Super-quick review for a super-quick bite at All'onda.
Sat at the bar for a snack with a friend prior to a movie in Union Square. I've wanted to try this in a less abbreviated version since it opened, but only had 30 mins or so. Corkbuzz, where we'd initially wanted to stop for a glass of wine, was ridiculously poppin off (1.15 wait for 2 people, at a wine bar?) so we rolled into all'onda's empty bar around 630 mid-week. Definitely beat the dinner rush, as I know it's tough to get a reservation most nights.
We chatted with the pleasant bartender while enjoying a glass of wine, and shared the famous bucatini with breadcrumbs & uni. I'm not much of an Uni fan, as I've mentioned in previous posts, but I'm getting used to it - and this was a good experience. It wasn't as overwhelming as the sushi version - the overall flavor was a little briny, very different from what I'm used to in a pasta dish...but I definitely didn't hate it. First bite might be somewhat jarring...the second a little better..and by the end, you're licking the plate.
Wow - came to Toro with a large party for a special occasion, and they really pulled out all the stops. Fantastic experience and excellent Spanish food.
The space is beautiful, if located at the ends of Manhattan - almost across from Chelsea Piers. It's a mix of urban, sleek surfaces and a kind of Hamptons-chic...Ivy and reclaimed wood in the dining room, an open kitchen, but dark black marble bars..a little more relaxed ABC Kitchen.
We ate absolutely everything, so Ill list my faves out:
Pan Con tomate - one of my favorite basic tapas.
Tortilla Espanola - REALLY good. I'm usually not into the egg/potato thing at dinnertime, but theirs was really nice.
Jamon Serrano - obviously necessary.
Patatas Bravas - also one of those basic staples you can't miss while eating tapas style.
Gambas al Ajillo - Garlic shrimp- a little difficult to eat, and tiny portion, but SO delicious.
Setas - this was actually one of my absolute favorites - mushrooms with an egg yolk seated neatly in the middle of the plate.
Paella de Langostino - black truffle paella with Lobster. Obviously a show-stealer...huge portions, delicious. Whole lobster tail seated in the center, with seafood / veggies infused throughout...black rice made the dish really beautiful.
Great spot to bring family, clients, a date....all-around great experience.
Came to Colicchio & Sons for a work dinner recently, as it's close to the office and I couldn't believe I hadn't visited yet.
So I wouldn't necessarily call it my style - it's uber, uber upscale - and I like upscale - but it skews to a much older crowd, very white-tablecloth - extra fancy. However, the decor is still pretty modern and chic - either way, you know you'll be dropping some major cash here.
The service was impeccable - we were a table of 6, and the wait staff coordinated each course with such precision, you felt you were watching synchronized swimming. We didn't even order apps, but they brought out 2 rounds of amuse-bouche. One was a truffled cheese on a tiny cracker with caviar - Can i have this in sandwich form please!? Incredible. And the other was a mouthful of crab soup, also ridiculously decadent. With warm rolls served in steel trays, you almost don't need to order a meal.
I had the Truffle Roasted Chicken with wheat berries & mushroom. So soft, you didn't need a knife, and the truffle was almost infused into the meat itself. Very tasty, and the wheat berry salad was reminiscent of cous cous, so it balanced out the heavier chicken well.
I wouldn't come back if it were on my own tab, as it's truly outrageously expensive - and I think there's better bang for your buck elsewhere - but if you're interested in feeling like a wolf of wall street on a corporate card, this would be a solid choice.
Have wanted to try Monument Lane since moving to the neighborhood - it's got a very shabby chic, country home feel inside, but is placed directly across from the greenwich village equinox - ie, fantastic people watching.
Started off with a bang with the bacon bourbon bloody mary - awesome brunch cocktail, and i think my friends liked it even more than i did. the french 75 was fresh and light as well. Service was attentive for starters, but tapered off the longer we drank there. I had the Heritage Pork Benedict (with kale, cheese, hollandaise..) Pretty good. The burger comes with a garlic mayo and skinny fries, which were awesome. The scrambled eggs with caramelized onions are simple and delish too.
Great spot for brunch if you're not going AYCD-style. I want to go back for oysters at dinnertime.
Booked Willow Road due to close proximity to the office - had heard mixed reviews about the food, but as it's new, trendy, and the meal would be sponsored by work- I thought it would be worth a shot.
Tried a whole bunch of options, so I'll take it from best to worst:
Orecchiette with mushrooms and arugula - yum - listed as a small plate, but pretty hearty portion and very light for a pasta.
Fried Chicken - a little bit spicy, and a BIG hit around the table.
Meatballs - good for a heavier appetizer.
Bone Marrow - I personally don't love bone marrow, but the presentation was beautiful and it was served with a thick toast dressed with pork belly, which was pretty tasty.
Potato Crisps / Handcut Fries - nothing special.
Boiled Peanuts - with spices and ham hock - w. t. f. These were really hard to eat, messy, and unappetizing.
