I went to Don Angie with a group of friends, so we tried almost half of the menu. I tried two cocktails; the Uncle Jimmy (Islay scotch, amaretto, bitters and lemon) and the Pinky Ring (bourbon, carpano, galliano and campari). Both were really nice.
We started with the stuffed garlic flatbread for the table.
This was delicious, especially when eaten simultaneously with their chrysanthemum salad, which is probably the best salad I’ve ever had. Easily one of the best dishes of the year (a salad!) – so good, we ordered a second.
The tonnato vitello was really nice and refreshing, made with spicy veal tartare and tuna carpaccio.
For pasta dishes, we first tried a special Sardinian dumpling in a creamy cheese sauce, topped with shaved white truffle.
Next up, caramelle.
These candy packages were a nice mix of sweet and savory. Beautiful too.
We also had their famous lasagne pinwheels. Also beautiful. And with such a thin noodle, they are actually light and delicious.
But the star of the show was the giant garganelli in broken meatball ragu. This was fucking incredible.
It reminded me of my grandma’s Sunday sauce, only with better quality homemade pasta. I crave this daily, and it is at the top of my list for best dishes I tried this year. We also ordered a second one of these since it was so incredible.
We also had the charred octopus. This was a small portion to share among six people, but it was indeed tasty.
The veal “da pepi” was like a Milanese chop. Very tasty and crisp.
Let down of the meal goes to the prime rib braciole.
It was somehow a bit dry, under cooked in parts (the center), and stringy in others (the outer edges). Bummer. I was really looking forward to this. The stuffing tasted like my dad’s stuffed cherry peppers, which was nice. 5/10.
We also had some sides: potatoes and polenta.
For dessert, we tried a bit of everything. The sgroppino was bright and acidic, the fior di latte mochi was unique and tasty, the tiramisu was perfect, and the honey zeppole were nice little versions of the fried belly bombs I loved as a kid.
This place is worth the struggle for a reservation. Get the salad, the garganelli, and the lasagne. You’ll be happy.
My wife and I stopped in this nice Italian joint for a quick meal. We kept it light here, and shared a meat and cheese board, along with a pasta dish.
Finocchiona, mortadella, cooked prosciutto, taleggio and another kind of cheese that I currently can’t remember. All were great, though I expected the finocchiona to be more like a roasted pork roll as opposed to a salami. Five items for $25.
The pasta was awesome. It was pricey at $36, but there was enough to share. Squid ink linguini with Maryland lump crab.
This reminded me of Christmas Eve dinner with my family. Mom always made bucatini pasta with blue claw crabs that we caught ourselves at the docks along the Great South Bay. Ours was usually spicy as fuck though. This one did have a slight kick with some jalapeños, so cheers to that. I’d eat this dish every day if I could.
The reason I also have this marked off as a product review is because you can buy their uncooked pasta to go from a counter up front. My wife brought home some squid ink pappardelle once and it was incredible. Really nicely made, not too fishy, and great texture when cooked to al dente. She made it with prawns in a lobster sauce.
GIOVANNI RANA PASTIFICIO & CUCINA
75 9th Ave
New York, NY 10011
I agonized a bit over whether I should review 4 Charles Prime Rib within my 10 categories for steakhouses. In the end I decided to review it as a regular restaurant, as I felt the steak selections were so LASER-focused on prime rib that the overall score would be artificially low if plugged into the steakhouse review framework.
But who cares, right? You bastards just want to see the pretty pictures and know whether I think you should eat here.
The short answer: YES! Eat here immediately.
I was here with my wife and two other friends to do a full-cavity search on this restaurant menu’s ass. No gloves. No lube. Raw and dirty. Here’s what we ate:
We split this as an appetizer, and yeah, I know: We didn’t get it “au cheval” style like in Chicago, with the egg and bacon on top. There were several reasons why we didn’t: (1) Overkill. It would be too fucking tall with thick cut bacon and a fried egg sitting on top of this double cheeseburger. And with the addition of lettuce and tomato? Fuhgettaboutit; (2) One of my friends can’t eat egg yolk; and (3) After I spoke with some friends whose burger opinions I value, it was clear that baconless and eggless was the way to go.
