Category Archives: West Village

Hamburger America

First, watch this episode of Around the Hood HERE:

I finally got over to Hamburger America to try out George Motz’s take on the historic Oklahoma style onion smash burger.

He keeps it really simple: A meatball goes onto the flat top, it gets seasoned, and then it gets smushed into a flat burger patty with thin sliced onions. The two become one, and they’re topped with a slice of yellow American cheese – one per patty. A swirl of mustard and a few slices of pickle is all that garnishes this bite of American nostalgia – which gets sandwiched inside a soft, pillowy, butter-toasted potato bun.

There’s less crispy texture here than with other smash burgers, due to the steaming onion aspect, but the simple, unconfused flavors make me want to keep coming back for more. It’s a great burger! Simple and delicious.

And the shoestring fries are perfectly crisped and seasoned as well.

Make sure you try a slice of pie and an egg cream, too. There’s nothing better while sitting at a diner counter.

HAMBURGER AMERICA
51 MacDougal St.
New York, NY 10012

Kinzan

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

Kinzan is an omakase joint in the west village that offers a $100 meal, and, currently, a 15% discount is you pay in cash.

While this doesn’t quite break the top five for low cost/high value omakase joints, there were definitely some highlights, like the albacore with chili garlic crisp…

Tuna with caviar…

And their Instagram claim to fame, the smoked martini course.

Definitely worth a shot! Great service and reasonable prices.

KINZAN
259 6th Ave.
New York, NY 10014

Pappas Taverna

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

This joint is beautiful inside.

It’s part of the Dream Hospitality group (Dream hotels, etc), so they really went all out. It’s huge, and at night there are belly dancers, fire shows, a DJ… It becomes a nightlife spot.

Nice cocktails to start, all Greek flavor inspired and named, like the Hera Spritz.

We started with the Pappas Chips, which are thin slices of eggplant and zucchini, fried and served with yogurt sauce.

I expected these to be a bit more crispy, but they were still tasty.

The grilled octopus was incredible. Probably one of the best I’ve had. Super tender.

The boneless rib eye was cooked perfectly and had a nice Greek flavor profile of spices and herbs. 8/10.

This lamb shank was the winning dish, though.

There had to be a pound or more of orzo in that pot, and the meat just fell off the bone. So tender, juicy and flavorful.

For dessert, we tried the baklava and the orange custard. Both really great, not too sweet, and large enough to share.

I would definitely go back!

PAPPAS TAVERNA
105 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012

Via Carota

First, check out this badass Ride & Review video HERE:

My wife wanted to check this place out for their pork and pasta dishes, and I was interested in their artichoke and rabbit dishes. We tried all of it. Here’s how it started:

Two lovely cocktails, a classic negroni and a martinez, for me.

Vitello Tonnato was on special, carpaccio style. I had to try. It was great!

We also had their grilled artichokes, which were amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever had them grilled before, but I’m a huge fan.

This stracci pesto pasta was like a pile of lasagna noodles.

Fucking fantastic! I absolutely loved it.

This pork dish was belly, roasted and then grilled, with a tangy plum BBQ sauce, of sorts. Very unique.

The fried rabbit was incredible. Perfectly seasoned, and it came with a big hunk of fried sourdough. This could easily replace chicken and waffles if served with some whipped ricotta and a spicy Calabrian chili honey.

For dessert, a perfectly executed tiramisu.

We will definitely be going back for the fried calamari/fritto misto and fried zucchini. The plates coming out looked nuts!

VIA CAROTA
51 Grove St
New York, NY 10014

Cecchi’s

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.

CECCHI’S
105 W 13th St
New York, NY 10011

Dante

First, check out my badass Ride & Review video HERE:

We started with the mortadella, stracciatella and pistachio flatbread. This was incredible!

Next up was chicken parm. They use a huge amount of extra funky cheese on this. BOLD!

Their Frutti di Mare pasta was perfect. Shrimp, mussels, clams and calamari, all cooked just right in a beautiful sauce.

The panna cotta was just right! Very nice texture.

We will definitely be back to try more, especially from the massively extensive cocktail menu!

DANTE
79-81 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012

Da Toscano

First, check out my kickass Ride & Review video HERE:

My wife and I finally made it over to Da Toscano with my buddy and his girlfriend, who are huge fans of the place. We went big, so I’ll get right down to business.

For starters, we had the broiled oysters, which were bathed in crab fat butter. Absolutely delicious.

Then we ate five pasta dishes. Yes, five. My favorites were the lamb neck agnolotti and the orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe sauce.

Insane. So much flavor coming through in that orecchiette from the pickled cherry peppers. And the agnolotti were like little buttery packages of meaty deliciousness.

The squid ink spaghetti with crab and Calabrian chili was delicious as well. Perfectly executed.

The Scialatielli with sour beer and clams was incredibly unique and delicious. We really enjoyed this.

The gnocchi was our least favorite.

For our main courses we went with the veal strip parm and the Bistecca Fiorentina style porterhouse.

The parm was perfectly crisp and delicious.

The steak had a slight age on it from Allen Brothers, and it was rubbed with a porcini mushroom spice. 9/10!

For dessert we had the bomboloni with foie gras, peanut butter and jelly. It was pretty good, but we ended up liking the olive oil cake better.

I highly recommend this place, and I can’t wait to go back to try more stuff.

DA TOSCANO
24 Minetta Ln
New York, NY 10012

Arthur & Sons

On June 8th, the west village will have a brand new, old school style red sauce Italian joint: Arthur & Sons.

The concept comes from the guy who brought you Black Tap’s burgers and iconic shakes, Joe Isidori.

The small, bright and warm space feels like home. A seat at the window-side bar with a mezcal negroni was the right move to start the evening.

Don’t skip on the antipasto.

This and the bread with house flavored oil are the sirens tempting your appetite to a shipwreck of over-eating, though. Save room for what’s next!

Meatball parm sandwich.

Mozzarella en carozza.

FRIED GALAMAD!!!

Just like home at an Italian’s house, that’s only the beginning. Then comes the pasta: spicy rigatoni alla vodka.

Of course Benny Bowties is smiling.

Look at those tubes – no flop!

And holy shit – the chicken parm is a feast!!!

And to finish off the night, some cannoli.

This place is going to pop, so get ready! I can’t wait to try everything else.

ARTHUR & SONS
38 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10014

Best Burger NYC

Oddly enough, I first tried the fried chicken sandwich here with onion rings, and both were awesome. Spicy honey, slaw, and great pickles.

That made me want to come back to try the burger.

This was incredible! Plus, it’s real handsome:

 

I highly recommend this burger – so good!

BEST BURGER NYC
53 Little West 12th St
New York, NY 10014

Omakase Room by Mitsu

Last night I took my wife to Omakase Room by Mitsu. This was a 12 piece sushi omakase featuring some of the best pieces I’ve ever had. Some of our stand out favorites:

Fatty Tuna Cheek (I ordered a second of this!)

Hokkaido Uni

Temaki Hand Roll (this was a pre-course)

Blackthroat Seaperch, Cherry Blossom Seabream, and Splendid Alfonsino

There was even a sort of “dessert” piece: a rolled omelette. This was sweet, but not overpowering.

I can’t wait to go back here when the menu changes in a few months. This was our favorite omakase so far.

OMAKASE ROOM BY MITSU
14 Christopher Street
Ground Floor
New York, NY 10014