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 

 

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Claudette

Elegant French/Mediterranean Restaurant “Claudette” Greenwich Village

Claudette
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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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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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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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Cherche Midi

Keith McNally’s Cherche Midi on Bowery

Cherche Midi

Cherche Midi       282 Bowery (corner of Houston St ) NYC 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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PS– My friend Dr Anthony had PAN-SEARED SALMON lentils, cumin-scented yogurt and greens.  #BAM Heathy choice!!! Omega 3 🙂
xoxo
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Tavern on the Green

Re-Opening of Tavern on the Green

Tavern on the Green

Tavern On The Green   67TH STREET & CENTRAL PARK WEST, NYC 

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After two years of renovations and $38 million the NY icon Tavern On The Green has now re-opened in Central Park.
Last month, I came here for a business meeting with Jenny (MeltingButter) and my teammate, Kenta (Lord of the Fork). I took a cab from Bowery and OMG! A $30 cab ride! This is why I don’t eat up here that often, but I was amazed as soon as I walked in the building. They did such a great job!! The place is so gorgeous!! You walk through the bar to the dining room which is an open kitchen. The whole room is surrounded by sunny glass windows. Once I got past the beautiful surroundings, the downside was that I couldn’t find anything I really wanted to order…
After our order came to the table, I immediately thought there was not enough food for us. Jenny had a salad and tuna tartar. I ordered Japanese eggplant and tuna tartar. Her salad was so sad looking. It almost looked like a bowl of different grasses. I’m not kidding. After I saw Kenta’s burger I thought I should have ordered a sandwich. I then ordered a turkey sandwich for us  girls to share. This $17 sandwich was nothing special. Plus, the sandwich came with potato chips that I already had as a side with my tuna tartar. I was starting to think that this lunch was a disaster!!! Hopefully they have a better dinner menu.
I don’t post places that I rate under 3 of 5 hearts which means this place still made the cut! It is a very  beautiful space and I still recommend you visit this NY regent place. Maybe for a daytime drink and enjoy the elegant atmosphere in the afternoon.
Overall Food Atmosphere Price
♥♥♥ ♥♥ ♥♥ $$$1/2

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Bar Primi

BAR PRIMI

Specialty Pasta Bar on Bowery Street ”Bar Primi”

 

 

Bar Primi    325 Bowery (b/t Great Jones St & 3rd St) NYC 

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

Bar Primi opened last month on the corner of Bowery and Bond Streets. The location is the former space of Peels. The chefs are Andrew Carmellini from Lafayette and Locanda Verde and Sal Lamboglia working on their team is Luke Ostrom and Josh Pickard. My girl, Ryo a.k.a boss lady at Pinkyotto, and I patrolled here on a Saturday night around 9:30pm. We both live across the street from here, so we decided to just do a walk-in. (Not that we had much of a choice. They don’t take reservations for parties under six.) However, we were lucky to get a table upstairs.
I remembered former tenant Peels’ space well and I noticed they did not renovate much. The only major difference that I saw was the outside awning used to be all white and now it’s red. This means if you used to like Peels’ decor, don’t worry, Bar Primi is just as cute *\(^_^)/*
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  Cutie Room (me) *\(^_^)/* Pinkytto (Ryo)

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Spaghetti – clams casino $19 ♥♥♥
Now let’s talk about food! This place specializes in pasta. Every day they have one special entree, but otherwise they only serve appetizers along with many choices of pastas. We ordered three pastas and two appetizers. The pasta portions were a little smaller than expected so two pasta dishes did not fill up two hungry girls. We ended up adding one more pasta later. All three pasta dishes were good, but nothing special. Don’t forget the price point is around $19 so you can not expect sea urchin or truffle pasta.
I had a great time chatting it up with Ryo and patrolling this new neighborhood place for sure. I just don’t think I’ll be coming back here anytime soon. It would be nice if they served a menu with more unique and special pastas. I don’t mind paying $28 for pasta as long as it’s amazing. I will go back if the menu changes sometime in the near future.

