Tag Archives: nolita

AFB: Where to Go

HEY NEW YORKERS!  Need some restaurant inspiration this week?  Here are 5 spots to try.

Just Opened, Casual: the fried chicken and apple pie at Hill Country Chicken, 1123 Broadway nr 25th, in Flatiron.

Sexy Small Plates/Bar that You Haven’t Been to Yet: L’Oubli for a brandy smash, steak tartare, a glass of wine, croque monsieur, a country pate, more wine.  From Eric Demarchelier’s son Benjamine.

Well-Reviewed Asian ‘cue: Fatty ‘Cue for Heritage pork ribs slathered in smoked fish sauce and Indonesian long pepper sounds cool. As does Red Curry duck with sweet pickled daikon, washed down with a cold bottle of Tiger.  91 South 6th St, Brooklyn

The Sweet Little Favorite that Never Disappoints and is Cheap: Lovely Day. 196 Prince nr Elizabeth, Nolita.  This lovely little vintage-Asian-gamine Thai spot was closed for the longest time due to a fire, and is now BACK. Ginger-fried chicken and chow fung noodles, yesssss.  And it has a brand new downstairs level with more seats so now you don’t have to wait so damn long.

The Upscale but Pretty Farm to Table Restaurant: ABC Kitchen. Love roasted squash with parmesan and lemon, roasted carrot and avocado salad, spaghettini with shrimp and red chili flakes,  and am crazy for the Sundae: salt caramel ice cream, candied peanuts and popcorn, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

Inside Hill Country Chicken


Inside L'Oubli

Fatty 'Cue

I love Lovely Day

ABC Kitchen's Kitchen

Leave a comment

Filed under AFB: Where to Go, Eating, Restaurants

A Public Service

the main courses at Public

the main courses at Public

 

Upon scooping up the last bits of an insanely gorgeous rhubarb-meringue dessert at Public on Friday night, I realized somewhat ashamedly that I have never given Public enough credit.  Maybe because I lived on Elizabeth St for years I took Public’s stylish, upscale presence for granted.  Maybe because the cocktails are so good there I rarely made it to the dinner portion of the evening (you have to try their guava and red chile margarita to truly understand the circumstance).  Or, and perhaps most likely, maybe my dark, deep-seated fear of really well-designed restaurants that lure you in only to disappoint with mediocre food made me neglectful of an absolutely fantastic spot.

fried oysters...this is a must-try

fried oysters...this is a must-try even though my blurry picture does it no justice

What contributed to my change of taste?  Or rather, who?  Well, actually, one of the owners did.  Good karma (or Matt B., my wonderful and well-connected friend) was on my side when I slid into the seat directly across from Adam Farmerie, an immensely talented (and refreshingly unpretentious) principal of design firm AvroKo and brother to Public’s chef, Brad.  Listen, I know what you’re thinking.  I dined as a guest of an owner so OBVIOUSLY I’m going to tout the food and gush all over the place.  Well, yes.  But if the food sucked or was even mediocre, I wouldn’t say anything at all.  

Gewurztraminer with appetizers

Gewurztraminer with appetizers

Here’s what stood out: ethereally light fried oysters with a wasabi-yuzu dipping sauce, seared foie served on a little french toast point with bits of bacon, venison served atop yummy falafel, barramundi (oh why don’t I eat this fish more), snail and oxtail raviolis, pork loin, six different homemade sorbets whose colors ran straight out of a Crayola box, gold-star worthy sticky toffee pudding, and, OH, that rhubarb-meringue thing that’s new.  

Snail and Oxtail Ravioli- so cool, so good

Snail and Oxtail Ravioli- so cool, so good

Barramundi

Barramundi

I wish I had better descriptions, but you see I haven’t yet covered the things imbibed.  It started with a bracing glass of Verdejo, moving onto a crisp glass of bubbles (name not remembered), to an absolutely mind-blowing Gewurztraminer that reminded me yes, I can appreciate a slightly sweet white as long as it has enough complexity to hold my attention, to a bottle of Reisling and finishing with Adam’s home-made chili-spiked Limoncello.  So I apologize my descriptions aren’t more articulate. 

Pop Sorbet- banana, mango, raspberry, muscat grape, grapefruit....oh, I can't remember!

Pop Sorbet- banana, mango, raspberry, muscat grape, grapefruit....oh, I can't remember!

