Tag Archives: Wine

Flex Mussels *****

 
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154 W 13th Street
New York, New York
212.229.0222

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If there is one food that I crave above all others, it is mussels. They can be prepared in a variety of ways, encompassing a broad range of flavors; from coconut curry Thai to classic French white wine garlic. There are mornings that I literally wake up and have a hankering for a steaming pot of mussels. Not cheerios….mussels.

Needless to say, if mussels are on the menu at a restaurant, I’m usually ordering them. And I have suffered dearly for this habitude, because lets face it, there are certain restaurants (i.e. Irish pubs) where you should NOT be ordering the shell fish. I know the bacon cheese burger is the safer bet, but I have no self-control and inevitably end up eating the mussels…..for better, for worse.

flex-mussels-13th-street

This weekend though, I had the opportunity to go to Flex Mussels, which is renowned in NYC for their fantastic pots of ornate and unique mussels…23 different types in all! You can imagine how difficult it was to choose only a couple to share with my friends and fellow diners, Sam & Sara. In fact, a third party observer would have thought this was one of the most difficult decisions of my life the way that I carefully weighed out each option, debating whether to go with the tried and true classics or branch out and go for the exotic.

Finally, after a quick pep talk with our server, we arrived at a game plan. We would order three different pots of mussels to share among the table along with some truffle fries. First we got an order of the Dijon Mussels made with dijon mustard, white wine, creme fraiche, and parsley ($19.50). These were by far my favorite of the three, and I made that known by locating the pot directly in front of me and my big fat fork. The broth was so good, I would consider it drinkable. The mustard brought forth a tangy and acidic flavor that was carefully balanced by the creaminess of the creme fraiche. And the chopped parsley was fresh and earthy.

thai-mussels-flex

Next we enjoyed the Fra Diavolo mussels made with San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil, fresh basil, crushed red pepper flakes, and garlic ($19.50). Sam insisted that we order this classic, and although I thought they were good, I probably would not order them when at Flex again. Instead, I would opt for a more complex broth when at the Mecca of mussels, and save the run-of-the-mill spicy red sauce for the amateurs. I will admit that the large chunks of crushed tomatoes were delightful on the fresh baked bread provided for dipping and dunking!

almond flex 016

Lastly, we recieved our order of the South Pacific Mussels, which were made with kaffir lime, cilantro, white wine, and lemongrass. I tried persuading Sam and Sara to order the Thai mussels instead, which were very similar to the South Pacific in flavor, but with the added richness of curried coconut milk. Unfortunately though, it was two against one and we ended up going with the lighter broth. I wasn’t crazy about these because the broth was too almost too light. There was nothing sticking to the the meat of the mussel. I hoarded the remaining dijon mussels while my eating companions picked at their mistake.

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Last but not least, I must review the truffle french fries which were served with a creamy aioli dipping sauce. They were really delicious and made a perfect accompaniment to dip in the mussel broth (especially the dijon….did I mention it was drinkable?).

Flex_Mussels_fries

I am looking forward to my next dinner at Flex and I will definitely be trying the Thai Mussels along with the Mediterranean which has shrimp, kalamata olives, fennel, lemon, anise, and oregano ($22.50)

Ohh and I almost forgot to mention the wine/cocktail selection, which is pretty reasonable for NY fine dining. My friends and I shared a bottle of the Vincent Dampt Chablis for only $54. The selection of wines was also fairly extensive, which is somewhat expected at a mussel-centric restaurant. I mean, what goes better with mussels than wine?!

…..besides crusty bread, of course!

Flex_Mussels_bread

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The Black Horse Tavern ****

215.579.6152
101 South State Street
Newtown, PA 18940

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Happy Hour--a time, usually between the hours of 6-8, when drinks are offered at reduced prices, encouraging co-workers to mingle outside of the office setting.

