Welcome to my Dynasty!
I haven't met a carb I don't like
A rare and unusual beer bar
Yummy Ribs = Sticky Hands
I want my Baby Back Benedict!
A Tasting Menu and Wine Pairing Celebration at The Gander
Yummy Restaurant Week Dinner with Wine/Beer Pairing!
You Will Definitely Have Room for Dessert
Aish and I were in the mood for Italian, specifically pizza. My family has gone to Vezzo (http://www.vezzothincrust.com/index.html and had rave reviews. I knew it was thin-crust. Sometimes I'm on the fence with thin-crust. Especially when it is priced the same as New York Style pizza. Since there is less bread, it is much less filling. Also, if you like toppings on your pizza (like most people) the thin-crust does not support much weight. Anyway, onto my experience at Vezzo!
I've been drinking more beer lately and I was craving a Peroni. I noticed that it was on draft, so I was excited! My server informed us that the draft system wasn't working, so I opted for a Pacifico.
I noticed Sweet Italian Sausage was an option for a topping, so I went for that and fresh basil. The level of basil was a little overwhelming and seemed like a salad instead of a topping since it wasn't wilted down.
Aish got the vegetarian pizza (Giardino). The weight of all the vegetables didn't stand a chance to the thin crust. Also, there were full pieces of roasted garlic. Aish commented that it was a bit intense. Chopped up garlic would likely be better and more enjoyable. The size of the toppings were just too huge for such a thin pizza.
I don't think I'll be coming back here. The pricing is the same as pizza places I prefer with thicker crusts (like Garlic) that are more filling. It is more of a personal preference.
Heading to Williamsburg for Guac!
After two weeks in Ireland, I was craving Mexican food. The various cuisines that we did try there (Thai, Moroccan, French) were fantastic, though I didn't manage to have any Guacamole and Tacos during my time on the Emerald Isle.
Christine suggested Zona Rosa (http://zonarosabrooklyn.com/), a fun spot in in Burg. I got there a couple minutes early and ordered a Modelo Especial. I drank a lot of beer in Ireland and it has grown on me. Who says you can't change?
We had to get guacamole. I was really glad we did - great portion size and the chips were hot and perfectly salted.
Christine ordered the Tamarindo, made with mescal and tamarind juice. She said it was great! The smoky flavor of the mescal complimented the sourness of the tamarind.
We got two types of tacos to share. On the top, Tacos de Carnitas made with Braised Berkshire pork Mexico City Style and topped with onions and cilantro. On the bottom, Tacos de Carne Asada con Hongos y Queso. The pork ones were FAR better than the steak ones. I felt the steak ones were too fatty in texture. On top, they came with three salsas of various spice levels. I didn't use any of them though.
This is a great Mexican spot. There is ample outdoor seating upstairs but, given the weather, we opted for air conditioning inside!
Incredible Indian Food in Flatiron
After our disappointing Indian meal at Dhaba, I wanted to look for a new go-to place. I spoke to my friend Aditya and he recommended Devi (http://www.devinyc.com/home.html). He is a fellow foodie and Sternie, so I trusted his judgment. I noticed on their site that they have an awesome lunch special: $20 for any appetizer and any entrée!
The interior is beautiful and spacious! Unlike some other Indian restaurants I've gone to, you're not sitting on top of your neighbors and you can hear what is going on!
It was a hot day when I went to Devi, so I ordered a Kingfisher. Because they don't have it on draft, I requested a frosted glass. Gotta love the service!
When you check-in on Yelp! or FourSquare, you get a code for a complimentary appetizer (value $12)! This is in addition to the appetizer that comes with the entrée. Scott and I split the Manchurian Cauliflower - delicious! The four pieces of cauliflower were huge and well coated in the tomato-based sauce.
For our included appetizers, I ordered the Lamb Seekh Kebab (served with mint sauce and apricot chutney) and Scott got the Bharwan Aloo (homemade Indian cheese stuffed in roasted potatoes). I LOVED mine - great flavor in the lamb and the sauces were a great compliment. Scott's was good, I just preferred mine much more (which is probably why I ordered it!)
The vibe on the inside is refined. The Interior lanterns are so beautiful!
With the entrees, we were served a bowl of rice for the table. This was a decent portion size - sometimes you don't get enough to sop up all the sauce!
For our entrees, we ordered the Nizami Chicken Korma (mildly spicy royal curry with almond paste) and Kadai Lamb (sautéed with onions and peppers in a brown sauce). The chicken is great - white meat that was fork tender. The lamb was also lovely but a bit tough.
