Done with A Summer of Projects, André is back and In action......
Greetings Foodies. I'm back!
Not just kinda back, or back in a bi-monthly way... I'm back with you this fall season to guide you to the best eats in NYC... on a regular basis.
I've missed you!
To jump squarely into the middle of the fray, I won't blog any one joint today, but I'll give you an overview of what is shakin here in NYC, as well as a few bites from my recent travels up the coast. I'm headed to Paris this week, so please chew on these goodies for a week...
ON THE WEST COAST
As our friends in LA continue to bake in the "I told you Global Warming Was Real" summer heat, Mario's "Osteria Mozza" continues to dominate the headlines. Unfortunately for Mario, it's not all good. As I had a good experience, I have heard from several of very uneven meals, if not just downright bad. Given the newness of the venture and the pressure to be on every single night, I'll cut them a small bit of slack here... but one thing is for sure... the celebs love the joint and as long as it remains hot, people will flock and spend.....
Of course, Katsuya continues to attract the beautiful peeps as they ready to open their newest outpost in Hollywood.... but hey, you don't need to be a celeb to love the crispy tuna roll, do you? (Do yourself a favor and visit katsuya on 3rd and save $50 a person :)
UP THE MAINE COAST
I recently had a chance to decompress on a quick visit to beautiful Camden and Bar Harbor and came away with these thoughts on my experience....
First, it's simply too bad that everyone and their mom now knows how beautiful the Maine Coast is.... the crowds were massive, and the traffic no fun. Add hour long waits for a table at the local lobster joints and the place gets downright pesky.
Next, don't go looking for luxe accommodations in Maine. You can find charming, sweet, friendly, quaint and homey... but not luxe.
And last, it may not matter. The scenery in Bar Harbor (Acadia National Park) is so incredible, you feel as if you have entered an Disney-esqe theme park of natural wonder. I met 100 people who had the same "oh my god" look on their face I did, as the fog rolled across the sound and swirled around the lighthouses. This is spectacular stuff.
DINING TIP OF THE DAY: Local lobster shantys: GOOD. The lobster place "Stewman's" on the water in Bar Harbor? HORRIFIC. The biggest tourist trap in the state of Maine contines to pack em in, but I can tell you that I've spent my last dime being treated like some ding-a-ling that just feel off of a bus from Des Moines. Shame on you, Stewmans.... Thurman's is worth the drive across the Island, and the lobster is sweeter, too!
THE CITY THAT DOESN'T SLEEP
Where to begin??!! Here is a quick blast to get you in the know....
Quality Meats is still All That.
I hit Quality Meats a week ago and can happily report that they are still doing great things. Everything we ordered that night was right on, and the wine and cocktails were perfect. Hey, if you are gonna spend some cash, might as well get what you pay for, huh?
Landmarc Turning Heads at Time Warner Center
I waited what seems forever for a normal restaurant to open in the Time Warner Center, where you can spend all of the money you never had on decedent junk... and I am happy to report that Landmarc was worth the wait. With a cool bar, excellent cocktails, a hip lounge area on the side and view of Central Park, this spot is now my first call in the area, without spending $200 a person on dinner (and thats on the low end in that building... Per Se, Masa, Porterhouse, etc....) The steaks and chops are great, the pasta well prepared, the sides creative... and dessert...... well, when is the last time the waiter brought the table a wispy cloud of banana-flavored coton candy? I though the kids at the next table were going to have heart attacks.
La Esquina, Say It Ain't So!
In case you missed it, the underground lair of magical molé has been shuttered... as it seems our friends La Esquina never got the basement permitted by our friends at City Hall and the NYFD. Now that I think about it, a fire down there could be a bad thing on a busy Friday night....
Get Ready For Pierogies
I placed a call to the folks at First Avenue Pierogie and Deli (not sure about the deli part, as they really only sell pierogies and borscht) at 130 First Ave, and have been told that the dear old polish woman will reopen this week, after her annual break. Finally, I can get off of the crap from Dagastino Grocery and get the real crack that I deserve :)
Gemma a Miss
The new Bowery hot spot Gemma opened recently, and I met a friend for a quick bite and chat on a hot, deserted afternoon. I understand the mood and feel of the dreary day dictated the crap service I received, but the horrible food makes me scratch my head and wonder.... what the hell they are thinking? There is a bar of quality in this town when it comes to Italian food, and unless you are over the bar, you should save the time and effort and serve Beefaroni.
HERE AND THERE
BLT Market is now open on CPS and the smells wafting onto the sidewalk are almost too temping to stroll past... my favorite quickie dumpling joint RICKSHAW DUMPLING BAR has opened a store near NYC on 8th.... BarFry has finally opened in the West Village for those of you who need to eat all of your food fried, all of the time..... For those of you who enjoy a good cigar now and then, Davidoff in the Time Warner Center has re-opened their tiny smoking room in the back... Has anyone been to SpotLight??? I wish Dylan Prime had better food.... Koi, the sexy japanese joint in midtown actually serves the Crispy Tuna Roll, the single dish that set LA on fire..... Turtle Bay on the East Side (52 and 2) might possibly be NY's worst run bar....