Tag Archives: best

41 grados

41 Grados – Meal of a Lifetime

As someone who travels for food and books reservations before flights, whenever I tell my friends about my time at 41 Grados they pause a bit before asking more.  REALLY?  THAT GOOD?  I’VE NEVER HEARD OF IT! 41 Grados was started by the Adria brothers.  Ferran Adria started El Bulli and many of the techniques used in El Bulli serve as the foundation of 41 Grados. If you missed out on the infamous El Bulli olive, you can get it at 41 Grados and Tickets, the tapas bar that the Adrias opened (and in DC with Jose Andres).

Getting Reservations Both Tickets and 41 Grados are relatively difficult reservations so you’ll have to book a month in advance.  In both of my early Winter trips, 41 Grados would book up 2-3 weeks prior, but Tickets would book up instantly on the day reservations are released online.  Of course, you should always check back for cancellations, but you’re less likely to see that at 41 Grados because there is a 50 Euro deposit.

The Experience Incredible.  Albert and Ferran created an “experience” for lucky diners–inclusive of moving projected images and music as the Albert takes you around the world with food.  Depending how die hard you are–you’ll probably want the first seating’s courses;  If you sit through the the later seating, your dishes won’t line up with the music though I doubt anyone would have really noticed unless they asked! Likely you’ll sit there asking what items on the plate you can eat or not eat because all the food is presented in such a bizarre or fun way.  This probably goes without saying, but not only does every dish have a perfect presentation, it all was delicious!  I nearly forgot to note the cocktails that come with the tasting–frankly, I wonder why all cocktails aren’t as beautiful or wild as the ones at 41 Grados! Whether it is edible “leaves” and “pearls” or the perfectly branded ice cubes, you will probably leave impressed and excited about eating in a way you’ve never felt before. Go now! Nom.

 

Bagel Oasis

Bagel Oasis – New York’s Best Bagel

I always hear New Yorkers bicker about their favorite foods and how there can only be ONE pure variety of anything: Laduree for macarons, Magnolias for cupcakes, Dominique Ansel’s cronut, Levain’s cookie, blah blah blah, and eventually someone will say something like ESS-A-BAGEL for bagels.  What? Ess-a-bagel?  Wait, you’ve been in New York for how long?Ess-a-bagel is GREAT.  A very delicious Manhattan bagel with multiple and accessible outposts.  They’ve benefited from word-of-mouth marketing.  I admittedly go there when I’m craving a bagel and have sent multiple people on the mini-pilgrimage to the so-called best bagel of NYC.  Service is always kind, rushed, and follows everything by the New Yorker way.But obviously these Manhattanites haven’t been to Bagel Oasis (or haven’t had a friend kind enough to bring them one).  I hardly go there, if not for my best friend requesting when I come to visit her in Grenada to bring New York bagels.

I’m a bit biased because like every other New Yorker I have grown up on THE BAGEL–my idea of perfectly delicious and always consistent chewy soft circular bread with a layer of crust.  This bagel is from Bagel Oasis in Fresh Meadows.  Yes, this coming from the girl who hates bread.  I used to eat it “Chinese-American style” with roast pork from my Great Aunt’s restaurant Fan Fan right down the block.More objectively, I can still say I think this is the best bagel in New York.  Not only is it perfect when you buy it fresh and room temperature, but also when you toast it (which I can’t say for Ess-a-bagel).
If you have any friends who drive or feel like taking a detour on the way to JFK, totally stop by Bagel Oasis.
18312 Horace Harding Expy
Fresh Meadows, NY 11365
(718) 359-9245 | bageloasis.com

The NoMad – AMAZING

The Nomad–I’m not sure where to start, aside from it being my new favorite restaurant.

My first encounter was an intimidatingly overcrowded bar, dark and posh-looking place when I walked back out.  Everyone had their suits for after-work drinks (I presume at Credit Suisse right around the corner) and I remembered why places like Death and Co make people wait outside.  Sadly, I didn’t have a reservation to eat that night, but with high hopes, I returned for brunch.

And it was fantastic.

The Cocktails

One of the sommelier’s came over and eloquently explained some of his favorite cocktails to us.  We ordered a few throughout the brunch so I won’t go into all of it, aside from noting how beautiful, balanced, and flavorful they all were!  I also love that when I mentioned my mint allergy, but wanted a minty drink, he handled it extremely well–no funny faces that it was impossible, or snarks on how I couldn’t order the drinks with mint (I’ve had some bad experiences with this random allergy of mine).

