Allure is the new restaurant inside the Belleclaire Hotel on the upper west side, right on the corner of 77th and Broadway. The dining room has a beautiful skylight atrium overhead, almost like an old timey greenhouse.
My wife and I started with a round of delicious cocktails, my favorite of which was the smoked old fashioned, made with pistachio infused spirits.
Next, we had a trio of apps: prawns, tuna tartare and grilled baby cuttlefish. Of these, the prawns were definitely our favorite. The mole-esque sauce and spice levels were absolutely incredible.
For our mains, we had the rainbow trout with charred kale, olives and artichokes, along with the prime NY strip, which comes from Golden Packing.
Both were excellent, but, as predicted, the steak was the winner for me. The reverse was true for my wife.
The steak was a juicy and perfectly cooked center cut gem, smothered with a peppery au poivre cream sauce that I could drink every day. 9/10.
Served with florentino, a sort of broccolini meets cauliflower green-stalked flowering veggie, this is a steal of a composed meal at just $55. The steak was about 12oz. That’s blue cheese or gorgonzola on top, not butter.
We also did a side of mushrooms to go with this. Delicious.
For dessert, we had the “Nutella Kiss” with pistachio ice cream and merengue, and a creme brulee bread pudding. Both were top notch.
I would 100% go back here again. What a beautiful and delicious restaurant!
This little seaport waterfront bar/lounge/restaurant is a great spot for a snack and a drink on the water in nice weather.
We tried the fish and chips, and the fried zucchini chips. Both were good. The fish and chips is not authentic. More like nuggets. But they were good, and so were the fries. Zucchini was nice and crisp too. I would definitely go back!
89 South St Pier 16
New York, NY 10038
I had been eyeballing Press Club Grill for a while because they have some nice looking large format items, so when @Jennerous_Eats suggested that we go as a foursome on her press invite, I was psyched to do so.
We tried a LOT of stuff, so let me get to it.
First, sourdough bread with fancy piped butter. The butter was a little on the cold side (not as spreadable as you would think for the shape), but I imagine they need to keep that cold so it doesn’t lose its structure or melt.
Next up, steak tartare. This was great! It reminded me of the new version they serve at The Lambs Club, but with a shrimp chip instead of toasted bread of potato chips.
The generous folks at Press Club Grill brought us out a trio of additional starters with the summer salad, the crab rangoon, and the buffalo carrots.
I was stunned by how much I enjoyed the buffalo carrots. They really ate like eat in texture. Also, the crab rangoon was light on that “cream cheese” flavor, so we all enjoyed that as well. Even the salad was bright, fresh and flavorful. Hits all around.
We also tried this mushroom ravioli pasta, which was very nicely executed. The broth was really flavorful and could have doubled as a consomme.
Alright, now on to the big stuff. First, the chicken schnitzel.
This was nice and juicy, but the breading didn’t cling very well to the meat. No matter though, I still enjoyed. It came with a little bowl of spaetzl and a beautifully smooth cream sauce on the side.
The beef Wellington was a sight to behold.
Once sliced, you could really see how perfectly executed it was.
Everything from the bright medium rare pink center to the crispy outer edge of the pastry dough was spot on… Enhance…
I would definitely recommend this. The only thing I will say is that it was a bit too heavily salted. I’m not sure if it was the duxelles or something in those outer layers, or maybe too much finishing salt, but I still give it 8/10. Stunning.
Next (oh yeah, we still had more…), was the duck three ways, but they call it Duck a L’Orange for two.
The first of the three ways was a perfectly seared pair of crispy crusty skinned duck breasts a l’orange style.
This was our favorite dish of the night. Big winner. The skin was so crisp and rendered out with textbook level skill, and there was a minimal amount of that nasty bittersweet boozy orange flavor you often get with that style. In fact it ate more Szechaun to me than French. Wonderful.
The second way for the duck was a bowl of wontons. I wished there were more!
The third way was this garlicky duck fried rice. It was lacking in crisp texture on the rice, but still tasty.
For dessert, we tried nearly everything except the baked Alaska (next time). The crowd favorite seemed to be the bananas Foster creme brulee.
My photos here don’t do the beauty justice, so make sure you watch the Ride & Review above.
I wasn’t a huge fan of either the cherries jubilee or the popsicle, though both really were nicely presented.
I think next time I want to try the porterhouse and the baked Alaska for sure. I’m also wondering if this joint needs to be placed into the “steakhouse” category. I’m just not sure. I didn’t do it for The Grill or Monterey, which are similar concepts, so I guess I’ll hold the line and say that this isn’t a steakhouse.