We also ordered garlic naan - it was perfectly puffy and just the right amount of crispy. It could have used more garlic though - never enough!
I wanted to order another Kingfisher but THEY WERE OUT! Is that even allowed at an Indian restaurant? I ordered a 1947 instead - it was good, but not as good as Kingfisher.
I took a shot of the interior layout - I love the leather booth seating. I also love the voluptuous bottoms of the statues - HEYYY!!!
If you're sticking to a budget, come here for lunch as dinner is much pricier.
Good Thing You Don't Need to Hear Food to Taste it!
With my parents in town, there are countless meals that need to be accounted for as well as many different preferences to please. My family enjoys Indian food and we've gone to Dhaba (http://dhabanyc.com/) many times and we've been happy with it in the past.
The reason this is in the past tense is because the restaurant was UNBEARABLY LOUD. My parents were seated right across from me and my brother was right next to me - I could not hear anything without YELLING. I also noticed that there were not many Indian people eating at the restaurant - mostly tourists. In the past, this was not the case. It makes me wonder if this restaurant has fallen from grace a bit. The quality was good but no longer great.
Anyway, let me explain what we did order. Since I couldn't talk with my mom or dad without yelling, I felt like I needed a drink. I got a Kingfisher.
We ordered several dishes to share. My mom loves Shrimp Curry, so we obviously had to get that. We also got Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Korma - both with white meat chicken only. I love the mix of the more savory Tikka with the sweeter Korma. There isn't a significant amount of chicken in either, the sauce to chicken ratio is all off, but I feel that is pretty typical in Indian cuisine I've had in NYC.
We also ordered Basmati Rice and two orders of Garlic Naan. The naan was delicious but a bit greasy.
For NYU graduation, the Empire State building was lit up Violet. How awesome! I took several snaps to share below.
I'm disappointed but my family will need to find a better go-to Indian spot where we can actually enjoy our food AND conversation!
Celebrating Our Last Assignment with Szechuan!
After we clicked "submit" on our last final, Christine and I celebrated at a favorite restaurant of the Class of 2014 (and smart people everywhere): Han Dynasty (http://www.handynasty.net/). On our walk to the restaurant, we had to take a commemorative photo of the NYU sign that was just put up for graduation festivities!
NYU Photo? Check! Now, onto a frosty beverage. I ordered a Stella and it arrived in its "chalice" - so corny, but great marketing.
I don't think you're allowed to come to Han Dynasty without ordering the Dan Dan Noodles.
These noodles are so simple: spicy chili oil, ground pork and noodles. Uncomplicated and delicious!
The last time I came to Han Dynasty, which was my first time, which also happened to be with Christine and Olivia, we ordered the Dry Pot Style Lamb. It is one of the spiciest dishes at the restaurant (10/10), so we ordered it at a 5/10. I think it still numbed my entire mouth, but in a good way!
I can't wait to come back here again and (maybe...) order something different!
A New Cocktail Spot in Midtown East
Last week, I checked out a newly opened bar (within the last three months) and was pleasantly surprised by the overall awesome-ness of the location: Hudson Malone (http://www.hudsonmalone.com/). Previously, it was a different bar and changed ownership. The entire décor of the spot was redone. I especially loved the detail on the ceiling. I forgot to snap a photo but it is tin pressed - beautiful, ornate detail. The overall feel is intimate - you can enjoy a cozy conversation with your friend or date while perched on dark wood furniture, seated at the polished bar.
The owner, Doug Quinn, built his reputation at PJ Clarke's, a New York institution. The bar is named after his two sons - ADORABLE. He also has his "Quinn's Laws" posted. My favorite is: Mediocrity Sucks! I don't recall the name of our bartender but I do remember he introduced himself and shook my hand! When does that even happen anymore? This simple gesture demonstrated to me the commitment to customer service and creating an enjoyable atmosphere.
From the cocktail menu, I ordered the Manhattan No. 2, made with Bulleit Rye, Sweet Vermouth and Bitters. It was DELICIOUS!
My date ordered the New York Old Fashioned, made with rye, sugar and bitters.
As my next cocktail, I ordered the Sinatra Smash, made with Whiskey, Lemon, Mint and Sugar. Really tasty!
He ordered a pint of Guinness, so I didn't take a photo. I'd love to come back here for a bite to eat. The beef in the burger is ground daily from a top NYC butcher, Pat LaFrieda.
I look forward to my return!
The Counter - Just Like in Charlotte, but Cooler!
