Kokage

Great Soba Lunch Set at Kokage in Midtown East

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Side dish – Saba Sushi ♥♥♥♥

Overall Food Atmosphere Price
♥♥
♥♥♥1/2   ♥♥1/2
$$$1/2

 

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Maguro Yamakake Soba and Inari Sushi – Tuna sashimi and grated mountain yam served in cold broth $20 ♥♥♥♥1/2

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Kamo Nanban Soba and Inari Sushi – Sliced duck and Tokyo scallion served in cold broth $20 ♥♥♥♥

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Shojin Ramen – Ramen noodles in spicy miso broth topped with seasonal vegetable $20 ♥♥♥1/2

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Atsuage Ankake Soba and Saba Sushi Deep fried tofu and scallion served in thicken hot broth $20 ♥♥♥1/2

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Side dish – Kamo Sushi – Dack Sushi ♥♥♥

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Side dish ♥♥♥1/2

Gramercy Tavern

New York Classic “Gramercy Tavern”

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Gramercy Tavern       42 E 20th St  ( b/t Broadway & S Park Ave in Flatiron ) NYC.       (212) 477-0777

Overall Food Atmosphere Price
♥♥ ♥♥ 1/2  $$$1/2

I have been to so many great NY restaurants and yet somehow I had never gone to Gramercy Tavern. I am so busy going to new restaurants that I sometimes push some old restaurants to the back of my list. This place has been on my wish list for a while because I have heard so many good things about it. I was excited to take my BFF, Kim, here for an early birthday dinner. (We celebrated her group birthday at  Novita the next day.) Kim and I have been BFFs for 10 years and I knew this place was on her wish list, too. We decided at the last minute to meet up so I didn’t make a reservation. When we arrived we put our name down for The Tavern. (This is the more casual bar/seating area when you first walk in.) We enjoyed a cocktail at the bar before dinner. The place was super busy and fully seated so we noticed people dining at the bar counter. (My second visit I didn’t have to wait at all when I got there around 9:00pm.)

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Fluke Tartare ♥♥♥♥

The restaurant has two different dining rooms. One is called The Tavern which is where Kim and I had dinner. They don’t take reservations in The Tavern and you can order a la carte. The other room is called The Dining Room where you can make a reservation and they serve a course menu. Your options are a three-course menu for $92 and a tasting menu for $102 or $120.

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Sweetbread ♥♥♥1/2

You can see what I ate along with my heart rating for each dish. My favorite was the Fuluku Crudo for sure. The place changes their menu quite often, but on my second visit this month I was still able to order the Duck Pate and Fuluku for appetizers. I didn’t take photos of all the food I had on my second visit, but I had Maitake Mushroom Lasagne and fish for my entree. Their sweetbread reminded me of fried chicken….hehe a fancy fried chicken. It was very tender and the way they plated it was cute, but I’ve had better fried sweetbread at Pearl & Ash!

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Duck Liver Mousse, Pickled Vegetables and Grilled Bread 14.00 ♥♥♥1/2

After my second visit I came up with a mini-description so you can get a clear idea of what it’s like. “New American Babbo.” Do you get it? If you have been to both places then you know what I mean! Classic New York style restaurant that lasts for a long time – A chef with a great reputation and the price is pricy, yet not too high. The atmosphere is casual elegant. Babbo is Italian  cuisine by chef Mario Batali Gramercy Tavern is New American cuisine by chef Michael Anthony. I recommend both restaurants for any classic occasion you’re planning to have. It’s also a great place to take the parents.

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Apple Salad – Chicory and Pistachios Ayinger Oktober Fest Märzen Lager, Germany ♥♥♥

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Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna, Nettles, Scallions and Pine Nuts $18 ♥♥♥

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Island Creek Oysters $3 each

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Marinated Fluke, Citrus, Radish and Trout Roe $14 ♥♥♥♥

Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream

OMG NEWS

New edition to my block ”Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream”

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I had Durian Banana & Green Tea Pistachio *\(^_^)/*

Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream   2 Rivington St ( b/t  Chrystie & Bowery ) in Lower East Side, NYC

You all know I have my boutique Cutie Room on  5 Rivington St ( b/t Bowery St & Chrystie St ) in Lower East Side. Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream opened last month across the street from my shop!~YAY!! Officially my block is cutest block in L.E.S. :)

Also Italian restaurant Antonioni’s opened a few months ago on the corner of Rivington St and Chrystie St. Antonioni’s  is owned by the same people who run Cafe Gitan.

A block list of Rivington Street, b/t Bowery St & Chrystie St.

