Located in the heart of the Lower East Side in the Bowery Hotel, Gemma has a rustic, Italian trattoria-like interior and is delightfully cozy. Gemma offers a great wine list, imported burrata cheeses, and a wood fired pizza oven. While I must say there are much better Italian restaurants around (think L'Artusi
), I would surely go back for wine and their truffled polenta fries; and stick with apps versus mains.
We ordered the Quattro Formaggio pizza which was decent, and the Orecchiette pasta with spicy sausage and broccoli rabe which was not worth $17. The tables next to us ordered a series of appetizers and salumi and formaggi and I think that's the right way to go at Gemma. They also have an enticing list of antipasti and salads, including Arancini, Y
ellowfin Tuna Tartare, Black Mission Figs with Prosciutto and Goat cheese and Shaved Fennel with Pink Grapefruit.
Their burrata was amazing, and the Special of the night included prosciutto, micro arugula, artichokes and pesto.
With over 3,000 reviews on Yelp it wasn't much of a question of if
the soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai would be good. But I have been dying to try them for myself, and I am happy to report that they are wonderful. They are the most authentic you are gonna get on the island of NY, and the most famous spot for them. Stick with the pork dumplings as they are more flavorful than the crab.
We also tried the beef and broccoli and pan fried noodles which were good, but next time I go, I'm ordering the pork soup dumplings as my main! Make sure you poke a hole in the dumpling before indulging or you'll risk burning yourself and you are going to need each and every last taste bud working for these babies. In addition to their Chinatown location, they have another Joe's uptown on 56th.
The soup dumplings at RedFarm
are comparable, but you can't get more authentic then the ones at Joe's Shanghai.
OTB has a certain allure that I have yet to experience in any other bar. They have mastered ambiance, interior, mixology, a great dinner menu, and the best wings I have ever had.
The same dudes behind the Post Office whiskey bar have opened this glorious space whose name stands for 'Off Track Betting', hence all the horse themed novelties, and a very impressive cocktail and spirit list. Their cocktails are separated into 2 categories: Classic and Modern. Be sure to try the 'Bees-Knees' off the Classic List. It's made with Dorothy Parker Gin, fresh lemon juice and honey. Another standout: the 'Ruby Rum' off their Modern list, made with El Dorado Rum, fresh grapefruit juice, aperol and homemade mint syrup, shaken and served over crushed ice. They also make a solid Old Fashioned and Margarita. All cocktails are well-priced too, for just 10 bucks.
Kyle wasn't in an oyster mood, so I got oysters for 1. They were tiny but mighty and oh so delicious, and I WILL be back on a Monday for their $1 oysters served all night. Their wings are by far and away the best I have ever had. You can get them grilled or fried (fried, duh) and the spicy sauce will change your life.
Next time: I would skip the French Onion Soup and Mussels (both were decent, but the soup a tad too sweet, and the mussels were tiny and I didn't care for their Thai Basil broth, which I'm usually a fan of). Their burger, however, was amazing. And did I mention the wings?
The service was friendly and attentive, and I appreciated how every dish we ordered from appetizers to mains was perfectly staggered and not rushed. OTB is the kind of place I want to keep a secret, but you South-siders will discover it soon enough. Cheers!
PT is everything you have ever been looking for in an Italian restaurant. Authentic food, reasonable prices, and large pours of wine. “The kind of place you’d want to stumble upon after returning from a trip to Italy" - New
, and I couldn't have said it better myself. PT also offers a daily happy hour with half price appetizers and wine, and $1 oysters on Wednesday. Go on a Wednesday for the best of both worlds.
The best thing here: Their linguini with lobster. Now quickly get the image of a small portion of over priced pasta and five tiny pieces of skimpy lobster out of your head. PT does it right, with a 1.5 pound whole lobster over a plate of glorious al dente linguini with homemade spicy marinara, claw n' all. It's amazing. The lobster is succulent and the pasta is fresh and cooked to al dente perfection.
Be sure to try to calamari, and any of their appetizers. My favorite is the Caprese (the mozzarella is so fresh), and Carciofi, grilled artichokes with home made sausage and parmigiano. The pork shoulder and saffron risotto special they had one night was also phenomenal...
Best part of this place, is after indulging and leaving stuffed and happily tipsy on vino, the bill won't cost you more than $50 a person max.Shout out to my good friend, Corinne from Brooklyn Munch for taking me here and introducing me to a piece of Italian heaven right here in Williamsburg.
PT website: www.konstphoto.com
PT website: www.konstphoto.com
DuMont burger will cure all: a burger craving, good bar food and beers, or a hangover. Their burgers are delicious, and so is their mac n' cheese. They have outdoor seating perfect for good weather and Williamsburg people watching. Their burgers are nothing out of the ordinary, but a well executed good old fashioned cheeseburger with a heaping pile of fries. (Swap the regular fries for truffle fries). And while you are there and already being ultra healthy... order the mac n' cheese. It is the epitome of comfort food and is loaded with crispy, smokey bacon.
DuMont Burger has a decent beer list as well as cocktails. A bit overpriced, but a good Williamsburg spot. If you prefer to stay in Manhattan, head to The Brindle Room in the East Village. It is my all time favorite burger spot.
Growing up ice cream was a treat. It wasn't always readily available in our freezer like most of my friends who ate ice cream most nights post dinner. And thus I blame my love of ice cream and wanting it mostly every night on that. Or maybe just because it's just so delicious. Either way, Steve's is bomb. And it's local.
