Flashback Friday- NYC Restaurant Week – Bread & Tulips

Happy 2020! Can’t believe that we are halfway in the first month of the year! What’s even more exciting is next week is NYC Winter Restaurant week. One of the restaurants that will be participating during the restaurant week is Bread and Tulips.

Over the summer, my friend and I had dinner at this hot spot in Gramercy. They had happy hour until 7pm for discounted drinks. We came on a Monday evening during the summer and the place was dead. Service was on point in terms of knowledge and efficiency.

– Appetizers: To start, we took advantage of the restaurant week wine bottle special for $35. The wine was very good and the waiter re-corked the bottle to take home because we could not finish a bottle of wine. We ordered the crab cakes and Tuscan kale salad. The crab cakes were very good overall, the only comment I would say is that it was a little salty but all the components are well balanced if consumed in one bite. My friend got the Tuscan Kale Salad, which was really good, refreshing and healthy. Out of the two dishes, the kale salad was the better of the two.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20190805_1923085775847743447210204.jpg
Crab Cakes
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20190805_1923121056138428416767855.jpg
Tuscan Kale Salad
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20190805_1913397597009984600325402.jpg
Restaurant Week Wine Special: $35 bottle wine – Campos de Riscas Estate Wine Organic Monasyrell – Syrah

– For the entree, we ordered the seared sea scallops and Long Island duck. The scallops was really good and the flavors were well balanced. Meanwhile my friend got the duck which was amazing and very lean. Out of the two dishes, the duck was the better of the two. That duck was to die for and personally I could see that dish become inconsistent if it was a busy night. Plus both dishes went well with the wine.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20190805_1942415005939395685528768.jpg
Seared Sea Scallops with asparagus and pancetta vinaigrette
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20190805_1942377915958323859368318.jpg
Long Island Duck – Braised red cabbage, marcona almonds, sage and balsamic

The desserts were to awesome. The tartufo is amazing and with the lemon flavor and currents and walnut texture, the dish was a perfect end to my prix fixe. My friend got the chocolate mousse cake with hazelnut gelato, which was flawless.

Tartufo al Limoncello
Chocolate mousse and hazelnut gelato

Personal note, go on a non-busy night; given the restaurant’s reputation I can foresee regular people like us could get ignored and getting subpar service. The night we went it was dead (10 people were dining that evening).

Bread & Tulips is one of the over 300 restaurants participating in the upcoming NYC restaurant week starting from January 21 – February 7.

Stay tuned for suggested restaurants for this restaurant week….

Meatless Monday – Keste on Fulton

I have heard great things about Keste in the Village in Manhattan. I was thrilled when they decided to open another location in downtown Manhattan. This location is pretty hidden. The address states Fulton, but it is hidden behind bushes and plants and you would have to walk down a side street to enter the restaurant.

I have been to Keste several times because they awesome fresh personal pies, but they must be consumed before it gets cold. The chef/owner uses fresh ingredients and native techniques to execute a personal pie like no other. The place also holds pizza making classes and other food events.

What is awesome about this place was their $5 personal margherita pie. Here’s the catch, to get the discount, this pie must be eaten in the restaurant.

The place also has happy hour until 7pm and they have drink specials and complementary food samples.

If you want to splurge, the truffle pizza aka the Montanara Truffle $20, which has the perfect balance of truffle to mozzarella. Decadent and delightful!!

A great place for lunch, dinner, get together with friends of all food types meaning they have gluten free pizzas. A place worth eating and a bang for your buck!!

Throwback Thursday – Fishtail to Tavern 62

Happy Winter Solstice! Yes it’s officially winter and this year is going by way too fast.  I was reviewing the thousands of pictures taken within the last five years and I’ve come across several pictures taken of my meals eaten at David Burke Fishtail (closed on January 2016), which is now Tavern 62, which opened in October 2016.    Anyways, what I enjoyed eating at both places was the camaraderie vibe between the staff, bartenders and management.  I enjoyed the happy hour deals, well presented entrees and desserts. Food tasting at times varied depending on the day and whose cooking it and whether it was healthy or not is another story.  But anyhow, I am still drawn into eating at this place due to their seasonal changes in menu.  Below is a chronological timeline of some of the dishes consumed at Fishtail and Tavern 62.

Flashback Friday – Chinese Noodle Soup Adventures

Since the temperature plummeted last week, I’ve been having cravings for noodle soup made from Chinese handmade noodles or homemade ramen specifically.  What I love about these noodles is that I don’t have the knowledge that the noodles are processed, what I mean is that it does not contain the durum wheat, which has been documented as a source for weight gain and obesity.  In addition to the healthy appearing noodles, the broth is made to perfection especially on a cold winter night.  

