Uglyduckling is the newest addition to the many adorable shops and eateries along Smith St. This street is a favorite of mine — so naturally when searching for a nice place to grab a drink/grub after a crazy week at work, my friend and I wandered into Cobble Hill.
Only 2 weeks old, the Uglyduckling offers a diverse selection of American /Gastropub cuisine as well as a nice wall of craft beers on tap. It has a cool, hip vibe with the mismatch wooden panels on the wall, giant tv screens, vintage lighting and chalkboard artwork to name a few. There’s not a whole lot of seating but for the size of the place, they definitely utilize what space they have. We decided on sitting at the bar for dinner… and much to my surprise, they have bag hooks! Ladies (or gentlemen) your wishes have been granted. But in all seriousness, its a small but important perk.
I thought to myself, “what to choose, what to choose” when glancing at the beers along the wall. And then my eyes fell upon the Left Handed Brewing Co. NITRO MILK STOUT. I’ve been searching for this beer for the LONGEST time. So glad it’s at a bar nearby! And might I mentioned it was perfectly poured and delicious. As for the menu, very interesting items. I ended up choosing the Chicken and Waffles ($16). I was intrigued at the combination of the classic dish but with a side of spicy aioli. The buttermilk waffle was fluffy and equally crispy as the corn-flake crusted chicken. The spicy aioli was a nice touch, although I’m not sure if everyone would like that combination of flavors. But all in all, my dish was great. I would definitely order it again.
Not only was the food tasty, but the staff was personable and welcoming. Most of the staff are from Ireland so I immediately struck up a few conversations about my good ol’ days studying abroad in Limerick. Made for some great banter. Next time… my eyes are on the Pork Belly & Quail Egg Burger. Wishing the staff of Uglyduckling the best of luck! I’ll be visiting again very soon.
P.S. They’re creating a brunch menu and a happy hour which should be finalized within a week or so. So keep your eyes peeled.
166 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
b/t Wyckoff St & Warren St in Cobble Hill
Where else can you get ice cream in flavors like: Durian, Black Sesame Seaweed, White Miso and Almond & Thai Tea? One word my friends: SkyIce.
What an adorable part of Park Slope! My college friend suggested this place and when I looked at the menu as well as the reviews, I was pretty excited to check this eatery out. At a glance, SkyIce is undoubtedly cozy, casual and a decent size. During the warmer weather they open up the windows and you can people watch to your hearts content. The decor is very charming with their wooden benches and tables, hardwood floors and exposed brick. We sat down right away and glanced at the menu…. It was selective but covered all the basics of a Thai establishment.
I ordered the Spicy Noodle (extra spicy of course) with chicken. It was just the right amount of heat. As well as with the addition of egg, bell pepper, onion and carrot balanced out the dish pretty well. (For $9.75- good portion too.)
Spicy Noodle With Chicken
Yes the dinner was good but what we REALLY came for was that “ice, ice baby!”* I have to say, choosing two flavors was a difficult feat. However, I rose above and made my mind: Thai Tea and White Miso Almond. I tried a safe and a unsafe flavor. Luckily I loved both. The Thai Tea tasted like the drink itself in ice cream form. I could eat that every day, for real. As for the White Miso Almond… totally unexpected combination of flavors, but they WORKED. And well I might add. If you’re feeling a bit risky, go for that one. I was tempted to convince my friend to go for the sampler, but we were too full. Next time, we’ll just go straight for the ice cream.
SkyIce may be advertise sweet and savory, but in a battle between the both… I think the sweet takes the gold in this case. Can’t wait to come back on a nice hot summer day.
*Stuck in my head the ENTIRE time I wrote this review. Damn you Vanilla Ice.
PC: Jam Website
Since I really enjoyed their sister restaurants Good Life and The Phoenix (see reviews), I knew I was going to enjoy Jam. They’re all under the same ownership, so I expected their food to have great flavors and with a unique twist. It’s located right along Main St./Park Blvd in Massapequa Park (near Good Life). It has a cute exterior with plants built right into the facade. As for the inside, its country meets modern. They are only open for breakfast and brunch (but doubles as a catering venue in the evening), so get there early to avoid those crowds! Hours are 6am-3pm.
