Monday, November 17, 2014

It's Been Awhile: A Quick Explanation

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/pjstar/obituary.aspx?pid=173047640
It has been a difficult time in my personal life, which is why I haven't posted in such a long, long
while.
Without over-sharing, I'll just tell you simply: My world came to a complete halt since my mother passed away on November 2, 2014. Bertha D. Kramer.
An amazing woman, someone that I would call several times a week, just to check in... she's no longer here on an earthly plane, but she's always with me in spirit.
I truly miss her and always will.
However, I must continue writing at some point. I know that.
It's time to get back to life and living. Mom would have wanted that, too. She always told her children to "never sweat the small stuff" and to be happy in our lives - find it and cherish it.
Thanks for your patience. I'm hoping we can all have some foodie adventures soon... Stay tuned and stay hungry!
xoxo,
NYCFG




Monday, July 21, 2014

NYCFG's Foodie Picks: Top 3 Luxury Romantic Restaurants

NYC Foodie Girl's Top Foodie Picks --that's a hard topic! I'm asked a lot, "So, you write a blog about food - what's your number one place?" "Where should I go for the best NY pizza?" "Where can I have a romantic dinner?"

This happens often, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite spots in a series of posts, focusing on Manhattan, since this is where I primarily dine and know best.

This is my first post regarding Luxury Romantic Dining options - my top 3 picks. Your comments and feedback are welcome!

These are in no particular order, but here it goes:

Luxury Romantic Dining - NYCFG Picks the Top 3 for Manhattan - New York City:

The Little Owl - 90 Bedford Street (Greenwich Village - corner of Bedford and Grove)
The Little Owl

I love this space! The menu has always been very solid. You need time to plan this reservation, however, as it is a small, intimate space. I cannot say enough good things about this restaurant. It's in a great neighborhood and you just feel cozy in this little corner space. The decor is simple but going back to the food, it's all about texture, taste and amazing.
While the dress code isn't as fancy as the next two listings, you could take it up a notch if you so desired.


Daniel  - 60 East 65th Street (Upper East Side - between Park and Madison Avenue)
Daniel

I love the ever-evolving menu and the delicate dishes that are created here. It's classy. It's Upper East Side haute cuisine. Attention to detail is everything. Oh -and the drinks can be pretty phenomenal too. Check the cocktail list and have one
before going into the main dining room.
Make sure you meet the dress code requirements and book your reservation ahead of time. It's fine luxury dining, so be prepared for top notch.
Full disclosure: I was engaged here and had my wedding reception hosted a la Daniel.



Per Se - 10 Columbus Circle (Time Warner Center complex at Columbus Circle)

This restaurant makes you feel like you're a millionaire. Its white table cloths and service leaves you wanting for nothing and trust me, nothing is overlooked here. When you dine at this establishment, you won't feel like there are others in the room - you have very attentive service and the view is almost as delicious as the cuisine! Truly a special occasion restaurant.

Be sure to break out the Louboutins and wear all the accoutrements for a luxury evening out. And FYI: This is not for the weak wallet!


Ok, readers... what do you think? Way off? Did I miss something? Are you planning a reservation right now? Let me know! Comments open.

A Warning for Families Dining -Or Is It Just Me?

Shrimp and Grits with Coddled Egg
Diners be warned!
Ok, diners with children, maybe.

Recently, I went out to brunch - and oh my was it goooooood! My marinated shrimp with organic grits and coddled egg was divine! Textures and flavors were spot on.

I dined with our 3 year old and husband. Party of 3. Our son didn't order anything but fries and one of the runners offered him milk, and of course, a preschooler is going to nod with enthusiasm... so he had a big glass of milk (which he drank two sips of and was done). I can't tell you how much I hate wastefulness, but that's another blog post. He's just eating carbs and that's about it. I don't know what happened to the little boy that used to eat charred octopus and foie gras - we hope that culinary curiosity returns. Soon.

Anyway, after enjoying a truly delicious meal, the bill came. We were charged for 4 prix fixes, versus 2. The waiter was quick to apologize for the error and came back with the revised check.