Below are places I’ve had ramen and or homemade Chinese Noodle soup that it’s worth the money spent and it’s filling. 

Mixed Lamb Noodle Soup $8 Uncle Zhou Elmhurst

Spicy Chicken Ramen Soup – $6.95 Cafe Water Water Street NYC

Beef Stew Hand Drawn Noodle Soup – Lao Bei Fang Dumpling House – Elmhurst

Wonton Hand Drawn Noodle Soup – Lao Bei Fang Dumpling House

Kuu Chili Ramen $14 with House Sake $6 during happy hour – Kuu Ramen – Financial District NYC

Mixed Lamb Noodle Soup $8 – Uncle Zhou – Elmhurst, NY

Spicy Beef Knife shaved noodle soup – Uncle Zhou – Elmhurst NY

Knife shaped noodles – Uncle Zhou – Elmhurst NY

Flashback Friday – Hair of the Dog 

Happy Friday! Happy Candy Day! Today I am revisiting an afterwork Friday happy hour experience at the Lower East side sports bar called Hair of the Dog. This bar is part of a chain called NYC Best Bars is known for their happy hours and brunch. Happy Hour is half price of every drink at the bar until 8pm. For brunch they offer “BYOC” Bring Your Own Coffee.

In addition to the happy hour offer, I had to taste the food. The menu had a great variety of bar food. I was there for a co-worker’s birthday party and I had dinner plans after so I only ordered one appetizer and their only dessert item on the menu.

For appetizers, I went with the combo of onion rings and Tater Tots ($7), portions were pretty big so it is great for sharing. Both tater tots and onion rings were crisp to perfection; the grease complemented and absorbed the vanilla vodka and ginger ale cocktail I had.

The bar menu only had one dessert, which was Deep fried oreos. Given that the other bars that is part of the chain offered Deep fried oreos, I had to order it. After consuming 2 cocktails the fried oreos definitely hit the spot and covered up somega evidence of my alcohol consumption.

After looking at this food picture, I did a little research on any healthier options to make these dishes. Below, are three reasons recipes I found online that I would like try:

Healthy version of Deep Fried Oreos: Baked “Deep Fried” Oreos

Tater Tots using sweet potatoes (healthy alternative): Baked Sweet Potato Tater Tots plus Baked Onion Rings

Stay tuned for updates. Also find me on Instagram (tablespoonsandteaspoons).

Flashback Friday – China Grill

Happy Friday! It is time to take full advantage of the summer deals during my vacation.

One of these deals is the bento box lunch special from 12pm-4pm Monday-Saturday at China Grill in New York City.

Did you know that China Grill was around for almost thirty years? Well after one of the best fusion lunches I have had in a while, I can definitely testify to that.

Earlier this week, I caught up with a friend for lunch and both of us were definitely excited to explore the options.  So below are the two bento boxes we created.  Both of us ordered the Peking duck salad and wasabi mashed potatoes.  My friend ordered the dumplings and salmon teriyaki and I was on the noodle box and shrimp red curry.  Our bento boxes were “to die for”, presentation was beautiful but more importantly the taste was on point.  It was definitely worth the $19.87 spent on this meal.

In addition to the bento box, we decided order the popular salted caramel soufflé ($20), which has to be ordered ahead of time and it is served only on the lunch menu.

20160822_153346

Made to order dessert that serves two people available during lunch

After devouring the divine dessert, that was well balanced.  The sponge cake, plus the cream and caramel definitely hit the spot.

It was after 4pm and happy hour begins.  My other friend contacted me and informed me that I have to come here for happy hour.  It turns out she was right.  The menu offers a lot of options for drinks such as cocktails and bar bites from their appetizer menu.  So I settled for the lychee and cucumber cocktail ($8) with the lotus root dumplings ($7).  Both choices were delicious.

Overall service for lunch and happy hour were awesome.  My friend and I were satisfied and I can’t wait to share this experience with my friends and peers.  Cheers to China Grill and their continuing success.  See you soon China Grill!

 

Flashback Friday – Neirs Tavern

Happy Friday!! It’s been over a month since my last post, which was on an American holiday Memorial Day.  After a month of being MIA due to several food exploration dishes, I am back on the first of July – 4th of July weekend.  To begin:

Happy Birthday America!! To celebrate food and American history, let’s explore an historic venue in American history.  This venue is not in Washington D.C. or in downtown Manhattan, but in Woodhaven, Queens.

