Arguably the best BBQ in New York City, the picture below speaks for itself. Hometown BBQ in Red Hook, Brooklyn is doing things right. Yes, it’s a little bit of a trek to get there (for all you Manhattanites), but it’s worth the journey. The menu is filled with brisket, pulled pork and lamb belly, as well as artery-clogging sides like mac and cheese. Top it all off with a brunch Bloody Mary with candied bacon and you’ve got yourself quite the meal.
Tip – check them out on weekends when there is live country music, but get there early or you’ll be stuck waiting in a VERY long line.
On Friday, Hailey and I decided on a little dinner and movie date night. We settled on Tacuba and, well, hindsight is 20/20. If you ever want to see what a restaurant that’s truly overwhelmed looks like, Tacuba was a perfect case study.
After grabbing a table and waiting 15 minutes for a waiter to appear, we ordered some guacamole and margaritas. An hour and a half later, we were scraping the guacamole bowl and wondering where our entrees were. In talking with our neighboring diners, they lamented that they had been waiting more than two hours for entrees. The excuse the waiter provided, the kitchen prioritizes easy dishes and harder dishes get deprioritized. Moral of the story, don’t order hard dishes to make?
We decided to cut our meal short and get out of there. Looking back at it, we paid around $50 for two margaritas and avocados. Restaurant fail. We won’t be going back.
PS – We saw Deadpool and it was awesome. Go see it. Now.
A cute, artisanal French Cafe located in the heart of the West Village, Dominique Bistro is a showcase to the rich history of French food.
Dominique Bistro opened late last year and I was invited in to check out what head chef and namesake, Dominick Pepe, was dishing out.
The restaurant is a Parisian-style cafe on the corner of Christopher and Gay Streets. The front of the restaurant has an enormous floor to ceiling window looking out onto Christopher Street and I was lucky enough to be seated in an ideal spot to take advantage of the view. The interior features an open kitchen with pops of French cultural flare scattered throughout. The vibe is classy and modern, and welcoming and inviting. It’s the kind of place I’d like to spend an afternoon sipping on wine.
The food exiting the open kitchen is comforting French fare. You have your classics such as Croque-monsieur, as well as authentic countryside dishes such as beef bouillabaisse.
Ahi Tuna Tartare
Ahi Tuna Tartare
Interior of Dominique Bistro
Exterior of Dominique Bistro
Interior of Dominique Bistro
I sampled a range of dishes. To start I tasted the ahi tuna tartare, pear salad and tomato soup. The highlights however were the main courses – beef bourguignon with braised beef, carrots, onions, mushrooms, potatoes and a red wine demi, and fettuccine with chanterelles, burgundy truffles in brown butter.
The bourguignon was my favorite dish. It hit the spot and helped warm me up on a cold January night. This hearty beef stew had a gracious serving of beef and seemingly dissolved after a few bites. Delicious.
Let’s not forget about dessert! I opted for the chocolate mousse and a heaping serving of sweetness came out. We’re not talking about any prim and proper chocolate mousse in a dish. This is a large hunk of chocolate mousse plopped down on a plate and decorated with strawberries.
Dominique Bistro has gained a spot on my list of recommended restaurants in NYC. It’s the perfect quaint West Village cafe where you can sit and enjoy a casual glass (or bottle) of wine or treat yourself to some heartier French fare.
Want to have an Italian feast with a few hundred of your closest friends? Head to Patrizia’s of Brooklyn and you too can experience the party that takes place in Williamsburg.
This place is amazing and ideal for large groups. It’s a celebration all night with diners waving their napkins in the air as table after table celebrates a birthday, anniversary or just a fun night out on the town.
Come hungry. A family-style menu is available for around $55 per person that includes an all-you-can-drink feast with multiple courses of cheeses, veggies, pizzas, pastas, seafood, meats and desserts. There’s so much food that it never seems to stop – course after course after course comes out. Luckily, you have endless amounts of wine and beer to wash it all down.
I highly recommend Patrizia’s of Brooklyn. I definitely will be going back and encourage you to check them out for your next celebration!
Marleey’s, the newest restaurant to hit the Greenwood section of Brooklyn’s 5th Avenue, opens this Friday, December 11th. I recently was invited to check them out and sample some of their dishes.
First impressions – the interior is VERY bright. The lights were turned on in full force creating an almost blinding effect. I’m not sure if this was on purpose or not (it made for great photos) but I recommend Marleey’s turns down the lights in the future and puts some candles on the tables for any extra light they’re looking for. The room is very nicely decorated with some great wood floors and exposed brick. It would look great in dim lighting.
Marleey’s puts a unique spin on American and Caribbean cuisine. Their sample menu took us through some of the appetizers, entrees and desserts the restaurant will be featuring when they open later this week.
From the butternut squash soup to the dulce de leche creme brûlée, the food was good, but not overly exciting.
On the plus side, the highlight of the meal was the butternut squash soup. It was perfectly creamy with great flavors – exactly what you’d expect from this soup. The jerk chicken was equally as good, sitting on a bed or rice with a slight kick to it.
On the negative side, the scallops were slightly soggy and watery and the creme brûlée was more of a cake than a custard.
I was secretly hoping for some exciting new Caribbean cuisine I’d never had before, but instead was faced with the usual jerk chicken and some pasta.
Marleey’s has lots of potential and I’m hopeful they’ve worked out some of the kinks and are ready to hit the ground running this week.
Once open, Marleey’s hopes to appeal to all types of diners by hosting occasional nightly events, including speed dating, live DJ’s on weekends, and movie nights.
If you’re in the neighborhood, Marleey’s is a decent option to relax with hopefully some live entertainment starting in the near future. If you’re not in the area, I wouldn’t make a special trip to visit. I’m envisioning Marleey’s as more of a neighborhood spot.
I’m curious to see how things go for Marleey’s since this area of Brooklyn is starting to become more developed with the Park Slope crowd expanding out into the neighborhood.
The interior gives off a rustic feel – the perfect decor for chef Dominick Pepe to serve up authentic, hearty and healthy Italian meals. We’re talking everything from seafood to authentic Napoli pizza to pasta to crisp autumn salads anytime of the day or night. That’s right, they’re open 24 hours.
I’ll be honest. I devoured a ton of food at this restaurant. It was all so good! Delicious Polpette di Vitello Ripiene – veal stuffed meatballs with ricotta, arugula, parmesan and marinara sauce – came close to rivaling my mom’s secret recipe. I indulged in very rich Spaghetti alla Carbonara. The pasta was perfectly cooked al dente and once that egg broke, it blended together into a very decadent carb-loaded dish. And what’s a meal without dessert? The Tiramisu was one of my favorite dishes of the night. This dessert was so light and creamy, but at the same time satisfied my chocolate craving with a generous dusting of cocoa powder. No complaints here – it was all delicious.
With great food, a great location and service that lets you leisurely enjoy your meal while taking it all in, I can see why Olio e Piu is a neighborhood favorite. I highly recommend checking this place out. It fits the bill for everything from drinks with friends to dinner with your parents. Stop by and let me know what you think!