With a Michelin star you might expect Bâtard to be uptight and stuffy but the laid-back and cheerful atmosphere made for a wonderful meal. Th first course was the delicately textured and sweet scallops with kale, vanilla, herbs and potato mousseline.
I fell in love with Momofuku’s ramen during a trip to NYC about ten years ago and still think about that steaming hot bowl and have been searching Chicago for something that lived up to what I had at Momofuku. (Wasbi comes close)
There is almost always a line but the turnover is pretty quick and it’s worth the wait not to mention some good people watching. The bar on the kitchen is great if you are as fascinated as I am watching what seems like chaos come together to a beautiful bowl/plate. My favorite is the Spicy Miso Ramen. This baby comes with smoked chicken, poached egg, sesame, nori and thin springy noodles. It has a nice kick to it and is full of umami but still has a lighter taste compared to the Momofuku Ramen.
The pork belly and pork shoulder give the Momofuku Ramen Continue reading
Show up early to this cozy diner where the cool kids go because the food is good and lines start forming quickly. Cuban music plays and the staff is pretty relaxed so plan to stay awhile. This was one of my favorite breakfast spots for a huge meal in a fun atmosphere with great prices.
I had to try the Mexican style grilled corn I kept hearing about. Continue reading
Jack’s Wife Freda is a cute little spot in Soho on Lafayette Street. We walked by and noticed the charming white and green awning and took a peek inside to find a bright yet cozy space with leather bench seating along the walls and a long communal table in the center. Arriving just at opening ensured us a seat and it steadily filled up by the minute.
My ultimate sushi destination is Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo, Japan a Michelin 3-star restaurant run by Jiro Ono. He is close to 90 and has run this world-famous restaurant for years. As you can imagine he takes his sushi seriously and the fish speaks for itself. Since I am not getting to Tokyo nor spending $300 for a meal anytime soon so I search out sushi bars that are unassuming and treat sushi like artists.
Enter Sushi Seki. The unassuming store front that opens up into a no-frills medium-sized restaurant has some of the best sushi waiting for you inside. The vibe is laid back but hyper focused on the fish and service. Crowd is a mix of Upper East Siders, cabbies and chefs (the sushi bar is open until 3am). The preparation and presentation fall somewhere in between traditional and modern style sushi.
If you can swing it, last-minute travel can be the way to go when exploring a city like New York. I had a weekend free and wanted to get out-of-town, have good weather, eat some great food, stay in a hotel with a nice view and celebrate an anniversary, oh and not spend a million dollars on a plane ticket. I know, a pipe dream.
However, you can find great deals by booking hotel and flight together at the last-minute (I used Expedia). We were even offered a hotel upgrade upon arrival. Now we could focus on eating and shopping. The next thing was to find a restaurant that had an open table on a Friday night at decent time with a couple of days notice. Fortunately for me I was able to reach out to an old friend that hooked me up with an 8pm reservation at Gotham Bar and Grill.
After checking out our lovely room view (support beam in the way but 2 sides of the room were wall to ceiling windows) we headed to Gotham Bar and Grill.