Tag Archives: lunch

El Barbapedana, Milan

Pasta Rustica, El Barbapedana Milan

If you’re ever in the Porta Genova area in Milan – after an Armani show and before a showroom visit, say – there’s an excellent place for lunch just up the street. El Barbapedana may not be jam packed with fancy fashion types Instagramming their handbags, but it’s the real deal for classic Milanese fare.  (more…)

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Mile End Sandwich

Poutine: it’s the drunk food of Canada, the doner kebab of Montreal late-night eats. The real thing, a mess of squeaky cheese curds slathered with mystery gravy over thick fries, should not necessarily be exalted, yet several restaurants have pushed it on the New York market in the past few years. The latest to do so is Mile End Sandwich, a spinoff of Mile End Delicatessen in Boerum Hill. This is the restaurant that could finally change your mind about poutine. (more…)

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Lunch: Banh Mi Saigon

Crunchy, soft, spicy, sweet, vinegary, meaty, vegetal: If  banh mi is made just right, it’s possible to get all these elements in one bite. The beauty of this Vietnamese sandwich is in the combination of disparate, contrasting ingredients that come together in one delicious whole. But get one part of it wrong, and you’re liable to throw the whole thing off.

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Lunch: Little Muenster

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There’s something timelessly appealing about a grilled cheese sandwich eaten on a dreary winter’s day, especially when you’re eating it in a warm dining room with a view of the cold street. 

Grilled Gruyere, Goat Cheese, Leek and Pancetta Sandwich, Little MuensterYou could go to your local diner for grilled cheese, but unadulterated American comfort food is so comforting, it could put New Yorkers to sleep. Why not improve on the original while keeping the spirit the same? That’s what new grilled cheese shop Little Muenster sets out to do on the Lower East Side.

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Lunch: Ai Fiori

A restaurant on the second floor of a Midtown hotel may not sound promising, but Ai Fiori has couple things going for it. Not only is it the latest project by chef Michael White, it’s such a zen, air-conditioned oasis that you will forget you’re on the second floor of a hotel in Midtown.

This is particularly good if you work in Midtown and can take advantage of the discounted Restaurant Week lunch happening there now. Step out of the steamy city, up to the second floor of the Setai and into an elegant, minimalist, flower-bedecked space that recalls the old days of hotel dining, when many of the best restaurants were in hotels. It’s like walking out of the urban jungle and into civilization.  (more…)

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Open on University: Sausage Inc.

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On the heels of the news that no hot dog is free of nitrates, even the organic, all-natural kind, new take out shop Sausage Inc. has opened on University Place, replacing the short lived and ill named “Wok to Walk.” According to the window signage, Sausage Inc. “grinds, seasons, and links all sausages every day on the premises,” using “no chemicals, no MSG.” Freshly made sausage is usually not cured, naturally or otherwise, so head here instead of Sabrett’s if you’re feeling remorseful about your own personal Fourth of July hot dog eating contest.

Sausage Inc.
106 University Place between 12th and 13th Streets

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Rockaway Taco

There’s been a lot of press about the Rockaways lately – the surfing, the scene and the new food kiosks opening up on the boardwalk. But before you get distracted by the latest additions, don’t forget to hit up the original shack that made the Rockaways a food destination, because it’s still the best out there.

Surfboard, Rockaway Taco

Started by David Selig in 2008 and chefed by Andrew Field, Rockaway Taco is a beachy, Montauk-esque takeaway joint across from abandoned houses and around the corner from a row of boarded up shops. There may be more Williamsburg weekenders in the Rockaways now, but this area still has a long way to go until total gentrification. Colorful little Rockaway Taco is a beacon of good food and good vibes, unskippable if you’ve already made it all the way out to the end of the A line.  (more…)

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Montauk Dining & Drinking

If you ever want to convince someone to like the Hamptons, take them to Montauk. Of course, they might claim that this fishing and surfing village is not actually a Hampton, since there are very few manicured lawns, polo players or designer boutiques in sight. But this naturally beautiful, windswept tip of Long Island could charm even the staunchest Hampton hater.

Exterior, Fishbar

Once just the site of fish shacks and red sauce joints, Montauk has been luring serious diners out here ever since Sam Talbot took over at the Surf Lodge several years back, right after winning Top Chef. He has since moved on to Imperial No. 9, but Montauk’s culinary caché lingers on. For one thing, it would be hard for a seafood chef to be much closer to the source, since lobsters, clams, oyster and fish are hauled in to the docks here every day. Unlike tourist attractions like Mystic, this is still very much a working fishing village.

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Asiadog

Corn dogs are best avoided if you can’t help wondering when the actual hot dog last saw the light of day before it was encrypted in a wall of starchy, mysteriously cylindrical corn breading. Last month? Or several millennia ago?

