Girls on Food


Lauren’s Last Bite Takes Over London

There’s no need to dread turning 35 if you do it with an epic trip to London. Turn up!! Turn up!! If you read any of my previous posts, you will recall I was living in Puerto Rico. I have since relocated back to Washington D.C. I love to travel as often as I can, but I am frugal. I would much rather spend my hard-earned moolah on food and cocktails! It is cheaper to book a flight out of NYC to London, which gave me the opportunity to try the ‘Purple Amethyst Latte’ at The End in Brooklyn. This vegan latte was a berry-infused, antioxidant rich, mood lifting drink with ube and a touch of lavender honey! This coffee shop offers a couple of energizing drinks as alternatives to coffee at their “Plant Alchemy Bar”. They are also famous for their ‘Unicorn Latte’.

Upon landing in London, a city known for its abundance of Michelin starred restaurants, I didn’t know which one to choose.  Luckily there were a few near my hotel. Another plus about London’s bevy of Michelin starred restaurants is that most of them are open for lunch and offer a prix fixe option that won’t blow your food budget. Unfortunately, I have a food budget AND a drink budget. My drink budget has been known to be loftier than my food budget. I chose the Typing Room’. It was modern, sleek, yet still approachable. I ‘day-dressed up’, but other diners were more casually dressed.  The food was stellar and the open kitchen gave way to a wonderful show. It was raining (duh, I was in London) and I ate a little heavier than usual for lunch. Venison, braised cabbage two ways with yogurt and demi-glace. The venison was so tender that no knife was needed.

Venison Medallions, Cabbage 2 ways, Spiced Yogurt and Demi Glace

Blown away by the service, food and the experience at Typing Room, I couldn’t leave London without checking another Michelin starred restaurant off my list. I love some fusion and StreetXO was highly recommended. This was a Spanish/Asian fusion. Ok, I can dig it. No surprise I started with a celebratory drink. They had me at vodka, St. Germain and that big a** glass. StreetXO has a variety of tasting menus, but being alone I was able to order a la carte. YAY!!! I had the “club” sandwich. Being a former Boricua, I couldn’t resist a croquette. These were a perfect mix of Spanish/Asian fusion: kimchi, raw salmon, trout roe, Lapsang Souchong tea, and sheep’s milk. These were perfect from the first dribble-down-your-chin-I-don’t-care-I-am-in-public bite. It was THAT good. The menu looked so good. I want to go back with more people and devour the entire menu…twice!  Most of the clientele were Spaniards. I loved this, because you know if natives are eating there it is legit. This also let me know how far my Spanish has regressed since living in Puerto Rico. 

“Club Sandwich” from StreetXO
Croquettes with kimchi, trout roe

I fell for the hype and went to the ICEBAR in London. It is exactly what you imagine…a bar with everything made of ice: the bar, the glassware, the seats, EVERYTHING. I’m guessing it’s an improbability that they ever run out of ice.  At the door you are greeted with ski jackets to keep you insulated in the constant brisk -5 Celsius temperature. It’s as cold as it sounds and your jacket comes with gloves attached. BRRRRRRR. I’m having cold flashbacks. It was a cool spot (literally and figuratively). The bar is sponsored by ABSOLUT and each year the inside has a different theme. When I visited it was a zoo them. Gorillas, zebras and tigers, oh my! I’ll be honest, I was a bit too cold to take it all in. Even the cute bartender with the sexy, South African accent couldn’t coax me into staying. Look me up when you have a job in a temperate climate.

treacle tart

As always, I will conclude with my last bite. I will go back to London for the ‘treacle tart’ from Boxcar Butcher and Grill. From my understanding, treacle is term for molasses, but is also slang for sweetheart. This tart had a sweet/salty combo from a dusting of caramel corn. All I can say is, “WTF?” Where’s the Food?

Cute Bartender @Icebar in London

Renzell: The Perfect App For Fine Dining Lovers

The world of foodie apps is like the wild west right now. Developers are striving to become the next big thing, but few apps offer anything unique to stand out from just being a local restaurant directory. I thought I had seen it all with these apps, until GOF blogger Marcie told me to check out an app called Renzell and it has since become my go-to restaurant directory app.

