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posted 
    • 5.0

Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!

Roki Le Izakaya

Last Friday, I was invited at ROKI Le Izakaya a new Japanese brasserie just opened 2 weeks ago by Keiko Ono Aoki and Executive Chef Koji Hagihara. This is a spin off of Benihana, Keiko being the wife of late founder of that famous Japanese chain, Hiroaki Aoki, known in the US as Rocky Aoki. I had the chance to meet with Keiko and Chef Koji who welcomed us in this incredible space where the main attraction is the kitchen in the middle where one can admire the Chef and his crew not only cook delicious food, but also present it in a beautiful way.

Roki Le Izakaya

Yes, this is not your regular Japanese joint: of course, you can have some sushi and sashimi, but they also propose other choices that will satisfy a larger crowd, some of the dishes definitely showing some creativity and with an elegant flair as you will see later in this post.

Back to the restaurant first: big, with two rows of tables at the entrance, the main dining room in the center, with its central kitchen that you can face if you sit at the counter, that I highly recommend. I also noticed a large painting of Marilyn Monroe on one side as well as large communal tables and a private dining room further back. It has an elegant but casual feel and I truly appreciated that the lights were not dimmed, so I could admire the aesthetics of the dishes.

Roki Le Izakaya

I should mention that at the time we went, they did not have their liquor license, but you can bring your own bottle(s) if you wish...So, food wise, we tried quite a lot of items from their menu. Here is what we tried:

Japanese canapés: in cooking, canapé is a slice of bread that can be toasted, topped with various savory items. At ROKI, the bread is replaced by crispy rice that gave an incredible texture to the whole thing, being both crunchy and chewy at the same time.

Roki Le Izakaya

They propose 9 different types, three being vegetarian. We chose:

Uni - Sea urchin and flying fish roe:

Roki Le Izakaya

Kani - Snow crab and avocado:

Roki Le Izakaya

Unagi - eel and Japanese pepper:

Roki Le Izakaya

 

Spicy maguro - tuna and spicy mayonnaise:

Roki Le Izakaya

Truffle and mushroom:

Roki Le Izakaya

Guacamole - avocado, mountain caviar and tomato.
Roki Le Izakaya

 

I could then not miss the next dish considering my French roots: powdered foie gras over duck chasiu. Basically, it is a two components dish: on one hand is the duck that was delicious on its own, perfectly cooked with some nice fat. On the other hand, you have a bloc of foie gras that will be grated like you would parmesan on a pasta dish. I am not sure if I got a special treatment, but when the Chef grated the foes gras, I was really wondering when he would stop, although, let's be honest, I did not want him to stop anyway! It was really good, rich, delightfully fatty, a perfect dish if, like me, you love duck.

 

 

Roki Le Izakaya

Roki Le Izakaya

Roki Le Izakaya

Roki Le Izakaya

The next dish was beautifully presented on a bed of crushed ice: kanpachi carpaccio. Kanpachi, also called yellow tail or amberjack, is a leaner fish than tuna (they also propose a tuna carpaccio with goji berries) and has a pink color with lines that look like grapefruit. This carpaccio was delicious: the fish was soft and the dish had a nice acidity thanks to the ponzu sauce. I recommend it if you like raw fish.

Roki Le Izakaya

Roki Le Izakaya

Roki Le Izakaya

 

 

Then came a classic: pork belly buns. But I admit that the presentation was great: first of all, the buns had a different shape than the classic round one. Then, it is a "do it yourself", a bit messy, but still nice, as Jodi enjoyed one of the buns without the pork belly that she does not like. On my side,...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/roki-le-izakaya-japanese-brasserie-nyc-ny-new-york

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posted 
    • 4.0

Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
Haru Sushi

 

Haru is not unknown to me: I remember the first time I went there was at their location in Gramercy with our friends Jen and Chris, before this blog even existed. I was blown away by the original meal I had, thinking at first that it was a classic Japanese place. The meal went beyond my expectations and it was probably my first step into Japanese fusion. And this week, I got to try their new location in Hell's Kitchen, that just opened a week ago, the crowd definitely getting the word of it as it was packed from the moment we arrived to the moment we left.
Haru Sushi

 

I like many things besides food there. First is the elegant decor and the light that is not dimmed, allowing dinners to not only see their food, but also what is being served to other tables. Because yes, this is the kind of place where your head will turn in many directions, trying to see what others ordered, sometimes with envy.

