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!
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:
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
This little Italian joint opened up down by us on East Broadway, and we were excited to try it out. The cocktails are all great, and the bar is stacked with lots of amari.
We tried three starters: the endive salad, the prawns and the fried artichoke. These were all fantastic; seriously one better than the next. These items are every day kind of items. They’re that good!
This smoked lamb ragu pappardelle was BONKERS!!! The pasta ate sort of like hand pulled noodles. A bit broken up in parts, but I would eat this by the bucket load. Amazing.
The dry aged duck was a bit of a let down. Not terrible by any means, but it was over seasoned, the skin was not crisp enough, and the flesh was a bit tough in parts. A 6/10. Maybe 7 on a good day. One half/slice was definitely better than the other.
This “crespelle” was sort of like a vegetable lasagna, and it was absolutely delicious. I was shocked at how much I liked this, considering it was utterly meatless.
For dessert we shared the midnight cake, which was definitely more like a mousse than a cake. We loved it. That little blob of white is creme fresche.
I would definitely go back, especially for those starters and the pasta dishes. They have a t-bone on the menu, so I’ll eventually have to try that as well.
I had the steak!
This is an easy 9/10 and it is in the running for a best bite of 2023. The age was perfect on it, super tender on the filet side, nice texture on the strip side with no connective tissue (a center cut). Beautiful.
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.
Cornelius is a new French and American style joint in Grand Central. My wife and I came in to give it a try, as the menu looked pretty incredible.
We started with some cocktails, all of which were killer. My favorites were the Sazerac (not pictured) and the caviar martini. If you have some time before you start to eat, grab the espresso old fashioned. That also works well with dessert too though.
We started with this foie gras terrine, which wasn’t on the menu. This is basically delicious meat butter, and it would also pair well with their cheese plate. We had that for dessert.
Next up was the beef tartare. This is made from hand cut prime tenderloin, but the bump of caviar is extra/not standard. I really loved this, and it’s definitely large enough to eat as a main course.
We shared this beautiful 28oz, 30-day dry aged NY strip/shell steak on the bone.
The sauce is a velvety and mild Hollandaise, and draped over the bone is a nice portion of sautéed broccoli rabe. On top, shaved Perigord black truffle. 9/10 – very tender, well rested, and great aged flavor coming through on that evenly browned crust.
Of course we didn’t stop there. These two dishes were both beautiful and well executed, but the winner of the night goes to the duck leg confit. The lamb collops of tenderloin were perfect, it’s just that the duck was masterfully prepared, The meat was so tender and well seasoned/balanced. And with a huge bed of lentils underneath, it was filling as well. Make sure you order that!
For dessert, along with the cheese plate up above, we had these incredible dolce de leche donuts. WOW! I was actually shoving some of the currant jelly into the hole to make them even more decadent.
This place is crazy good, and I really can’t wait to go back to try the chateaubriand for two and a few other items that look great.