Tag Archives: french fries


I finally got a chance to check out Ardyn, the restaurant that former Charlie Palmer Steakhouse chef Ryan Lory opened in the west village.

The space is beautiful, with a rustic, woodland feel to the dining room.

There’s also a beautiful bar with great cocktails and $1 happy hour oysters from 5-7pm (along with drink specials).

We started with a couple of raw fish dishes. Hamachi tartare and fluke crudo.

Both were awesome and pretty, but if I had to choose one to go back to repeatedly, it would be the hamachi.

Chef Ryan is becoming known for his gorgeous plating – very aesthetic. He also became known for his 50/50 burger at Charlie Palmer. It’s 50% smoked bacon and 50% brisket, with some dry-aged wagyu trim and fat in there to take it over the top.

The only down side here was the thickness of the pickled tomato slice. Half the thickness would be perfect, but that acidy pop did do a great job of cutting the buttery fatness of the rich and well-seasoned burger.

Make sure you don’t neglect the fries here with your burger. They’re amazing and possibly some of the best I’ve ever had.

All the sides were nice, in fact, from the shishitos to the carrots to the greens.

The pastas here are also excellent. We tried two: ramp garganelli with morels, and squid ink cavatelli with uni cream.

It was tough to choose a favorite between the two perfectly cooked and plated pastas, so I suggest getting both if you have room.

But the mains really shined.

First, this absolutely stunning duo of duck containing crispy sliced breast and a house made sausage.

The breast was nice but the sausage stole the show – like when Lex Steele stars in a porno flick with some ugly broad that has gross fake tits.

Of course we had to try the 45-day dry-aged Snake River Farms domestic wagyu rib eye.

This thing was incredible. It had a sexy, deep brown maillard crust on the surface and a rare cook beneath. You can still see the flecks of marbling in the flesh! It could have been cooked slightly longer, but the beef was so high quality that you could eat it like this even without the fat fully rendering out. 9/10.

Dessert was equally stunning. This choclate layer cake with pistachio ice cream was really rich and moist, like Paris Hilton in 2003.

This custard was light yet very satisfying.

And this asian style grapefruit/pomelo dessert was just the right kind of acidy and citrusy way to end the meal with a cleansed palate.

I definitely recommend this place. And if you want a seat close to the action, head to the back and pop your ass onto one of the stools that faces into the kitchen. Be warned though – it’s warm back there!

33 W 8th St
New York, NY 10011


I saw some Instagram photos of a great looking burger from this joint, so I had to go check it out.

The Houseman burger is a double patty with melted swiss, griddled onions and mushrooms, all cooked perfectly and slapped in a toasted potato bun.

Really flavorful, and dangerously easy to crush two or three of these in one sitting. For $20 it comes with fries, and you can get a $2 beer with it as an add on. Great deal.

508 Greenwich St
New York, NY 10013


I finally made it into the “new” Chumley’s to try the burger. Despite my depression over the massive change this place underwent, the joint is still really cool. I’m also happy it’s back open after all that time being shuttered.

But it no longer feels like a bar. It feels like a restaurant, and the menu reflects that.

As you can see from the menu description, this baby is rocking bone marrow, crispy shallots, “Chumley’s sauce,” and good old American cheese. The burger itself is two large patties. Although it’s a bit unwieldy to eat with your hands, it’s huge on flavor. It was absurdly delicious. Rich, heavy, and robustly flavorful.


The marrow really adds a depth of beefiness that’s unrivaled in other burgers, and the Chumley’s sauce tastes almost like a gravy of sorts. I think this would be fine as a single patty, but at $29 you’re certainly getting your money’s worth. Especially considering that they give you a mountain of delicious, golden-crisp French fries that have been tossed in beef fat after they come out of the fryer. Awesome.

This burger is definitely worth getting.

86 Bedford Street
New York, NY 10014

Nice Matin

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:

Onion Tart:

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.

201 W 79th St
New York, NY 10024

Jeffrey’s Grocery

My cousins and I popped in here for a quick lunch yesterday, and I have to say, I was really impressed with the burger here.


It’s topped with melty raclette cheese, charred onions, fresh pickles and remoulade, and served on a potato onion roll. This thing was juicy, well seasoned, just the right thickness with toppings, and just all-around well put together.



It’s definitely a top ten burger, for sure. I later learned that this joint is also owned by the same folks that run Bar Sardine, so they clearly know their way around a burger. For $18, this baby comes with nice golden, crisp, natural cut French fries too.