So how was it? Great. It’s crafted in a similar style to Genuine Roadside or Hard Times Sunday, where they serve up classic American doubles. However, at those places you’re paying half the price for something that I felt was just as good, if not better. My opinion: skip the burger. It’s great, but not worth the $20 price tag (fries not included).
THE FRENCH DIP
This isn’t on the menu but it’s often offered as a special for the day, and they pre-cut it for four people (even though we told them they didn’t have to). Thin sliced beef, provolone cheese, great sandwich bread, jus and horseradish sauce.
Verdict: amazing. Get this and split it as your appetizer like we did. You won’t be disappointed. In fact, you’ll probably be as amazed as we were.
DeBragga supplied this porterhouse, which was offered as a special for the day. It was only dry aged for 10 days, but it packed a great earthy flavor while still retaining the character of the beef. It was 32oz and $120, marketed as being “for two.”
How was it? 10/10 – perfection. Well, I mean, the crust could have used a slight bit more char on the outside, but the flavor was so tremendous that it didn’t matter. The quality was insane, and texture was incredibly tender. Served with a Bernaise sauce.
THE “4 CHARLES CUT” PRIME RIB
This is 24oz of bone-in, slow roasted Anderson beef out of Chicago. It cooks for three hours at 250 and then five hours at 125. The result is an incredibly juicy and tender roast.
That’s horseradish cream sauce there in the picture, and the steak also comes with jus. This is easily in my top three for prime rib here in the city, with a very close Keen’s and Burger & Barrel also in that top three. 10/10.
Blue Cheese Creamed Spinach: I thought this would be really potent and harsh, only good for a bite or two to add richness to the prime rib, but it was mild and tasty. While I really enjoyed it, it was not my favorite creamed spinach. I would say that it’s worth a try if you fancy yourself a creamed spinach connoisseur.
French Fries: Solid. Not amazing, but not bad by any stretch. They get the job done, they’re nicely fried, and they’re crisp. Served with a garlic aioli.
Roasted Broccolini: Despite the typo on their menu (brocolinni), these were really nicely done. I love this fucking veggie, so I like to get it every time I see it on a menu. These fuckers prepared it just how I do: Simply seasoned and dressed with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic; and then roasted until it’s cooked through, developing a little bit of charred texture on the heads.
Lemon Meringue Pie: Really nice thick meringue on top. Super fluffy and lots of flavor. The pie itself was just right: not too tangy and not too rich. I loved it. I’ve always loved a good lemon meringue pie. And look at those peaks! Also the serving size is tremendous – basically a quarter of the entire pie.
Chocolate Cream Pie: The good folks at 4 Charles Prime Rib brought this baby out for us on the house. I was really blown away by this gesture, not to mention how cool everyone was with the four of us taking photos of the food. I like to think that we weren’t too obnoxious, though. In any case, this was really delicious. The bottom was a sort of Oreo crust, and the whipped cream and chocolate sauce just took that rich, flavorful chocolate pie filling to the next level. Great stuff, and I’m usually not huge on chocolate desserts.
Boom. You need to eat here. I can’t wait to go back.
4 CHARLES PRIME RIB
4 Charles St
New York, NY 10014
So what makes this burger so good? Perhaps it’s the iberico jam, the black garlic sauce, or the aged cheddar cheese sauce. Maybe it’s the perfectly cooked patty, or the roasted grape tomatoes on top. Whatever it is, it’s the perfect union of flavors. And, I mean, come on… look at this fucking thing.
Everything about it just works.
My readers know me, though: I always want a crunch element, and that’s the only thing that was missing in my eyes. But this is nearly perfect, and definitely has a spot on my top five list for restaurant burgers.
Interesting quirk: the burger comes with roasted Brussels sprouts rather than French fries. I didn’t see any fries on the menu, but they’re not very popular in Italian cuisine anyway. Perhaps some fried polenta would satisfy the starch pairing/craving for this burger though. In any case, this burger kicks a whole lot of ass.
But the burger isn’t the only thing that kicks ass at Suprema. Check out this menu and see what items cause your undies to bulge.
We tried a bunch of shit when we went, in order to help promote for the restaurant. Cheers to that.
