Tag Archives: skirt steak

Mt Kisco Diner

A college friend of mine, Harry Georgiou, owns and runs the Mt. Kisco Diner, which has been in his family for years. He’s taken a bold initiative while at the helm, renovating the space to look more like a beautiful restaurant than a typical diner.

It has a fully stocked wrap-around bar, a spacious and beautiful dining room, and comfortable seating. There’s even an outdoor garden area if you want to eat outside.

But that’s not where his initiative stops. Harry and his staff have gotten really creative with their extensive menu. They’ve taken the quality and craftsmanship of the food up several notches from what you might expect at even a really great diner.

Let’s look a few examples right off the bat.

The Gastro Burger is a 9oz proprietary blend of always fresh, never frozen beef (ground daily in-house), and topped with smoked gouda, bacon onion jam, grilled apple, and roasted garlic aioli, all on a nice pretzel bun.

And that’s not the only great burger that they offer. There are 15 different burgers on their menu, including non-beef options and classic beef styles like this Big Top Burger (melted American and Swiss, and caramelized onions and mushrooms on a brioche bun).

These things are gourmet quality at diner prices ($12-$15). They all come with a pickle, and either mixed greens or fries.

Speaking of French fries, the menu has an entire “frites bar” that features six different styles of French fry. I went with the Herbed Truffle Fries. These things were absolutely perfect! Amazing crisp on the outside, nice and soft inside. Not too overpowering with the truffle, and just the right amount of salt and seasoning from the parmesan cheese. Also really fucking beautiful!

I also got a taste of my forte: Steak! I was skeptical at first, as I would typically never order a steak at a diner. But this is not a typical diner, and Harry insisted that I try their skirt steak. I’m glad I listened.

Not only was this plating beautiful and unique, but it had some awesome looking grill marks on it to boot.

As you can see it came with crispy fried union strings and sautéed garlic spinach.

The interior was cooked to a perfect medium rare. It’s been a while since I had a great skirt steak. This baby really hit the spot!

It doesn’t end there. Nope. I had to try one more of Harry’s menu upgrades: the Grown-Up Grilled Cheese. There are a few of these, but I went with the “Alpine” grilled cheese.

As you can see it comes with a cup of creamy roasted tomato soup, but in-between the thick, toasty, country white bread is where the sandwich starts kicking some serious ass.

That’s crispy pancetta, gruyere, caramelized onions, baby arugula, and tomato with white balsamic vinaigrette. Amazing!

I also sampled some or the more normal menu items as well, like bruschetta and chicken quesadillas.

The execution is still on point. No one in the bustling kitchen is cutting any corners. Everything is made very nicely.

I mean they even have a baker on site, making all the desserts in-house, fresh. And they’re all really beautiful.

I tried a delicious slice of lemon meringue pie that I brought home with me (not pictured), but while I was at the diner, I was anxious to drink one of Harry’s mega-shakes.

These are very popular with the kids these days. This Chocolate Chip Cookie Shake is made with vanilla ice cream, a chocolate swirl, and chocolate chips. Then it’s topped with a nice thick whipped cream and a mini ice cream cookie sandwich. I swapped my chocolate chips out for Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.

I’m glad I was somehow able to save room for that tasty and refreshing shake. It was just the right amount of crazy. I know some places are going way over the top with their shakes these days, and I can’t stand it. This was just right.

I really can’t wait to get back up here to try the breakfast selections. You guys should check out their Instagram account to get your juices flowing.

MT KISCO DINER
252 E Main St
Mt Kisco, NY 10549

Charrua

I came to Charrua with a crew of food influencers to sample some of the menu offerings during their weekend brunch, and take photos for Instagram. Here’s a smattering of what we tried:

Best of the meal goes to the sausages: mild chorizo and blood. The blood sausage was probably the best I’ve ever had.

Empanadas

This chivito (sandwich) was called “El Canadiense.”

It contained filet mignon, bacon, mozzarella, ham, hard-boiled egg, caramelized onion, roasted red peppers, olives, lettuce, tomato and mayo, served with homemade fries. It was good!

The steak was overcooked, but it still had some good flavor despite being gray almost entirely through the center. 5/10.

I also tasted some of the grilled skirt steak on a mixed platter. This was also overcooked, but as badly as the hanger steak. The texture, however, wasn’t quite as nice as the hanger. 4/10.

