Category Archives: Spots Worth Visiting

Dinner with Chopped star Ted Allen at Pok Pok Ny hosted by Pepcid/ Eater

Dinner with Chopped star Ted Allen at Pok Pok Ny hosted by Pepcid/ Eater

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Pok Pok NY on Urbanspoon

 

Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to this establishment for a complimentary meal. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Chinatown, New York

Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Chinatown, New York

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Nom Wah Tea Parlor on Urbanspoon

 

 

Food: ☆☆☆

Service: ☆☆☆

Ambiance: ☆☆ ½

Cost: $$$

Must try: Rice-noodle rolls, Shrimp and Chive Dumpling

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Jaiya Thai, Murray Hill/ Yorkville, NYC

Jaiya Thai, Murray Hill/ Yorkville, NYC

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Jaiya on Urbanspoon

Jaiya Thai on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆☆

Service: ☆☆ ½

Ambiance: ☆☆ ½

Cost: $$

Must try: Special Sauce, Indian Curry, Laad Na

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Musical Mondays and Le Cirque’s 40th Anniversary at Le Cirque Café

Musical Mondays and Le Cirque’s 40th Anniversary at Le Cirque Café

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Le Cirque Cafe on Urbanspoon

 

Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to this establishment for a complimentary meal. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

 

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Da Marcella, West Village, NYC

Da Marcella, West Village, NYC

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Da Marcella on Urbanspoon

 

Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to this establishment for a complimentary meal. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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Pastai: An Artisan Pasta Bar, Chelsea, NYC

Pastai: An Artisan Pasta Bar, Chelsea, NYC

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Pastai on Urbanspoon
Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to this establishment for a complimentary meal. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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Spot Dessert Bar, East Village, NYC

Spot Dessert Bar, East Village, NYC

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Spot Dessert Bar on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆☆

Service: ☆☆☆½

Ambiance: ☆☆½

Cost: $$

Must try: Chocolate Green Tea Lava Cake, The Harvest 

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LIC Market, Long Island City, NYC

LIC Market, Long Island City, NYC

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LIC Market on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆☆

Service: ☆☆☆½

Ambiance: ☆☆☆½

Cost: $$

Must try: Frittata, Soups, Brownie

 

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Milkflower, Astoria, NYC

Milkflower, Astoria, NYC

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Milkflower on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆½

Service: ☆☆☆½

Ambiance: ☆☆☆½

Cost: $$

Must try: Meatballs, Queen, Brussels Sprout

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Dovetail, Upper West Side, NYC

Dovetail, Upper West Side, NYC

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Dovetail on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆☆

Service: ☆☆☆½ 

Ambiance: ☆☆☆

Cost: $$$ 

Must try: Potato Gnocchi, Hamachi, Cured Carrots, Chocolate soufflé

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Hakkasan, Midtown West, NYC

Hakkasan, Midtown West, NYC

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Hakkasan on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆

Service: ☆☆☆½

Ambiance: ☆☆☆½

Cost: $$$$

Must try: Dim Sum, pumpkin-duck puffs, Chicken Sanpei

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Thelewala, Greenwich Village, NYC

Thelewala, Greenwich Village, NYC

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Thelewala on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆½

Service: ☆☆☆

Ambiance: ☆☆

Cost: $

Must try: Chicken Phall Roll

Thelewala, as its name suggests, has recreated the street food experience right here in New York City.

 Situated on MacDougal Street amongst numerous tiny eateries, Thelewala offers stiff competition to Kathi Roll Company that is situated diagonally across.

The concise menu here offers uncommon variations on kati rolls which they call “Famous Nizami Rolls”. There are several fillings one can choose from with both vegetarian and non- vegetarian options. My favorite was the spicy Chicken Phall Roll.

Thelewala also offers other street style food ubiquitous in Kolkata. Do try their Jaal Moori which is a riff on the more common bhelpuri. It is prepared with puffed rice, peanuts, red onions, potatoes, lime and oil (ask for mustard oil which is the authentic version vs. olive oil)

The owner Shiva Natarajan’s who also owns Chola, Dhaba, Bhojan and more, is a native of Kolkata – where street food reigns supreme. As I too am of similar origins, I can tell you that Thelewala is the real deal.

 Here is some of what we ate:

 

Phuchka

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Jaal Moori

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Chicken Malai Roll

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Chicken Phall Roll

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Restaurant Information


* Restaurant Name
Thelewala
* Overall
★★★☆☆
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
West Village / Thai
* Street Address
112 MacDougal St. (Between Minetta Ln. & Bleecker St.), New York, NY 10012
* Phone
(212) 614-9100
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Bohemian, Greenwich Village, NYC

Bohemian, Greenwich Village, NYC

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Bohemian on Urbanspoon

 

 

 

Food: ☆☆☆

Service: ☆☆☆½ 

Ambiance: ☆☆☆

Cost: $$$ 

Must try:The Bohemian Tasting

 

Ever done the secret dining circuit in New York? If not then Bohemian is a great place to start.

