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Category: NYC

NYC Food, the Best!

Jean-Georges at Central Park West

lobster (5 of 14)

The Trump Hotel at the corner of Central Park West is exactly as you would expect it to be, brooding, garish, and covered in gold. Opened in 1997, Jean-Georges was a must stop for my most recent trip to NYC.

lobster (1 of 14)

We were seated in a cave like enclosure in the main dining room that reeked of opulence and the 1% Рmy kind of place. White table lines fill the room along with crystal stemware; the hostesses wearing blazers actually informed me I made a reservation for the wrong date but were happy to accommodate given the half empty lunch service. I was really excited as this was one of the first stops on this last trip.

lobster (11 of 14)

Service was relaxed and exceptional – everyone that came near the table was highly knowledgeable and had great recommendations for the menu, genuine enthusiasm, and measured passion for their craft.

lobster (10 of 14)

Jean-Georges requires a jacket to dine in the main room, even for lunch which is something I really like. Sadly for me the food did little to expand my horizons though my belt size certainly moved.

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Khe-Yo

On a recent New York trip, during one of the coldest blizzards that I have ever endured I found myself enveloped in the heat Laotian-inspired Southeast Asian cuisine. After going through several multiple course iterations at Michelin star restaurants, I wanted to break it up a bit with something a little more rustic, but the cooking at Khe-Yo is serious, and the service exemplary.

taco (8 of 10)

Starting off with warm and friendly face, as well as a great explanation of the restaurants focus I which I really appreciated we were brought a slightly steaming small basket. Inside was aromatic long grain rice nestled inside some bamboo leaves.

taco (1 of 10)

Designed for scooping with hands, this glutinous but dry rice left me with the sensation of snorting cocaine when dipped into the highly addictive bang-bang sauce. A condiment of fresh red chilies and cilantro pounded in a mortar with lime juice and fish sauce. I thought there might be some sesame and/or some soy sauce as well. This was an intriguing flavor that cleared the nostrils immediately with a kick to the tip of the tongue followed by a mild yet potent heat. I ate my weight in this rice.

taco (2 of 10)

Our next course was a bamboo grilled ginger quail with the same bang-bang sauce and Chinese broccoli (Gai-Lin). Well-seasoned with nice charcoal char and juicy flesh, this dish was a great start. This meal was starting to feel very primal with the ripping of flesh from sticks and eating by hand, something very comforting in light of the blight outside the door.

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Aqua Grill & Cronuts

After seeing a friend a in SoHo and stopping at some of my favorite shops there (Uniqlo, Evolution NYC – the mecca of science geekdom in NYC) we embarked on a quest for cronuts at Dominique Ansel Bakery that ended not entirely in vain. Cronuts, the croissant doughnut hybrid that swept the nation in buzz fueled fervor a few months ago.

Italy (9 of 9)

The made to order madeleines were perfect, although the hot chocolate wasn’t entirely that impressive, nor as hot as I would have liked it to be. The chef was in the house being interviewed in the back. With these creations he is on his way to further celebrity chefdom; most likely spending his future away from the kitchen and behind the camera.

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M. Wells Steakhouse

Every so often I have an experience that just leaves an unsavory taste in my throat. As a foodie i’m supposed to have an acumen that allows me to filter and find the places that are not just wearing the emperors clothes and lacking the emperor; M. Wells Steakhouse was an experience that left me embarrassed and rather light in the pocket book.

Italy (12 of 12)

Everything I’d read about the M Wells was positive, a mecca for meat lovers in a hidden former auto body shop in Long Island City ( A place I had never been, nonetheless) Queens, lauded Canadian Chefs in an eye catching space. I was pumped as this was to be my final reservation on a whirlwind NYC dining trip.

Things started off well, as my companions were impressed at my navigational abilities in finding the virtually hidden space (no sign whatsoever) – we walked in the glowing and warmly lit open space with an almost cathedral like feeling. The walls have elegant wall paper and the ceilings have intricate details.

Our waiter sauntered over after a few moments too long of waiting without greeting, a large heavyset man of some age and experience he began to croon the specials in an old manner reminiscent of the steak houses of yore. My excitement began to build as he overtook the the personal space of the table with his fluid hand motions, swooping his arms through the air describing luxurious cuts of offal and head cheese. I scribbled incessantly in my notebook to keep up.

We decided, as we were probably going to be tieing quite a few drinks on this evening that we should stick with the cocktails (true to form, we ended up in a gay club in the Meatpacking district dancing to Beyonce at 3 am), though I had read the wine program was exemplary. It wasn’t hard to spot the sommelier in a smartly cut suit dashing back and forth across the room. Tragically he never stopped by, but I got a chance to hear him in action at the lovely table of two next to us.

After some deliberation he brought back a bottle of ; I’m guessing this was Malvasia di Candida, and obscure bottle from the Canary Islands grown on mostly volcanic soil. I thought this was a daring pairing for a Canadian styled steak house. He decanted the wine away from the table and brought it back in a decanter, placing it on a pedestal just to my left. I was struck by the fact that neither he, nor any server brought any stemware to the table. Ten, twenty, and thirty minutes went by as the ladies finished their nearly empty cocktails before they flagged a waiter inform that they were ready to drink the bottle. The sommelier didn’t seem all that occupied standing off to the side chatting with a server, never once did he return to the table to check on anything – it certainly seemed he was spending more time on his vertical hold hairstyle than his wine service.

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