The Malt House: A Review


I'm once again coming at you with a NYC restaurant review!  This time, I had dinner at The Malt House.  There are actually two locations: one in the West Village and one in the Financial District.  The West Village location is the original one (established about 3 1/2 years ago!) and that is the one I visited.

I'd never heard of The Malt House before, but once I walked in, I was immediately intrigued. I love pubs and this place was no exception.  It was dimly lit and cozy inside.  Upon walking in, I was able to see a few communal tables and also a beautiful wooden bar.  I was immediately given a warm welcome and shown to our table in the backroom.  If you like exposed brick and wrought-iron, I think I've found the place for you!  The back room isn't large, but you can easily make yourself at home.  The seating consists of expansive tables with booth seats on one side and simple stools on the other.  I'm a fan of this setup because you don't have those cumbersome high backed chairs which tend to get in the way.  It also made it easier to turn to my neighbors and hold conversations throughout the evening.

Armando Avila is the executive chef at The Malt House and he formerly worked at STK and 5 Napkin Burger.  He has created a menu that is a selection of classic American comfort dishes.  I hardly ever (ok, never!) turn down some good old comfort food so I was excited to dig in!

Before we get started, here is the menu that we were given.  We were served just about everything on that list!  I say "just about everything" because we ended up getting Lobster Mac & Cheese instead of the Truffle Mac & Cheese.  Overall, I thought the food was great!  Even if I did have to roll myself down the street to the subway later in the evening.

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Taureau: A Review



Hello again!  Wow, I haven't done a review in a while!  Don't fret.  I am back at it! 

Can I tell you how excited I am to talk about Taureau?  If you love fondue and you find yourself in the NYC area, then this bistro is the place for you. 

Taureau, located in SOHO, in New York City, is the brainchild of restauranteur Didier Pawlicki.  Taureau is the only restaurant dedicated to fondue in NYC.  Didier has made sure the guest's entire experience is memorable.  Taureau can be intimate if you desire to take a date here (which would be a super cool date, by the way!) and yet it is also able to hold larger groups if you feel obliged to share this delicious food with a group of family or friends.  Either way, you will feel comfortable and at home.  They serve only dinner and they accept payment in cash, Amex, or bitcoin!

Didier is quite passionate about fondue and offers 3 courses at Taureau: cheese fondue, fondue bourguignonne, and dessert fondue.  Anyone who knows me knows that cheese and chocolate are my favorites of all time.  I especially love melted cheese and chocolate, so I was super excited for those courses.  I had also never before tried fondue bourguignonne and couldn't wait to give it a shot.

Didier is not only the executive chef of Taureau, but he is also the sommelier.  Taureau is not BYOB.  The bar offers an impressive selection of French wines and imported beers.  Wine by the glass is available.  A select number of liquors and spirits are also available for purchase.

So, what do I think?  Let's just say that I am in love with this place!  I had never eaten at a fondue restaurant before so this was a unique experience.  I would definitely recommend checking Taureau out if you love fondue.  For more details, keep reading...

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Le Village: A Review

Le Village - Review


Hi friends!  So there I was, eating this French food in NOHO like one does...

That sounds so bourgeois.  However, I promise you that Le Village is anything but that.  Le Village is a small French bistro on the east side of Manhattan.  Restauranteur Didier Pawlicki (owner of La Sirène and Taureau) opened up the restaurant in January 2014.  It's focus is on gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan French bistro dishes.  Le Village also features a selection of meat dishes for those who are not any of those things.

Walking in, you immediately notice that the restaurant is quite small, but it's not overcrowded with tables and chairs like many other NYC restaurants.  There's still a lot of space for everyone to move about.  The interior is minimally decorated, but has a rustic, urban appeal.

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Spiegel: A Review

Spiegel photo

I feel as if it's been a minute since I've done a restaurant review here on the blog.  In fact, it sort of has.  Let's change that.

I was recently given the opportunity to have dinner at a fairly new restaurant named Spiegel, which is located in NYC's East Village.  I wasn't sure what to expect from this little corner restaurant.  From the outside, this little place looks chic, yet cozy.  I'm in love with the floor-to-ceiling windows because in my opinion, natural light is amazing.  Even if you visit at nighttime (which is when I was there) these windows still offer you the best view for people-watching.  The inside of the restaurant is quite warm and inviting.  The owner, Shmulik, actually designed the restaurant himself, going so far as so even build the tables and banquettes.

You may have suspected this already, but Spiegel is named after the famous film producer Sam Spiegel.  Schmulik's love of films has led him to organize movie nights at the restaurant.  Starting pretty soon, classic movies will be shown on Monday nights at 8pm in the restaurant on the large screen overlooking the bar.

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The Brunch Dish: Harry's Italian

Do you recall when I announced a brand new series on this blog, entitled "The Brunch Dish"?

About that...

I've been pretty piss poor about keeping up with this series.  It's not because I haven't been brunching.  I've just been a little lax in taking pictures, which makes blogging about the whole experience a little difficult.  I've also cut back on brunches because I've been increasing the number of workout classes I'm taking.  That is a necessity, since I just purchased a huge tub of dark chocolate covered pretzels that I may or may not be inhaling as I write this.  I just can't stop!