There is such a thrill in going to that clandestine, unmarked restaurant with no published phone number that is hidden away behind a Japanese butchers store. I was expecting a super snobby, exclusive chic kind of atmosphere but what lies behind Bohemian’s doors totally disarms all of that.

 

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Once you are buzzed in, the entire mystique melts away and what you are left with is a really inviting space, which feels more like being in someone’s living room. Here you are served rather remarkable fare by the nicest of people. Trust the Japanese to create the ultimate speakeasy!

 

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At Bohemian, chef Kiyo Shinoki prepares Japanese inspired creative plates that are artful both in composition and presentation. Each dish is thoughtfully created blending Japanese cooking techniques to maximize flavors.

The Bohemian Tasting for $55 (6 courses) is a very reasonable offering which allows you to sample an array of different tastes. There also is a full bar with an assortment of Asian inspired cocktails.

Bohemian has a very a stringent reservation policy which is by phone only. They also ask for a referral when you call in.

Bohemian respectfully requests that their “secret phone number” not be published anywhere but if you ask nicely…I might just share with you!

Here is some of what we ate:

 

Farmer’s Fresh Vegetables Fondue

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Washu-Beef Short Rib Sashimi

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Uni Croquette

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Pan Roasted Branzini

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Washu-Beef Mini Burger

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House Caviar Rice Bowl

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Foie Gras Soba

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Honey Lemon Pannacotta

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Restaurant Information


* Restaurant Name
Bohemian
* Overall
★★★☆☆
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
East Village / Japanese / Steak
* Street Address
57 Great Jones St. (bet. Bowery & Lafayette St.), New York, NY 10012
* Phone
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El Anzuelo Fino, Jackson Heights, NYC

El Anzuelo Fino, Jackson Heights, NYC

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El Anzuelo Fino on Urbanspoon

El Anzuelo Fino on Urbanspoon
Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to this establishment for a complimentary meal. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

I was recently invited to El Anzuelo Fino, a family owned Peruvian restaurant, which has locations in Jackson Heights and Woodside in Queens.

What I went in expecting was a Pio- Pio styled Peruvian meal (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but the experience I came away with was something completely different.

Boris Torres, the son and face of the next generation at El Anzuelo Fino, is a professionally trained chef as well as an architect.

Both professions require fashioning an art form and that is exactly what Torres does on the plate. He is a truly gifted chef who is pushing the boundaries of Peruvian food into modernity whilst still staying close its roots and heritage.

Torres schooled me throughout the meal on the complexity, depth and phenomenal ethnic influences that have fashioned Peruvian cuisine. Each dish that was presented to me had a little history lesson on how its flavors borrowed from its cultural past.

Be it African, Chinese – “Chifa”, Japanese –“Nikkei”, Spanish or Italian, Torres’s creations pay true homage to a gastronomic heritage that is so rich. Take the classic favorite “Lomo Saltado” for example, which is made with sautéed beef tips, onions, tomatoes, reduced with soy sauce and served over French fries. What seems like a crazy combination of flavors actually works beautifully! Look at all the cross cultural pollination going on in that dish!

The Anticuchos con Papa or veal hearts drew on African heritage whilst their superb Ceviche draws on Spanish influences.

At El Anzuelo Fino, do not miss trying the Corvina, which is a firm-fleshed South American fish. We sampled a Ceviche and  an “A-la- Plancha” version of this fish and both dishes were spectacular.

El Anzuelo Fino, in my opinion is truly a gem of a find. Located in its unassuming digs one can really find artful creations of seriously tasty, home-style Peruvian food here.

I, for one, am a fan!

 

Here is some of what we ate:

 

Canch

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Ceviche de Corvina

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Anticuchos Con Papa Y Choclo

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Pulpo al Olivo

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Corvina A La Plancha

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Lomo Saltado

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Restaurant Information


* Restaurant Name
El Anzuelo Fino
* Overall
★★★☆☆
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
Jackson Heights / Peruvian
* Street Address
8601 Northern Blvd., Jackson Heights, NY 11372
* Phone
(718) 426-8660
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Uncle Boons, Nolita, NYC

Uncle Boons, Nolita, NYC

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Uncle Boons on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆½

Service: ☆☆☆½

Ambiance: ☆☆☆½

Cost: $$$

Must try: Chicken and Banana Blossom Salad, Khao Soi, Grilled Blowfish Tails

  

Uncle Boons is a wonderful downtown dining spot serving uncommon Thai fare.