Haru Sushi

This dinner was also the opportunity to meet with Chef Ben Dodaro who crafted some seasonal dishes on the menu that we got to try. Some, because some other dishes have been on the menu for years. Smartly, they gave us a wide preview of what they offer, with tasting portions of appetizers, sushi, entrées and desserts. When asked after each plate what I liked the most, I admit that I was not sure what to answer, everything being different and so good. Here is what we got:
Haru Sushi

 

Appetizers:
Haru Sushi

 

Short rib yakitori, marinated in a yuzu miso marinade. The meat was delicious, tender and flavorful. Under was a green apple salad that at first I disregarded, considering it more like a presentation item, but then, when I tried it, I could not believe how good it was.
Haru Sushi

 

Bluefin crab and corn fritter. This was definitely not what I expected and I was for sure not disappointed: the crab was definitely the star and was not at all overpowered by some fillers as you often see with crab cakes.
Haru Sushi

 

Lobster taco: made with Maine lobster, this is the perfect example of a fusion dish. What was interesting was the shell made with gyoza shell! It was a bit spicy, thanks to the jalapeño-ponzu dressing, and had a nice crunch given by the cucumber. It is for sure hard to say which one of these dishes were my favorite.

 

Haru Sushi

Haru Sushi

Then was the sushi, served with Sho Chiku Bai Nigori, an unfiltered sake (hence the milky color) that was quite good (more restaurants and bars should propose sake).
Haru Sushi

 

As well as a cucumber gimlet that was quite refreshing and could be drunken like milk...

Haru Sushi

The selection for the sushi was:
Haru Sushi

 

California king crab roll:
Haru Sushi

 

Hell's Kitchen roll made with crunchy salmon, cucumber, lemon-chili mayo, topped with salmon, avocado, tobiko caviar and sriracha. It was served with a lemon-chili and sriracha mayo.

Haru Sushi

Haru Sushi

Mandarin and fennel tuna sashimi:
Haru Sushi

 Haru Sushi

Toro (fatty part of the tuna belly):

Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/haru-japanese-fusion-hells-kitchen-nyc-new-york

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posted 
Sel & PoivreSel & Poivre
French / Mediterranean / Brasseries
    • 4.0

Sel & Poivre

Going to Sel et Poivre (salt and pepper in French) is so refreshing: there, you get not only to taste some great French cuisine, but the dining room is worked on by Chef Christian Schienle who prepares classic French bistro dishes, some of them with a refined flair. What amuses me is that Chef Schienle (that you can see on the photo above paying for parking) is not French, but succeeds to serve delicious dishes. To the point that I went twice this week: on Tuesday for a blog dinner and on Friday, simply because I wanted to try one of their specials only served that day: cassoulet.
Sel & Poivre

 

I like the atmosphere of the restaurant and the charm that all the black and white photos on the wall give to the room. In fact, these photos are vacation photos, adding a personal touch to an intimate setting (this photo was taken earlier in the evening).

Sel & PoivreSel & Poivre

 

Food wise, it was fantastic and if you go there, you may want to wear stretch pants, because you will not want to stop eating, even if you are full...like I did! So here is what I got:

 

Episode 1 - Tuesday Blog Dinner:

 

Note that the portions below were tasting size, except for the soup, snails and desserts.

 

Wine: I went for a Beaujolais, Brouilly Bonne Neige, 2011 that was light and perfumed, perfect with the meal I was going to have.
Sel & Poivre

 

Of course, the meal started off with some baguette that was served warm, with butter. Yes, you cannot have a French meal without bread.
Sel & Poivre

 

Then, every year, during this period, they serve a game menu and so, some grilled venison sausage and a wild boar sausage. I think it is a good idea to propose some game as a special as not that common in restaurant, and, when well done, it can be fantastic.
Sel & Poivre

 

Followed escargots. I was really looking forward to it, but was a little apprehensive because I went to few restaurants were they put too much of a twist into it, simply ruining the dish. No, these were the classic ones, served with a sauce made of butter, garlic and parsley, sauce so good that I dipped my bread into it...
Sel & Poivre

 

