When I was a kid, I used to eat halva like it was my job. It’s probably my absolute favorite sweet thing to eat aside from soft serve vanilla ice cream. Seed + Mill sells halva cakes, but they also have goat’s milk vanilla soft serve ice cream. That’s double whammy for me in the dessert world. So when my buddy Jay from The Dishelin Guide set up a little influencer gig there, I was all over it.
I started with some of that soft serve goat’s milk ice cream in a blue corn tortilla cone, topped with shredded halva and freshly made tahini (they make it right there on site, in front of you). Amazing! This stuff is going to get big. It’s rich and creamy, but not as overbearingly sweet as regular ice cream. The tahini and halva bring in just the right amount of sweetness as a topping.
Next up, the halva cakes. They’re all purely halva – nothing baked or anything like that – but the quality and available flavors are like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
White chocolate and raspberries:
70% dark chocolate swirl:
And, while I didn’t shoot them, also worth mentioning here are the lemon and white chocolate, peanut butter, pistachio and rose water varieties. I love this place, and can’t wait to go back for more.
SEED + MILL
409 W 15th St
New York, NY 10011
Osamil serves up a really great brunch on weekends. They open nice and early too, at 10:30, so if you’re like me and think that brunch is really just a big breakfast with booze, then 10:30 is right on the money. We went at 12:30 with another food couple that we’re friends with though, so this became our main meal of the day.
The cocktail menu is really fun here. This pink one had watermelon foam and mescal. Very nice.
I also tried a michelada (beer and bloody mix), which was nice.
And we shared this giant punch bowl.
As for the food, we started with some kimchi deviled eggs, which had a nice spice level to them.
Next up was cold uni bibimbap. Essentially this is rice, kimchi, egg, quinoa, onion, nori, mixed greens and other tasty things, mixed up with some uni (wish there was more).
This asian pear salad with candied walnuts was really nice and refreshing too.
The broth for these mussels is incredibly slurpable. I was eating it by the spoonful throughout the meal. And yes there is bacon in there.
And those fries you see there are some of the best in the city. Might be my new favorite, as a matter of fact. They’re dusted with pimento and finished with truffle oil.
Okay so let’s get to the meat. First, spam. I know, I know… but it really is good.
Next, pork belly, lettuce and tomato sandwich. So good!
But here’s the show stopper: grilled prime hanger steak served atop bacon and kimchi fried rice, with a sunny-side up egg. Amazing.
THAT’s what breakfast should be… Not only is it gorgeous but it tasted great too. The steak could have used a bit more salt and pepper, but that’s only if you were eating it by itself. When combined with the rice, you got all the savory elements from the bacon and kimchi working together with the steak, so it’s all good. 9/10.
I was invited into Ms. Yoo to try their burger and help promote it on Instagram. I brought a couple of food photo people with me as well, so we were able to order a bunch of other stuff in addition to the burger.
Ms Yoo is essentially an American joint, but it incorporates lots of Korean flavors and ingredients into each dish that you really walk away thinking you ate a 100% Korean meal. I guess one could call it “fusion,” but it’s not pretentious and douchey like other “fusion” places can be.
First up was this bowl of nori popcorn to get things started.
The salted seaweed adds a nice natural savory element to the snack.
Next up was the beef carpaccio. This baby was gorgeous, topped with watercress, edible flowers and a cured egg yolk.
Then we tried some mac and cheese made from rice cakes (tteok).
The rice cakes are the perfect texture and vehicle to drive a great, cheesy comfort food like mac abad cheese. This one was made with gruyere and cheddar, and had a panko crust.
This was absolutely delicious, especially since it had copious amounts of bacon in it. That dipping sauce you see there is made with tomatoes and kimchi.
There are two varieties of chicken wing: spicy gochujang and honey soy sesame. The breading was perfectly crisp. While I typically like spicy wings best, the honey soy sesame was my favorite between the two.
We also had some bone marrow, which came with a bacon kimchi onion jam. Yeah – wild!
There’s also a really unique and flavorful hot dog on the menu here, topped with a dynamite grilled jalapeño pepper.
And that’s homemade Korean pork sausage on a pretzel roll with some Yoo sauce to boot (a spicy mayo, I think). Easily one of my favorite dishes of the night.
Oh yeah and the burger! This beauty is 10oz of beefy goodness topped with American cheese, Yoo sauce, and a kimchi bacon onion jam that will make you mouth water for days after tasting it.