This eatery was opened the by husband and wife team of Ann Redding and Matt Danzer, both of ex- Per Se pedigree.

The menu here shies away from the regular Thai offerings of copious amounts of curries, noodles, satays and so on. The selection here is limited but in a thoughtful way.

Many of the recipes used in the kitchen are handed down from Redding’s family – who was born in Thailand. Where else can one try delicate dish of tender charcoal-grilled blowfish tails served with a fresh green chili sauce or chicken and banana blossom salad with several layers of flavor and texture in every bite. The Khao Soi is a must try dish consisting of a flavorful yellow curry served with both soft and crunchy noodles.

The one thing I missed at Uncle Boons was spice. The menu seems to focus more on the gentler side of Thai food which is refreshing too.

At Uncle Boons the attention seems to be on creating a culinary experience that is a little set apart from the rest and yet authentic in its core.

Here is some of what we ate:

 

Spicy Roasted Chicken & Banana Blossom Salad

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Steamed Egg wrapped in Red Curry & Kaffir Lime

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Northern Style Golden Curry (Khao Soi)

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Grilled Blowfish Tails

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Water Spinach with Garlic

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Restaurant Information


* Restaurant Name
Uncle Boons
* Overall
★★★☆☆
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
Lower East Side / Thai
* Street Address
7 Spring St. (Between Bowery & Elizabeth St.), New York, NY 10012
* Phone
(646) 370-6650
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Juliette, Williamsburg, NYC

Juliette, Williamsburg, NYC

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Juliette on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆½

Service: ☆☆☆½

Ambiance: ☆☆☆½

Cost: $$$

Must try: Eggs Forestière

Juliette is an ultra charming brassiere in Williamsburg located right next to the famed Egg.

Nested in an area where trendy restaurants open ever so often, Juliette has managed to hold its own. Offering a locally sourced, French inspired menu classic favorites with a twist rule here. The meal we had here was very solid.

The interiors at Juliette are French country whimsy. The space offers locales to suit every mood. There is a vintage barroom up front, a main dining room, a solarium adorned with vines and an extremely popular rooftop bar that is packed during warmer weather. 

For those who care, Juliette was recently featured on Project Runway in Episode 9 (Let’s do Brunch)! That is definitely one way you can spend your time here by checking out the scene but for others like me…..the food will occupy you just fine too.

Here is some of what we ate:

 

BAKED FARM EGGS

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SMOKED SALMON BENEDICT 


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EGGS FORESTIERE

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Restaurant Information


* Restaurant Name
Juliette
* Overall
★★★☆☆
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
Williamsburg / French
* Street Address
135 North 5th St., Brooklyn, NY 11211
* Phone
(718) 388-9222
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Mozzarella & Vino, Midtown West, NYC

Mozzarella & Vino, Midtown West, NYC

 

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Mozzarella & Vino on Urbanspoon

 

(I was invited as a guest to this establishment. All opinions expresses in this review are my own.)

I was recently invited to review Mozzarella & Vino, a brand new spot opened by veteran restaurateurs Gianfranco & Paula Sorrentino of Il Gattopardo and Leopard at des Artistes fame.

Located in the old Il Gattopardo space, right opposite the MOMA, Mozzarella & Vino is housed in a chic, inviting space that is filled with warmth and authenticity.

 

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Mozzarella & Vino distinguishes itself from it sibling restaurants by offering a seasonally inspired small plate menu with an emphasis on  Mozzarella di Bufala Campania DOP, Italian cheeses and affettati.

This affordable enoteca style restaurant also offers a full bar and an extensive wines list. This is one of the first spots in New York City to use an Enomatic wine serving system, which allows them to store unique high-end wines.

The kitchen is supervised by Chef Vito Gnazzo of Il Gattopardo and The Leopard and helmed by Antonio Savino. The menu at Mozzarella & Vino is quite simple but the flavors are truly authentic and the quality of food really shines. The best of ingredients are flown in twice a week from small artisanal farms in Italy. One can tell that in this kitchen there are no short cuts – everything is made fresh from scratch and is all really delicious.

Mozzarella & Vino is open everyday from 11:00 AM to 10 PM. The genuine affection and care taken of anyone who walks through the doors of Mozzarella & Vino is palpable. Its almost like you are welcomed home when you set foot in here and are pampered the whole way through with great food and wine.

Here is some of what we ate:

 

Bread Basket

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Zucchini and Calamari fritti with spicy tomato sauce

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Affettati & Fromagi

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Smoked Mozzarella with Cherry Tomato Suace

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Baked Rigatoni with Eggplant and Riccotta

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Meatballs

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Apple crostata with smoked mozzarella gelato

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Mascarpone chocolate mousse cake

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Restaurant Information


* Restaurant Name
Mozzarella & Vino
* Overall
★★★☆☆
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
Midtown West / Italian
* Street Address
33 West 54th Street (b/t Avenue Of The Americas & 5th Ave in Midtown West), New York, NY 10019
* Phone
(646) 692-8849
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Shopsin’s General Store, Lower East Side, NYC

Shopsin’s General Store, Lower East Side, NYC

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Shopsin's General Store on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆☆

Service: ☆☆ ½

Ambiance: ☆☆

Cost: $$

Must try: Poutine, Mac and Cheese Pancake

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ABC Cocina, Union Square/ Flatiron, NYC

ABC Cocina, Union Square/ Flatiron, NYC

 

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ABC Cocina on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆ ¾

Service: ☆☆☆

Ambiance: ☆☆☆☆

Cost: $$$

Must try: Grilled Maitake Mushrooms, Raw Shaved Fluke, Guacamole with Grapefruit Salsa

 ABC Cocina is Jean-Georges Vongerichten and executive chef Dan Kluger’s endeavor at inventive, Latin inspired, tapas style fare.

Housed within the stunning ABC Carpet & Home Store, this hot spot is fashioned in abcmkt’s eclectic style – an aesthetic I love (of course everything is available for purchase on the shop floor).

The menu consists of seven sections with choices that range from a “Raw Bar” to “Light and Bright” to “Wood Burning Grill” and more.

The cuisine is based on flavors from Latin America and Spain and is for most part executed rather well. Dishes that blew me away were the “Raw Shaved Fluke with Green Chili Dressing” and the “Grilled Maitake Mushrooms”. Other such as the “Fish Taco” felt lacking in clean flavors and brightness as is was unnecessarily doused with some kind of creamy heavy Russian type dressing. The “Short Rib Tacos” though are a clear winner!

Service was very pleasant but uneven. We were kept waiting for fairly long spells between certain dishes.

I didn’t fall in love with ABC Cocina the way that I did with ABC Kitchen….but the small plate fare piqued my interest enough to make warrant several revisits.

 

Here is some of what we ate:

 

Guacamole with Grapefruit Salsa

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Raw Shaved Fluke 

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Shrimp with Sizzling Garlic and Chili Oil

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Short Rib Taco

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Fish Taco

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Grilled Maitake Mushrooms

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Salted Caramel ‘Impossible’ Flan

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Soft And Crunchy Almond Cake

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Restaurant Information


* Restaurant Name
ABC Cocina
* Overall
★★★☆☆
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
Flatiron / Latin American other / Tapas/Small Plates
* Street Address
38 East 19th St. (Between 5th Ave. & Park Ave.), New York, NY 10003
* Phone
(212) 677-2233
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The Little Owl, West Village, NYC

The Little Owl, West Village, NYC

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The Little Owl on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆☆

Service: ☆☆☆½

Ambiance: ☆☆☆½

Cost: $$$

Must try: Gravy Meatball Sliders , Spring Asparagus Soup, Pork Chop & Butter Beans

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Bún-ker, Maspeth, NYC

Bún-ker, Maspeth, NYC

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Bún-ker on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆☆ ½ 

Service: ☆☆☆☆

Ambiance: ☆☆☆½ 

Cost: $$

Must try: Crab Spring Rolls, Ca Ri Ga, Cha Ca La Vong, Bahn Xeo (actually get one of everything on the menu!) 

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Sushi of Gari, Upper West Side, NYC

Sushi of Gari, Upper West Side, NYC

 

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Sushi of Gari on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆☆½ 

Service: ☆☆☆½ 

Ambiance: ☆☆

Cost: $$$ 

Must try: Omakase

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Sushi Nakazawa, West Village, NYC

Sushi Nakazawa, West Village, NYC

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Sushi Nakazawa on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆☆☆

Service: ☆☆☆☆☆

Ambiance: ☆☆☆

Cost: $$$$

Must try: Omakase only

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MarieBelle Chocolate, Soho, NYC

MarieBelle Chocolate, Soho, NYC

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MarieBelle on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆

Service: ☆☆☆½

Ambiance: ☆☆

Cost: $$$

Must try: Hot Chocolate

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Neta, Greenwich Village, NYC

Neta, Greenwich Village, NYC

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Neta on Urbanspoon

 

Food: ☆☆☆☆

Service: ☆☆☆☆

Ambiance: ☆☆☆

Cost: $$$

Must try: Omakase

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