Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hello Again, New York!

Being away for a while is always refreshing. I went back to Asia last month to visit family, and we took short trips over to Taiwan and Macau together. I think every single time I go back to Asia for vacation I always start thinking about how and when I should move back. Guess that's what happens when you get to spend time with family, friends you grew up with, and of course, beloved pets like my puppy Molly. (She's actually no longer a puppy, but I still see her that way!)


Now that I'm back in NYC with things quite calm in my life, I'm excited to get back to blogging! The next few posts will be from this past holiday... Important things, like eats and travel :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pizza at Marta

Marta is Danny Meyer (the genius Shake Shack creator) and Nick Anderer's (previously Maialino's chef) recently opened Roman-style pizzerie that features "crackly-crusted pizzas". The thin, crispy, but not overly burnt crust, really allows you to focus on the pizza toppings, and the pies we ordered were generally pretty good. The beautiful space helps make the experience even better. High ceilings, marble counters, and lovely wooden tables. Nice.


Upon entering the hotel, the restaurant is on the left, and the lobby/check-in counter is straight ahead. 



Pizza making with two wood-fired pizza ovens


Interesting light fixtures in the spacious dining room


I didn't take a picture of it, but the bloody mary ($10) is pretty darn good-- spicy with a perfect texture to it.


Bruschetta Stracciata: torn pizza bread, ricotta, pistachio, honey, $9
Anytime I see ricotta on a menu, it's a must order. This one's decent, but Locanda Verde and Five Leaves have better versions.


Funghi Pizza: fontina, hen of the woods, red onion, thyme, $18
Although I always love a mushroom pizza, this one felt like it was missing something. 


Cappriciosa Pizza: mozzarella, artichokes, prosciutto, olives, egg, $17 
It's nearly impossible to go wrong with prosciutto on a pizza. Add an egg on top of that? Done.


Patate Alla Carbonara: potatoes, guanciale (Italian cured meat), black pepper, pecorino, egg, $17
After taking one bite, my friend described it as the pizza version of cacio e pepe pasta. That got me excited. This is good. Especially loved the potato and pork bits.


Tiramisu, $5
Nothing noteworthy here.


Ice Cream Panino: salted chocolate biscotto, pistachios, mascarpone gelato, $7
This dessert was a little too interesting; innovative and unique, but gone wrong. It made me crave a chocolate chip cookie sandwich with vanilla bean ice cream, or something else really classic. The mascarpone/cheesy flavor didn't work with the salty and extremely crunchy cookie/biscotto. Ice cream sandwiches require chewy or softer cookies! Whether people are planning to eat with a fork or pick up to bite into, a crunchy cookie never makes things easy. We ended up with pistachio bits and cookie crumbs all over the table. 

Overall, everything was decent, but nothing blew me away. I probably wouldn't visit again. 

29 East 29th Street
New York, NY 10016
(212) 651-3800


Marta on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 3, 2014

Brunch at Rosemary's

Every single time I've walked by Rosemary's (usually weekend evenings), I've thought "I need to try this place sometime". The restaurant is beautiful and romantic, and prices are great-- this is a place where you can have a date for two with delicious pastas, appetizers, and drinks (no hard liquor here though), for $100 or less. That's hard to find in NYC. The only con is that Rosemary's does not accept reservations. If you're here for dinner, there's a wonderful bar, Whitehall just down the street, where service is good and specialty cocktails are hard to choose between. If you're trying to kill time while waiting for brunch at Rosemary's though, well, we went to Mighty Quinn's a few blocks away for some pre-brunch barbecue...

Rosemary's has a farm on the rooftop where they source some of their produce. I forgot to ask to go upstairs and see it. Next time!




The bright dining room with patches of sunlight flooding in.


Warm and cozy, with pretty white lights strung across the ceilings.


Five appetizers for $25: chickpeas with smoked onion, tomato; eggplant caponata; radishes, butter, salt, thyme; beets, dandelion, hazelnuts; cabbages, pecorino, chilis, almonds


Foccacia taleggio tartufi, $12
Warm, soft bread with black truffle and taleggio cheese? Dream come true. 


Rosemary's lemon fizz, lemonade, simple syrup, prosecco, $12
A delicious and light brunch cocktail 


Orecchiette with broccoli rabe, homemade sausage, chili, $15
One of the best pastas I've had in NYC. The al dente pasta, the kick from the chili, and the flavorful meat. A terrific dish that has me reminiscing all good pastas I've had (especially the ones from Rolf and Daughters in Nashville).


Stringhe di funghi, $15
Oyster mushroom, proscuitto, poached eggs
 As much as I love the orecchiette at Rosemary's, I'm such a big brunch person that it's hard for me to not order an egg dish. This was pretty disappointing though, and a few bites in, I was regretting not getting pasta! The oyster mushrooms were bland, the proscuitto was too fatty and greasy, and the potatoes were boring. Some rosemary or salt on would've added a nice touch!


Special of the day, Ravioli, $18


Lemon ricotta bombolini, $9; Affogato, $6
When we came for dinner a few weeks ago, we ordered two desserts (tiramisu and olive oil cake), and our server actually told us that because we didn't order his favorite dessert-- this bombolini, he would be giving it to us so we could try. So glad that happened. These small doughnuts are so fluffy, and the whipped hazelnut ricotta dip is positively addicting. They were served hot that night too, which made it even more amazing. At brunch it was just warm, but still very good! The affogato was very delicious too.

18 Greenwich Avenue (between Charles Street and 10th Street)
New York, NY 10011
(212) 647-1818
*No reservations

www.rosemarysnyc.com

Rosemary's on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 27, 2014

Brunch at Locanda Verde

Locanda Verde is one of my favorite restaurants in NYC. After visiting several times and posting about it last year, today's brunch made me want to talk about the restaurant again. It's that good.

The sheep's milk ricotta and fire-roasted garlic chicken are amazing, but definitely consider visiting for brunch (and getting the pancakes!) as well. Prices are a little high (most brunch dishes run between $17 to $24), but I believe there's pretty good value. I should probably admit that I do tend to love hotels and hotel restaurants though (namely Cafe Gitane in the West Village, Cafe Too at Island Shangri-La Hong Kong, and Next2 Cafe at Shangri-La Bangkok.

Locanda Verde accepts reservations, but since it was a last minute decision to drop by, we did have to wait around half an hour for a table of two (arrived at around 10:30am).


The heated little waiting area. A much-needed shelter from the wind today. Loved the fall decorations.


A section of the bright dining room


Complimentary olive foccacia
If only there were more green olives in this bread! So good.


Sheep's milk ricotta with truffle honey and burnt orange toast, $15
The most sublime ricotta ever. Fluffy, lightly salted, sweet, and topped with the herbs. Amazing.


Lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry and meyer lemon curd, $17
 These pancakes. OMG. They are as superb as the ones at Five Points (which sadly just renovated and re-opened as an Italian restaurant!), light, slightly grainy in texture, with blueberry flavors as strong as the lemon ones. 


Hazelnut-crusted French toast with citrus and mint, $18
A pretty French toast dish that was decent, but not spectacular. The citrus was a nice complement to the sweetness though.


Bloody mary della casa with Italian hot peppers, mortadella, $14
The only time going early to brunch works against you, is if you're trying to order an alcoholic beverage before noon on a Sunday! Completely forgot about this NY State law, so we ended up ordering one drink after finishing up with our food at noon. 
This bloody mary had the right spiciness to it, but was otherwise unimpressive. It was too thick and tasted like pure tomato juice.

377 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 925-3797


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