In short: sausage – excellent; sandwich – good; steak; order it rare.

CHARRUA
131 Essex St
New York, NY 10002

Lean Beef

I recently had dinner with a friend of mine who had just gotten an angioplasty. If you don’t know what that is, it’s when surgeons open up blocked arteries and restore normal blood flow to the heart. If your arteries stay clogged, you can have a heart attack and die. Duh.

My friend’s doctor obviously cautioned him to avoid saturated fats and bad cholesterol. That doesn’t mean he can’t have a steak once in a while, and that’s exactly what he wanted for dinner on the night we hung out. I have that effect on people…

So there were two steaks on the menu; a NY strip and a skirt. My buddy asked the waitress, “which one is more fatty?” She said the strip, which, all things equal in terms of grade and cooking prep, is completely false. I informed my buddy why she was wrong after she stepped away, so as not to embarrass her. But I figured I would share that knowledge here with you guys, too. Here’s why she was wrong:

NY strip steak is a strip loin cut of beef, which is the most prized part of the sirloin. Sirloin is considered a lean cut of beef. In fact, any time you see the word “loin” in describing a cut of beef, that means it’s lean. The one caveat I’ll give is that fat content also depends on the grade of beef, not just the location of the cut. Prime has more intra-muscular fat (marbling) than choice, for example, and something like Kobe has more than prime.

The term “lean” means that the beef has 4.5g or less of saturated fat per serving, and 10g or less total fat per serving. About 66% of beef cuts are considered lean cuts. That’s pretty fucking good!

Skirt hails from the “plate” or diaphragm muscle of the bovine anatomy. It’s not listed above because it isn’t within the definition of lean. It has more fat content than a strip steak, especially after a strip is trimmed by a restaurant. Most of the fat on a sirloin lies on the outside of the muscle, as opposed to the inside marbling (which, by the way, contains “good fats,” like olive oil and avocados do). But when external fat is trimmed away, you’re down to low fat content.

The real question, then, becomes: How is the steak prepared? Does it come with a cream sauce? Is it cooked with tons of butter? Is it simply seasoned and grilled? All of this matters tremendously in terms of calculating the total fat content of a particular dish.

Why do I mention this? Because the method of cooking could flip these fat levels very easily. If the strip is being cooked in a pan filled with butter and then smothered in a cream sauce, while the skirt is simply seasoned and grilled, then maybe it’s best to get the skirt if you’re trying to be mindful of overall fat content. It all depends, like adult diapers.

My advice: don’t ruin good beef with a sauce. I love the flavor of beef, so I don’t like to mask it with sauces of any kind. Simply season and fire it up. If you live by those rules, then you can take the fat content of lean cuts at face value and be confident that you’re eating a low fat, lean beef meal that’s both nutritious and delicious.

Fish Bar

NOTE: THIS JOINT IS NOW CLOSED AND CALLED HUDSON’S

A food photographer buddy of mine, Ben (check out his IG page), invited my wife and me to come along with him and a few other food influencer folks to Fish Bar, NYC’s newest floating dining room, which sets sail up and down the Hudson so people can enjoy some spectacular views of the skyline and Statue of Liberty while they eat.

It was a windy night, and bitter cold, so I didn’t want to fight with my settings too much to get all the good night shots. But I did get this fun shot of Jeff (FoodMento) giving some love to Lady Liberty.

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In fact, this is probably the best free way to see the Statue of Liberty. Skip the Staten Island ferry “tour” and do this instead.

This shoves off from the same dock area as (and is owned by the same company that runs) the North River Lobster boat. While it is also free to ride, the Fish Bar boat offers a nicer view and a much more elegant menu.

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We tried a lot of stuff, since there were six of us at the table. Let me get right down to it.

Drinks: Every cocktail we tried was incredibly strong. While that may be a good thing for those looking to get tanked, I was a little turned off by it. If I want straight alcohol, I will order a bourbon or a scotch. Shit even a martini.

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Charcuterie Board: This was a home run. For $28 you get a lot of really nice sliced meats. My favorite was the spicy salami, which was almost like a chorizo.

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Cheese Board: This was another win. There was a great selection of high quality cheeses. The only think missing was something of the oozing variety, like a super soft brie.