Public’s food inspires but it also makes you think about the fun of food, of creating new flavors no one else has thought of yet, and rouses you to rethink classics in modern ways.  The space (huge, airy, clean, city-office chic meets huge, rustic, garage cool) is beautiful- and I embraced that belief from the first moment I stepped foot in the space, five years ago with my mother when I had just moved to Elizabeth St and wanted to celebrate a new chapter of my life.

So here’s my Public service announcement: I recommend Public for those who love adventurous food, those who want to take someone on a sexy date, those who want to impress friends with a sophisticated dinner but wants to have fun all the same, those who want a little style on the table.  I don’t recommend it for peeps in the mood for $12 pasta or  roast chicken (although you can still go to the bar and enjoy the cocktails).  

Of note: there’s a really cool adjoining wine bar called the Monday Room (that’s where I had my Verdejo).  And this sounds great: a Sunday Supper ($50 for five courses) where the kitchen comes up with whatever they want- it changes every week.  It’s your chance to experiment with the kitchen, yahoo!

Public, 210 Elizabeth St bet Spring and Prince Sts.  212.343.7011. For more info/menus, visit the website here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Eating, Restaurants

Feeling the Pinche

Finding myself with a rare weekend day in the city (and absolutely no commitments or responsibilities), I spent a lazy afternoon cruising the streets of my neighborhood, doing a little bit of shopping, a lot of browsing and people-watching, whilst enjoying the late summer peace that has pervaded the leafy streets of Nolita.  Wanting an easy, cheap lunch, I decided to check out Pinche Taqueria, which opened up last November in a tiny storefront on Mott St.  

Pinche Taqueria on Mott St

Pinche Taqueria on Mott St

To my surprise, I learned Pinche is no flash-in-the-pan trendy La Esquina wannabe.  Rather, it’s a second location, the original having opened in 1973 in Tijuana, Mexico.   It boasts “all natural rancho style cooking,” with everything made from scratch and nothing frozen or canned.   

I ordered a fish taco and a carnita (braised pork) along with a side of yucca fries.  All of their tacos are served in soft tortillas with onions, cilantro, guacamole and salsa.   Not one to hinder the promise of Mexican food perfection, I ordered a Pacifico to wash it all down.  

lunch

lunch

The tacos were, as promised, wonderfully fresh.  The carnita in particular was outstanding- moist, flavorful braised pork heaped in the tortilla…at $2.75 it really is a great deal.  The yucca fries, at $4.25, were way overpriced because they taste like nothing.  Yucca is a hard vegetable to get right, and when you do, it’s delicious, but Pinche seems to think they should have no flavor at all.

amazing pork carnita

amazing pork carnita

spicy fish taco with a side of radish

My lunch came out to about $16, which, depending on how you interpret budget these days, is either really cheap compared to lunch at a restaurant or really expensive for two tacos and a beer (and some tasteless fries).  I wonder how much it costs in Tijuana?

Overall, great tacos, worth a drive-by next time you’re in the hood.

Leave a comment

Filed under Eating, Restaurants

Cafe au lait, Rain, Awning.

It’s a gloomy Sunday; I’ve just returned back from the opening of the new MGM Grand Hotel at Foxwoods in CT.  It was a lavish, wild event that left me with little sleep and sore calves from dancing all night.  I need coffee.  I throw on my favorite jeans, the softest sweater I can find, and grab an umbrella on the way out because the sky looks like it wants to cry.  

Five minutes later, I step from Ceci-Cela patisserie onto Spring St with my cafe au lait to go.  It is now raining, hard.  So grateful for this coffee, and so disinterested in balancing an umbrella and coffee (I always spill it on myself), I decide to wait it out under Ceci’s blue awning.  The rich buttery scent of delicious things baking – croissants, tarts, brioche-wafts up from Ceci’s basement, whose hatch doors are open next to where I stand.  Across the narrow street, Spring Lounge is filled with friends meeting up for afternoon beers, or marking the end to a day of shopping.  People walk by briskly, many without umbrellas, complaining of the gloom.  “Another beautiful day in New York,” utters an unhappy-looking man in a crisp British accent.  I take a long sip of hot coffee, feeling it warm up my body.  The rain taps on the awning above, and I watch, contentedly, as the world goes by.  I agree completely. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Eating