A Sarcastic Appetite

Restaurant Round-Up for the Week of September 1
September 1, 2011, 7:55 pm
Filed under: Restaurant Round-Up

Better late than never, right? I’m here to canvas the food blogs, so you don’t have to. Some highlights this week:

Thank the good folks at Pike Place Market in Seattle for the beautiful blueberries above. They get me every time.

The Siftster heads down to Chinatown to review 456 Shanghai Cuisine, and waxes poetic about the soup dumplings and xiao long bao. He’s breathless at the end: “The restaurant is both the simplest and most marvelous of discoveries in a city that undergoes constant change: a Chinatown restaurant of the old school and new generation, a taste of the past and present combined.” For one star, I guess it’s worth checking out.

The boys at Immaculate Infatuation update a few of their more classic reviews, including Ippudo and Freeman’s. Both are still up to the task, and I personally stand behind any decision that involves spending the afternoon at the back bar at Freeman’s. You in?

If you are looking for a weekend activity, check out the New Amsterdam Market. They’ll be back up on September 11 with vendors selling everything from jam to cider and ice cream. Delicious.

Danny at Food in Mouth checks out Dinosaur BBQ and likes the ribs, though the brisket doesn’t stand a chance against Hill Country.

I cannot get enough of The Bad Deal, the new blog from Bloomberg food critic Ryan Sutton. His “Drink and Drive with UrbanDaddy for $1000” post is my absolute favorite, but the recent railing against Gilt City’s “deal” for Rucola is entertaining too. The moral of the story? Go to Rucola…on your own terms. It’s supposed to be quite good.

Lastly, if you’re in the city this weekend and looking for good eats, Grub Street has compiled a handy-dandy map for Labor Day Eats. Don’t miss it.

Restaurant Round-Up for the Week of June 30
June 30, 2011, 7:53 am
Filed under: Restaurant Round-Up

I’m here to canvas the food blogs, so you don’t have to. A few highlights this week:

The photo above is of a French hard cider at salt, the adorable restaurant on MacDougal that had the great fortune of serving food between the hours of 4 and 5:30 on a Sunday afternoon, when it was most desperately desired. For that, I will return again and again.

Empellón gets a nod and a lone star from the Siftster, who loves the food but hates the ambiance (“that clattery dining room…needs sound-dampening fabric or ceiling panels in much the same way Greece needs cash”). Oooh, burn! I’ll go for it – that shrimp with white rice and plaintains, in a “crazily magical smoky crab broth” sounds pretty delish.

TastingTable NYC does a round-up of great sandwiches that involve potato chips – a magical combination that should not be overlooked. Just don’t make the trek up to Earl’s Beer & Cheese….because it’s not big enough for both of us.

The boys at Immaculate Infatuation are not pleased with the Brindle Room, much to my dismay. I had always heard good things about their doughnuts….but maybe that’s the only thing worth checking out.

Meanwhile, Serious Eats NY heads out to Brooklyn to pit (har, har) Mable’s Smokehouse against Fette Sau. The verdict? Stick with Mable’s for brisket sandwiches and cheap beer, but head to Fette Sau otherwise.

Food in Mouth visits an UWS stand-by, Kefi, and says it’s still worth visiting for reasonably priced appetizers and drinks that will still fill you up.

And if you’re wondering why you haven’t seen your favorite food trucks in Midtown lately, it’s because they’ve been kicked out by the cops. Midtown Lunch has been covering a story the New York Times just got around to writing.

89th and Broke checks out the appropriately-name Dive Bar, on 96th and Amsterdam. Happy hour runs from 4-7pm with $4 beers – plus, they serve breakfast all day! Sign me up.

Lastly, Bloomberg’s Ryan Sutton has started a fantastic blog called “The Bad Deal.” I think it speaks for itself – check it out.

Restaurant Round-Up for the Week of April 7
April 7, 2011, 6:41 am
Filed under: Restaurant Round-Up

I canvas the food blogs so you don’t have to. Some highlights this week:

The Siftster gives two stars (and a critic’s pick check mark!) to M. Wells, the “diner in name only” in Long Island City. Pickled pig tongue? Veal brains? Bone marrow and snails? A hamburger large enough to serve four? This is not your average 3 Guys. I went last night and it was fantastic: the bone marrow and escargot were delicious; the Caesar salad with herring a bit fishy for me; the suckling pig for two was outstanding. Bites of pork belly, foie gras, and pineapple make a magical combination. Oh and order the maple pie, please. See Danny’s post at Food In Mouth for more deliciousness. Apparently we were both there last night, but he managed to take pictures.

Restaurant Girl gets a sneak peek at Coppelia, the new 24 hour Cuban joint in Chelsea. Always a sucker for sandwiches, I think the “pan con lechon” sounds like a win: pork rinds with pickled red onion and mojo sauce. Eater has the menu here.

Grub Street gets word that Ciano‘s doing a new $49 prix-fixe dinner (order before 6, Sunday to Thursday) and Riverpark is doing a $28 prix-fixe lunch. And if you prefer the smell of exhaust with your Prohibition Punch, the Campbell Terrace is now open at Grand Central Terminal, under the overhang on Vanderbilt Avenue. Yum.

Andy at Wined & Dined writes that Anfora, a great wine bar in the West Village, is switching it up on next week. For their Tuesday Producer Night on April 12, they’ve invited Sixpoint Craft Ales, who will be behind the bar and serving up 6 different beers over the course of the night for $7 each.

A Midtown Lunch reader sends word that Zocalo in Grand Central, which has been closed by the DOH for “refrigeration issues,” is offering customers free margaritas on Monday.

If you’re in Hell’s Kitchen this Sunday and like food trucks, follow the crowds to the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market Gourmet Food Truck Bazaar on 39th and 9th, beginning at 11am and going all day. Some of the stalwarts will be there this weekend, including the Kimchi Taco Truck; Luke’s Lobster (not a truck but who am I to quibble) and the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck. The trucks will rotate each time at the bazaar, which will be held on every second Sunday until October.

Lastly, the boys at Immaculate Infatuation have been busy, checking in on Rubirosa, which they love, and making a vodka pie, which is nothing if not entertaining. They also have only nice things to say about The National, a beacon of hope and good drinks in the wasteland of Midtown. I loved it; the oysters, burger, and brussels sprouts were all excellent.

Restaurant Round-Up for the Week of March 31
March 31, 2011, 6:45 am
Filed under: Restaurant Round-Up

I’m here to canvas the food blogs so you don’t have to. A few highlights this week:


The Siftster takes a voyage to India (see what I did there?) and checks out Tulsi, on E. 46th St, and Junoon, on W. 24th St, in the same review. He has warm things to say about both, and Tulsi comes out with one star, while Junoon makes away with two. My only quibble? Tamarind has been serving that delicious Manchurian cauliflower for years.

The boys at Immaculate Infatuation check out Social Eatz, with Asian-influenced stuff like Korean Tacos, Bibimbap Burgers, and Crispy Spring Rolls. Interestingly, they’re less impressed with the Kung Pao Chicken Sandwich, which Midtown Lunch declared a “home run.” Both sites also panned the Imperial Hot Dog; stay away.

Carly from the Serious Eats team checks out Teqa, a new “tequileria” in Murray Hill. Some drinks are hits (Tommy’s Margarita & the Voodoo Child) and some are definitely misses (the Leyenda & the Rosita) but it appears that this might be a nice happy hour option if you’re in the neighborhood – and you order carefully.

Danny at Food in Mouth sets out to refine his palate after a lackluster experience with the bomboloni from Sullivan Street Bakery. Any supertasters out there? Maybe you’ll have better luck.

And since it’s spring (I suspect, since the weather’s been no help), Restaurant Girl pulls together a nice list of Spring Lamb dishes in the city. I love that lamb sandwich at Locanda Verde – but then again, who doesn’t?

Zagat Buzz has word that What Happens When, the pop-up from John Fraser, is channeling Impressionism for Movement 3.

