Emilio’s Tapas Sol Y Nieve

215 E. Ohio St.
Chicago, IL 60611
312.467.7177
http://www.emiliostapas.com/solynieve.htm

If you trace back to my review of the horrible Dao Thai I mentioned that its a better idea to walk across the street to Emilio’s Tapas. Well it took a while, but I was finally able to make it to Emilio’s. I had visited Emilio’s back in December 2005, and was completely impressed, and for this visit once again, I was up in arms. If you have never had Tapas, in short it is small dishes that are shared family style. I had many of the Tapas there and each one was great, my true recommendation for this place would be, go in run through the menu and see which of their tapas seems interesting and try it. It is as if you can not go wrong there. In addition to the food, you should order a pitcher or two or more if needed of their red sangria. One last thing there are a couple of Emilio’s but this entry is based on Sol Y Nieve which is the only one I have been to. I am not sure with the differences at the others.

Patsy’s Pizza

509 Third Ave
b/w 34th and 35th St
New York, NY 10016

The recent trend is New York has been rolling towards the thin gourmet style pizza. You might remember my previous review of Sac’s in Astoria, which has a similar style pizza. This time I made a visit to Patsy’s located in Murray Hill. Unlike Sac’s I actually dined in so the experience was a little different. I went on a Sunday night and the place was pretty packed, I guess that is what you can expect any night in Manhattan. Patsy’s does have a small wine menu for those who appreciate a little wine with their meal. I went with a Pinot Noir, unfortunately, I do not remember the details of the wine, but I did enjoy it. And now on to the pizza, we ordered a large margherita pizza pie. I dined with a friend and the two of us were able to polish off the pie without a problem. Overall, it was a great meal and the service was pretty quick. You can add Patsy’s to the list of the very few places I will eat pizza.

Tonic (East)

411 3rd Ave,
New York, NY 10016
http://www.toniceast.com/

Lets take a break, and not think about Tonic located in Time Square, yes there is a another Tonic in Manhattan now on the East Side at 3rd ave and 29th street. My friends and I actually wandered into Tonic looking for a quick bite and a place to catch the Miami – Dallas game. Guess we were not the only ones with this idea, as the first and second floor were packed (no tables available) forcing us to the roof on a humid, muggy 80 degree night! We did get a table on the roof and when I opened the menu I saw something that caught my eyes! They had tater tots, I have no had these since the good old days of elementary school. It was a definite to order as were the Sesame chili wings. It did take a little while for the food to come out, but when they did it was great! The tots came with ketchup, BBQ and Honey Mustard, and they really hit the spot. It was a huge dish and probably more then I really needed but I could not lay off them, and the wings wow. They had the perfect mix of sweet and spicy and were nice and meaty in addition. You do want to keep in mind that Tonic tends to have different menus during various times of the day, so we were limited to the late night menu. Perhaps I will head back one day at a different time, but I can really only see myself ending up there late night for some drinks and a quick bite.

Tuk Tuk

4906 Vernon Blvd,
Long Island City, NY 11101

Finding Thai food is never a task in New York, and in most places you can not fail when you go with the normal dishes such as Pad Thai, the Curry or Satay. Having dined at Tuk Tuk couple of times as well as getting take out, I decided the last few times to try something different and stay away from the their curry. With that said I am unsure where exactly to start, perhaps this time I will simply just mention some of the dishes that just really stand out in my mind. Charred Beef Salad, Veg Duck Salad, Shrimp Summer Rolls, Roti Massaman, Duckaholic, Tamarind Salmon, and the Green Tea Fried Ice Cream are all items from their menu I can’t stop talking about. Now when I visit this place it is hard to pick what exactly I want to eat! At Tuk Tuk there is just so much to choose from, and after numerous visits there, every meal is different. One issue is with the Spring Summer rolls, there are limited quantities of it, so there is the chance it will not be available, and I don’t think they like to serve it as a take out dish either. There is one notable mention, the first time I ate at Tuk Tuk they had some Tapioca banana coconut dessert that was out of this world; it is not on the menu but once in a while I feel the need to ask for it and they have it, there are times it is not available. If you still prefer the normal curry or noodles, this place will satisfy your taste buds as well. I will say it this is one of my favorite Thai places in NY, if you really have a place you think is great please email me and let me know.

Saravanaas

81 Lexington Ave,
New York 10016

Saravanass had a great review in the New York magazine, which was the draw as I was with the family and we were looking for a place that served good vegetarian south indian food. If you have read my past posts you will know I am a sucker for a good service, but bad service does a great job in ruining a meal for me as well. Perhaps the biggest problem is that this place is not organized with the wait staff, waiters do not have assigned table, it is a free for all with anyone going over to any table. Through our lunch we dealt with at least 3 different waiters. Another issue I had was that the food was not brought out at the same time for all in the party. Each persons dish was brought out as it was made. I started eating immediatly and was almost done by the time the last persons dish came out (almost 15 mins later). I could have waited for the others to get their meal, but my meal would have been cold, so it was a loose loose situation. With all that said, the food was still excellent, so I can not say it was a bad meal. Orignally I wanted the Tomato and Onion Uttapum, but the waiter told me it would take 20 mins to prepare, they didnt mention this to the others with me whose meals did take 20 mins, maybe then all the food would have come out together. With that said I went for the Rava Onion Dosa, which I did enjoy as it was not too heavy and the samber was nicely spiced. Perhaps with slightly better service this place would be a top pick of mine.

