Tag Archives: club

BB King’s

There aren’t many places left in the city to get a really good meal while you watch live music. Minton’s, Duane Park and Blue Smoke come to mind, but those joints are small and almost always limited to jazz. I love the B.B. King’s venue. They get a great variety of artists coming in there, ranging from old time blues guys and rock bands, to country stars and rappers. Yeah, they have jazz too, of course, but B.B.’s really has everything – including great food.

I had been to B.B. King’s once before to see a show, but I never thought to eat there. In fact I didn’t even realize that the other side of the venue has a nice big restaurant called Lucille’s; I’d only been to the bar and stage side with smaller, less “fine-dining” style tables. So when Chef Wenford Patrick Simpson (Chef Patrick) reached out and invited me in to review and try his food, my interest was piqued.

I read up on Chef Patrick, browsed his menu online, and instantly became eager to take him up on his offer and give this place a spin. Chef Patrick began cooking as a kid in Jamaica. While attending high school he was offered a job at Club Caribbean, where he was an intern, to begin immediately after graduation. He worked many resorts before taking his skills to the sea on Royal Caribbean and Disney cruise lines. Later, he settled in New York City, where he became Executive Chef at Negril Restaurant. Now, not only is Chef Patrick the Executive Chef for B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, Subrosa and the Highline Ballroom here in NYC, but he’s also the Executive Chef at the Howard Theater in Washington D.C. Wow! I don’t know how he does it all. B.B. King’s alone is crazy. That kitchen gets incredibly busy when both Lucille’s and the main stage room are packed to capacity and the orders are flying in.

So what’s next for a man with such an impressive pedigree? He’s launching his own cooking show, called “Cook-Up with Chef Patrick,” on the TEMPO Network – a pan-Caribbean culture and music television channel.

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His food has been awarded “Best in Taste” at both Spring Taste NYC, 2015 and Taste of Times Square, 2016. Sometimes he heads to Times Square, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s to give out tasting samples of his creations. In fact, Bloomingdale’s rated him its favorite chef.

It’s easy to understand why. Chef Patrick pushes boundaries in the kitchen. His goal is to create a unique dining experience; he takes Southern and American cooking to the next level with Caribbean spices and flavors. He cooks with love and passion, and his personality is as fun, warm and comforting as the dishes he serves to customers.

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Below is a look at some of those dishes. First, the starters. Chef Patrick brought out a sampler for us to try, along with some of the full sized plated versions of each.


Let me start with front and center: mini chicken and waffles. These things are delicious. Savory, sweet, fresh, crisp, tender and juicy.


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Sweet and spicy fried catfish bites. These were so addicting and flavorful, drizzled with a sweet, spicy and creamy chipotle sauce.


Popcorn shrimp with diced mangoes and a chili and lime sauce. Light, refreshing, and a real pop of flavor with each bite.


We tried two different styles of wings. First was a brand new menu addition, the jerk chicken spice wings. These were our favorite between the two. Lots of great bold flavors, and Chef Patrick really brings the flavors of Jamaica to the table.


The bluesy BBQ wings were good as well; we just preferred that strong jerk spice flavor.


This bowl of chili is thick and hearty enough to eat with a fork! It had an incredible smoky flavor with just the right amount of heat.


One of their best sellers is this nice, fresh chopped salad, with avocado, corn, bacon, tomato, goat cheese and a light vinaigrette.


Smoked brisket sliders with Blues Boy BBQ sauce (same sauce as the bluesy wings). These were super tender and delicious.



Speaking of brisket, the BBQ brisket here rivals some of the best dedicated BBQ smokehouse joints in town. It was incredibly tender and flavorful. In addition to brisket, Chef Patrick also fired up some amazing short rib, pork ribs and jerk chicken (the latter comes with a mango salsa).



Again, the distinctly Jamaican flavor profile associated with jerk chicken is really killer here. This chicken was slow cooked BBQ style and resulted in super tender and delicious meat.



But what southern-inspired meal would be complete without collared greens and a sizzling skillet of mac and cheese?




The greens were nicely cooked and had a great freshness and zing to them. The mac came to the table bubbling, steaming and sizzling, and had a comforting, soul-warming and hearty cheddar flavor.

And just when I thought this feast was done, Chef Patrick brought out a gorgeous sliced porterhouse!



The filet side was super tender and flavorful. I can’t believe I was even able to eat it after all that food, but I guess I have a separate stomach that’s just for steak.



Check out how perfectly cooked the strip side was:


It had great flavor and was perfectly cooked. For $80 this is one of the best deals you can find in the city to feed two people with steak. And I’d be a fool not to mention the awesome steak sauce that comes with this baby. It’s a bourbon steak sauce unlike any I’ve tasted before. I almost never use steak sauce, but this one was outstanding. I’ve actually been poking around the B.B. King’s website looking to buy a bottle of it, but I’ve had no luck yet!

And just as there is a second stomach for steak, there is also a third stomach for dessert. Chef Patrick made what I declared to be one of my favorite desserts in town. It’s a waffle with ice cream, whipped cream and strawberry sauce – nothing too complicated – but my primary motivation is flavor. This was absolutely delicious. The waffle was crisp and warm on the outside, but soft and tender inside. The ice cream was creamy and smooth, and the strawberry sauce was sweet and tart. Just perfect.



I think that covers everything we tried. There’s just one other item that the chef brought over to our table to show us. It was an order for another table, so we didn’t get to try it. Fried catfish! It looked and smelled great.