The next dish is not what comes to mind when thinking about French cuisine. It was a red pepper bisque, perfect for the season. It was light and had just a tad of cream in it (it is a bisque), and you could definitely taste the red pepper.
Sel & Poivre

 

After that was cod fish with creamy lentils. That dish was succulent! The fish was perfectly cooked, not dry and flakey. But then, the lentils were amazing, drenched in a cream made with mustard seeds and horseradish.
Sel & Poivre

 

The last entree was also something I was looking forward to. It was a quail stuffed with goat cheese in a port wine reduction. I do not see quail that often on restaurant menus and sometimes, when I get it, it is overcooked and therefore dry. At Sel et Poivre, it was perfect and I was surprised how the combination between the quail and the cheese worked well.
Sel & Poivre

 

Last was dessert, to finish this delicious meal on a high note. There was first a creme brûlée that was perfectly set:
Sel & Poivre

 

And an Apricot crepe that was sublime, the crepe being well made.
Sel & Poivre

 

So, it is discussing with Chef Schienle that I realized that he was serving cassoulet on Fridays and I persuaded Jodi to go back the same week to try it.

Episode 2 - The return...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/2017/sel-et-poivre-authentic-french-cuisine-by-an-austrian-chef

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posted 
    • 3.5

Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
ORO

 

Yesterday evening, I was invited at ORO, an Italian restaurant that opened last August in Long Island City, conveniently located five minutes from the Queensboro Plaza subway stop. I was really surprised when I entered this place as I did not expect a place so spacious, modern and elegant, but with a casual feel.

ORO

ORO

There, I got the chance to meet with the Chef, Scott Andriani, who crafted a very interesting menu.

ORO

I started off my meal with a cocktail, a mule sweet and bitter made with muddled strawberries, Russian vodka, campari, lime juice, topped with ginger beer and a strawberry. This was delicious, the taste of strawberry coming through and making it very refreshing. But, this is the type of drink that you would sip without realizing there is alcohol in it...

ORO

ORO

Then, they brought us some homemade bread, one was made with fennel and the second one with onions. It was quite good bread, the crust being crispy and not too thick, and quite light, cooked in their brick oven.

ORO

ORO

Then came the appetizers. We tried:

Butternut squash arancini made with aborio rice, aged parmesan cheese and served with a sage-lemon aioli. I thought it was an interesting dish as different from the classic rice balls. I really liked the sweetness the butternut squash added to the dish.

ORO

ORO

Meatball parmigiana served with a tomato basil sauce. These meatballs were delicious, not dry. There was a hint of lemon in that dish that I found unusual and surprising.
ORO

Charred octopus on top of a white bean ragout, charred peppers, roasted garlic and paprika aioli. The octopus was not rubbery and had a nice char. However, I found it a bit salty. The white bean ragout though was fantastic.
ORO

 

This was definitely a good start and I was looking forward to try the entrees. The first one was the squid ink linguini, served with mixed seafood and a tomato broth. I love squid ink pasta and was in heaven. Know that the pasta there is homemade. They were perfectly cooked and, with the sauce, were sublime. There was also a large amount of seafood, from mussels, to shrimp, squid and clams, all well cooked.
ORO

 

The second entree was the deep dish grandma pizza that was made with plum tomato, fresh mozzarella and herb oil (rosemary for sure). I admit that I was expected something different, like a fusion between the Chicago deep dish pizza and the Sicilian. It was good, but did not stand out for me.

ORO

ORO

 

With the entrees came...Read more at:http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/oro-italian-restaurant-in-long-island-city

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posted 
    • 3.5

Gaby

I was looking for a French restaurant Midtown and found Gaby, a place attached to the Sofitel Hotel, few steps from Bryant Park. Interesting place with its Art Deco decor, but with still the feel that it is the restaurant of a hotel.

Gaby

Gaby

Food wise, I was really surprised. They do have some classic dishes like foie gras au torchon, as well as French onion soup, but they also put some spin on some other dishes as you will see below. To follow the French tradition, they brought us a bread basket, bread being a must have in a French meal. I especially liked the walnut and olive bread that was there.

 

Gaby

Gaby

To start, I decided to go with the foie gras au torchon as the escargots were not the traditional garlic/butter. The foie gras, marinated in cognac, came with a salad, a ginger marmelade and a country bread. It was very good, the alcohol having a very subtle taste and not being overpowering at all. However, I did not really like the ginger marmelade that was anyway not necessary, the foie gras being delicious on its own.

