Vittorio’s

Vittorios

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

(631) 264-3333

vittorios.biz

A Trip to Woorijip

woorijip_sign              woorikip

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

 

(212) 244-1115

woorijipnyc.com

Sufiya’s Grill

sufiyas

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.

Bengal Tiger Indian

To be honest, sometimes I’m skeptical about price-fix menus. Yes, the food comes at a slight smaller portion. But that’s to be expected. In past experiences, sometimes even the quality/flavor lacks that luster that you would find in their regular dishes. Not here. No way, no how. Bengal Tiger Indian Food packs quite a punch when it comes to their cuisine.

Located on the 2nd floor, Bengal Tiger is a cozy, bright little space. There’s not much seating to go around so if you plan on coming for a bite… arrive before that dinner rush. They have beautiful artwork/phrases from wall to wall with those classic warm as well as jewel tones… very inviting. I was meeting my friend after work and we got there JUST in time. We managed to snag the last spot since a portion of the restaurant was conquered by a meetup group. Although a tight space, we sat comfortably.

Vegetarians, have no fear. You have options here! (Rhyme not intended.) My friend had plenty of meatless options which was great. For the price of $16.95, you get an appetizer, entree and dessert. Not bad IMO.

bengaltiger-samosa

App/Veggie Samosa: Phenomenal. The outside is crispy and the inside was generously seasoned filled with potato and peas. And it was on top of a green & red sauce that had quite the kick. Let’s just say I asked for a personal pitcher of water.

bengaltiger-chickentikka

Entree/Chicken TIkka Masala: Had to go with the classic choice, of course Indian spicy. (Go big or go home!) The chicken was extremely tender and there was just the right amount of sauce to meat ratio. The layers and depth of earthiness and savory flavors were on par.

bengaltiger-kheer

Dessert/Kheer: I’m a rice pudding lover. Add cashews? Spices? Home run.

All in all, I highly recommend Bengal Tiger. There’s unlimited basmati rice and their Naan is superb. The prices won’t burn a hole in your wallet and they don’t sacrifice on the spice. Staff was incredibly friendly and my water glass was never empty. This is a fantastic little spot to satisfy all your Indian Food cravings.

58 W 56th St
2nd Fl
New York, NY 10019

(212) 265-2703

bengaltigerindianfood.com

The Little Uglyduckling

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.

inside-uglyduckling

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.

chickenwaffles-uglyduckling

tap-uglyducklingNot 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

uglyduckling-bk.com

SkyIce-Ice Baby!

PC: Yelp

PC: Yelp

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.)

PC: Yelp

PC: Yelp

drunken noodle-skyice

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.

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*Stuck in my head the ENTIRE time I wrote this review. Damn you Vanilla Ice.

Spice It Up!

 

 

 

 

Curry Puffs Dumplings-Pure Thai

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!

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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.

Spicy Wok Chicken-Pure Thai
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.

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*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.

766 9th Ave
New YorkNY 10019

 

b/t 51st St & 52nd St in Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West, Theater District

(212) 581-0999

purethaicookhouse.com