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Mezze: This platter included classic Greek spreadables like hummus and olive tapenade. All of them were good.

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Arancini: These rice balls were crisp on the outside but lacked a robust enough flavor on the inside to really justify getting them again. It just needed a pop of something, perhaps a truffle oil or something more earthy.

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Oysters: These were lightly batter-fried, which goes against my religion for oysters. In any event they were still pretty good. A bit pricey, but enjoyable.

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Ceviche: It was refreshing to see this made with actual fish instead of shrimp or scallops.  Topped with fried plantain chips, it was a nice presentation that featured the vehicle for delivering the ceviche into your gullet.

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Octopus: This was pretty good. It didn’t come in as my favorite, but it certainly wasn’t a failed menu item. I always get worried about octopus and whether it will be cooked properly when i see it offered, but that wasn’t a real concern here.

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Mussels: These were a little disappointing. They didn’t taste bad, but they did have a slightly burned taste, almost as if the shells were sitting against the metal of a hot pot for too long. I think that flavor permeated the sauce and then that got all over the exposed mussels.

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Burrata: This had a good hint of truffle oil to make it pop. The cheese was soft and velvety. Very nice.

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Risotto: This was decent. It had some good flavors from the various seafood and sausage components, like a paella, but it didn’t stand out as anything incredible to me.

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Calamari: These babies were delicious. They were served with sliced and fried cherry peppers, which gave it a spicy kick without going too far. I really liked this dish.

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Crab Salad: This lump crab meat salad was pretty tasty. All around good quality. No complaints, but then again nothing that really made it stand out from the pack. The plantain chips from the ceviche would have actually worked well here.

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Grilled Vegetables: This was served to us in error, as we didn’t order it. The array wasn’t bad, however, with the exception of the odd tasting broccolini that was included.

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Squid Ink Spaghetti: I had higher hopes for this, being we were on a boat with a seafood-heavy menu. The sauce was basically just like melted butter with the flavors of shrimp or lobster shells infused. On the plus side, the pasta itself was cooked nicely and wasn’t overpowering with the ink flavor. In addition, the seafood that was mixed in with it was perfectly cooked.

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Skirt Steak: Unfortunately this was under-seasoned and unevenly cooked. Part was overcooked, and part was correct at medium rare. The meat itself wasn’t tough or low quality; it just needed a bit more finesse. 5/10.

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Branzino: This fillet was the big winner of the night for the entrees. The skin was nicely crisped on the outside, and the flesh was cooked just right and remained tender, juicy and flaky.

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Walnut Cake: We were all pretty excited for this, but I think it sort of missed the mark or didn’t meet our expectations. I guess, perhaps, I was expecting more of a pie type item, like pecan pie. That’s my mistake though, not Fish Bar’s. In any case this was similar to a pound cake in flavor and texture.

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Chocolate Ganache: This was the winner for dessert. The layers inside were nicely diverse and the chocolate itself was rich without being too overwhelming.

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In short, I’d definitely come back here for the fantastic and free views of NYC from a beautiful small cruise ship when the weather is nice. And I’d certainly sit down and enjoy some charcuterie, fine cheeses, calamari and branzino any day.

FISH BAR
Pier 81
W 41st St
New York, NY 10036

Vai

We scored a Gilt City deal for this place: $79 gets you two cocktails, two apps, two entrees and a shared dessert.

We started with the charred octopus and veal tartare. Both were well executed and tasty.

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The octopus had a great snap to it, yet it was still very tender.

My wife picked the pork tenderloin for her entree. I thought it could have had a third medallion of pork, but since it came with some shank meat and belly meat, I guess it wasn’t a big deal.

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I had the roasted skirt steak (Creekstone Farm), though I could swear it looked and tasted more like a hanger steak. It had a great outer crust from the roasting process, and it was cooked to a perfect medium rare inside. However, both this and the pork entree lacked salt. Luckily there was a small bowl of flake salt at the table for adding. 8/10.

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For dessert we shared this chocolate mousse cake. Very nice.

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As it turns out, the general manager remembered me from when she waited tables at Vic & Anthony’s. That earned us a complimentary glass of bubbly! So nice.

VAI
429 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024

Beautique

NOTE: THIS PLACE IS CLOSED

As usual my bargain hunter wife found a nice Gilt City deal for a three course meal for two here at Beautique.