Realistically though, ever since Gotham Burger Social Club posted their review, the restaurant has seen a big influx of customers. They’re doing just great without my pictures. But here we go…
This had a great green olive tapenade and more of those delicious roasted grape tomatoes. The octo itself was super tender, crispy, meaty. On the bottom is a pair of black crispy fried polenta squares. Perhaps they’re colored with squid or octo ink, or maybe even the black garlic that we saw in the burger. Either way – tasty.
Crab & Uni Fettuccine
This was my least favorite of the night. But since it was still a good dish, that’s not a knock in the slightest. For my taste, it was a bit fishy (likely from the warm uni) and lacked a bit of salt. The crab was excellent, however, and the pasta was perfectly cooked.
Braised pork, bechamel sauce and ricotta are layered into this shit, and everything is baked into individual cast iron dish-pans. The very bottom was a bit watery and didn’t “set” properly, but that’s nothing a few minutes of waiting will cure before diving in. We savaged the fuck out of this very quickly. Excellent dish.
These are pretty great, and I’m a harsh critic when it comes to meatballs. It’s tough to beat mom’s. Firm, but not hard. Tender, but not mushy. Rich with flavor and properly cooked. A little bit of crusty sesame Italian bread to sop up the delicious sauce here, and you Paisans out there are all set.
Most people like me would cringe at the idea of ordering chicken at a restaurant when there is clearly a pork or beef option available, as well as shitloads of salumi. But I, and those like me, would be missing out at Suprema if we ignored the chicken. This shit was fantastic. It’s brined for many hours, so the flavor penetrates deep to the bone. Not only is the flavor good, but the meat is juicy and tender – like Kim Kardashian’s ass cheeks, only less fatty. The skin is rubbed with a spice mix and roasted to a delicious crisp. Even the tit meat is on point, and not even one bite was dry. This fucking dish is mint.
This joint reminds me a lot of the salumeria spots in Italy that I loved so much. I’m sure I will be here a lot in the weeks to come, taking advantage of the delicious Summer cocktails they mix up, and enjoying the open air but shaded tables along 7th avenue in the West Village.
In summary, get the fuck over to this place as quickly as you can. Go. Don’t be an asshole.
305 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014
I had the opportunity to head to Chef Joe Conti’s test kitchen prior to the open of his yet-to-be-named Japanese omakase restaurant downtown. The great thing about this meal is that I was able to taste a lot of different cuts of A5 Wagyu beef. The highest marbling score there is. Unreal. Since there were a bunch of courses, I’ll get right down to business.
Torched mackerel with pickled daikon.
Fried river fish, uni and river crab.
Giant shrimp/prawn carabineros. Simply seasoned with salt, but their insides cook into a naturally spicy and fatty butter-like substance that will provide you with wet food dreams for the rest of your life. It coats your tongue like a rich prosciutto almost. For real, this is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my whole fucking life. They get to about a third of a pound each in weight, too, so they’re substantial. Favorite part of the meal – even better than the beef!
Wagyu skirt steak (8/10) and pork skirt steak. Amazing. Here, the pork out shined the beef just because it was so unique to see this cut here in the states. I want more of it!
Wagyu sirloin (9/10), tenderloin (10/10) and rib cap (9/10). All amazing, but my favorite, oddly, was the tenderloin. It was so buttery soft and tender that it would be impossible to compare it to anything else that came across our plates.
Here’s the tenderloin up close:
Italian panko Parmesan breadcrumb “gyu katsu,” aka deep fried beef strip loin. Amazing. 8/10.
Eel with shiso.
Cold udon noodles.
Ice cream: chocolate, green tea with chocolate chips, and salted caramel. Still some refining to be done here, but over all a great closer plate.
I can’t wait until this spot officially opens. I think it’ll be in the West 4th Street and 8th Avenue area. Keep an eye out! They’re already booked solid for the first few months after they open.
Chef Joe’s place is called Shuraku, located in the west village. They opened to great success, and I finally got around to bringing my wife there to try the great food. The meal was excellent, and my wife loved her birthday dinner. Here’s what we had:
During the course of the meal we tried three different sakes. The one pictured with the bottle was my favorite, aged for 17 years in barrels. It had a mild smooth scotch flavor to it.
Course 1: tofu.
Course 2: A5 wagyu beef sushi.
Course 3: oyster and king crab.
Course 4: yakitori
Course 5: fish cake with dashi
Course 6: beef and seafood grill.