It was decently crowded but we were seated right away. After perusing the menu, I decided on the Classic Breakfast: 2 Eggs, Choice of Bacon, Home Fries & Toast. I wish they had Turkey Bacon, but oh well. The eggs were fresh (over easy) and the bacon was very crispy. But out of that meal my favorite items were the Home Fries and the homemade bread. *Sigh* that bread. It was super thick and fluffy. Very different from the bland, thin, sometimes burnt toast you get at diners.
Their Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad: Super flavorful. The meat was moist and had a good mayo to chicken ratio. I liked the addition of celery leaves and lettuce to add that extra crunch. And with whole grain mustard aioli and the homemade wheat bread… fantastic.
The waitress explained to us that the dough for their bread is made off-site at Sugar Rush Bakery but they bake it on the premise. I opted for the whole wheat/grain. Delicious. BUT! What made it even MORE delicious was their homemade jam. (If they’re naming themselves Jam, they must have good jam. Obvious choice.) I chose the Blueberry Ginger. It came in the most adorable little cup. I didn’t think it warranted a $2 sticker, but it was worth it and I’d get it again. You could tell it was very fresh. Like picked off the bush fresh. I was tempted to ask them for a jar of it! Seriously.
Throughout our meal, our water glasses and coffee cups remained full. And by the end of our meal, our bellies were too. This cute, quaint little place is a great addition to the village. I will most definitely be back. Those Banana Candied Walnut Pancakes are callin’ my name.
Side note: Their eggs are all hormone/cage/antibiotic free. How’s that for quality?
1025 Park Blvd
Massapequa Park, NY 11762
Sorry it’s been a while folks! Been super busy with work and made my way towards Boston this past weekend. But here’s a post for ya! Thanks for reading!
Spicy foods and I have a love-love relationship. They keep things interesting. They know how to add “spice to your life”. They know how to keep their “cool” and let’s face it… they’re hot.
Horrible puns aside, I’ve been meaning to hit up Pure Thai Cookhouse for quite some time now. Luckily a few friends of mine were up for a authentic Thai experience. Inside looks as what they like to call a “shophouse”. With wood paneling, industrial decor and a modern flair… this place is right up my alley. It’s also built with a vertically oriented layout. How they fit so much seating in such little space?* I’ll never know.
We arrived at about 6pm on a Friday and were lucky enough to get the last seat right in the front. They brought us a nice sized carafe of water and kept our glasses full. And I now know why. I ended up ordering the Wok Basil with Chicken. Now I see that you can customize your spice level and I’ve never eaten there before… I’ll settle on medium**. That way I can gauge for next time whether to amp it up or not. All I can say is, wow. The ground chicken and string beans were a killer. I think that chili garlic puree and holy basil sauce did a number on me. The only thing to tame the heat was that jasmine rice. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious and I’d order it again. But no 3 stars for me. I’ll stick to a happy 2.
We also ordered:
-The Chicken Curry Puffs: super flaky/crispy with a moist center. (With sweet potato, onion and a cucumber relish.)
-Steamed Veggie Dumplings:My favorite app. From the looks of it, I had no idea how it was going to taste as well as texture-wise. The peanut flavor was strong which I enjoyed. Pillow-y and flavorful bites.
I received a fairly amount of hype for PTC and was happily surprised to see that it’s completely justified and warranted here. Service was great and we didn’t feel rushed despite the incoming crowds. I appreciated the atmosphere that transported me across the world and the bold flavors that took my taste buds there as well.
766 9th Ave
*Welcome to the magic and glory that is NYC.
**As mentioned in my tip, if medium was so true to level… then I wonder what “hot” is.
New York, NY 10019
b/t 51st St & 52nd St in Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West, Theater District
Forget cheap, $1 slices* and let’s get classy people. Sottocasa brings that elegance and refined take on brick oven authentic Neapolitan pizza that we’re all looking for. It’s a cozy, inviting and rustic little establishment. My friend and I were looking for someplace with a great atmosphere and reasonably priced dinner. And we found just that.
Sottocasa sources their flour and tomatoes from Italy as well as their wood fired oven was built and shipped directly from Naples! How’s that for ya? When I walked inside I was immediately enticed by their simplistic decorations and wooden picnic tables. We were asked if we’d like to sit in the closed-off greenhouse. UMMM… YES PLEASE! Just my kind of seating. They have stringed lights from the ceiling and heat lamps for when it gets cold. Practical and pretty.