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It included two drinks per person, which is unusually generous.

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Apparently the place turns into a sugar daddy lounge after like 9pm, where young girls try to score rich older men (according to reviews I’ve seen online). We went at 6pm, so there wasn’t too much of that going on at that time.

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I wasn’t expecting much given that lounge atmosphere. As it turned out, the food was pretty great. So let’s get down to business.

I started with a red an yellow beet salad. Beets are all the rage these days. They were a little more stiff here than at other places, and cut into rustic chunks rather than thinner slices. But they retained a more natural flavor as a result. They were dressed with pistachio nuts, yogurt, lemon and rosemary.

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My wife ordered the Beautique salad, which was radicchio, pear, gorgonzola and walnuts. This was a bit bitter for my taste, but the ingredients were all fresh, crisp and high quality.

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For my entree, I had the hanger steak. This was super tender and cooked to a perfect medium rare. I was expecting some chew to this but every bite was extremely soft and had a good char on the outside. This would be 10 out of 10 if it weren’t for a slight lack of salt on that crust. But otherwise this was incredible.

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It was served with a peppery gravy and on top of a bed of sweet corn and mushrooms.

My wife went with the branzino. This was plated beautifully.

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As you can see, the skin was crisp and well seasoned. The meat was cooked just right, and it was served on top of some potatoes, tomatoes, baby leeks and artichoke in a rosemary sauce.

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For dessert, we had cheesecake with oreo ice cream. The ice cream was awesome. It was super flavorful and almost fudgey, but without being overly sweet. The cheesecake had a nice thick, but not heavy, consistency, however the cracker crust was too hard to get through with a fork. It may have been a peanut brittle type of thing, because it didn’t taste like graham cracker.

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Overall this was a great deal, especial given the fact that my wife paid much less than the asking price due to coupons and other shit like that. If it is still available by time you read this, I recommend trying it out.

UPDATE 9/16/16

My wife and I went back with another Gilt City deal to try a few different menu items and see how well this joint has been holding up. I think we went with better choices the first time around, because this time wasn’t as good as we remembered.

We started with the duck wonton tacos. The sauce on them tasted like McDonald’s BBQ sauce. Nothing wrong with that except that it seemed to clash with the asian toppings. Also there was a strange flavor that reminded me of the scent of wet dog.

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The other app was tune tartare. This was a bit lacking in flavor and a bit small and uninspired in the presentation.

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For my entree, I went with the burger. The menu said there were brandied onions on it, but I didn’t find any. The tomato was cut way too thick, but the bacon was nice and crisp. Also the cheese didn’t taste like gruyere either, as mentioned on the menu. It was cooked perfectly, however, the the rosemary fries were awesome.

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My wife had the roasted chicken. This, too, was a bit small. Luckily it wasn’t dry and the skin on it was deliciously crisp and well seasoned.

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Beautique really shined with the desserts, which took forever to come out because the place was starting to get jammed. First was cheesecake with oreo ice cream (same as last time) with strawberry and mango sauce.

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Next was chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream and caramel popcorn. I usually dislike lava cake, but this was really soft like a brownie, and the fudgey melty stuff inside was tasty.

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BEAUTIQUE
8 W. 58th St.
New York, NY 10019

Bo Caphe

Vietnamese food is a tough nut to crack in NYC. Most of it sucks here, and the few places that people rave about just don’t really do it for me. I’ve been to places where they get one dish right, but fail on others. They have a great sandwich, but the soup in bland. You can literally go to almost any other city in America and find better Vietnamese food than you can in NYC, which baffles the living shit out of me. New York is the best at everything, so why not Vietnamese food? Who knows. The answer eludes me. Maybe the Vietnamese community just isn’t big enough here, or there aren’t enough courageous Vietnamese chefs that are willing to stretch their neck out and take a financial risk in the highly competitive and quick-to-closure NYC restaurant scene.

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Goddess Kali: house sake, sparkling wine, chia seeds, hibiscus, lemon and pineapple.

In any case, Bo Caphe isn’t like those lame joints that attempt to offer traditional Vietnamese food and then fail to deliver because there is not one single Vietnamese person on staff who would know how to make the dishes. Bo Caphe is embracing the non-traditional by proudly offering fusion dishes that you can get excited about, like the Bao Burger with taro chips.

