Oh No! Not Another NYC Food Blog!

Yes, yes it is. Mwahaha.

Tag: 4.5

Olea Mediterranean Taverna

Mediterranean in Fort Green.

What We Had

20140608-090822-32902118.jpg

I had the Lamb Hash – Lamb shoulder slowly roasted with spices, lemon potatoes, carrots and turnips topped with a crispy olive oil fried egg, tomato jam and whipped feta. This dish was magnificent. The lamb was melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the veggies were caramelized in all that lamby goodness – a winner.

20140608-090907-32947673.jpg

My DH had the Spanish Poutine – Potatoes with Berkshire pork gravy, chorizo, Spanish cheese and scallions. This dish was great as well. Rich, great cheeses, and a great breakfast.

Decor

20140608-090954-32994196.jpg

Small but open and airy dining room loaded with old world charm. Very busy for brunch.

Service

Not bad, despite the business.

Overall Impressions

This is a neighborhood gem and a great spot for a decadent brunch.

Rating

4 to 4.5 out of 5. Some dissension in the ranks – mostly because the DH hates Mediterranean and the lamb bite he had featured the spice mix that makes him sick. No complaints otherwise.

Pork Slope

Pork-centric casual sandwich restaurant/dive bar in Park Slope from the mind(s) behind Talde and Thistle Hill.

What We Had

20130720-084147.jpg

My DH had the Mother Porker – a classic porky melt (cheddar rolled pork bratwurst, grilled onions & mustard) with bacon, egg and pickled jalapeño – This sandwich was a flavor bomb of porky goodness. Great sausage, killer balance, and an egg. Lots to love here.

20130720-084226.jpg

He also had the Crispy Mac & Cheese – Delicious, with a lovely layer of almost-burnt cheese.

20130720-084259.jpg

I had the Pulled Pork Sandwich – 24 hour brined & hickory smoked pork shoulder with BBQ sauce and pickles – the Texas toast came out a little too wet for me to eat everything as a sandwich, but the meat was killer. The porcine gods are smiling.

20130720-084333.jpg

I also had the Smoky Collard Greens – I had high hopes, given Chef Talde’s prowess with other green veggies (I’m thinking specifically of his brussels special at Talde) and I was not disappointed. Vinegary, smoky, cooked until slippery and luxurious; this was one tasty bowl of greens.

20130720-084417.jpg

My DH continued his citywide bloody mary sampling with a Michael Collins – Irish whiskey and fresh house made Bloody Mary mix with a house smoked rosemary and sea salt rim – This was a crazy good bloody. I think Char No. 4 is still his favorite, but this version is right up there (with the more Asian-inspired version served at Talde) in the pantheon of greats.

I had a Brooklyn Mule – Brooklyn Republic vodka, ginger beer & fresh lime – This drink was everything I wanted it to be – light, refreshing and a nice summer sip.

Decor

20130720-084450.jpg

Pork & Brooklyn -centric decor ala local punk dive bar with great music (if you like a heavily punk soundtrack played at a comfortable volume for listening an talking).

Service

Decent for a bar.

Overall Impressions

Yum. This is one of those spots that successfully straddles the line between local hangout and somewhere worth taking the train to visit. It feels homey without being exclusive and simple enough to be a no-brainer weeknight choice for those days when you don’t want to think too hard and just want something good.

Rating

4.5 out of 5. I was leaning more toward 4, since there aren’t many options for the sandwich-challenged (although you can order just a side of meat), but the DH had pork in his eyes 🙂

Yuji Ramen Test Kitchen – Whole Foods

Inside Whole Foods Bowery

What We Had

20130616-133045.jpg

I had the bacon & egg mazeman (no broth) ramen with smoky bacon, poached egg & kale. This dish was fantastic. Chewy thick noodles, high quality bacon, crispy kale and silky egg. Crazy good.

20130616-133116.jpg

My DH had the daily Shoyu ramen with pork confit – also fabulous. Rich and luxurious beef broth with nice pork and chewy thin noodles.

20130616-133146.jpg

Both came with with pickled market vegetables and barley tea.

Decor

20130616-133216.jpg

Nice counter but you’re still inside Whole Foods.

Service

Order at the counter service from friendly staff.

