/2 Hudson Street, tucked away below the duo’s Red Farm, Decoy has been said by many to serve New York’s best Peking Duck, and turning those accolades into an all-inclusive tasting menu at $68.50 per person the small restaurant has continually been busy ever since opening, the reservation book generally full a month in advance with limited opportunities for walk-ins.

Low ceilinged, loud and dimly lit, a communal table running the length of the space adjacent the bar with two tables in the windows up front, those entering Decoy at over 6’0” will find themselves ducking through a small door where the hostess stand resides immediately at the base of some stairs, the kitchen in the back shining brightly as everything from Bob Seger to Prince blares from unseen speakers.

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Actually a fairly pretty restaurant despite its restricted size and loudness, a limited number of Ducks served each night with paper-thin pancakes, an amuse and appetizers amidst reclaimed wood and black marble with large still-lives of Ducks decorating the walls and potted plants hanging above, diners are given a few decisions to go along with their crispy skinned Fowl and although the kitchen was a bit off, sending Rice nearly twenty minutes after the Bird had landed, the service was friendly and efficient.

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Determining the size of the meal by the number of diners, duos offered two appetizers and a choice of Rice to round out their meal, it was with a sizable plate of fried Fish skins and Pickles that the evening got underway, a follow-up fried Oxtail Dumplings essentially cheffed-up Potstickers full of tender Beef ready to be dunked in a sidecar of spicy orange Sauce while the Foie Gras Tarts are one of the most clever preparations of seared Duck Liver in recent memory with a bit of Puff Pastry creating the ‘head’ and sliced Strawberries for ‘wings’ of an edible sculpture.

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Adding on one of Red Farm’s Pastrami Egg Rolls via special request, the supple Beef from Katz’s wrapped tightly in a Wonton skin with crispy Vegetables and a bowl of Honey Mustard on the side, palates were soon cleansed by shot glasses of Duck Consomee in preparation for the Peking-style Bird, the broth clean and clear with a lot of umami.

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Having already mentioned the Rice, three styles available nightly with the Vegetable version selected this evening clearly imbued with Duck Fat and a lot of Corn plus Onions, Decoy’s main event was soon delivered pre-sliced with sauces both traditional and unique plus all the traditional vegetables, the skin shattering like glass to the tooth and the flesh supple and moist with the best bites either the Legs dipped in Cranberry Jam, then Peanut Sauce or in the traditional manner with a bit of Meat, a shard of Skin and a smear of Hoisin Sauce on a Pancake with Spring Onions.

Decoy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Decoy, Foie, Foie Gras, Food, Katz’s, Katz’s Deli, Katz’s Delicatessen, New York, Red Farm, Tasting Menu, Vacation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

La Sirena Ristorante, New York NY

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La Sirena Ristorante (Tapas Bar)

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Tripe – Morcilla, San Marzanos, Bread Crumbs, Dry Sherry

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Braised Goat – Arroz con Leche Pudding, Coach Farms Goat Cheese, Root Beer Kalimotxo

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Patatas Bravas – Miso Mayo, Sea Urchin, Chipotle Estrattu, Sun-dried Tomato Salt, Lime

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Paella Croquetas – Yellow Beefsteak Tomato Gazpacho, Cherry Tomato ‘Raisins,’ Uni

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Foie Gras – Bananas Borrachas, Nutella, Tostada, Negroni Syrup, Amarena Cherry

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Kalimotxo Sundae – Kalimotxo Ice Cream, Red Wine Caramel, Coca Cola Espuma

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3D Crema Catalana – Jamon Caramel, Candied Jamon Iberico, Hibiscus Coulis

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While many associate Mario Batali exclusively with Italian Food, a larger than life television personality and orange Crocs, those familiar with his New York Restaurants are likely well aware of Michelin Starred Casa Mono and Bar Jamon near Union Square, the Chef’s follow-up foray into the food of Spain a Tapas menu at La Sirena which opened in February 2016 across Manhattan in Chelsea’s historic Maritime Hotel.

