Roze's Recent Reviews
Being a huge fan of April Bloomfield's burgers at both The Spotted Pig and The Breslin I was excited to check out her new midtown spot Salvation Burger. This rustic joint inside the Pod 51 Hotel sells three different types; Veggie made with carrot & tomato chutney, the Salvation Burger with caramelized onion & taleggio and the Classic Cheeseburger pictured here.
This burger is certainly aesthetically pleasing. The fluffy sesame studded roll looks gorgeous holding two juicy all beef patties with house made cheese and thick sliced pickles jutting out at the seams.
However as you can see by the mid-section shot this burger is way off on bun to burger ratio. The hearty flavor of the meat got lost among the outer shell of toppings and stunted any sort of orgasmic burger moment. Both the Spotted Pig and Breslin burgers have fluffy buns but the patties at both are bigger and bolder in flavor from the funky Gorgonzola cheese at the Pig and the richness of the lamb at the Breslin. This one sadly just could not stand up to the messy bread and pickle overload.
Perhaps the namesake Salvation Burger would hold up to the bun a bit better than the Classic Cheeseburger however the steep price of $25 for one burger (no fries included) will probably keep me from coming back to try it. With places like Minetta Tavern and Bar Sardine churning out great burgers at a lower cost its hard to imagine a repeat visit.
Finally one of my all time favorite dining spots has returned. Danny Meyer's first restaurant and a NYC institution Union Square Cafe is back from the dead after a year hiatus and a four block move into the old City Crab space on Park Avenue South. It's amazing what they did to the interior of the restaurant- it holds the same layout as City Crab but the large window shades at half mast and dark green decor of the long wooden bar evoke all the memories of the original Cafe.
I was incredibly happy to see the rosemary dusted bar nuts surface as I my drink appeared, another staple from the original days. And of course their incredible Candele pasta; a gorgeous blend of carrots, pancetta, scallions and creamy Greek yogurt studded with spicy Fresno chilies.
I could eat this pasta every day and be a very happy lady. But for now I'll just be happy that this wonderful restaurant has returned :)
I firmly believe that the first restaurant choice in January can set the stage for the entire year ahead. So this year I decided to pick somewhere classic, a NYC staple that's big and bold yet stood the test of time with quiet elegance. A place I've talked about trying for years but never quite had the opportunity. Well if 2016 taught me anything it's that life is short and can change in an instant; so if there's something you really want to do go out and do it.
So reservation-less I walked into Le Bernardin Monday afternoon and with a completely full house they somehow found a table for me inside that stunning dining room.
To begin an amuse-bouche of vegetables. A simple but lovely plate of carrot, cauliflower, mushroom and pea pods dotted by a black truffle sauce.
The bread tray followed with a dazzling selection of eight different varieties including classic baguette, pumpernickel, quinoa, raisin and walnut, mulit-grain, pretzel roll and a soft, springy focaccia studded with olives.
Often I'm disappointed by the butter at fine dining establishments, so many places frugally go for a low fat content or serve it entirely too cold to enjoy. The Le Bernardin butter however was excellent; lightly salted, thick and creamy served room temperature inside a delicate silver capped dish.
I chose the Seafood Pasta for my first course. Gorgeous strands of Tagliatelle loaded with scallop, crab and lobster then tossed with a creamy black truffle emulsion and shavings of black truffle on top. I've heard people order two, even three of these dishes in one sitting and I can certainly see why. The sauce was so wonderfully rich, the black truffle infusing a deep umami flavor into each softly poached piece of seafood.
Crusted Red Snapper with pickled Persian Cucumbers, green curry goat sauce and yogurt emulsion for the second course. An amazing crisp golden crust on top that retained all the fish's moisture and balanced the spicy creamy sauce with a hint of cilantro.
For dessert a Banana S'more with a rich chocolate cake in the middle oozing with warm chocolate fudge, caramelized banana slices, smoked meringue and coquito sauce. This picture does not do this dessert justice- it was incredible. I'm obsessed with anything containing bananas and chocolate but the addition of delicious coquito sauce just put this over the edge. To finish an espresso and a spongy Chocolate Raspberry Financier.
Wow- Le Bernardin met my each and every expectation. The food was exquisite, the service impeccable; I had forgotten how much I miss the table-side pours of sauce that occur at classic French restaurants. It was an incredible lunch and the perfect way to kick off 2017. Here's to lots more wonderful meals ahead!
There are so many reasons to love Hi-Collar, the wonderful pour over coffee, those insanely delicious Japanese Pancakes and of course the extremely limited Katsu Sandwich.
A thick slab of Berkshire Pork breaded then fried, served on crustless white bread with a smear of tonkatsu sauce and a side of pickled veggies. I've never been a big fan of Katsu sandwiches but this one is exceptional. The breading seals in all those wonderful juices with a crispy, grease free outer shell that manages to feel light and fresh. Only 10 of these sandwiches are served per day after 12:00 so order early.
Finally- my favorite little Korean spot in Hell's Kitchen has starting serving brunch! Which means I don't have to wait until 5:00 to get their incredible Ginger Scallion Tofu or the wonderful Beef Bulgogi Sliders.
Two potato buns stuffed with beef then topped with a spicy thick sliced pickled cucumber and scallion salsa- delicious! Along with those classic Danji staples they've added three different styles of Korean, Filipino and Mexican breakfast and a small list of brunch cocktails.
This was only Danji's third week of brunch service and the place was already packed so make a reservation to ensure a seat or be prepared for a wait.