I’m really looking forward to going back and eating that burger again, actually. And part of the reason why is because I want this as an encore for dessert:
These are honey-butter chips, and they’re the closest thing that Ms Yoo has on the menu to a dessert at the moment (there will be a dedicated dessert menu in time). These are just fried root veggie chips, like taro, potato and sweet potato, but they’re dressed in a sweet, yet savory and spicy, honey-butter glaze that’ll blow you away. Absolute must try.
I was recently invited into Imli to try out some of the restaurant’s popular menu items and write a review. My wife and I came here early in the dinner service on a Wednesday, and there was already a good amount of people not only sitting for a meal, but also hanging out at the joint’s beautiful bar and in their outdoor enclosed garden space.
We started off with a pair of interesting cocktails: The Kachumber Cooler (Hendricks Gin, St. Germain, lychee juice, cucumber), and the Desi Daaru (Old Monk, Thumbs Up, coriander, chaat, tabasco). Both were really great and unique.
Bhal is brought out to each table before the meal. This is a savory street style snack made from puffed rice, shreds of fried chic pea, onions, spices, tamarind sauce and chutney. This stuff was absolutely addicting!
This becoming known for its cross-over cuisine and tapas style bites, so we tried a bunch of those first. First were the grilled tandoori chicken wings.
These babies rocked! They’re marinated in Indian spices and then cooked until super tender. They had a great char on them from the grill, and the sauces pack both heat and cooling elements.
Next up was the spiced lamb scotch egg.
The egg was perfectly cooked, and the minced lamb around the outside was reminiscent of the grilled skewers of minced lamb that you commonly see at Indian restaurants (seekh kabob). I really liked this dish.
Our next bite was less of a cross-over food item: cauliflower tikki.
This is a variation on the popular aloo tikki. Rather than potatoes and onions, it’s made with cauliflower.
After being amply fed for the snack portion of the meal, we decided to split a chicken tikka pizza for our main course.
This is not only a great idea, but a really tasty one as well. Recently my wife and I ate some naan at an Indian joint near our apartment, and I was commenting how I think naan in general is a perfect vehicle for something like pizza. I was really excited to see it on the menu here.
Speaking of naan, this joint offers a huge variety of naan options, all of which look delicious.
But anyway, the pizza was topped with chicken tikka masala, diced tomato, sliced of bell pepper and minced red onion. Really tasty. Perhaps just a drizzle of a cooling yogurt sauce across the top as a finishing touch would really put this dish over the top.
Last but not least, we tried some Indian cardamom and ginger tea, along with Indian style ice cream (kulfi).
This was flavored with fennel seed, condensed milk and paan/betel nut leaves, and was a really refreshing way to end the meal.
I’m looking forward to coming back here again. Namely, I want to try the coconut and green chili clams, and some of the beef and lamb dishes. They do a really great job here, and I see a bright future for this joint. It’s only been open for two months and it’s already generating a big buzz in the neighborhood.
IMLI URBAN INDIAN FOOD
1136 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10065
The concept of a quick and high quality meal is something in which all NYC denizens are interested. Sushi By Bou executes that concept in spades with its 30 minute omakase.
Some of you might already be familiar with the kiosk location of this joint down in Gansevoort Market. Same idea, but this is a dedicated space in a really fun location beneath the Sanctuary Hotel near Times Square.
There’s only room for about 7-10 people inside, but with fast 12 or 13 piece nigiri offerings, you won’t have to wait very long if they’re already full. Enjoy one of the awesome cocktails while you wait.
There’s some great showmanship too. Chef David is an outgoing guy, funny, and enjoys chatting it up with the diners. And in such a small setting, you may as well get to know the people you’re eating with for the next 30 minutes. The scenery is nice too. I enjoyed watching David torch some of the pieces of nigiri.
Here’s some video of him making the wagyuni (uni on top of seared wagyu):
There’s really no point in me reciting what each piece was and giving a review of them one by one. They were all fantastic. Don’t murder me if I mislabel any of these, but I think I did a pretty good job of identifying them all.
My favorites, obviously, involved wagyu, uni and roe, but I was also impressed with the scallop and skipjack pieces as well. I highly recommend checking this place out. You won’t be disappointed
SUSHI BY BOU
The Sanctuary Hotel
132 W 47th St
New York, NY 10036
Shabu Tatsu is a Japanese shabu shabu (hot pot) and yakiniku (grilling) restaurant in the East Village. They offer up a variety of really great thinly sliced meats to sear up on the butter-basted skillet, or dip into their kombu and vegetable broth for a quick cook.
