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Posts Tagged ‘NYC’

Our final day in the Big Apple. After our delightful walk along the Hudson River, we ended up deep in the Financial District of New York City. JT wanted to take me to lunch in the oldest part of the city. We decided on Mad Dog and Beans, a Mexican Cantina. It got mediocre reviews on Yelp, but we really wanted to eat outside and we figured we’d order something simple so they wouldn’t screw it up.

The restaurant logo

We both ordered the Black Eyed Tuna Salad which was pan seared black eye tuna with sesame seeds, romaine lettuce, diced avocado, radish, orange wedges and a jalapeno ginger dressing ($10). We were both quite pleasantly surprised. See, my theory is to lower your expectations and you will never be disappointed! It doesn’t always work. But the tuna was perfectly cooked, fresh the avocado was creamy and the orange was a wonderful foil for the flavour combinations. The only downfall would have been the dressing, which was tasteless (can’t even guess what it was!).

Seared Tuna with Avocado and Orange

The street patio

Looking at the opposite direction

My handsome honey

I really liked the area and will plan to come back on our next trip. But there was another restaurant Smorgas Chef that I would likely try next.

Overall rating of The Mad Dog and Beans (in my opinion): Decor ?/5 (we sat outside and didn’t even go in), service 4:5, food 3/5, Value 4/5, Noise: 4/5 (1 being very noisy, and 5 being very quiet). We paid for our meal in full.

And that concludes our 26th Anniversary trip to New York City. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I’ll leave you with this last photo (an ad for a storage company, but I photoshop’d the ad out). This last photo is for Kristy (Eat, Play, Love), Sissi (With a Glass), Liz (That Skinny Chick can Bake) and Charlie (Hotly Spiced), my ‘shoe sisters’.

This is a real billboard we saw while on the High Line

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Our final evening in NYC we booked The Jazz Standard at Battery Park City, it’s been an old favourite of ours for the last few years. We saw Fred Hersch and Rene Marie. Ordinarily we like to see lively shows, with or without vocals, but unfortunately on this night the songs were melancholy and not to our taste. The vocalist Rene Marie sang beautifully, but the songs were just too sad. And to add to it, the club had the A/C turned on at such a frigid temperaturs so I was F R E E Z I N G. We talked to three different people about it without success. We almost left.
We ordered some Crispy Chili Crusted Calamari with Charred Red Pepper Mayo ($12.95) because I don’t like to drink on an empty stomach and they had no healthy snacks. Sadly, they were rubbery and over cooked; the charred red pepper mayo made them palatable (sorry Katherine, Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide). The connected restaurant Blue Smoke is supposed to have delicious BBQ, but we’ve never tried it.
Our dinner reservations were at 9:30; normally I’m not a huge fan of eating this late but what the heck, we’re on VAYCAY!
We chose Morandi, a very popular Italian trattoria to have our final dinner in this amazing city and it’s packed! On their website they say that there is a celebrity guest every night. They actually checked our reservation…at 9:30! We are seated at a great table by the patio. It’s not quite warm enough to sit outside (although there are people sitting out there). The place has a warm homey décor; good lighting and just lively enough that I could talk at a normal level.

We didn’t notice any celebrities

We ordered three appi’s because neither of us were starving. We shared the Polipetti e sedano which was grilled octopus with celery & black olives ($16); it was tender, perfectly done and delicious (JTs first octopus).

JTs first octapus. Delicate, perfectly done and a nice combo with the celery

This is the bread

And then JT ordered the Calamari alla griglia which was grilled squid with peppers, capers & olives ($14) it was a healthy portion, nicely done and quite tasty. Not overly seasoned, very tasty indeed.

Just take the damn picture so I can eat.

I ordered the Burrata e pachini which was burrata cheese with roasted cherry tomatoes “on the vine” ($17). Now before this year, I had not heard of burrata cheese, but then I saw it on Barbara Bamber Just a Smidgin site and was intrigued. When I saw it on this menu I had to try it.
Reader alert, OMG!!! This is really, undoubtedly even better than bufalo Mozzarella! Yes, I said it: E V E N ; ; B E T T E R. There, I said it. Perfectly creamy and delicately flavoured. I’d go back to NYC just to have THIS again. I’m hooked (I’m singing Jason Mraz’s I’m yours in my head, and by ‘yours’ I mean burrata’s).

I had the Burrata Cheese Dish. If you think Bufalo Mozarrella is TDF, you MUST have THIS.


Overall rating of Morandi (in my opinion): Decor 4/5, service 4:5, food 4/5, Value 4/5, Noise: 3/5 (1 being very noisy, and 5 being very quiet). We paid for our meal in full.

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The weather has been incredible and day one in the Big Apple was no different. When we landed it was a teeny tiny bit overcast and cool, but that’s great walking weather (and like Kelly’s family last week, we walked and walked and walked), so we were thrilled! Our amazing hotel, Eventi is located in Chelsea so JT selected a restaurant only about 12 blocks away. We always choose Mexican for our first lunch and NYC has a handful of exceptional restaurants and Crema will probably be our new flavourite! It has more contemporary décor with a touch of Mexican! It’s nice and cool inside even though the door is is wide open, it’s hot and humid outside and there is an open kitchen. We’re very glad because during our walk the sun came out blazing and I was really sweating (like the Eastern European that I am!).
We are seated and served immediately without reservations. The server described our food with detail and passion when he served us.
I had the Ceviche de ($14) which was
African Octopus marinated in orange citrus vinaigrette, avocado, cilantro and garnished with four flour tostadas with avocado mousse in a Mille Feuille presentation. It had black sea salt speckled on it (gotta get me some). Incredible! Beautifully presented and so incredibly tasty!

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JT had Flautas en Trilogia de Salsas ($12) it was crispy corn tortillas with shredded chicken, corn, caramelized onions and served with a trio of salsas: tomatillo-avocado, chili aioli paste, and a velvety pinto bean. Very tasty, and beautifully presented.

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We may even break our cardinal rule and come here again on this trip!

Overall rating of Crema (in my opinion): Decor 3/5, service 3.5:5, food 4.5/5, Value 4/5, Noise: 4/5 (1 being very noisy, and 5 being very quiet). We paid for our meal in full.

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