We were charged for 3 entire prix fixes.

Apparently, we were charged a FULL price for a prix fixe for our child who did not eat a prix fixe...he had ONE order of fries a la carte plus milk! Plus, we didn't get the standard "breads and sweet things" that were supposed to be standard fare for the table.

Because of the timing, we merely paid, but then got mad about it, post-meal. I want to also note that our child was well-behaved and polite. We were courteous. Everything was fine. We thought our brunch was very good and both my husband and I love the space. We tipped well.

Yet, I just feel ripped off and regretful.

I thought I'd share my disappointment with all of you. I wasn't sure this was a way to standard charge a family, no matter if they ordered a meal or not?  I want to hear from you -have you had this happen before? Do I have any recourse?

Mama's mad and not happy!

UPDATE: 
Almost immediately after posting this, the chef reached out and is fixing the error. It was unexpected and exceptionally kind to look into this.  Chef mentioned, "People, not just kids, order a la carte and don't get charged." - I am truly grateful for this response and you'll find an update of my culinary experience soon. As I mentioned, the food was fantastic - we just got billed improperly. Thank you, Chef, for helping out with this one. **Cheers!**



Friday, July 4, 2014

The Sizzle Showdown with Recipe to Share



 While I do not cook, much less grill -I can appreciate those who can! This past spring, Macy’s launched a contest to find the Great American Grilling Guru.  Contestants from all over the country submitted their original recipes and Macy’s picked three semi-finalists for each region. Those semi-finalists competed in head-to-head competitions - and the winners from each region competed in the final round here in New York City recently for a chance to win $10,000 and a trip to see the 2015 Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks.

Cool! But wait, it was called a "Sizzle Showdown" - and boy, was it hot! Not just the weather, but the competition!  It was a fun day of watching six top grill masters compete for the title of Grilling Guru. The judges were celebrity chefs Johnny Iuzzini and Todd English, members of Macy's Culinary Council.

Here is a breakdown of the contestants and their judged dishes:

1. Sarah M. (Maine) – Grilled Chicken Stuffed with Herb Goat Cheese and Prosciutto
2. Sonya G. (Minnesota) – Pesto Citrus Prosciutto Grilled Shrimp with Mandarin Orange Grilled Red Pepper Fruit Salsa
3. Devon D. (New Jersey) – Crab Sliders with Firecracker Chow & Avocado Tartar Cream
4. Mary S. (Oklahoma) – Pork & Beef Braids with Charred Apple-Mango Reduction on Grilled Kale
5. Sherri W. (Florida) – Grilled Thai Lamb Loin Chops
6. Jack S. (California) – Steak and Potato Sliders with Basil/Gorgonzola


At the end of the one-hour timeframe, the chefs selected Sherri W. as the winner. Woohoo for South NY - ummmm... I mean, Florida!

Here is the winning recipe that I'd love to share with you - I trust you can cook?! :) Enjoy and happy summer!



Grilled Thai Lamb Loin Chops

Serving Size: 2

Ingredients
  • 4 - 6 lamb loin chops, 1 1/2 - 2 inch thick
  • 4 baby zucchini, sliced in half
  • 4 oz. Asian egg noodles, cooked according to package
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
  • For the Marinade:
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoon water
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 teaspoon galangal, grated
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Thai basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Bird's eye chili, chopped
Instructions
  1. Blend all the marinade ingredients together and marinade lamb chops and baby zucchini slices with 3/4 of the marinade at room temp for 20 minutes.
  2. Grill lamb loin chops on preheated oiled medium-high grill for 4-5 minutes each side or until medium rare. Baste as you go. Grill baby zucchini for 2 - 3 minutes on each side, or until tender. Allow lamb to rest for 5 minutes; drizzle with honey and top with chives.
  3. Add remaining marinade to cooked Asian egg noodles. Toss to coat well. Serve lamb loin chops and baby zucchini over seasoned Asian noodles.
Notes
Recipe from Sherri W. of Crestview, FL, winner of Macy's Culinary Council Sizzle Showdown


I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post about Macy’s Culinary Council. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

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