337 E 10th St
(between Avenue B & Avenue A)
New York, NY 10009
I had a slice of Gnocco’s pizza a few months ago when we needed just a snack before drinks at Evelyn, a new “mixology” bar a street over. I was ravenous so wolfed down my slice and thought it was one of the best slices I’d had, comparable to my absolute favorite Luzzo’s. A week or so later, I practically dragged L.C. over, along with B.A., E.C., D.T., and A.P., because I wanted to share my delight in finding a new go-to pizza place in our part of town. This second time around, no less ravenous than last time but far more in the mood to formally critique my food, I found Gnocco just a tad disappointing. We shared some pizzas and pastas and left feeling pretty good, but not Luzzo-tastic.
Pictured above is the Al Salame Piccante ($14.95) with fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce, and spicy hot salame. We shared two pizzas as a group and this was one I suggested because it was the one I had tried before. The mozzarella was melted but still slightly springy. It was not too salty, which was fine, because the salame provided the perfect meaty savoriness to the pizza. The edges of the salame were crisp and burnt – delicious. Tomato sauce tasted fresh and was liberally applied. Crust was… good. Crust may have been the only sub-par item compared to Luzzo’s. It was floppy the way I like it but it was not chewy enough. It didn’t have the springy texture that Luzzo’s crust always has. Continue reading Gnocco, exploring Alphabet City.
Alice’s Tea Cup (Chapter II)
156 E 64th St
(between Lexington Ave & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10021
H.K., K.C, and I, aka. the Ladies, decided to have afternoon tea together at Alice’s Tea Cup one Saturday afternoon. The wait was an hour and a half. We watched countless daughters and their mothers get seated before we finally snagged a spot.
The walls are decorated with Alice in the Wonderland themed paintings. The mugs and teapots are mismatched and tooney. If you ask, the kind lady at the register will even sprinkle fairy dust (glitter) on you as you walk out.
I ordered the Small Pot of Tea and Two Scones ($12). Their tea list is ginormous. There are pages and pages and pages of teas that you could easily get lost in without a little direction. Continue reading Afternoon Tea at Alice’s Tea Cup
30 St Marks PL
(between Cooper Sq & Astor Pl)
Manhattan, NY 10003
Here’s Japadog’s second chance. I came here almost a year ago when it first opened and wasn’t too impressed. We were actually taking F.H. and A.H. to Soba-Ya but got there 15 minutes before it opened for lunch so needed to kill some time. Japadog is right around the corner and happens to open slightly earlier than all the neighboring restaurants – smart. Continue reading Japadog, take two.
Saxon + Parole
(between Bleecker St & 1st St)
New York, NY 10012
“New American.” What does that even mean? When I think New American, I think of foods like mashed potatoes with truffle oil and roasted turkey with kumquat cranberry sauce (which Saxon + Parole actually had on their Thanksgiving menu). Wikipedia has a great definition:
New American cuisine is a term for upscale, contemporary cooking served primarily in restaurants in the United States. Combining flavors from America’s melting pot with traditional techniques, New American cuisine includes ethnic twists on old standbys, Old World peasant dishes made from luxury American ingredients and molecular gastronomy.
Old World peasant dishes made from luxury ingredients with a little spherification here and there. Sounds about right. As you can probably tell, I’m not the biggest fan of New American. I’m always down for a new take on a traditional food (see Mission Chinese) but when stuff is added just for the sake of making it seem more upscale, it gets lame. Anyway, not saying Saxon + Parole is lame at all, because it was actually pretty good. I just had a bad feeling about the place when I walked in and saw the stable-esque decor, minus the smell of horses. It’s where bobos (bourgeois bohemian) like to put on their birkenstocks and sip on their free trade coffee bean espresso after a decadent but “humble” meal. Continue reading Saxon + Parole, bobo’s paradise.