Cocktails at The NoMad

The Bread

I remember when it was first news that Eleven Madison Park was going to start baking their own rolls to serve, so of course I have to comment on the tastey choice of The NoMad.  Springs onions I believe it was?  I can’t remember the last time I was served a bread like this in a restaurant, but I love that it was a bit different.

Bread at The NoMad

The Chicken

I ordered the truffle foie gras chicken, split with a newly converted meat-eater, and we were both so satisfied after we devoured it.  It was perfectly moist, beautiful presented, and was everything chicken should be.

Whole Chicken at The NoMad

The best part is that my friend was a strict vegetarian until the Giants won the superbowl, and only really liked chicken when it was “boneless wings” at Mercury Bar (YIKES!!!).  This was the first time I could get him to eat chicken and love it.  I am so glad he has replaced his standards of “best chicken” with The Nomad’s!  Here’s after it was cutup.

Chicken at The NoMad

The moment our two plates hit the table we were confused and asked where the rest of the chicken was, but with no fail it was presented in a small black cast iron with scrumptious mushrooms.  YUM.

Dark Meat of the Chicken at The NoMad

I don’t know how we managed (especially since I forgot we were having brunch and had two slices of leftover pizza for breakfast…), but we ordered their delicious breakfast pastry to share.

Pastry at The NoMad

Yum…next time we’ll have to try the others of the cart.

Pastry Cart at The NoMad

 

Oh and I love this video from the restaurant.  Will Guidara and Daniel Humm are such characters!!!
http://player.vimeo.com/video/39450926

 

 

The NoMad - 1170 Broadway & 28th St, 212-796-1500

Gramercy Terrace

I had a great bonding day with my Dad on the 21st starting with a fantastic lunch at Gramercy Terrace. The restaurant is beautiful, even with the dreary sky and fog the light poured in. We weren’t sure if it was going to be a good experience at first because of the rain and how noisy it would be, but at most it just reminded me of my childhood favorite: Rainforest Cafe (boy, have we come far! haha).

You take the elevator to T (level 18) and you walk into an unassuming space with a hospitable hostess. Low and behold, right behind her is the terrace itself.

The restaurant was covered in green plants from ceiling vines to trees, and the waitstaff dressed in black and white covered in the brightness from the retractable glass windows and ceiling. Fantastic all around.

Gramercy Terrace Interior

Interior

;

I started with a Whiskey Cobbler (American Whiskey without a name, raspberries, and lemon juice). It was extremely tart with probably a bit too much lemon and too little raspberry–not really my taste and lacked the right balance.

Whiskey Cobbler at Gramercy Terrace

Whiskey Cobbler

We ordered two entrees, the burger and chicken fried steak.

My dad said the burger was just okay. It looks a bit bigger than a Shake Shack burger, but I didn’t really get a good look at it. I loved the bun accent from toasting though and the mini milkshake it came with! It was also supposed to come with “spicy fries” that in reality weren’t spicy at all–just salty. Altogether, I think my dad was a little disappointed.

Burger at Gramercy Terrace

Burger

I ordered the chicken fried steak. Now, I’m not exactly an expert on traditional chicken fried steak, but it was AMAZING. Anyone who eats meat would tell you the same. It was seasoned perfectly, ridiculously moist with a delicious breading, and came with a delicious celery slaw. I gave my Dad a–I just gained ten pounds–look and we both agreed we’d go back just for that.

YUM.

Chicken Fried Steak at Gramercy Terrace

Chicken Fried Steak

I don’t consider myself a sweets person, but when it’s a new restaurant, especially a Danny Meyer restaurant, I know it’s going to be good. (+10 pounds?). We ordered the chocolate cake with Gramercy Tavern in mind, so our expectations were really high. When it arrived it looked a bit unconventional with very straight heavy looking cake layers and a plastery looking mousse filling accompanied by some salty chocolate bits. Despite the funny appearance, green eggs and ham, the cake was delicious. It was very thick like The World’s Best Chocolate Cake, but no funny traces of uncooked flour here! The mousse was more like a dried out ultra firm mousse than a light fluff, but again still delicious.

Chocolate Cake at Gramercy Terrace

Chocolate Cake

My only complaint was that it was a bit awkward with the event planner(s) walking people around through the entire meal giving them tours. Couldn’t take wait for an off-time? Otherwise, the service was very charming.

I’ll definitely be returning with my brother for the chicken fried steak, and with my Mom for the chocolate cake…and everything else.