First, check out my kickass Ride & Review video HERE:
We started with some cocktails. My wife got the walnut whiskey sour, and I got a classic martini. Both were excellent.
Next we shared some apps. The fried shrimp were head-on, which was nice, but they needed a little salt.
The burger was delicious. Aside from the lack of adequate cheese melt, I really enjoyed. The pickled green tomato is a great way to introduce both pickle and tomato into the burger’s flavor profile without using ketchup (garbage, but it is nostalgic).
It was cooked to a nice medium rare. Right on the money. One other negative here was that the fries were a little too salty. I didn’t mind much, since that sort of balanced with the shrimp.
For our mains we had the Iberico pork “Secreto,” which is a shoulder cut if I’m not mistaken, as well as the lamb rack. We both liked the lamb better.
The pork was still good, I think it just needed a chimi sauce or something. Also maybe another minute on the grill. I like this pork medium rare, but this was straight rare so it ended up being a little chewy at times unless you cut it up small. Broccolini was charred with lemon, just how we like it.
The strawberry shortcake dessert was fantastic. I highly recommend it.
One other negative to note here: there was some sort of eyelash or eyebrow hair in my wife’s amaro. We didn’t say anything, but the level of service here was incredible so I’m sure they would have gotten us a new pour if we asked. It was late, and we were tired, full and otherwise very happy. The staff definitely pays attention to the notes you put on your reservation. A few different people made conversation with us a few times about it being our anniversary. Great staff! I will be back for the steak options.
My buddy Herb (@thesocialpause) invited me and The Cake Dealer here to help promote and take pictures of the new Sagaponack menu item for the 4th of July holiday weekend: A massive Korean inspired seafood boil, chock full of shrimp, mussels, lobster, manila clams, andouille sausage, corn and potatoes. It was a monster of a dish.
We made a huge dent in this, especially with the help of our other friends Jae (owner and chef at Nowon) and his wife Rebecca (an Instagram food buddy of ours from WAY back). We probably could have finished if we didn’t eat so much other stuff before it came out. At $35/pp this seafood boil is a steal, though. Look at this mountain:
Here’s what we had BEFORE the boil came out:
Two raw starters (fluka tartare and salmon crudo):
Some fried goodness (chicken, calamari, artichokes):
Tons of seafood (Spanish style shrimp, escargot style oysters, manila clams, and broiled oysters):
For dessert we had creme brulee topped with strawberries and a Thai tea milk cake (the cake was INCREDIBLE!).
I can’t wait to go back and try more. They have ‘nduja mussels as well as a hanger steak frites that I’d like to try in particular.
First, check out my kickass Ride & Review video HERE:
If you haven’t heard about this place, it’s a very exclusive Amex Black card-holders joint. You CAN get access to it you have an Amex Platinum card, which my wife has. We were able to snag a reservation for 6:30PM on a Friday, and the experience was incredible. Seriously – watch the video above for the full effect.
We started with some cocktails that we really enjoyed. The stand out for me was the incredibly beautiful and delicious Carbon Martini, made with squid ink!
Our apps were a pair of tartare dishes. Table side wagyu beef tartare, and tuna tartare. Both incredible!
Next, we shared a wagyu burger. This was perfect. Thin slices of tomato, onion, pickles and just a single leaf of Bibb lettuce. Crispy bacon. Melty cheese and a special sauce. Perfect cook temp.
For entrees, we had lamb loin and aged strip steak (Snake River Farms). Both beautifully plated. The strip was 45-days aged, and 10oz.
I think we both liked the lamb slightly better. It came with a killer lamb sausage meatball wrapped in spinach (watch the video). Steak 9/10. Lamb 10/10.
For dessert we had a Lebanese pistachio milk flan called mouhalabieh, and a vanilla eclair. Both great.
Excellent table bread and butter here.
Some of the incredible views:
If you ever have the opportunity to dine or have drinks here, I highly recommend it. It’s definitely worth throwing on your bucket list.
1 Vanderbilt Ave
New York, NY 10017
Connected to the Moxy hotel near Penn Station is a pretty cool bar and grill that serves up a great burger, named after my friend Dave from Golden Packing, their meat supplier. Check out my Ride & Review video HERE (second stop in the video):
You may think this doesn’t look too great. I thought so too. The cheese isn’t melted and the tomato is too thick. But it is DAMN GOOD! It’s made from ground prime NY strip steak. It’s more like a steakhouse burger than a standard bar burger. Go give it a shot! But skip the “wagyu” pigs in a blanket. They were dry!
LEGASEA BAR & GRILL
485 7th Ave
New York, NY 10018
First off, check out my YouTube Ride & Review video HERE.
