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.
– 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.
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.
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….
Hello once again! This month was very adventurous with various eating adventures and weight gain. However, I was successfully able to achieve one of my goals for this year, which was to write more reviews on Yelp and OpenTable. I am happy to announce (yes I know it’s cheesy) but I am now part of Yelp Elite. Therefore I am very excited to take part in more exclusive Yelp events and network with more elite Yelpers.
I am happy to say that I have attended at least one of my lunch and dinner restaurant recommendations for NYC Winter Restaurant week thanks to my new friends from Catholic NYC.
So let’s begin with the list of restaurants I was able to eat at for the first official NYC Restaurant week of 2019:
The restaurant has two floors which calls for segregation from the restaurant week people and their high end regular clients. Overall service was good, my waiter was knowledgeable and recommended the great wine pairing with my entree. This would be a great special occasion restaurant or for a date night for two. Now to the meal:
– The appetizers offered for restaurant week were different variations of their regular menu appetizers. So I settled for the burrata with arugula, beets and poached pear, which was tasty with the Portuguese white wine. Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo or the photo did it make it to this phone.
– For the entree, I settled for the miso butternut squash glazed bass, which was part of their regular menu and beautifully presented. The skin was crispy, and the meat combined with the squash and the leeks plus the white wine was perfect.
– For the dessert, I paid an extra $8 for their classic baked alaska, which was the highlight of my meal and worth the extra cost. The dessert presentation was amazing, the walnut cake, banana gelato, and lemon meringue plus carmelization smokiness was to die for.
I came here to have dinner with three people and we had the opportunity to take advantage of the happy hour. The happy hour deals were good. The cool thing about this place was for $42 you get to order four things (Two appetizers, entree and dessert).
Overall the restaurant was busy and after paying our bill, the hostess had to “kick us out” of the table for new guests. She was really nice and accommodating by providing us with a free drink at their lounge. I ordered the “From Beirut with Passion” cocktail which is a basil cilantro mint infused vodka with sparkling passion fruit. This drink after was much stronger than the happy hour version.
– For the two appetizers I went with the steak tartare with onions and jalapenos and the fattoush salad. The tartare was a small portion designed to be cut into quarters to accommodate the perfect balance bite. Therefore the bite tasted good with everything combined. Next the fattoush salad arrived. The salad was refreshing, very minty and crispy due to the toasted pita chips, which worked really well after eating the tartare.
– For the main entree I ordered the Lamb Makboubeh and it was meaty, gamey and hearty especially with the dirty rice and mixed nut mixture. The cucumber yogurt sauce really helped mask the gaminess of the lamb shank. I only ate half of the dish and took the rest home.
– For the dessert came I ordered the ilili candy bar and it was a small portion compared to a regular order. It tasted so good and was a perfect end to the meal.
This restaurant is my go to spot to take a group of people because their menu is the same for restaurant week. Service was efficient and very quick. I sat in the standing table at 5 to 8 and was done with everything at 9.
First I ordered a mocktail: Moscow Mouse which was good and refreshing.
– Appetizer: I ordered the pastrami salmon with falafel. The pastrami salmon was not the same as I had it before. The falafel was a healthier version that caught me by surprise because it was chewy and it did have the breaded crispy crunch that would be found in most if not all authentic falafel.
– Entree – I ordered the roasted branzino. The dish was one of the best dishes I have had in this restaurant to date. The branzino had a great roasted crisp especially combined with the squash, crispy artichoke and artichoke puree. The puree was the best I have had to date.
– For the dessert I went with my server’s recommendation of the chocolate hazelnut crunch cake. Unfortunately, the picture of this beautifully presented dish did not save on my phone. The cake was rich but it has to be consumed with the whipped cream for a balanced taste.
For restaurant week I came here for dinner with three friends from Catholic NYC. This restaurant was another good go to spot to take a group of people because their menu is the also same for restaurant week. The restaurant from the outside looks like a hole in a wall, after bypassing the crowded bar there was a open deceivingly unknown space for dining. I would return to have brunch because the back area of the restaurant had a awesome sunroof plus I was informed that there was a speakeasy.
First I ordered a mocktail: Paul Hogan, which was good and refreshing.
Appetizer: I ordered the roasted beet salad. The salad was definitely colorful just as our server described and it was tasty and refreshing.
Entree: I ordered the barramundi which was both popular and highly recommended by our server. The dish was roasted perfectly crispy and mixed with vegetables it had a great balance of flavors. The dish compliment well with the Pinor Gris from Australia.
Dessert: I had to have the bread pudding which was so good and a perfect end to this dessert.
I finally had the privilege to enjoy lunch at the Dutch for NYC restaurant week. I barely made it to lunch before the kitchen closed for dinner. The staff was very accommodating and ensured I was well taken care of. Service overall was great. I took advantage of the deal $26 for two courses which was a great bargain for the amount of food I got. I highly recommend this restaurant for lunch for restaurant week, it’s worth it.