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Translated as “The Siren” or “The Mermaid,” though the logo looks a lot more like La Colombe’s Dove than it does a half-breed human, La Sirena sits above Street Level on 9th Avenue directly off the Hotel’s lobby and with two distinct dining spaces, the Dining Room and the Tapas Bar, guests are offered two entirely different experiences, the latter better suited for those looking for Cocktails and light bites, or in this case some share plates before heading off to second dinner.

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Not open for lunch or breakfast despite its hotel association, though a weekend Brunch presents another unique menu featuring Pastries, Egg dishes, French Toast and Pancakes in addition to several items available at Dinner, it was just past 5:00pm that a party of three was sat indoors due to inclement weather, the Restaurant sparsely populated on Memorial Day with patrons at the bar well dressed in suits and the hostess stand a bit ‘nose in the air,’ though the middle-aged male server could not have been more pleasant.

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Toqued by Josh Laurano and winning a Michelin Star in its first year of opening, the seasonally changing menu largely Italian in the Dining Room while the Spanish-style Bar allows he and Executive Chef Anthony Sasso a great deal of creativity with plates ranging from $7 to $25, it was with Cocktails declined that a collection of four Tapas and two Desserts were ordered in addition to a special request granted from the Main Dining Room, the low bowl of Tripe as springy and supple as ever with chunks of Blood Sausage and San Marzano Tomatoes forming a sort of Stew that is then topped tableside with Bread Crumbs and a splash of Sherry.

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Not remotely attempting a classic approach to the menu save for some Cheeses, Tomato Bread and Charcuterie, many of the items reinterpretations including the bright and briny Paella Croquetas topped with particularly pungent Urchin and wrinkly Potatoes with a bold spice profile mellowed by Miso Mayo creamed together with more Uni, those looking for something more unique and truly delicious are well advised to order Chef Sasso’s Braised Goat served over sweet Rice Pudding along with Chevre and a Sauce made of Rootbeer plus Red Wine, none of it really making a lot of sense on paper but far better on the palate and a rare dish that works despite being both off-the-wall and fairly complicated.

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Tapping local talent Thea Habjanic for Pastry, an upbringing in her father’s Italian Restaurant giving the young Chef a unique perspective that sees everything from a classic Pine Nut Tart to a Foie Gras “Banana Split” offered, the later has actually migrated from Dessert to the Tapas menu recently, a silky scoop of Duck Liver Mousse placed at the center of Bruleed Bananas, Nutella, and Negroni Syrup while the orb entitled “3D” Crema Catalana places soft Custard amidst Candied Ham and Bacon infused Caramel with Hibiscus Coulis, the Wine and Soda Sundae decidedly sweet in comparison, but still far more complex and creamy than the average restaurant Ice Cream finale.

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La Sirena Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Batali, Dessert, Foie, Foie Gras, Food, Ice Cream, Italian, La Sirena, La Sirena Ristorante, La Sirena Ristorante Tapas Bar, La Sirena Tapas Bar, Mario Batali, New York, Pork, Vacation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

La Newyorkina, New York NY

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La Newyorkina

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Samples: Blueberries & Corn, Horchata, Maria Cookies & Cream, Paddle-made Queso Fresco

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Double – Coffee and Cajeta, Tres Leches

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Owned by Fany Gerson, a CIA-trained veteran of world class kitchens including Akelare and Eleven Madison Park, it would seem to many that the Chef was ‘wasting’ her talents by opening an Ice Cream and Paleta store in Greenwich Village, but one stop at La Newyorkina speaks of a woman doing what she loves, the shop cutely decorated and full of innovative flavors with staff that could not be more friendly if they tried.

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Started in 2010 as a stand at one of New York’s many Street Fairs, the young Chef fresh off a year exploring the cuisine of her birthplace so in-depth that she ended up publishing a book entitled “My Sweet Mexico,” La Newyorkina in its earliest days was nothing more than a Mexican Popsicle concept selling just five flavors, its success quickly leading Chef Gerson to pursue something bigger and better, the space as of Memorial Day 2017 offering more than six-dozen types of Paletas, Ice Creams and Sorbets including a few that are made in the old fashioned way, by hand with paddles.