After the musical ended, Courtney and I wanted a bit of a nibble. It was that awkward time in the evening (say 5pm) and we didn't have dinner reservations until later (8:15pm). Also, since it was at a super-hip restaurant, I knew we wouldn't actually eat until closer to 9pm. Like any rational person, we decided to have a mini-meal, a lunch-dinner or rather a linner.
While we were walking through hell (Times Square), we passed by The Counter (http://www.thecounterburger.com/), a burger chain that also had locations in my old city: Charlotte. I loved it when I was there and they had sliders, the perfect appetizer, so we went inside. I was pleased to see when I checked-in on Foursquare that there was an offer for a free small fries (regular or sweet potato) with your first check-in! BOOM! The value of social media. We went with sweet potato. They are served with a yummy horseradish aioli - soo good!
I'm not a big beer drinker, but for some reason I was in the mood. Maybe it was the fried food and the promise of burgers. I ordered a draft Blue Moon. Yum.
We split an order of the sliders. It was the perfect amount of food to deal with our hunger!
This is great spot if you find yourself in the terror that is Times Square and need a quick bite! They also have really yummy Spiked Milkshakes!
Brewery Tour with Block 3!
This past Saturday, I organized a tour with some Sternies to the Chelsea Brewing Company. Since it is October, I wanted to find a spot that featured something special for Oktoberfest. After doing some research, I found that Chelsea Brewing Company (http://www.chelseabrewingco.com/) was having a Wet Hop Harvest Festival from October 18th to October 20th. The event featured 20 Beers on Tap from Chelsea Brewing Company and Brew Master select guest brews, traditional Oktoberfest food and live music.
Another reason why this venue was attractive is they offer a brewery tour each Saturday for Free! They are offered on the hour starting at 2pm. The tour includes a sample of beer as well.
Pat Greene, Director of Brewing Operations
The tour lasted for about 30 minutes and included the history of the brewery and interesting facts about beer production. During this tour, I found out that Pat is also an NYU alum (I was wearing an NYU shirt).
During the tour, we were all offered a sample of our choice. I chose the Pumpkin Pie Ale. Pat explained it is made with fresh roasted squash and a mix of spices (cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, etc.). It was lovely! I'm not a huge beer fan, but I do love beer that has a fun flavor profile (typically sweet).
Inside of the Brewery Restaurant
The restaurant features all of the beers produced by the Brewery. The beers are very fresh - right from the tap!
Pier 59 at Chelsea Piers
While we were enjoying our afternoon, we sat on the patio. The view is incredible! The weather has been pretty warm this season, though yesterday I started to feel the chill of fall.
I ordered the bratwurst with chopped onions and dijon mustard. It was so yummy!
On my way home, I ran into a pug (my favorite dog breed ever!). This capped off a wonderful afternoon.
I would highly recommend visiting Chelsea Brewing Company. It was a great way to spend the day with some classmates, learn about the beer industry and support a local business. Consider it as a first date idea!
The MBA Life: Hamptons Edition
This past weekend has been a great break from the grind of the city. At Stern, each class is separated into blocks; I am in Block 3. One of my blockmates, Lilian, really spearheaded organizing the trip and the rest of us pitched in with cooking. One of the highlights of the trip was visiting The Lobster Roll Restaurant (http://www.lobsterroll.com/) in Amagansett.
Since the seasons are changing, our server suggested a special drink. It was a Blue Point Pumpkin Ale with a cinnamon-sugar rim. It was DELICIOUS! I'm not sure if it was the best drink to pair with seafood, but whatever. I loved it!
As an appetizer, I was intrigued by the fried blowfish! How interesting! We had to try it, so a group of us selected a half-order to share.
You can probably see in the picture above that there is a small fin. When they fry puffer fish, it is the tail! For my main, I clearly had to get a lobster roll (I mean, the place is called The Lobster Roll!). Instead of the traditional style, I ordered a hot lobster roll. It is basically lobster meat prepared in butter and served with hot dog buns on the side.
It was delicious and really filling. The food isn't cheap, but you get a large quantity of lobster! With our bellies full, we headed to the beach.
The weather was lovely. I love New York City. I think being away from all the hustle and bustle gave me time to reflect on how much I love Stern, my friends and my family.
Friends and Fries!
I always heard really great things about Burger Joint, a secret burger spot located within Le Parker Meridien, but never quite made it there for one reason or another. I received an email from the new location (http://www.burgerjointny.com/8thstreet.php) right by NYU with an offer for a free dinner of burger and fries for up to 10 people. As any smart full-time MBA student (read: no current source of income), I jumped at this opportunity and gathered friends to scope out the new spot!
The Burger Joint!
