National Doughnut Day with Drunken Doughnuts at The Tuck Room NYC

Is there anything better than the deep-fried and sweet mounds of yumminess that are doughnuts? If there ever was a sweet treat to be celebrated, it is doughnuts. It’s impossible to dislike them, and thankfully we got to properly celebrate the dessert! In honor of this very important desert food, acclaimed mixologist Adam Seger hosts Drunken Doughnuts at The Tuck Room NYC, the newest hotspot located in New York’s South Street Seaport EVERY Thursday evening. The months’ old bar (it’s just a little over 6 months old) is lively and intimate all at once. We had the pleasure of partaking in this amazing blend of confectionery and cocktail heaven just in time for National Doughnut Day.

These alcohol-infused, bite-sized doughnuts bring new meaning to the term Amuse-bouche because your mouth (along with your taste buds and stomachs) will be so happy once they indulge in these boozy doughnut holes. Our night’s indulgence included two types of doughnut holes, Old-fashioned Glazed, and Double Valrhona Fleur de Sel (chocolate covered holes topped with sea salt). What makes these doughnuts “drunken” are the accompanying boozy sauces and sides including the decadent Bourbon Dulce de Leche Sauce, Boyd & Blair 151 Vodka Cardamom Whipped Cream, Pimm’s Spiked Mango, Pineapple, Habanero Marmalade, Dark Rum & Cognac Chocolate Sauce, and last but certainly not least, a boozy Cereal Milk Ice Cream.

Fair warning to those of you who will no doubt enjoy this experience, these boozy sauces, and sides do not have “essence of alcohol” or “flavored with alcohol”, these are made with full on booze, you can definitely get tipsy off this experience. The whipped cream and marmalade by themselves are enough to knock you off your sober feet. To experience Drunken Doughnuts at The Tuck Room NYC, you’re escorted to a secret room behind a bookcase called the Green Room, a dimly lit hidden enclave few will notice if not paying attention.

Surrounded by bottles of alcohol, walls filled with photos of iconic, framed photos, and a vast library of infused spirits curated by Master Bartender and Advanced Sommelier Adam Seger, created with The Tuck Room’s Heizenberg machine, you and your guests will greatly enjoy this modern speakeasy’s secret room.

All this was enjoyed at the end of this adventurous evening. Our evening of Drunken Doughnuts at The Tuck Room NYC begun with some very interesting and amazing Heizenberg infused cocktails. We decided to go with whatever cocktails were placed in from of us by the wonderful and attentive bar staff, Adam called it “Autopilot”.

The cocktails we enjoyed included the DrinkupNY, consisting of Balsam Magnolia Blossom Oolong New York Aperitif Wine, Perrier, and lemon; a modern interpretation of a Sidecar, featuring an infusion of Luxe Pierre Ferrand, California Nectarines, Nutmeg, and Sage with a float of Prosecco on top; a libation inspired by an English cocktail with Ginger bitters, Chartreuse, Cognac, and Fresh Lemon Juice; and a cocktail infused with Tequila, Fresh Cherries, Pomegranate, and lime. Since man can’t live by cocktails alone, we dined on wonderful starters by James Beard Award-winning chef Sherry Yard.

REUBEN CROQUETTES

These savory balls of yumminess were the perfect foodie delights to begin our culinary journey with The Tuck Room NYC. Each bit is filled with delicious crispy pastrami, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and sits upon a “thousand island” sauce.

BRIOCHE CRUSTED CRAB CAKES

Just when I thought I’d tasted heaven with the Rueben Croquettes, the crab cakes, which featured Old Bay Remoulade, Frisée + Citrus Salad, and Yuzu Vinaigrette took that feeling to another level.

SPICED + SWEET PORK BELLY WRAPS

Last but not least on the foodie adventure before our sweet tooth journey begun was the above pork belly wraps featuring Butter Lettuce, Nuoc Cham Caramel, Limes, Radishes, Jalapeño, Fresno Chile Aioli, and Cilantro.

All this was enjoyed while sitting at the bar, listening to what could only be called as the perfect classic bar music, as episodes of BarTales (the new single-city documentary series featuring Dale DeGroff, Gaz Regan, Adam Seger, and David Wondrich) plays on the flat screen directly above. This entire evening felt like we crossed something off our bucket list. We promise you will enjoy everything about Drunken Doughnuts at The Tuck Room. So if you’re looking for an amazingly delicious and intoxicating foodie experience, head over to the South Street Seaport and indulge in a night of Drunken Doughnuts at The Tuck Room NYC.