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Open at 240 Sullivan Street from Noon till 9:00pm on weekdays, an hour later on weekends, with several seasonal stands and carts from Red Hook to the Highline in Spring and Summer, those seeking out (or fortunate enough to stumble across) La Newyorkina would be well advised to spend time first evaluating the menu board carefully as the collection ranges from fruity to creamy with great range, the samples at her flagship store all smooth with a good base, the Blueberries and Corn tasting of little more than its named ingredients without a lot of additional sugar while the hand-paddled Queso Fresco is almost savory, the “Cookies and Cream” not full of smashed Oreos but rather Latin America’s favorite Vanilla Biscuit.

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Fairly pricing Ice Cream and Sorbet at $4.25 a scoop or $6 for a double, the day’s Paleta choices largely based on Acidic flavors such as Passion Fruit, Mango Chili and Pink Limeade that simply did not appeal that the time, it was with a Social Media Check-In dropping the price to $5.52 that two large scoops were placed atop a manufactured Sugar Cone, the Coffee and Cajeta boldly bitter up front but nicely balanced by streaks of Caramel while the Tres Leches tasted creamy and sweet with bits of the cake mixed in for texture.

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La Newyorkina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Coffee, Dessert, Food, Ice Cream, La Newyorkina, New York, Vacation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cosme, New York NY

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Arroz con Rum, Santa Teresa 1796, Avua Amburana, Fernet Vallet, Ancho Reyes, Cashew Horchata

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Herb Guacamole, House Tostadas

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Uni Tostada, Avocado, Bone Marrow Salsa, Cucumber

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Pink Peppercorn and Axiote Seafood Aguachile

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Fried Oyster Torta, Chorizo, Black Beans, Chipotle

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Duck Carnitas, Onions, Radishes, Cilantro

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Husk Meringue, Corn Mousse

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Warm Pecan Tart, Salt and Pepper Ice Cream

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Oaxacan Chocolate

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More impressed by Pujol than many have recently been, rumors of lousy service and dumbed down food not witnessed across seventeen dishes and nearly 180 minutes at the new location in March, it was with slightly lower expectations that a party of three sat down at Cosme on Memorial Day in New York City, the “World’s 40th Best Restaurant” according to San Pellegrino probably a bit overrated in that regard, but nonetheless putting out several great plates with service that was friendly, informed and efficient.

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Owned by Enrique Olvera and toqued by 2016 Rising Star Chef Daniela Soto-Innes, a smash hit with New Yorkers and culinary tourists ever since opening in 2014 thanks to its upscale Mexican Cuisine, strong Drinks and fashionable Flatiron location, it was minutes before Cosme’s noon opening that several groups gathered in the restaurant’s small foyer as ethnic music blared overhead, everything turned down immediately as the clock struck 12:00, diners led past the long bar full of Mezcal and shelves decorated in various knick-knacks, a seat along the left back corner mostly shielded from the conversation of others with a few view of the room’s dynamics.

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Approaching the restaurant as Mexican with a focus on local ingredients, the Ant Larvae and Pulque of Polanco replaced by Hudson Valley Duck and Produce from the Union Square Green Market, Cosme offers lunch till 2:30pm on weekdays and dinner from 5:30 till eleven o’clock at night daily, the weekend Brunch slightly different from Lunch service largely in terms of a Pastry Basket and Lamb Barbacoa in place of the famous Duck Carnitas, that fact alone enough to suggest a weekday visit as the sharable entrée featuring crisp Skin, supple Flesh and cold Vegetables plus housemade Tortillas was every bit worth the $45 cost with enough meat to form at least eight generously portioned Tacos.

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Perhaps getting ahead of things by describing the Duck first, though for most couples that plus an Appetizer or Dessert would be plenty of food for dinner, let alone lunch, it was actually with a stiff Rum Horchata and one virgin version that the meal got underway, the former requiring a bit of Ice to melt before it was smooth enough to sip, though the spicy flavors of Fernet did go well with chunky Guacamole laced in Herbs served alongside piping-hot Corn Chips.

