Semilla- another reason to visit Brooklyn

We had heard a lot of buzz about Semilla in Brooklyn and we were quite eager to go and check it out. What we found was a rather small restaurant with the kitchen located at the far end and a center bar area with a wrap around counter where customers eat. There are no tables so instead you sit and watch waiters and chefs as they work. I have to say that everyone was very friendly and easy-going. Word of caution though, there are very few seats so make sure to book before you go.

I loved the idea behind Semilla. A couple, José Ramírez-Ruíz and Pamela Yung, with a true interest in kilometer 0 and healthy cooking have created a mostly vegetarian menu which varies on season and market. There isn’t an a la carte option. Instead you have to go for the pre established menu ($85) and go with the flow. Not to worry though, the menu is very well-balanced and you finish off just right. One of the dishes that mostly caught us off guard was the bread and butter dish which was served a proper plate integrated into the menu. Their opinion is that the bread and butter should not be overlooked and taken lightly but that it should be given the same attention that you would another preparation. I have to say that Pam makes mind-blowingly good bread.

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On another note, the wine/bear list was interesting as they carry their natural sense all the way to the beverages.

We went for dinner and the lighting was diim so my pictures came out rather dark so I am going to have to ask you to bare with me because I want you to get an idea of Semilla, which I highly recommend.

 

Semilla 

No. 5, 160 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Telephone:+1 718-782-3474

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Gramercy Tavern – a NY classic

Gramercy Tavern is a New York classic and I had been wanting to go and check it out for quite some time. Yes, it is nice to know what is new but it is also important to see what has been working for years. Gramercy Tavern is one of those placdes which makes you feel like you are right in a Woody Allen movie. The people, the ambiance, the decoration all screams Woody and I have to say that I loved it.

As for the layout of the restaurant; there are two dining options. As you enter you encounter the more informal “tavern” with a cocktail bar and then further inside you find the more formal dining room. When you try the food you quickly understand that there is a know-how acquired over time and perfected with years of experience. They prepare both fish and meats not to mention vegetables and the flavors are delicate and elegant.

Let me simply show you some of their dishes so you can get a feel, such as the warm lobster salad.

Gramercy Tavern

42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

Telephone:+1 212-477-0777

Grand Central Market – unexpected

New York is all about surprises and if you are going to be in The Big Apple for the holidays you will probably be taking the subway at some given point. Even if you prefer to travel at street level I am sure that you will at least visit Central Station, which has served as a set to movies such as Unfaithful and The Prince of Tides just to name a couple. Many of you foodies out there probably see Central Station as an emblematic subway station with a pretty amazing Christmas lights show but what many don’t know is that hidden among its stores, trains and clock is Grand Central Market, a gourmet stop for those running to catch the train.

The market isn’t big but you can very well stock up on goodies before you head home. For the tourists, it makes a great stop.

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For more information click here.

Jean Georges – unbeatable lunch menu 

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It has been ages since my last post and now the holidays are upon us. For all of you celebrating Thanksgiving this week, I want to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. Today I want to share with you an incredible lunch menu.

Jean Georges is well known in New York and around the world for its outstanding cuisine which has earned him several Michelin stars. Jean Georges has restaurants all over the world from the US to Tokyo but today I want to talk to you about Jean Georges and the Terrace at Jean Georges which has an unbeatable lunch menu. The menu costs $48 for two plates and each additional plate is $24. Desserts and drinks are not included. The menu consists of more than twenty dishes to choose from and I have to say that they all look so tempting that it is a hard decision to pick only two or three.

The experience starts off with a dish of several different appetizers and then finishes off with petit fours. What happens in between is totally in your hands.

These were my appetizers.

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The menu changes with the season but so that you can get an idea of what the plates look like I will share some of my pictures.

Peekytoe crab dumplings with snow peas, black pepper and mint.

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Goat Cheese Gnocchi with caramelized baby artichokes, lemom and olive oil

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Jean Georges has one of the best lunch menus I have ever had. Even though dessert is not included in the price I urge you to indulge yourself. You won’t regret it.

1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023, USA
Telephone:+1 212-299-3900
Check out there website here.

Gansevoort Market – love love love Meatpacking District

October is upon us so we have to take advantage of those clear skies and cool weather days before winter hits. Now that the weather is much milder than in summer it is always nice to go for walks and be outdoors. During this past summer I just wanted to be inside with the AC on to full blast. Going out onto our terrace could easily be compared to being out in the Mojave Desert. It was like no-man’s land.

My suggestion for a weekend stroll in New York is the Meatpacking District. This area just has it all; trendy restaurants, cool shops, the new Whitney Museum, the High Line Park and Gansevoort Market which is a fun place to go and grab a bite to eat and hang out with friends. There was live music on the day we went and the area was just buzzing with energy.

Here are some picture so you can get a feel.

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a glimpse at the Meat Packing District

The new Whitney Museum

The new Whitney Museum

High Line Park

High Line Park with the Whitney Museum at the back.

A street band playing awayat the entrance to Gansevoort Market

A street band playing away at the entrance to Gansevoort Market

Inside Gansevoort Market

Inside Gansevoort Market

Inside Gansevoort Market

Inside Gansevoort Market

Little Owl – the all-American burger

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I am a real goner for a juicy burger. It must be my American childhood which is embedded in me as I will admit to loving Rice Crispy treats as well. They transport me back to bake sales at my school. Enough on the reminiscing and back to the burgers as I have found what for me is the perfect all-American burger. One with a bun that doesn’t get soggy, with properly ground high-quality meat which is delicately pressed so that it holds in all of the juice, with cheese oozing at every bite, crispy bacon and fresh lettuce and tomato. Hamburgers have been reinterpreted a million times but the original for me is a BLT, with cheese of course and Little Owl knows how to make it.

_DSC2694 We went to Little Owl several years ago and their burger has been in my dreams and I have ever since longed to go back. Well, I finally have and I was not disappointed in the least. It was superb! Now don’t think that Little Owl is a hamburger joint. It is a restaurant with many other dishes on the menu. Their meatballs are very well liked. This last time we went for Sunday brunch and I have to say that the plates around us, pancakes, pouched eggs… all looked delicious. This is one of those places that if I lived in NY I would constantly be going to.

For all of the Friends fans out there, you might be interested in knowing that the façade of the building where Little Owl is located was shown in the series as Monica and Rachel’s apartment. So don’t be surprised if you see groups of people just standing around looking up.

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Little Owl

90 Bedford Street

Little Owl

Best to make reservations before hand. 

Magnolia Bakery – THE place for cupcakes

IMG_6051Honestly, I can’t decide if I prefer the moist fluffiness of the cake or the rich creaminess of the frosting, but when you combine the two, OMG, pleasure invades your tastebuds.  At $3.50 a cupcake, happiness couldn’t be cheaper.

There are five locations in New York but I am a fan of the one on Bleecker Street  which was the first and I am sure that Sex and the City fans will remember Carrie and Charlotte sitting on a bench right in front of the bakery having one. FYI, the bench was staged for that episode so please don’t go searching for it to take your picture.

The bakery is on a quiet street with its characteristic blue canopy window shade and inside the store is as quaint and as cute as can be with the smell of baked goods lingering in the air.

You can also get cakes (slices as well), pies, cookies, brownies and everything nice.

www.magnoliabakery.com

For all you bakers out there, there is a Magnolia Bakery cookbook.

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