Now let’s talk food. For the antipasti we ordered the Prosciutto, Mozzarella and a side of Arugula salad. It was all extremely fresh — a nice beginning to our meal. As for the main course we weren’t too hungry and decided on splitting a pizza. We chose the Salsiccia: tomatoes, mozz, hot italian sausage and basil. *Sigh* The dough was perfectly crispy and held all those ingredients fairly well. Brick oven just has that home-y taste that you can’t get anywhere else. That crispy, slight (in a good way) charred crust. Brings me back to when I visited Italy when I studied abroad.
Our service was great… the waiter was friendly and helpful when deciding on what to choose. As well as we didn’t feel rushed since we had a lot to catch up on that night. Hey, we’re talkative people!
Overall, I’m really impressed with this place. I can’t wait to come back and try their other items on the menu. *Eyes immediately drift towards the Burrata pizza*. Next time it is!
298 Atlantic Ave
*I mean don’t get me wrong… we all have those $1 pizza night cravings. You know what I’m talking about.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
b/t Hoyt St & Smith St in Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill
Billy’s is like Magnolia’s little brother. The pesky brother that you have a love/hate relationship with. Hate because of all the calories you will be inhaling the moment you leave that door. LOVE because why? It’s delicious and delectable.
This small shop has a lot of character. And I mean small. Big groups, beware! It’s got that clean, classic look. Kinda retro style. Chalkboard menus are always a win in my book. The sweet, sweet sugary air is also an enticing factor. I came later on in the night so there wasn’t as large of a selection if I came during the daytime. But still we have a nice variety to choose from. My friend and I ended up splitting their homemade chocolate chip cookies and butterscotch ginger cookies. They were wonderful. My type of cookie is one that you can break into without crumbs flying everywhere. A cookie that holds on its own and has some height. Billy’s cookies are just that! As for their cupcakes, ($3!) I tried one of my favorites… carrot cake and red velvet! The cake had a great kick of spice. It was moist and had the texture from the walnuts and raisins. Yum. And the red velvet… the cream cheese icing was spectacular.
I am such a sucker for desserts, so Billy’s was a great unexpected find. Thank you Yelp for bringing me to the cutest little shop. There’s gonna be sibling rivalry with Magnolia’s! Family intervention anyone?
184 9th Ave
New York, NY 10011
b/t 21st St & 22nd St in Chelsea
You may cringe, you may laugh or you may scoff at the ridiculous amount of puns I am about to unleash in this review. You have been warned.
THIS PLACE IS ON A ROLL. (Here we go.)
One of my many food missions in life has been completed: to try Pho. I’m pretty new to everything in the Vietnamese food chain, so I went in with an open mind and stomach. I know what you’re thinking. Your first Pho experience was on Long Island of all places? Yes. And let me tell you, no regrets people. Rolling Spring Roll provided a wonderful foundation for my Vietnamese food pallet. It can only go up from here.
When my partner in crime (Steph M.) asked me to come here, I was like “Pho sho’!” First impression? Tiny. Casual. And a weird shade of green. The menu is small but covers all the essentials. Naturally I wanted to try everything but ended up settling on:
-Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi: VERY flavorful. The chicken was moist, bread was toasty and the flavors just melded together.
-Beef Pho: Great first experience. The different varieties of meat in one bowl was interesting. I enjoyed the pairing of bean sprouts, basil and jalapenos. Steph showed me how its done with the addition of hoisin and sriracha. Delicious and not too salty.
Our waiter/comedian of the night was Joe. Joe has a sense of humor like me and our conversation went like this:
(At the beginning of the meal.)
Me: “This pho is PHO-nomenal.”
Joe: “That’s great, I’m definitely taking that one.”
(During the meal.)
Me to Steph: “Wow the music selection here is really interesting and amusing.” *
Joe: *does a little dance while he passes by*
(At the end of the meal.)
Joe: “You didn’t finish it it all?! I’m sorry but we’re not friends anymore.” **
That pretty much sums up our hilarious interactions with the waiter that night. Needless to say, I will definitely be back. If you’re looking for delicious, quality Vietnamese food and you can only venture to LI, come here. This place will be pho you. Rolling Spring Roll Shop pho ever.***
*I think I heard Bryan Adams, Bonnie Tyler and Destiny’s Child in a row.
**I’m sorry, but I didn’t think we were at that level yet… lmao.
***buzzfeed.com/arivoukydis… — you’re welcome.
189 Main St
Farmingdale, NY 11735