Llama San

Observations from my first visit I was excited to try Llama San, which opened in early September. It was still early days when I dined there for dinner, which is to say that both the front staff and kitchen staff were still getting their bearings…

Hutong

Observations from my first visit Hutong restaurant from the Aqua Restaurant Group (which has locations in London, Hong Kong and Beijing) opened its first US outpost in the former Le Cirque space.  It positions itself as a high-end Northern Chinese restaurant and bar, so in…

Side Bar: The Best of the Worst

I just read Ryan Sutton’s review of Wild Ink at The Hudson Yards.  The full headline for the Eater piece is “Wild Ink Is an Overwrought Yet Underachieving Fusion Disaster at Hudson Yards:  London-based group Rhubarb’s New York City debut goes wrong at every turn…

Mercado Little Spain

Observations from my first visit José Andrés came onto my radar when molecular gastronomy was still all the rage and his restaurant, The Bazaar, at the SLS hotel in Los Angeles received four stars from the LA Times in 2009.  I think I visited not…

Hot New Restaurant Lists: My Gripes (and Hopes)

I love trying new restaurants. I always have.  I was just musing to a friend while sitting at a counter at José Andrés’ Mercado Little Spain how I never became a ‘regular’ anywhere because I preferred to try something new as opposed to eating off…

Niche Mazémen

Rave reviews from restaurant critics for Chef Shigetoshi Nakamura brothless ramen from Ryan Sutton from Eater and Pete Wells from The New York Times prompted me to visit Niche (though the non-reservation policy kept me away for a few weeks and avoiding a weekend evening).…

Method Japanese Kitchen & Sake Bar

With the name ‘Method’ in cursive script and its darkened doors, it is sort of easy to mistake this establishment as another trendy bar specializing in cocktails, but over the last few months, Method Japanese Kitchen & Sake Bar has been getting attention from discerning…

Side Bar: Pete Wells and His 2-Star Reviews

It feels so random. . . Like many New Yorkers, I look to the The New York Times restaurant reviews for recommendations on where to eat (or not as the case may be). While there are several reviewers on staff, only one critic that gets…

Empellón Al Pastor (Pod 39)

A very quick visit to the bar I read somewhere that Alex Stupak’s Empellón Al Pastor at the Pod 39 hotel was all about bar food so I knew it would be a quick meal. I think we were in and out in under 45…

Rocco at The Standard Grill

Observations from my first meal  I went with great anticipation to The Standard Grill restaurant, where I could experience the genius of Rocco Dispirito. For those who were not in New York in the ‘90s and dined at his restaurant Union Pacific, it was a…