Hello my fellow food friends,
I hope you had a fantastic holiday season and New Year Celebration. Looking back, 2014 was a crazy year filled with amazing memories, a trip to Italy and of course delicious eats! I’ve had the opportunity to explore Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island more than ever. Along the way, I’ve discovered my love for new foods thanks to the help of my friends and food-lovers.
This year I’ve tried:
-Xiao Long Bao (Soup dumplings)
-The famous DKA from Dominique Ansel’s bakery (no cronut yet…. it’s on my list)
Etc., Etc., Etc. (to name a few!)
To my readers…. thank you so much, for taking the time to hear what I have to say. I hope you enjoy my perspective and maybe someplace I visit will become your next stop! So here’s to another year of GREAT food, WONDERFUL people and LONG LASTING memories.
Vittorio’s is a restaurant noted for their vast wine selection. Zagat’s rated and recipient of an excellence award from Wine Spectator, this place is first-class. With over 70 wines to choose from, you’re sure to have a great night.
Low lighting, rustic decorations and warm ambiance makes this restaurant welcoming. There’s a smaller bar area (pub style) where you can either get a drink while you’re waiting for your table or you can have bar service and eat there. *For the dining area, you need reservations. Since we did not know that, we settled for an equally delicious meal at the bar.
Wine costs about $9-12 per glass (for most selections there). They bring you huge slices of homemade bread and olive oil which was nice. We all ordered different meals and (with my family) we aren’t afraid to share. So I can give you a bit more insight!
I had the: Marinated Skirt Steak. WOW. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that was the best skirt steak I’ve ever had. It was perfectly charred yet tender and the flavor just resonated throughout it all. It’s 20 oz. which was a bit much for me but I was glad to share. It comes with the silkiest, buttery mashed potatoes and steamed/season veggies. Simple plate done right.
Other plates my family got:
-Penne with Prosciutto: giant chunks of tomato and roasted red peppers. And the prosciutto really made the dish unique.
-Shrimp Scampi: lightly breaded shrimp atop of sage risotto. Another stellar dish.
Vittorio’s is a star in the fine-dining world. Great Italian/American style food that’s simple yet elevated. This restaurant is perfect for any occasion. Date, family-night, friends… you name it.
184 Broadway Amityville, NY 11701
What’s not to love about the Witches Brew? This gothic/eclectic styled coffee shop was the home to many high school hangouts several years back. There is a pretty diverse crowd here which is nice to see. The Witches Brew is everything I look for in a coffee house:
-Oversized comfy couches
-Funky menu items (food & drink!)
They have STELLAR teas here. Me being such a big Tea-Drinker, I know that every visit will be a great one. During the fall season, the pumpkin and chai make it’s guest appearance. My favorite! The cookies, cakes and other assortments of snacks are enough to convince me to travel to Hempstead anytime. Don’t forget this is a CASH only place! I have to make sure to go back here soon. It’s been a while and I’m waaay overdue for a nice chai latte and a giant ooey-gooey cookie.
Weekends can bring the crowds, so plan to wait a bit. And yes, the drinks may be a tad bit pricey but you’re paying for the ambiance, the service and good company! And as you can see by the other reviews, this coffee house is loved by many.
*I could totally picture the cast of FRIENDS hanging out here. This is like the hip version of Central Perk.
311 Hempstead Tpke
West Hempstead, NY 11552
K-town has always been one of my favorite places to visit. It’s a lot more hustling and bustling these days than it used to be. I guess people are discovering their love for Korean food! That being said… the restaurants have gone up quite a bit in prices. However, Woorijip is one of the more reasonable establishments around.
Inside this little nook is a bright, clean place with a surprisingly decent amount of seating. Woorijip cranks out tons of delicious food daily. They have a pretty big buffet with both cold/hot choices. What’s delicious: bulgogi (shredded korean beef), kimbap, kimchi (fermented cabbage… Spicy good.), japchae (glass noodles), squid, noodles, dumplings and more! They also have some more familiar items like fried rice and garlic chicken. They have trays and containers that are weighed by the lb. (I think $7.99/lb) You can slide down the buffet and beyond that they sell individual containers with food as well… If you’re in a rush or more of a “on-the-go” type. It’s also great because if you’re not familiar with the Korean cuisine, you can try a bunch of things and for a decent price. Total win. Yeah for being adventurous!
I’m not sure if they weight the food factoring out the tray and container… but I hope they do cause that wouldn’t be cool. But my meal was a little less than $10. Not too shabby! (And for a plate that I almost didn’t finish.) And that was with a water bottle too. ($1)
It seriously doesn’t get any better than this. Can’t wait to come back. If you’re a beginner to Korean food, come to Woorijip. You won’t be disappointed.
12 W 32nd St
New York, NY 10001
For my first Persian/Iranian food experience, I’m so glad it was at Sufiya’s. From dining there, it has a predominant Mediterranean feel but with those additional cultural influences. I pass by here frequently, but never noticed this place! The shopping complex is currently renovating their storefronts, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled when driving along. It can be easily missed.