Some friends of mine brought me along on their dinner where they were meant to feature Kirin beer with the food, in hopes to promote Japanese cuisine and tourism with an Instagram contest. Here’s what we had:
Their mixed platter of meats for grilling contained beef tongue, liver, short rib, and rib eye, as well as pork.
The beef tongue was probably my favorite. These babies cook up quick since they’re thin, so you just want to get a good sear on them for color and flavor.
We also grilled off some wagyu rib eye. This stuff was so highly marbled and decadent.
For the hot pot portion of the meal, we had some nice thinly sliced beef rib eye and pork loin.
I still prefer Chinese hot pot over this style, because the broth flavors are more robust and powerful. This broth was mainly water with a small kombu leaf in it, and then you load up some veggies in there as well. It’s still really good, just a preference for me.
The best part of the meal, however, was the starter course! We tried three apps: grilled squid, braised pork belly and dumplings.
The pork belly was incredible. It was cooked in a thick citrus sauce and had a great kick from the spicy mustard on top. I highly recommend that dish.
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 came across Think Jerky at a food convention. They sent me a package of five flavors to sample. Sriracha Honey (turkey), Ginger Orange (beef), Sweet Chipotle (beef), Thanksgiving (turkey) and Classic (beef).
I was really impressed with the texture and quality of the meat in these babies. Very tender.
Sriracha Honey tastes exactly how it sounds – a punch of heat, tempered back by some sweet. Very nice. It’s no wonder that is their best seller.
My favorite, though, was the ginger orange. It was such a nice divergence from common jerky flavors. A slight hint of citrus and the bright bite of ginger – I really loved it.
Another uncommon jerky was the Thanksgiving pack. And yes, it’s turkey jerky. You really get a full helping of those classic Thanksgiving herbs and flavors like thyme, sage and garlic. Lots of times turkey jerky doesn’t actually TASTE like turkey. It just tastes like “substance.” But Think Jerky’s turkey jerky actually tastes like poultry. It’s really nice.
My wife and I were recently invited into Nice Matin to help promote their Provencal menu in their celebration of Bastille Day.
I’ll say this: Nice Matin is the best French joint in the restaurant group’s ownership among other French joints (L,Express, Cafe D’Alsace, and Le Monde).
We tried a few small bites and drinks from that menu, and, of course, the strip steak frites from the regular menu.
First, we started with some Ricard, which was sponsoring the evening’s French kick-off night. Some diners win goodie bags, and you can enter for a chance to win a trip to France.
Squash Blossom Beignets:
All of those were on the special menu, and all were really good. I think the favorites, for me, were the onion tart and the tapenade, but the squash blossoms were really light and tasty and the mussels were really nice.
The steak was a solid 8/10. The meat was super tender, and I really only took points off because the cook was a little bit over what I asked (medium rare).
The fries were perfectly cooked, but the addition of the Provencal herbs (like lavender) was a little bit aggressive.
For dessert we tried a sesame panna cotta and an olive oil cake. Both were really great, both flavor-wise and texture-wise.
Also, really nice bread here. Warm and tasty.
I definitely recommend this joint for anyone looking for some good classic French fare in the neighborhood.
The Norm is the restaurant inside the Brooklyn Museum. I was recently invited in to try their burgers and to help promote them on social media.
The space is gorgeous here, and it truly fits with the nice artwork and artifacts on display in the museum.
I browsed the menu while drinking a bloody Mary. This was nice and savory, and had just the right amount of spice to it.
The burgers were delicious. The first one I tried was “The Norman.” Topped with cheddar and bacon, and some house made pickles, lettuce, tomato and onion.
The second one was an interesting Japanese fusion type burger. The patty contained mushrooms as well as beef, and it was glazed with a teriyaki sauce, and topped with caramelized onion, pickled daikon and carrots.
I also tried the pho flavored ramen. This was an interesting fusion of Vietnamese and Japanese soups. The Sun noodles were perfectly cooked, but the addition of too much fish sauce muddied the flavors that were cooked into the broth with the various cuts of beef.
It definitely smelled like pho though, because of the herbs. The soft boiled egg and flank steak on top were also perfectly cooked, like the noodles.
This ramen was indeed tricky. My wife and I both liked it enough to finish it – even after crushing two burgers with fries – but we were perplexed by the competing flavors within. Not bad by any means, just different.
I think the mushroom burger embodied the same feeling, only we loved that one and the ramen we just liked. I’d definitely go back to try more stuff here. They do a great job, and are definitely thinking outside the box.
at The Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Pkwy
Ground Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11238