Course 7: udon with roe.
Course 8: yuzu cheesecake and strawberry yogurt ice cream, with green tea.
SHURAKU JAPANESE GRILL
47 8th Ave
New York, NY 10014
My wife and I were invited on a really cool burger crawl hosted by one of NYC’s most influential restaurant public relations firms, Bullfrog & Baum. The crawl was to celebrate National Burger Day.
On the crawl, we visited five of the joints they represent and tried nine different burgers over the course of eight hours. We were with a group of about ten people, so we were able to split and share the burgers at each place (nine burgers is a bit much for one person, even if you stretch it over eight hours).
Stop 1: Porter House Bar & Grill
We tried three different burgers here, starting off like champs.
Burger 1: I had eaten the Bar Burger before, and it still holds up as one of the greats. In fact I liked it the best of all nine from the crawl. It’s a simple double patty with American cheese on a potato bun, with jalapenos. The best way.
Burger 2: They just debuted this Pat LaFrieda truffle burger blend and threw it onto a bun with braised short rib, red onion jam, melted Fontina cheese and even more shaved black truffles. Amazing, and probably in my top three for the day.
Burger 3: The Dry Aged burger is a beef lover’s dream. You really get that earthy, dry-aged beef flavor in every bite.
Stop 2: The Vine
The American Burger at The Vine is a great tribute to an old fashioned diner burger, but elevated in quality and flavor. I really enjoyed this one. Maybe one more slice of cheese would take it into top three favorites status.
Stop 3: Boucherie
I’ve had this baby before and reviewed it, so no need rehash too much. Great LaFrieda dry-aged blend. A wallop of intense flavor.
Stop 4: Black Tap SoHo
We tried two here. Only the strong survive!
Burger 1: Black Tap’s American Burger was excellent. So simple and delicious, perfectly cooked. American cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo (on top in photo below).
Burger 2: The Greg Norman had already impressed me in the past. It was just as wonderful again. You’d think the wagyu beef would be overpowered by the blue cheese, but it just intensified the savory crust on the patty. Lovely. It’s on the bottom in the photo above.
Stop 5: Blue Ribbon Federal Grill
At our final stop, we tried two different burgers. And both were spectacularly crafted.
Burger 1: The Fed is a nice crisp patty topped with stilton cheese, thick cut bacon and pickles. The bun is an onion poppy roll that really works to enhance the flavors. What a great burger!
Burger 2: The Bar Burger here has no cheese, but it’s got an amazing crispy sear on the patty. It’s topped with a creamy whipped herb butter and pickles, and sits on an English muffin. Really simple and incredibly delicious. This one took me by surprise!
Such a crazy day! Not one bad burger in the bunch. In fact, all were pretty damn great. It was tough to choose favorites.
PORTER HOUSE BAR & GRILL
10 Columbus Cir
New York, NY 10019
851 6th Ave
New York, NY 10001
99 7th Ave S
New York, NY 10014
BLACK TAP SOHO
529 Broome St
New York, NY 10013
BLUE RIBBON FEDERAL GRILL
84 William St
New York, NY 10038
This shop serves up some pretty nice bowls of noodles and soup. I came in to take some Instagram photos and tried two.
Beef Noodle Soup:
Ultra-tender beef, nice fresh greens and herbs, and well cooked noodles. I don’t know what cut of beef this is, but it seems to be common among Chinese noodle shops.
When it’s cooked slow, stewed and sliced like this, it gets incredibly tender. That stuff that looks like fat or gristle is really soft and deliciously gelatinous.
Mrs. Tang’s Noodles:
This is not a soup style noodle dish. It had a nice spice level to it from the chili paste, and the ground pork was super flavorful. This was my favorite of the two.
Everything here is served to-go style, though there are some countertop seats available. Give this place a shot. I know I’ll be back to try some new menu items. And each item I had was under $10, so it’s a great bargain.
THE RICE NOODLE
190 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10012
Greenwich Steakhouse is a newly opened French-inspired steak joint in the West Village. Chef Victor Chavez helped open Smith & Wollensky, and is a 30yr veteran chef from there. He tried retirement, but decided that he wanted to be back in the game. As such, he opened Greenwich Steakhouse.
