Mon premier brunch dans ce bistro du canal St Martin. Nous étions à la table à l'entrée, baignés de lumière. Les serveurs habillés en blanc ont l'air pro, mais ça s'arrête à leur vêtement vu le temps nécessaire pour obtenir notre boisson chaude. Le supplément de 1€ pour toute autre boisson que le café est le seul point négatif à relever. Leur formule à 25€ est un excellent rapport qualité/prix. Le service a l'air de ne plus en finir: pain et viennoiseries, 1er plateau avec salade de saumon, concombre, muffin et un oeuf (sans intérêt pour ce dernier). Quand on a eu l'impression d'exploser arrive le 2nd plateau composé d'un gratin de ravioles, de jambon de pays, un yaourt blanc et du raisin. On regrette peut être le manque de cohérence dans l'ordre du service et le l'absence de dessert réel. La salle au fond est aussi bien agréable. Réservation indispensable!
I tried...the new hot Mexican spot in Manhattan. Please remind me this experience next time I want to try a restaurant that just opened. It has been weeks I read about El Toro Blanco in West Village. I tried to make it once on a Thursday night. Packed, no table for 2 by 10pm and the bar is small so everyone is fighting to get a spot. A table booked one week later, the venue is pretty empty (is that because it's Tuesday night, less than 20°F outside or because it's already not trendy anymore?). Let's have a drink? The $15 tequila shot kills our wish to celebrate our graduation day. The $12 guacamole is just good and comes with homemade (?) warm chips and three salsa fresca. The spiciest one looks like a mayo.
Tacos are served; it was the only reasonable price on the menu, which is fine for me as I'm tracking NY tacos. Great presentation, but the white crumbs on the top scare me: cheese on a taco? The avocado and pineapple bites are so big they fall from the taco and I must eat them with a fork. I desperately try to catch the taste of the shrimp taco. Bland. The enchiladas soaking in melting cheese definitely convinced me we are at a Tex-Mex restaurant.
Yes it is trendy. Yes the decoration is nice. Yes we are in West Village. But next time I will just go to a tacos truck.
Thanks to Open Table, I hopefully skip the 45 minute line to get the precious table. One of the waitress sulks, I don't care she is not in charge of our table. Some hipsters at the bar, mostly preppies in the venue. This is not excessively expensive, good with a (small) bunch of friends, or apparently good for dates too as the nice couple seated at the table next to us is experiencing one. Fresh squeezed orange juice, great selection of teas and cocktails (I guess they are known for their Bloody Mary's).
Everything looks delicious on the menu. I keep looking at everybody else plate and the scrambled eggs are actually a good choice. Cooked with mushrooms, they melt in the mouth and the scallions give them a very distinctive taste. The corn bread is a bit dry but good though.
The pancakes are for once thinner and lighter than usual, and the caramelized apples and the pecan butter finish up the dish perfectly.
Should you go? Definitely!
Any recommendation? Book a table before showing up! It's packed.
Roberta's is part of these restaurants that drive people outside of Manhattan and gave me the opportunity to discover Bushwick. Right outside of the subway, a whole new world comes to you once you pass the door. The smell of the pizza in the oven opens up your appetite. The wait time is the same than in Manhattan, but the waiting area at the outdoor heated bar is way more comfortable. Grab a cappuccino and a chocolate chip cookie that tastes heaven with the touch of salt for breakfast, time will run way faster.
I can't wait to order the pizza. As usual, the simpler the better, I order a margarita. The crust is light, crispy and tender. Only a few ingredients, but they use the best tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil to reveal all the flavors.
The Famous Orinigal is a bit spicy and delicious. I loved the Speckenwolf, white pizza with speck, mushroom and oignons. To recommend!
The cornmeal pancakes are to die for. It has been once of the best food surprises I had those past few days. Huge at the first sight, they are actually delightful and light. The cornmeal makes them taste different, the apple butter and the whipped cream are sweet enough, and they are hopefully not covered by too much maple syrup.
Roberta's is a must-go restaurant, because of the (hipster) atmosphere of the different rooms, the food so delicious and because it gives you the opportunity to check the wall paintings all around Bushwick.
Dominique Ansel Bakery is part of these French places in NY I got excited about, and I would be ready to make the trip everyday to Soho just to try all the pastries. He worked as the Executive Pastry Chef under the famous chef Daniel Boulud, and his immaculate bakery a bit too bright for me, smells heaven, and pastries look even better.
