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Brunch at The Derby

[Translate] The Derby is a restaurant newcomer to the Lower East Side. The menu is American Southern. The place has a large sidewalk dining area and interior is simply done of wooden tables and yellow chairs. All the windows and doors were open as it was a very warm, humid summer afternoon. D and I met up for brunch here. He wanted the Peach Smash, a strong whiskey cocktail with a touch of peach and fresh mint to make it refreshing, while I need my caffeine and had a mug of drip coffee. (Alas, they don’t have iced coffee yet.)..

Dinner at The Nomad Bar

[Translate] View of the bar (taken with my iPhone); The view of the bar looking down The NoMad Bar, a freestanding extension of the handsome, sophisticated Elephant Bar within The NoMad Hotel opened several months ago by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara. One of my friends visiting from London wanted to eat something new so I thought we should head here since I’ve been hearing good things about the food, and of course the cocktails. While I was waiting for her arrival, the first thing I noticed was the boisterous conviviality of the happy hour crowd of mostly young professionals..

Amazing Day Trip to the Hudson Valley with Buick (Part 2) – Dinner at Fish & Game

[Translate]   Entrance to Fish & Game; Interiors on the lounge/ground floor Despite the fact we’re buzzed thanks to the wonderful whiskeys and bourbon from Hillrock Estate Distillery and the cheeses served with them, we headed back to our respective Buick and driver to dinner about 30 minutes away to Fish & Game. Fish & Game is owned by chef Zakary Pelaccio. He used to be in New York City proper for over a decade and had a mini Asian-influenced empire of restaurants, Fatty Crab and Fatty Cue that were very good (especially the watermelon and pork belly salad) but..

Amazing Day Trip to the Hudson Valley with Buick (Part 1) – Montgomery Place Orchards & Hillrock Estate Distillery

[Translate] Yesterday was arguably the most fantastic day trip I have been in a long time. The perfect summer day when it’s not so humid and hot, mixed with a gentle breeze, and puffy, friendly white clouds in the blue sky. Heading up to the historic and very charming Hudson Valley that’s about 2 hours from Manhattan in a shiny black Buick LaCrosse with our driver of the day, Eddie. Many thanks to the generous people of Buick/Drive the District and our hosts of the day, Montgomery Place Orchards, Hillrock Distillery, and dinner at Fish & Game. The dinner will..

Dinner at Pagani

[Translate] Pagani is a beautiful restaurant on the corner of Bleecker Street and 7th Avenue, where if you do have tables near their windows, it’s great for people watching. I recently had dinner with a friend at Pagani and we thought it’s generally a good neighborhood restaurant, especially for its prices. Starters don’t breach the $10 mark, most pastas (that are sort of on the generous side) are in the mid to high teens, and most protein mains are hovering around $25. We started with an Uncle Ralph cocktail that was refreshing with the cucumber, lime and gin flavors. The..

Brunch at Russ & Daughter’s Cafe & Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream

[Translate] Menu; At the counter bar; The open kitchen; Our soda and shrub Most New Yorkers know Russ & Daughters, amongst a couple of more restaurants/food establishments, are a New York institution. The original store on East Houston Street, is essentially a take-out shop where their patrons of many stripes come mainly for their famous smoked fish (most order the mind blowing, bagel with cream cheese and lox but there’s numerous smoked fish sandwiches they offer). When the owners started talking a few years ago about the possibility of opening an actual sit-down restaurant, many rejoiced and waited until the..

Pig Feast at North River

[Translate] Exterior of North River; Summer Milk Punch; Questions Later This weekend my dining companion and I went to dinner at North River for their Pig Feast ($55 per person, not including drinks). The Pig Feast is a set group menu and you would need reserve the pig at least three days in advance. It includes a seasonal salad, a variation of crispy potatoes and another vegetable side dish to balance your pork-centric dinner. Chef Adam Starowicz, a Momofuku Ko and Hearth alum, cooks seasonal and crowd-pleasing dishes that appeal to both the veggie lovers and the meat eaters. We..

Sud de France Festival 2014: Dinner at Contra

[Translate] Sud de France Festival is an annual, three-week celebration of the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, notably for their wines. Events involved in sommelier competitions (those in the wine profession) or for the non-wine professionals like us, attend fun things like the launch party, wine tasting classes, and their series of “Tasting Tables” and typically features a French jazz band to entertain the crowds. This year, one of the participating restaurants that are collaborating with Sud de France was Contra ($90 per person for this particular dinner). Contra cooks seasonal, beautiful and naturalistic dishes (à la Noma) and it seems..

Fantastic Lunch at Gramercy Tavern & Excellent Desserts from Chef Miroslav Uskokovic

[Translate] Gramercy Tavern is one of my perennial favorite restaurants in New York City. The restaurant looks pretty with the many colorful flowers on display (as it is spring) at the Tavern Room and the splaying tree on the bar. It feels cozy and home-y in the best way possible but in an upscale manner. We chose to stick with the Dining Room for a calmer atmosphere. The waiters are very astute, professional, and friendly. And of course, the food is fantastic. It reflects the seasonal changes of what the restaurant receives from the local farmers and suppliers with flavors..