Cocktail from Redbird in LA, a restaurant you can survey on Renzell

Why Renzell?

It’s for those with impeccable taste –  What separates Renzell out from the other apps is a restaurant directory that is specifically hand-picked by Renzell staff of fine dining establishments in major metropolitan cities. This app isn’t here to help you find a new coffee shop, it’s to help you find the perfect special occasion spot. Think Marea in NYC, Redbird in LA and Alinea in Chicago.

Be undercover –  Members can rate restaurants anonymously through their surveys, which are scored based off overall numbers, no long write-ups required. Their surveys are broken down into categories like ambiance, service, food and cocktails. What I love about this so much is that it’s not public what scores users gave, so I can quietly and candidly score spots. See full list of restaurants here.

Prove it – There is also more accountability in the scores than other review apps. Members are encouraged to show proof of dining by providing a receipt from their visit. This makes me feel better when I read the scores, cause it’s lessening the likelihood of fake reviews.

Get rewarded! – The more you survey and/or provide proof of receipt, the more goodies you can get! Recent rewards include Starbucks gift cards, SoulCycle classes, a month of free Spotify premium and so much more.

With membership benefits, secure anonymity and consistent app functionality, I will consider myself a “lifer” Renzell member.

  • Featured image – Strozzapreti from Marea in New York, a restaurant you can survey on Renzell

The Mansion Restaurant in NYC

The temperature here in New York City has finally begun to cool down, and this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy some seasonal favorites. Soups are a sure bet to help keep your body warm, and your soul happy. Chicken Noodle Soup is a favorite everywhere, but given NYC’s large appreciation for Jewish delis & cuisine, Matzo Ball Soup is a widely popular item across the city. Mansion Restaurant, in NYC’s Upper East Side neighborhood, is famous for their rendition of this iconic item.

The Mansion 
1634 York Ave, New York, NY 10028

Unfortunately, when I went to Mansion, it was still quite warm outside, so I didn’t opt for soup. The atmosphere of Mansion is warm & inviting, exactly what you’d expect from your favorite neighborhood Diner. The staff is friendly, and the food is great. Diner food doesn’t necessarily Instagram the best, but it always hits the spot, and that’s why you love it.


My Cuban Spot: Authentic Cuban Cuisine in NYC (FINALLY!)

As a proud Cuban-American, I am obsessed with my culture. It’s crazy that a place I’ve never been to holds such a special place in my heart. Cuban culture is unlike any other. I dream of one day visiting Cuba, but for now, I can only go by the stories I was told as a child and the delicious meals I grew up on, living in a Cuban household in Miami.

After all, food brought us together. Between my abuela’s best arroz con pollo on the weekends, sipping a Materva (Cuban soda) and feasting on the lechon (pork)  during noche buena (Christmas Eve), and pastelitos and croquetas from the Cuban bakery that were present at every one of my birthday parties—I was raised on Cuban cuisine!

Now that I am living in New York City, finding authentic Cuban food has been not just a challenge, but downright impossible. Everyone knows NYC is a melting pot of cultures and offers a plethora of cuisines. The best chefs, restaurants, and food in the world can be found here. But my biggest complaint—and that of any Cuban living in New York—will always be that you can’t find Cuban food like the kind you find in Miami in New York City. The places that try to come close are nowhere near as authentic. Needless to say, I have been disappointed in not being able to find these Cuban bites that I grew up on… until now!

My Cuban Spot
488 Carroll Street (Third Avenue) in Gowanus
Follow the fun on Instagram: @MyCubanSpot

I was skeptical of trying this new spot, given that every “Cuban” place in NY has been nothing short of a disappointment. But when a friend who was visiting NYC from Miami said one of our own (Miami people) opened it up and raved about it, I knew I had to check it out. So I made the trek to Brooklyn, with my Miami crew, to see how authentic this place really was. (more…)

The Brunch Bunch: A Midtown Manhattan Brunch Preview of Juniper Bar

It isn’t often I head to Midtown Manhattan, but when Food and City (@Foodandcity) comes calling telling you there’s a crazy new brunch menu, you stop what you’re doing and rush over.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of joining some of my fellow foodie influencers for a morning filled with delightful drinks, fantastic food and just a few extra calories. Juniper Bar, a cute and cozy spot near Madison Square Garden and Penn Station, now offers some of the best brunch menu items I’ve ever laid my eyes on!