This is what Happy Hour used to be–back in the 1990′s when people had jobs and could afford to keeping purchasing cocktails long after the drink specials had ended. But with the unemployment rate ticking ever higher, the definition of Happy Hour is changing: it is no longer only a place for the over-worked to release steam, it is also a valuable networking tool for the unemployed to try to find work. And bar/restaurant owners are recognizing this paradigm shift caused by the economic recession, offering better drink prices, extending discounts to include menu items, and even beginning their Happy Hours earlier in the day (before the 9-5er’s are released from their cubicles).

As an unemployed college graduate (or stay-at-home-daughter, as I prefer to say), I recognize the valuable opportunity that Happy Hours provide for networking (and budgeting) and I try to make it out to one each week. Of course, I also need to vent my frustrations of failed interviews and wasted cover letters!

Right now my favorite Happy Hour hands-down is The Black Horse Tavern in Newtown. They do it all right:

  • Starts at 5 pm, ends at 7 pm (Mon-Sat)
  • $3 drafts, $4 wines, and $6 martinis
  • 1/2 price menu items
  • Trivia on Friday nights (for free drink prizes–I won one last week!)
  • Free bar food available during Happy Hour (usually their delicious flatbreads!)

In my opinion, it’s the best deal in town and like all good things, it draws a consistent crowd. Aka: If you get there after 5 pm expect to sip your delicious martini while standing! They have an extensive speciality martini list, but I recommend the Grapefruit Bubbling Cosmo with Ruby Red Vodka, Cointreau, Lime Juice, Cranberry Juice, all topped off with a splash of Champagne. It has a perfect blend of citrus without tasting artificial.

As far as bar food goes, YOU MUST GET THE TRUFFLE FRIES!!! They come topped with Parmesan Cheese and Belgian Aioli and they are to die for!

I also really like the flatbreads at this place. The Margarita is very simple but delicious made with fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, oregano, olive oil, and spicy marinara sauce. It’s tasty finger food that is easy to share, and I’ve got to admit that it is better than some of the pizza places I’ve tried in these neck of the woods.

Last but not least, I also tried the Caesar Salad with crisp hearts of romaine and a garlicky brioche crostini, dressed to perfection with a Caesar drizzle. It was a great portion for like $4, which is definitely recession-approved pricing!

Although I have only been to the Black Horse Tavern for Happy Hour, I hear from my neighbors that the kitchen also makes fabulous burgers and steaks for dinner. In fact, one of my neighbors said it was one of the best steaks that he has had in years (and this guy is a credible foodie in my book!).

Bottom line: if you are looking to avoid the rather pretentious cougar scene at La Stalla, and you want better bar grub than Isaac Newtons can offer, head to The Black Horse Tavern! You won’t be disappointed.

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Eataly in New York *****

200 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 229.2560

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Have you ever had the privilege of witnessing a child enter Disney World for the first time? You watch their face light up with joy, their little legs propelling them forward as quickly as possible, their eyes wide with excitement. Well add some intense hand gurning, and thats what I look like each time I enter Eataly Italian market. It is a Mecca for foodies–a specialty food market on steroids, with restaurants and cafes scattered throughout.

You can stand around high tables in the salumeria, enjoying a glass of wine expertly paired to compliment an assortment of specialty cheeses, or you can enjoy nibbling on  a freshly baked focaccia as you wait for your table at La Pizza & Pasta. And Lord knows you’ll have plenty of time to wash down several espressos at Cafe Vergnano, if you’re trying to get a table at the new rooftop birreria–the line to go up is longer than airport security at JFK. No, I’m not joking.

Sure, the market is expensive (and indeed touristy, as several other bloggers have observed), but it is undoubtedly worth the visit. Take it for what it is: an expensive dining experience in an avant-garde food theater. And on that note, I shall walk you through my Eataly experience this past weekend, beginning in the Salumeria with a nice glass of red wine (Italian, of course!).