While we waited for our food, we ordered drinks. I got a beer (it seemed appropriate given the food). I believe it was Ommegang. It was a nice and light option.
The glass reminds me of a grenade
It's showtime! The burgers have arrived, mine is personalized! I think it says Liz?
I *meant* to take a photo, but I was overwhelmed and had already started to inhale it. Oops.
The burgers are great! Just so you know, Burger Joint has an incredibly small menu. What it lacks in variety, it makes up for it in quality.
I love the sign in the restaurant. It makes you think. Does it say "Eat" or "Fat" or "Who cares?"
CHECK OUT BURGER JOINT! It is awesome. Support local businesses!
Drinks at the Ginger Man
I'm trying to be more spontaneous in my dating life. If you read in my previous posts, I seriously injured my foot wearing a pair of super high heels the other night out on a date. In the effort of looking hot, I was left being forced to wear a hot flesh colored (yes, I hope you are uncomfortable reading that) bandage on my foot. I look like some sort of limping mummy-footed person - it is really an awesome look for my first couple days of school as an MBA2.
I had been chatting with a new suitor on OKC. The title of this post can hint at his occupation. I think in the initial stages of dating new people, you need to keep your options open. The first date could be great and then go downhill very quickly on the next date. It is incredibly time consuming to go on many first dates, but lately, there has been a flood of new people on my radar on OKC, so when the getting is good, get after it, right? Anyway, back to this new gentleman. We had originally discussed going out a week from now. I figured, by then, I could wear normal shoes. I HATE wearing flats/flip flops on first dates. I feel much more confident in heels. I was out with my some school friends and got a text from this gentleman, he said he would be free tonight and asked if I wanted to meet for a drink. Again, in the spirit of spontaneity, I said yes! I gave him a heads up about my foot and he didn't seem to really care, if anyone cared it was clearly me. Sometimes I need to learn to get over myself. This is proof that dating teaches you a lot about yourself.
He said he liked beer bars and I wanted to check out The Ginger Man (http://www.gingerman-ny.com/). It is fairly close to where I live, so I wouldn't have to walk (read: limp) that far to get there. The first drink(s) I ordered was a flight of Fruit Beers.
St. Louis Framboise; Elysian Omen;
Sea Dog Blue Paw Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale; Ithaca Apricot Wheat
This isn't a shocker, but I knew that the Framboise would be my favorite beer. This is because this style of beer essentially tastes like raspberry juice. The Omen was GROSS - way too dark of a beer for me. The Blueberry and Apricot beers were ok, but weren't that cold. I think most people can agree with me that a cold beer is much better.
Read Glass Above
Next, I ordered a Hoegaarden. This is typically a safe bet, light and with a hint of citrus.
St. Louis Framboise
My final selection was my "go to" beer. I was very happy with this selection. Solid choice. This is a great spot to check out for beers. The setting is also good for a date - it isn't too "fratty" or loud for Midtown. It is respectable.
Until next time,
Back to School Beers!
Two wonderful people in my block, Michelle and Mike, had the bright idea to organize a drinking occasion after our "first last day of school". It is hard to believe, but I'm already into my second year of business school!
They suggested a relatively newish rooftop beer garden that opened, Blue Ribbon Beer Garden (http://www.blueribbonrestaurants.com/rests_beer_garden_main.htm). I'm not a huge beer drinker, but figured I would order that vs. a glass of wine ("When at a Beer Garden"). I got a bottle of Sapporo Light for $7 - it seemed a bit overpriced and wasn't that cold - wahhh. I do realize that at these places you're really paying for the location - an awesome rooftop setting in the Lower East Side. Some of the people in our group played beer pong. Not really my thing, but play on players.
I'm not sure if I would go back since there are so many other places I still need to discover.
Yet Another Beer Hall
A bunch of people from Stern wanted to meet up for drinks to celebrate a birthday and to acknowledge that it is Wednesday (HUMP DAY - isn't the Geico commercial great?). A favorite spot near school is Houston Hall (http://www.houstonhallny.com/). It is a large style beer hall, complete with wooden tables and massive benches. I tend to wear dresses, so it can be a wee bit difficult to sit down on the bench without falling into some Miley Cyrus over-exposure situation. I decided to stay on the beer trend from last night (Blind Tiger) and ordered an apricot ale. It was ok at best. The temperature didn't seem very cold and I have sort of a "thing" with room temperature beer. I feel I am not unique in my distaste of tepid beer.
It is a great spot in terms of space (plenty of it and ceilings for days) and pricing (affordable drinks). Keep in mind that the seating is a bit tricky, so shorts or pants could be good options.
Until next time,