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The burger had a nice char on the outside, with what seemed like diced onions mixed into the grind. It was juicy, and the steamed bun was the perfect Asian version of a soft and pliable yet strong potato bun. The addition of cilantro and green pepper sauce made it pop. The taro chips were a nice touch as well. They were thin, crisp, well seasoned and only occasionally greasy.

Being a French-Vietnamese fusion restaurant is nothing too outside the box, since binding the two cultures makes sense from a historical/colonial perspective. But Bo Caphe dives a bit further into French territory by offering a few selections that feature cheese, something largely not featured in Vietnamese cuisine, let alone Asian cuisine generally. Both the spring roll menu and bun menu featured cheese. The spring roll item, Vach Kiri, which literally translates to “laughing cow,” is a fried rice paper wrapper that’s filled with cheese and quinoa.

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The fried chicken bun had some goat cheese. I enjoyed it, as it added a different texture and flavor combination to compliment the pickled carrots and daikon on top, but I can see how this might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

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The braised beef bun, on the other hand, was pretty straight forward and delicious. No cheese that I could taste. And while I was eating this one I remarked that I was surprised the Bao Burger didn’t feature any cheese. Of all places to have it, that seems like the most proper fit for cheese in Asian cuisine.

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The noodles here were fantastic. We tried two styles: one was cooked lemongrass beef, and the other was raw diced salmon. The salmon dish was reminiscent of a poke bowl but with noodles and fish sauce for dressing rather than soy-based sauces. It was refreshing and tasty.

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The lemongrass beef was my favorite of the two. The beef was really tender and packed with great lemongrass flavor and aromas.

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Both noodle dishes were topped with peanuts, shredded carrot and cucumber, fresh mint and a veggie spring roll.

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The next two dishes we tried run the gamut from traditional Vietnamese to traditional French. No real fusion here; two dishes in the style of two different countries. The first, of course, is pho.

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This aromatic, comforting soup is not bad for NYC pho, but my wife and I are just spoiled by the soups we had up in the mountains of SaPa in Vietnam. Nothing can compare. In any case, if you need a fix, this is not a bad bowl. The noodles are slightly different than the usual flat style (these are square spaghetti shaped, like “alla chitarra”), but the aromas are great and they use cilantro, which is what we saw in Vietnam fairly often. If you dress this bowl up with some hoisin and sriracha, you should be good.

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The second dish is a marinated skirt steak with salad.

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The steak was largely French-inspired, even down to the mustard seed sauce (which I liked very much). The steak was a bit over-cooked for my liking, but it packed a lot of flavor and was charred nicely on the outside. I’d order it again, for sure. 7/10.

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The watercress salad featured some nice ripe avocados, tomatoes and red onions.

The dessert menu has some interesting selections. First was a molten chocolate lava cake with coconut. The lava wasn’t very melty, but the sauce that came with it was delicious. The coconut here was similar to the inside of a mounds chocolate candy bar.

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This black sesame ice cream was more like a cream ice of shave ice texture and flavor; light, refreshing, icy rather than creamy. It was delicious, especially with the toasted sesame seeds on top.

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This next dessert was an interesting take on the avocado shakes that I love to get from Vietnamese restaurants. This was a chocolate avocado mousse. You could taste equally the avocado and the chocolate, which was a flavor combination that I never thought or expected to like. It was great!

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The only down side was that they didn’t have the spicy pineapple, sumac and mint salad dessert item. I was really looking forward to trying that out. Also just FYI: I was invited to this joint as an “influencer” – basically free food in exchange for pics and an honest review. So there it is.

BO CAPHE
222 Lafayette St
New York, NY 10012

Harvest

This is a throwback review that I’ve been meaning to write for a while. I haven’t been here in a few years, but the meat products are fantastic and worthy of my blog. Now that summer is here again, I figured it was a good time to post it.

Harvest is located out in Montauk, and has a great outdoor dining area that overlooks a picturesque lake with a dock.

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First, I’ll talk about the lamb ribs. This is probably one of the few places you’ll ever see them offered. They are grilled up to a nice charcoal black and served with a delicious sauce. These things were the star of the show when I ate here. I think we even got a second order because they were so good, and the orders are very large to begin with.

