Tag Archives: SoHo

Black Seed Good but Not Worth The Hype (or the price)

Lately, I have been overwhelmed with posts from one of my favorite food blogs, Eater, regarding the opening of Black Seed. Owned by the proprietors of NoHo eatery, Mile End Delicatessan, Black Seed has emerged as perhaps the only bagel place in downtown’s NoLita neighborhood. As a resident of the area myself, I was initially excited to hear about the opening since there are literally no decent options in the hood’ for a good bagel. While Tompkins Square Bagels is great, it is a good ten to fifteen minute walk from where I am. In addition to addressing a need in an underserved area, I was also intrigued because Black Seed not only offers Montreal style bagels, but they also serve a menu comprised of many exotic signature sandwiches, such as Beet Cured Salmon among others. Continue reading Black Seed Good but Not Worth The Hype (or the price)

Michelin Star Report: The Musket Room

Since opening earlier this year, The Musket Room has emerged as one of the most talked about restaurants of the year. Owned by chef Matt Lambert, formerly of Saxon and Parole, The Musket Room exemplifies the current trend of sophisticated and ambitious restaurants moving to the hot and increasingly discerning Bowery/NoLita neighborhood that includes Estela, Pearl and Ash and Public among others. In addition, The Musket Room adds to the trend of upscale South Pacific based cuisine, by serving an eclectic New Zealand inspired menu. To be candid, prior to dining last weekend, I was not familiar with Kiwi cuisine.

IMG_1958 Continue reading Michelin Star Report: The Musket Room

Estela Exemplifies Tremendous Range and Quality

This past June, Ignacio Mattos of Il Buco joined forces with partners Mark Connell (Of dive bar, Botanica) and Wine Sommelier, Thomas Carter (formerly of Blue Hill at Stone Barns). Mattos, who is of Uruguayan descent, has a very Mediterranean approach to the menu, combining an eclectic variety of delectable dishes. The range of the menu is quite dynamic as Mattos includes Blood Sausage Croquettes with Borani, Beef Tartare and Sunchoke, Burrata with Salsa Verde and Sunchoke, Quail with Fig, Bread and White Beans and Calamari a la Plancha among other appetizers. The portions of the appetizers are minimal and are designed to share as long as several are ordered tapas style. Estela offers four larger portioned dishes including Ricotta Dumplings, Cod with Cabbage, Pork with Rainbow Potatoes and Steak with Eggplant. While all are good, especially the tender, steak, the winner is easily the Ricotta Dumplings, served with mushrooms, onion and pecorino sardo. In fact, the Ricotta Dumplings justify a visit alone to this relatively new East Houston restaurant.

Ricotta Dumplings

The makeup of the restaurant is akin to several commercial hospitality spaces that combine a lower level/basement designed for a bar/lounge with an upstairs for the restaurant, such as Acme and Brinkleys. However, unlike other similar settings, Estela is a far superior restaurant to Acme or Brinkleys, which are designed more as an excuse to gain a liquor license for their downstairs clubs and less about the food. Estela’s dining room is intimate, minimal design is the perfect complement to the preeminent location of Houston between Mott and Mulberry, right at the start of the very hip area of NoLita, which has become an epicenter of culinary excellence in recent years. NoLita is home to several Michelin starred restaurants including Torissi, Public and The Musket Room, which exemplifies the importance of quality options in the area. Nevertheless, despite the alternatives in the area, the competition brings out the best in Estela as is unique menu stands out amongst other favorable destinations. So far, after five months of being open, Estela continues to pack the house with limited walk in opportunities (unless you want to sit at the bar) so make sure a reservation is made before coming.


47 East Houston Street,

New York, NY, 10012

P: + 1 212 219 7693

Preview: Andrew Carmellini’s Lafayette in NoHo


Next week, Andrew Carmellini, Josh Pickard and Luke Ostrom, responsible for the immensely popular The Dutch and  Locanda Verde will follow up with a new, 150 seat French Bistro, Lafayette in NoHo. Slated to open on Wednesday April 17th, Lafayette has Tom Colicchio’s long time partner from Craft, Damon Wise, as the executive chef. Wise is responsible for curating a very exciting menu comprised of a French-Gallic influence that focuses on France’s rustic south. Dishes including Foie Gras Terrine, Frisee Salade, Beef Tartare Cressonniere, Tripe Bourgoignon, Duck a Poivre and Lamb Chops Marocaine, among others,  highlight the auspicious menu.  Lafayette, which takes over the former Chinatown Brasserie and Rehab club from the early 2000s, is expected to be a huge success, most likely disrupting a neighborhood that is already inundated with exceptional restaurants including Acme, Indochine and Bohemian.  In addition to serving dinner nightly, Lafayette will be open for lunch and will also have a bakery open daily.  Courtesy of New York Magazine Click HERE for Lafayette’s full menu.