IMG_8634Orecchiette – sausage, broccoli rabe, chickpea $16 ♥♥♥

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Seafood Antipasto $12 ♥♥♥ & Grilled Local Asparagus – boiled egg, gremolata $10 ♥♥♥

breakfast spaghetti kale, pancetta, poached egg $16

strozzapreti ragu alla bolognese, ricotta $18

IMG_8268Pappardelle – spring mushroom, marsala $19 ♥♥♥

Hinata Ramen

Chicken Broth Ramen

Hinata Ramen 159 E.55th St. b/t 3rd & Lexington Ave | 212-355-2974

I read on Twitter that Chef Michael Anthony from Gramercy Tavern visited Hinata Ramen a few months ago. I hadn’t heard of this ramen shop until then. So, I decided to come here for lunch. Hinata Ramen opened last November in Midtown East. I often eat ramen for lunch. There are many choices of ramen shops around my office in Midtown such as Hide-chan, Totto, Ippudo West, and a few more places. Today I found a new edition to add to my ramen lunch options. Chef Anthony mentioned this place’s noodle and that it was somehow related to Ippudo. So I was even more curious about this place!! I was also interested in tasting their broth. Most popular ramen shops often serve pork based broth, but Hinata specializes in chicken broth ramen.

Overall Food Atmosphere Price
♥♥♥1/2 ♥♥♥
♥♥1/2 $$  
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Original Hinata Paitan Ramen – Chicken broth $12.5 ♥♥♥1/2

I started my lunch with gyoza and pork bum to share. I didn’t much care for either appetizer, but it was good and decent enough. I sat at the front counter seat so that I could see the action in the kitchen behind the glass window. (It does not have an open kitchen.) I ordered the Original Hinata Paitan Ramen and my friend ordered the Aburi Niku Miso Ramen which is limited to 10 bowls per day. Both ramen were very good.

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Aburi Niku Miso Ramen – (Limited 10 bowls per day) ♥♥♥1/2

My favorite is Shoyu Tonkostuu (soy based and pork based mixed.) Compared to pork based this was much lighter and cleaner. Definitely refreshing.

It was also great to meet the owner, Chef Madoka Tamura. I was a little shocked to see a young Japanese lady. I guess I always imagine a ramen shop owner to be a man. Like I said, Hinata’s ramen is very clean and elegant. This made perfect sense once I met her. She was lovely. I asked her about her background. She said this is her first restaurant and she taught herself how to make ramen. I’m the owner of Cutie Room, but having a boutique and running a restaurant are two different things. I was very impressed. I love seeing Japanese women doing their thing in NYC!

Owner/ chef Madoka Tamura

I eat at most ramen shops more than twice before giving a rating. So, at this time I can’t give a proper rating yet. I am definitely going back for lunch again soon. Stay tuned for an update!

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Hinata Pork Bun ♥♥♥

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Kurobuta Gyoza ♥♥♥

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Sant Ambroeus in SOHO

Sant Ambroeus’ newest location on Lafayette St. in SOHO

Sant Ambroeus
Sant Ambroeus now has four locations throughout NY. Their original location in the West Village, one on the Upper East Side, another in East Hampton on Long Island, and now SoHo. I’ve eaten lunch at their East Hampton location several times during the Summer, but I’ve never made it to their West Village and UES locations. I came to their SoHo location for lunch with Tabelog blogger Jay BarTaste and a teammate of mine. I live only four blocks from the new spot, but I decided to take the $4 cab ride to get there. Not that I was late, I was wearing new, SuPa cute, open-toed heels. Who says you need to dress down for lunch just because you’re in your own neighborhood?! That is not how I enjoy a lovely lunch with wonderful company~ I always cute it up for lunch patrolling with heels.

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

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First, we shared my “boo” with mozzarella balls. By “boo” I mean pig. Prosciutto with mozzarella was a perfect way to start our lunch. Yummy~

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The three of us shared our dishes, but my main entree was Bronzino! Light and healthy. Originally, Jay chose the same dish, but he was a gentleman and ordered the Veal Chop instead. Thanks Jay *\(^_^)/* It is always more fun to choose different dishes so that you can taste various entrees and, of course, take more beautiful photos! The Veal Chop Milanese’s portion was very large so it was perfect for sharing. We also ordered the Tagliatelle pasta, but I didn’t much care for it.

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At the end of lunch, I had to have chocolate mousse with a cappuccino.  The cappuccino came with a plate of cookies on the side. The moose was simple, smooth, and delicious. I highly recommend it!

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The lunch crowd was very “Gossip Girl”-esque, if you know what I mean. Definitely cute & fashionable with an UES style.  This place is great for my neighborhood even though the price point is on the higher side. This means it may not be good for your every day neighborhood spot, but everyone in Nolita will enjoy this special place. I’m sure I won’t come here as often as I do Freeman’s or Estela, but I know it’ll be top of my list for the times I’m willing to splurge a little.

If you are a fan of Sant Ambroeus, now you can come to their SOHO location, too!

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Thank you for lovely lunch Tabelog & BarTaste

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