Posts Tagged ‘Rosa Mexicano’

My All Time Favorite NYC Hidden Gems (Well, Some Have Already Been Discovered)

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm

ABC Carpet & Home

What is there to say that already hasn’t been said about ABC Carpet & Home? This home and decorating MECCA is located near Union Square. Meaning, any time I am even remotely and by remotely I mean within a mile distance, from the store, I just have to pop my head in. The photo is a snapshot of my boyfriend’s second experience at ABC last weekend – he didn’t realize until the end of our recent trip that it extends six more floors up. My mom and I have always made it a point when visiting NYC to go into ABC to look at jewelry. She’s a designer and loves to see other innovative artists and of course also purchase some for her and I as well. This store is constantly evolving and becoming even more of a NYC spectacle – I can’t wait until I have the finances on my own to decorate my house in nothing by ABC.

Madison Square Park

I have, for certain very loving reasons, been frequenting the Flatiron District throughout the past year. This area continues to amaze me – I am obsessed with the actual Flatiron Building itself, Eataly and the great stores in that area. Madison Square Park just can’t be compared. Their seasonal installation pieces of art are absolutely amazing — I was forced many times this winter, to gaze at the art while unable to feel my fingers or toes, I didn’t mind it for some reason though. Also, the beautiful lights surrounding Shake Shack make waiting an hour or more in line for a small hamburger, somewhat tolerable and even enjoyable.


If I could pick any commercial building to live on top of, near, next to you name it I would pick Chelsea Market in heartbeat. I think this is THE coolest open market in the city and is full of amazing foodie finds. Even the small Espresso stand delivers unbelievable coffee — sure, you’re paying more than at a local bottega, but it’s damn worth it if you’re a coffee fanatic. Some of my favorite places inside include: Amy’s Breads, Dickson’s Farm Stand, Fat Witch Bakery, The Filling Station and Sarabeth’s


As if I haven’t given Westville more action than any other restaurant on this blog, I have to go BACK to my love and adoration for Westville in this post. SIDE NOTE, rather large side note, while dining there with my best friend Julia last week, I didn’t realize for the duration of my dinner that I was dining next to THE Ryan Gosling – who would’ve thought someone so famous would be so in tune with his inner hippe East Village foodie side? Everything about this place I adore – the rotating seasonal menu, the print out copies of their menu which is written on a notepad, their chicken chili, massive portions for salads and amazing sides which are PERFECTLY amazing as an entree in of itself.


This is my biggest guilty NYC pleasure. Am I going to purchase yet another puppy mill dog after having 3 pugs from similar situations? No, no I will not. Is there anything wrong, however, with spending my Saturday afternoons pretending otherwise and sitting in a boxed in cage on the floor with various Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs? Nope, I didn’t think so either.


Since the day I moved here, I have been a Chelsea Grill devotee. Maybe I am extremely attracted to it’s low key deal… they refuse to join Open Table, only accept walk ins, don’t even bother with an online website and yet? There’s never an empty seat in the house. The waitresses went from being “friendly” staff I knew somewhat to close acquaintances of mine at this point. The portions are huge, the wine is overpoured and I am content with it, 3 to 4 nights a week — don’t judge. I like stability and a “Cheers” like environment every once and a while. Do you really blame me?


Having minored in Art History and…. having three artists in my immediate family, I have grown to become quite an art nerd. I love museums, more specifically Contemporary and or Modern Art. This museum blows my mind — every remarkable piece of art can be found in this four floor museum. It’s a gorgeous space itself — very bare boned and minimalistic which is my style to a T. I can’t wait for another muggy summer rainy day to spend the day strolling through the floors of the MOMA again. 


Oh Rosa… this is the last time I’ll mention this restaurant at least until September I promise. I will continue to love Rosa as long as I am in NYC. The homemade guacamole, Pomegranate Margs, tortilla soup, shrimp brochette skewers and their pico de gallo are all incredible. While I am in love with all 3 NYC locations, I didn’t like my two experiences at the Miami location. Luckily I only venture there for quick weekend getaways.

The Best of NY — Personal Food Awards

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm


Balaboosta’s Grilled Pizza with Carrot Purée, Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese & Cilantro

Um…. I dream about this dish weekly. I’m not a huge regular pizza fan, whatsoever, if anything I’ll opt for the White Pizza with Broccoli. I’m veering off course, the point that I’m trying to make is that, Balaboosta’s Grilled Pizza is ANYTHING but ordinary. The variation of flavors and textures just makes this pizza literally unforgettable. To think that a pizza which incorporates no traditional fixings of a pizza can be SO ridiculously good is mind-boggling to some. The carrot purée as the base adds such texture in addition to a heartier alternative to marinara sauce. The goat cheese paired with the caramelized almost sweet onions is insane on the palate as well. As long as Balaboosta keeps offering this appetizer, the longer I will continue to salivate about it. Just sayin’.