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Next, we had a porterhouse. The meat was thick and tasty, and served with a fresh peppercorn sauce and rosemary. Absolutely awesome, especially with the roasted onions that come with it.

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We tried some skirt steak too, which came on a bed of nicely dressed mixed greens.

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This place is awesome because is has a really big meat selection for a non-steakhouse. I definitely recommend giving it a shot if you’re out in Montauk this summer. Be sure to try the garlic and herb fries too.

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UPDATE JULY 2016

Okay so I came back to re-test the waters on all these delicious family style items. As I recalled, I am still extremely impressed with this place.

Lamb Ribs:

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The flatter, less meaty ones are actually better, because the bark to meat ratio offers some really amazing texture and flavor. All around great though.

Garlic Fries:

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Great herb and garlic flavor, crispy shoestring fast food style, which is just my cup of tea.

Seafood Bruscetta:

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Don’t let the name fool you. This is a heaping bowl of shellfish (clams, mussels, shrimp and scallops) served in a delicious wine and garlic broth with grilled country bread. Amazing.

Skirt Steak:

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Perfectly medium rare, this is 16oz of greatness. While the meat itself is not very salted, it comes with a spicy butter that is meant to be spread across each slice. 9/10.

Porterhouse:

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filet side:

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strip side:

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Both the filet and strip sides of this baby were cooked to a perfect medium rare. The fresh green peppercorns add a great pop of spice and herbaceous flavor to this masterpiece. 9/10.

Lobster and Truffle Fettuccine with Vodka Sauce:

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Although the truffles were not particularly flavorful, and they were a bit shy with the lobster for a $52 entree, the pasta itself was cooked very nicely and the sauce was delicious.

Frozen Key Lime Pie:

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Tart, sweet and slightly bitter, this delivers everything you expect from a good key lime pie, but in a sorbet or ice cream forma. It even has the graham cracker crust underneath. Very nice.

Ice Cream Sandwich:

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This thing is massive, even for two. Although I didn’t taste it, I am told it is amazing.

Cream Puffs:

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Huge cream puffs are filled with ice cream and topped with whipped cream and chocolate. Simple and delicious.

Honorable Mention: Appetite Killing Table Bread.

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Careful! This stuff will get you full. It is so delicious, and comes with olive oil and grated cheese.

THE HARVEST ON FORT POND
11 S. Emery St.
Montauk, NY 11954

Bohemian

Bohemian is a dine-by-referral-only joint on Great Jones Street that’s nestled in the back of a high-end butcher shop called Japan Premium Beef. My wife scored a referral to eat here through one of her friends, so we set up a meal with her sister and her sister’s husband to celebrate their anniversary and sample as much as we could fit in our stomachs.

We started with a bunch of cocktails, which are all really great and unique. We tried about seven or eight over the course of the meal. Here are a few pics of some of them:

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They have a great selection of hard-to-find Japanese beers too:

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Plates here are small and pricey, but very good. We started with this poke bowl that consisted of high grade tuna, soy, sesame and micro greens. Absolutely delicious and super fresh.

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Next up was the wagyu short rib sashimi. This had great fat content and was super tender. Each piece gets topped with a little bit of wasabi and fried garlic slices.

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This fois gras sushi with aged balsamic and sea salt was incredibly decadent, but pricey at $17 for the pair:

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My favorite of the starter items were these wagyu beef tartare squares, served on blue cheese stuffed toasted grilled cheese. The cheese was mild and didn’t overwhelm the awesome flavors of the beef. Add a bit of dijon from the smear on the plate and you’re set.

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This mac and cheese is served with a tomato butter toast that is out of this world. The mac itself is perfect in every way: creamy, smooth and topped with a crunch.

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This slab of bacon was a bit chewy in the part that I had. My wife had a better experience with her piece. The good bits were super tasty though, so maybe the slab itself was just a little inconsistent.

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And why not have a pair of wagyu mini burgers with pecorino? They were perfectly cooked to medium rare, and served with some pickles for good measure.

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The miso black cod was really nicely cooked, but a bit on the small side in terms of portion.

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We regretted not going with the branzino when we saw that it was a beautifully presented whole fish and smelled like charcoal. But I wasn’t too worried because we were about to eat some fantastic wagyu beef. We started with a trio of beef (3.5oz each) that contained flatiron steak, culotte (top sirloin cap) and skirt. We liked them from best to worst in that order. I’ll review them now in the same order.