After adapting to the circus like environment of Eataly, my friends and I gathered around a hightop table in the salumeria and ordered a platter sampling the selection of cured meats and cheeses. The cheese assortment included: a creamy ricotta, a strong parmigiano regiano, a pungent taleggio, a sweet gorgonzola, and a cacio de Roma. My personal favorites were the taleggio and the ricotta, which paired beautifully with the fresh fig and orange segments accompanying the plate. The meats we tried included: delicious mortadella cubes, 14-month aged prosciutto de Parma, and sweet & spicy coppa and sopressata. The prosciutto de parma was hands down the highlight of the plate–delicate and salty.

Next we headed over to La Pizza, where Neapolitan natives are firing up the kind of pizza that God would make if he were having dinner guests. And the gold-tiled ovens certainly add to the ethereal effect:

Photo taken by Adam Kuban from Serious Eats

I decided to go all out and order the most expensive pizza on the menu, which would be the Fru Fru Pizza coming in at a total cost of $22 (a price that you can somehow justify after the first bite!). For indecisive people, like myself, who can’t chose just one pizza on the menu, the Fru Fru offers a small sampling of three different topping combinations: (1) dollops of sweet ricotta cheese with cooked ham (no sauce); (2) aged mozzarella cheese with tomato sauce; and (3) delicious Parma ham with arugula and parmigiano reggiano shavings. It looks like this:

My favorite of the three, you ask? Probably the ricotta and ham because of the contrasting salty and sweet flavors (but the pizza crust is really the star of this dish!).

Two of my friends ordered the Quattro Formaggi with a mixture of gorgonzola, pecorino romano, mozzarella, and parmigiano reggiano cheeses. This is supposed to be served as a white pizza, but one of my friends also ordered it with tomato sauce and it was none-the-less delicious. You can feast your eyes on the white one:

And then of course someone at the table had to be a plain Jane and order the classic Margarita Pizza with tomato sauce, slices of fresh mozzarella, basil, and a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil. I know there is something to be appreciated about the flavor of a few quality ingredients, but I like to live a little with my pizza toppings!! Like everything else at Le Pizza and Pasta though, it was amazing!

Most people would be throwing in the napkin by now, but not me! Sufficiently pregammed with my pizza appetizer, I decided to order a plate of Tagliatelli al Ragu di Manzo, which is a hearty (and rich) braised short rib ragu over homemade pasta. The pasta is cooked to perfection–just tough enough to stick to your tooth a little (the definition of Al dente). And the braised meat is so tender that it falls apart at the mere prodding of your fork. The dish is quite heavy given the nature of the sauce and the weight of the pasta, but it is every bit savory and delicious. I would highly recommend this pasta (as long as  you have already tried the pizza!).

So until next time, Eataly, Arrivederci!!!

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La Brigada ***

Estados Unidos 465
San Telmo, Buenos Aires
(+54) 11 4361.5557

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Lets face it, you’re going to get a good piece of steak no matter where you decide to eat in BA (I would honestly consider beef the cultural glue here…like music is to New Orleans). But if you’re on the hunt for the absolute best parrilla in terms of atmosphere, service, and quality of food–as most visiting tourists are–then you will certainly stumble across the name La Brigada at some point in your search (albeit be on Google, at  your hotel concierge, or local word of mouth).

Located in the heart of San Telmo and filled with gaucho/futbol memorabilia (all Boca, of course!), La Brigada is considered a major contender for the title of best parrilla in Buenos Aires, competing alongside Cabana las Lilas, Don Julio, and La Cabrera, just to name a few. One unique feature that has helped to set La Brigada apart from the rest, is that they serve the steak by cutting it with a spoon–a testament to its tenderness. Naturally, upon hearing word of this, I went to witness it myself!

The atmosphere of the place is very old-school, not dingy in any way, but broken in (as all well-loved things are). Images of cows and futbol players hang side-by-side on the walls, and crisp white linens and shiny crystal glasses adorn the tables. Upon entry, you will submit your senses to the heavenly and pungent aroma of steak, which will have you smacking your lips in anticipation of your meal. Cue the ordering frenzy!

