I’m sorry for a little lag in posting. It’s been a whirlwind of a week…of a month, for that matter. Trying to update this blog late at night doesn’t always work too well for me when I’m on zero to only a few hours of sleep (literally!). I felt like it was time for a little break. Well, it was actually brought on after my brother sent me a video of my eight-month-old nephew who’s growing up so freaking fast. I barely finished watching this one of him trying to “sing” (which was really him adorably trying to imitate a tune my brother made up), that I found myself booking a ticket to come to visit my family in the Midwest. Hey, you try to resist those dimples! It’s a nice excuse to mellow out before Fashion Week anyway.
Before I left though, I was able to catch a meal at Salinas for a beauty product launch. The Spanish restaurant is fairly new — I believe it opened up just this past summer — with a dimly lit tapas room and bar, dining room which opens up to an airy 35-seat garden in the back where we ate. It’s a gorgeous outdoor space if you’re looking for one.
Salina's outdoor backyard patio
I gotta admit, when I first heard of Zengo, I didn’t think it’d be so great (the name doesn’t lend itself much to first impressions). That and its dank location (40th and 3rd…I just think…suits…and…buildings…and…and yeah that’s also the first time I ever used “dank” on this blog). Plus the outside pretty much looking like a giant misplaced club made me a little dubious. But walk inside, and you’ll begin to realize all that is misleading (claustrophobics rejoice, this place is huge).
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posted on: 04.18.11 | filed under: FOOD - "The Delicious", Japanese, Spanish/Latin American, Tapas
| tags: fusion, Japanese, midtown, midtown east, nyc restaurants, richard sandoval, Spanish/Latin American, Tapas, zengo
I’ve been passing by Nomad in the East Village almost every day this week and it always looks so warm and inviting inside. The Moroccan/French restaurant serves traditional plates and tapas and has the most gorgeous decor of jeweled lanterns, tiled tables and dim lighting. Man, even their bathroom is so pretty I almost took a picture, but that would be weird so I didn’t. In the back, they have a beautiful enclosed courtyard-like space. The food, I found, was equally impressive.
Moroccan bread starter
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posted on: 03.17.11 | filed under: FOOD - "The Delicious", French, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, Tapas
| tags: french food, mediterranean, moroccan food, Nomad east village, Nomad Ny, Nomad NYC, Tapas
Empanada Mama in Hell’s Kitchen is one of my favorite default places for a good, cheap meal. I’m a guac fanatic, and tend to gravitate towards their plantains/guac ($6.95) to start. It’s the combo of the two here more than guac here that makes it great.
Guacamole with plantains
I also seldom stray from my favorite empanadas there: their pizza empanada (super cheesy and delicious), spicy chicken (it’s legit spicy), their mushroom/onion baked empanada (only get this if you LOVE mushrooms like I do). Each empanada is only $2.50-$3.
Pipa is one of those places where I think the ambiance supersedes the food, which is good but sometimes underwhelming. The whole place is outfitted with decor from its neighbor, ABC Carpet & Home, and that’s mostly gorgeous chandeliers (which makes the place look almost dream-like at night, though we went for lunch this time). The food is mostly standard Spanish fare, but that’s sometimes the thing with tapas — while it’s great for family-style sharing, sometimes it can be a tad overpriced and you leave kinda…hungry.
That said, I think the crispy calamari here is excellent. The mushroom croquettes were great too, but wish we had more than three of them. You could probably skip the tortilla Espanola and stuffed piquillos — they were just OK. Price range was from $10-$15/plate. But hey, not bad for presentation:
OK I know..I need to get myself out of the Lower East Side. But to my defense, this was the same night I had that delectable hot chocolate, only earlier…so yeah leavemealone.
A La Lolita, $7
My friend Zeshan and I just stumbled into Macondo, this tapas restaurant on Houston for a quick bite before a show. I’m not sure how much of a tapas person I am actually. I don’t mind sharing big portions, but the little bites always leave me a little confused about what I just ate — did I have enough?? Do I want more?? What did I eat again??