My new favorite: Fresh strawberry ice cream swirled with ricotta. Steve's also makes a New Orleans style coffee ice cream swirled with donuts (YUP, donuts in your ice cream), blackberry with wildflower honey, and Brooklyn Blackout made with chocolate ice cream, cake pieces and chocolate pudding, just to name a few. Find this gem in a grocery store nearest YOU!
My other favorites on the subject of ice cream: Starbuck's Java Chip, Ben & Jerry's Cake Batter, and Talenti Mediterranean Mint.
Rosamunde's is great for several reasons. It's a craft beer bar. And sausage grill. They offer beer flights, a huge selection of craft beer on tap, happy hour, trivia on Sunday, and is open late night. And, they have the best garlic-spicy mayo ever to accompany your fries.
This past Sunday we went to grab a beer, turned flights (mine were all pumpkin!), pre-dinner fries and ended up staying for trivia. And if you like sausage and peppers, make a night of it or stop by late-night for a grilled sausage sandwich. Their cheddar bratwurst with grilled onions and hot peppers is the best.
I discovered that Kambi is the same restaurant as the renowned Minca, after
we spent an hour waiting at Minca in the LES the Friday before. The following Friday, we went to Kambi; 1 block and approximately 3 minutes from my apartment, with no wait. Needless to say, I am now on a Kambi kick. Minca and Kambi share owners and the same menu, and our experience at both were delicious. Minca is the original, but Kambi is more spacious and conveniently located.
The spicy miso ramen is the way to go. The broth is savory, dreamy, a bit peanut-y and not too spicy. The pork is fatty but adds a lot of flavor. You can opt for chicken which I tried tonight and enjoyed, though served cold. The ramen bowl comes with corn, a hard boiled egg, seaweed, bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms and lots of ramen noodles. Also, be sure order gyoza as an appetizer. The pork is pictured above (photo by the wonderful Alyssa Olans). The shrimp is just as good. I also like their radish salad with peanut dressing.And in case you were wondering, yes, they have beer, sake and wine. Two weekends in a row (and again tonight) make it a NY exception. Fun Fact: Tsukemen (pictured above) is dipping style. I ordered it tonight. It's more fun.
Dinner Lab is a new way to dine out featuring 3 things: an interesting space, a talented chef and a group of strangers.
'Good people, good food and good drinks'. The location varies (think pop up shop), as well as the chef, and drinks are included. I love the concept of Dinner Lab because it turns dinner into a night you'll never forget. I'm currently on the NY wait list and I'm sure after watching this video
you will want to be too. Read on
if you are as obsessed as I am.
Beauty and Essex is a New York dining experience.
Enter through an old school pawn shop into a gorgeous space with a skylights and chandeliers, with a modern sleek interior. Beauty and Essex is sexy New York, and incredibly trendy with even the ladies room serving complimentary champagne. Beauty and Essex, like it's sister restaurant -- The Stanton Social
, specializes in creative American small plates with ethnic fusions. The flavors are bold, and anything you get here will be great. Their drink menu is impressive and delightful. My favorite was their Emerald Gimlet made with Grey Goose, basil, lemon nectar, and fresh lime -- perfect infusion of basil in a cocktail.
We ordered 8 plates, shared among 5 people. The Chicken Meatballs were the most memorable, served with sheep's milk ricotta, wild mushroom and truffle. The oven braised meatballs, are cooked to tender meatball perfection. The ricotta adds a creamy, rich dimension of flavor and the mushrooms and truffles take things to the next level.
The Grilled Cheese Dumplings are Beauty and Essex's signature dish. This plate comes with 6 spoons filled with creamy tomato soup and a grilled cheese dumpling with smoked bacon. I'll let you be the judge if these, or the French Onion Soup Dumplings at The Stanton Social are better. I loved the Tuna Tacos served with micro cilantro, radish, and wasabi kewpie. The tuna was fresh, the wasabi sauce was deliciously spicy, tucked into a petite wonton taco shell. The Whipped Ricotta on crostini was another highlight, served with grilled peaches, chilis, basil, and honey. Fresh and light, the combination of grilled peaches and ricotta is genius and even more so when served on crispy bread enhanced with the spicy flavors of chili, the sweetness of honey, and freshness of basil.
We stepped outside of our comfort zone and experimented with the Roasted Bone Marrow served with a rioja braised shallot marmalade, sea salt, micro arugula and crostini. This dish was the talk of the night as half our table was repulsed by what was before them. I enjoyed it and I was especially impressed by how artfully plated bones
could actually be...
Other menu items we tried and loved: Grilled Asparagus with lemon and truffle vinaigrette, Lobster Mac & Cheese with sicilian style bread crumbs, The Stanton Social's Chipotle Grilled Shrimp with tomatillo and feta relish and the Beer Battered Lobster Tacos with red cabbage slaw and poblano crema.
And be sure to leave room for dessert. We got the Black Bottomed Butterscotch Pot De Creme with coconut chantilly, Molten Chocolate Bread Pudding with hazelnut ice cream and the Box Of Doughnuts with vanilla beignets stuffed with chocolate hazelnut creme and raspberry jam. The Box of Doughnuts are awesome. It was a memorable night at Beauty and Essex and I can't wait to dine again. Until then, I'll be dreaming about that basil cocktail and chicken meatballs.