Gaby

Gaby

Gaby

Gaby

Next, I ordered the duck breast that was served with red organic rice, baby spinach, carrots and an orange sauce. So, as you may have guessed, this was their take on canard (duck) à l'orange. I loved it, especially the duck that was well cooked, pink in the center, not dry. I loved the fact that it was not drenched in sauce, keeping it being the star of the dish.
Gaby

Gaby

 Gaby

Jodi decided to go with...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/gaby-french-bryant-park-in-nyc-ny

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posted 
China GrillChina Grill
Asian Fusion / Breakfast & Brunch / Szechuan
    • 3.5

China Grill

There are two places I love for Restaurant Week Midtown: Circo and China Grill. This year, I went twice to China Grill for their Restaurant Week offer that is a very good deal. You get an appetizer, an entree, a side for two and a dessert for $29 and can add a bottle of wine for an additional $40. What I like about it is the choices that are not only limited, but also can be found on their regular menu. The first time I went, I did not have my camera unfortunately, but the second time, I did. So this is what I had that time:

 

Appetizers:

 

Chicken thigh skewers with a toasted peanut sauce. This was a great dish, the chicken being very well cooked, moist and that toasted peanut sauce amazing, with a perfect thickness.
China Grill

 

The lobster pancakes (for an additional $6): This was a mix of mushrooms and lobster, rolled into a crepe, with a delicious sauce that was made with coconut milk. This was delicious, the crepe itself being well done, soft and tasty. However, I admit that the lobster was a bit overpowered by the mushrooms.
China Grill

China Grill

Entree:

The previous time I had their barbecued wild salmon that was amazing, the salmon being cooked to perfection. So, this time, I went for their drunken chicken, served with pickled ginger and sprouts, topped with a ponzu sauce. I should mention that it was a nice portion. Quite good, the chicken being well cooked and moist. But I admit that the salmon was even better and recommend it...Read more

at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/2017/restaurant-week-winter-2017-china-grill-fusion-chinese-nyc-new-york

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posted 
Petit PouletPetit Poulet
French / Wine Bars
    • 3.0

 

Petit PouletWe were looking for a brunch place close to Herald Square, when we stumbled upon Petit Poulet, a French bistro and wine bar that is part to the Radisson Hotel in Koreatown. Although most of the hotel restaurants feel like... hotel restaurants, there was a bit of a feel of a French brasserie, thanks to the decor, such as the tables and bistro chairs, tin ceiling and mosaic floor.

Petit Poulet

Petit Poulet

Petit Poulet

Food wise, Petit Poulet meaning literally little chicken in French, I was expecting few dishes with chicken, but admit that I was a bit disappointed as the only choices for brunch were the Caesar salad with chicken as an add-on, and the Petit Poulet salad. So I went with the latter that was served with some nice pieces of St André cheese. It was a very good salad that sort of followed my New Year resolution, if it was not for the cheese. There was a nice amount of pulled chicken in it, and it was not overdressed. I simply liked it.
Petit Poulet

Petit Poulet

Jodi went for their...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/2017/brunch-at-petit-poulet-in-nyc-ny

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posted 
Brooklyn DinerBrooklyn Diner
American (Traditional) / Diners
    • 3.0

It has probably been 11 years since I went to Brooklyn Diner and was really surprised to see it pop up on OpenTable. When I lived in the city, I use to go there for their large hotdog, one of the biggest, if not the biggest in New York, measuring 15 inches. This place is still there, with its big cakes at the entrance, one slice being too much for just one person for sure. I like the decor, that makes this place a tad more elegant than your regular diner. And you know that I love diners, as for me they are reminiscent of Americana.