Cutie Room – 5 Rivington St

Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream  - 2 Rivington St

Spiritual America - 5 Rivington St

Freeman’s restaurant - 8 Rivington St

Freeman’s sporting club - 8 Rivington St 

Freeman’s barbar shop - 8 Rivington St

Loreley - 7 Rivington St

Antonioni’s - 177 Chrystie St ( corner of Rivington St & Chrystie St )

Eleven Rivington – 11 Rivington St 

 

Bâtard

A A Amazing three-course dinner at ”Batard” in Tribeca

 

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YELLOWFIN TUNA marinated radish, quinoa, camelina oil ♥♥♥♥1/2

Bâtard     239 West Broadway ( b/w Walker St & Beach St ) in TriBeCa NYC

Overall Food Atmosphere Price
♥♥♥ ♥♥♥1/2 ♥♥♥1/2 $$$1/2

Batard opened a month ago on West Broadway in Tribeca. Lately I’ve gone to many different restaurants in Tribeca such as Racines, Telepan Local, Khe-Yo, and Marc Forgeon. They are all wonderful new restaurants. (Except Marc Forgeon. It’s been around for a long time.) I came to Batard on a Friday night. I was, once again, very lucky to make my reservation just a day before.

I will start with something not wonderful about this place because after this I will be non-stop writing about how amazing this dinner was!!! Well, the decor of this place was the only reason I took a few hearts off my rating. It is a very classy and more formal atmosphere than I had imagined, however, it was nothing special.  This may not be a bad thing depending on what type of atmosphere you are looking for. I’m sure they purposefully and carefully decided to go for this type of  decor ( 90′s ) but I prefer something more cute. (Cutie Patroller is always on the prowl in NYC for cute places and great food.) It felt out-dated especially when they are serving such modern, new american dishes.

OK done!! Now I’m moving on to my 5 hearts rating part for the food!

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SEARED OCEAN TROUT cured cucumber, sour cream, clams ♥♥♥♥1/2

Their menu is only by the course – two course for $55, three course for $65, and four course for $75. Both of us chose three courses. The waiter informed us that our option could consist of two appetizers and one entree. Which means you don’t have to choose dessert as one of the three courses. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! I have never seen a three course option like this before. I’m not a dessert girl so you have no idea how happy this made me! :)) After much thought my friend and I chose four appetizers and two entrees to share. I think we chose a good balance of six plates.

There are eight options for appetizers and they all sounded delicious, most of which were seafood so we chose four seafood appetizers. We decided to balance out the meal by ordering two meat dishes for our entrees.

Our first two appetizers were YELLOWFIN TUNA marinated radish, quinoa, camelina oil and SEARED OCEAN TROUT cured cucumber, spiced crème fraîche, clams. O.M.G. Both dishes were amazing!! The plating was so pretty and the portions were great. Most importantly, they tasted perfectly delish!! I give 5 hearts for both dishes.

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OCTOPUS “PASTRAMI” braised ham hock, pommery mustard, new potatoes ♥♥♥♥

The second two appetizers were OCTOPUS “PASTRAMI”  braised ham hock, pommery mustard, new potatoes and MAINE LOBSTER green asparagus, zucchini blossom, citrus rind. They were not as great as the first two dishes, but you can see how pretty the plating was. I normally don’t order octopus because I can have octopus at any Italian restaurant (or any other place these days), but I saw a photo of it and thought it looked unique.

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MAINE LOBSTER green asparagus, zucchini blossom, citrus rind ♥♥♥1/2

Our third course (and main entree) consisted of VEAL TENDERLOIN “tramezzini”, asparagus, mushrooms, sauce diable and NY STRIP LOIN OF BEEF braised cheek, cauliflower purée, baumkuchen, romanesco. Both dishes came with sauce, but you won’t see that in the photos because I have to take a picture first. I think food photos are sometimes better without sauce so they don’t look messy. I assure you that I enjoyed adding sauce to both dishes once I finished taking photos. :) At this time, I was already a little bit full since our four appetizers were such generous sizes, but I was ready to taste the veal! And how amazing that the steak was served as three different parts of beef. Both dishes were perfectly cooked at medium rare and delightful.

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NY STRIP LOIN OF BEEF braised cheek, cauliflower purée, baumkuchen, romanesco ♥♥♥1/2

We probably stayed a good three hours enjoying our courses and a bottle of red wine. At the end of the meal we were served their homemade cookie, too. Oh, I forgot to mention that their bread was so good. I don’t eat bread unless it’s special and this was! Homemade salted caraway seed roll. Yum!

Overall, I give Batard 4.8 hearts which is a super high heart rating for Cutie Patroller. The last time I gave this high of a rating was my three course lunch at JUNI last month. Another minor thing, I thought they should have switched our appetizers bringing the octopus and lobster out first and the trout and tuna second. Since we were having two meats as entrees it would have been better to serve us the cooked dishes first, then the raw seafood, followed by the entrees. I think the courses would flow better that way. Listen to me!! What a  snob!! But that’s my mini-thought.