I guess I will say this in summary: lots of people buy tickets to a performance and they think they need to get food somewhere else beforehand or afterwards. This is not the case with B.B. King’s. Here, you not only get world class music performances, but you get top notch food to boot.

237 W 42nd St
New York, NY 10036

LaCroix Seltzer

I gave up drinking soda a few years back. Not completely – I’ll have one maybe once a month or something – but I cut it out when I started running and dieting and haven’t gone back. The sugar content is killer, even the natural ones like the glass bottles of Mexican Coca Cola.

But I love good a bubbly drink, and I didn’t want to give that up. Flavored seltzer became my substitute. No calories, no sugars, nada.


When my wife and I were still out on Long Island, Stop & Shop brand’s mandarin orange seltzer was my go-to flavor, and it was super cheap – usually between $3 and $4 for a 12-pack. It was more of an essence or scent of orange than a taste, but there was something in there that was orangey.

It worked to give me my bubble fix. Then I discovered La Croix at Whole Foods after we moved back to the city…


In particular this coconut flavor. It’s the Rolls Royce of seltzer. Sure, it is more expensive at between $4.50 and $6.00 for a 12-pack. But the amazing flavor that tastes real and natural. I’ve had other coconut seltzers in the past and they taste like fake coconut, if that makes any sense. And while I still enjoy the Stop & Shop brand well enough, this La Croix shit is miles beyond.


Hunt & Fish Club

Hunt & Fish Club overall score: 90

Just a quick FYI about the format of this review. I was under the impression that this joint didn’t seek to be classified as a steakhouse. But now, everywhere I see this place mentioned in print, it is being called a steakhouse. SO I’ve taken my restaurant review and stuffed it into a steakhouse review format. That’s why it looks like a Walmart fatty stuffed into a runway model’s dress.

My wife surprised me with dinner here for Valentine’s Day.


What an incredible meal! We started with some cocktails. Gin martini for me, and some sort of sparkling apple drink for the wife.


A nice  unexpected surprise was a pair of big popovers. These were pretty good, but not quite up to the standard set by BLT Prime. One was very airy and light, while the other had a crispy outer shell with a lop-sided, more dense, doughy bottom.


There were several items we wanted to try from the app menu, so we just ordered them all. First was the filet mignon tartare. This rivals the Quality Meats tartare. Easily one of the best in Manhattan. The plate was ringed with minced red onion, boiled egg whites and egg yolks. The beef itself was extremely soft and tender despite being hand cut. It was topped with a raw quail egg for that needed fat. So fucking good when spread onto the little waffle chips that came with the plate.



Next up was the bacon. These were nice and thick: we had a strip each. I’ve had better in other places, but this was an excellent way to chase that delicious tartare.


Our third starter was the oxtail and bone marrow French onion soup. This was really delicious and rich. The broth had such a nice flavor from all that beefy goodness. While I still like the French onion soup at Le Village better, this was an exciting, innovative take on what is frankly a boring item.


For my main course, I had this delicious, perfectly cooked bone-in rib eye steak. Aged prime all the way, people. So fucking good. Easily in my top steaks. The crust had a great sear. There was a slight amount of bleed-out, but it was not due to lack of rest. It was just juicy as fuck.



My wife had a halibut dish that was cooked with king crab for a nice flavor boost. I can see why they call this place Fish & Hunt – both the meat and the fish are spectacular and deserve to be featured prominently.


My wife and I basically said FUCK YOU to greens in this meal. Instead of sharing one healthy veggie side, we went with two unhealthy, starchy, carby veggies. First was horseradish mustard mashed potatoes. Really fucking tasty. The horseradish gave it a good kick in the balls.


The other was truffled tater tots. Holy shit these were decadent and earthy. They were cooked with truffle oil, and the creamy dip sauce that came with them had minced truffle in it as well. BOOM!


For dessert we shared a yogurt based panna cotta. While the texture was really not the kind you associate with panna cotta, this flavor was really light and delicious. It was creamy, airy from the berry foam on top, and it had an awesome crumble made from brown sugar on top. Then topped with some fresh berries. Fucking nice.


The bill came with a pair of freebie signature hibiscus vodka cocktails that tasted like adult fruit punch. I liked it. Also two golden boxes with chocolate candies inside. One was coffee dusted, and the other was salted dark chocolate truffle. REALLY rich and flavorful.



We ate like royalty in this place. Definitely worth trying despite a pricey total bill. Give it a shot!


The rib eye is still nearly perfect. Here are some updated pics:

I also tried the porterhouse, which was a solid 9/10.

I also tried the carpaccio, herb fries, bacon, brussels (with more bacon), and the carrot cake. Everything is great.

Flavor: 9 – very near to absolute perfection

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9 – could use a few more cut options. Quality is fantastic though.

Portion Size & Plating: 8 – steaks are a good size, but slightly thin, and certainly mismatched when looking at price.

Price: 8 – this is an expensive joint, but the rest must be expensive too.

Bar: 10 – great street-side drinking, elegant, fancy, and nicely decorated. Plus there’s another bar downstairs for more intimacy.

Specials & Other Meats: 9 – solid showing of alternative meats on the menu.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 10 – everything we had was awesome here.

Seafood Selection: 10 – with a name like “Hunt & FISH Club” you expect no less. The presence of Alaskan King Crab as an entree is impressive.

Service: 8 – perhaps because we went on Valentine’s Day, which is super busy, we didn’t get the five-star treatment we expected.

Ambiance: 9 – very elegant and glamorous. I can understand why celebs have been flocking to this place.

125 W. 44th St.
New York, NY 10036