Service was very good, and i tried a variety of cocktails, all of which I enjoyed. When we walked in, the restaurant was practically empty - but it was absolutely poppin' by the time we left around 9. Decor is very cool & modern - would be good for a date or a business dinner in Chelsea.
Walked in to a COMPLETELY empty Riposo 72 on a Saturday afternoon at 3pm, so we had our choice of tables. The space is cute and comfy, with booths along the wall and a long bar up front.
The waitress/hostess/bartender who was holdin' it down was so friendly (and funny), we wanted her to join our table. Bloody Mary was served in a pint glass, which was clutch, and mimosas were 90% champagne, also clutch.
The truffled panini is totally the move - mozzarella, fontina, piave, parmesan, truffle oil. I totally didn't read the description, though, because for some reason I expected it to be a mushroom / cheese sandwich, and it's straight chesse - but i'm not complaining. Served bocadillo style on a long flat baguette. Also tried the steak bruschetta - which is more like a steak & arugula salad - my friend who ordered it wasn't in love with it, but I thought it was pretty deec.
I'd come back for a glass of wine next time I'm on the UWS.
Big fan of Pagani, not only for the delicious and simple pastas, but for the outstanding service.
I'm used to the hostesses always assuming i'm trying to pull some kind of trick - we can't seat you until your full party is here, there's no transferring tabs from the bar to the table, - but not so at Pagani. The hostess was so nice, it was almost a little strange. She welcomed us promptly, brought our incomplete party over to the table, and accommodated another friend who showed up a half hour later with a smile. It was really unlike anything I've seen in NYC as of late - so kudos for that!
We had so many waiters checking on us, it was hard to keep track, and I'm pretty sure the manager came over as well. Anyway, enough on that - but great job, Pagani.
On to the food - we all ordered pasta with the exception of one friend who had the folded chicken (and said it was amazing.) The tagliatelle seems to be the most popular, and it was very creamy and cheesy from the bite i tried. I had the Gemelli on a whim, and the sauce was incredible. Spicy italian sausages, served crumbly and doused in thick tomato sauce with red onion. The pasta itself is VERY al dente - which can be good or bad, I think it could've used a FEW more minutes of cook time - but it wasn't enough to distract me from the fantastic sauce. 2 friends were also loving the ricciatelle, with mushrooms, pine nuts, and white wine.
We shared several bottles of an argentinian Malbec - and I'm by no means a wine snob, but I must say it was quite good for $35/bottle.
Was sad when the meal was over because we probably could've had fun hanging out there for a while longer. I'll be back soon!
Already reviewed Momoya in the past, but too beautiful not to post. Bday dinner for a friend at Momoya in Chelsea. Sad that I don't think I'll ever truly enjoy Uni. Delicious Toro below.
I've been whining for a while that I'd never done Korean BBQ and really wanted to try it - and then proceeded to book a Japanese spot. My bad. Either way, it was a lot of fun, and I can still whine about how I've never had Korean.
Apparently there's a happy hour - judging by other reviews of this place - and I'm sad I missed it, but you can definitely order a huge variety of dishes for an extremely low price at any hour of the day here. We tried 2 different types of steak, duck, pork belly, and butter miso cod. THE BUTTER MISO COD...was so good, it's insane, and I feel like it's often overlooked - don't skip it! Loved the steak dishes as well - the duck was extremely fatty, I'd skip that next time.
These places are a little stressful, as I struggle with time management and am just staring at the strip of meat wondering how long 45 seconds is and if i'm going to overcook it or make everyone sick by dishing it out too fast - but if you can handle the stress...it pays off. We also had a mushroom medley and garlic spinach, which were great.
Definitely come with a group, could be a fun event with out-of-towners.
Headed over to Mary's Fish Camp last night for dinner, during a relatively un-busy week - holidays prior to NYE - and still found it packed at 9pm. The venue can only be described as adorable - looks like a Maryland beach spot, with a (painted over) tin roof, all-wood interior, and menu written on a chalkboard overhead.
If there's a crowd at the door, good luck, as they'll instruct you to sit on a small wooden bench to wait till a table opens up, then people will practically stand on top of you eating oysters..then a waitress will ask you to get up from said bench to pull out bottles of wine stored under the seat...so unless you score a table right away, the waiting experience isn't the most charming.
But, once you sit down - everything you eat will be fresh & delicious seafood. They only serve wine & beer, with a pretty limited selection, so not the place for cocktails. We didn't order anything off the actual menu we were handed - only from the chalkboard. First, we had chilled lobster knuckles - drawn butter, lemon - it's December, but they tasted like July. Delicious. Then, we tried Conch fritters - which we'd thought were going to look a little different, almost like calamari - but they came out like crab cakes, with a super spicy sauce on top. They were almost creamy, with chunks of green peppers and a heavy breaded consistency. Very good and indulgent.
After that, we differentiated ourselves as true individuals by NOT ordering the lobster roll. We had the whole sea bass, which doesn't come filleted, so careful for fish bones. Super light, with mixed grilled vegetables and lemon.
Overall, a great meal if you're in the mood for seafood - fun for a date or to bring a small group.