Manhatta

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“Take the journey to enjoy the view”- Jeffrey Benjamin

Union square hospitality group characterizes for their impeccable restaurants, amazing food and service, and delicious food, and this is no exception.

Upon arriving at the address, you have to be careful to found the right entrance, it looks like an office building, and given that you are in FiDi, most of them are alike. Once you enter there’s a lobby and they send you to the top floor of the restaurant.

The place is a ceiling to floor windows, with exceptional sky-high views of all Manhattan. The distribution of the restaurant is amazing and the decoration is a Gatsby aged kind of vibe.

The menu is a 3-course menu with a wide range of options:  I choose the Madai Crudo that was particularly well balanced and full of flavor. For the second course, I ordered the Squash Risotto, and this plate was just delicious!! The buttery flavors and the parmigiano touch made this plate a sweet but tangy soft flavor that melts in your mouth of course, my favorite! But if I have to be honest, the dessert was also extraordinary, I ordered the Warm Date Cake, and it was outstanding, the tenderness and the flavor of this cake were their strongest attributes.

The sommelier and all the staff were super attentive and understanding, the drinks also very well planned and elaborate.

In my opinion, I give Manhatta, and Union Square Hospitality Group my compliments for the accomplishment of this place. I recommend you to make a reservation and visit this venue, I promise is worth it.

 

 

Maialino –NYC

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The only think I like better than talking about Food is eating”- John Walters

Coming from the word Maiale, that means Pig in Italian; Maialino(“piglet”) is a modern-preppy place where you and your friends could have the perfect lunch or dinner. The setting suits perfectly with the private, newyorker Gramercy Park that’s located just in front of the restaurant.

The decoration is one of a kind, and they slay on mixing the classic of the roman’s with the classy of the new Yorkers.

While they escort you to your table you will pass by a fancy bar, a pastry open counter, and a cheese table you will want to make a quick stop and take a bite, or have a drink in either one of this.

The Wine shelf’s, are coarse and they are a fair representation of their wine menu. You could find an extensive list of Italian fine wines that are hard to find in other restaurants. A good example of this could be a Barbera, a wine from the Alto Piemonte, or a well-known Nebbiolo vintage such as “Giuseppe Rinaldi“. If you get overwhelmed by too many options, and you were not sure of what would pair your meal there’s a very good sommelier you could take advise from.

I strongly recommend the Tonarelli Cacio e Pepe you can’t go wrong with this one, the home made pasta, and the blend of flavor’s would take out a big smile from your face.

Also their “Malfatti Malialino” if you like pork is the signature dish in this place, the meat is so soft and perfectly combined with the pasta and watercress that you will finish it in a glimpse.

And sometimes they have specials; ask for them. Last time I ate a ricotta cheese raviolis that where just marvelous.

One thing I really love about this place is that almost all of the pastas and primi piatis have a size option, Small or medium, so you could save a place for dessert.

Regarding dessert, I could definitely recommend la -Torta de la nonna, the lemon and nuts are just balanced in the right way. Or the classic –Affogato, with Fior di Latte and Italian coffee. And if you are in a stronger mood, please ask for a cup of sweet wine, and enjoy the cherry on top.

The music is the perfect companion with the environment, and invites you to stay and enjoy your lunch or dinner, just make sure that you’ve got time on your hands, because the service is a bit slow.

 

 

 

Vandal- NYC

There’s no sincerer love, than the love of food”. –George Bernard Shaw-

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The name of this place speaks for itself, albeit not in a negative way. Expect the unexpected…

Located on Bowery Street in NYC, this restaurant-bar is frequented by plenty of fashion and trendsetters; you will find the hosting area packed of either models or famous people wearing the latest Gucci outfits.

Upon entering Vandal, there’s a convenient flower studio for those wanting to buy some flowers for their significant others, thus making the perfect entrance for the evening. At the reception you will find an enormous pink bunny sculpture, which everyone shares in IG; it’s really funny!

This place is huge considering it is in Manhattan. It is divided in a bar, three dinner salons, and a lounge upstairs, each of them decorated in a different way yet always respecting the concept of the place: “street meets art”.

At the bar, you’ll find yourself in this amazing old/ classic style lounge, with walls all covered in graffiti art, and above them the classic yellow light that goes along with the mood.

One can ask for a nice drink while waiting for a table to be ready. I asked for the “rio de frose”; it may seem a girly drink, but believe me, it’s not light at all. My husband had a “lost and found” and was delicious.

Once seated, the menu is adapted to the the place’s conceptualization, and stay’s in the street standard food, you will come across the likes of a –New York Hot Pretzel Steak tartare- an amazing pretzel used as base for a French style tartare, or the Yellow Tail Sashimi, a nicely presented dish, among others.

You can’t cut back on the desserts, as the options are amazing. We ordered the almond pops- small dark chocolate popsicles filled with almond and amarena cherries, and the vandal’s smore, a vandalized American classic.

Overall, the food is ok. You have to go to this place once to check out its architecture and decoration, but don’t expect to have an amazing dinner. I do give credit for their authentic cuisine and adventurous food presentation, but not the best flavors or ingredients.

It’s a perfect place to hang out with your friends or couple, just make sure to have an early reservation as it is usually overbooked.

Lupa- NYC

“Everything you see I owe to pasta.” -Sophia Loren, Actress

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In the middle of Greenwich Village …. Like if you where lost in a Victor Hugo’s tale, there is this small place that when you arrive it seems like the entrance to a cozy house, the first time we where here was in winter, so it was all cover up, but in summer it seems another place: the terrace and the light you get when you are on the open side is amazing!

This restaurant is divided in two sections; they are so diverse that they seem like different places. At the front you can see an amazing Italian style bar, all colorful walls and lamps, also a delicious prosciutto leg, ready to be cut in slices, and the back that’s a little more like the secret cabin, closed space, candles and a yellow light aura.

That winter we got to seat in the back, it was so tiny that it seems like you where sharing your meal with the ones next to you, but the good side of this is that it turns romantic and intimate.

The second time we where here, was in summer, and we got a table in the terrace, it seemed so different than the first time; more live, bright and open; but no matter the season, mostly you will find locals here, you can tell by the relationship with the waiters and the customers, for us that’s an accurate hint that the place and their food is famous, hence amazing.

We order the prosciutto with mozzarella, for starter, and it was just perfect, a prosciutto that the Italians would be proud of, just the red meat almost lean … PERFETTO! It was deli, and paired it with some Aperol Spritz, a perfect combination.

They have a pretty nice wine menu, with a wide selection of Italian wines, although the sommelier is always eager to help and he recommended us a few top Italian wines. As a second curse, we order Ricotta Gnocchi and Bavette Cacio e Pepe, the pasta was fresh, homemade, and delicious. And something super cool is that they have available “Il piatto del giorno”(the specialty of the day) so you could try something new that’s not on the menu everyday.

It’s the perfect scenario if you want to go in a romantic date and impress your significant other, or in a sunny day to have a lovely lunch, outside the craziness of the city. And one thing you are going to LOVE if you are not into the Italian food terms, is that on the menu there is a glossary, I find that super useful and original.

 

Dish you cannot miss: Lupa’s Tartufo