Told that the kitchen does a wonderful job with Seafood, the lunch menu particularly tilted towards pricy raw preparations including a $21 Uni Tostada that makes up for its lack of size with three full ‘tongues’ made even more creamy by Avocado and Bone Marrow Salsa, those who do not enjoy the flavor of Urchin would be well advised to invest in the Pink Peppercorn Aguachile featuring mixed cuts of Fish in a spicy bath with Onions, Cilantro and Avocado slices, the lack of Tostadas or chips admittedly a bit chintzy considering the $28 cost though the fried Oyster Torta is fairly economical with good Bread, Chorizo, Black Beans, Lettuce and Avocado for just nineteen dollars.

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Rounding out the afternoon with Dessert, no meal at Cosme complete without snapping a photo (or several) of the famous Husk Meringue cracked open and oozing Corn Mousse, those who fancy the flavor of creamed corn will likely be impressed by the smooth and light composition while those looking for something else would be well advised to check out the smoky Pecan Tart served with Salt and Pepper Ice Cream that works not only with the Pie but surprisingly well on its own.

Cosme Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Cosme, Dessert, Enrique Olvera, Food, Ice Cream, Mexican, New York Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dominique Ansel Kitchen, New York NY

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Dominique Ansel Kitchen

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Egg-Clipse – Squid Ink Brioche, Confit Egg Yolks, Mushroom Bechamel, Garlic Mashed Potatoes

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Blueberry Laminated Brioche – Blueberry Balsamic Compote, Whipped Mascarpone, Bruleed Laminated Brioche

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Brown Sugar DKA-Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich

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Marcona Almond Lavender Croissant – Gin-spiked Frangipane

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Double Chocolate Pecan Cookie

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Sage-smoked Brownie

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A lot has changed in the life of Dominique Ansel since I first encountered his Desserts at Daniel, the restaurant then 3* from Michelin with its Pastry Chef soon to leave for Soho, my next experience coming shortly before the Cronut with his creative collection already including the DKA and a Paris Breast that tasted like a Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cup.

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Visiting the small Bakery three times in its first year and a half, one of them involving a nearly two-hour wait for the hybrid Pastry that has now been replicated countless times, it was nearly four years and the 2017 Best Pastry Chef Beard Award later that a stop was made at Dominique Ansel Kitchen on 7th Avenue South, the upstairs “Unlimited Possibilities” space currently closed for a menu change while the downstairs was sparsely populated thanks to Memorial Day.

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Focused on the concept of “Time as an Ingredient,” the focus on creating as many items as possible made-to-order in the same way that Jacques Genin carefully stacks his Mille-Feuilles in Paris a la minute, Ansel goes on to describe his Kitchen as “the next hybrid bakery,” and for those choosing to dine in the experience is a lot like many high end kitchens, the mise en place all set with most items assembled as guests wait at tables beneath an awning outdoors, or on tiered steps inside that are more than a little impractical.

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Smartly opting not to continue the Cronut craze at Dominique Ansel Kitchen, lines at the Spring Street Bakery still stretching down the block prior to opening, it was after a bit of browsing and discussion with the clerk that decisions were made to dine in three rounds, everything coming out precisely as requested with a total cost for six items just over $43.

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Not a cheap place, but also not as overpriced as High Street on Hudson or Union Fare despite the Chef’s accolades and a largely superior assortment of products, Breakfast began with Ansel’s newly famous “Egg-Clipse” featuring Brioche blackened with Squid Ink beneath mashed Potatoes, Mushroom Cream and two Confit Egg Yolks that burst with just a bit of pressure, the flavor pure umami and probably best shared by those with small appetites while the torched-to-order Blueberry Laminated Brioche took Croissant Dough and split it in half, filling it with Blueberry Balsamic Compote and Mascarpone that eats very light with a flavor not dissimilar to Cheesecake.