Obviously I tried the only American pastry of the shop: the pistachio sticky bun because 1) I'm always trying to get one as good as Flour in Boston and 2) I irreparably choose everything that is pistachio flavor. As a result, it's sticky, tasty, not to sweet, a real puff pastry with whole pistachios.
To be able to try as many restaurants as I can, I force myself not to go back to a place I tried. Unfortunately I will have to make an exception for this one and get this gorgeous Religieuse.
Calliope was THE 'brand-new' French-Italian-American hot brunch spot in Manhattan. This confusion already doesn't inspire confidence. But I have decided to give a shot. East Village, Sunday, hopefully it is already a bit late so we 'only' have to wait 20 minutes at the bar even though plenty of tables are empty. It is so loud I am almost happy we get the table at the entrance and cannot imagine the sound when it is packed.
With the fresh squeezed orange-juice, I raise my expectation, and even more when I see the coffee cake served at the bar. We go for the eggs benedict, as I rate NYC brunches on this scale. At the first sight, I am already not fascinated. The presentation is not refined, I am sure I could have cooked better-looking poached eggs. Served with ham, I cannot even determine if it is a muffin that holds the whole thing. The 'pommes Anna' is actually way too crispy hash browns. At least the coffee cake was delightful, do not skip the crème fraiche, it is good for you with that cold.
Sulking waiters, excessive sound and poor presentation of the dishes: another aberration for me that reminds me how sometimes Parisians and New Yorkers look alike when it comes to being snobby.
Burger Joint is part of these institutions in New York that, like PDT, is probably the worst hidden secret of the Manhattan food scene. This speakeasy burger bar concealed behind heavy red curtain in the lobby of the Perker Meridien hotel is a great spot Midtown West. No password, but the neon burger sign lights you the way to go.
The graffiti walls contrast with the hotel. Only burgers on the menu, served in paper like fish & chips. New Yorkers, tourists, everybody is ready to wait to experience one of the "best burgers" in NYC. Once again the bread disappoints me. The use of sweet industrial buns kills the flavor of the burger.
But the worst is the burning taste of my meat. I like my meat well-done, but like in many restaurants it was cooked too fast and half of it had this unpleasant taste when the other part of it was too pink.
So to sum up, average bread and meat = should you go? Yes, the fries are excellent, offbeat atmosphere, unbeatable price in such a neighborhood and the "I hate fat people" quote tagged on the wall made me smile. So yes I would recommend you to go, as it part of the NY experience.
Dressler is located on the other side of the Williamsburg Bridge, South bound of the trendy area, and I must admit it I made the trip only for its brunch. The menu offers the great opportunity to eat excellent food at an average Manhattan price. The decoration is refined, modern with classical revival when your eyes catch the huge rococo chandeliers.
The service is nice and elegant, like the venue. Coffee is served in a French press, and I appreciate the effort, even though they are still far from great coffee. But I guess this is America.
Let's switch to the food. I obviously ordered the eggs benedict. The poached eggs are so even I am wondering how they made them. The side salad is more than welcome after having dined out in NYC so often my jeans are seriously tight. I would recommend also the grilled hanger steak that could even turn me into a red meat lover.
You probably don't understand why New Yorkers are ready to do the line for 2 hours to eat but sometimes you just pass the door and you get it. Clinton St. Bakery opens at 9am on weekends. We got there at 9.02, the restaurant was already full and the waitress was putting your name on the iList. Minimum 45 minutes wait for a party of 2...that early...
But you will notice soon that Clinton St. Bakery cares about their customers. Slices of warm pancakes and small biscuits are served to people waiting.
I am eating my usual eggs benedict-weekend-brunch. The scallion and red bell peppers added change the usual taste. The biscuit is fantastic and remind me the soul food I used to eat last year in North Carolina. I can even claim these are the best egg benedicts I have had in NY.
However, people make the trip especially for pancakes. Eat them and you will get soon why people can be crazy about food. February was #pancakemonth, with special pancakes served during weekdays so you can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are fluffy, huge, and the blueberry on the top are just sweet enough. Run there (before 8.30am though!).
Just like an authentic taqueria, you don't want to spend to much time in there. Good just to grab a taco and leave. This place got pretty good reviews, but once again I got disappointed since I thought it was not tasty enough (despite the whole guacamole on the top). Tacos are really cheap though ($2.95-$3.95) and you probably feel closer to Mexico than places like El Toro Blanco.
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