Tag Archives: cocktail

Sakamai’s new brunch menu is BOMB

Sakamai
Sakamai
157 Ludlow St. (across from Pianos)
New York, NY 10002

NEW BRUNCH PLACE TO ADD TO THE ROTATION!!!!! If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s waiting in line for generic eggs benny’s or pancakes at an overhyped “boozy brunch” place, which is for some reason all the craze in NYC. I have higher standards for my brunch (#snob #jk) and want something more special if I’m going out for brunch than something I can whip up in my kitchen. Some of my favorites are Soba-ya, Shabu-Tatsu, and Prune – if you need an eggs benny). Even just based on that list, you can tell I have a soft spot for Japanese brunch food…

Sakamai Sakamai is a modern izakaya (aka. a Japanese bar that serves food) and sake bar. This month, they just launched a new brunch menu which showcases great Japanese dishes intertwined with some Hawaiian (ie. spam) ingredients and Western flair (aka. fusion but I hate that word). Natalie, one of the owners (who is Japanese-Hawaiian and studied architecture in college like me! :D), graciously invited me to sample their brunch menu this past weekend. I took LAW as my guest (duh) and tried a number of amazing things.

If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I sometimes get invited to these things and I ALWAYS disclose it. I also always keep my reviews unbiased (even though my meal is comped) because my blog would be worth nothing if I pandered to anyone who gave me free food. Most of these comped meals end up being pretty mediocre (hence they need bloggers like me to help them advertise – I won’t name names, but if you go through the blog you’ll know which ones I’m talking about) but in this case, I lucked out cause… the food was truly awesome.

Sakamai
We started with a couple drinks. I got the Flying Squirrel, which is a cocktail made with coldbrew coffee, walnut liqueur, and coconut cream. It was a delicious alcoholic iced coffee. Coffee itself was high quality and the walnut liqueur added some sweetness and nuttiness. Really great brunch cocktail, especially if you’re tired of the usual bloody mary and mimosa. We also got to try two of their housemade “Shrub” beverages: watermelon and celery-apple. Both drinks were carbonated and, oddly, clear (wonder how they make it). The drinks were very light and refreshing. A good alternative to juice.

Sakamai
We started with the Cha Soba Salad ($15) with green tea soba and sesame soy dressing. It. Was. Awesome. All these different kinds of greens (sprouts, cabbage?, seaweed, corn, tomato, avocado, sesame seeds, some kind of root, AND SO MUCH MORE) sit on top of a bed of green tea soba. The dressing is very light so allows all the natural flavors of the fresh ingredients shine through. The sesame oil just adds an extra bit of umami to make the salad really addicting. So effing good. Definitely a must order when you come (when, not if).

Sakamai
As our first “main,” we shared the Loco Moco ($16), which is a kimchi fried rice served with a hamburger bun and sunny side up egg. The rice and patty are doused in a dashi soy gravy. If you’re looking for a hearty (post-hangover cure perhaps?) brunch dish, this should be your pick. Continue reading Sakamai’s new brunch menu is BOMB

Southern in EV: The Redhead

The Redhead The Redhead
349 East 13th St (between 1st and 2nd Aves)
New York, NY 10003

The Redhead is a restaurant I’ve passed many, many times before but had never thought to walk in. It looks like a dark dive bar from the outside and frankly, the name “The Redhead” never sounded like an appetizing name for a restaurant. Butttttt… don’t judge a book by its cover right?

The RedheadEager to try something new one Friday night, LAW, H.W., T.W. and I came to check it out. It’s rated surprisingly well on Yelp and is known for its fried chicken. Can’t say no to fried chicken! We started with a couple drinks. I got the Porch Swing ($11), which is pretty much a spiked Arnold Palmer with cognac, Redhead sweet tea, fresh lemon, and mint. VERY strong. VERY delicious. Definitely exceeded my expectations.

The Redhead
We started with the Grilled Octopus ($12) with marinated beets, chorizo, rye, and pickled mustard. Deeeeelicious. The marinated beets and pickled mustard added a nice acidity to the almost-creamy octopus. Octopus was soft, but not too soft. Had a nice bite to it. Chorizo added a little extra flavor. All round solid dish. Continue reading Southern in EV: The Redhead

Duck Confit Hash at The Winslow, A Top 5 Brunch Item

The Winslow
The Winslow
243 E 14th St
(between 2nd Ave & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

The Winslow is a very special place. You can feel it when you walk in. You can sense that someone cares deeply about the place. Maybe it was because I was biased when I walked in. I knew that Jeff Winslow was a bartender at Hibernia and had saved up money for a decade to open his dream place. But there’s something incredibly charming about the place. It maintains a small town bar feel with the warm wooden décor, but also has a New York snazzy edge because if you look closely enough, everything is very deliberately picked and well designed. Just look at the stools. The subtle curve of the wooden seat sits on top of four elegant legs. Not your standard wooden stool.

The WinslowV.S. introduced me to Jeff one night when we were all getting drinks there. At night, the place gets bumpin’ with old hip hop tunes and endless gin cocktails to sample. I was told that I had to come and try their food sometime. I brought M.B., Y.N., and L.S. one Saturday for brunch. Brunch in NYC is a normally a nightmare that involves long waits, lame eggs benedicts, and watered down mimosas. Winslow had none of that.

The lack of a wait might just have to do with the fact that it is still very new and unknown to most. I almost don’t want people to read this post so I can continue to enjoy brunch without a wait. But that’s just selfish… Continue reading Duck Confit Hash at The Winslow, A Top 5 Brunch Item

The Best Steak I Have Ever Had

    
Peter Luger Steakhouse
178 Broadway
(between 6th St & Driggs Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Best. Steak. Ever.  I don’t even love meat and I love Peter Luger porterhouse steak.  It’s probably one of the oldest restaurants still running in New York, having been established in  1887!  If you haven’t been, check it out and you’ll understand how it has lasted this long.  It is a no frills restaurant that just serves up great food.  And when I say no frills, I really mean no frills.  There is one kind of steak that you get and you pay per person.  Everything is served family style.  You walk in and a strong charred scent of MEAT wafts towards you.  The waiters are all big men with thick New York accents.  They are sarcastic and tell you what to order.  It’s a little off putting at first but once you get the drift, it’s kind of fun.

“I would like the… ”

“Two tomato and onions, at least one bacon per person, two potatoes and two spinaches.”

“Oh, right.  Okay, sounds good.”

That’s pretty much how it works.  For once, I liked being told what to eat.  They weren’t douchebags about it either.  The waiters would tell me when I was ordering too much and stop me.  As in actually refuse to have me order more. Continue reading The Best Steak I Have Ever Had