I had the hot tin roof cocktail which was good, refreshing and somewhat medicinal. For the appetizer I went with the shrimp cocktail, the shrimps were huge and the right amount of the crab louie made this deceptively small dish very filling.
The entree was the highlight for me, the roasted chicken kale caesar salad with lots and lots of cheese was huge that it could feed two people. This salad was so good, the chicken was tender and skin was so crispy while the kale and cheese combination hit the spot. I was only able to eat half of it.
For the final night of restaurant week dinner I came to Riverpark with 5 people fromCatholic NYC 15 minutes before they closed. This restaurant is absolutely gorgeous. Service was efficient and accommodating especially when they were going to close for the evening. I would return to have brunch because of the view and outdoor dining option.
Given the time of night I went light and pescatarian.
Appetizer: I ordered the cauliflower sformato. The appetizer was pretty and custard in combination with the cauliflower was to die for.
Entree: I went with the diver scallops and clams which was light and perfect for that of the evening.
Dessert I had to have the persimmon cake with the ginger ice which hit the spot and was a perfect end to this restaurant week adventure.
Today is the last day of NYC Restaurant Week and after reviewing menus and reviews, I was not impressed with the options that were offered this season. Therefore, I was considering skipped this season’s restaurant week. However two of my friends wanted to do restaurant week lunch and dinner. So after getting my arm twisted, I ended up eating a really good lunch at Cut by Wolfgang Puck in Lower Manhattan. My friend wanted to eat there and so I joined her. The service at this restaurant was really good and very accommodating.
For $29, my lunch prix fixe included the following: goat cheese ravioli, crispy quail salad and empire apple crumble.
For dinner, I decided to use my $100 gift card I won at last year’s American Cancer Society Taste of Hope event to eat from Massoni, an Italian/Asian casual fusion restaurant. Service was not par and food was not what I had expected. Furthermore the waiter was terrible, he didn’t know how the food was made and screwed up people’s orders. He suggested items for the $42 prix fixe, which was a bad idea because everything was salty. The waiter too responsibility for his mistake and gave me a free drink and a side dish of squash.
In addition, I took advantage of the happy hour $8 wines until 7pm. I had a Falanghina/fuedi di san gregorio 2014, a white wine and a Barbera/pico maccario 2015, a red wine.
For the $42 salty three course prix fixe dinner, I ordered Biriyani balls, Brussels sprouts pizza, and Snickers cannoli. Let’s put it this way, the cannoli was the best dish out of the three. The first two dishes were so salty that I couldn’t finish it, my friend shared the appetizer with me and I took leftover Brussels Sprouts pizza home.
By far Massoni was probably the worse restaurant week meal I have had and I used the remaining balance on the gift card to order more food to see if their regular menu was better….
My friend ordered the salmon and it was supposed to have potatoes and leeks. Let’s just say the dish was a disappointment because it not only had too much dill but it was salty with very little potatoes and leeks.
If it was not for the gift certificate I would not have eaten at this restaurant. I believe the food needs more work, I have to give the benefit of the doubt that this place opened less than a year ago. Honestly, I would not come back here, there are more restaurants out there to try for better food and service.
Happy Monday! With halfway through NYC restaurant week, I’m playing catch up. Over the last 3-4 weeks, I’ve been thoroughly reviewing 337 out of the 390 menus for this season’s restaurant week. This week I will be blogging my picks that I believe is the best bang for your buck.
In addition, if you have an American Express credit card you can register your card to get an extra $5 off your meal purchase of $35 or more for up to 4x for restaurant week.
If you have instagram you can take pictures of your prix fixe course and tag #NYCrestaurantweek for a daily chance of winning a $50 gift card.
So let’s get to it:
Since it is Meatless Monday, I came up with seven (7) participating restaurants that you can enjoy a three course vegetarian meal for either $29 or $42.
Here’s the game plan for vegetarians who want to enjoy NYC restaurant week:
Three course Prix Fixe Vegetarian Options picks for NYC Restaurant Week.
Happy Thursday so as promised and better late than never I will be posting my dining experience from NYC restaurant week. Although it was painful to see the $4 price hike on a prix fixe meal, I want to get my money’s worth eating a restaurant with a reputation e.g. Zagat rated, Michelin starred. In my previous post categorizing where I would eat while getting my money’s worth plus collecting bonus OpenTable points.
Well guess what, I did not include a farm to table Michelin rated restaurant called Blenheim. The reason why this restaurant was not on my list of restaurants to eat during restaurant week was that their menu was not yet posted on their website or NYC.go’s site. Anyways, the ambiance and West Village location, the restaurant was cozy, local and low key.
