Girls on Food

NYC

Meatless Monday: French Vegetarian at Table Verte NYC – CLOSED

It’s Meatless Monday!

Table Verte
127 E 7th Street
New York, NY 10009
(212) 539-0231

Lucky for us here in New York City, no matter what you’re in the mood for, there is surely a restaurant that caters to your every craving or diet. Table Verte grabbed my attention with their take on French Vegetarian cuisine. I have never been a fan of many vegetarian restaurants because all they sell are faux-meat replacements for the real thing. And in an age now where people are avoiding soy and wheat, Table Verte made a point to have no fake meat products, so we wandered down to the quiet east village eatery and checked it out.Table Verte 1

We started off with the french onion soup. It came to the table piping hot out of the oven in a small cute ceramic bowl. The soup is made with vegetable stock and topped with their house made onion bread and melty swiss cheese. MMmmm vegetarian comfort food… The onion bread was a fabulous added bonus to the soup. And finally! French onion soup without beef stock! Thank you Table Verte!

Table Verte 2

There are several items on the menu that are labeled vegan and gluten free, which is becoming a welcome addition to more and more restaurant menus. We decided to try the Stuffed Roasted Squash. It was acorn squash stuffed with corn, spinach, tomato, mushrooms, beans, rice and spices, and served with a salad. I really enjoyed the homemade feeling of this dish. It was filling, healthy, dairy and wheat free, and I didn’t feel like I was cheating on my diet. 😉Table Verte 3

And for the indulgent vegetarian: try the Gnocchi Parisian au Gratin. The gnocchi was baked with a cream sauce, swiss cheese and a truffle essence. It was rich and delicious, and anything truffle related is a-ok with me. This is one of those dishes that when paired with a large glass of white wine turns a bad day into a good day. But don’t forget to BYOB! They don’t have a alcohol license yet. 🙂

Valentine’s Day in NYC

Oh Valentines Day…you either love it or you hate it. But either way, it’s a great day to overindulge. Two of my favorite things to overindulge on is cheese and chocolate. Throw a couple glasses of wine in there, and we have the perfect evening. Luckily NYC has some amazing places to choose from. If you’re looking for a practical present this year, take a look at these cheap life insurance quotes.

Beecher’s New York
Flatiron District
900 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

Beecher’s is a homemade cheese shop upstairs, and downstairs in The Cellar, is a small dark restaurant and lounge area. We arrived around 6pm, and for only being open one hour, was completely packed. The hostess told us it would be about 20 minutes for a table. Something I thought was interesting is that we were ID’ed upon walking into the restaurant. Only 21 and over allowed? Oh, yes please. We walk over to the bar, and order two glasses of wine. They have $6 wine specials for happy hour which was awesome.

We tried a few of their cheeses and a vegetarian flatbread, but one thing that stood out was their homemade penne mac and cheese with curried cauliflower and sweet onions. It was rich, creamy, fresh, and so so SO delicious. I could of eaten an entire bowl of the curried cauliflower with cheese sauce. One order of the mac was about $16, and more than plenty to share.

Beecher’s also has a smaller cheese shop at Pike’s Place in Seattle for my west coasters.

Max Brenner
841 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

After dinner, we walked across Union Square to Max Brenner, which is a chocolate restaurant with chocolate everything. They even had a separate bar for just chocolate-related non-alcoholic beverages. We went for a fondue sampler, which featured their housemade white chocolate, milk chocolate, and caramel fondue. For dipping, they provided us with strawberries, bananas, cookies, and pound cake. We paired our fondue with a glass of Columbia Crest Sauvignon Blanc and a Tiramisu inspired cocktail, garnished with a lady finger.

The beehive looking ceramic pots were awesome and practical way to keep the chocolate warm. I’m hoping to find one of these to make some fondue at home!

Meatless Monday: Brunch at Cafecito Bogota

Cafecito Bogota
1015 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Brunch in New York City is like buying a metro card, you just have to do it. I mean, don’t we all need a great excuse to why we’re stumbling down the street drunk at 5 pm from a “all you can drink” mimosa brunch? My boyfriend and I enjoy getting out once a week to do just this. And I have to tell you, NYC doesn’t come up short when it comes to brunch.
Cafecita Bottega 1

This week brought us to Cafecito Bogota, nestled in the quiet Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn. For $16.50, you get two drinks (either a mimosa or sangria) and a bottomless cup of hot tea or coffee, AND your breakfast. Such a deal. They also have a selection of fresh juices made in house, today being guava, passion fruit, or orange/kiwi. I went with a guava mimosa, and my boyfriend tried their housemade sangria. The guava mimosa was a lovely change from boring old orange juice. The white wine sangria was fabulous as well, with passion fruit and crisp chunks of red and green apple. I enjoyed the fact that it was obviously made that day.

Cafecita Bogota

I had the Tortilla Colorada, which was a three egg omelet with corn and a harmonious mix of red pepper and paprika, topped with queso blanco. The corn was an unfamiliar but delightful addition. The eggs tasted like you would make them at home. En lieu of homefries or breakfast potatoes was a mixed green salad with a basic Italian dressing and chopped banana…AND and arepa…topped with cheese…YUM.

If you aren’t sure what an arepa is, it’s a Colombian staple made of ground corn dough. It kind of tastes like a crumpet made of polenta. There are arepa bars all over NYC, and they use it as sandwich bread. You can also buy them in grocery stores back here as well. I don’t hear much about them on the west coast, sadly. Here it was simply served as a side dish for my omelet. Delish.

