2. Union Square Cafe
3. Cafe Grey
5. Nobu Next Door
6. Sparks Steakhouse
These restaurants are my favorite restaurants that I have reviewed. They are listed from favorite, to 7th favorite.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
When you hear the word Peekamoose, it makes you think of a cuddly little furry animal. Or, at least, that's what I think. Well, you are certainly not expecting it to be the restaurant owned by people who have worked at high-end restaurants such as Le Bernadin and Gramercy Tavern. Also, since it's located upstate, around fifteen minutes from Woodstock, it does not seem like it can compare with those restaurants. However, in some ways it can, in others, not so much. As we sat down, our waiter immediately arrived. Even though it was a busy night, he hovered around us most of the time, a little bit too enthusiastically. As my two wonderful hosts, Abbe and Holly ordered, I was faced with a dilemma. Should I get the burger, or the calamari? I decided to go with my favorite food in the world, a cheeseburger. I got bored after around 45 minutes of waiting, so I went to the bar. Then I got "ejected" from the bar, so I went to the living room area, with the swinging chair. The restaurant had taken a broken chair, and attached it to some chains, and hung it from the ceiling. It was genius. When my burger arrived, I was famished. All we had had to eat since we had arrived was a little bit of salad, and some soup. So far, the burger would have to be amazing, if this restaurant wanted a good review. But it wasn't, it was dry, and only the fries were good. I was highly disappointed with Peekamoose, and only two things about it made me happy: the decor, which was rustic and beautiful, and the marshmallow pit. Before we left, we bought some hot chocolate, and I took my time making some golden marshmallows. It was very fun, and it made the night more enjoyable. After all, I am only a child. Thanks to the overly done service, mediocre food, and slow delivery of food, I give Peekamoose a 5.1/10.
Monday, November 17, 2008
When my friend Josh told me that we were going to go to Stanton Social, I was a little bit apprehensive. I thought that he was going to take me to some sort of ritzy social club. At first, his mom Joanne, my mom Alison, our fathers, Stephane and Fred were taking Josh and I to Sushi Yasuda. But since they were closed on Sunday, we had to revise. So Josh came up with Stanton Social. After an extremely long culture day, which included the Met, MoMa, and a really bizarre organ concert at a church, any good meal was readily welcomed. Stanton Social was located in the lower east side, right on Stanton street, as the name suggests. Stanton Social's philosophy is to share dishes, and to make it a very warm restaurant. I was just excited for the sliders. We ordered around twelve dishes, which, if I wrote about every single one in detail, would probably take me around three or four hours. So, I'm just going to write about my favorite five or seven. As we entered the chic, but reformed restaurant, I noticed that the service was rushed, and they made very little eye contact. After ordering, one of the most interesting dishes of the meal arrived. It was the french onion soup dumplings. It was a dumpling filled with an intense brown liquid, and with some cheese. It also included crouton stuck on top for texture. They were delicious, but weird and strange at the same time. I only had one. Next came the tuna tartar sushi roll. It was spicy, but sweet as well. I ate two, and wanted a third, but my dad took it. My mom ordered the edamame, but it was basically mine. When I was done with it, I had a stack of skin around three or four inches tall. It had a sauce on it that was positively mind-boggling. Then the tuna carpaccio arrived. It was located on a bed of Avocado, which is probably my least favorite food in the world, and it had a few jalapeno peppers on top. After gingerly removing the tuna from the avocado, and putting the jalapeno pepper right on top of it, it was finally ready to eat. It was juicy, and soft, and it almost melted in my mouth. It was an extremely exquisite tuna, and Oy Vey, it tasted like one too. Next came the most important part of the meal; the kobe beef sliders. Josh scared me by saying they were disgusting. Then he broke into a smile, and said: " I got you. Now eat the goddamn slider, you're making me jealous." As my teeth pierced the hard outer skin of the burger, and into the medium rare meat inside, I felt bliss and happiness for the entire earth. It was so good. After finishing it, I said: "Ok, nothing can beat this. Bring on the rest." Boy, I was wrong. The "old school" meatballs arrived with the mac and cheese, and as I began to eat my first meatball, and if I had any, my Italian roots began to show. The mac and cheese was good, but one of the weak spots of the meal. Mac and cheese is a hit and miss dish, and the kitchen just could not quite execute it. Then came the donuts. They had three dipping sauces: Raspberry, Chocolate and Caramel. The donuts were crispy and hollow, and covered in sugar. My least favorite dipping sauce was the chocolate sauce, because it tasted like coffee. My favorite one was the caramel. It was flavorful, and it worked perfectly with the donuts, while the raspberry sauce tasted artificial. After a great, and hearty meal, with mediocre service, and a beautiful decor, I give Stanton Social a 8.1/10.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Union Square Cafe is on many different levels. I mean that literally, but also symbolically. While the restaurant itself is on three different levels, the food is on many different levels by how good it is. The texture of the food is really incredible, and even though some of the dishes are incredibly average-sounding, they still are delicious. As we entered the restaurant, it was not what I expected. I was imagining that it would be a little bit antiquey, but the entire space was sleek and modern. Before I went, I had only known one thing: I knew that Danny Meyer had made his restaurant the most flexible restaurant in New York. If you asked them to do something, it was very likely that they would do it for you. I also had heard from many people, including the person who took me there, a Miss. Joan Bronk. I was also hoping that I might have been able to meet the owner, Danny Meyer, who I had heard many great things about. As the hostess lead us down to the bottom level, I got a sneak peek at the bar, which seemed very relaxed, and there were a few businessmen sitting around and drinking some wine. As we were seated, and began to look at the menus, something made me extremely unhappy. There was no burger on the dinner menu. After I had ordered my appetizer of fried calamari, and Joan had ordered the beef carpaccio, I asked the waiter, who happened to be extremely nice, about the burger. He said that he would make and inquiry with the kitchen. After five extremely long and anxious minutes, the verdict came back. They could do it for me. Oh, happy times. After that, something extremely mysterious happened. After I came back from the bathroom, everyone started treating me like a food critic. They also thought it was my birthday, even though my birthday was around three months ago. Joan and I also ordered a middle dish, the ricotta gnocchi, so that we could sample their pastas. The calamari that was brought was unbelievable. To say that it was the best fried calamari that ever had was an understatement. All this while, we were talking to the people who were siting next to us, who were extremely nice, and who I greatly enjoyed talking to. The decor of the restaurant was pretty simple, it had a modern feel to it, even though it could feel rustic. I thought that it was a very interesting, and well-used space. The gnocchi, which just dissolved in your mouth really led us to our main courses. It was rich and inviting, but at the same time, it was intense and flavorful. My burger looked absolutely delicious. It was cooked perfectly, and the cheese looked so appetizing I almost fell of the booth in which I was sitting. Joan's scallops were also very good, and she enjoyed them very much. When dessert came, someone else came with it. Dina Millan was the dining room manager, and she was very pretty. She asked for my blog address, and gave me her card. She also brought me the new Zagat, and a book, with, get this: Danny Meyer's autograph in it. It turns out that I had been looking at him and his children the entire time that we had been eating, but I had just not realized that it had been him. After my flour-less chocolate cake, which was to die for, we met Danny Meyer himself, and we got his undivided attention for a good three or four minutes which was a lot of time. As we left, I thanked Joan profusely and we caught a cab home, the night still reverberating inside my brain. Since the service and the food was so great and excellent, I give Union Square Cafe a 9.2/10.