Frannyonthego's Recent Reviews
Big ass dosa for our big ass appetite.
We dropped in Saravanaa Bhavan really by fluke a couple of weekends ago. What happened was we were driving around after running some errands and hunger struck. Dave asked for food suggestions and I thought hmm, we haven't had indian cuisine in a while so we decided to drive to Murray Hill aka Curry Hill aka Indian restaurant row. Dave was driving so asked me to pinpoint a restaurant destination and I went on Foursquare and picked out this place called "Pippali" It had good reviews, high rating and two $$. But we didn't end up going..
We found a parking spot just a couple of blocks away. Our baby had just gone down for a nap and since we didn't want to wake her up, we decided it would be best to drag the car seat along with us to the restaurant. Dave would have to carry her. It was a hot humid day and Dave had trouble carrying the car seat with now heavier baby in it. He slowly wobbled his way towards the restaurant. We then walked by a restaurant that appeared to be popular and slightly crowded."hey, this place looks popular". That's when Dave suggested we eat there. He didn't really feel like walking any further which was understandable. Without any expectations or knowledge of what the restaurant offered, we walked right in and asked for a seat. As we walked pass other patrons (mostly Indians), I noticed most people were eating with their hands (so authentic I thought!) and ate out of metal plates which looked very cafeteria-like. Dave seemed familiar with the food. "I've always wanted to try dosas". What's that? I had no clue what I wanted. As we looked at the menu, we also realized it was fully vegetarian. Fine by me. The problem was, I didn't know what to order. In the end, I ordered an item with the most words in english..something onion, something chili, something potato. I went with a Rava Masa chili dosa. I did see a chili sign next to it (and the world chili) but choose to ignore it. Big mistake. This place seems to cater to mostly Indians that come here for authentic food which means they expect really spicy.
Long story short (already too long), I'm glad I tried this Saravanaa Bhavan. It's a no-frill Indian restaurant, vegetarian, delicious and eating with your hand is always fun! The filtered South Indian coffee 'kaapi' was pretty good too.
If you like it spicy, they don't skimp on chili here..
South Indian Kaapi
Celebrity driven Jue Lan has that Old Shanghai feel in the Flatiron.Lots of circular velvety booths offer cushiony comfort and clever culinary choices. This is a pricey foray to the upper crust, but worth it if you are so well pocketed. The food is delicious and service attentive as it should be. My entree and veggie came to $36. The green shrimp with spinach and cashews is super duper as was bok chop with ginger. Lots of sumptuous drinks at brunch as well as Al Sharpton and Paul Giamatti this past Sunday. A fine experience at a price.
Sexy, shimmery La Sirena shines in the MPD with new energy and design compared to nautical La Bottega of yore. Same view of the public housing across the street, but inside is a super glamorous space. Breakfast starts at 7- one of my favorite meals and I would recommend it as a foray into this pricey Batali spot. As a place to drink, at night you could meet someone at the bar and snack on homemade grissini and Seattle made salumi. It's interior beckons. For breakfast, some stellar options await such as house squeezed blood orange juice, farm fresh eggs and thick cut bread. It has not been discovered for breakfast so one can enjoy the glamour without the clamor. Of course, lots of great caffe options abound.
Take the M train to Central Ave. for authentic French food, prepared with love by the mother(chef) and daughter(hostess) team in a reformed garage. The space is very open with one of the nicest bathrooms in all the land with the coolest vintage table. An unusual experience awaits in an unlikely 'hood. While this outer borough hipster 'hood is known for it's bars and alternative style restaurants the food at Le Garage is more classic. I went on a crappy night, but thoroughly enjoyed my experience. I was served warmed Balthazar bread with butter and then ordered a watercress soup. Lots of bite and texture left in the soup as well as housemate croutons which added a nice bite. My main of cod in a ginger butter sauce with brussel sprouts had one of those great French sauces- lots of flavor gingery, buttery, super tasty. With French food, it's all about the sauce not the portion size. Of course, I couldn't resist potatoes cooked in duck fat with Bernaise sauce which was indulgent. I finished with a chocolate chardon with creme anglais. The dense chocolate cake- akin to an American brownie added a sweet finish to the meal. Paired with pineapple, lime and ginger, you couldn't ask for more on a rainy night in Brooklyn.
The only salvation was the free fries that came to the table while waiting endlessly to order. So much ineptitude among very good food. Let's grind out this lunch experience. Ate: Fries Giardanara Fish on a bun with cabbage and tartar sauce Toasted marshmallow milk shake The good: the food is very good. Fries tasted like they were cooked in duck fat. Fish on a home made bun was tasty. Giardinara added a vinegary kick to the savory. The toasted marshmallow was the Star of the Show with house churned ice-cream and a taste that was off the charts. The unfortunate: The Salvation franchise loves the Pod Hotels- this space with 4 booths(the only comfy seething) has slim counters with stools and tables with stools. Not a comfortable dining experience at all. I asked over and over for a table and finally got one, but waiting for my credit card to return for fifteen minutes seemed like an eternity. I would return for the stellar shake though.