Hey Readers! It’s been awhile! And I’ve been eating my way all over Manhattan. I wanted to tell you guys all about the amazing meals out I have had in the last few months. And I’m currently trying to lose a few lbs before Craig and me leave for Playa Del Carmen Mexico at the end of March. No easy feat when you have the world’s best restaurants at your fingertips!

A.O.C.

I had an opentable spotlight gift certificate ($25 for $50) for this French bistro down in the West village. I figured brunch would be the best way to make use of it since the entrees all cost around $25-$30. We had a wonderful day date this past Saturday, walking down Bleecker from the east side until the restaurant’s location in the village. The place is super cute, wooden furniture and big window walls so lots of natural lighting. We both absolutely devoured out matching Croque Madame’s and crispy calamari. I definitely recommend this place for French classics, the great people watching (if you sit facing the window/street) and cute bistro atmosphere.

B. Cafe

There are two locations of this delicious belgian restaurant. I had a great dinner with my dad, brother, and grandparents at the upper west location (Amsterdam ave between 87 and 88). They have a delicious menu filled with bistro classics and entrees. However, one of the best meals of my life was mussels when I was in Brussels (love the rhyme). So I went to B. Cafe for Moules Frites (mussels and fries). They have a few nice preparations to choose from. My dad was able to do a bottomless bowl of mussels, choosing from these two flavors: Mariniere: White wine/ onions/ celery/ parsley OR Provencale: Tomato fondue / garlic/ white wine. I love food with a good spicy kick so I got the Red Duvel: Hot sauce/ beer/ Stilton blue cheese/ garlic. I can not say enough about how delicious these mussels were. They had a slight hot sauce kick with blue cheese and tons of leeks and onions. The spicy broth was perfectly washed down with a belgian beer. They have lots of authentic belgian beers to choose from. And all mussels come with ridiculously yummy french fries (frites). I can not wait to go back here.

Babbo

Craig took me here for my Christmakkah present for the 8 course pasta tasting menu. So generous and such a special meal. The restaurant is beautiful, a two story vibrant and energetic brownstone in the village near Washington Square. The first three pastas came in delicious butter sauce, enhancing the fresh flavors of the ingredients. The particular pasta standouts were the black squid ink tagliatelle with pancetta and parsnips and the beet ravioli with smoked ricotta and thinly and artistically cut scallions. When we cut into the ravioli, the bright red color of the beet oozed out beautifully.

The two middle courses were tomato based sauces, a pomodoro and then a bolognese. The last three courses were desserts, with the last two both outstanding. They actually gave me one last dessert and Craig another,  an olive oil rosemary cake with olive oil gelato and an apple crumb tart with cinnamon ice cream. The service here was impeccable. And I love how there is a table in the middle where the waiter picks from a selection of cheese to shred onto your dish, a particular different cheese for each particular pasta.

I just checked the tasting menu online and it must change all the time because most of it was different. But if you want a very special meal with lots of different courses for a fair price ($69 a person), I highly recommend this pasta tasting menu.

Barking Dog

This is a fun brunch, lunch spot with a couple of locations around the city. It’s a great place to have a catch-up lunch with a friend, like I recently did with my friend Marci. What makes this place special to me is the enormous, delicious biscuits they serve in lieu of toast.

I ordered the Farmland plate: herb scrambled eggs with chicken hash and grilled tomato. It was delicious. As soon as they brought over the plate, I could smell the fresh herbs. And their “chicken hash” is basically like the inside of a chicken pot pie. Chicken, potatoes, mushrooms, etc in a creamy white sauce. It was a huge plate of food. There was potato in the hash, but they also gave a side of hash browns, and the biscuit. Go here and order this plate of food, or anything else. I’m sure it’s one of those places where you could close your eyes and point and have a cheap yummy meal.

Delmonico’s

Craig took me here for restaurant week last Thursday. It’s located down in the Financial District near Wall Street, an area we don’t venture down to that often. This restaurant has a very classic atmosphere. It looks like a place you would go to dinner with your parents or grandparents. But everyone there was young like us. The food was also very classic. I had a wedge salad and filet mignon over super creamy mashed potatoes with haricot verts and carrots. Craig had a nice pasta appetizer and a rib eye for an extra surcharge. We were both very happy with our food. The desserts were excellent too. Nothing unique or out of the ordinary, but they do the classics and they do them very well in a very high class atmosphere.

More restaurants to share with you guys, check back next week for Part 2!

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