The Little Beet!

Sorry folks I haven’t been on in a while. It’s been a busy past couple of months! I started Grad School (woah, right?) and I’m just getting into that summer mode! (Perks of working in Education.) But, I’m back and with a cool new (healthy!) spot to boot.


littlebeet

How far is one willing to trek to get healthy, high quality food? Well. I’m not ashamed to say that I drove 30 min to Roosevelt Field Mall just for the Little Beet. It’s worth the trip.

If you haven’t been to RF Mall in the past several months, they have revamped their entire food court into what is now called the “Dining District”. And finally I have a healthy place to eat at! It’s right smack in the middle of the food court. For $10 you can pick a Protein (chicken, steak, tofu, salmon, veggie) + a side. There’s a bunch so I won’t name them all. ($12 for protein & 2 sides, $14 for protein and 3 sides)

From visiting a few times, I’ve had the opportunity to try a bunch of their grilled vegetables which are fantastic. My favorites include:
-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with sea salt & pecorino
-Roasted Cauliflower with olive & lemon oil
-Lentils with avocado, oranges, pecans, kale & ginger
-Buckwheat Soba Noodles

As for their proteins: chicken and steak were fantastic. Make sure to ask for their spicy/smoky maple sauce (I think that’s what it is). It’s got quite the kick and really pairs well with the meal. Trying to eat healthy? You don’t have to sacrifice flavor for clean eating! Not with the Little Beet anyway.

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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

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.

Venturing Into Alice’s Wonderland

PC: Yelp

PC: Yelp

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
(212) 486-9200
 
alicesteacup.com

 

Govinda’s

Govindas-meal

 

 

I feel like I’ve just hit the jackpot.

And by jackpot, I mean I’ve discovered delicious, cheap, fresh food in the most unexpected place imaginable. Yes, I’m talking about in the basement of a hare krishna temple. Don’t you just love that?

You can wander past this place without doing a double take. There’s no large neon sign. No flyers. No people advertising outside. It’s good ol’ fashioned word-of-mouth marketing and of course many thanks to all of you. When you walk in, look past the man that sits by the door and past the temple services and to your right you will find Govinda’s. Picture this: Walk down a flight of stairs into what looks like a much-needed-rennovation space that reminds me of an older catering hall/cafeteria. The walls are a interesting shade of green and it’s a veryyyy casual atmosphere. And….. I love all of it.

The staff here is incredibly friendly and always have a smile on their faces. If you look at the sign on the wall (see picture) it’ll tell you the price breakdown. Everything is made that day (buffet style) and fresh out of the kitchen. Their desserts for the most part are vegan so if you have dietary restrictions, always ask! They’re very accommodating.

As for the food. Holy cow (irony, I know) this stuff is GOOD. No GREAT. They offer vegetarian/vegan options without sacrificing any flavor. I’ve been able to each lunch here (Mon-Fri 12:00-3:30pm) a few times and their star dish IMO has to be the eggplant parm. It’s not your traditional eggplant parm by any means in that there’s a underlying hint of curry with every bite. Super “meaty” and cheesy. I’ve also had their: pumpkin soup, quinoa salad, curry chickpeas, roasted curry potatoes/veggies, vegan cookies and cupcakes. Their meals come with their own homemade multigrain bread which is pretty stellar like everything else.

Not only are the portions pretty hefty (I have yet to finish my full lunch), but they’re very reasonably priced. Everything I’ve had here has been nothing short of amazing. I’m looking forward to becoming one of their “regulars”.

305 Schermerhorn St
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 855-6714
https://www.facebook.com/govindaslunch

 

Ki Sushi

Front-Ki Sushi

You Yelpers don’t lie. This place blows other Japanese restaurants out of the water. I will try to piggy-back off of what everyone else is saying without being too repetitive. Let’s just let it be known that Ki puts the ISH in fish.

I was visiting Brooklyn for the day with my mother. It was her birthday and we were both craving sushi. Having somewhat solid sushi joints in Long Island, I was hoping to stumble upon a decent lunch spot during my travels. Seeing as Ki was so highly-praised, we had to eat here.

Their ambiance really separates itself from other sushi restaurants. With the sounds of cascading water and low lighting, I truly felt relaxed. Feng shui just radiates from here. It was decently crowded for a Wednesday lunch but we were lucky enough to get a seat right near the window. Their lunch prices are extremely reasonable considering what they give you for your meal. It was $12 for a chicken teriyaki bento box.

Bento Box-Ki Sushi

Here’s what a $12 lunch includes at Ki:
-Ridiculously good miso soup
-Ginger Salad
-Chicken Teriyaki, White Rice with black sesame, 2 Gyoza, steamed veggies (that included butternut squash. unusually amazing pairing), and a california roll.*

Sushi- Ki Sushi

The food looks so artfully prepared. You can tell it was made with precision, care and only the freshest of ingredients. What I appreciated most was the amount of fish to rice ratio. And that they give you 8 pieces instead of 6. Many places skimp on the fish but not Ki. I was not only thoroughly impressed with that but also on the aesthetics on the plating! If you’re a big green tea drinker like me… there’s unlimited re-fills. Huzzah!

Ki, you have now climbed your way to the top of my list of “favorite sushi places”.

*If you’d like you can substitute your california roll with another for an additional charge. I was craving the philly roll and it only cost $2 extra. Don’t be afraid to ask!!

122 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

b/t Dean St & Pacific St in Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill

(718) 935-0575