Cafe Bogota2

Next we tried the Punta Verde, another one of their vegetarian options, which was caramelized tofu sauteed beautifully with string beans and pesto, all resting on top of an arepa. I was unsure what to expect when we ordered it, but it was a welcome surprise. It was absolutely delicious.Cafecito Bogota Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

New York State of Mind: The Big Apple Part 3

Katz Delicatessen
205 E Houston St
(between Avenue A & Essex St)
New York, NY 10002

Yes, this is the place where Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm in “When Harry Met Sally”. Yes, you will have the same reaction when you bite into the pastrami reuben- only yours won’t be fake like many might be on sites like tubev.sex. This sandwich is a gigantic gooey mess that I could only eat half of in one sitting. The tenderness of the meat and softness of the bread is what sets it apart from other sandwiches. The housemade pickles were crispy, sour and fresh. Marcie’s turkey sandwich with a Russian dressing was also very good. It seems expensive when you look at the menu, but it’s worth it. The staff hooks you up with samples prior to ordering the sandwich of your choice.

Sons of Essex
133 Essex St
(between Stanton St & Rivington St)

New York, NY 10002

I loved the interior to this place. It’s dark, the furniture looks vintage and there’s a girl DJ-ing on a Macbook. It felt like a shooting location for “How to Make it in America”, it’s very youthful.
Marcie and I had a round (or two… or three…) of bottomless mimosas to start.

My favorite part of our brunch was the kale Caesar salad. It tasted like it was just brought from the Farmer’s market, it was perfectly dressed and bialy croutons.

I read “Mac ‘n Cheese Omelet” on the menu and thought it sounded so rich, creamy and wrong that I had to try it. To my surprise it was lighter than I imagined, it’s not an overwhelming eat.

I think any “mac ‘n cheese” lover would appreciate this. I know you’re out there…

New York State of Mind: The Big Apple Part 2

Lombardi’s Pizza 
32 Spring St
New York, NY 10012

This was a “small” pizza… Half of it was just cheese and on the other half I added prosciutto. This was the stereotypical “New York pizza”. It was thin crust, light sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese. It was good, but I still prefer a “Chicago pie” or what I refer to as a “West Coast pizza”, meaning thicker crust, so you can dip it in sauce, lots of sauce and toppings. Also, my prosciutto side was a bit burned and I didn’t have time to send it back.

 

Bareburger
85 2nd AveNew York, NY 10003

Marcie, my best friend lives in the East Village and there’s an abundance of unhealthy (but delicious) options. I tell myself that eating here was healthy because it’s all local and organic… Hey, I could do a lot worse!

They have all kind of grass fed “specialty”meats like Bison, Ostrich and Wild Boar. I went with their Mediterranean, a lamb burger with a mint cucumber yogurt, tomato, apple-wood smoked onions and cucs on a whole wheat bun. The burger was drippy, messy and yummy. Plus, I “liked” them on Facebook and I scored a free basket of fries!

 

This isn’t a review, but one of the most fun things to do in Manhattan is walk around Chinatown. There are late night markets, lots of ducks hanging in windows, fresh catches on ice and nail salons open past 8 PM.

 

 

New York State of Mind: The Big Apple Part 1

I went to New York City to visit my BFF Marcie and watch my pal Molly Ryan (http://mollyryan.com/) record songs for an upcoming album. It wouldn’t be a fun trip if I didn’t try the affordable Bourdain’s list spots (http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/must-visit-restaurants) and other spots in between. Here are the food highlights from my trip in a 3 part post.

Russ & Daughters
179 E Houston St
(between East Houston St & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10002
Marcie lives in East Village and one day when she was working I decided to wander the streets myself. I didn’t know I was going to stumble upon the place, I remembered Tiffany posting in the “Bucket List” so it was perfect timing!
Hmmm…. Where I have I seen this place before? Oh yeah, I saw Parker Posey feed Louis C.K. a sliver of smoked salmon on the show “Louie”. It’s cramped like a traditional NYC place. There is an overwhelming selection of smoked fish here. It took me about 10 minutes to figure out what I wanted. I finally asked the counter guy his favorite and I went with that.
I had the pleasure of eating my Norwegian Smoked Salmon on a Bialy with cream cheese and capers with a fantastic view….
Trash bags aside, the smoked salmon had a smokey and buttery taste that puts it on a whole other level of amazing. I want to go back and try the Pastrami cured salmon.
 Sylvia's 1

Sylvia’s Restaurant
328 Malcolm X Blvd
New York, NY 10027
Walking around Harlem was so much fun. I went to the Harlem market, grooved to an Ella Fitzgerald tribute band and saw the Apollo theatre.
  Slyvia's 2
I stopped into Sylvia’s, a popular Soul Food spot in Harlem. I was a little concerned when I sat down and noticed a hot sauce bottle with Sylvia’s face on it- did I accidentally stumble into a chain restaurant? No, her hot sauce is just that popular/amazing and has been sold to the masses. Phew!
I got the fried chicken with collard greens and mac ‘n cheese. The greens were a little soggier than I prefer and the chicken could’ve used more spice (Sandra Dee’s in Sacramento has the best spices for their fried chicken).I’ve eaten a lot of mac ‘n cheese in my lifetime and this was the creamiest, dreamiest kind I’ve ever had. Made the trip in there well worth it.