Monday, October 28, 2013

Umami Burger - Greenwich Village

432 6th Avenue
New York, N.Y.  10011

"I don't get it"  "I don't either.  It's just a burger right?"
"Look at all those people waiting! For a burger!?"
"What is it about those burgers that makes all those people wait.  Look at that line!"

Several times, as I have walked by the East Coast outlet of the 
West Coast Burger joint called Umami Burger, I have heard these phrases verbalized.
I have verbalized them myself - then I ate at Umami Burger.

A lot of burger places have opened around 
New York and a few other places over the past few years.  
Mostly they are just hamburger places.   
Your basic meat patties on a choice of well made artisan buns, imported cheeses, slab bacon.  
Lots of flavors piled on top of the basic meat patty.

Well here the meat patty is well seasoned, 
cooked to perfection as ordered and anything but basic.  
And thats just the beginning.  
You won't notice the absents of salt and pepper shakers on the table 
until someone points it out because you won't be reaching for them.

Fries come with sauces - not everyday ketchup but Umami ketchup. 
Just the right mix of flavor to tingle the tongue.  

Here is a peak inside of a perfectly cooked to order, 
perfectly seasoned and piled high with the perfectly flavored toppings. 

Bottom Line - 
2 burgers, one sweet potato fries and one regular, 2 soft drinks and a tip was $50.00
Average price of burger platters around town is $15, so they are right in there.
Avoid the line by eating a little earlier or later then the usual crowd.  
Unfortunately, they are not doing take-out. . .yet.

Friday, August 2, 2013


185 Ave C
New York, New York 10009

A little corner of Cuban latin goodness on the real, old school, Lower East Side.
I always walk away feeling like I was just fed by a friends mother.
(If my mother ever cooked like this I'd never have left home)

Mojito's are the drink we go for here, although the sangria looks tempting.
Ceviche that reminds you of the ocean, fresh salt air and a faint sea breeze.  It is accompanied by these whispers of plantains chips; deep fried but not greasy and so good we could eat them by the bagful 
Ensalada de Casa - Avocado so fresh and creamy with salad greens that are lightly dress leaving just the right amount of crunch.
Camarones al Ajillo - Shrimp cooked to perfection and with the right balance of seasoning accompanied by rice and plantanos maduros (sweet plantains)
Pork Especial - Tender and flavorful, no knife needed.  It came with rice and tostones. 
All accompanied by this creamy white garlic cloud of heaven sauce 
(if you like garlic you all love this stuff)

Bottom line
2 drinks, 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, 2 drinks for dessert, tax and tip $135.00
We not only would go there again, we have many times over.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


I'll be catching up a little in the next few posts.  Its not that we haven't gone out or that the restaurants are not up to a review, we've just been too darn ___________ (you fill in the blank).


8 Little West 12th Street
between 9th and Washington Ave.
NYC, NY 10014
Weeknights for dinner only
Weekends for brunch, lunch and dinner

I have realized lately that some still think of French food as heavy with creams and sauces.
And while it is some of that it is also a whole lot more.

Clean flavors, delicate seasonings that let natures palette shine through. That is Paradou.
So I'll start with this little gem on Little West 12th Street.  Some French Riviera on the Hudson River.

The decor is French Provence and so is the menu.  Table tops from wine crates, very high ceilings, a garden in the back and very relaxed.  You will hear a lot of French spoken here by your fellow patrons (always a good sign)

Annie started with a glass of Champagne and I had a glass of house rose from Provence.
We decided on a dinner of appetizers,  making our own tasting menu.

So here we have a Lobster roll without the roll . . .

A fabulous bowl of mussels with broth which we did drink out of the bowl (we used spoons) . . .

Foie Gras Brule . . .

Nicoise salad for me  . . .

Decadant Duck for Annie . . .

I am a fan of French cuisine.  And this place is a prime example of good French food.  Not a heavy sauce in sight!

Bottom line -
Great place for a date or just to meet friends.  Nice garden in back.  Off the river and a few blocks from the HighLine.
Dinner with drinks and tips was about $150.  We used a Savored reservation and got 30% off the bill.
Yes I will be eating here again with or without the discount.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Blue Smoke

Blue Smoke and Jazz Standard
116 East 27th Street
New York, N.Y.  10016
between Park and Lexington

Blue Smoke never disappoints.  No matter what kind of Bar-B-Que your in the mood for they can fill the bill.  This is a Danny Meyer restaurant and lives up to the high standard and quality his restaurants are known for. (See Union Square Cafe or Gramercy Tavern) And he is a driving force behind the Big Apple Bar-B-Que block party held in Madison Square Park every June.  So you know he knows his Que.  And Blue Smoke has a gluten free menu - always a bonus for me.

We started with appetizers.  Annie ordered fried pork ravioli and I had a garden salad.  The ravioli came out crisp with just the right amount of sauce.  My lightly dressed salad was fresh and full of salad veggies.  Two yums! 

Baby Back
Saint Louis
Annie ordered the juicy, sauce slathered saint louis ribs and I ordered the tender, dry rubbed baby back ribs.  Sides of collard greens, mashed potatoes and vinegar coleslaw; we were in hog heaven.  The saint louis style are juicier and well marbled.  The baby backs are leaner.  Several sauces are on the table, all are good.  They are even available for you to take home.  I have their rub sitting on my spice rack right now.
Vinegar slaw on top and collard greens on the bottom.
Being full we skipped dessert.
A full wine, beer and cocktail menu rounds things out perfectly. 
There is a separate jazz performance venue downstairs but you'll never hear it unless you venture down there.  The restaurant can get crowded and they do take reservations.  Good place for special occasion dinners for family or just dinner for two friends.  This is my son's favorite birthday place.

Bottom line -
Dinner including 2 appetizers, 2 half racks, 3 sides, soft drinks, wine and tip was $102.00
Would I eat there again - oh yes and yes.