The flatiron was buttery and tender, cooked perfectly to medium rare and came in, for me, at an easy 9/10 for flavor.

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The culotte was similarly buttery, but a bit tougher in texture. It reminded me of strip loin, but a little less grainy. 7/10.

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I wish I had used a knife to cut these skirt steak bits a little smaller because they were too tough in the size that was served to us. They were cooked perfectly, but just lacked a bit on the flavor and texture fronts. 6/10.

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All of the beef was served with a small tray of sea salt that you could use to season as you saw fit. This was key, because otherwise the cuts were all a little too bland.

The last cut of beef we tries was a 10oz hanger steak. This was super tender and extremely delicious, and cooked absolutely perfectly with a great crust and a bright pinkish red center. 10/10. It was served on a mountain of potatoes that seemed to have been baked first, and then fried to a golden crisp on the outside. Awesome.

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Dessert was pretty nice too. We tried two ice creams: ricotta and strawberry balsamic. The strawberry was tart, but really nicely balanced between the sweet aspect of it. It ate more like a sorbet at times. The ricotta was light and fluffy, more like frozen cheese or a semifreddo. The ricotta cheese flavor was definitely prominent. What was best was mixing these two flavors in each bite. It was like eating a delicious frozen strawberry cheesecake.

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Sorry for the shitty pics. At this point the lighting changed drastically in the joint, and I didn’t bother to fix my settings.

We also tried the trio dessert sampler, which consisted of creme brulee, matcha green tie cake and cheesecake.

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My favorite of the three was the creme brulee. It was really smooth and creamy.

BOHEMIAN
57 Great Jones St
New York, NY 10012

Yerba Buena

NOTE: THIS PLACE IS CLOSED!

My sister told me about this place a while back, and she later got me and my wife a gift certificate so that we’d give it a shot. Specifically, she told me to try the “poquito picante” cocktail, made with gin, cucumber, jalapeno and lime. It was really delicious. It had that heat from the jalapeno, but it was rounded out nicely with the sweetness from the lime syrup and then cooled off with the cucumber. My wife tried the “concoction,” a fresh fruit riff on a classic egg white whiskey sour. We ordered both cocktails at the bar while we waited for our table, and we were happy to learn that all drinks were half price for an all-day happy hour at the bar on Sundays.

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We started with a hamachi ceviche. This was fresh and flavorful, and garnished with sesame seeds and dried, puffed corn. It had a mild flavor and wasn’t too overpowering on the citrus.

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We also shared this trio of fries: hearts of palm, avocado and watermelon.

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These were really interesting. The avocado was super creamy, as expected. The hearts of palm had some starchiness to it, about which we were both a bit surprised. They tasted great though. The watermelon was an even bigger surprise, however. It was sweet, yet savory, and crunchy, yet juicy. It went perfectly with the smokey ketchup that was served with these fries.

For her entree, my wife ordered the Lechon Confitado, which is suckling pig with sunchoke-black truffle puree and kale-red chiles.

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This was the winning dish. The pork was cooked perfectly – like a juicy pulled or shredded pork without the over-saucing that typically occurs at BBQ joints. The confit coking method surely helps in that regard. It was topped with some greens and pickled red onion. The earthy and delicious sunchoke puree was drizzled around the plate.

I intended to order the rib eye that was listen on the menu, but they were out. Instead, they offered me a skirt steak, so I gave that a try.

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It was cooked nicely to medium rare, but just wasn’t up to standard with some of the other places I’ve had skirt recently.

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I’d say this came in at about a six out of ten for a combination of flavor and quality. It was juicy, but did have a bit of bleed-out, and lacked a good sear on the outside.

It was served with an avocado, tomato and onion salad, and some yucca fritters.

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For dessert, we shared the “panqueques,” crepes filled with dolce de leche and served with a scoop of ice cream. The menu said it would be pistachio ice cream, which we were excited about, but they gave us chocolate instead.

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In any case, dessert was delicious. The crepes were made fresh, and the dolce de leche was smooth and creamy.

This is definitely a place worth visiting if you’re in the Alphabet City area and looking for a bite or cocktail.

YERBA BUENA
23 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009