My buddy Herb (@thesocialpause) invited me and The Cake Dealer here to help promote and take pictures of the new Sagaponack menu item for the 4th of July holiday weekend: A massive Korean inspired seafood boil, chock full of shrimp, mussels, lobster, manila clams, andouille sausage, corn and potatoes. It was a monster of a dish.
We made a huge dent in this, especially with the help of our other friends Jae (owner and chef at Nowon) and his wife Rebecca (an Instagram food buddy of ours from WAY back). We probably could have finished if we didn’t eat so much other stuff before it came out. At $35/pp this seafood boil is a steal, though. Look at this mountain:
Here’s what we had BEFORE the boil came out:
Two raw starters (fluka tartare and salmon crudo):
Some fried goodness (chicken, calamari, artichokes):
Tons of seafood (Spanish style shrimp, escargot style oysters, manila clams, and broiled oysters):
For dessert we had creme brulee topped with strawberries and a Thai tea milk cake (the cake was INCREDIBLE!).
I can’t wait to go back and try more. They have ‘nduja mussels as well as a hanger steak frites that I’d like to try in particular.
Life Rooftop took over the space formerly known as the Viceroy at the top of Le Meridien hotel, near Central Park. The views are spectacular.
The cocktails are excellent.
And the food, which is more along the bites and small portions angle, is really delicious. The seafood tower is impressive. It comes with lobster, king crab, langoustines, shrimp, clams, oysters, caviar, tuna tartare and hamachi crudo.
The lobster roll is pretty packed full of meat too.
The stars of the meal for me, though, were the deviled eggs with caviar, and the wagyu tartare.
Their dessert sundae and churros were really great too. I’d definitely eat here again.
24 W 57th St
New York, NY 10019
My wife took me to this joint for a belated Valentine’s Day date. This spot has some great seafood. We tried a lot of it, so I’ll get moving.
First, their bread service is incredible. I didn’t take a great picture of it, but the focaccia and sourdough are perfect. They bring it out with a dish of whipped butter mixed with some seriously high quality olive oil.
We started the meal with some fresh uni. This was a bit steep at $38, but it was so damn delicious, seasoned simply with some flake salt.
The stone crab claws were probably the low point of the meal. It was difficult to extract the meat (didn’t come out in good sized chunks), and over all it was just average in terms of flavor. For $25 a pop, we would have spent that $50 on more langoustines or carabineros (you’ll see that ahead).
The octopus with gigante beans was a good dish, but not excellent like some of the others. I would pass on this next time and focus more on the other seafood options.
Here’s one of those excellent dishes now: grilled langoustines.
These were perfectly cooked and incredibly flavorful. Make sure you save some bread so you can scoop out the succulent brains and eat them together like a makeshift lobster roll.
The carabineros shrimp were our favorite part of the meal. These giant, head-on shrimp from Spain are so deeply flavorful that it’s almost hard to explain. That dark red flesh is packed with natural fatty juices too. You’ll want to wipe some bread into that shit as well.
For our mains, we had Japanese snapper and a Niman Ranch rib eye. Both were served as composed dishes with sides of vegetables, and both were cooked really nicely. The steak was a solid 8/10.
For dessert, 16-layer lemon cake. So good with that blood orange sherbet swirl.
I definitely plan to go here again. They have beef tataki and lamb belly pasta on the menu that I need to try, but the daily seafood specials will be difficult to pass up again, I’m sure of it. Go give this place a shot.
My wife and I stopped into Crave Fishbar for their daily oyster happy hour. From 5pm to 7pm (4pm-6pm on weekends) all oyster varieties are just a buck each. We each tried one of each kind (along with some other snacks and drinks):
As strange as it was, our favorites all contained the word “point” in the name.
The calamari was really nice too. A perfectly dusted and fried batter, and really tender squid inside.
But what really blew me away at this place was their red crab cavatelli. The cavatelli is home made, and is torched/crisped up so that some of the edges are actually crunchy and al dente. Here are the before and after mix shots (beautiful colors):
I highly recommend that dish. It’s pricey, but worth it. If the pasta is all you’re after, they also have another cavatelli pasta dish, without the crab.
Overall, this place is great. We will definitely be back.
428 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024
This post will serve as a triple hit review of the Fresh Direct food delivery service, Tipsy’s boozy ice cream and Saveur Select wines.
My wife and some of our food friends were planning to do a Labor Day seafood boil on the rooftop of our building. It turns out, a few of the ladies managed to get the entire thing sponsored by the three companies above, provided that we post a few pics on Instagram.
Fresh Direct gave us a $500 credit to use towards their incredibly high quality seafood. We broke this out into two main items: a huge seafood boil, and a colossal chilled seafood tower.
There was so much fucking food! Lobster, king crab legs, blue claw crabs, steamer clams, little neck clams, three varieties of oysters, jumbo shrimp, scallops, multi-colored potatoes, kielbasa and corn. My wife and I were always big fans of Fresh Direct but this seafood really hammers home the word FRESH in their name. The lobsters were delivered LIVE! And everything tasted incredible, which is obviously the most important factor.