380 Lafayette Street

New York, NY 10003

P: + 1 212

Torrisi Team Unveils Carbone in SoHo


The boys behind NoLita Italian favorite Torrisi (and Parm), Jeff Zalaznick and Rich Torissi have collaborated with Mario Carbone to open a new Italian gem, Carbone tonight (Friday March 8th). Located on 181 Thompson Street, Carbone boasts art curated by Julian Schnabel’s son and uniforms for the waiters designed by Zac Posen. According to Carbone, the restaurant will play on the theme of fine dining from “Midcentury Italian American.” Carbone will feature a plethora of pasta’s, beef carpacio, caesar salad and lobster fra diavola among other delectable dishes. Based on the success of both Torissi and Parm expect Carbone to be a hit.

181 Thompson Street,
New York, NY, 10012
P: + 212 254-3000

Lure Fishbar @ NY Restaurant Week

One of the most highly anticipated Restaurants participating in NYC Restaurant Week was Lure Fishbar. Located in the heart of SoHo, I was very anxious to try their Restaurant Week menu because it quite possibly offered the most attractive seafood of any restaurant participating in the three week long promotion. Offering dishes such as Oysters, Sushi, Shrimp Tempura and a Filet of Fish Basket, Lure Fishbar was on the top of my list.

Appetizer: 1/2 Dozen Oysters

Verdict: The half dozen East Coast Oysters, were served with size of cocktail and mignonette sauces. Overall, both sauces were very good, although I slightly preferred the latter as it possessed the proper zest that worked well with the dish. The oysters were incredibly fresh, embodying the necessary taste of the sea that make them as popular as they are today.

Entree: Sushi Combo- 6 Pieces of Sushi and 1 Maki Roll

Verdict: For my entree, I went with the Sushi Combination which included six pieces of Sushi along with one maki choice. As for the sushi, two pieces of salmon, one tuna, one yellowtail, one white fish and one piece of eel were served. For my choice of maki, I went with the Crunchy Spicy Big Eye Tuna. Overall, the sushi and maki roll were strong. Although the entree was a bit light, I was sufficiently pleased with the profound degree of freshness.

Dessert: Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream w/Graham Crackers, Brownies and Chocolate Sauce

Verdict: The most unexpected and pleasant surprise of the meal, was the toasted marshmallow ice cream served with graham crackers and brownie. While I did not harbor low expectations for the dish, I overlooked the desserts because I was so consumed with the shellfish and seafood, which is Lure’s specialty. Nevertheless, the Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream was outstanding and deserves praise for its creativity and overall distinct flavor.



In the end, Lure Fishbar’s NY Restaurant Week  menu was exceptional. Combining three stellar courses into a prix fixe menu deserves tremendous praise. In addition, the menu shed’s light on the restaurant’s tremendous dishes.

Lure Fishbar

142 Mercer Street,

New York, NY, 10012

P: + 1 (212) 431-7676

Lure Fishbar @ 1/2 Dozen Oysters

One of the most popular and highly revered seafood dish are Oysters. Considered an aphrodisiac, Oysters are enchanting, luxurious and down right delicious. Although they are most popular (and appropriate) during the summer months, Oysters are consumed year round and as a result a plethora of restaurants have opened in New York dedicated to the dish. Lure Fishbar may be one of the best destinations for oysters in the city, serving an attractive menu that includes: Blue Point (Long Island) $3, Island Creek (Massachusetts) $3.50, Beau Soleil (New Brunswick) $3.25, Kushi (British Columbia) $3.75, Kumamoto (Washington) $3.50, Fanny Bay (British Columbia) $3.25 and the Oyster of the day. While Lure’s sheer range of oysters is impressive, they are also known for their shellfish: Shrimp, Crab, Lobster and auspicious Sushi.

Nevertheless, I went with the oysters to start. Served as an appetizer with a half dozen, the East Coast Oysters came with a cocktail and mignonette sauces. Overall, both sauces were very good, although I slightly preferred the latter as it possessed the proper zest that worked well with the dish. The oysters were incredibly fresh, embodying the necessary taste of the sea that make them as popular as they are today. While Lure Fishbar may be one of the best purveyors of oysters in NYC, it also offers some of the best sushi and shellfish as well, making it a favorable destination for lunch or dinner.

Lure Fishbar

142 Mercer Street,

New York, NY, 10012

P: + 1 (212) 431-7676

Kenmare Lounge Officially Done

Following the demise of the restaurant only two months ago, Kenmare’s downstairs lounge has also officially closed. After the restaurant closed on October 17th, citing the creation of “a new restaurant concept for the upstairs portion of the venue” the downstairs lounge had continued to operate strictly as a bar. According to Eater, owner Nur Khan intimated that the Kenmare team has “a great concept we are in discussions about now.” Kenmare’s released an official statement pertaining to its closing:

We would like to thank all of our loyal Kenmare customers. As most of you know we are in the process of changing our dining concept; although we scaled down the menu while we are in the process of putting the new restaurant concept in place. We have been informed that our current menu is not extensive enough for us to operate the way we currently are. Although we have been serving food we have been advised not to operate until our new dining concept and full menu are in place. We are working diligently to finalize our new project. We look forward to seeing all of your familiar faces again when the new project is complete.

Warmest regards and Happy Holiday wishes from the KENMARE TEAM.

Kenmare Restaurant (Now Closed)
98 Kenmare Street,
New York, NY, 10012
P: + 1 (212) 274 9898