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Scaling back the ‘hybrid’ items a bit to focus on presentation, though smart to capitalize on higher outdoor temperatures by hemisecting his famous Kouign Amann and filling it with housemade Salted Caramel Ice Cream for a more-or-less fool proof Ice Cream Sandwich, take away items for this visit included the straight-forward flourless Chocolate Cookie studded with Pecans and a fluffy Croissant filled with Marcona Almonds and floral Frangipane, the “Sage-smoked Brownie” probably something that would have been better off eaten on-site warm, though the layers of melted Chocolate were still soft and rich at room temperature with a subtle herbal linger.


Dominique Ansel Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Breakfast, Croissant, Croissants, Dessert, Dominique Ansel, Dominique Ansel Kitchen, Food, Ice Cream, New York, Vacation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

High Street on Hudson, New York NY

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High Street on Hudson

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Coffee Almond Date Cake

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\Blackberry Crumb Bar

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Almond Croissant

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The Bodega – Malted Breakfast Sausage, Farm Egg, Aged Cheddar, Sage-Black Pepper Biscuit

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Old Bay Potatoes

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Located at 637 Hudson Street and serving three meals a day weekdays with Brunch and Dinner on weekends, High Street on Hudson has become a buzzy place in the West Village thanks to a creative, seasonal menu focused on scratch-making everything from Bread to Pastas on site, an early morning visit on Memorial Day 2017 finding the space largely empty save for a few families, the service taking time to chat with regulars and everything moving at a leisurely pace.

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Decorated in wood and material with exposed ceilings, the kitchen in back with a small grab n’ go Pastry case and Barista station up front, those choosing to dine-in at High Street on Hudson are offered banquettes on either side of the room or tables at the center, the Brunch menu featured for the Holiday including all the daily breakfast choices plus a few weekday lunch items, the order eventually entailing a Breakfast Sandwich, one Side and three Pastries at a total cost with tax and tip of just under forty dollars.

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Owned and operated by Eli Kulp, the concept brought in from Philadelphia where his High Street on Market continues to gather acclaim, High Street on Hudson can best be described as a modern Brasserie with a focus on oven roasting and classic techniques, the dinner menu offered a la carte or as a “Leave it to Us” tasting while early-day offerings focus on Sandwiches, Salads, Soups and Sides, the Old Bay Potatoes gaining a lot of acclaim thanks to the boiled, smashed, fried and seasoned Spuds served with a smear of Crème Fraiche that crackle with each bite and never coming across oily.

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Changing the menu frequently, the famous Red Eye Pastry replaced by items such as a fair-to-middling Blackberry Crumb Bar and an aggressively bitter Coffee Almond Date Cake, those favoring Frangipane will very much enjoy High Street’s Almond Croissant while others just have to be happy that it is not too sweet, a far better flavor found in The Bodega Sandwich with spicy Breakfast Sausage, fluffy Eggs and sharp Cheddar on a flaky Sage-Black Pepper Biscuit.

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High Street on Hudson Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Breakfast, Coffee, Croissant, Croissants, Dessert, Food, High Street on Hudson, New York, Pork, Vacation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Olmsted, Brooklyn NY

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Rhubarb – Blanco Tequila, Lime, Bitter Orange, Salt Foam, Tonic

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Crawfish Boil Crackers

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Morgan’s Meats – Pork Rillettes, Pickled Red Onions

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Popcorn Monkfish – Aioli

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Chawanmushi – Nori, Crispy Scallions

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Duck Chakna – Red Lentil Naan, Pear Chutney

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Carrot Crepe – Little Neck Clams, Sunflower

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Rutabaga Tagliatelle – Burgundy Black Truffle, Brown Butter

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Sauteed Soft Shell Crab – Pickled Peppers, Ranch Dressing, Ramps

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Horizonte – Columbia / La Joya – Ecuador

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Caramel Apple Donuts – Salty Caramel Sauce

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S’mores – Housemade Marshmallows, Artisan Graham Crackers, Hershey

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Owned and operated by Greg Baxtrom and Ian Rothman out in Prospect Heights, the concept at first seeming much the same as many with a Chef-driven menu based on seasonality, Olmsted differentiates itself from the pack by way of a backyard Garden and living wall from which many of its ingredients are sourced, the 50-seat space a near-impossible reservation after receiving attention as a Best New Restaurant contender at the James Beard Foundation Awards.