Saveur provided us with four bottles of crisp Gewürztraminer wine. This white German variety of wine was just the kind of refreshment we needed with this meal. We even poured some over fruit to make a white sangria.
Tipsy hooked us up with six different pints of ice cream for dessert.
The flavors were incredible: spiked hazelnut coffee, raspberry limoncello sorbet, cake batter vodka martini, dark chocolate whisky salted caramel, mango margarita sorbet and vanilla bean bourbon.
We even scooped some into a few glasses of champagne for good measure. Why not?
My wife and I stopped into Kingside for a quick meal because it looked amazing inside, and we had heard good things about the burger.
So let me get right down to business here about the burger:
As you can see, there is no lettuce, but there was a crunch element from this vinegary pickled and minced veggies giardiniera relish. Check it out below (hint: it’s not the white or red one):
Not my go-to for a burger topping, but it at least satisfied the need for crunch. It had a hard/crusty bun, which is a big mark for the negative column, but it wasn’t unwieldy or painful. It was similar to The Breslin in texture, and for this particular burger, I think, it sorta worked. There wasn’t enough cheese. Another melty slice would have been ideal. But the soppressata was a nice touch on top. I wish the patty was flatter and wider, or just larger/wider in general, to make for better coverage of the bun. Essentially the bun was too big, and there was excess bread. It was cooked to a nice medium, which is how I ordered.
As for the other stuff we tried: we had a way overpriced octopus app. One tentacle for $19, it tasted like tunafish, and didn’t have that charred snap on the outer portions. Otherwise it had a great soft texture inside, and serving with the hearts of palm was unique.
My wife’s order of mussels and fries were good, in a cream based sauce, but not the best we’ve had. The mussels were, for the most part, meaty and large, which was nice.
The fries here are amazing. They’re super crispy and perfectly cooked, just a little over salted perhaps.
The bread at this joint is nice too. Warm, toasty sesame Italian bread sliced and plated beside some warm tomato sauce with garlic herbs and olive oil swimming within:
But overall this place is just too overpriced. My burger was $22 with fries, that octo app was $19, and my wife dropped about $6 for about 8-10oz glass of iced tea that was filled with ice. Total rip for that. To sum up: skip the apps, get extra bread, and be ready for a few pet peeves on an otherwise tasty burger.
Viceroy Hotel New York
124 W. 57th St.
New York, NY 10019
First off, check out my Ride & Review of this place HERE:
I was invited in by the new management/ownership here to check out the menu offerings, in particular the steak. But there were so many items on the menu that were incredibly enticing, that I just had to try as much as I possibly could. I’ll drop in a photo slide show here, and then go over some of the highlights.
The cocktails were spectacular. I really enjoyed the Gibson and the Gold Rush, pictured here:
In the starters arena, the tartare has been elevated with egg emulsion drops, caviar, and an overall superior cut/chop and flavor. Chef Jack Logue is truly taking this place to a better level than Michael WHite or Geoffrey Zacharian has done before.
The soft shell crab special was excellent, but the real star of the apps was this platter of hot and cold shellfish items. As delicious as it is beautiful.
Here’s that softshell crab – cornmeal crusted for extra crisp!
As a mid course we ate the nduja carbonara, which was a really innovative and spicy take on a traditional carbonara. My only criticism here is to swap out the flat pasta for a thicker chitarra or bucatini type pasta. But this preparation lent it self very nicely to a lighter mid course.
We also took down the veal milanese, which was thick, tender, crispy and well seasoned. Great execution and beautiful presentation with the bone and everything.
The Cote de Boeuf was a shade overcooked in parts, but the dry aged flavor on it carried it the Valhalla of my stomach on golden chariots. It was a delicious 8/10.
Great array of sauces to go with it.
The highlights in the side dish realm were the spinach, mushrooms and this ox cheek mac and cheese that was listed as a starter, but could easily be either an entree or the perfect mac and cheese side dish. Get it!
Our favorite dessert was the NY Apple, a layered cheesecake of sorts in apply lollipop form. Watch the video to see what it looked like before we destroyed it. I also enjoyed the crackerjack sundae. Simple and delicious.
On a second visit, my wife and I sat downstairs, which had a very different atmosphere from the more mid-century modern upstairs decor. Downstairs, it’s a bit more cozy and steakhouse-esque.
We tried the beef tartare and the scallop crudo to start.
Both were really nice. The tartare had a good flavor because they use dry aged beef.
For a mid-course, we had the gnocchetti scampi.
This was served in a white wine and butter style sauce with nice juicy chunks of perfectly cooked shrimp, lemon herb breadcrumbs and a walnut and arugula pesto. This was one of the best pasta dishes I’ve had in years. It was well balanced in both texture and flavor, and the unique cavatelli size/shape gnocchi pasta was absolutely perfect.