Lastly, not food related at all, but hilarious nonetheless: The missing cobra from the Bronx Zoo just gets funnier and funnier on Twitter.


Restaurant Round-Up for the Week of March 17
March 17, 2011, 6:19 am
Filed under: Restaurant Round-Up

I’m here to canvas the food blogs, so you don’t have to. Some highlights this week:

The Siftster falls all over himself to give Veritas three twinkling stars and also manages to slip in a little New York Times-ified vernacular: “Haters are going to hate.” Ocean and Land, a magical combination of lobster tail and roasted bone marrow, is apparently fabulous, as is the Beef in Transition, which features tartare, sirloin, and short ribs. And of course, this being Veritas, there’s plenty to drink with that too.

Restaurant Girl does a solid round-up of venues for various occasions – one more helpful answer for that endless question, “Where should I have my party?”

The Immaculate Infatuation boys slip down to Austin for SXSW, and check out some good eats Texas-style. If you’re ever in the area, now you know where to go.

Danny at Food in Mouth has a horrible, horrible picture of a practically meatless “Coppa” pie he received at Co. Avoid that fennelled fate and stick to the regular menu.

If you’re looking to do something good for Japan and also your stomach, Fork in the Road has a list of places donating a portion of their profits to the cause.

The Serious Eats team checks out Food 32, the food court in Koreatown, and deems it quite good, even good enough for a repeat visit. From noodles to pork chops and something delicious called the Milk Toaster, apparently there really is something for everyone.

Brownie’s Cheddar Waffles & Eggs Huntington at Buttermilk Channel were obviously a sign just for me, and that sign is that I need to go to Buttermilk Channel for brunch.

Lastly, Yvo at The Fiesty Foodie checks out M. Wells, and though there were some misses among the dishes her group tried, she says it’s definitely still worth making the trip.

Restaurant Round-Up for the Week of March 3
March 3, 2011, 7:44 am
Filed under: Restaurant Round-Up

Hey kiddos! I’m here to canvas the food blogs, so you don’t have to. A few highlights this week:

The Siftster drops a bomb – zero stars!!! – on Michael Psilakis’ Fish Tag. Sadly, it appears these things run in the family; the restaurant is in the space that was formerly Gus & Gabriel….which also received zero stars from the New York Times. But if you go, be sure to order the “marvelous” lamb burger.

It seems Cats Quote Charlie Sheen and Sheen vs. Gaddafi are old news; now restaurants are getting in the game. Grub Street has a round-up of a few places with Sheen-themed eats or drinks, and something tells me that list will only get longer. But not to worry – you can still Live the Sheen Dream if you’d like.

The boys at Immaculate Infatuation review two classics this week: Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar, which is still excellent despite being put on Eater’s Deathwatch….in 2007; and Yakitori Totto, where you need to “stick” with the yakitori avoid terrible, terrible puns and just order the yakitori because it’s all delicious.

Erin Frankel of New York Social Diary files a nice write-up of Il Buco, the Bond St. classic that’s been around since 1994. The burrata with watermelon radish looks pretty nice, and I’m mostly delighted it’s not another beet and goat cheese salad. The menu changes every day, but we won’t be led astray with the Mediterranean-influenced Italian menu.

The Serious Eats Team weighs in on Rubirosa, the old-school Italian restaurant that recently opened in Nolita. The chicken parmigiana, lasagna for two, and the pizza are all stand-outs; the rice balls and Rubirosa salad less so.

Community Board 3 just passed new guidelines for development that may affect the Essex Street Market, which Fork in the Road writes has been at its current location for 70 years. Cynthia Lamb has created an online petition to prevent that from happening; you can sign it here and help them reach their goal of 2,000 signatures.

If you read Midtown Lunch you know everyone’s crazy about kimchi tacos, and it was a sad day when the LA-based Kogi BBQ Truck announced it was no longer pursuing an expansion into New York. Well, thankfully, the long-awaited Kimchi Taco Truck has finally made its debut. Though it’s been sticking to LIC of late, word on the street is they’ll try to hit Midtown soon. See you there.