Category Archives: Restaurant Reviews

Emilia by Nai

Once again my friend Ruben absolutely nails it with his third restaurant, Emilia. Check out this quick video of some of the dishes we tried:

I can’t wait to go back and try more stuff. He is still in the process of perfecting the burger (he’s working on the bun), so I’ll definitely try that again.

Favorite items so far: artichoke with soy cured egg and crispy sunchokes, red snapper, and monkfish liver mousse.

EMILIA BY NAI
174 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10009

Hotel Chantelle

The Pulsd deal for Hotel Chantelle is pretty good. You get two cocktails, two apps, two entrees, and a shared dessert for $69.

The cocktails are tasty and colorful.

The apps we selected were the steak tartare and the charred octopus. Both were incredible, and I’d go back again for these any day.

The entrees, however, fell a bit short. My strip steak was definitely not a center cut, which is totally fine – they’re using it for the Pulsd deal diners. Be minfdul of connective tissue At $31 regular price, this really is a pair price though. The pepper chimi was unique, and it was cooked properly and had a nice flavor to it. 6/10.

The seafood paella was simultaneously undercooked and wet/soggy. Bad combo! The seafood itself was nice though.

For dessert, a lemon cream tart of sorts. The shell tasted like greasy tortilla and was tough to bite/chew, but the filling was awesome.

All in, not a bad meal, thanks to the saving grace of the apps. I’d come back here for apps and cocktails on the rooftop again for sure. It’s beautiful up there, and even the bar downstairs is cool. I’d skip the entrees though.

HOTEL CHANTELLE
92 Ludlow St
New York, NY 10002

Bazaar Meat by Jose Andres

This high end tapas restaurant serves some of the best Spanish food I’ve had outside of Spain. Jose Andres really deserves all the praise he gets.

We started with some nice cocktails, which, in hindsight, I wish we had at the bar downstairs (Bar Mar), instead of at our table.

In any case, great cocktails!

For the smaller bites we tried, the stars were Jose’s Tacos (jamon with nori taco shell and caviar), and the tartare in a fried shiso leaf.

The Philly cheesesteak bites were nice too.

For medium sized courses, we had the Spanish octopus and fideua (paella made with pasta instead of rice). That squid ink sauce was outstanding, and it might have been the best dish of the entire trip to Chicago.

For our main, we had the 32oz aged domestic wagyu “chuleton” rib eye. It was slightly overcooked on the edges, and for being something like 100+ days dry aged, I didn’t get much of that flavor. It was really tender and tasty though. 8/10.

This came with a side of delicious whipped potatoes. So smooth.

For dessert, we had their delicious honey cake with grapefruit sorbet. They even stenciled the words “Happy Birthday” onto the plate for us.

A very pricey meal, but delicious!

BAZAAR MEAT
20 N Upper Wacker Dr
Chicago, IL 60606

The Purple Pig

For our last stop on this Chicago trip, we tried The Purple Pig. The space is nice, with a big bar that serves nice cocktails.

We tried a bunch of the items that would probably make regular folks a little squeamish: pork blood sausage, terrine, pork tongue, and pate. They were out of the crispy pig ears.

Everything was good but the real winner was this confit turkey leg.

It was a bit too liquidy/wet in the plating though. Perhaps a quick char in the broiler for external texture would be nice, with the slaw/veggie medley served on the side.

THE PURPLE PIG
ADDRESS

Stan’s Donuts & Coffee

Stan’s is a donut and coffee shop that we hit a couple of times during our trip to Chicago. The turnover here is so frequent that you’re almost always guaranteed a warm, fresh donut. We tried the apple fritter and the blueberry cream cheese filled.

Here, the blueberry was the winner.

This joint is definitely worth hitting for interesting on-tap coffees (like barrel aged cold brew, or nitro) and fresh, uniquely flavored donuts.

STAN’S DONUTS & COFFEE
181 Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60601

Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken

This little fried chicken and fried bread joint serves up some great food. We tried the apple fritter, the pistachio glazed donut, and a chicken sandwich. We went a little past the morning rush, so the donuts had lost their warmth. Still great though. The apple fritter was the winner between the two donuts here.

The chicken sandwich was awesome. I only wish I had added cheese to this, but otherwise it was perfectly crafted. A simple classic! I could eat this every day.

DO-RITE DONUTS & CHICKEN
233 E Erie St
Chicago, IL 60611

Billy Goat Tavern

The famous Olympia Diner scene from SNL, come to life!

I have to say, I expected this burger to suck, seeing as though this place is definitely somewhat of a tourist trap, and the meat to bun ratio seemed way off. That’s why I went with the triple. Boy was I wrong in my assumptions. The burger was great!

I will make it a mission to come here on every visit to Chicago. Next time I’ll try the Polish sausage and the hotdog.

BILLY GOAT TAVERN
Lower 430 North Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

Haswell Green’s

having gone to Haswell Green’s several times for cocktails over the years, I finally made it over there to try the food. I have to say: the burger matches the quality of the cocktails: AWESOME!

It’s a double smash patty burger on a potato bun with pickles, cheese and special sauce. Very simple, but really well executed. Go give it a shot. I actually think this might be my favorite burger in that part of town. Better than Black Tap, all the steakhouses nearby, and any other bar or fast food joint slinging burgers for theater patrons.

The boneless wings pork+veal meatballs are decent as well.

But make sure you try some of their cocktails. Really nicely crafted.

HASWELL’S GREEN
240 W 52nd St
New York, NY 10019

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

Il Corso

My wife and I came here with another couple to try out the amazing food that Il Corso is known for. This place definitely lived up to its reputation!

We started with some stuffed, fried olives, fried zucchini, and beef carpaccio. All of these were excellent, but I think if I had to choose a favorite, I’d go with the zucchini. Crazy! Next time I will try the Fritto Misto, which also has squid and shrimp.

My wife had the paccheri with pistachio cream sauce and crumbled sausage. Amazing! Easily a top five pasta dish for me.

I had the veal cutlet Milanese.

Added some nice fresh shaved parm on top:

It was perfect. Super crisp outside, tender and juicy inside. Ate every last bit of it!

And for dessert, Nutella pie, lemon bomb cake, and flan. All delicious, but I think the flan “took the cake.”

I can’t wait to go back here and the the lamb ragu pappardelle, and so many other dishes.

IL CORSO
54 W 55th S
New York, NY 10019