I recently set up an “influencer event” here to help get some photos and reviews out there. Take a look at all the crazy shit we tried, and enjoy the review below.
Cajun Rib Eye: 10/10 (I have had it several times)
I’m starting with the best steak first. This baby was cooked to a perfect medium rare from end to end with an awesome savory crust on the edges.
But the hint of cumin in the Cajun rub really sets this baby off as the best steak in the joint.
The spicy oil at the bottom of the place is reminiscent of the delicious sauce you get with the cumin lamb noodles at Xian Famous Foods, which I love.
When you come here, this is the steak to get. Chef Victor just absolutely nails it.
48oz Porterhouse: 8/10 (had this a second time and it was 9/10)
This is nice and thick, and really goes great with the marrow butter sauce addition.
There was some grey banding since this is such a thick cut of steak, but nothing was dried out.
48oz Tomahawk Rib Eye: 6/10 (had this a second time and it was 7/10)
Unfortunately this was a bit overcooked for our liking. Some parts were dry as a result, but the flavor was still nice.
Strip for Three: 9/10 – extremely good crust, really nice texture.
Filet Mignon: 9/10
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 10
All the meat here come from Strassburger, a great supplier. Chef Victor dry ages them for three weeks in-house to develop a bit more flavor for his guests. There are several sizes of the four major cuts available.
Portion Size & Plating: 9
Portions here are pretty big. The plating is on the nicer side with steel pans being used as serving vessels.
The prices are on par with midtown NYC steakhouses, but since they are slinging some of my favorite food in the city, I have to say this place offers a good deal.
The bar is a short stretch on the first floor with some seats along the window for people watching.
It’s on a nice stretch of Greenwich Ave in the village too, so likely will be a good spot for nightlife.
Cocktails are nice, particularly the Great Kills.
Specials and Other Meats: 9
The waiter read us some specials that were not on the menu. We tried one of them, a shredded Brussels sprout salad. I thought it could use some more dressing, but it was tasty.
For alternative meats, they offer a nice variety: veal, chicken and lamb. Perhaps a pork chop would round it out. We tried the lamb and it was incredible. So nicely seasoned and flavorful.
While the lamb may no longer be available, they do offer a veal parmesan that was excellent:
And a veal chop that is absolutely delicious.
A recent addition to the menu is a Saturday prime rib roast.
Check out this video!
At just $59 this is a steal. 8/10.
And if filet mignon is your thing, try the whole roasted tenderloin:
An easy 9/10 for that. Feeds 6-10 people at $295.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9
This is the best thick cut bacon I’ve ever had. It was about a half inch thick, and each order comes with three massive slabs. We cut them each in half since we had a table of six.
The fries are pretty good as well:
The marrow is overkill. If you are eating steaks here, each cut will come with some roasted bone marrow, so no need to go for the app. Here are three delicious boats of bone meat though:
Creamed spinach was also nice:
As well as the hash browns:
The crab cake is top notch. This thing rivals Del Frisco’s.
Especially now that the sauce for it has a cajun flavor profile:
Nice hand cut steak tartare:
For dessert, we went with the ice cream tartufo:
And chocolate cake:
All were good, but my favorite was the creme brulee.
Seafood Selection: 10
We tried the seafood tower, which comes with oysters, king crab, shrimp, lobster and lumb crab meat.
The shrimp were massive! For entree items, they offer tuna, halibut, lobster, sole and salmon. Branzino was on special as well. That’s a serious variety!
Crab & Avocado Salad:
The staff here is all top notch. The guys are pure gentlemen and it doesn’t surprise me that Chef Victor would staff his joint with such people. The table breads are served from a basket at the outset.
They’ve done an awesome job with the space here. The main dining room is on the second floor and boasts elegant chairs and a bright space. Very different from other steak joints.
The third floor has a huge table for parties, and holds about 8000 bottles of wine in elegant glass-windowed rooms flanking each side.
This is also one of the only places you can actually eat beside a roaring fireplace, on two different floors. Amazing.
This joint offers some of the most unique and delicious dishes I’ve come across in a while. I went with a group of food Instagrammers to help the restaurant get some pics out to the masses, so we were able to sample a lot of stuff.
First off, the cocktails are really creative.