This joint popped onto my radar via Instagram, and I saw a couple of dishes that I really wanted to try when I browsed their menu online, Namely, the mortadella and foie gras terrine, and the dry aged prime rib. There were some pasta items on the menu that looked good too, so I rounded up another couple to give this place a thorough try across the entire menu.
This joint serves eastern European flavors and derives inspiration for dishes from India, the Baltic region, Russia, Scandinavia and more.
The cocktails I tried were split down the middle: One was great, the other was too sweet. If you like margaritas, get this horseradish and cucumber version with smoked salt. Amazing.
Skip on the old fashioned – it’s way too sweet.
We decided to start with the foie gras and mortadella terrine. All of us were excited. It was good, but I think we all agreed that we like both items separate rather than together. Good flavor, thoughtful presentation, etc. It’s just that 2+2=4 in this case, not 5. Math.
Next up was the mushroom patty melt. The bartender recommended this, and it turned out to be our top two or three item of the night. I never would have ordered it otherwise. It was both beautiful and tasty.
It comes with two “long tots” which eat like a cross between tots, fish sticks and knish. Enjoyable.
For the middle course, we tried two items under the pasta menu: spaetzle and kasha varnishkes. The kasha varnishkes were bowtie pasta shaped noodles, cooked al dente, and served with a mix of caramelized onion, couscous and herbs. It was good but a bit heavy on the onion. My buddy said there wasn’t enough butter. The spaetzle was the better of the two. In fact, that was my favorite item of the night.
For the mains, we ordered the braised pork belly, the dry aged prime rib, and a side of saag (Indian style stewed spinach).
The pork belly was good. It had a nice flavor despite some of the leaner portions being slightly dry. Nice touch with the charred lemon.
The prime rib was dry and mealy/grainy in texture. I’m not sure what happened here, because even though it was overcooked there should have been a lot of juiciness left. The dry aged flavor was nice though, at least, but the jus should have been left in a gravy boat on the side rather than poured over the entire plate without asking. The jus was over-reduced and a bit bitter, sadly. Also, at $120 for 20oz it’s way steep, even with the boiled potatoes as a “composed dish” rather than “a la carte” like a steakhouse. 6/10.
Here’s a shot of the saag. I always love this stuff. It’s my go to order at Indian restaurants.
Dessert was a beautiful and warm sticky bun with apple and a touch of flake salt and spices like cardamom. This was a hit.
Over all this place served up a good meal, but not great. I was disappointed by the prime rib and probably wouldn’t go back.
Albert’s is a fancy bar that just opened up near Grand Central that features some really nice cocktails and a killer menu. I highly recommend the Salt & Pepper Martini, which is made with celery salt and sun dried tomato -infused vodka.
This joint is brought to you by the folks behind the great upper east side spot The Penrose, so I didn’t expect any slack!
I stopped by one Friday after work to meet my wife for a drink, but we ended up ordering their jojo fries, and their t-bone for two, which is a dry-aged 35oz beast that also comes with two sides for $150. What a deal!
We went with the lemon and walnut crispy Brussels and the spatzl “mac” and cheese. Both were incredible!
The steak itself was an easy 8/10. It had mild aged flavor, but it ws cooked to a perfect medium rare with a great, deep golden brown crust all over.
I’ll definitely be back to try the tartare, the strip steak frites, and the burger.
My wife and I went to Down and Out in the East Village to try their crazy “double dozens” oyster happy hour. They currently offer two varieties of oysters for $1.50ea, but when you order a dozen, you get a second dozen for free. Essentially, they’re $0.75ea, which is the cheapest I’ve seen them in town!
We tried both the Kusshi (small ones, west coast of Canada) and Glidden Point (pictured above). My wife preferred the Kusshi, and I liked the ones from Glidden Point.
We also tried their “oyster pan roast,” which is a really nice bisque-like oyster and potato soup. It might not be much to look at in the photo, but I assure you it was delicious!
We also got down on their blue claw crab cake sandwich, which was nice and tasty, topped with a home made slaw.
They also serve a lot of high end canned fish items, like these sardines.
Their deviled quail eggs are good too. These come eight pieces per order.
Lots of these food items are discounted at happy hour, like the oysters. The happy hour runs daily from 4pm-7pm, and they also offer two different beers for $3, as well as discounted cocktails.
Most notable about this place, however, is the great whiskey selection, which includes some very rare, vintage bottles that the owner/bartender Josh secured from various estate sales.
He gave us some samples of a few really nice old bottles, like that Canadian Club from 1940! Soon there will be an entire separate menu of vintage whiskeys here, which will nearly double the current selection of whiskey on the menu. Stay tuned!