My friends and I started our dinner off with a nice bottle of Rutini Malbec and then embarked on the delicious and abundant bread basket. Next we shared an order of Provoleta, which is a wedge of provolone cheese gilled in a cast iron skillet until it turns a delicious golden color at the edges. The provoleta was served nice and hot, and I thought it was very tasty. Although, I must admit I tend to like mine with a little more “umph.” You know, sautéed onions, peppers, and herbs (I acknowledge that it’s not traditional, but I am a modern and progressive 22-year old).

Next we ordered a simple Mixed Green Salad with Tomatoes and Onions, tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. A salad is a salad, need I say more?

Now we get to the stuff that really matters…..the STEAK! My friend and I decided to share the whopping 30-ounce Baby Beef (mainly because this is the cut rumored to be served with a spoon…I’m a sucker for presentation) and it was enormous! Note: The portion below is on my half of the steak!

Unfortunately though, they did NOT cut it with a spoon. Not my meat, not no ones, which was a rather big disappointment. The quality of the beef, however, was incredible. It was a couple of inches thick, with just the right amount of marbled fat, and it was cooked to perfection. I asked for it medium and it actually came out medium (this is to say as American’s would define medium). I have found in Buenos Aires that they often overcook the meat, so to see red drippings on the plate when I finished was a refreshing change.

Two of my other friends ordered the Bife de Lomo in Peppercorn Sauce, which was an absolute disaster. The peppercorn sauce had some sort of metallic aftertaste (almost inedible) and the steak was completely overdone, despite their requests for medium-rare temperature. A french chef would have been appalled seeing a steak with absolutely no red hue. In fact, it was so bad that neither of them finished their meals. And it is this inconsistency between a fabulous steak and a horrendous steak that leaves La Brigada with just 3 out of 5 stars.

The Potatoes au Gratin (or shall i say, Batatas a Gratinada) were fantastic though!!! They were creamy, and cheesy, and probably my favorite part of the meal. They came as an unexpected complimentary side to the Bife de Lomo, but were large enough to share among the entire table. Likewise, the French Fries were also very tasty!

My other friend (already a getting a little tired of beef), decided to order the Chicken Parmesan (or Milanesa Suprema Napolitana de Pollo). Given the size (which you can see below), she  was able to spare me a couple of bites and I thought it was delicious. I wouldn’t normally order chicken at a well known steakhouse, but I was impressed by the dish.

Last but not least, we ordered a Creme Brûlée  and round ofcafe con leches for dessert. The creme brûlée was spot on and a perfect way to end our meal.

Overall, I would be willing to give La Brigada another chance because half of the meal was great, but I do prefer La Cabrera and Cabana las Lilas as it stands right now (and I plan to try Don Julio this coming week to make my final judgement!).

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Cumana *****

Rodríguez Pena 1149
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Recoleta
001 4813 9207

As I mentioned in the previous post, Ariana and I have become ¨regulars¨ at La Cholita–frequenting the restuarant at least once a week to get our parrilla fix. But we aren´t the only one´s in BA that know about the deals to be had there, so there is often times a wait to get in (get there after 10 O´clock, and you´re not leaving until 1 or 1:30…no, I´m not joking). Luckily, right next door is a resturant called Cumana. It is the same price point as La Cholita, and the food is equally as delicious, but the menu offers a completely different selection of Argentine cuisine. Rather than parrilla, Cumana serves up food typical of the Northern region of the country, including homemade cazuelas, pizzas, calzones, empanadas, and potato dishes. Most people show up with the intentions of eating at either La Cholita or Cumana, but inevitably put down their name for both once they see the crowds waiting outside. Pretty much, which ever restaurant can accomodate the party first wins. Nobody goes home upset!

