Afternoon at the Pub

March 20, 2013

It’s been awhile since I’ve stayed in my own neighborhood, but this past weekend I decided to venture uptown to Five Lamps Tavern. Located in close proximity to Columbia University, this whole area is buzzing with great places. While their food is pretty standard pub fare, they have an impressive craft beer list, and fantastic back garden space. Although the snow stopped us from a seat at the picnic table, next time around I’m hoping for more spring-like temps.

Sliders

Sliders

Corned Beef

Corned Beef

Beer flights including Third Shift Amber Lager, Radeberger to name a couple

Beer flights including Third Shift Amber Lager and Radeberger to name a couple

Back garden area

Back garden area

 

 

The Heart of Winter

February 15, 2013

Last weekend we saw our first significant snowfall in awhile. There’s nothing quite like waking up on a Saturday morning and venturing through the neighborhood as the sledders, skiers and snowshoers come out and transform Central Park into a great outdoor adventure. Feeling a bit lazy by the afternoon, I pulled together a meal for the apartment to enjoy thanks to Zabars. It included a couple pastas to warm us up– pesto and three cheese with mushrooms, our favorite rosemary bread with sun-dried tomato tofu spread and a side of asparagus.

Sun-dried tomato tofu spread

Sun-dried tomato tofu spread

Pesto pasta and asparagus

Pesto pasta and asparagus

Rosemary Bread

Rosemary Bread

Three cheese and mushroom pasta

Three cheese and mushroom pasta

 

Pesto pasta

Pesto pasta

Upper West Side

Upper West Side

Rosemary bread with sun-dried tomato tofu spread

Rosemary bread with sun-dried tomato tofu spread

 

 


 


 

 

Shake Shack

February 3, 2013

If you’re in New York and craving some fast food, you should make a stop at one of the quintessential burger joints of the city, Shake Shack. The other day I opted for their Smoke Shack burger– including cheese, applewood smoked bacon and peppers. About to get a milkshake for dessert, once I laid eyes on the Mast Brothers chocolate bar made just for Shake Shack, I had to splurge and try out the latest from my favorite Brooklyn chocolatiers instead. It was well worth the $9 for the delicious dark chocolate blend with earthy notes of cranberry and cinnamon, and of course the adorable packaging and artwork certainly helped sway my decision.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! x

Smoke Shack burger with cheese, Niman Ranch all-natural applewood smoked bacon and chopped cherry pepper with fries

Smoke Shack burger with cheese, Niman Ranch all-natural applewood smoked bacon and chopped cherry pepper with fries

Smoke Shack burger

Smoke Shack burger

Fries and ketchup

Fries and ketchup

Mast Brothers Chocolate Bar-- A Shake Shack dark chocolate blend with earthy notes of cranberry and cinnamon

Mast Brothers Chocolate Bar– A Shake Shack dark chocolate blend with earthy notes of cranberry and cinnamon

Happy Saturday!

November 17, 2012

It’s a beautiful start to the weekend, and I’m thrilled to say that I’m staying local and enjoying the city. With the cooler season just upon us, one of my favorite ways to pass the hours on a Saturday afternoon around the Upper West Side is to take a glimpse around the Natural History Museum and go across the street to the New York Historical Society for lunch. A huge fan of the decor, they combine perfectly the look of a traditional home dining room with a modern flair. Our recent visit left us a little too full for lunch hour, but the food was just too good to not indulge.

Arancini

Salad

Artichoke Mezzaluna with porcini and parsley

Gnocchi Gratinata with black truffle fonduta

 

 

 

Say Cheese

May 9, 2012

New food surprises are constantly popping up around the Upper West Side, and my latest favorite is Say Cheese, another one of those farm-to-table concept places I love so much. Stopping by this take-out stand to do a little taste test one afternoon, we tried three of their gourmet grilled cheeses including the candied bacon/gruyere, the parmesan/swiss/truffle and the swiss/gruyere/apple compote. All perfect combos for a killer sandwich. For dessert, they were kind enough to bring out a toasted marshmallow and nutella, and lastly, we couldn’t leave without trying the snow cone flavor of the day: organic strawberry with balsamic glaze. Run by the catering company, Scoozi Events, I was a huge fan of their decor, feeling like I was just transported to a family-owned country stand on a farm, far from the middle of Manhattan.

Candied Bacon Grilled Cheese

Rosemary Lemonade

Marshmallow & Nutella

Truffle Oil Grilled Cheese

Strawberry Snow Cone

Cafe Lalo

April 2, 2012

Famously known for Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks’ meeting in You’ve Got Mail, the Upper West Side’s Cafe Lalo has always been a favorite of mine, and quite honestly am surprised I’ve waited this long to feature it. Not only do they have great brunch options, but their large selection of cheesecakes and other desserts makes it a great late night stop as well. With it’s Euro-feel, it’s the perfect spot to go on a warm spring day when the floor to ceiling windows are open, and you can people-watch the sidewalks below.

Coffee

Steamed eggs with Bulgarian feta cheese, olives and herbs served with roasted potatoes and a Mediterranean salad

Mediterranean salad

Breads

Purple Potatoes

Recipe

November 23, 2011

I’ve been meaning to feature Recipe, a favorite restaurant of mine, that brings some of the best rustic, local farm cuisine to the city. Barely large enough to seat more than 20 or so guests, it lends to an intimate dining experience. Although I tend to grab it to go, I highly recommend waiting for a seat. You can tell they paid extra attention to styling details to give it that rustic farm meets city chic vibe. I was recently tempted to try their special of the day, the bleu cheese quiche, with a side of sautéed swiss chard and kale.

Bleu Cheese Quiche

 

Sautéed Swiss Chard & Kale

Recipe's Interior

Island Burgers & Shakes

November 7, 2011

This weekend my friend Kelly was here, and we ran around town (literally) for 2 days doing all sorts of fun activities like wedding dress shopping and cheering on our friends running the NYC Marathon. With little time to spare, Island Burgers and Shakes was the perfect quick stop for a delicious and filling meal on Saturday afternoon. Difficult to choose from the never-ending menu, we went with the Mona Lisa Churasco, a grilled chicken sandwich with mozzarella, pesto, sauteed onions, mushrooms, roasted peppers and Parmagiana reggiano on ciabatta. And I had the Roma Churasco, grilled chicken with thyme, rosemary, garlic, oregano and red pepper.

Roma Churasco

 

Fries & Ketchup

 

Roma Churasco

 

Mona Lisa Churasco

This adorable cafe planted itself conveniently just on the corner of my apartment a little over a year ago, yet it wasn’t until my vegan roommate introduced me to their delicious food that I became a regular. One of my favorite snacks happen to be their chickpea fries with home cream dressing, and I hate to admit, but their homemade vegan brownie bites are usually consumed at least 3 times a week for dessert.

Chickpea fries

 

Vegan brownie bites

 

Chickpea fries

A Druze Brunch

September 29, 2011

Now that I’m back for some good old NYC cuisine, I decided go to Gazala’s, a small family-owned restaurant that I’ve been meaning to check out since they opened their new Upper West Side location. I admit, I had never heard of Druze cuisine, but it happens to be a religious community found in Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Jordan, that is comparable to the standard Middle Eastern fare. Known to be the most authentic tastes of this kind around town, their brunch was delicious and conveniently located across from my favorite Sunday market.

Tomatoes, cheese and scrambled eggs with seasoning and an Israeli salad

 

Semolina dough stuffed with chopped dates and walnuts

 

Poached eggs in tomato sauce

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