First impression? What a classy, cozy spot. Beautiful paintings/decorations with a spacious feel. And since it was a nice night outside, they opened up the front doors and let the cool brisk air in. That was a nice touch. Even though I looked at the menu briefly beforehand, I still couldn’t decide on what to eat. Oh, the choices! They have a dinner special (Mon-Thurs) after 3pm for $12.95, you can choose from an array of entrees with white or basmati rice. Very reasonable prices here.
I ended up on getting the Lamb Shish Kebab which came with Green Rice (seasoned with Saffron and other spices), a grilled tortilla and roasted veggies — onion, peppers, tomatoes. It was fantastic. To be honest, that’s the best lamb I’ve had in a long time. It was seasoned and salted perfectly. And I really enjoyed the grilled veggies… it added a healthy touch to the meal. The portions were also a good size. I couldn’t finish my meal.
We also ordered the Falafel appetizer which was very good. Crispy and flavorful. The dusting of paprika and parsley was a nice addition too. The staff were helpful and patient with my questions while I was ordering. And they really made me feel welcome there as a first-timer. I will DEFINITELY be back and I’m looking forward to trying their other menu items!
P.S. They have belly-dancing on certain nights. Sounds fun!
P.P.S. I was too full that night, BUT if you check-in to Yelp, you get a free dessert.
Finding this place was a blessing and a curse. Here’s why:
BLESSING: This place could not be more adorable. It’s a branch of 3 Alice Tea Cup chains. This one, (like the others) is magical in more ways than one. The decorations alone transport you to another world. If you like mis-matched tea cups, an assortment of “tea party” bites and that overall antique/mystical vibe, this is your place. Basically, everything I love. And trust me, it’s not posh in anyway. People of all ages eat here. From little girls bearing sparkly tiaras to a couple of old friends catching up on their lunch break. There is a small space when you first walk-in (I think they did that on purpose to emulate Alice in that tiny door scene) but don’t think it stops there! There is plenty of seating upstairs.
The second-floor is gorgeous. It’s bright and cozy inside. My waitress sat me right away and was so incredibly helpful. I told her that I had a smaller amount of time for lunch and asked if I were to have enough time for a few cups of tea/scones. She said she would be extra-speedy and get that tea brewin’ right away. What a sweetheart. From the endless options of teas I chose the Herbal Chai. It came with honey and chai milk. I also ordered the 2 scone and 1 pot of tea — approx 3-4 cups, special. The scones were buttermilk and pumpkin glazed.
I will go out on a limb and say these are the BEST SCONES I have ever had in my entire life. And possibly for the rest of my life! I don’t know how anyone can top these pillow-y heaven filled pastries. The scones came with clotted cream and raspberry preserves which just added a sweet/tart treat to the already amazing scone. It was creamy and just perfect. I read my book and sat in scone heaven. All for $12!
CURSE: The amount of calories I consumed in Alice’s Tea Cup was probably an absurd amount, but who cares. Anything that tasty is worth it!*
*Calories don’t exist in Wonderland right?
156 E 64th St
New York, NY 10021
Pommes Frites is the proprietor of everything that is french fries. My true weakness in life. They’ve somehow managed to cultivate this community of fry-lovers. And these people mean business. If you think you’ve had the best, pop on into Pommes Frites and prepare those taste buds. Sure the fries are classic in nature and have the crisp/salty factor that everyone looks for. But there’s something said about a product that’s simple and done 100% right. They’re fresh-out-of-the-fryer good. However, the spotlight is really on those sauces.
With over 25+ sauces to choose from, it’s hard to decide on just one. What I recommend is taking a gander at the selection and while you’re waiting (trust me there WILL be a wait…this place always has a line) you can ask to sample some of them. I asked for 3. ($3.75 combo, to order them all and it’s totally worth it). I kinda copied the girl ahead of me (her choices were spot on!) and ended up with: Sweet Mango Chutney Mayo, Pomegranate Teriyaki Mayo, and Honey Mustard. BAR NONE, I have the say that the Sweet Mango Chutney Mayo takes the cake. Not gonna lie, the Pom-Teriyaki was kinda funky but still good.
The space is small. You may be hovering over people to glance the menu or to get a glimpse of the fries being cooked. *Commence mouth-watering* I watched them in the fryer, how they added in the seasoning and by the time they placed them in the bag I’m surprised I had the willpower to not jump over the counter and snatch them. As for the seating issue… psh. Fries are finger foods and a lack of chairs aren’t going to stop me from munching away.*
All in all, Pommes Frites just makes sense. These Belgian fries will change your perspective forever.** Only WARNING: You may come here and quite possibly fall in love with it.
*The real trick is the balancing act of the sauces and the fries. It’s an acquired skill.
**Mickey D’s, BK, Wendy’s will never be the same.
123 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003
b/t 7th St & St Marks Pl in East Village