They have tons of fresh shellfish on the menu, and particularly large variety of oysters. Those would actually pair perfectly with the drink I had, the michelada, which is beer, tomato juice, hot sauces, lime juice and pepper. It may not sound great, but I assure you, it is.


I’ll be back here for sure.

172 Wavery Pl
New York, NY 10014

The Villager

The Villager is a bar out in Babylon, near the train station. After a group of us spent the day drinking out at the wineries on Long Island’s north fork, we came here to get some grub. I have to say: I was pretty surprised at how good the food was. I was not expecting much. Shame on me for assuming shit.

The group started with an order of gouda fries. They were waffle style – nice and crisp – and covered with melted gouda, crumbled bacon and scallions.


I ordered the breakfast burger, which was topped with American cheese, bacon and a fried egg, served on a toasted English muffin.


Since I wasn’t sure what kind of place this was before ordering, I went with medium on the cook. I was kicking myself once I tasted the quality of the meat. I should have gone medium rare. It was still fucking fantastic though, and it came with a side of tater tots.

My wife ordered the duck burger, which was topped with gruyere and applewood smoked bacon. She, too, ordered it medium. The burger was cooked perfectly and had a hearty flavor to it, but, as a result of the medium poultry, was a bit on the dry side.


I will definitely be back here, and next time I will order properly at medium rare for my burger.

262 Deer Park Ave
Babylon, NY 11702


My wife and I stopped in here on a Friday night for a quick meal at the bar. We heard great things but never had a chance to try before.

We ordered three items: meatballs, fried calamari with shishito peppers, and the Randy Levine sandwich, which came with fries.

First, let’s start with the weirdly named item: the Randy Levine. It’s a sandwich made of pork belly, plum sauce, Chinese mustard, half-sour pickles and garlic bread. It’s named after something that the president of the Yankees had once eaten in the Catskills.


Unfortunately the “slow cooked” pork belly was a bit too chewy. I attribute that to fat content that was not cooked long enough at low temperatures to get good and soft. Also the glaze on it tasted a bit bitter and burnt. Bummer.

The fries that came with it, however, were excellent. They’re called “Italian fries” because they’re tossed with herbs and parmesan cheese, I suspect. Nicely cooked and crisp, golden brown.


The meatballs were great, and I’m a stickler for these fucks. Nothing beats mom’s meatballs. Since these came off as the soft, long-cooked stewed kind, I did find it odd that the center looked medium rare. That had me concerned about whether they used veal or pork in the mix. In any case, no tummy aches from raw meat, and the flavors were great – even the red sauce. It was light and flavorful. Still though: the best way to make a meatball is to fry them in a pan first, get a crispy coating on the outside that locks in the juices, and then slow cook in the sauce on low for a while.


The star of the meal for my wife (for me it was the meatballs) was the fried calamari with shishito peppers. They had a great crispy crust, a good ratio of rings to tentacles, and the peppers offered a great pop of flavor to mix things up.


All in the bill came to $85 with tax and tip, which also included a beer and a glass of wine. A bit pricey, but at least three of the four items we ate were tasty.

235 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10023

Hana Ranch Restaurant

I like to call this meal “Mai Tais, Fries and Flies.” The setting is beautiful. The joint is up on a hill and you can see out over the Pacific from way the fuck up high on the cliff where Hana is situated.


But the flies are aggressive here. They swarm on your drinks and food. It was nearly unbearable.

I sucked down my mai tai fast to avoid them, and quickly ordered a second drink that I drank just as fast.



We started with garlic herb fries, nori sesame seed fries and fried calamari. All pretty good, though I wasn’t quite sold on the Japanese style French fries (furikake). The calamari was more tentacle than ring, which I was a little bummed about, but they were at least tasty.


I had Kalbi short ribs – ribs cut cross-section style, thin, and grilled with Korean BBQ sauce. These were pretty good and tasted just as expected.


My wife had some sub par, stringy ahi poke (raw tuna with dressing and spices – like a ceviche).

My feeling is that this town is in need of a good bar or another restaurant to foster competition. Something with a bold and brazen use of air conditioning, too. It’s as hot as Dante’s balls after his stroll through Hades up there. Humid as locker room ass crack too. It is beautiful though.

Minetta Tavern

After coming here a few times for drinks back in the day, the place has taken on new ownership. Now there is a massive buzz about their amazing “Black Label Burger,” so I had to give it a try.

