Go Wild at Empanada Mama!

“You came at the perfect time! Empanada Mama- this is the real feeling of the place. Enjoy!” Indeed- Empanada Mama is a tiny, railroad cafe full of delicious eats and close-contact chatter. New Yorkers -particularly Manhattanites- often develop very creative ideas about space, because we don’t usually have any. And life goes on. We collect…

Classy Beer & Peruvian Fare at La Cerveceria

Owning a restaurant in Manhattan is, to say the least, a precarious business. Starting a restaurant off a blank page is a daring venture in such an unpredictable place. After a fairly mind-blowing meal in restauranteur Kyle Saliba’s new specialty beer and tapas bar, I developed a whole new appreciation for daredevils. He explained how La Cerveceria came…

Hunger at The Leopard

Stepping into The Leopard at des Artistes from the chilly, quiet sidewalk is a serious New York experience. The lively scents, the bustling and confident white-shirts, the candlelight with the classic peeking nudes resident Howard Chandler Christy painted in a luscious garden of earthly and earthy delights- that is The Leopard at what once was Cafe des Artistes. I…

Bright Night: Cafe du Soleil

Crème brûlée with a hint of lavender, cornmeal-crusted calamari, moules frites with garlic aplenty- what says sun like the fruits of the sea and cream spiced with flowers? Cafe du Soleil is very much about maintaining an air of fresh air and sunlight. I know this because I tested it out on an overcast, bone-cold Manhattan night, and…

IL Tesoro: Gustatory Treasures

I haven’t had a real reason to go to the East Side from the West Side more than occasionally for years. One surefire way to lure me somewhere I normally would not go (without a definite and good reason) is with the promise of amazing food- I am simple like that. The Upper West Side…

The Chocolate Room is Heaven & You Should Go There

The Chocolate Room in Cobble Hill Brooklyn is the kind of cafe you can enter comfortably in a group of ten, as a couple, or solo. The menu is centered around chocolate, as one would expect, but more than just being made of chocolate, the recipes ate inspired by the ingredient. A prime example is the…

Mama Mexico Raises Delicious Food in Manhattan

Mama Mexico is consistently fun and full of good eats. It is now common to order guacamole and have someone come over to the table and prepare it before your eyes. At this place, though, the guy (I’ve never seen a woman prepping there) will actually make the activity look interesting- putting visible effort into the…

American Comfort Food That’s ‘Good Enough To Eat’

The food at Good Enough To Eat is well-proportioned, “All-American,” and satisfying to all senses. There’s a little extra something to each dish. Take the turkey club as one example. I have never in my life been tempted to order a turkey club. One day I went to Good Enough to Eat and was devastated when the…

Sarabeth’s West Offers Rural Fare in an Urban Setting

Sarabeth’s Kitchen on the Westside of Manhattan is a place of extremes. For weekend brunch, it is packed to the brim from opening to close, but weekdays after 2 p.m. you can enter and take over any table you want for an indefinite period of time because it is totally barren of people (though mostly not…

Serenity in Brooklyn at Tazza Cafe

I ran into Tazza when I got lost in Brooklyn Heights on a cold, rainy day. It seems that many of the best taste-related experiences are had on cold, rainy days, and on one of these dreadful days last winter, I walked into Tazza in need of a warm drink. I walked to the counter soaking wet…