The Dog and Kimchi Pancake Corndog, Asiadog

So it was with some trepidation that I ordered the kimchi pancake corndog ($6) at the new eight-seat restaurant and takeout joint Asiadog on Kenmare street. Theirs was no machine-made corn dog, however, but a reassuringly asymmetrical dog, pictured right, much like an actual kimchi pancake would look when recently wrapped around a beef hot dog and deep fried until golden brown. The results were astoundingly delicious, drizzled with a sweet and spicy homemade sauce a lot like the addictive sauce in a good bulgogi.  (more…)

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Lunch: Peels

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Let’s face it: this neighborhood really doesn’t need another trendy restaurant. The Bowery between Houston and Astor Place is already home to restaurants by Daniel Boulud, Scott Conant and Keith McNally. Nevertheless, the partners behind trendy Freeman’s, Taavo Somer and William Tigertt, picked the Bowery for their new restaurant Peels, and what it became is something of a surprise: a neighborhood restaurant, the only thing the neighborhood lacked.

Downstairs Dining Room, Peels

Perhaps because New Yorkers are constantly subjected to an onslaught of modernity – HD video advertising in Times Square, PDA menus – we’re suckers for old timey things like tin ceilings and Amish beards on hipsters. Step into Peels and you feel as if you’re stepping into a diner-like place that existed out on a rural route 50 years ago. There’s a wooden counter perfect for lunching alone and a communal table in the center. The walls and yes, tin ceilings are whitewashed and inlaid with mirrors, and a whole roomy third of the downstairs is allocated to a coffee bar, so you don’t have to battle your neighbors for the urns of half and half and retro aluminum sugar bowls. (more…)

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Vapiano

This first branch of this rapidly-expanding Italian “fast casual” chain in New York, Vapiano fills a void left by Dean & DeLuca when that panini and coffee shop closed just a couple blocks down on University Place, and it will probably become to the neighborhood what Dean & DeLuca was: a go-to place for a simple lunch or dinner. What will keep it from closing like Dean & DeLuca did? Vapiano has a liquor license, a spacious bar and a knack for marketing.

vapiano-nyc-3

The light-filled interior, with soaring ceilings and sleek Italian design throughout, sets the stage for what’s actually a very back-to-basics dining experience, though at first glance it seems high tech. After picking up a key card at the door, you take a tray and collect your meal yourself, selecting panini, salads, pizza and pasta from various food stations, where they prepare each dish in front of you and scan the card. If your college dining hall went gourmet, this is what it would be like. (more…)

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Xi’an Famous Foods

Ever get a yen for a cold, spicy salad made with…lamb face? Chances are you haven’t, but once you’ve had this and some of the other unusual offerings at the new Xi’an Famous Foods on St. Mark’s place, you may start to crave it.

Buckwheat Cold Noodles, Xi'an Famous Foods

A welcome addition to a street that’s already rife with Asian food places, Xi’an Famous Foods ups the ante by upping the spice content, a lot. One bite of cold buckwheat noodles ($5, item A3), above, and you may start to cry – for a good reason. The amount of fresh horseradish is intense, counterbalanced by cilantro, bean sprouts and sesame oil. As with the fat, hand-pulled noodles that go into many of the dishes here, the buckwheat noodles are made fresh every day. (more…)

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Mother’s Restaurant, New Orleans

Certain hometown restaurants inspire a kind of mania among their fans. In New Orleans, that restaurant would be Mother’s, whose po’ boy gets raves from longtime patrons of the creole lunch counter. Go here and locals will give you one important instruction about that sandwich: “Make sure you get the debris.”

Mother's Restaurant, Lunch Counter

As with many recent additions to New Orleans patois, this one has a traceable history. When a customer asked for the shreds of roast beef from the pan on his po’ boy, original Mother’s owner Simon Landry responded, “You mean the debris?” A sandwich was born. (more…)

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Brooklyn Larder

Whenever a magazine publishes a guide like “The Best Unsung Food Shops,” as Time Out NY did recently, it begs the question of what other gems have been left out of the collective New York food consciousness. Brooklyn Larder, on the border of Park Slope and Prospect Heights, is one of the few specialty food shops in New York that succeeds with flying colors in several categories and across several cultures.

Exterior, Brooklyn Larder

The cheese counter is tightly edited and wonderfully curated, with several interesting cheeses available every day as samples. We picked up a wedge of Irish Gubbeen cow’s milk cheese (first sampled at a Joy of Cheese tasting) and a rare American sheep’s milk “Magic Mountain” cheese from Woodcock Farm, VT. (more…)

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Lunch: Bark Hot Dogs

Hot dogs may be one of the most basic New York foods: a tube of beef or pork, a squishy bun, and some mustard, ketchup and relish. Simple, right? Wrong. Hot dogs just got a whole lot more gourmet at Bark Hot Dogs in Park Slope.

Bark Hot Dogs, Exterior

There are 10 different kinds of hot dog on the menu at this airy, industrial space with communal tables and high school science lab stools. But Bark’s are a different kind of mystery meat from your traditional dirty water dog. Commissioned from Hartmann’s Old World Sausage in Rochester, the recipe is a private label affair, with the exact mix of ingredients kept secret. But the mix of pork and beef with garlic and spices served as an excellent canvas for the creations that followed. (more…)

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