Category Archives: Run… Don't Walk

Run…Don’t Walk to Roberta’s!!!!

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Deep in the heart of Bushwick lies Roberta’s, a pizza paradise that you have to go to…. right now! All the hype, accolades and love for this place are spot on. Roberta’s is unlike any restaurant I’ve ever been to and their pizza is straight up amazing.

After a long morning of filming my September and October recipes for Spice to Meet You with its creator Jason Feirman, we treated ourselves to an afternoon of pizza at Roberta’s, after we spent an hour biking there from my home in Tribeca! How I had not made it the biggest priority to eat there before is unfathomable to me. Jason, a pretty serious pizza blogger who travels the world in search of a good slice, was there to guide me through my first experience and ordered for the two of us.

Housed in a former garage, Roberta’s is a culinary campus with a small garden/farm, a radio station, outdoor bar, wood burning oven, and much much more. They’ve got indoor and outdoor seating but we sat inside as it was drizzling rain outside. The communal wood tables, colored string lighting and old school music (our varied genre playlist included some Buddy Holly, Tupac, and Steve Winwood) sets a relaxed and casual mood.

We’ll get to the two pies we ate in a second but one thing on the pizza as a whole…. it is absolutely perfect.  Neapolitan style, thin and covered with a light sauce and some seriously high quality cheese. It’s definitely up there as one of the best pizzas to ever touch my lips.

Now Roberta’s offers much more than just pizza on its menu, but I wasn’t going to get anything but pizza for my first meal here.

photo 2* Four Emperors*

The Four Emperors came slathered with a spicy arrabiatta sauce, thick slices of fresh mozzarella, creamy dollops of ricotta, and sprinkles of asiago cheese and sesame seeds. It’s a cheesy and meaty mess of greatness that I adored.

photo 3* The Bee Sting *

The Bee Sting consists of fresh mozzarella, tomato, spicy sopressata – and a drizzle of honey for a sweet and spicy mashup of delicious proportions! Now take a look at that picture above, it tastes just as amazing as it looks. Again it has that deliciously light and thin crust with a nice char around the edges.

Cheeses Christ…. (one of the names of their pizzas) this place is good! Roberta’s is a must eat destination that is definitely worth the trek!

Roberta’s

261 Moore Street (between Bogart and White Streets)

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Run…Don’t Walk to Speedy Romeo!!!!

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Shame on me….I lived just a five-minute bike ride from Speedy Romeo for 15 months and never, EVER ate there. It wasn’t until last week (and four months of living in Tribeca) that my dear friends Ed and Daphne (owners of one of my fave burger joints in Brooklyn: 67 Burger)  finally managed to escort me to Speedy Romeo after months of trying to do so.

Since its opening (in January 2012) Speedy Romeo has been constantly busy. Located on a corner that some call Clinton Hill and some call Bedford Stuyvesant (brokers probably), it stands out amongst the neighborhood because of the auto parts signage that blankets most of the building it lives in, is usually filled with every Brooklyn resident stereotype, blasts great tunes like live blues jazz when I was there last week, and the crowd of people usually standing outside waiting for their name to be called.

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I arrived a bit early and so sat at the bar with the recent issue of New York Magazine waiting for Ed and Daphne to arrive. I had one eye on the page and one eye on the scene…. the open kitchen has a large wood-fired oven which emits and carries the most amazing smells around the restaurant, the people seated at tables and the bar are hip and beautiful, and the staff has huge infectious smiles on their faces while they are taking care of everyone’s needs.

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(Clockwise Left to Right)

(Mozzarella Crostini with Cucumber/Mint Salad, Rib Special, Giardiniera, Oven Fried Egg with Corn and Tomatoes, and Ol’ Smokey Pizza)

The food is simple, fresh, and delicious and boasts awesome specials like their monthly chef collaboration pizza series and rotating seasonal items. I let Daphne and Ed take the reins on ordering and they did not disappoint. I found myself eating forkfuls of the complimentary giardiniera they bring at the start of your meal, slyly grabbing for another piece of pizza just after devouring a slice, reminiscing about my favorite hometown bbq in Kansas City while licking my fingers after eating the ribs (the rib special had a great nod to Gates in the addition of white bread), marveling at the simplicity and deliciousness of the egg dish, and piling my crostini high with fresh mozzarella.

Speedy Romeo is just wonderful and a great representation of Brooklyn dining. It’s well-priced, sports a warm and friendly vibe in both the decor and the service and most of all… has kick ass food.

Speedy Romeo 

376 Classon Avenue (at Greene Avenue) *Clinton Hill*

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Run…Don’t Walk to Sole di Capri!!!

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Sole di Capri (formerly Capri Caffe) is a blink and you’ll miss it kind of place on a section of Church Street in Tribeca that, thankfully, hasn’t been overdeveloped into a street filled with luxury condos and upscale clothing stores! While it probably won’t stay this way for too much longer… it’s still a hidden gem of a place that serves up some of the most delicious homemade Italian dishes I’ve had in a while!

It really is amazing what they have been able to do with such limited space and resources as they churn out dynamite dishes at such little cost. Most Italian places in this city are overpriced for what you get, but Sole di Capri serves up large portions (my pasta- Penne Anna Caprese was just $12.95) at dinner, and even less at lunch!

image via nymag.com

image via nymag.com

The décor makes you feel like you stepped into a small neighborhood enoteca in Italy, which sounds so cliché but it really feels that way with yellow painted walls, a random door on the top floor wall, simple mosaics, maps of the mother country (Italy) and paintings of the Italian seaside! Sole di Capri is tiny with no more than 12 (2 top) tables where you’ll find yourself bending around the table and the other diners beside you just to sit down. The staff doesn’t speak much English but it’s quite charming as they read off the daily specials in thick accents and you find yourself hanging onto their every delicious sounding description.

What’s so interesting/confusing about this place is that there doesn’t seem to be a kitchen in the entire place! The second floor looks like an office and the food comes from the front part of the restaurant where they cook everything from their fresh fish of the day to their ravioli in what looks like the counter of a deli (pretty darn impressive if you ask me). A friend of mine and I ordered two pastas each and a tomato and mozzarella salad to share that was so big we couldn’t finish it all! And while we didn’t drink any alcohol, we had a bottle of Pellegrino and our meal came to under $50 for two!

Sole di Capri is a must… it’s completely unpretentious in a neighborhood awash in pretentiousness and serves up uncomplicated food bursting with complex flavors in a setting that is warm and service that is wonderfully friendly.

Sole di Capri 

165 Church Street (between Reade and Chambers Streets)

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Run….Don’t Walk to The Butterfly!!!

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When I first heard news that Michael White (of Marea, Nicoletta, Osteria Morini, Ai Fiori amongst others) would be opening a new restaurant called The Butterfly down the street from me I trolled the blog sites, walked by, and read community board news to see when it would finally open! When it finally did (a few weeks ago), like many exciting new restaurant openings in the city…..I couldn’t get a reservation. But earlier this week my friend Leo happened to be staying nearby for a work trip and I figured why not try to just score a seat at the bar? To my surprise, not only was there availability, but we were given a great table in the back (where it’s a little roomier)!

The restaurant is smaller than I thought it would be but the space is really nice and has a great vibe and atmosphere going on. Because of the size it is a little loud, but the music is good and everyone (including myself and Leo) were having a great time.

The retro decor is really cool…from the fonts on the menu, detailed drawings of their cocktails, lime green tiling in the bathroom, marble table tops (artificial i think?) and cushioned bar stools…the design is very simple and everything just fits!

I love when servers are dynamic and engaging and ours was all that and more. Kiel is the only person I want to be served by from here on out at The Butterfly, he was absolutely fabulous…joking around with Leo and I, putting on his best British accent (Leo is British), and generally making the experience fantastic.

And what an experience (and great meal) we had! Being a Michael White restaurant, I was expecting top-notch food and he did NOT disappoint! The menu and food is very simple and very well executed.

Leo and I weren’t terribly hungry so we shared two appetizers and an entree while downing a tasty Tom Collins with Kaffir Leaves (Leo) and a few Birra Morini Lagers (me)! Kiel recommended the Reuben Croquettes, Shrimp Toast and Patty Melt and that sounded good to Leo and I so… we followed his advice and ordered all three.

photo 3*Reuben Croquettes*

Ok, the reuben croquettes are awesome…..five fantastically fried little reuben sandwiches in a crispy croquette that are so good I burned my tongue a little bit eating them so fast!

photo 2*Shrimp Toast*

The shrimp toast are interesting (in a good way). I haven’t really had anything like this before and only wished there were more than just four little bites. They have a faint taste of shrimp and the accompanying sweet/sour sauce duck sauce gives a great kick to each bite.

photo 4*The Butterfly Patty Melt*

Onto the patty melt which is right on the money. It’s rich and decadent, filled with silken fried onions and melted swiss and american cheese, worth every single bite. You can get the “burger” with a side of fries or salad….but don’t try to act all healthy with your side and just go with the fries to complete the meal. Boy, am I happy that Leo and I shared this as I don’t think I would have been able to eat this thing on my own without shaming myself afterwards!

Michael White strikes gold yet again in Tribeca and  you must check out his new spot…The Butterfly! I am so happy that I have another great restaurant within spitting distance from my apartment (ok if you are the Jolly Green Giant then spitting distance). I told Kiel to remember my face and name because I will be back time and time again and I will only dine so long as he is my server! See you soon Kiel!

The Butterfly 

225 West Broadway (between Franklin and White Streets)

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Run…Don’t Walk to Sundaes and Cones!!!

image courtesy of nyulocal.com

image courtesy of nyulocal.com

I’ve been a fan of Sundaes and Cones since I lived around the corner when I first moved to NYC in 2007. And no matter where I’ve lived in this city since, the little ice cream lover inside of me finds any excuse to head to 10th Street.

Whatever the weather may be, I crave S&C. They have a great spread of regular classics like mint chocolate chip and cookie dough but also some very unusual ones like honeydew, wasabi, thai tea, and taro if you want something a little different! The ice cream is super creamy and rich and since I’ve tried every single one (no joke) I can say that all of the flavors are wonderful.  But my personal favorite is their green tea ice cream which is very fresh and not too sweet (Seen below in bottom scoop).

When it’s cold outside I hang out at a table inside and read one of their magazines as I savor each bite of the cone and if it’s nice outside…you can find me sprawled out on one of the benches. I may have to make a little stop there today 😉

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Sundaes and Cones

95 East 10th Street (between 3rd and 4th Avenues)

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Run…Don’t Walk to Beauty & Essex!!!!

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Last weekend I rocked out at my second bachelorette party of the month! With plans to stay at The Thompson Hotel and dance the night away at The Box, dinner and drinks at Beauty & Essex was a no brainer. I am sure most people have heard or been to B & E, with its entrance hidden beyond the pawn shop that sells actual items (albeit marked up heavily) and celebrity clientele!

What a place Beauty & Essex is! Upon entering through the unmarked door you are transported into a whole different world! This restaurant is what New York nightlife and dining is all about… with a gorgeous bar, beautiful people, sexy decor and great music.

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*I swear…there is a restaurant somewhere beyond here*

We could not have picked a better place to get the night started and instead of ordering individual dishes, went with a smorgasbord of starters to share amongst the group! The menu is unique and creative and features a raw bar (we went with the Pearl of the Sea Raw Tower), jewels on toast (fancy bruschetta), starters (we got the grilled shishito peppers, crispy eggplant pizzetta, lobster tacos, and lobster mac n cheese), and a slew of entrees that I will definitely be back to try in the near future.

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*prime seating in the front table there*

This is the place to go if you wanna have a fun night on the town! I don’t find myself gravitating to places like these (something about the “too cool for schoolness” of most of them) but everything about B & E, from the hostess (who dealt with our lateness because of torrential rain), to the bartender (who made us great shots) to the server (who was so helpful and had fun with our crazy bachelorette party), to the food (which was delicious) and the beautiful decor….was amazing.

Oh ya and one of the more unique things is the ladies room which has a mini bar with bartender and couches where they serve free rosé champagne. We spent a good fifteen minutes in there trying to dry off (we ran a few blocks from the hotel to the restaurant and got soaked in the process) and basically toasted to the night with our own bottle courtesy of Beauty & Essex!

Beauty & Essex 

146 Essex Street (between Rivington and Stanton Streets)

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Run…Don’t Walk to Pulqueria!!!

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Tacos and Tequila on a Tuesday has a nice right to it right?  I met up with my friend Ashton this week and headed straight for Pulqueria, a Mexican inspired speakeasy hidden away in the bottom floor basement of Chinatown. You may be familiar with this area as it is next door to legendary cocktail bar Apotheke (same owners) and the fact that back in the early 1900s it was known as the “Bloody Angle” for the numerous gang shootings that happened in the crick of the street.

Ashton had a hard time finding the place and it’s easy to see why. With nothing more than a white door frame and steps leading down to it, Pulqueria is kept hidden. Upon entering you can either go to the left (to the bar) or to the right (to the restaurant) but I suggest heading left as I don’t ever see myself eating or drinking in the restaurant side as the bar is just too much fun!

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The cocktails are pricey (cocktails start at $14 with no happy hour but pitchers that make it more affordable) but my jalapeno and cucumber margarita was so fantastic I got two! The food is inspired by the vibrant markets of Mexico City with ceviches, tostadas, tacos, quesadillas and snacks. Now I’ve only spent a few hours in Mexico City (on a layover to Cabo San Lucas) so I don’t know if this is authentic or not but the decor and music made it seem like I was in the Zona Rosa neighborhood of MC.

We ordered the queso fundido with chorizo, pescado tacos and carnitas tacos to share. The portions were small but the flavors were outstanding. I loved the sheer simplicity of each dish…..like the carnitas that was garnished with only fresh-cut onion and cilantro, the pescado that was topped with fennel and tomato crema, and the queso fundido that came with a mound of chorizo topped with melted house-made queso oaxca and queso chihahua.

I’ll definitely be back with a bigger group so we can take advantage of their cocktail pitchers and share some more food. Pulqueria is a fun little spot that serves great Mexican food in, of all places, Chinatown!

Pulqueria 

11 Doyers Street (between Bowery and Pell Streets)

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