If you like apertif type drinks, try the Greyfriar or the Donna Reed. I generally shy away from them due to the bitter element, but these were extremely tasty and have me re-thinking the entire class. My favorites, though: Old Smokey, I’m on Fire and Deacon Blues.
Take a look at the food menu.
Everything looks/sounds good because everything IS good. I’m serious. Every item we tried was not only good but often times outstanding. I seriously think this is my new favorite restaurant.
Okay on to the goods. I apologize in advance for some of the pics that I didn’t bother editing. I was primarily concerned with getting just a few to look great for Instagram, in particular the steak, burger and fried chicken dishes.
These little corn bread wafers are a nice change from standard table bread in a basket.
The Pecan Candied Bacon is served in a mason jar. They reminded me of the stuff my wife makes, only without the spicy element.
The Deviled Steak & Eggs is essentially a deviled egg with steak tartare under the whipped yolk. Excellent bites.
If there’s only one thing Chef Matt Abdoo should have as his legacy, it’s his ability to make incredible sauces. These BBQ Chicken Lollipops feature one of those amazing sauces. They are fantastic.
Grandma Val’s Meatballs are really great. Again, that sauce is killer.
This next dish of fried cod cheeks was not on the menu, but they might have been one of my favorite dishes of the night. I could easily eat bucket-loads of these. Nice light and puffy batter, simply garnished with pickled peppers and scallions. Awesome.
I’m usually not a fan of cooked oysters, but the Grilled Oysters here definitely changed my mind.
Brisket Ravioli with black truffle butter? Yup. They even shaved a bunch on top, table-side.
We shared the Bleecker Burger, which is probably now one of my new favorites. It’s in the style of a Big Mac; double patty, special sauce (yeah – it’s an incredible sauce). Nearly flawless in execution. As a friend pointed out, it just needs an element of crisp, whether from the patty or a leaf of iceberg. The house pickles are perfect.
The Linguine Cacio e Pepe and Lasagne dishes were both nicely executed as well, but I didn’t get a shot of either, unfortunately.
FOR THE TABLE
Let me start with the amazing Smoked & Fried Chicken. This is a whole chicken, and it’s expertly breaded and perfectly fried.
I enjoyed this more than Ando and Ma Peche, which seem to be the top of the pack for many fried chicken aficionados.
Again, the sauces that come with this are amazing.
But the waffles with whipped sweet and salted butter were the real show stoppers. I’ve never had a waffle that tasted so good.
The chicken comes with cheesy grits, which are fantastic.
Here comes the big daddy: the Tomahawk Chop with Smoked Beef Rib. Essentially, steak and brisket.
This is an aged Pat Lafrieda cut that has been lightly smoked before being properly finished off as a steak. It’s served with smoked cap and brisket, and another amazing steak sauce.
This steak tastes like a delicious hybrid between BBQ and traditional steakhouse fare.
It’s smokey and sweet, but also earthy and savory. It really blew me away. 10/10.
The Mac & Cheese is really tasty, and topped with a cheese powder that will take you back to your childhood.
These Hand Cut French Fries are more like flattened and squashed baked potatoes. Very good, and not the same as the shoestring style fries that come with the burger.
The Utica Greens are made with escarole, which I love to see on menus. This really popped from the smokey bacon and cherry peppers.
Finally, we tried the Anson Mills Grits, which I also liked very much.
Mason Jar Oreo Cheesecake. Velvety and delicious.
Mango Sorbet with Yogurt Chips & Fresh Mango. So bright and flavorful.
Karen’s Key Lime Pie. Perfect rendition of this classic.
Brownie Hot Fudge Sundae with Virginia Peanuts. Decadent.
Buckeye Milkshake (like a peanut butter and chocolate ice cream shake). This is something special. Not only is it gorgeous, but it is filling, yummy and satisfying.
They were all awesome, and overall this was an amazing meal. I can’t wait to go back and try their 155 Steak, a Teres Major/Shoulder Tender cut, so keep an eye out for updates.
UPDATE 4/18/17 – 155 STEAK
This shoulder tender is awesome.
It has all the softness you’d expect from a filet mignon, but the flavor character of a rib eye.
Although it was cooked more like medium than medium rare, it still packed a lot of oomph. It was slightly sweet yet savory, had a good crust on the outside, and was super tender and juicy inside. At just $28, this is a steal. 8/10.