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Named after a deceased local architect, the narrow and straight space leading to a garden where a fire-pit offering Drinks, small Bites and a special Dessert experience offers additional seating for approximately a dozen, those visiting Olmsted will be greeted promptly at the hostess podium where reservations are confirmed before being led to one of many wood tables, the noise level near the front far more quiet than at the back, in part due to the location of speakers and in part due to the fact that the bar and kitchen lie along the same wall, which thus compresses many of the tables against a brick wall lined in Plants.

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Open as a first-come-first-serve restaurant on Mondays only, the other days booked as soon as reservations open via the website, it was after getting comfortable that menus were presented along with verbalized daily specials and a clipboard Cocktail list, the prices occasionally precocious, though the presentations and flavors are frequently on par with several of New York’s top fine dining establishments.

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Beginning with a Cocktail and Water, the plates rustic and attractive though cups are unnecessarily small which necessitates servers leaving pitchers of water with the table, fans of innovative drinks have already made “Give Peas a Chance” a social media sensation, the Tequila-based “Rhubarb” not as photogenic but fresh and refreshing which paired well with Crawfish Boil Crackers that tasted exactly as they are named with the texture of Chicharrón while a daily dish entitled “Morgan’s Meats” featured smooth shredded Pork served with Toast and Pickled Onions.

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Continuing with “Snacks,” Chef Baxtrom no stranger to crafting single bites with complexity and big flavor following stints at Alinea, Atera and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Popcorn Monkfish offered a basket of lightly fried Fish alongside Radishes and a herbal Aioli while the daily special Chawanmushi executed on par with any experienced to date stateside, the Custard smooth and jiggly with the flavor of Shellfish and Mushrooms beneath fried Scallions and Nori added for texture.

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Without doubt a global menu suited to concept of Vegetable-centric fare and sustainability, the newly famous orange Crepe with trimmed Clams, Sunflower Seeds and razor-thin Carrot slices as delicate and precise as anything one might see at Per Se, Baxtrom’s best dish of the night came by way of the Indian-inspired Duck Chakna with confit Fowl ready to be loaded into Naan made with Red Lentils, the Soft-Shell Crab unfortunately a $22 disappointment that was overwhelmed by Peppers, the thick “Ranch” sauce sloppily placed on the plate and not really adding much to any of the other ingredients.

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Appropriately impressed by the Rutabaga Tagliatelle, thin strips of the Tuber lightly steamed into al dente low-calorie Noodles and topped with sliced Black Truffles in Brown Butter, it was with two distinctly different styles of drip Coffee that a bag of Bombolini were enjoyed, the flavor not unlike that of a Cider Donut before being dipped into creamy Caramel Sauce, a fifteen minute wait quickly passed before the party of three was led out back to the Garden where sleeping Doves in cages watch diners place housemade Marshmallows on sticks before blackening them over a can of Embers and smashing them between Graham Crackers from a local Bakery plus a 50-cent Hershey Bar for twenty bucks, the cost largely related to time and taking up space rather than ingredient quality here, but worth it for the novelty and fun-factor.

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Olmsted Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Brooklyn, Coffee, Crab, Dessert, Food, New York, Olmsted, Pork, Prospect Heights, Truffle, Truffles, Vacation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Superiority Burger, New York NY

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Superiority Burger

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Superiority Burger – Muenster Cheese, Iceberg Lettuce, Tomato, Dill Pickle

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Burnt Broccoli Salad – Eggplant, Red Chili, Coriander, Wine

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Crispy Potatoes – Cheese, Scallions

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When Del Posto Pastry Chef Brooks Headley gave up fine dining to pursue Vegetarian Burgers in the Lower East Side the commentary was appropriately mixed, and although discussions of the death of fine dining continue in whispers while Headley racks up accolades it seems safe to say that both parties are happy with the outcome, Del Posto holding onto its Michelin Star while Brooks remains present and accounted for at Superiority Burger, a Sunday visit at 3:30pm seeing the space filled with a few folks sitting outside as the Chef himself was in the kitchen with his team, first frying Potatoes and then scrubbing out a blender.