Inside Cumana, you will find an equally mixed crowd of locals and tourists. The locals come becasue the prices are unbeatably cheap, and the tourists come to sample a wide variety of the delicious cazuelas, which are thick and hearty stews served in lerge clay vessels. They come out steaming hot, and they never seem to cool off…you will still be blowing on the last spoonful (if you can even manage to eat that much of these filling casseroles, of course!) Some of the cazuelas are simply legumes, others include meats such as chorizo and beef, and then of course there are those that offer a mixture of vegetable and meat. My favorite cazuela at Cumana is the one with Lentejas y Chorizo (lentils and sausage). The menu simply reads Cazuela de Lentejas, but the Chorizo is a delcious surprise that adds a nice smoky flavor to the dish. The lentils are cooked to a tender perfection and the meal overall is like a hug in your belly.

I also hear that the Cazuela al Pastor is incredible, although I have never gone to Cumana hungry enough to tackle the dish myself. The waiter described it almost like a Sheppard´s Pie, layered with hearty ground beef, mashed potatoes, and cheese. Again, this is all baked and served in a large clay pot (it is on my list of things to eat in the very near future!). When I don´t order the Cazuelas de Lentejas, I go for the Locro–a thick soup made with beans, potatoes, squash, ham, and chorizo. It is like Pasta Fagiole on steriods, and without a doubt a ¨stick to your ribs¨ kind of meal. Although the locro is very delicious at Cumana, I must be honest an admit that there is one better at La Cocina on the corner of Puerrydon and Santa Fe (the review is coming soon!).

If your craving more than soup, I highly, highly, highly, recommend the pizza and calzones at Cumama. There is some special ingredient that they use, which makes the flavor of the pizza very unique. I can´t figure out if it is an herb, or if it is special cheese, or what. I am a pretty good food detetctive when it comes to identifying ingredients, but they have me absolutely stumped. Normally, I would ask the waiter for the secret, but given the language barrier, I am left to wonder. I like the Rucola Pizza with Fresh Sliced Tomato, Cured Ham, Mozarella, Tomato Sauce, and Oregano. It is salty, gooey, goodness. The calzones are also enourmous and look amazing (definitely enough for two people to share).

If you´re looking to eat soemthing I little lighter, as I was the other night, it´s not gonna happen here. I ordered the Ensalada de Cumana thinking that the vegetables would be healthy, but the salad came out in an enourmous baked bread bowl, topped with gobbs of mayonnaise. All of my biggest ordering errors in Argentina have involved salad and salad dessings. The menu will often read; ¨vinaigrette a la casa,¨ ¨ceasar dressing, and ¨dressing especialidad.¨ But do not be fooled….these are just synonyms for disguising the word mayonnaise. And not a drizzle of mayonnaise, an overwhelming heaping of it (see photo below). The moral of the story; order your salad plain and ask for a side of oil and vinegar. Otherwise, you might as well have just ordered the fattiest steak on the menu. Of course, once I removed the top layer of mayo covered lettuce, the salad was delicious. But I hate having to operate on my food before it becomes edible.

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La Cholita *****

Rodriguez Peña 1165
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Recoleta
11 4815 4506

I’ve only been in Buenos Aires for about three weeks now, but I am eating my way through this city at an almost unstoppable rate. Since I am currently living in a hostel, the kitchen situation is less than ideal (toaster oven = only oven), forcing me to venture out for about two meals a day. But hey, I’m not complaining!

I am doing the Buenos Aires food scene like a true Porteno, and getting in touch with my carnivorous side. It’s bife de lomo, bife de chorizo, vacio, morcilla, and salchicha for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Ohh, and don’t forget the Malbec! I thought I would be sick of it by now, but something tells me I’ll develop gout before I tire out of this good steak and wine.