Unfortunately I missed the happy hour special, which ends at 6pm but very excited to indulge in their summer cocktail that contains a hashtag called “#WildWestVillage. This cocktail consists of watermelon, tequila, honey and berry. At at splurge of this $16 cocktail, one drink was definitely enough but more importantly it was very refreshing.
Two of my girlfriends joined me in this restaurant week experience. The restaurant week menu and the regular menu were given with instructions. If we wanted to order from the restaurant week menu, the whole table had to participate, which we all did. Now in hindsight, service treatment was biased because we felt that we were not treated as regular customers. For example, bread was served to us but in a smaller plate compared with the rest of the customers. My friend actually called it out where our server heard it and the host had to “clean up the mess”. Anyways, back to the food, the food served during restaurant week was in small portions compared to their a la carte menu. However the quality of food did not disappoint. For appetizers, I ordered the poached egg served with beans and asparagus. My friend ordered the chilled soup and my order friend got the salad. I had a tasting of all three dishes and they were all good, but my favorite of the three was the poached egg with asparagus and bean. The presentation was natural and pretty, but more importantly the flavors were perfectly balanced.
Poached egg with asparagus
One of the major reasons why I wanted to eat here was their english pea agnolotti and was so glad it was part of their restaurant week menu. In addition to the agnolotti my two other friends ordered the roast chicken and fish dishes. Portion wise, the agnolotti and chicken entrees had one of the smallest, the best entree buy was the fish. I loved the agnolotti entree and enjoyed tasting the freshness of the roast chicken and fish entrees.
English Pea Agnolotti
Fish and couscous
Blenheim’s restaurant week menu dessert did not have many options so we went with the waitress’s suggestion of the honey semifreddo and the suggestion was spot on. The portion size of this dish was also good. The semifreddo and the fresh wholeness of the berries with honey was a great end to the meal.
I would actually return to the restaurant just to have another order of the agnolotti regardless of the mediocre service. But it would be interesting to actually see whether I would be served differently if I ordered from the regular menu than from the restaurant week menu. Time will only tell…
Recently I have received information from various sources of restaurant closings in New York City. One of them was a restaurant that was on my list for NYC restaurant week to go to, but unfortunately was booked for the days that I am available to go. The name of this restaurant is élan and I finally made the effort to explore the restaurant on what I thought was the last day. The restaurant was only serving a prix fixe menu – 3 course meal for $40. I had the privilege of meeting one of the owners – George. George informed me that they are extending business until the end of the month hopefully. Meg, my server for that evening was good, but she could be better. She neglected to inform me of the other specials that was off the menu that evening. However, her accommodation and hospitality towards was good. Meg provided a great sales pitch on the popular dishes to try and her recommendations were on point.
Three course menu options
Sea Urchin Guacamole
The first dish I ordered was the Sea Urchin Guacamole. The dish caught my eye and I was immediately curious. I asked Meg, my server, about the dish and she highly recommended it so I went with my gut plus her approval and ordered it. The dish was beautifully presented, approximately 1 cup of guacamole with a sea urchin in the middle surrounded by taro chips heavily seasoned in sea salt. Personally I am not a salt fan, but the dish was well balanced. The saltiness of the taro chips complemented the acidity and sourness of sea urchin mixed with the guacamole. I devoured the dish.
Complementary house made everything pretzel w whole grain mustard butter.
While feasting on my appetizer dish, Meg served me a house made everything pretzel with whole grain mustard butter, which was delicious. Hands down.
Striped bass in red wine butter sauce with house made fried sage potato chips and snap peas.
For the main course, I followed Meg’s recommendation of the chef’s special of the day dish, which was off the menu. I ordered a striped bass, which is pan seared star bass on top of a delightful red wine butter sauce. I loved the red wine butter sauce. The fried sage potato chips were cleverly made, a piece of fresh sage leaf sandwiched in between two very thinly sliced potatoes and deep fried. The dish was beautifully presented and tasted even better than the guacamole appetizer.
Enjoyed my meal with a 30z sherry wine
After reviewing the drink list, I came across this sherry wine that cost only $6 I had to try it. The sherry wine was just right for my tolerance and went well with what I ate so far.
Milk chocolate mousse with passion fruit
For dessert, I decided to once again follow Meg’s recommendation of the milk chocolate mousse. George, one of the owners, served me the dish. The dish hit the spot. It had the right balance of the natural sweets of the passion fruit with the milk chocolate. What I learned is that this was the first day that they were serving this dish and I was satisfied. I would definitely order it again.
Overall this was one of best prix fixe meals I have had in a while because every dish tasted better and better. The food experience left a lasting impression and I am sad that this place was closing. I told three of my friends and convinced them to come to this restaurant. Therefore, I will definitely be returning. Hopefully, they will extend their business until the end of the month.