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Celebrated as much for its concept as the Food, everything served within the tiny restaurant either Vegetarian or Vegan with Cheese largely accounting for the difference, patrons looking for Superiority Burger will find the ramshackle sign hanging above a step-down space with five seats and enough room to fit perhaps a half-dozen more standing in wait, the kitchen manned by a team of five including the cashier and a man washing dishes.

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Offering just a dozen items daily, the Gelato and Sorbet prone to regular change and three sides varying by ingredient availability, the ordering process at Superiority Burger is a simple one with preparation times generally less than ten minutes, no item on the menu more than $9 with the infamous Burger just $6 inclusive of Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato and a Pickle on a Potato Roll tinged in Yellow Mustard.

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Described by some as “amazing” while other experienced diners prefer “mushy” or “a waste of time and nothing else but the product of the hype” the Superiority Burger itself is indeed a soft patty composed of Grains and Legumes with a lot of spice that *sort of* replicates the flavor of McDonald’s fast food favorite with a earthy linger, the presumptive healthiness based more on Carbon Footprints and Ethics than it is on calories or Macronutrients, the better bet being to stock up on superior Vegetables brought in from local markets including the Burnt Broccoli tangled with Peppers and Cashews amidst pureed Eggplant or “the closest thing that we have to French Fries” crispy Potatoes confited in Olive Oil and tossed in spice with just a bit of Cheese and Scallions.

Superiority Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Marta, New York NY

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Polpettine di Pollo – Chicken Meatballs, Black Olives, Ricotta, Sourdough

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Pizze Patate alla Carbonara – Potatoes, Guanciale, Black Pepper, Pecorino, Egg

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Pizze Stracciatella – Housemade Stracciatella, Basil, Olio Verde

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Amarena Cherry Chip, Malted Chocolate, Creamsicle Gelato

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Chocolate Budino – Malt Whipped Cream, Meringue Crumble

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Owned by Danny Meyer and Union Square Hospitality Group, it’s location at The Redbury on East 29th Street an elegant one just inside the Hotel doors, Marta has made waves since opening thanks to its cracker-thin Pizzas and Gratuity-inclusive policies, a Sunday afternoon Lunch finding the place largely empty but the food excellent, as was the service.

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Toqued by Maialino’s Nick Anderer and focused on the idea of a Roman Pizzeria with Wood-fired ovens turning out Pizzas, Appetizers and Entrees with slightly different menus offered at Dinner as opposed to Lunch, it was as a party of three that the group was welcomed at the hostess podium before being led to a four-top adjacent large windows with a full-view of the kitchen, the restaurant largely empty on Memorial Day weekend, thus conducive to low volume conversation and rapid kitchen times, the menu’s prix-fixe overlooked as no one wanted Mimosas or Bloodys, the order instead consisting of two Pizzas, an Appetizer and two Desserts.

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Cooking nearly everything in the Wood Fired ovens, traditional options available along with several novelties including many focused on Seasonal Ingredients, it was after a brief wait that two charred pies plus a bowl of Meatballs arrived at the table, the ground Chicken clearly delicious as the person ordering them scarfed themdown without offering anyone else a taste while both Pizzas featured a crust that crackled to the tooth without much flex but a whole lot of smoke, the $27 Stracciatella amply topped with Cheese and as good as any “Margherita” found outside of Lucali while the Patate alla Carbonara was good but oddly textured, the Potatoes still too fibrous while the Guanciale was a bit more briny than most.

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Recently changing some of the savory items, but still offering five desserts and nine Gelatti or Sorbetti from Pastry Chef Jessica Weiss, those looking for something light to finish are encouraged to order either the Amarena Cherry Chip or Creamsicle Gelato while those looking for something a bit more rich can’t go wrong with the stick-a-spoon-up-straight Chocolate Budino with just the right amount of texture added by Meringue Crumble.