Unlike my previous travels this summer, which I treated like a vacation in terms of budget (aka no budget), I am now living in Buenos Aires–this is not a vacation. And since I will be working for pesos, I need to think of spending in pesos. Naturally, this equates to a budget.  I’ve pretty much eliminated every expense that is unrelated to eating and drinking (so no more new shoes or unnecessary beauty treatments), and I’ve begun exhaustively hunting for the best food deals in the city. But just because I am on a budget, doesn’t mean I am compromising the quality of my meals. I won’t give a restaurant a good review just because the food is dirt cheap. Personally, I’d rather eat Ramen Noodles at home 5 nights a week to enjoy 1 good meal out than a bunch of cheap meals.

Fortunately though, I have found La Cholita–an incredible parrilla in Recoleta with big portions and even better prices. I’ve dinner here at least twice a week since I have been in Buenos Aires because it truly is the best bang for your buck. I recommend the Provoleta Completa (28 pesos) to start, which is a cast iron skillet with baked provolone cheese, topped with onions, oregano, tomato, and a drizzle of olive oil. Baked cheese, need I say more? I also love the Salchicha Parrillera (14 pesos), which is a very flavorful grilled sausage wrapped in a coil and secured with a skewer. It is awesome, and doesn’t have the fatty texture of most other sausages. Both of these make great appetizers for the table to share, and I highly recommend sharing at parrillas because they are generous with the portions.

As far as meat goes, the Bife de Lomo (55 pesos) is my favorite because it is the most tender and the least fatty. The plate comes with two huge pieces of meat, a side of french fries, and mashed calabaza (which is a cross between a sweet potato and a pumpkin, in my opinion). I also like the Bife de Chorizo (53 pesos), again large enough to share, and served with the same sides.

If you aren’t in the mood for steak though, La Cholita also happens to have some of the best Chicken Quesadillas (32 pesos) that I have ever had. They come served with guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, a fresh side salad, and french fries. I was eery to order them at first (considering I was at a steak place), but they turned out to be amazing and I order them often. I also suggest the Suprema Milanga de Pollo Napolitana (36 pesos), which is an obnoxiously large piece of chicken fried to golden perfection, and then baked with tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella cheese. It is accompanied by a serving of french fries and it is a belly buster to finish.

If you are looking for something on the lighter side, a rather difficult task in Argentina, then I recommend the Ensalada la Cholita, which is a bed of mixed greens topped with mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, diced peppers, and a large piece of chicken palliard.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to eat you way into a food coma, I suggest the Parrilla para Dos, which is an enormous sizzling hot-plate of mixed grilled meats. Here is a glimpse of what you will get:

Ohh, and the house wine is dirt cheap and a HUGE pour! So far this is my favorite casual dinner spot in Buenos Aires. Great steak, great prices, and big portions, and big pours.  Love it!

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{ Do It Yourself Sangria }

In the spirit of all this Spanish food blogging, I have decided to post a DYI Sangria recipe. This is NOT my own recipe, but I think it is better than any of the other ones that I have made in the past. Therefore, I will humble myself and post the better recipe for you, which was created by our family friend, Tara Green. The nice thing about this particular sangria recipe is that it isn’t too strong, so you can enjoy it throughout duration of the evening (without needing a foot on the floor at bedtime). After my recent trip to Barcelona, I am pretty cautious when it comes to the potency of Sangria–the bartender at Taller de Tapas had me singing “La Vida Loca” after just one glass!

This recipe is easy to make, but the key to making any sangria truly delicious is patience. The drink originated in coastal Spain centuries ago to make young and bitter wines more palatable. So the longer the wine soaks with the fruit and juice, the better the drink tastes (especially the case when using cheaper wines!!). If you’re making it for a party, then make it the day before so all of the flavors develop. Tara allows at least 8 hours for this recipe to sit in the refrigerator, but suggests 24 if you think far enough in advance. Also, remember that the fruit needs to soak in the rum in one container and the wine and fruit juice need to soak in another container before they are combined for serving!

