Scarpetta is an Italian place on the West side that Ankur went to for work and fell in love with. He had been wanting to take me there for a few months so this outing with some of our old Duke buddies Shalin, Sree, and Mili was the perfect occasion. The only thing about our night here was that everything about the food was overshadowed by the fact that it was 100F outside and the AC was not working in the restaurant!!!! Truthfully, I don't remember that much about the meal because I was sweating so much! Ankur raves about the spaghetti which we shared as an appetizer, but sadly I wasn't overly impressed. The pastas were fine, all home made and al dente, but perhaps my recent trip to Italy left me a little disapappointed with the food overall. The desserts were a hit though! Panna Cotta and Banana Chocolate Bread Pudding, both excellent.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
We've been to eastville (westville's east side counterpart) a couple of times but never tried this original in the West Village. Sadly, this visit was for Mitali's farewell brunch the day before she headed back to Mumbai forever! It was nice to see her and the Goldman buddies even if all they do is talk about work! Westville is cozy so get there early if you don't like lines, but the food is solid brunch fare. I had tasty scrambled eggs with my choice of toppings and creamy potatoes (rather than your traditional breakfast potatoes) with a portuguese muffin. Everyone liked their food, but no one went crazy for it. Great location though, perfect for walking around afterwards!
Monday, July 5, 2010
Sometimes we get really desperate for good BBQ. Having lived in North Carolina and then Memphis for many years, moving to NYC has definitely put a damper on the good BBQ. Even places people think are good in the city just aren't. That's why, after trekking to Hell's Kitchen for this new find, we were pleasantly surprised to find some people that seem to know what they're doing when it comes to BBQ. The pulled pork was tender and the sauce perfectly hit the spot. The cole slaw, mac and cheese, and creamy mashed potatoes were the perfect additions. I would definitely return to this BBQ spot and I can't say that of any others I've tried in NYC. We finished the evening with a walk along the water and passed by the Battleship Intrepid.
Dumpling Man is THE place to get the yummiest dumplings in NYC. All they serve are a variety of dumplings (pork, chicken, shrimp, vegetarian, and some weird desserts ones) and, of course, some new surprises they are always trying out. Three small Asian ladies stand behind a glass counter and roll those delicious little dumplings all day long. The best things about these dumplings is not only the soft outside and savory inside, but the delicious monster sauce that goes on top. A highly recommended St. Marks staple!
Il Salviatino is a beautiful inn in Fiesole, Italy just outside of Firenze that Ankur discovered while reading his latest issue of Travel and Leisure magazine. Although his portion of the Italy trip only overlapped with my parents for one night, he insisted that we all go for dinner and to check out the historic inn. The locale was beautiful, providing amazing views of Florence and the Duomo as the backdrop for our lovely dinner. While the appetizers and desserts were good, the entrees were just ok and we probably enjoyed the scenery and our tour of the grounds more than the food. My Dad highly exaggerated my blogging skills to the waiter and we got some free stuff out of it as well. Beautiful hotel, probably not worth $90o/night though!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
We started the evening by trying to go to Ippudo's for Ramen. It's supposed to be fantastic, which explains the 1hr 45 min wait for dinner at 6:30! I am so annoyed by places that don't take reservations and have those kinds of waits but I can't help but be intrigued by a place that can consistently command such large crowds. We'll make it there one day even if we do have to show up at 5PM. In any case, I was starving, and Praveen and Ankur know it's best to get me fed quickly when I'm heading down that path so we went across the street to Spice for some satisfying if uninspired Thai food. There are about five on these in the city and I pass them all the time. The food is solid, there's nothing on the menu you haven't seen before though. One interesting note is that every item on the menu is accompanied by a picture of said item, it almost feels like you're at an upscale Asian diner. We shared the Pra Ram, Sweet Basil Chicken, and spicy ginger noodles. I'm glad we skipped dessert here and opted for Sundaes and Cones instead. This charming ice cream shop a short walk away from Ippudo had some really delicious, creamy, and interesting ice cream. Similarly to Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, Sundaes and Cones offers up some pretty unique flavors including Red Bean, Honey Ginger, Lychee, Green Tea, and the most interesting that I sampled, Wasabi. It actually tastes like wasabi and causes that familiar burn in your sinuses but is cool and refreshing at the same time! I don't think I could eat a whole scoop though. The rest of the "normal" flavors are just as good, all creamy and rich with bits of whole fruit or chocolate to add texture. Just the way ice cream should be. The sweetest part of the evening; however, came when Duke slaughtered UNC. We watched the game with some old college buddies at Brother Jimmy's and there's nothing like a good whooping of UNC to really make you feel good.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Sushi Yasuda is another one of New York City's highly lauded sushi joints. We all know I am a Gari enthusiast, but Ankur prefers the simplicity at Yasuda. There are no frills here, just fresh sushi. Although the restaurant is large enough, it always seems like their in a rush to move you through as quickly as possible. As an appetizer, we had the fugu, or pufferfish. It's notorious because of the tetrodotoxin that can cause complete muscle paralysis and asphyxiation if not cooked correctly. However, if prepared as it's supposed to be, it leaves only a faint tingling on your tongue. I swear I felt the tingle, Praveen and Ankur think I'm crazy. The highlight for me was the fatty tuna, while the rest of the sushi was good I just didn't feel it was worth the price for the amount we were getting - and I was hungry again an hour after dinner. It's good, but is it that much better than the "regular" sushi place down the street that's 1/5th the cost? I don't think so.
This is the fugu - yeah it's basicall just a fried piece of fish. But my tongue was tingling!