My wife and I decided to sit at the bar for our meal.




We started with a pair of cocktails. For me, it was the Bull Shot, which was made with vodka, oxtail broth, lemon, and worcestershire sauce. It was really great, and super manly.


My wife had a spicy bloody Mary with jalapeños, southwest spices, pickled okra, celery, and pickled green bean. It tasted very fresh.


We ordered the Black Label Burger, which, for $28, comes with a shit load of fries. I didn’t realize, though, that it didn’t have any cheese. That sucked.


Anyway the burger meat was perfectly cooked to medium rare (even though I ordered medium), and the sear on the outer crust was crispy and packed with crunchy meat flavor. It was topped with sautéed onions and I also put the lettuce and tomato on top as well.


The fries are the best I’ve ever had. For real. And they give you enough to feed three people with ease. These are so perfectly seasoned and so crispy, that you may be tempted to run to the bathroom quick and jerk off thinking about how good that first fry was before going back for more.


Speaking of jerk-sauce, they are served up with a really nice house made mayonnaise. Very nice. Contrast with the hellishly disgusting pickle they serve alongside the burger. Thank God it wasn’t already ON the burger. It was a sweet pickle, but flavored with cinnamon or some nonsense. Eww. All in all, a great meal. The Minetta Burger is served with cheese and costs over $10 less. Maybe next time I will try that. Cheese is absolutely necessary on a burger. Anyone who tells you otherwise can go fuck themselves.


On a second visit, my wife and I had a psychotic meal with the man behind The Dishelin Guide and the Dish Envy app, which is soon to be released for public consumption. This was sort of a two-way celebration. First, it’s been four years to the day since I started this blog; and second, for our friend’s app.


Alright enough bullshit. Let’s get down to business on this fucking incredible food we had. As an appetizer, we shared the black label burger. Our food companion had never tried it before, and I was convinced that my last experience could be better. We added cheddar cheese to it, because every burger needs cheese. It isn’t steak – it’s a burger, people! With that addition, I was correct. This was WAY better than my last burger here. Juicy, perfectly cooked, and really great with the melted cheese. You could still easily pick up all the great beef flavors going on in the grind.



The three of us shared both the cote de boeuf and the pork shank. Take a look at this fucking delicious chunk of beef. It comes with two hulking marrow bones and a wedge of salad. Who cares about that bullshit? Not me, so I didn’t photograph the salad. Anyway they present it to you like this before they take it back to slice it up:


Here’s the slice job. Very beautifully plated:



The meat had a great crust all over and was still nice and pink throughout the eye of the meat. The fat cap was a bit underwhelming and gristled, but the flavor of the eye made up for that in spades. If this was a legit steakhouse review, the score would probably be a 9 for flavor. I’ve had better, but this is just a really impressive dish to pull off on a regular basis. We need to give credit where credit is due. Well done, Minetta Tavern. Delicious.

My wife took down most of the pork shank. Unfortunately the skin didn’t get crispy like we expected, but the meat was fork tender and really tasty.


On the side we had these really nice potatoes that were described as “punched.” Basically, baked, crisped and flavored with rosemary salt and garlic while being pressed. I absolutely loved them, but I was so focused on the meat that I didn’t get a chance to really savor my portion. I just kinda wolfed it between bites of meat.


For dessert we tried the cold nougat ice cream pie thingy. It was really nice, almost marshmallowy in texture on top, and with the flavor of a cold candy bar on the bottom. It was topped with a chocolate cherry sauce and some crushed pistachios.


Here’s the William:


Oh and I slammed one of these too. haven’t had one in years and it was fucking great. I will need to stock up the fridge at home now:


113 MacDougal St.
New York, NY 10012

La Frite

La Frite is a little french fry joint on Macdougal just above Bleecker. They have a great $8 special that gets you two sliders and an order of fries. Not too bad.




But my wife and I actually liked the veggie slider (the actual veggie one, not the black bean one) better than the beef slider! Go figure.


For the fries, you can cheese regular or thin cut, and you can also get them “signature” style, with bacon crisps on top, or truffle fries (sprinkled with parmesan cheese and fried with truffle oil involved in the process). We tried thin truffle fries, and regular classic cut fries. We liked the thin cut truffle fries better, though we didn’t try any of the special dipping sauces (just mayo and ketchup).



I don’t know that I’d go out of my way for these fries. There are better around the city, but I like the idea of a french fries only type of place.

99 Macdougal St.
New York, NY 10014