You won’t believe this delicious “Mexican Hanukkah” menu
After stuffing myself silly during Thanksgiving, I’m looking forward to indulging myself in an array of worldly cuisines from other cultures for the rest of 2013. I’m saying no to traditional American comfort food and yes to the spicy, exotic dishes with flair. Call it a late New Year’s resolution if you like, I prefer the term “holiday meal intervention” instead.
Under the helm of executive chef Julian Medina, Yerba Buena has effortlessly combined the Latin flavors of Cuba, Chile, Mexico and Argentina in bold dishes bursting with fresh flavors. Unfortunately, their innovative “Mexican Hanukkah” menu ends tomorrow (think potato jalapeno latkes with horseradish crema) but traditional mainstays like lechon confitado (suckling pig, sunchoke black truffle puree, and kale-red chilies) are staples here. And nothing says holidays more than cocktails, so I cannot wait to partake in signature concoctions like their Sun-Dia (Riazul Tequila, St.Germain, watermelon, jalapeno cordial and lime) to bring in an extra dash festive (albeit liquor induced) cheer.
To purchase dinner for two at this West Village restaurant click here.
SD26 brings back some of my happiest memories
I studied abroad in Rome during my junior year of college, and gained approximately 20 pounds in 5 months. I just couldn’t get enough of the spaghetti bolognese, the pizza melanzane and, most importantly, the gelato al cioccolato. Still, even more so than the food, I loved the family-owned charm of Rome’s many trattorias. Sometimes, there was even a nonna in place of a menu, just serving up what she’d cooked that afternoon. The only place in New York where I’ve found a similar warmth is SD26. Owned by father-daughter team Tony and Marisa May, the Flatiron spot serves up delicious food and even better hospitality. Go for the homemade potato gnocchi and be sure to grab a glass of vino from the restaurant’s high-tech Enomatic Wine Dispensing Unit System.
Experience this authentic spot for yourself with a five-course chef’s table dinner.
Something other than a sports bar on the UES
Having lived on the Upper East Side for the past five years, I can safely say it’s not New York’s best neighborhood for dining. I’ve searched tirelessly for something other than a sports bar or Thai restaurant without much luck, usually resorting to the same subpar sushi. That is, until I tried Per Lei for brunch. This place brings downtown style to the corner of 71st and Second, offering classic Italian cuisine in an elegant setting. Between the lobster Benedict and the ricotta pancakes, it’s my new go-to spot on Saturday mornings.
Try it for yourself with a Champagne brunch for two.
Does the thought of making a “gourmet” anything bring you out in hives?
The last thing most New Yorkers want to do after a long day at the office is haul groceries home and spend an hour cooking dinner. This is after visiting three different markets to get all of the necessary ingredients, or braving the long lines at Trader Joe’s.
Enter Blue Apron, a gourmet grocery subscription service that takes the work out of preparing a delicious home-cooked meal. All you need to do is follow the instructions on the provided recipe card (and take the pre-measured ingredients out of their packaging). With dishes like Korean chicken lettuce wraps with pickled daikon radishes, you might even delete your Seamless account.
Your favorite take-out spot will miss you after you try these easy-to-make gourmet meals.
This meal will turn you and your date into oyster-lovers
I cannot pinpoint my first time having an oyster. It might have been on a plane with my mother (back when flying was civilized) or during a sophisticated evening out. Honestly, who knows or who cares.
But what I do know is that any restaurant offering wine and oysters has me at hello. Also specializing in fresh, artisanal breads, Bakehouse Bistro and Bar indulges diners with fabulous French fare and breathtaking views of the Hudson River perfect for date night.
While slurping isn’t deemed ladylike, your manners may quickly fall to the wayside as you power through one dozen succulent Blue Point oysters and a glass of vino. Just don’t tell Emily Post.
Learn more about eating oysters at Bakehouse (and maybe go yourself!) by clicking here.
The friskiest lunch date in New York
Now that summer Fridays are just a distant memory, I have been desperately longing for a replacement.
Enter Duane Park, Bowery’s latest burlesque bar, for a little dash of daring during your lunch hour. For the month of December, they are introducing a three-course lunch with live entertainment exclusively for Gilt City members. Between the delicious house made papardelle, grilled filet of branzino and red velvet cheesecake and the ladies of “The Plume Review,” you’ll most likely forget to check your work e-mail. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Click here for more details on Duane Park’s December lunch series.
Step away from the mojitos, Mom
True story: I nearly had to drag my mother away from the bar of Oficina Latina (their mojitos are deliciously addicting). A mouthwatering menu is perfect for soaking up a few drinks here, though. For brunch, fluffy arepas are topped with eggs, chorizo and queso fresco, while dinner options include a savory roasted pork leg complemented by sweet plantains.
Cooking lessons from a seasoned pro? Yes, please.
Every year I throw a holiday cocktail party and subsequently dissapoint my guests with lame hors d’oeuvres. This time around, I’m forgoing cheese plates and cruditées for a delicate mousseline of scallops with rutabaga carpaccio, mint and sesame. After the “Holiday Gastronomy Class” at Cook & Go, I’ll even know how to make large prawns in curry crust and white chocolate mousse. Now that I think about it, maybe I should switch my cocktail party to a sit-down meal. The possibilites are endless.
Learn to make your own holiday feast with a cooking class at this Chelsea studio.
It’s pronounced “wa-Ha-can cuisine,” BTW
Between its premium mezcal selection and authentic Oaxacan cuisine, the Lower East Side gem Casa Mezcal has both the brunch and dinner crowds flocking for a seat.
As a big brunch fan myself, I can never turn down a freshly shaken margarita and a heaping plate of chilaquiles. A mezcal flight—the perfect complement to fresh guacamole and chicken enchiladas smothered in creamy red mole—is not to be missed either.