Friday, 29 June 2012

Late Night Eats: GR Souvlaki, Cibao Restaurant, Nonna's L.E.S. Pizzeria, Meatball Shoppe

Late Night Eats Edition 

A wonderful thing that NYC provides for any foodie, is that you can get great food even late. I must apologize for the lower quality of photos or lack thereof (Meatball Shop) but this is what happens at 2am in the morning, with a few too many cocktails!

First stop of the night was at the Meatball Shop. We walked in at around 1am and got seated very promptly. Unfortunately I did not come with my camera (was not expecting to make a stop here) and my phone was on critical battery aka no camera. We proceeded to order a couple of drinks and two sliders: one beef meatball with tomato sauce and the lamb meatball with tzatziki. Both were really well executed, the lamb being the favourite of the two. I prefer the meatball parm at PARM but that is a totally different animal.

We then headed to get take out from GR Souvlaki, which just opened up shop in the LES after having much success with their food truck. We ordered the tzatkiki with pita bread, the greek salad and the SGR chicken souvlaki pita. The tzatiki was good but not the best I have ever had. The greek salad was fresh, well seasoned and dressed. The SGR Souvlaki consisted of chicken souvlaki, tomato, red onion, fries and the spicy feta dip and it was very tasty but unexpectedly very small in size. 

Next we stopped on Clinton, one block away from our apartment at Cibao Restaurant. Known for their cuban food, I had a recommendation from a chowhounder to order the Cubano sandwich. The pork was ever so slightly dry but the sandwich was delicious nonetheless. Great bread with pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickle and mayo and a total steal at $5.00 for a hefty sandwich. 

Last pick up stop was at Nonna's L.E.S. Pizzeria directly across the street from us. Nonna's Magic Slice would have been our first choice but with no availability, we opted for the fresh cheese slice. It was very tasty, greasy and cheesy. Probably not the most refined slice in NYC but good enough to satisfy my pizza craving at 3am.

The Meatball Shop on Urbanspoon Souvlaki Gr Restaurant on Urbanspoon Cibao Restaurant on Urbanspoon Nonna's L.E.S. Pizzeria on Urbanspoon


PARM (248 Mulberry Street, NYC)

Tucked away in Nolita, the Torresi brothers set up shop on Mulberry Street. The place has an old school feel, somewhat cramped on the inside but the food that is being produced is wonderful. I will definitely return when I am back in NYC to try their popular chicken Saratoga sandwich but the Meatball parm is undeniably the best thing I have ever in a while.

Meatball Parm on a Roll 
This was epic! The meatball itself consisted of veal, beef and sweet Italian sausage. This created this medley of flavours that is beyond any other meatball parm I have ever tasted. Even better with melted mozzarella, fresh basil and a sweet, tangy tomato sauce, all enveloped by a sweet semolina roll. Cooked to med-rare, it was juicy and succulent. An instant hit, very savoury and insanely addictive. 

Eggplant Parm Platter with Baked Ziti 
Layers of perfectly fried eggplant slices, interlacing mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil. It was just a eggplant lover's dream. The baked ziti was pretty good as well but the eggplant was truly the star of the dish. 

Parm  on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 28 June 2012


Taim (222 Waverly Place, NY)

After reading numerous articles and blog posts about this place, claiming that this is the place to find the best falafel in NYC, I obviously had to check it out. I absolutely love falafels and Mediterranean food, so this was a no brainer. This West Village spot is a total gem and a great cheap eat (less than $7 for a HUGE pita!). Limited seating but we got our falafel's to go and don't forget to ask for a side of delicious hot sauce to douse the yummy falafel with.


This falafel explodes with Mediterranean flavours. They have the perfect texture, crispy exterior with a soft interior. The toppings are all extremely fresh tasting, the hummous was excellent as well (may I add that it was a very generous portion). I would have to guess there were approximately 6/7 large falafel balls stuffed into a single pita. 

This was the classic falafel. With the parsley, mint and cilantro it was very fresh tasting. Again the consistency and texture of the falafels were perfect. This was probably my favourite out of the two but honestly they were both incredible sandwiches. 