{ Ingredients }

  • 2 bottles of red wine (Merlot or Cabernet)
  • 3 cups of peach/mango/orange juice divided
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of pineapple rum (or pineapple coconut – Malibu)
  • Diced fresh fruit; any combination of kiwi, pineapple, peach, pear, apple, orange, lemon, and strawberries

{ To Make SangriaCombine the wine with the 2 cups of the fruit juice and sugar. Cover and let refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours, preferably 24.

Dice up the fruit and combine with the rum and remaining 1 cup of fruit juice. Cover and refrigerate minimum of 8 hours, preferably 24.

To serve, combine the fruit and rum mixture with the wine mixture and stir.

**If you want to make the sangria less intense, then you can strain and add the fruit, discarding the rum. On the other hand, if you want to give your Sangria an extra kick and a nice final note, you can top it off with a splash of club soda or sparkling wine (Cava is great!).

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Le Bilboquet *****

212.751.3036
25 East 63rd Street, New York 10021
(Between Madison and Park Ave)
 
 

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[food coma (n): the feeling of listlessness, bordering on sleep, that one feels after eating a large meal, often caused by a rush of blood to the stomach and intestines during food digestion.]

Ohh Le Bilboquet…There is just so much to say about this tiny French Bistro, which is packed with a big French attitude.  We all know that a certain level of animosity exists between the French and, as they would say, “Filthy Americans,” but Le Bilboquet proves that you don’t have to be in France to experience it!  The wait staff (all French…of course) are a group of beautiful (and arrogant) young men, who seem inconvenienced that they even have to take your order.  Essentially, you have to call them over for everything and this past time my boyfriend even caught himself saying, “Excuse me sir, can we place our order?”  That’s right, the customer asking the waiter if they can be served!!! A little backwards, no? Of course the supermodel looking man then put down his Sunday paper and came out from behind the bar to take our order, but it just feels weird.  Ohh and if you have questions about the menu, which of course is all in French, don’t expect much help from the wait staff…I asked if they had tuna tartar and he was like “of course, don’t you see it right here on the menu?!” (pointing to something in French, while making me feel uncultured at the same time).

At this point, you’re probably thinking that I messed up my star rating because all that I have done is complain…but Le Bilboquet does in fact deserve five stars because the FOOD IS INCREDIBLE!  The reality is that this place would not be packed with American patrons if it did not serve delicious food.  I always order the Cajun Chicken, which is actually orgasmic.  It is served in a delicious peppery butter sauce and is sliced down into small pieces, making it easy to eat.  Ohh and there are no bones, which is a major plus in my opinion. It is served with a small mixed green salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette and some of the most amazing french fries I have ever tasted.  The fries at the bottom of the pile soak up some of the buttery Cajun sauce and WOW, eating those is an experience!  I have also had the ceasar salad, which is very delicious.  However, the Cajun Chicken is a must have and even better, it is a huge portion!!

So, if you walk into this place and find yourself annoyed by the arrogant wait staff and the difficult to read menu, DON’T LEAVE!!  Just order the Poulet Cajun and I promise you won’t even be able to put down your fork to complain.  When the food comes at Le Bilboquet, the table (no matter what size) goes quiet until everyone has finished their plates.  Then to pull yourself out of the inevitable food coma, order a cappuccino or espresso (the cappuccino is amazing!!) and resume your table talk.

The prices are high (Cajun Chicken is $27), but the food quality can demand such a price in my opinion.

I have only ever been to Le Bilboquet for lunch, and the crowd ranges from youthful to elderly.  Lots of people getting dropped off in character town cars and as New York Magazine says, tons of “trust fund women with their little dogs.”  However, I have heard that the dinner scene is quite different and much more youthful because the restaurant plays loud “club music,” which makes conversations difficult. I’m young and that doesn’t appeal to me, so I will probably stick to lunches there!

Bon Appetitte!

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