Cafe Habana’s Signature Corn

If someone were to have asked me, do you remember the best corn on the cob you’ve ever had? I’d probably have laughed in their face… that is until I stopped at Cafe Habana for brunch a couple of weeks back. I have since been researching this signature Cuban delicacy and came to find in a great cookbook I own, written by Miami’s top chef, Michelle Bernstein, that the dish is somewhat of a Cuban staple. With Ancho Chile Butter, Queso Fresco dousing the corn on the cob, I literally can’t stop thinking about this corn. I need to go back sooner than I should to order it again….


Tie between Les Halles and Five Napkin Burger

There is nothing like French Onion soup. Nothing. I think no matter how warm or how cold it is outside, I am always in the mood for a bowl of French Onion. Maybe it’s the texture combination of the soaked bread with the harder cheese crisping on the rim of the bowl with the sautéed and softened onions. YUM. I love two restaurants in the city for their French Onion – one more traditional and one less so. Five Napkin, known for their burgers, beers and sushi rolls, offers an amazing soup — up to my liking. Les Halles, a Midtown East French hang out, is known for their dish which I can’t say fails to live up the hype whatsoever.  


Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Cream Pie

My boyfriend has a sweet tooth … or more like he likes to dabble in the “fat kid diet” every now and again. He forced me to wait with him in the never-ending line to get into Magnolia Bakery. While I’m not one to wait for ANYTHING, even a free bottle of great wine, I complied. I’m more than glad I did. The Banana Cream Pie was served in a cup with a spoon and to say it was the most enjoyable dessert I’ve had in years, is true. WOW. Go now even if you have to wait…  a while.  


Kefi’s Baked Shrimp and Orzo Dish

My mom and I love to eat shrimp… and we love feta…. and tomatoes…and orzo. Ok we love a lot of Greek inspired dishes. Point of the matter is that I have a favorite place at home called Athenian Garden, that makes this to-die-for Shrimp Orzo Bake. I didn’t think, however, that in my wildest dream I’d find a replica dish even better here in Manhattan. For a VERY REASONABLE cost, you can get such an amazing shrimp, feta, tomatoes, orzo bake at Kefi. Add a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot and you won’t regret the trip to the Upper West Side, I promise you this in advance. 


Rosa Mexicano’s Famous Pomegranate Margarita

  I don’t know just how many times I’ve blogged about Rosa Mexicano since I began this blog in 2008. It has been an integral part of my dining life since I was a tot. No other margarita holds a candle to Rosa’s famous “Pomegranate Margarita”. Even I feel the immediate effects (and regrets) after ONE drink. Insane things begin to happen when you finish off more than two – take for instance, you becoming the restaurant’s coat checker for the half hour insisting that it’s your job position. Let me not elaborate any further on this anecdotal story.  


Jane’s Shrimp Ranchero

I love innovative dishes, something as simplistic as a omelete that you can whip into an unforgettable breakfast is noteworthy in my book. I’ve had Jane’s Shrimp Ranchero breakfast dish countless times and yet? I still can’t get enough. It offers a heartier protein than just eggs, by incorporating shrimp and it also has amazing texture with great salsa and perfectly done avocado.  


Balaboosta — Review

In Uncategorized on December 13, 2010 at 11:11 pm

I have veered clear of writing about ALL of the restaurants I go to lately.. I think that stems from the fact that I am 1 of… well let’s be realstic here, 1,000,800 other people who blog and photograph at the restaurants that they frequent??

 I think for the sake of keeping my title as the “Restaurant Finder Guru” to my friends, I’ll stick to only posting reviews for restraunts that are out of this world… or at least A status in my book.

Balaboosta has been on the radar as an NYC Buzzworthy restaurant since the summer. I have wanted to go, but didn’t really find the right occasion for it. My parents finally came into the city for the first time this weekend since having moved here. We have our usual spots such as Craft, Trattoria D’el Arte, The Harrison,  Rosa Mexicano — so on and so forth. With that in mind, I thought I could try Balaboosta with my newly profound foodie parents.

I will say overall that the appetizers are THE HIGHLIGHT KNOCKOUTS of the dinner. Every appetizer we had/shared/devoured unbashfully was incredible. Literally. The entrees were so-so and the dessert was forgetable. I would absolutely hands down go with a group, order shit tons of appetizers and wine. Be done with it. 

Here were some highlights:

  • Crispy cauliflower with currants and pine nuts
  • Smoked Eggplant Bruschetta with herb & citrus salad, silan
  • Dave’s Grilled Pizza with carrot purée, caramelized onions, goat cheese & cilantro

The weaker dishes:

  • Orecchiette Pasta with wild mushrooms, sauteed kale, fresh ricotta, thyme & olive oil
  • Chicken Cooked “Under A Brick” with israeli couscous with dried apricots and green leeks, gremolata sauce
  • Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream

Where I’ve Been Eating and Drinking in NYC

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2010 at 11:50 pm


So Rosa’s been a staple restaurant of mine since I began coming to NYC when I was a toddler. Something about the no frill, amazing guacamole, ridiculously strong Pomegranate Margaritas and friendly staff has always brought me back time and time again. I will say, watch out for the drinks, they are secret killers to say the least. I recommend absolutely ordering the guac tableside, you won’t regret it.