Bohemian Hall (Astoria Beer Gardens)

29-19 24th Ave
Astoria, NY 11102
http://www.bohemianhall.com

If you live around New York City, you have probably heard of the beer gardens in Astoria. Of course the main reason for going here was the beer, but its not the only reason. the beer gardens have possibly one of the best social settings in all of NYC in my opinion. It is basically a huge picnic area, with lots of beer. This place’s capacity is 900 people and STILL they manage to have lines, lucky for me I have always been able to avoid the lines. Every time I have visited the beer gardens I have stuck with getting pitchers of Hoegaarden. They are $14 each and will get you about 4 cups of beer. This year I saw they have added tv’s so I was able to catch the Mets beat the Diamondbacks last night as I sat back with my pitcher and a kilbasa. The point of this site has been food, so to get on topic; I have never ordered from their actual menu. It just seems convient to eat from their grill outside. The norm for me is the kilbasa, I always get it and it always tastes great so what else can I say. I see no reason to even try anything else. As a note there is a red sauce which compliments the kilbasa perfectly, make sure you get a lot of it. As for the last night I went it did rain a little so the place was not packed, once the rain cleared I realized a game of flip cups broke out! Now where can you go in all of NYC and get into a game of flip cups, outdoors while watching the Mets and eating a kilbasa?

Brooklyn Fish Camp

162 Fifth Avenue,
Brooklyn, New York 11217
P: 718.783.3264
http://www.brooklynfishcamp.com/

I have never been a big fish eater, when it comes to seafood I usually go with anything else shrimps, lobster, scallops, clams, oysters etc. To start off I made a mistake I have made before at Sabor Tropical. I ordered the Brahma beer; some reason I didn’t remember that I did not enjoy it last time! Its a good thing I didn’t come here expecting beer. Enough of the beer talk and time for the food, as appetizers we ordered the New Zealand Cockles and Belize Conch Ceviche. I had no idea what to expect with both of these, but I did enjoy them. The sauce that the cockles were in was addicting and was perfectly complemented by the bread we were server. For the entree I went with the Bronzini whole fish grilled, which was a special. This is actually the first time I have had whole fish, so it was an experience. The meal was excellent, but next time I will ask for them if they can scale it for me. Besides the food being of quality, the staff was friendly and attentive making for a great overall dining experience.

Peep

177 Prince St
New York 10012

Since Peep is located in SoHo, you can expect it to have an interesting setup and it sure did. From outside you see a lot of pink and neon. I was meeting a large group for dinner so I went in and proceeded to our table. We were seated at a bar type table with backless bar stools. The stools were definitely interesting, a bit uncomfortable, but it was the worst part of the night so I can’t complain about it. A bunch of the people at our table went for the Lychee Mojito and was all up in arms over it, I stuck with a conventional Singha. For an appetizer I had the calamari which was served with a wasabi sauce. Now I could be wrong about this, but the sauce was excellent. As you tell this was one of those meals I wasn’t paying too much attention I was just having a good time. Now I would like to give a special shout to the waiter who actually hopped on the bar to make sure he got a good picture of our group KUDOS! Back to the food, I had to go for the rib eye as my entree, with potatoes. Naturally I didn’t touch the potatoes, but the steak WOW! It was not a large portion but just right. And to top off the meal I had the green tea cheesecake! As for a notable mention, the bathroom, yeah the bathroom has a see through mirror, so you can be in the toilet doing your business and stare out at those eating. Kind of voyeuristic ;-). I enjoyed this place, now I may not be back anytime soon but this is a place I will be recommending to others as well as you!

Tangra Masala

39-23 Queens Boulevard
Sunnyside, NY 11104

It should be stated, that I have never been enthusiastic about Indian Chinese food. The location on Queens Blvd is relatively new; they actually do not accept anything but cash, so no points or miles either. My family seems to love Indian Chinese, which is how I ended up here. We started off with the spicy pepper chicken, which was just a friend chicken ball. It had some spice but nothing to run home about. For our meal we ordered the paneer mixed vegetables sizzler and the chicken with satay sauce. The paneer mixed vegetables sizzler was good, but the chicken with satay sauce was a disappointment. To me satay sauce should have a peanut taste and be sweet. This dish was neither sweet nor tasted like peanuts, there was nothing satay about it. The portions are fair, but the food is far from impressive.