The place was surprisingly not very full for a Friday night, but it was raining. I can imagine some reservations got canceled. I am highly recommending you make a reservation right now before it’s impossible to get in. I’m definitely going back to have the YELLOWFIN TUNAand SEARED OCEAN TROUT again. I’ll also be sure to try other dishes that I didn’t order this time.  I go out to eat at new places every day, but not many of those places will I go back to within a few months. This place is my exception :)

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VEAL TENDERLOIN “tramezzini,” sugar snap peas, sweetbreads, sauce diable ♥♥♥♥

 

PS – Mr Drew Nieporent was here during my visit. *\(^_^)/*

 

Claudette

Elegant French/Mediterranean Restaurant “Claudette” Greenwich Village

 

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Claudette     18 Greenwich Ave ( corner of 5th Ave & 9 St ) NYC

Claudette opened this month on 5th Ave and the corner of 9th St. Just a few blocks from Washington Square Park. Claudette has the same owners as Rosemary’s in the West Village. Rosemary’s chef, Wade Moises is joined by Koren Grieveson now at Claudette. Grieveson is a James Beard award winner who once worked at Avec in Chicago. Compared to Rosemary’s, the decor is elegant and the crowd is half 30-40 year-olds and half stylishly dressed 60 year-olds. I’m calling it “West Village’s Elegant Parent”. \(^_^)/ I actually saw Nate Berkus there, You know, the amazing interior designer, author, and TV personality! The weather was very nice that night and the place had the patio doors open, which you can see in my photo below.
Overall Food Atmosphere Price
♥♥♥ ♥♥♥
♥♥
$$$$

The menu is made of six different kinds of small salads which are all $8 or $38 for any five. My friend and I skipped the salad menu this time, but I would order it if I came with more than two people.
There were eight appetizers priced around $15 each. Our waiter recommended the grilled octopus, but we thought that was too boring at a Mediterranean restaurant. So we ordered soft shell crab with couscous instead, which was good. CLAUDETTE’S PIED PAQUETS (braised tripe and pork shoulder) was a little disappointing. It came in a big pan yet there were only three small pieces of pork with two potatoes. It seemed like a stew in which they had forgotten to add meat and vegetables.
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Soft shell crab – cuttlefish, couscous, caloflower, red jalapeno $15 ♥♥♥1/2

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Claudette’s Pieds Paquets braised tripe and pork shoulder $15 ♥♥1/2

The average price for an entree is $27 and there are eight different dishes. We had the WRAPPED RED SNAPPER with eggplant, chermoula, fennel ($26). The eggplant had an interesting chewy texture and was delish. The Grilled Lamb ‘pommes anna’, coriander, apple, yogurt vinaigrette ($29) was tender and had just the right amount of seasoning without overpowering the taste of the meat.
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Wrapped Red Snapper eggplant, chermoula, fennel, mint $26 ♥♥♥1/2

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Grilled Lamb ‘pommes anna’, coriander, apple, yogurt vinaigrette $29 ♥♥♥1/2

We had a great three hour dinner with a nice bottle of wine. Overall, I give it 3.7 out of 5 hearts. When I give 4 hearts that means it’s one of my favorites and I am highly recommending you to go. This is just shy of 4, but you should definitely check this place out, even if just once, for the right occasion. It may be good for a date night or someplace nice to take your parents. I think the price point is good and the atmosphere is casual elegant.
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Main dining room

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Bar counter

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Cherche Midi

Keith McNally’s Cherche Midi on Bowery

Cherche Midi       282 Bowery (corner of Houston St ) NYC 
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Saturday night patrolling! Welcome to my neighborhood *\(^_^)/* My boutique Cutie Room is around corner from Cherche Midi. YAY!

Overall Food Atmosphere Price
♥♥ ♥♥ 1/2  $$$1/2
Keith McNally’s Cherche Midi opened three days ago (June 12) in my neighborhood. The location is the former space of Pulino’s at the corner of Bowery & Houston. I made a last minute reservation for six at 8:30pm on Saturday night. As soon as I walked in I realized the place looked just like Pulino’s. Keith McNally owned an Italian restaurant called Pulino’s that closed in February this year. I guess they didn’t change the interior very much. The bar, dining area, and kitchen are all the same. Even the basement bathroom is the same with its cute mini-tile floors. The only differences I could find were that there was no outside seating and the lighting was much warmer making it feel like a French bistro. The bartender gave us a free shot to welcome us while we waited at the bar for our table. :) Nice!
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WHOLE GRILLED DAURADE w. crispy herba $34 ♥♥♥♥