Taïm on Urbanspoon

Clinton Street Baking

Clinton Street Baking (4 Clinton Street, NY)

I originally tried coming to Clinton Street Backing back in April but I did not have the patience to wait 1hr+. This time around I got lucky as our friend's apartment was located right on Clinton. So I simply put down my name, went home and walked back when I received the text that my table was ready. Still with hoards of people patiently waiting outside, I now understand the wait. The restaurant is TINY and the food is amazing! I promptly got seated at the bar and I ordered the banana walnut pancakes with warm maple butter.

Let me tell you, these are the BEST PANCAKES I HAVE EVER HAD! Incredibly fluffy and thick, just take a look at the fluff factor below in these photos. With a nice buttery flavour and spread throughout the pancakes were banana and walnut pieces. The maple butter was a fantastic dip and surprisingly not too sweet. These were undeniably the most delicious pancakes and 100% would be worth waiting for.

Clinton St. Baking Company on Urbanspoon

The NoMad

The NoMad (1170 Broadway 28th Street, NY)

With the incredible experience we recently had at Eleven Madison Park, I was excited to try out Chef Daniel Humm's newest venture, The NoMad. The dining rooms are absolutely stunning and I enjoyed the more laid back atmosphere. Some of the cocktails we had to start of the night was a smoky but fruity Mezcal based drink called the Reposession, which was crowd pleaser. I also tried the Hot Lips, which was made up of a jalapeno infused tequila with pineapple. We dined in the main dining room, the Atrium, with a beautiful skylight overhead. 
Let the eating begin .. 


Skyline in the Dining Room 

Steak Tartare 
Cornichons and horseradish 
The tartare was wonderfully seasoned, melt in your mouth goodness and  the horseradish cream was a nice touch.The brioche that accompanied it was fresh, warm and buttery. 

Close up of the tiny pieces of brioche perfection

Steak Tartare with the Horseradish Cream

Complementary onion bread
Very delicious, warm, fresh out of the oven. 

Snow Peas
Chiffonade with Pecorino, Pancetta and Mint 
The snow peas were incredibly fresh, crisp and snappy with nice notes of mint. The pecorino and pancetta provided depth and a savouriness, creating a well balanced dish. 

King Crab, Meyer Lemon and Black Pepper 
One of the highlights of the night. Fresh, well cooked pasta encasing the succulent, juicy king crab. The sauce was light, creamy and buttery. This dish is as crowd pleaser and an absolute must order.

Suckling Pig 
Confit with  Cherries, Wild Greens and Onion
I was looking forward to this very much and it did not disappoint. The crackling was on point and the pork that lay beneath was fork tender. Nice acidity and flavour profile with the cherries

Roasted with fennel, peaches and Pickled Juniper
This dish surprised me, as I was not expecting it to be my favourite of the night. I loved it! Perfectly cooked and the flavours of this dish were just creating fireworks in my mouth. The juicy duck paired with the peach was an excellent and surprising combination.

Milk and Honey
Shortbread, Brittle, Icecream 
The infamous dessert originated from Eleven Madison Park. It had everything going on -- temperatures, textures and flavours. The beautiful flavours of milk and honey were so delicate and in combination with the brittle and shortbread, it was just heaven.

The NoMad on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Brooklyn Taco

Brooklyn Taco (Essex Market)

Recommended by our good friend, we met her for lunch at her favourite taco spot located in the Essex Market. The market itself reminded me of a smaller scale St. Lawrence market. We headed straight to the tiny Brooklyn Taco stand and ordered all 5 tacos on the board. The two standouts would be the cola braised pork and the chilorio brisket -- both were flavour explosions with incredibly tender meat. The mahi mahi was excellent as well, loving the fresh mahi mahi (vs. a fried rendition of most fish tacos, which trust me I do love as well). The guaco taco was similar to having great guacamole in a taco shell (who doesn't love that??). Lastly the chipotle chicken taco which was good but not as delicious as the other tacos they offer. For great food, and awesome value, Brooklyn Taco is the place to go!

Cola Braised Pork 

Mahi Mahi Taco

Guaco Taco 

Chicken Taco 

Chilorio Brisket Taco 

  Brooklyn Taco Company on Urbanspoon