Overall Impressions

A great find. I had eaten a few bites of Yuji Ramen at Smorgasburg, and it was delicious. It’s nice to know this little popup is delicious as well. I can’t wait until the permanent shop opens. In the meantime, Yuji does Omikase tasting nights for a reasonable price. More information can be had if you sign up for the email list.

Rating

4 to 4.5 out of 5, but only because its in a grocery store food court. The food was really stellar.

Char No. 4

Bustling Southern bar & food in Cobble Hill.

What We Had

20130511-070135.jpg

I had the Bacon & Eggs Benedict – biscuits, poached eggs, honey ham, bacon gravy – how can you go wrong? And they didn’t. This dish was heaven in the mouth – rich, with not-too-dense biscuits, luscious egg yolks, and the taste of wonderful bacon. A southern staple gussied up proper for the big city.

20130511-070217.jpg

My DH has the Sausage Biscuit with Cheese and Potatoes – Amazeballs potatoes; sausage that tasted like a hopped up Version of Neese’s (this is a very good thing indeed); and a really good biscuit.

20130511-070255.jpg

And we split the Bacon Grits – Stellar. Deeply bacony, with just enough scallion to being it home. Knocked it out of the park with this one.

Decor

20130511-070336.jpg

Big open windows in the front, lots of wood, inviting. Campy surf punk over the radio (we went on a Sunday early afternoon – if they were playing XM Radio, in time for the surf punk show).

Service

It was really busy the day we went and we sat at the bar. The service wasn’t horrible at the bar, but they were busy.

Overall Impressions

Must. Go. Back. Looks like a great place to explore bourbons – their selection is extensive and their mixers look to be house made.

Rating

4.5 out of 5. We need to come back and take our time to get to know the menu and fabulous looking drinks list before we can cement the 5 rating. But, if a rushed brunch while waiting on results from the vet around the corner is any indication, a 5 will be an easy score.

Fletcher’s BBQ

BBQ in Gowanus.

What We Had

20130119-083103.jpg

Coriander pork steak (chopped) – The best of the night. Tender, smoky, delicious and well seasoned.

Brisket burnt ends – Drool worthy beef nuggets.

Pulled pork – Also very, very good (but less seasoned than the coriander variety).

Mac & cheese – I actually ate it and liked it (and just about the only Mac & cheese I don’t think tastes like cardboard & chemicals is my DH’s).

Baked beans – Holy crap great. Even my DH who isn’t into baked beans loved it.

Decor

20130119-083149.jpg

Garage style dining room that smells amazing – good music selection

Service

Helpful meat guru to walk you through menu items who also checked up on us mid-meal. Order at the counter style service.

Overall Impressions

Great BBQ. Not quite the homesick-inducing grandeur that is Fette Sau, but great in its own right and especially exciting given the neighborhood.

Rating

4.5 out of 5 for outstanding meat in a great atmosphere.

The Atlantic Chip Shop

UK style pub and chip shop made famous for their willingness to fry anything you bring them. Located in Cobble Hill.

What We Had

20121215-081153.jpg

I had the Wild Mushroom Shepherds Pie – Choc full of mushrooms, not too heavy on internal sauce, really creamy mashed potatoes on top, perfectly al dente peas on the side. I’ve been dreaming about this pie ever since first tasting it, and have come back to get it since; it’s that good. Comfort & joy & mushrooms in one.

My DH had the Beef Shepherds Pie – Much like the other pie, this one was dead simple as well and equally as good.

Decor

20121215-081237.jpg

Riotous jumble of Brit-centric decor featuring movie posters, the ubiquitous Union Jack, daleks, and other Brit ephemera. Varied ‘UK’s Greatest Hits’ menu over the speakers & football on the tube over the bar.

Service

Standard

Overall Impressions

I forsee this place becoming a regular haunt.

Rating

Solid 4.5 for great food in a fun atmosphere – no complaints, and this might become our go-to meal this winter

Kiku Japanese Bistro

Sushi & other fare in Park Slope.

What We Had

20121201-093924.jpg

We both ordered the Sushi Dinner – 9 pieces of assorted sushi with a tuna avocado roll

Nicely seasoned if a bit stiff rice,
good quality fish on the sushi, and the tuna boat looking piece had nice little crunchies for a change of pace. The roll was simple but good with sesame seeds for an extra pop.