Juniper Bar
237 W. 35th St, New York, NY 10001



Can a Plant-Based Dinner at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s abcV Satisfy?

I came into my dinner at abcV a bit hesitant. Eating a complete meal (in ABC, a home decor shop) with just veggies? Especially when my favorite meal is dinner? I didn’t know just how impressive a vegetarian meal could possibly be. Restaurateur and Chef Jean-George Vongerichten is the genius that teamed up with ABC Carpet CEO and Creative Director Paulette Cole to change your outlook on what a dinner focused on the vegetables can look like. With the right pairing of flavors, experimenting with spices or roasting vegetables in butter, the team at abcV knows exactly how to make you forget about meat. You will be too preoccupied with the creamy green chickpea hummus and raving about how the roasted beets are the best ones you’ve ever had to even miss chicken or beef. abcV is a place meant for sharing plates so definitely bring a friend or two. I also suggest that you take a chance and forgo the cocktails for one of the juices or tonic drinks both of which are refreshing and pair excellently with dinner. No matter which way you decide to conquer this vegetarian menu, you will leave feeling full, satisfied and so excited to come back to try the rest of the menu. 

38 E 19TH ST, NEW YORK, NY 10003

Green chickpea hummus, Thai basil, fresh pita or crudité


Poppin’ Bottles in NYC: Air’s Champagne Parlor

Champagne is the unequivocal celebratory drink! And, let’s face it — during the not so celebratory times, a Champagne-filled flute somehow makes everything better.

New York City is the one city in the world where you can find any kind of specialty. You like macaroons? There’s a bakery just for that. Are bagels your thing? You can find virtually any flavor at a specialty bagel shop. Amused with the science behind sex? There is a museum dedicated to that too! Is bourbon your drink of choice? There are bourbon bars galore. Cocktail bars? One on every street corner. But a space solely dedicated to the tasting, enjoyment and (education) of my favorite drink: Champagne? Genius!

Naturally, when I heard such a whimsical place existed, I knew I had to check it out. At Air’s Champagne Parlor, you can pop bottles from across the globe, without ever leaving their adorable spot in the West Village.

Air’s Champagne Parlor
127 Macdougal Street, New York, NY 10012


A Great Deal on Korean Tapas in NYC: Atoboy

There’s a fair amount of Korean tapas spots in NYC including Atoboy but this restaurant is doing something different on their menu. Although the dishes are on the finer side with minimalist design and subtle Korean influences, they still make a clear statement that this is the future of relaxed Asian fine dining. The menu allows you to choose any 3 dishes on the menu for only $36 which, is one of the best deals you’ll score for dinner at a fine dining restaurant in the city.

The Chicken dish with a spicy peanut butter sauce and braised leeks with walnuts will remind you of the Korean dishes you see on a menu in K-Town but at Atoboy the twists stem from various popular international flavors ranging from shredded cheddar, truffles, poblano peppers to even good old cheesecake.

43 E 28TH ST, NEW YORK, NY 10016

LEEK- Doenjang, Cheddar, Walnut


The Gramercy Garden Eating Club in NYC

It’s difficult to focus on how you are eating when you are so much more focused on what you are eating. Steph Jensen, whose background is rooted in health and wellness, is well aware of this. In an effort to educate others on why focusing on how you eat is important, she started a whole dinner series focused on mindful eating called The Gramercy Garden Eating Club.

For her club, she teams up with local New York City chefs to bring her guests a “mind-to-table” experience right in her own private NYC patio. The dinner I attended was cooked by Micah Fredman who has cooked in incredible NYC restaurants including Gramercy Tavern and Eleven Madison Park. The night was full of an incredible paleo/pescatarian menu, approachable guests and eating tips that are simple enough for any foodies to follow.

All ingredients used for this dinner were picked from the farmer’s market the morning of the dinner, so the freshness of the vegetables really stood out during the meal.
Chilled squash soup- The chilled squash soup was perfect for a hot summer night, with its smokey finish from spices. It was a great opener to the rest of the courses leaving you not too full but instead, excited for what’s to come.


A Whole 30 Days of Adventure With Megan!

