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
What to do on a warm summer evening in NY? I’m practically allergic to indoor dining on nights like these, so last week after the CoverGirl/Pat McGrath party, I decided to
crash Archana and Eaman’s date join my friends for dinner at La Esquina in SoHo. It wasn’t my first time there, but it was my first time eating in their outdoor area. La Esquina pretty much has three parts to it: the taqueria, which is a small, to-go lunch counter; their cafe, which encompasses their sidewalk seating and their indoor space that serves the full menu; and their downstairs brasserie and bar area in the basement, where they have even more extensive menu, a DJ, and a (sometimes pesky) reservations-only list.
It took us about a hour to get seated once we got there, but we dove right into the queso once we did. Layers of baked cheese with roasted pumpkin seeds, served with plaintain chips was pretty much heaven on earth.
I was crossing my fingers that it would set the standard for the rest of the meal. I can’t even remember the last time I had tacos, so I decided to go for some steak tacos this time (why not?). The anticipation for the main course wasn’t worth the results…the steak was bland at best.
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posted on: 06.08.11 | filed under: FOOD - "The Delicious", Mexican, Spanish/Latin American
| tags: dinner, downtown, la esquina, latin, lunch, mexican, nolita, nyc restaurants, outdoor seating, pan latin, soho, Spanish
The Meatpacking District may be best known for its night life, but that culture totally spills into their restaurants. There are doormen, lines, people dressed to the nines and menu prices that lets you know you’re paying probably as much to eat as you are to be seen eating there. Needless to say, God forbid you lose your reservation because now you’re all dressed up and stuck with a minimum two-hour wait at all the restaurants in the vicinity. That’s kind of what happened to us — only our saving grace was Fig & Olive.
After losing our 8pm reservation at Ajna Bar (formerly Buddha Bar…I had no idea they had changed their name either), we were stuck with waiting til midnight for the next slot. Across the street at STK, same story. After wandering a bit, we found Fig & Olive. The maître d’ was so nice and accommodating even though the five of us had just shown up without a reservation on a Saturday night. He said we could wait 15 minutes for an “unorthodox” table inside or a table outside. We opted to sit outside since it was a nice night. While we were waiting, the manager offered us drinks on the house. The service for the rest of the night fit the same standard — it was totally refreshing.
Crostinis Part One
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posted on: 09.29.10 | filed under: American, FOOD - "The Delicious", French, Healthy, Italian, Middle Eastern
| tags: American, crostinis, fig and olive, French, Healthy, Italian, meatpacking restaurants, mediterranean, Spanish
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: