Wednesday, 22 July 2015

HUDSON COMMON

356 W58th Street, New York, NYC (212) 554-6217 
Located in the trendy and hip Hudson Hotel in NYC is a large common area called Hudson Common.  This hotel space is very chic!!


It resembles a large beer hall with large tables.

We originally came here to have tacos in the garden, but all the available spaces were occupied. 
So we went inside to the common. They unfortunately did not serve tacos inside!
We were reluctant to have dinner here after reading the limited menu and did not really want any of the choices available.  
Mark and Thomas had the pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw and summer corn salads.  They were not impressed!

My wife and I had the common burger with bacon and kale caesar.  The burger was boring and the bacon was like rubber and inedible!  The kale caesar was large but had too much vinegar.  My wife and I left half of the meal unfinished!


We also ordered some fries to share. They were nothing special and we couldn't even finish these!!

My wife and I ordered a nice bottle of wine and the boys had some beers.  This was the best part of our meal!
When we left, we were very disappointed that such a trendy hotel with such a great vibe could have such a lame menu and not seem to care!!  We will never eat here again!  The saving grace for our visit here was the wonderful sky terrace, which we went to to wash this terrible food down.  The sky terrace is amazing.


We highly recommend the sky terrace for drinks and the view.  It is a relaxing and wonderful space and we will certainly return here when we visit NYC again - but stay away from the Hudson Common food!!


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Thursday, 16 July 2015

BECCO 

355 W 46th Street, New York, Hell's Kitchen New York, New York (212) 397-7597
Located on restaurant row in the Theatre District of Manhattan (West 46th Street).  Becco is part of the Bastianich chain owned by the famous television chef Lidia Bastianich and her husband Joe.  It was opened in 1993 and since then has been a staple in the theatre district.
It is composed of many intimate areas just below street level.


We made our reservation rather early, since we were booked at a jazz club nearby for 8:30, but we were in no hurry.  We enjoy good Italian food and had lots of time.  We were ushered into one of the rear rooms that had a large skylight and was almost like eating al fresco.
It was early, so the restaurant was quiet, however it did not take long to fill up.  Our table was prepared with nice linen napkins, an incredible bread basket that included a variety of very fresh breads (the breadsticks were our favourites).  There was also a nice variety of spiced olives and a rich herbed butter in olive oil - very unusual but very tasty.
The wine selection here was outstanding and large.  All wines were priced the same $29.  This alone was worth the visit!  

We selected a wonderful Valpolicella Ripasso, it was smooth as silk.  There were so many good wines on this list - it was hard to choose.
In viewing the menu, we saw that there was a price fix available for $23.95, which included salad and a choice of 3 different pasta varieties available that evening.

We decided to go a la carte and chose caesar salad and a main from the extensive menu.  Only a portion of which is shown below.

Caesar Salad
My wife selected the calves liver. The liver was pan seared with bacon, caramelized onions, crispy polenta, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was was melt in your mouth perfectly cooked.
I chose one of the evening's specials veal scallopini done in a butter, wine and sherry sauce with capers and lemon.  It was divine and very rich in flavour.

It was accompanied by a garlic and olive oil spinach side dish.
We completed our meal with a strawberry cheesecake (I could not believe they did not have a tiramisu or tartuffo).  We did however eat the cheesecake so fast I forgot to take a photo of it.  We completed our dessert with delicious Cappucino coffees. 
By the time we left, the restaurant was jammed to capacity!

We really enjoyed our meal here - however it was much too hurried, we barely had time to savour each course and the bill arrived on our table.  I would recommend they retain an area in this large restaurant for those not in a hurry for a Broadway show.

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Monday, 13 July 2015

THE STANDARD GRILL

848 Washington Street, (Under the Highline) at 13th Street, Meatpacking District, New York City, 212-645-4100
On our first day in Manhattan we walked the High Line to the Standard Grill.  We had made our reservations for 8:30 and were looking forward to a great Thursday evening.  We arrived a little early after a wonderful stroll along the High Line (if you visit Manhattan you have to walk it - it is both mesmerizing and relaxing).  The Standard Grill is in a hotel called The Standard and connects to the High Line Park.
We could hear the commotion emanating from the Standard from a block away.  It was buzzing.  We arrived at the bar to wait for our table and enjoyed a couple of cocktails.

There was a raw bar beside us that looked great.
There is a large patio that was quite busy and filled with people enjoying the vibe.  It is a great place for people watching and is very alive.

After a couple of cocktails at the bar we were seated and reviewed the wine list and menu.
We chose a nice 2011 Chianti Felsina.  It was smooth and reasonably priced.
For our appetizers Tom had the steak tartare, fines herbes, lardo toast.  It was tangy and filled with amazing flavours.





Mark had the tamarind glazed pork belly, charred onion, cucumber, crispy shallots.  He really enjoyed this dish.

My wife and I had the little gem salad, champagne-dijon vinaigrette, rye croutons.  It was cool and delicious.
For our mains my wife chose the Atlantic salmon, rye berries, pickled turnips, poppyseed dressing.
Thomas and I chose the one of the evening specials - short ribs, with beets, edamame puree, asparagus and other vegetables. It was outstanding - the meat just melted in your mouth and there was a lot of it!!

Mark chose the bourbon glazed pork chop, cheddar grits, roasted apples, pecans.  Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of this awesome dish.
We reviewed the desert menu.
For our deserts my wife and Mark shared a blueberry cheesecake.  
Thomas and I shared the Deal Closer - a bowl of decadent bittersweet chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings!! It was incredible!!
We completed our dinners with coffee
and espresso
Greg was a great efficient waiter that was amusing and friendly. We thoroughly enjoyed our relaxed evening here and will return again when we come to New York City!!  This is an amazing restaurant!!



http://www.thestandardgrill.com/
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