Big ass steak, it's what's for dinner
They Excel at Pastrami and basically everything else
Of course we had to return to Sarges (http://www.sargesdeli.com/) during my parent's visit to NYC! We came for a late breakfast / early lunch.
My dad ordered a Swiss Cheese and Bacon Omelette, while my brother got the Cheddar, Bacon and Spinach Omelette and my mom got Eggs over easy with Grits. I got the pastrami with macaroni salad - duh! I didn't snap a pic though :(
My mom can't help herself either - she loves taking food pics!
Just come here ok? You're welcome.
A New York Deli Hits the Spot!
My parents are in town for my graduation from Stern (yay happy times!). They love a classic New York deli that is near my brother's apartment: Sarge's (http://www.sargesdeli.com/). Unfortunately, it was closed due to a fire in 2012. It recently reopened! I was pleased because I had never tried it while it was open and now was my chance!
Before my parents visited, I had ordered Sarge's through Seamless. I got a turkey sandwich and the pasta salad - both were incredible! There is something about eating in the physical restaurant that is much better than Seamless, so I was excited to try it on site!
My dad wasn't the biggest fan of the fries before, so he was curious to try them out. Based on his reaction, I am 100% sure they are much better! Before they were the thick steak-cut fries - these are a much better size ratio. The onion rings were awesome! I hate when you bite into one and the onion separates from the batter; this one stayed in tact! The waffle-cut sweet potato fries were great, but I would have preferred the normal shape.
I should also mention, you get a bowl of coleslaw and a bowl of pickles for the table. The serving size of coleslaw seemed appropriate for our group size (4) but the pickles were far too plentiful!
I ordered the turkey sandwich (as did my dad and brother) and my mom got the pastrami. It is KEY to order it lean. You can get it normal (which is somewhat fatty), lean (still tasty and delicious but not as gristly) or super lean (a bit drier but much less fat).
The turkey is REAL turkey, unlike deli meats you may get at a grocery store. The meat is carved from an actual turkey vs. some monstrous reformed blob of meat. It is divine. You must try it.
The pastrami? Where to start??? It is the best pastrami I've ever had. Katz's does not impress me - it is WAY too thick. Also, Carnegie is great but just cannot compare. The waitress gave me a funny look when I asked for mayo and said she "wouldn't tell anyone" - I realize it is a cardinal sin to not have mustard, but, deal with it. I appreciated that she didn't rat me out to the culinary police.
Also, the macaroni salad is AMAZING. It is the perfect combo of tangy with a hint of sweetness. Some are overly sweet or have too much mayo - this was awesome! Normally different shaped pastas in the same dish freak me out, but I actually liked the elbows and larger shells. WIN.
You may have noticed that these sandwiches are MASSIVE. I recommend requesting several additional slices of bread (I always get rye), so you can make a couple more sandwiches with the left-overs you will likely take home! You can get 2-3 sandwiches, at least, depending on your preferred meat-to-bread ratio.
Divine Short Ribs
I first visited Hill and Bay a couple of weeks ago for drinks and planned to return for a meal. The opportunity struck when I wanted to grab dinner with a date before a movie at Kips Bay Theater. Side Note: We saw Dallas Buyer's Club and it was great.
I looked at the wine list and decided to order a glass of red wine. I can't recall which varietal I ordered - all glasses are price between $9 to $12. I knew I wanted to order the Braised Short Ribs, served with creamy polenta and crispy shallots ($23). Based on Yelp! reviews, this seemed like a safe bet and I do love cooking this dish at home!
The meat was absolutely tender. The wine I ordered really complemented the sauce. I was so happy with what I ordered!
When I looked at the dessert menu, I knew exactly what I was going to order! I love bread pudding, so naturally I ordered the Brown Butter Chocolate Bread Pudding, made with dark chocolate and served with ice cream ($8).
This is my favorite type of dessert: the juxtaposition of the hot (bread pudding) and the cold (ice cream) rocks my world. So yummy!
I'm glad I came back to this spot. Solid entrees and desserts!
Oh My, Is That a Spotted Dick?
After our drinks at Hill and Bay, we headed over to The Peacock (http://www.thepeacocknyc.com/), a new British restaurant and cocktail parlor that recently opened in The William Hotel. It opened earlier in January 2014 and has a sister pub downstairs, The Shakespeare. How British! I just cannot help myself.
We arrived a little bit before our reservations, so we enjoyed a cocktail in The Library Bar. The setting is very much like a library with alcohol, so whoever named it should be promoted. I was automatically a fan. After reviewing the cocktail menu, I decided on the Bramble, made with Tanqueray, Lemon and Blackberries. It is served in a Julep Cup - love the detail!
Courtney ordered the Arbor Blush, made with Rose, Kapp a Pisco, Green Grapes and Chandon Rose.