20121201-094058.jpg

As always, we had to get dumplings. Pork Gyoza was the dumpling of choice – The gyoza had vice seasoning, with a melt in your mouth wrapper and just a touch of crunch.

Somehow, we also ended up with vanilla ice cream and oranges at the end if the meal. Fabulous, and a welcome treat we didn’t even know we wanted.

Decor

20121201-094135.jpg

Clean, modern, and low lit.

Service

Stellar. Attentive and efficient.

Overall Impressions

A nice little sushi spot and a great option for dinner in the neighborhood.

Rating

4.5 out of 5 for solid sushi and a pleasant atmosphere (minus the smooth jazz. They almost lost a quarter of a point for that).

Momofuku Ssam Bar

Small plates-focused offering from David Chang of Noodlebar fame.

What We Had

20121117-080546.jpg

Honey Crisp Apple Kimchi with Maple Labane, Jowl Bacon, and Arugula – Good balance of sweet/salt/acid/heat. Crazy good bacon. Goat cheese like yogurt – a great addition.

20121117-080503.jpg

Fried Duck Dumplings with Romanesco and Sriracha Mayo – Really tasty little flavor bombs, but a touch salty. Nutty, rich, ducky nuggets of love.

20121117-080625.jpg

Veal Sweetbreads with Goat Cheese, Watermelon, and Almond – Perfectly fried sweetbreads; silky, velvety goat cheese; I want a bucket of the almond brittle; best watermelon I’ve had all year (compressed with lemon).

Decor

20121117-080704.jpg

Minimal with warm dark woods and natural light.

Service

Good, even though we snuck just under the quittin’ time wire.

Overall Impressions

Great flavors, an inventive menu, and a relaxed atmosphere make this a great spot for a quick bite or long meal with friends.

Rating

4.5 out of 5 for no other reason than we love noodle bar just a tick more

Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles

Fresh noodle house in Chinatown.

What We Had

20121020-120738.jpg

I had the House Special Noodle Soup #2 with chicken, shrimp & beef.

20121020-120146.jpg

My DH had the Dumpling Noodle Soup with mixed dumplings and noodles.

The noodles (both hand pulled) were spectacular. Silky with a bit of resistance; the perfect noodle texture.

The broth was also fantastic.

Decor

Minimal – a big wooden desk for the server/cashier/hostess to sit behind and small tables wedged into every square inch of the floor.

Service

Perfunctory, but you’re not there to see the waiter; you’re there to stick your face in a bowl of silken delight.

Overall Impressions

This is one of those amazing little hole-in-the-wall joints you hope to find down a twisting side street in Chinatown.

Rating

4.5 out of 5, even though the beef was a mite fatty for my taste, and one of my shrimp was a tad muddy. The noodles are just that good.

The Masala Wala

We stumbled upon this place by pure happenstance. We happened to be on the Lower East Side to see a movie; the sky happened to look like it was going to start spitting demons; and we happened to duck down a side street or two looking for something either really tasty or really healthy to eat. Right before the bottom fell out of the sky, amid leaf and street trash tornadoes, we spotted a sign proclaiming South Asian Roadside Food. We love Asian and we love road food, so we ducked in.

What We Had

We did a few light dishes rather than getting large entrees or one of their really good looking custom bowls.

20121006-075352.jpg

Chicken Tikka Roll with Egg – Richly spiced, succulent and delicious chicken wrapped in a roti burrito with fried egg layered in between the rolls. Yum. Really yum.

20121006-075457.jpg

Pani Puri – Fun, nicely spiced potato and chickpeas in a hollow cup of crispy fried dough with tamarind dipping sauce.

20121006-075548.jpg

Dal (black lentil) – Comforting velvety pool of dal with, again, rich deep spices. I could wrap myself into a bowl of this any day.

Fluffy and perfect basmati rice – This was the good stuff.

Decor

20121006-075743.jpg

Edison bulbs and dark cherry wood in a modern chocolate and cream decor scheme. New tech in place like waitresses ordering on iPads.

Service

The staff was supremely welcoming and the owner checked personally after the meal to assure it was up to standard.

Overall Impressions

I am really glad we rolled the dice on this place. Sometimes you roll the hard six and win.

Rating

4.5 out of 5 for crazy good food and really top notch service. Well worth a special trip to the area just for the food.