Brooklyn Diner

Brooklyn Diner

So, yes, I was there for their 15-bite hot dog, made entirely with beef. When it came, I thought that they really made it a fancier version than it was before, especially as far as the presentation goes. It was served with French fries, house made juniper sauerkraut and a salad to give patrons the impression that there is at least something healthy on their plate. The delicious bun was smaller than what I recollect and I was glad considering how much food there was (and yes, I finished it...). The sausage was delicious, flavorful with a perfect casing. I dipped it in mustard and a bit of relish that came on the side.
Brooklyn Diner

Brooklyn Diner

Brooklyn Diner

Jodi was more reasonable than me and ordered the...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/giant-hot-dog-at-brooklyn-diner-in-nyc-ny

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posted 
    • 4.0

So, I am back at Del Frisco's Double Eagle, the fancy steakhouse located on 6th avenue, couple of minutes from The Rockefeller Center. Little did I know this place used to be a bank converted into a three story luxurious restaurant, the vault being transformed into private rooms surrounding an amazing cellar, the biggest in the city with rare bottles, for a total of more than $3 million in wine!
Del Frisco's

I went on a Thursday and was really surprised as to how busy this place was, especially when I left, with not only business people, but also families. I love the decor that is not your usual manly steakhouse and noticed this time the cables that ornate the staircase, used as handrails.

Del Frisco's
Del Frisco's

 

 

Food wise, this was a fantastic dinner: the food was delicious and their steaks incredible. Definitely one of the best in the city, but know that, like many steakhouses, this is pricey. Del Frisco's Double Eagle is known for their shrimp: cocktail, marinated or remoulade, but also for their crab cakes that are supposed to be the best in the city. If you follow this blog, I guess you figured out that I went for the latter, crab cakes being my favorite appetizer when having steak: the crab cake (you get two if you choose it as an entree) came with a cajun lobster sauce. Just the crab cake by itself was amazing: made with lump crab meat, it was not full of breading or any filler that would overpower the crab. No, it definitely let the crabshine.

Del Frisco's

 

The other appetizer I tried was the thick cut of bacon with served au poivre. Very good, the only negative of this decadent dish was that there was too much pepper (poivre in French).
Del Frisco's

 

Then came my steak. I went for the bone-in ribeye (22 oz), perfectly cooked medium-rare. I loved it: well cooked, nicely charred and fatty, this was a great piece of meat, definitely of high quality.

Del Frisco's
Del Frisco's

 

With it, I tried:

Their béarnaise sauce that was quite good:
Del Frisco's

The spectacular onion rings: perfectly made, crispy with the onion cooked all the way through.
Del Frisco's

 

The sautéed mushrooms and pearl onions, that were also good, although I could care less about the onions.
Del Frisco's

 

With my meal, I got some Pinot Noir, Lost Carneros 2013 from Napa, Pinot Noir being an excellent pairing with ribeye because of its bold flavor:
Del Frisco's

Last was dessert. First was...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/del-friscos-double-eagle-steakhouse-midtown-nyc-new-york

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posted 
OsamilOsamil
Gastropubs / Cocktail Bars / Wine Bars
    • 4.0

Osamil

Jodi and I wanted to eat Korean food and ended up at Osamil in Koreatown. The name of this modern restaurant comes from their address, 5 west 31st street. 5- Oh, 3- Sam, 1-il. We went on a Friday evening and it was quite busy, its warm dining room being filled with hungry customers. I like the space: it is a mix between a modern and rustic decor, with an open kitchen in the back.
Osamil

 

I started off with a cocktail rather than a beer or wine that was discounted during a happy hour that ended at 8pm. I chose one of their signature cocktails: The Old World, made with Hennessy, Calamansi Honey, Peychaud’s Bitters, HKB Baiju. I admit that I was a bit surprised when it came as the glass was not filled, giving the impression somebody already drank some. At least they could have put a slice of orange or an ice cube in it to give another dimension to the drink. But still, it was a solid cocktail that I recommend.
Osamil

 

We started our meal with the roasted mushrooms, a vegetarian dish made of enoki, trumpet, cremini, hon-shimeji and maitake mushrooms, truffle oil and pine nuts coulis. That was a good start, this dish being succulent.

Osamil

Next was the spicy whole squid that was very spicy! I mean, my mouth was on fire, but it was so good that I kept going at it. It was served with the tentacles and was perfectly cooked, not rubbery at all.
Osamil

Osamil

Osamil

It was followed by the chicken wings with their classic sauce that was slightly sweet and not spicy. These twice fried wings were fantastic: delightfully crispy, the chicken was perfectly cooked and moist.
Osamil

 

Last was the...

Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/korean-dinner-at-osamil-in-k-town-nyc

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posted 
Bryant Park GrillBryant Park Grill
American (New) / American (Traditional) / Steak
    • 3.0

Bryant Park Grill

We hate the New Year's Eve crowd and so, instead of going to a restaurant that day, we decided to go the day before, a sort of New Years's Eve's Eve. And we picked the Bryant Park Grill, the setting with the park and all the lights being perfect for a magical evening. I admit that I was not sure what to expect and was quite surprised to see such a big place, with its large dining room on the left side and its covered patio.
Bryant Park Grill

 

As we just came back from Europe and enjoyed quite a lot of great (but heavy) food, I surprised myself by not ordering an appetizer and go straight to the main dish: well, it might be due to the closeness of the New Year and its resolutions, although, with me like with lots of people, they do not hold too long...Anyway, I decided to go with their duck confit, but, few minutes after we ordered, I was told that there was a "misunderstanding" and the Chef advised there was no more duck. I was really disappointed as I love duck, but found myself happy with their Bryant Park sea grill that was composed of a whole Maine lobster, diver scallops, jumbo shrimp, on top of a saffron tomato rice. The presentation looked beautiful and I was surely not disappointed: everything was cooked perfectly, from the seafood, to the rice that was really tasty.

Bryant Park Grill

No wine with my dish, but a cocktail: the Bourbon Cider, made with Old Forester Bourbon, fresh apple cider, cranberry juice and lemon. Simply delicious, of course if you like bourbon!
Bryant Park Grill

Bryant Park Grill

Jodi went for the miso crusted sea bass, served with stir-fried vegetables, broccoli florets and sesame rice. That fish was amazing: perfectly cooked, flakey and moist. The rice was in some sort of rice balls that were so good, I could have eaten a full plate of it.

Bryant Park Grill

Bryant Park Grill

So far it was very good and we were looking forward for our dessert. Jodi ordered...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/bryant-park-grill-new-york-nyc

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posted 
KashkavalKashkaval
Mediterranean / Breakfast & Brunch / Tapas Bars / Wine Bars
    • 3.5

Kashkaval

It has been a while since we went for fondue at Kashkaval, a restaurant in Hell's Kitchen that takes its name from a sheep's milk Bulgarian cheese. I admit that I thought it was closed as, end of 2013, they announced that their landlord would not renew their lease and that they were launching a petition. I guess it worked out as this place is still there, although very different: it used to be a marketplace selling awesome cheeses, with a tiny dining room in the back. Now, this is a restaurant only and it is fairly big.
Kashkaval

Kashkaval

We were there during Happy Hour, so I got a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc for just $8, perfect to go with fondue (we say that it is not good to drink water when eating fondue, but it might be just to entice people to drink wine...).
Kashkaval

 

What is great with their menu is that they offer fondue per person with no minimum, contrary to a lot of restaurants where there needs to be a minimum of two persons per order. So, we decided to get two different ones:
Kashkaval

 

Kashkaval

The Kashkaval made with Bulgarian Kashkaval cheese:
Kashkaval

Kashkaval

The truffle fondue made with gruyere, truffle peelings and truffle oil:
Kashkaval

Kashkaval

With the fondue, we...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/cheese-fondue-at-kashkaval-garden-in-hells-kitchen

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posted 
    • 3.0

Tehuitzingo Deli Grocery

I think I probably would have never gone to Tehuitzingo if it was not a suggestion from one of my blog readers who always had great comments or suggestions to my posts. Yes, from the outside, you just see the name, Tehuitzingo Deli and Grocery and would never guess that this place serves great food at reasonable prices, using fresh ingredients. I mean, I had to verify again on my phone the name of address and, when confirmed, entered in that small place.
Tehuitzingo Deli Grocery

Tehuitzingo Deli Grocery

Right there, you see their market, selling a bunch of Mexican products, from hot sauce to tortillas or candy.
Tehuitzingo Deli Grocery

 

Then, in the back, is the counter where you will order your food. We were the only ones, early last Saturday, the city still recovering from the first snow of the season. After we ordered, we sat on the stools, decorated with roosters, and did not wait long before our food came.