When Courtney tried my cocktail, she did have buyer's remorse. This is why you order more than one! We brought our cocktails into the main dining room for dinner. It is set at the back of the hotel lobby and separated by French Doors; it is a nice touch. It makes you feel like you're at a super secret location, especially since the dining room is fairly small. Nice touch! Additionally, the tableware was personalized.
Even the BREAD PLATES had a Peacock - I was so impressed!
While we reviewed the menu, we both ordered a Bulleit Rye Manhattan. It was delicious and STRONG. I sipped that puppy.
After I reviewed the menu, I decided on the Lancashire Hot Pot. It included Braised lamb shoulder, roasted vegetables, rosemary and Yukon potatoes. It was PHENOMENAL! I loved it! Since this is British food, it was a bit hearty/heavy. The portion was the perfect size since it was so filling.
Courtney ordered the Braised Chicken and Red Wine Risotto - she loved it! I didn't snap a picture though - my b! I was too focused on my meal, so you know it was yummy!
We had to get dessert. A group next to us had ordered four desserts and we asked their favorites. They said the Sticky Toffee Date Pudding and they ranked the Spotted Dick last. I was going to make a comment, but I contained myself. Naturally, I would hope most would not prefer to order such a thing! I kid, I kid.
The Sticky Toffee Pudding was served with a toffee rum sauce and sticky toffee ice cream. It was yummy!!!!! LOVED IT.
Overall, I look forward to returning. The service was VERY slow. I will give this spot the benefit of the doubt since it is a new operation and a new staff. Hopefully that will turn around quickly or people will not want to return. I'm sending good wishes to The Peacock! Go get um!
New Spot Makes Murray Hill Less Awful!
Before our dinner at another spot in Murray Hill (2x in one night, I should be ashamed!), my friend, Courtney, and I wanted to grab a drink. We had just finished a movie at the Kips Bay theater and I saw Hill and Bay (http://www.hillandbay.com/). I'm in this area frequently since my brother lives up the street and I never saw this spot. It looked cool and I knew I had to check it out. So check it out we did!
We each ordered a cocktail. I'm all about trying new drinks and the Hill and Bay Spicy Martini, made with chipotle vodka, pickle brine and blue cheese stuffed olives, caught my eye.
I requested extra olives so I could drink it. The drink was a bit zesty with the spicy vodka, so I sort of chased it with the olives. I am a cocktail Macgyver. Courtney ordered the CB6, made with Gin, Amaro, Marmalade, Regan's Bitters, Lemon Juice and Zest.
Although she drank it, she commented that the drink was very lemony! Overall, I love the vibe of this place and feel that the cocktails will get better over time. It is a new restaurant, so I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt.
Check it out before/after the movies!
Is Murray Hill Cool?
I went on what ended up to be a really great date this past Friday after my pre-date with Christine (heart her!). My brother lives near a bar I've walked by multiple times: Tuttles (http://tuttlesnyc.com/blog/). My date also lives in the area, so I suggested going there.
A great feature of the spot is its exterior garden - it's a little too late in the season for it though. We sat at the main bar and had a great time. Sometimes it is too awkward to take photos of drinks on dates, so I didn't end up taking one. I ordered a Bulleit Rye Manhattan - if it ain't broke, right?
This is a great casual spot that is worth checking out if you're in the area, especially in the warmer months!
Have a good one,
Middle Branch - Hope in Fratville
I caught up with one of the lovely ladies (Lauren F) I met at Stern during my first year. She had an incredibly intense internship in investment banking this past summer. We wanted to catch up and celebrate her full-time offer over cocktails. I suggested a speakeasy near her apartment that I had not visited: Middle Branch (no website). The exterior of the spot is incredibly reclusive. If I didn't have the street number, I would have walked right by. This is clearly on purpose and part of the appeal - you're only going to come in if you're in the "know" vs. well-known spots such as Joshua Tree (ughhh).
I found the service very personalized when I walked down the front stairs and the doorman kept repeating "Liz? Liz? Liz?". Once I could understand what he was saying, I said "Yes. Yes. Yes". I didn't realize Lauren got there before me. I figured he may have just been a psychic on the side.
When I entered the venue, I went upstairs. The space is a bit small. Once we reviewed the cocktail menu, I ordered a traditional daiquiri and Lauren got a Moscow Mule.
I loved that the cocktails were served on cloth napkins. It added a certain level of sophistication vs. a coaster or a paper napkin. The drink was nice and refreshing but a tad too sour. It can't compare to those made at Diageo with Zacapa!
After I noticed that the woman next to me ordered it, I had to get the Queen's Park Swizzle (above). It is made with rum, mint, lime simple syrup and bitters swizzled and served with a metal straw (so fancy!). I'm sometimes on the fence about mint, but I loved it in this drink. It wasn't too "minty" (as mojitos sometimes are), it was just the right amount.