Sunday, November 23, 2008

Da Silvano

Silvano Marchetto first introduced New Yorkers to true trattoria food in May of 1975, with the opening of Da Silvano. Thirty three years later it's still a Greenwhich Village hot spot. Even on a cold winter night Da Silvano was bustling with fashionable people, making it the perfect place the people watch. And it always helps that it's a celebrity favorite for stars like Lindsay Lohan, Lauren Conrad, and Rihanna.

Originally consisting of a mere four tables in the front room, the restaurant now occupies two rooms side by side, a wide popular sidewalk cafe facing Sixth Avenue, and a popular annex, Da Silvano Cantinetta, just next door.

Walking past the anti-pasta bar before being seated at our table I was able to check out their seasonal specials and check out what I would I be ordering- like the golden and red beet salad. Other vegetarian-friendly options on their menu include Bruschetta, Barbabietole E Indivia (beets and endive), Ravioli Bella Firenze (spinish and ricotta filled ravioli sautéed in butter and sage), and the Insalata Mista di Stagione.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Otto is a classic New York restaurant owned by the quintessential NY restaurateur, Mario Batali. While waiting for the reservations to be called diners are welcome to stand alongside one of the many tall tables that cleverly include little cubbies for your bag! All reservation names are programmed into an old fashion train schedule switch board which is definitely an entertaining feature while you wait.
As is the norm with Mario Batali, Otto is Italian but the dishes are served in a tapas style for everyone to share. The restaurant boasts creative pizzas and delicious sides that can certainly be combined to be eaten as a meal. Ones I suggest are the cheese plate, served with honey and jams; the beets; sweet corn and brussel sprouts. I strongly recommend making reservations because the restaurant gets full fast.

Spotted at the table next to mine: David Shwimmer- dining with two beautiful ladies and other actor whom I did not recognize but was told he was an actor too.


I finally visiting another restaurant I've wanted to try, Barbiona is near Union Square located at 20th & Park. The restaurant is very large with a full bar on the side. I went after work on Thursday night with some colleagues. I have to say, I wasn't very impressed with our pushy waiter. We were seated around 7pm and greeted by our waiter who made us order appetizers and entrees all at once, insisting that the kitchen would have too many orders coming in later so it was best to place everything at once. I ordered the Israeli Salad I asked for no cucumbers but asked if it was still served with lettuce, he mumbled and nodded yes. Well he must have totally misunderstood me because I was literally served a bowl of diced tomatoes and onions. Good thing we ordered a side of asparagus to share for the table too so I could add some green into my salad.

Even though our service wasn’t the best and my meal wasn’t sensational, it was a still a fun dinner in a good environment. I would recommend going to Barbonia for drinks and appetizers after work.

The Stanton Social

The Stanton Social was recommended to me by my boss when I first moved into the city two years ago, noting that it offers excellent food and is often a celebrity hot spot. I had looked at the menu online and maybe I looked at the wrong thing because I was not impressed. However, recently strolling around the Lower East Side with my brother during his visit we were starting to get hungry and looking for a place to eat in the area that approved both our tastes. All of the sudden I realized we were standing in front of The Stanton Social so we walked in and asked for a table for two. Luckily it was still early enough (7pm) so there was still room. They took us up stairs and we had the best trendy comfort food we’d ever tasted.

Our waiter was great, super nice and really knew her stuff- making suggestions and going into great detail in explaining the dishes which is exactly what I love since I tend to be a picky eater. We ordered a bunch of food and split everything. We started with zucchini tempura served with a dipping sauce, followed two sliders- one was grilled cheese, the other was a hamburger. Per the server’s recommendation we ordered the apple and brie cheese quesadilla topped with caramelized maple syrup, which I have to say is probably one of the most memorable dishes I’ve had in a long time. For dessert we shared the warm blueberry cobbler which was amazing.

Arrive any later than 7pm from Thursday-Sunday and you better have reservations, which can be made via OpenTable.


Earlier this summer my friend and I wanted to take advantage of New York’s Restaurant Week, after reviewing the list of participating restaurants we decided on ilili, located on 5th Ave. between 27th & 28th. As you know, I am always impressed with a restaurant’s décor and well-planned lay out. The restaurant's interior architecture is very geometrical, two stories and the narrow design clearly divides the bar and the restaurant seating. Per usual with Restaurant Week, we were able to order an appetizer, an entree and a dessert. For appetizers we ordered Hommus (chickpea puree, Lebanese Tahini, Lemon and Olive Oil with Burghul, onion and mint) and Falafel (fried chickpea & fava bean dumplings). The Falafels were amazing, much smaller than Crisp's but still delicious. ilili's Mediterranean cuisine menu offers a lot of vegetarian options. Some of my favorites include the Baba Ghannouj (eggplant, Lebanese tahini, tomato served blue with mustard-hommus sauce), Mouhamara (walnuts, sundried peppers, and pomegranate molasses), Fattoush (Lebanese garden salad, toasted bread, sumac lemon vinaigrette), Moujadara (green lentils puree with crispy red onion), and Brussels Sprouts (friend with grapes and served with fig puree, walnuts and mint).
All the items on the dessert menu sound fantastic, although we ordered the Carmaelized Banana Bread Pudding (Cardamom Crème Anglaise, vanilla fig, chocolate chip ice cream) and a scoop of Mango Sorbet.

A Night Out in Boston

A couple months ago I went to Boston for the first time. I arrived late in the afternoon on Wednesday and left on Thursday so I didn’t get to see too much of the city but from what I saw of it, I loved it. Looks like there is good shopping, cute restaurants and the red brick buildings in the downtown area are very charming. I like that you can walk around the city without enormous crowds of people and on clean sidewalks.

Our evening began with dinner at Sasso, located at 116 Huntington Ave, which was fantastic. Our group of eight had two orders of mussels and the Gnocchi 14 (housemade Yukon potato gnocchi, roasted brussel sprouts, lemon, thyme, bacon and labna) for our appetizers followed by a lot of different entrees including the Insalata (bibb lettuce, baby tomatoes and pickled shallots with tarragon vinaigrette), the Anatara 32 (roasted Mouland duck breast with shitake mushroom risotto, baby turnips and cherry gastrique), and the Ravioli 25 (goat cheese and onion marmalade ravioli, madras curry emulsion, pea tendrils, baby turnips, glazed radishes, mint, and English peas). We finished our meal with a tasting of desserts including the Butterscotch Pudding, an assortment of gelati (mango, strawberry champagne, and vanilla), Strawberry rhubarb crumble and the Sasso Tiramisu.

After dinner we headed to the Cirque du Soile performance which was held under the thematic blue and yellow circus tents. I had never seen the show before and was very impressed with the three contortionists who opened the show and the man who stacked nearly twenty chairs on top of each other and climbed to the top.

After the show we headed back to our hotel, the Lenox Hotel and made a stop at the City Bar within. The drink menu featured a fun list of drinks including the Green Tea and Passion Fruit Champagne that I ordered. After enjoying a drink at City Bar we walked over to Poor House in order to experience a true Bostonian pub.

For reservations at Sasso check