I personally am not a big Japanese fan, so it’s uncommon for me to pick Tanuki Tavern, a Japanese restaurant, when girlfriends want to meet me for dinners lately. They have too fast of service for my liking, but in reality, what Japenese joint believes in slow eating? Anyway, they have one of the sickest presentations of entrees I’ve ever seen. I order the Black Cod — while they give you nothing but the physical baby sized piece of white fish? It’s brough out over a barbeque pretty much with hot coals underneath which keeps it scorching hot. LOVE IT.


So I promise I don’t only eat at high brow restaurants — in fact, I tend on a day to day basis to prefer the hole in the walls, BY FAR. I stumbled, literally, upon Benny’s Burrito’s in the East Village a few weeks ago. While the area isn’t theee safest it really is a great little “neighborhood gem” as the Opentable website likes to classify things as. I have a FETISH (yes, you heard correctly) for Chicken and Turkey Chili so when it’s on a menu? There is no option what I’m ordering for an appetizer. Their chicken chili was different because it had huge pieces of white shredded chicken — so delicious. The chips that come with it are perfectly salty and crisp too. I have to say, that the extremely raw white onion at first confused me but then once I mashed in with the rest of my dish? It added SO MUCH FLAVOR.


This little cozy joint is one I have walked by COUNTLESS upon COUNTLESS times on my treks from Hell’s Kitchen to Meatpacking (a trip I do bi-weekly, I know I’m obsessed). Anyway, I love the bustling nature of the restaurant at both dinner and especially brunch time. I had a wonderful yet unusual appetizer of Golden Beets/Jumbo Lump Crab for appetizer, a spiced Apple Cider Martini and Bricked Chicken with Broccoli Rabe. I was a happy camper and would definitely go back — probably for brunch the next time around.


So this is my absolute go to restaurant — it is always crowded, semi decent food and good company. Do I think the dishes are ever phenominal? No. But the pricing is reasonable if you really don’t know someone yet let’s say on a first date or your best guy friend from home it’s a lively non creepishly quiet spot to take them. And plus, who doesn’t love Mexican? Let’s be serious.


Very creepy people are usually found at Olives NYC located in W Hotel, but I have to admit, as much as I bitch about it? I’ve gone more than a handful of times. The drinks are great — seating is comfortable and not over the top. I also love the location in the center of Union Square. I would definitely go there before a nice dinner out or before you head to a club and want some drinks.


I went to dinner here recently, unaware before I walked inside that I had been there before — but for a birthday party at a “bar”. I was surprised at the very solid dinner I had there. They also offer a really cool deal I believe on Wednesday nights? Where you can get an appetizer, dinner, dessert and ENDLESS WINE FOR $35. SHEER PANDEMONIUM.


So when I was asked to meet someone at Apotheke in China Town I was wary — very much so. Once I was told “Oh shit” by the cab driver my fears CLEARLY intensified. After being plopped on a random street corner with all signs only in Chinese? Full fear set in. Once I got inside the bar, however, I had a blast. The concept of create your own sig cocktails applied here — not the strongest drinks by any means but the handlebar mustaches and lab coats were pretty neat.


So I did an amazing 4 hour Mixology Class here at Ward III last month. It was amazing! I learned how to make every “commonplace drink” — count me in. The staff was so knowledgeable and helpful with our whole food and beverage team who was clearly unable to even stir a drink properly prior to taking the class. Our team went back for dinner and whiskey tastings weeks following and that was even better of an experience. TOTALLY make your way down there — it’s a trek but totally worth it.


I first went to Waterfront when my old intern boss got married in Central Park — after the wedding we all had a crazy fun down to earth celebration at the Ale House, located next door to their apartment. While I have yet to try the food, you can always find some fun people to talk to and inexpensive/unique beers to try. I think it’s definitely an after work spot not meant to be a weekend plan.


From what I remember this place was very fun. I don’t think I am the best nightlife reviewer to be honest with you guys. I don’t like the scene in the first place, so in order for my ass to be dragged there? Drinks are pouring heavily. I loved the innovative cocktail menu and esoteric drink names, definitely for the more foodie/winos not as much people looking for a normal sports bar night out.


Eh, not the best experience here to be honest. We were short changed a menu due to sampling for Food Week in the city. The appetizer of a plain dinner salad should be passed over and the fish I got (which I can’t remember currently) means that it wasn’t memorable. I wouldn’t go here for dinner, however, they have a beautiful outdoor space so possibly over the summer for sangria it would be a much better idea. Great location, not great food, great scenery.