This blog post is for those folks in the NYC area who enjoy tasty and boozy, yet inexpensive brunches.  Recently, I went to Harry's Italian in New York's Financial District with my friend Sandra.  There are a few locations around New York, though only this location and the Battery Park City location offer brunch.  The brunch menu is pretty extensive and diners can purchase anything on it for $18.95, which includes unlimited mimosas, bloody mary's, coffee, or tea for the duration of your meal.

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Bacon & Beer Classic: NYC 2014

This past weekend, I went to the Bacon & Beer Classic at Citi Field park in Queens, NYC.  This was honestly a dream come true for me.  I love bacon. I love beer.  I love drinking outside.  I'm clearly on board for this type of excursion.

To give a quick overview, the B&BClassic allows restaurants to showcase tastes of their outstanding bacon dishes.  I'm not sure whether all of these dishes are actually on the restaurants' menus or if they were created specifically for this event, but the food was delicious at any rate.  Numerous breweries also came to the event and they gave out 3-ounce samples of their beers.  Most breweries brought two types of beers to the event, but a few brought three types to the party.  I didn't get many pics of the breweries because those tables were super crowded and I was not about to get in the way of hundreds of men and women and their beer samples!

There were two tasting sessions: Brunch and Evening.  I went to the Evening session with my friend Sandra.  The organizers of the event also provided some additional entertainment, such as a dunk tank, life-size Jenga, and cornhole games.  If you liked, you could peruse some bacon-related items that were for sale, such as bacon candy bacon jam.  I ended up purchasing a container of the bacon jam and I do NOT regret it!

OK, without any more chit-chat, let's get rolling with the pictures cause that's what you're really here for, right?

When Sandra and I entered Citi Field Ballpark, we were greeted with the heavenly scent of bacon!  There was also an oversized map showing where the breweries and the restaurants were located, as well as an official B&BClassic 3-ounce ceramic cup (shown above).  I'm not sure a ceramic cup was the right choice for this event, but if you were able to make it through the entire 3 hours without dropping it on the concrete concourse floor, it was a great souvenir!

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Pier 13 in Hoboken: A Review

Lately, all I've wanted to do is hang out outside.  This is a new me.  I have no idea where she has come from, but I'm pretty sure it has a lot to do with the impressively foul winter we recently experienced.  So when I heard about Pier 13, which is an outdoor food truck and beergarden experience in uptown Hoboken, I knew I needed to try it out.

In all honesty, I believe that this food truck/drinking event began last year, but I'm sometimes a hermit and don't like leaving my apartment to walk 15 blocks to get to the pier.  But that was the old me.  This year, I twisted the arms of some of my friends in Harlem and Brooklyn and they brought their dogs over to Hoboken so we could sit outside and do what we know we do best: eat and drink.

Now.  Let's get down to business.

I did some research beforehand, so even before arriving at the pier, I already knew what I was going to eat: a Luke's lobster roll.  The answer is always a Luke's lobster roll.  I've talked about Luke's before here.  I haven't been diligent about going to the store lately or seeking out the lobster truck, so I was really excited to get a chance to have this for the first time in a while!

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Blue Ribbon: A Review

If you're going to do something, you should do it well.  This is how I feel about a place called Blue Ribbon.  Two words: fried chicken.  I die.

Let me backtrack for a minute:

A few weeks ago my friend Katie and I were in need of a pre-concert dinner location.  After some consideration, we decided to check out the Blue Ribbon restaurant in the Soho area of Manhattan.  I had done some reconnaissance prior to the meal, so I found out that Blue Ribbon is well known for their fried chicken.  I like fried chicken but I am not a huge fan.  However, if you're known for a particular dish, I'll give it a shot.

And just like that, I was hooked.  How do they make fried chicken so perfectly every time?!  I may have gone back to Blue Ribbon restaurants 3 more times in the past few weeks, just to have their fried chicken again. I will never have it anywhere else.  Thanks for destroying every other restaurant's fried chicken dishes, Blue Ribbon.

Last week, my mom was in town and she wanted to eat out at a nice restaurant, so what did I propose? Blue Ribbon, of course.  My mom is also a fan of the Park Slope area in Brooklyn, where a Blue Ribbon restaurant just happens to exist.  I managed to get a few pictures of our dishes right before we devoured them.

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Black Swan: A Review

This post.  Uhhhh, yeah.  This. Post.

I had the best intentions.  I swear to you that I did.  I wanted to do another review post, complete with beautiful (albeit iPhone) pics.  I stepped into Black Swan and was swept away with the beautiful decor, the dark wood, and the homey atmosphere.  Though I've never actually been in an English pub, I would imagine that it looks something like this place.  I want to live here.  I took lots of pictures.

Get ready for the pretty pictures...


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City Harvest's The Brooklyn Local: A Review

Last weekend my friend Katie and I visited yet another food festival in New York.  This time, we descended upon the lovely borough of Brooklyn for City Harvest's The Brooklyn Local.  The Brooklyn Local is an annual artisanal market which is very reminiscent of Smorgasburg.  Although we missed last year's inaugural event, this year's festival was graced with beautiful weather and oodles of quality vendors with tasty wares.

The Brooklyn Local event was held on Pier 1 in DUMBO (Brooklyn's Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass neighborhood).  Can you beat this view?

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