Once we were seated, I started my dinner by ordering a cocktail made with egg white. It was yummy~
We ordered three appetizers to share and each of us ordered different entrees. My entree was Whole Grilled Daurade with crispy herba – $34. I have to say, the best choice from the entree menu!! The fish was simply grilled and came in a large portion. It was seasoned with whole thyme and rosemary, brushed with olive oil, and served with grilled lemon on the side. After I opened the fish in half, I brushed it with oil using the herb stems, then squeezed lemon all over it. Besides my Daurade, I had bites of the Skate Fish, Lobster Ravioli, Steak Frites, and Salmon. They are all good, but nothing special.
Ratings for the appetizers:
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HAMACHI CRUDO w. yuzu, radish and shiso $15 was light and tasty. I thought the portion size was very fair. ♥♥♥1/2

The HAMACHI CRUDO w. yuzu, radish and shiso ($15) was light and tasty. I thought the portion size was very fair.
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PAN-ROASTED FOIE GRAS w. toasted baguette and a watercress salad $19 ♥♥1/2

The PAN-ROASTED FOIE GRAS w. toasted baguette and a watercress salad ($19) It turned out to be plain pieces of watercress other than “salad’. The fois gras was good, but the baguette was very dry. None of us ended up eating it. The portion size was very small for the price. Overall, I would not recommend it.
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SAUTEED SARDINES over grilled country bread with saffron aioli and pickled shallots $14 ♥♥1/2

The SAUTEED SARDINES over grilled country bread with saffron aioli and pickled shallots ($14) was just ok. Again, I would not recommend it.
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SKATE WING MEUNIERE w. an onion-fennel soubise $23 ♥♥♥

I saw a posting with the FROG LEG green garlic veloute, garlic chips, crisp parsley ($19) on Instagram and it looked very good. We didn’t order it, but maybe that would be a better choice of an appetizer if you visit. Although I think $19 is very pricey for frog, so that’s your call! (I don’t care for frog dishes, but I had one of the best frog dishes at Le Philosoph In Noho that I blogged about a few years ago.)
We definitely had a great time and we were glad to check out this new place, but none of us were impressed. Also, we ate here many times back when it was Pulino’s so it almost didn’t feel like a new place. Yes, I know it sounds like I’m a jaded foodie NYker, but it’s true!!! However, I would like to patrol again if they start serving breakfast since my neighborhood doesn’t have many breakfast spots.
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HOMEMADE LOBSTER RAVIOLI in ginger beurreblanc with piquillo peppers $21 ♥♥♥

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PS- My friend Dr Anthony had PAN-SEARED SALMON lentils, cumin-scented yogurt and greens.  #BAM Heathy choice!!! Omega 3 :)
xoxo

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Oldest Dim Sum Restaurant in NYC “Nom Wah Tea Parlor” Since 1920

 

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Nom Wah Tea Parlor    13 Doyers St. ( b/w Bowery & Chatham Sq. in Chinatown, Civic Center ) NYC

Many tourists want to know where the best dim sum is in NYC’s Chinatown, right!? Golden Unicorn is one of the more popular dim sum places. I sometimes go to Oriental Garden on Elizabeth and Dim Sum Go Go on East Broadway. If you’re a vegetarian, then maybe Vegetarian Dim Sum on Pell Street is the place for you. My friend, Steve, told me about Nom Wah Tea Parlor a while ago and it was on my Chinatown checklist. So, last weekend my friend and I came here to patrol. This place was on my checklist was because it is the oldest dim sum place in Chinatown NY. Guess what… since 1920!!!!!!

Overall Food Atmosphere Price
♥♥♥ ♥♥♥
♥♥
$$

 

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DSC07787They are located on one of the unique streets in Chinatown called Doyers St. It is kind of a hidden street and you can enter from Pell St. or Bowery St

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 When we got there, the place was pretty busy and the waiter told us there was a 10 minute wait. He then handed us a ticket. I thought the wait was not bad at all. He quickly called our number and we were seated at a table. Dim Sum is better if you come with more than four people so that you can try many different dishes. This time it was just me and a friend so, between the two of us, we shared six different dim sum plus dumpling soup. It was a perfect amount of food for the two of us. My favorite was the Shrimp Roll and Shrimp Dumpling. I always order Lotus Rice. Unfortunately, both of our rice was super stuck to the leaf and it was hard to eat, but it was still very tasty. My friend ordered egg rolls and I didn’t really care for them. Egg rolls are not my favorite. They are too oily for my taste.
It’s a little pricier here than other Dim Sum places in Chinatown. I’d give it one more $ for each dish.
I have no idea why, but the decor of place is American dinner style! haha! :)
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Overall my friend and I were very happy with our visit. We paid $50 total. If you are looking for a dim sum place for the weekend, I suggest you try here. I won’t go back anytime soon, but I’m happy to have checked this place off my Dim Sum list. 
PS- If you want to experience the cart that gets wheeled around you, then this is not the right place for you. This place takes your order and the food is all served by your waiter from the kitchen. 
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