If anyone out there has heard of Whole 30, they know it’s gauntlet thrown down at your social life when you decide to take it on. It is mostly paleo, definitely gluten free, and also bears a host of other restrictions because it’s supposed to show you what foods you are allergic to. Did I mention no drinking? YUP. Here’s a more comprehensive understanding of the plan.


Weekly Wanderlust 7/7/17: Five-Course Dinner at Nerano in Beverly Hills, Paula’s Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries and The Ainsworth in NYC

Every Friday here at Girls on Food, we’ll bring you Weekly Wanderlust, featuring the best our in cities, recipes, videos and advanced notice on events we’ll be appearing at.

The BG Lounge | photo credit Rob Stark

Julianne here:

I am so excited for Nerano and Marchesi Antinori‘s Italian Wine Dinner in Beverly Hills. For this dinner, Executive Chef Michele Lisi and Sommelier Samantha Johnston of Nerano team up with Wine Ambassador and Sommelier Alessia Botturi of Marchesi Antinori. 

This five-course dinner tasting menu paired with Italian wines by Sommelier Samantha Johnston will commence on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at 7 PM, in The BG Lounge. 

Pricing for Nerano’s Antinori Wine Dinner is $140 per person, inclusive of the wine and menu, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Advance reservations required and there is limited seating available for this event, make a reservation here: 310.405.0155 

Nerano & The BG Lounge
9960 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Here’s a sneak peek at the menu for the evening:

The evening reception begins with Stuzzichini – Crostino Di Pomodoro Verde with Apulian Burrata & Green Tomato Marmellata and Bruschetta with Grilled Rustic Crostino, Diced Campari Tomato, Arugula & Parmigiano Reggiano paired with Col de Salici Rosé Brut NV.

Followed by Antipasti  Crudo Di Ricciola with Pacific Yellowtail, Crispy Capers, Fresno Chili Peppers, Rainbow Micro Greens & Citronette paired with Tenuta Guado Al Tasso, Vermentino 2015and Burrata Caprese with Heirloom TomatoesApulian Burrata, Tomato Confit & Arugula-Pesto paired with Castello Della Sala, ‘Cervaro,’ Chardonnay 2014. 

Next is the Pasta course of house-made Orecchiette with Colorado Lamb Ragú, English Peas, Tuscan Mint & Fiocchi di Burrata paired with Guado al Tasso, ‘Il Bruciato’ 2015. For Secondi – the main course – Tagliata di Manzo, USDA Prime New York Steak with Yukon Gold Potato Focaccia & Sautéed Spinach paired with Antinori ‘Tignanello’ 2014.

Completing the dinner is a Dolci of Panna Cotta e Frutti di Bosco – Tahitian Vanilla Panna Cotta with Fresh Wild Berries, Orange Zest & Vin Cotto paired with Fattoria Aldobrandesca, ‘Aleatico’ 2011.

I will be on our Instagram @girlsonfoodblog providing stories and live content, so make sure you’re following us!


Summer Fancy Food Show with Megan and Marcie

Megan: Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend one of the most insider food experiences that anyone in the industry could wish for… Summer Fancy Food Show. Here, vendors from around the world journey to the Javits Center to peddle their wares to bloggers, restaurants, and distributors. Move over Costco, the free samples at this place are bringing all the bloggers to the yard.

Happily, fellow NYC GOF-Foodie, Marcie and I were able to attend together. Here’s our take on the epic and always classy Fancy Food Show, Summer edition.

Bare in mind, I attended this while on Day 23 of the Whole 30 diet, so my perspective was super focused on what I was able to actually put in mouth while sauntering up and down the endless aisles.

MarcieRunning a bar program, I’m always looking for fun, new exciting products to use in cocktails. I’m also on a hardcore gluten free paleo diet, and it’s great to see how many cool and delicious options there are now!

Calabria Di Gusto

Marcie: First, we started at the Calabria Di Gusto booth, and sampled some amaro and amaretto. All spirits are coming from Calabria in Italy. My favorite was the Vecchio Amaro del Capo. It’s a beautiful spirit distilled from sugar beets and 29 herbs and spices. And they were kind enough to send me home with a bottle, and I made an incredible Negroni with it!