Saturday, August 4, 2012

Madison and Vine

Madison and Vine
299 Madison Ave
(between 41st St & 42nd St)
New York, NY 10017

When you're in the mood for a little bit of wine, a little bit of people watching and a whole lotta good burger, Madison and Vine is a good spot to check out.
It is a nice bistro,  with small menu (which I'd prefer over those overwhelming menu's!), nice bar, it is a good place to meet for a drink after work.

 Wine and vine, definitely a nice combination after work.

I cannot resist these free bread!! 

AAhh pasta! And freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Last and most importantly..
The Vine Burger
prime sirloin, gruyere cheese, beefsteak tomato, butter lettuce, red onions and madison mayo on a toasted brioche roll with seasoned fries

Wednesday, July 11, 2012



1735 Second Avenue
(Between 89th & 90th Streets)
New York, NY 10128
(212) 289-8226

I’ve always wanted to make some mole sauce and whenever I go forward with my attempt, I get intimidated with the number of ingredients. I had about three recipes for this delicious authentic sauce, and all three had about at least 20 ingredients! The recipes do say it takes about 15 minutes to prep and another 90 minutes to cook all 20 ingredients, not bad. But you see, the 90-minute recipe makes use of a blender to puree ingredients thoroughly. If I do not cheat I would take a lot longer since the labor-intensive part of mole which is the toasting and grinding are the two main things that really gives this dish its wonderful flavor and texture.

Yeah sure you can get on my case that I scare easily, I’m okay with it.

Because really, the point of the story is, Mole, as its aptly named, offers an authentic “imported” Mole Poblano sauce. The sauce is made by the chef’s family in Mexico, using family recipe that has been passed on to members for years; the delicious sauce is then shipped stateside, for us all to enjoy. I am a big fan of chili peppers and chocolate, but usually on separate dish or meal, even. But with mole from Mole, you can have the best of both worlds; one ingredient not dominating the other.

So for those of you that is craving (or attempting to make and partake) some mole sauce, start your adventure at Nick Cervera and Guadalupe Elizalde’s new spot over at East 90th.

POLLO EN MOLE POBLANO Half chicken smothered in authentic “imported” Mole Poblano sauce.

While you’re there, these are also must try!

Crepas con Huitlacoche (Homemade crepes with huitlacoche, creamy poblano sauce)

The Mole Bar --> yes, a must try... It's rustic and fun.

P.S. Please note that the dishes I’ve tried from Mole are part of the Press Dinner Tasting Menu that I’ve attended.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Fiorini Restaurant

209 East 56th Street
(Between Second Avenue and Third Avenue)
New York, NY 10022

(212) 308-0830

When Hippocrates said, "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food", for sure, he wasn't specifically saying that a good dining experience can cure one's dreadful memory. Well, its been almost three months since I attended Fiorini's Press Dinner and my memory, as selective as it oftentimes could be, the "selective" part evaded me as I write this piece.

Fiorini is a new venture by acclaimed Restaurateur/Chef Lello Arpaia of restaurants such as Lello, Scarlatti, Cellini, Bellini has combined his deep understanding of food and the business with Executive Chef Xavier Quispilema's crafty menu of eclectic selection of classic and regional, yet modern Italian dishes.

First of all, Mr. Arpaia is an individual that is hard to forget! He has the "cool, calm and collected" demeanor down pat. His attentiveness and alacrity to answer our questions embodies the atmosphere of Fiorini. The food is memorable, the atmosphere is cool and calm and the service is attentive. It is no wonder that I do not have a hard time in remembering and writing about Fiorini. This place is no "little flower", rather it is amply ambrosial.

POLPO AI FERRI – a very tender and grilled to perfection octopus and is lightly dressed in olive oil, caper berries, black olives, arugula and red onions. If you are not a fan of octopus, this dish might get you to sing a different tune.

Pan seared diver scallop, caper berries, lemon, white wine, fresh parsley and asparagus. The scallop was cooked to perfection!

Ladies and gentlemen, here is the BRANZINO "acqua pazza". This European seabass is fresh, mild yet savory and even a bit nutty taste to it. A recommended must order!

PASTA FRESCA - Fresh homemade pappardelle with jumbo lump crabmeat, basil, cherry tomatoes in a light lobster broth.

The pasta is fresh and the crabmeat, there's a reason why it was described "jumbo lump", because IT IS.

BURRATA - Very creamy imported mozzarella, roasted peppers, asparagus, prosciutto di Parma. This transported me to Cloud nine. Big fan of mozzarella. Big fan of prosciutto!

At Fiorini's you will also appreciate wine director, Stefano Conenna who saw to it that we are provided with a variety of wines (predominantly Italian) and are also available by the glass. In addition, some must try specialty cocktails such are: Fiorini (Prosecco and Fresh Strawberry
Puree), Melograno (Absolut Citron, Reduced Blackberry Puree, Hint of Triple Sec, Fresh Mint), and L’Amore (Southern Comfort, Muddled Pomegranate and Apple Compote, Fresh Lime Juice).

Sunday, March 25, 2012



420 E 59th St(between 1st Ave & Sutton Pl)

New York, NY 10022

Morso celebrates the sweet joy we take in savoring those little bites of life. Enjoy! - Pino Luongo

Just right under the Queensboro bridge is one of Pino Luongo's restaurant, Morso. A casual, retro atmosphere, with a menu that combines Pino's classic italian and Mediterranean flavors.

A picture of Morso's playful wall is aptly inscribed with the phrase, "Take a Bite"

I was delighted to see the variety in menu selections and also the idea of half (morso!!) and full (tutto) portions. The price range are reasonable, Morso (Small Main Dish): $14.00 - $16.00
Tutto (Large Main Dish): $24.00 - $30.00.

The Press Tasting that I was invited to, are all in the bite sizes, which are still very generous portions. We started wonderfully with splendid combination of Gorgonzola, fritters, roasted pears, endives (yeah! gotta eat as much endives while still in season), frisee, spiced walnuts, apple cider vinaigrette.

The press dinner will not be the same without a classic Pino, of course.

This picture does not give justice to the dish which is definitely one of my favorites from the menu. The spaghetti, which is fresh and cooked al dente, is superb with carbonara, onions, eggs, picorino cheese and guanciale. Ahhh, Morso, you had me as guanciale! Leaner than most pork bacon products, this little baby still boasts so much and so rich of flavor. I am going tutto on this one.

The agnello is another favorite, and unfortunately the attached image is also an injustice. A delicious dish of grilled lamb chops, crispy eggplant & lamb roll, white beans, mint sauce.

Well there's only one solution for these not so great pictures. I may have to go back to Morso for another meal, may it be morso or tutto!