I had the 12oz dry aged strip steak for my entree.
It came with a shitake mushroom cap that was stuffed with short rib, and it was accompanied by a truffle sauce. Perfectly cooked, with a good dry aged flavor. 8/10.
My wife had the lamb.
This was a great dish. It was really three parts of the lamb: thick cut belly, t-bone, and rib chop.
Really great middle eastern flavors happening on this too.
For dessert we had the pistachio parfait and the vanilla cheesecake. Both were really flavorful and unique. I preferred the pistachio parfait, but my wife liked the cheesecake better. Can’t go wrong with either, though.
This was a really great meal. I highly recommend this place. They mix some really great cocktails:
…And even the table bread is excellent:
This joint is owned by Geoffrey Zakarian, famous celebrity chef. My wife and I came through this place for restaurant week during lunch hours in the upstairs bar room.
We started with an Arnold Palmer, made with unsweetened iced tea an slightly sweetened natural lemonade. The interesting part about this is that the ice cubes are also made of Arnold Palmer mix, so you never get a watered down drink when the ice melts:
Starting bread was nice, warm and buttery:
For the apps, we shared bur rata and zucchini, barley and avocado soup. The soup was a nice, light tomato and veggie broth that packed a lot of flavor for such a light dish.
The burrata was nice and soft. I sort of wish that they served some roasted tomatoes with it, but the greens and pickled onions were good as well.
My wife had a crispy skin duck rilette. Portions of the skin weren’t crispy, but this dish was otherwise a really nice item. The such was pulled or shredded style, and mixed with light mustard, capers, and other goodies that made it pop.
I had the sirloin burger with aged, sharp cheddar. This was nice. The meat was a little soft and crumbly, but the bun was top quality challah bread.
The lunch menu charges $24 for this, with the fries, but the restaurant week menu included an app and dessert for just a buck more. Not sure I’d think this was worth it for $24. The fires were pretty good though. Nice and crispy, golden brown.
For dessert, we tried the chocolate mousse with ice cream and the passion fruit semifreddo. Both were nice. I liked the chocolate mousse better, but the semifreddo did have a nice mango sorbet that cut the tang of the passion fruit.
THE LAMB’S CLUB
132 W. 44th St.
New York, NY 10036
Me, my wife, and some of our friends went to this pretty crazy Korean restaurant in Woodside called Sik Gaek. Good luck reading the website if you can’t read Korean. However the pics are nice under the “Delicious Table” drop down menu. They have some nice looking meats and fish.
I say “crazy” not to be judgmental of other cultures, but rather to demonstrate the purely subjective boundaries which I needed to cross to actually partake in the ingesting of food here. It’s crazy for ME, in other words. I typically eat my food cooked (with the exception of sushi, ceviche, shellfish and tartare). Not only that, but I usually eat my animals and fish AFTER they are good and dead (again, with the exception of shellfish). Also – my food usually isn’t MOVING. As you’ll see below, these western culinary conventions are thrown out the window at Sik Gaek. And that’s a good thing.
This place (the Flushing location rather than the Woodside spot we went to) was actually featured on an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s show on the Travel Channel called “No Reservations.” The show is now off the air, as he has moved to CNN with “Parts Unknown” (it’s essentially the same show). In the “No Reservations” episode clipped below, he was in the midst of doing a tour of various “hidden” Asian food and culture spots around Queens with renowned chef David Chang. Watch as he eats still-moving, live, marinated and chopped octopus:
It makes me think of a shocking scene from the Korean film Old Boy, which has one of the most fucked-up twist endings ever, and is one of the most fucked-up but excellent movies of our time. No doubt this film will garner even more attention when Spike Lee fucks it up upon the release of his remake later this year, starring Josh Brolin:
Anyway… on to the actual food that we ate. It turns out there was a huge disappointment. They were out of live octopus. So after all that babble above, I didn’t really get to test the limits of my culinary tolerances. We did enjoy some delicious food though, and some of it was still moving while it cooked in the hot pot. Check out the pics below.
First, the drinks. Two types of beer, two types of soju, and a watermelon full of vagina juice (watermelon punch):
Almost forgot the Psy shot glass:
Next, the starters. First up, eggs and veggies:
Then rice cakes and tofu skin with spicy sauce, along with some pickled items and dips:
Then we had some thick cut pork belly:
Then we moved on to the seafood hot pot, which contained lobster, blue claw crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, razor clams, abalone, baby octopus, squid, udon noodles, bean sprouts, and cabbage. They even give you a trash bucket beside the table to throw all the shells in.
And YES – the lobster was still moving at our table while it cooked:
Since they knew we were there for the live octopus, and we had made the reservation and tried to reserve a ‘pus for the table way in advance of getting there, they felt bad and gave us a plate of bacon wrapped mushrooms on the house:
One of the best parts of the meal was using the broth pan to cook fried rice. Packed with flavor, and nice and crispy:
Two more shots – one of the restaurant space, and one of a little kitchen flood: