Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Restaurant Week 2014: Il Mulino

It's that time of the year again! Restaurant Week in NYC started on July 21st, and runs through August 15. Three courses for lunch is $25 and dinner is $38 (before tax and tip).

Make sure to register your American Express card to get $5 back with a minimum spend of $25 at a participating restaurant.

After trying Il Mulino for the first time last year during restaurant week, I fell in love. All the complimentary pre-meal appetizers were delicious, and each dish was better than the next. The classic Italian restaurant is not bright in the dining room and does have wallpaper plastered everywhere, but it does offer a great balance between stuffy Italian restaurants and the trendy newer restaurants popping up on the scene lately.

The downside of restaurant week is that sometimes participating restaurants leave off their popular dishes from the prix fixe menu, or specifically feature lower priced dishes. Not the case at Il Mulino, and I'm glad that the quality of food and service this time was just as great as my last visit.


The classic Italian restaurant also has locations in the flatiron and upper east side.


Toasted focaccia with olive oil and rosemary, as well as white and wheat breads.


Zucchini ribbons with chili pepper flakes. So tasty.


Bruschetta with a little mussel. The tomato was incredibly fresh.

First Course:


Short rib ravioli with butter and sage
All four of us ordered this for an appetizer. Each ravioli was filled with short rib, and so flavorful. I couldn't get enough of the sauce.

Second Course:


Chicken martini with parmesan crust, white wine and lemon
I've never met a cheese dish I didn't like, and this is now one of my very favorites. The cheese, the unbelievably tender chicken, and the citrusy sauce made for a perfect protein. Delicious.


Veal marsala with mushrooms and a marsala wine sauce
Not as tender as the chicken, but very good as well. 

Third Course:


Poached Pear
The sweetest pear with fresh cream


Flourless Chocolate Cake
Rich, moist, and not too sweet. The perfect ending to this meal.

86 West 3rd Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 673-3783




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For the complete list of participating restaurants: nycgo.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Back in NYC...

I recently returned from a wonderful trip home to see the family, and I must say, I'd forgotten just how relentless the heat and humidity in Hong Kong could feel. The last time I was in HK during the summer was 4 years ago before I moved to NYC. Although I am missing everyone and especially Mollyboo so very much, I have been gifted with beautifully coolish summer weather in NYC!

Now on to more interesting things than the weather...


Handmade noodles in the spiciest soup at Cafe Too.


The mango souffle at Cafe Too-- the fluffiest, most amazing dessert. 
My grandma claims that she's not a dessert person, but managed to finish this off while I was still working on my chocolate banana crepe.


The incredible spread of lobster claws and crab legs.
Isola is still my favorite Italian restaurant in HK.


Hainan chicken with chicken broth rice and soup at American Club.
I requested 2 more ginger sauces because it was so addictive.

'Till next time, Hong Kong!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place

Earlier this month, Hudson Eats, a new and beautiful food hall opened down in Financial District. After checking out the place for a Saturday lunch this past weekend, we went back the next day for Sunday lunch as well. This food hall makes me incredibly happy, and not only because it's a 12 minute walk from my apartment.


High ceilings, huge windows, and plenty of seating. Great for families, groups, and also solitary diners.


Jersey City/Hudson water views from our table.


Black Seed Bagels, where the hugely popular wood-fired bagels are sold.


Num Pang sandwich shop. I need to download their rewards app because this will undoubtedly become a frequent dining stop for me.


Their signature Pulled Duroc Pork with spiced honey sandwich. 
A sort of gourmet version of a banh mi sandwich. Smaller and more expensive, but also good enough to justify the $8.50 price tag. The soft and fatty pork belly, the slices of apple, the abundance of shredded carrots, and so much good sauce. Yum.


Mighty Quinn's, aka the best barbecue in NYC. 


The melt-in-your-mouth brisket and pulled pork.


Tartinery had a big display of pastries and appealing breakfast options. Definitely planning to try this out sometime.


Here is the full list of the eateries (not all are opened yet).

If only Los Tacos No. 1 opened a branch at Hudson Eats, then I really would have no reason to ever leave the financial district on weekends.

Brookfield Place, 2nd Floor
225 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10281
(212) 417-7000

www.brookfieldplaceny.com/content/dining/current-27521


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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Prix-Fixe Lunch at Soba-ya

I am a big fan of prix-fixe lunches. The affordability, the numerous courses/dishes included, and the fact that it's lunch, which means there is the rest of the day to digest and work off the big meal.

My favorite prix-fixe lunch at the moment is Perry St, and although the quality of food and service are not on par with Perry St, I did find Soba-ya to be a very enjoyable experience, with decent choices and great value.

Lunch sets here range from $14 to $16, and include options such as chicken katsu don, tuna sashimi, and broiled eel. All come with cold or hot noodles.


The restaurant does not take reservations, but we were lucky enough to walk into a pretty empty dining room at 1:30pm on a Friday.


Tamago, $7
Soft and delicious. After watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi, it's hard to go to a Japanese restaurant and not order this.



Salmon sashimi and salmon roe set over rice, $14
Each set comes with hot or cold soba noodles. I've always loved the variety of fish that comes with chirashi, but I do find that I'm always wishing there was more salmon. Because of that, I went for this salmon bowl. The quality was decent but not consistent; some bites were slightly chewy, some were extremely fresh and easy to tear apart. At $14 though, I do think that this is still a great set for the price.


The soba was delicious. The noodles had a perfect chewiness to them, and the broth was light but flavorful.

229 East 9th Street (between 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 533-6966

www.sobaya-nyc.com


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