Almost 6 weeks ago I took my parents to the oldest tavern in US history now – Neir’s Tavern.  Actually I heard about this tavern from a segment that aired on $9.99 with Dave Evans where he had the tavern’s famous coldest beer in New York City.

Neir’s Tavern opened in 1829 and was restored in 2009.  The tavern has made several appearance in famous movies such as Goodfellas and Tower Heist.  I have had the privilege of meeting the tavern’s owner at the recent Queens Taste event & samples their cotton candy wings.

When I took my parents to the tavern, the location of it was not ideal but we were lucky to find parking.  Once we arrived, I felt the historical presence that this tavern has.  I definitely took advantage of the happy hour special of the $3 draft cold beer.  Also, I discovered that the tavern also has $5 lunch special that is a steal.

20160519_185620

Happy Hour Draft Beer $3

20160519_192137

BBQ Jack Wings $7.95

To start, we ordered the BBQ Jack Wings ($7.95), they were perfectly fried with the right amount of sauce.  Other popular wings also include Cotton Candy Wings, Teriyaki wings and Thai Chili Honey Wings both for the same price!

20160519_192640

“Tower Heist” Sandwich $9.95

My dad is a huge steak person so every non-Thai or non-Filipino restaurant he looks for the steak options.  The only option he had was the “Tower Heist” sandwich, obviously named after the movie “Tower Heist”, which is an open face steak sandwich with lettuce and tomato.  It comes with fries and cole slaw.   The steak tasted similar to a roast beef sandwich, so it was my least favorite.

After reading the food reviews of the tavern and there were rave reviews on the burgers.  Therefore, my mother and I ordered two burgers that were named after an actress Mae West, who got her start in this tavern and the classic movie “Goodfellas”.  My mother settled for the “Mae West” burger, which is made up of angus beef, lettuce, tomato, red onion, mushrooms along with cole slaw & fries.  Her burger was good, fries were not as crispy as I have had in the past and cole slaw had an acidic, sour and tangy twist that is unique from the cole slaws I have had in the past.

Finally, I went for the popular “Goodfellas” burger, another burger to add to the growing list of burgers I have had in recent years.  The “Goodfellas” burger consisted of an angus burger with grilled tomato, onions, pepper jack cheese and chipotle honey mayo.  The burger also came with fries and cole slaw.  The burger could have cleanly presently and huge that it had to be dissected with a fork & knife.  The burger overall was flavorful especially with the mayo and pepper jack cheese.

At the end of this high protein dinner, the overall service was good, but they were short staff where the bartender was also our server.  I would definitely return especially for lunch and explore the variety of wings they offer.

 

Flashback Friday – Central Bar Happy Hour – NYC

Happy Friday!! A few months ago I stopped by my colleague’s happy hour birthday party at Central Bar, which is an Irish bar in NYC.  It was a Friday night during Lent, where I decided to give up cheese and can’t eat meat.  In addition, I was on a diet.  Given the situation, I was limited to what I can order.  After scrolling the menu and I was impressed of the happy hour drink specials.  So I decided to participate by ordering the following:

Sweet potato fries $6 – House made sweet potato fries and chipotle mayo

Spiked Arnold Palmer $6 (happy hour) and $9 regular price – Firefly Sweet tea Vodka  and housemade lemonade

20160226_190557Food and drink was worth the price for happy hour.  The Spiked Arnold Palmer was well-balanced with tea/lemonade mixture and the vodka.  The sweet potato fries were perfect to absorb the alcohol content.

Personally, I love sweet potato fries and I was inspired to make my own, but I came across a product when I visited Trader Joes for only $2.29 for a 15 oz. package.  The package serves 5 people and each serving size is 3 ounces.  Now 3 ounces is equivalent to 5 tablespoons.  The fries were very good and well coated.

Recently there was a video posted on Tasty on making sweet potato fries.  Below is my product of the recipe.  Texture was crispy as I was mixing in the garnishes of salt, cheese and parsley.  The addition of cornstarch definitely added crispiness to the fries.  I just need more practice on mastering this dish.  Meanwhile, I will definitely stick to ordering at a restaurant or bar especially at Central Bar.

20160408_214202

Sweet potato fries are a healthy snack.  The history and health benefits on consumption are posted on my Meatless Monday post, which was also National Potato Lover’s Day.

Now that Lent is over, I would definitely return to Central Bar and take advantage of the drink specials and their potentially health friendly meat/cheese dishes.