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Marta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Dessert, Food, Ice Cream, Marta, New York, Pizza, Pork, Vacation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Union Fare Gastrohall and Bakery, New York NY

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Union Fare Gastrohall and Bakery

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

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Black & White Cookie

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Red Velvet Croissant

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Crème Brulee Croissant

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Birthday Cake Croissant

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Part of New York’s growing Food Court fascination, with savories from Chef Yvan Lemoine and a Pastry program set up by Thiago Silva, Union Fare occupies an enormous footprint between 17th and 18th Street in the Flatiron, the dining room and bar filling one half while the other is comprised of a lengthy Pastry counter, Food stalls and event space.

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Described as “a new industrial restaurant and modern gastrohall” and making waves on Instagram thanks to innovative Croissants, Cookies, Brownies and “Pretzel Bombs,” the full menu further invigorated by items like Carrot Cake Waffles and a $25 Monte Cristo, it was specifically with a focus on baked goods that two friends sat down to a half-dozen items tallying just under $25, only the dry-and-flavorless Snickerdoodle completely unrecommendable, while the rest is largely a matter of taste.


Certainly not a traditional Patisserie, even places like Chanson or Bouchon that occasionally offer novel flavors not going as far as Daily Provisions’ zany options, it was with three Cookies including the aforementioned Cinnamon disappointment that the sampling got underway, the Oatmeal Raisin round a reference standard version with a soft-center and crisp ring, the Black & White like a buttery Poundcake with good Frosting, both Vanilla and Chocolate.

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Choosing to dine-in, long picnic-style tables lining the front half of the event space, it was with three hefty Croissants unloaded and pictures taken that each was tasted in succession, the Crème Brulee packing the laminated dough with soft Custard before torching sugar on top and the Social Media-friendly Birthday Cake putting Sprinkles in the Dough while Red Velvet uses dyed-Butter to achieve its desired effect, the former filled with soft Pink Buttercream while the Brick Red Pastry is stuffed with lightly sweetened Cream Cheese Frosting.

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Union Fare Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Breakfast, Croissant, Dessert, Food, New York, Union Fare, Union Fare Gastrohall, Union Fare Gastrohall & Bakery, Union Fare Gastrohall and Bakery Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Daily Provisions, New York NY

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Daily Provisions

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Salt & Straw – Coffee & Chocolate Freckles

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Maple Cruller

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Kouign Amann

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O.G. Breakfast Gougere

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Presented by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, the original concept essentially an outlet for Baked Goods from Gramercy Tavern, Daily Provisions has since turned into a busy spot for a quick bite or cup of Coffee, the tight space not deterring guests on Memorial Day weekend when 10:15am Sunday found the place packed with locals of all ages.

Quite literally about half the size of a Manhattan Studio Apartment, standing room for perhaps fifteen plus a few seats at the bar all that is available when accounting for the ordering podium and a few high-tops, all traffic is filtered to the center of the room on entry and with orders placed and payment made patrons are left to wait briefly for their name to be called, sometimes in two segments depending on the items selected.

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Offering Breads, Pastries, Sandwiches and Ice Cream, the latter a collaboration with Portland’s Salt & Straw, it was with a small $4 scoop that Brunch at Daily Provisions started off, the price high even when compared to the Los Angeles Shops with rather basic flavors including Coffee with tiny Chocolate Chips, the Kouign Amann also ridiculously priced at $4.50 for what is essentially two bites, the flaky layers and Butter both plentiful, but not on par with Chanson where several varieties are available in larger sizes at a 50-cent lower cost.

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Next delving into the O.G. Gougere, its prep time causing it to be sent out later than the rest and thus a hassle for those in line as diners along the wall attempt to traverse the space, the $5 ball of fluffy Eggs and Cheese is without a doubt the most impressive item offered on Daily Provision’s Breakfast menu, the newly-famous Cruller a bit more wet and eggy than the traditional French version, though it does a fairly nice job of playing off the Glaze which tastes like Pure Maple Syrup.

Posted in Breakfast, Coffee, Daily Provisions, Dessert, Food, Ice Cream, New York, Salt & Straw, Salt and Straw, Vacation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,