Tehuitzingo Deli Grocery

We started off with a side of guacamole and chips. Pretty good, although not the best guacamole ever, the tortilla chips seem to be homemade.
Tehuitzingo Deli Grocery

Tehuitzingo Deli Grocery

Tehuitzingo Deli Grocery

Then, we got quesadillas. Cheese for Jodi:
Tehuitzingo Deli Grocery

 

Cheese and...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/mexican-food-at-tehuitzingo-in-hells-kitchen

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posted 
The WayfarerThe Wayfarer
American (New) / Seafood / Breakfast & Brunch
    • 3.5

Opened beginning of 2014 at the corner of 57th Street and 6th Avenue, The Wayfarer defines itself as a purveyor of classic American cuisine. I like the atmosphere of the place that is cozy and modern, with great music in the background and a nice vibe. I should mention that the service was really good: efficient and courteous.
The Wayfarer

The Wayfarer

And the food! Simply delicious, from seafood to meat, without forgetting desserts, it showcases quite creative dishes. For instance, they have fried chicken rolls that were a very interesting combination, that definitely worked. With it, I also tried the spicy tuna roll that was made with big eye tuna.
The Wayfarer

The Wayfarer

Next was the octopus: well cooked, not rubbery, it had a nice char on the outside.
The Wayfarer

 

The last appetizer I tried was the seafood platter that had lobster, shrimp, clams, oysters, scallops, as well as a nice tuna and salmon tartare. It tasted very fresh and the only thing I would have done is to make the presentation a bit more spectacular, like Mastro's does.
The Wayfarer

 

The Wayfarer

The Wayfarer

For the entree, I breached my rule that is not to order steak unless I am eating in a steakhouse. Well, I could not resist when I heard their special: a Japanese wyagu ribeye served with bone marrow. This 10oz steak was perfectly cooked, tender and slightly charred. It was fantastic.
The Wayfarer

The Wayfarer

I also tried the...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/great-dinner-the-wayfarer-midtown-manhattan-nyc-new-york

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posted 
    • 3.0

Café Triskell

We were back to Long Island City, looking for a place to have lunch and found Café Triskell, a French crêperie coming straight from Brittany from where the owner, Philippe Fallait is from. And I have to say that it felt like a little corner of France, miles away.
Café Triskell

 

We were there for crêpes and did not even consider any other dishes, although I regretted not ordering the escargots that the table next to us were eating with much pleasure. No, we went for their buckwheat crêpes. Jodi chose the pear, aged goat cheese, honey (without almonds) one, that was served with a small salad.
Café Triskell

 

I went for the ham, egg and cheese.

Café Triskell

Café Triskell

Both crêpes were delicious, very slightly crispy. In Jodi's crepe, I loved the combination of the sweet and savory. With mine, it was quite a classic crepe, very good, with a perfectly made sunny side egg, but I wish there was a bit more ham. Despite this, I would recommend it.
Café Triskell

Café Triskell

For dessert,...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/cafe-triskell-french-crepe-long-island-city

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posted 
    • 4.0

The Kati Roll Company

One time we were working late, one of my colleagues who is originally from India, ordered some food from The Kati Roll Company. I mean that was a revelation and each bite was so divine that I could hear angels singing on my shoulders. I love that place: the food is not only good, but cheap and, if I could, I would go there on a daily basis! Kati rolls are street food wraps that originated from Kolkata in India. There are many variants, but, at The Kati Roll Company, they are made by wrapping warm paratha, a type of Indian flat bread, around a variety of meats, vegetables and cheese.
The Kati Roll Company

The Kati Roll Company

But beware: this place can turn to a madhouse, packed with hungry patrons avid to get a wonderful bite. In fact, we went at different times and, as you can see, it goes from quiet to crazy. The best time to go is before 6pm for sure...I love the decor with its yellowish walls that seem rundown, with Bollywood (the Indian Cinema Mecca) posters all over.
The Kati Roll Company

The Kati Roll Company

The Kati Roll Company

The Kati Roll Company

Here is what we ate:
The Kati Roll Company

The Kati Roll Company

The Kati Roll Company

Jodi always went for the chana masala, a vegetarian dish made with chickpeas that they enhanced with lime, cilantro, chutney and pickled onions. Very good, but make sure you ask for not spicy.

The Kati Roll Company

The Kati Roll Company

The shami kebab that is minced lamb kabab blended with chickpeas and eggs. Pretty good: I love the taste of lamb, so I was in heaven. A bit spicy though...
The Kati Roll Company

The Kati Roll Company

And then their best seller:...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/kati-rolls-indian-street-food-nyc-ny

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posted 
EatalyEataly
Italian / Cafes
    • 4.0

Eataly

I finally made it to the Nutella bar at Eataly, the fantastic market place located close to the Flatiron. And I did not regret it! If you are a Nutella lover, this place is for you and, for sure, you will not know what to get, the choices all looking good.

Eataly

Eataly

I was there after lunch and so got my espresso (I am addicted to coffee). But it was not your regular espresso: it was topped with a delicious homemade whipped cream and some Nutella.
Eataly

Eataly

With it, I chose the bombolone, an Italian beignet that was also filled with a generous amount of Nutella (although there is never enough). It was a large beignet, well made, being not heavy and airy.
Eataly

Eataly

Eataly

For a first...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/review/eataly-nutella-bar-italian-nyc-ny

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posted 
    • 3.0

Blaue Gans

We heard about Blaue Gans, an Austrian restaurant located in TriBeCa, thanks to our friend Tessa and decided to have dinner there one night, as we were in that area. the place was packed for sure and it had a nice atmosphere, a bit artsy, the posters of various exhibits surely playing a role there.
Blaue Gans

 

I decided to accompany my meal with a glass of Riesling, "Terrassen" Federspiel, Tegenseerhof, Wachau 2014 that was deliciously sweet.
Blaue Gans

 

We started off our meal with the bratwurst, that was served with potatoes, sauerkraut and some horseradish that was delightfully spicy. It was a perfect way to start the meal, the sausage being delicious.
Blaue Gans

 

Then, Jodi went for the roasted cod, served with carrots and asparagus, and a Riesling sauce. It was a nice presentation, with beautiful colors. The fish was flakey and perfectly cooked.
Blaue Gans

 

On my side, I went for...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/austrian-dinner-at-blaue-gans-in-tribeca-nyc-new-york

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posted 
    • 2.5

Zora's Cafe

We were really excited to have dinner at Zora's Cafe, a restaurant in Hell's Kitchen that serves soul food. We passed so many times in front of this 20 seat tiny place that I got curious. It started well, with a homemade lemonade that was delicious: not too sweet and with a perfect tartness.
Zora's Cafe

 

And some very good homemade corn bread that was served with butter and drizzled with honey.
Zora's Cafe

Zora's Cafe

But then it started downhill: the kitchen, quite small, was so slow, it took forever for our food to come and it was not even hot! We got:

Hush puppies: just ok, a bit dry.
Zora's Cafe

Zora's Cafe

Fried green tomatoes: just ok, some slices being hard.
Zora's Cafe

Zora's Cafe

Linda's Mac and Cheese: promising when digging into it with a spoon, it was cold and so the cheese was not gooey.
Zora's Cafe

Zora's Cafe

Zora's Cafe

Fortunately,...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/soul-food-at-zoras-cafe-in-hells-kitchen-nyc

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posted 
Chirping ChickenChirping Chicken
American / Chicken Wings
    • 2.5

Chirping Chicken

When Jodi has something planned for lunch or dinner, and I end up going by myself or with a friend, I always try to find places where the food would be limited for her, like chicken or lobster places. These places can be of various level, from restaurants to take out. This time, I was at Chirping Chicken, a fast casual restaurant with, as of today, four locations in the City. I went to the one in Hell's Kitchen that was not that crowded but seemed to be a spot for police officers.

Chirping Chicken

Chirping Chicken

The dining room looked better than what I expected, filled with large tables. You order at the counter in the back and, if you eat there, you get a number and they will bring the food at your table.
Chirping Chicken

 

I decided to try only chicken, although I saw many other options on their large menu: ribs, shrimp or lamb were some of them. I started first with the chicken wings, small size. I ordered them spicy but was expecting more heat. Otherwise they were good: crispy on the outside, the chicken was well cooked, moist.
Chirping Chicken

 

Next was the 1/4 chicken meal that come with pita, a salad and one side. I admit that I did not really care much about the salad, although it could help me try to justify the fact that it was a healthy dinner...The chicken, charcoal broiled, was pretty good: moist, with a slightly crispy charred skin, there was definitely no need for any sauce with it.
Chirping Chicken

Chirping Chicken

The side however was...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/chirping-chicken-in-hells-kitchen-nyc-new-york

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