Restaurant Review: Brasserie 8 1/2 at the Solow Building

Going into midtown is not really the thing to do for New Yorkers unless you work in the area. We usually try to avoid the area, however, with a wonderful restaurant like French Brasserie, Brasserie 8 1/2 at the Solow Building, avoiding this area is not an option. What’s cool about the location of Brasserie 8 1/2 restaurant, given all the craziness around midtown, is the fact that you can retreat to the centrally located, spacious, and well-decorated haven for a well-prepared quick lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch.

The main street location of Brasserie 8 1/2 is great because not only is it near trains and office buildings, it’s not in the midst of clustered tourist hubs. On a fairly warm day, we headed away from the hustle and bustle of the noisy New York City streets to experience their sophisticated French cuisine. As soon as you head downstairs, you’ve entered in its quiet and serene open environment to enjoy a great culinary experience, courtesy of Chef Franck Deletrain, and an attentive staff.

Our culinary journey at Brasserie 8 1/2 started off with a few delightful wines, including a lovely Sancerre (French wine), crisp Chardonnay, and a sublime rose. They were the perfect pre-starters to wake up our taste buds for the onslaught of decadent french flavors we foodies were about to indulge in.

APPETIZERS

White Asparagus with Chanterelles Mushrooms, Fromage Blanc Flan, & Smoked Duck

DAVID: This was a delicate dish with distinct deep flavors. The smoked duck was buttery tender and its richness balanced nicely with the subtle tartness of the asparagus. The Fromage blanc flan was creamy, light and airy and surprisingly held its own against the pleasant earthy weight of the Chanterelles mushrooms and the smooth comforting texture of the white beans. It was like an eclectic garden farm remix dish.

GLASGOW: Because of my allergy to mushrooms, sadly I couldn’t partake in this dish but the look of content and satisfaction on David’s face said all I needed to know.

Grilled Octopus with Sunchokes Mousseline, Fingerling Potatoes, Espelette Pepper

DAVID: This was a melt-in-your-mouth freshness with a delicateness that octopus must have in order to be perfectly balanced with the fragrant charring. The sauces paired with it were savory and sweet adding nice opposing dimensions to the lovely neutrality of the octopus. The fingerlings added a nice familiar balance to the mélange of flavors with just a touch of creaminess.

GLASGOW: Every bite of this multi-textured appetizer was so flavorful. Octopus tends to be a bit gamey and chewy, but this perfectly grilled delight. I love the slight touch of nuttiness and sweetness the Sunchokes added to the dish, and the slight char on the octopus did not take away from its “melt-in-your-mouth” consistency. The Fingerling Potatoes added a touch of a rustic feel to the overall dish.

MAIN COURSES

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes

DAVID: This dish was textural overload in a great way. The light crispy outer of the crab cakes fell perfectly into the soft sweet and tender inner. Take the sweet and briny notes and add them with tang and sharpness of the horseradish and pickled red onions for a refreshing tartar sauce remix that doesn’t overpower but adds a nicely artisanal element to this dish. The sea beans create a smooth edge to the briny properties of the dish. It was a lovely arrangement of accents for the crab cakes.

GLASGOW: Although I had one one bite of the crab cake (I was saving room for my own entree), the sweetness of the crabmeat will forever remain with me. Even now, my taste memory is remembering the perfectly crisp crust (not too crisp) and the light yet juicy interior. My favorite part? No sign of any oily or greasy residue was left on the tongue, just a mouthful of fresh, sweet crabmeat.

Grilled Lamb Chops

DAVID: This was a rustic yet refined dish that had familiar elements offered up in a refreshingly remixed way. The delicate coffee rub on the tender buttery chops lent the sharp vibrant and deep flavor of the coffee nicely to the gamey loveliness of the lamb. The grilling of the chop sealed the deal for a nice marriage of smoky flavors and aromatic textures. The fingerlings, tomatoes, and asparagus were pleasant and piquant and a good pairing with the organic nature of the grilled chop and the earthy rub that created an air of hearty elegance.

GLASGOW: I must say, the taste of this dish was not what I expected. The full dish includes Fingerling Potatoes, Green Asparagus, Coffee Rub, and Charred Tomato Relish. I was fully expecting to have the very distinct taste of coffee with every bite of this dish, but I was pleasantly surprised (I’m not really a fan of coffee but I was just going against my norm) to not even get a hint of coffee. The coffee rub actually gave the lamb chops a very rustic, earthy flavor, with the fingerling potatoes and charred heirloom tomatoes adding to its earthiness. Of course, the lamb chops themselves (which I got medium well) were perfectly charred and smoky. In a word – sublime!

DESSERTS

Warm Molten Chocolate Cake

DAVID: The softness of the cake is perfect and just airy enough to take on the smooth depth of the espresso ice-cream that created a rich creamy pleasantness when it hit the molten ebony center. The balance of bitter and sweet created a deep finish reminiscent of the espresso that often finishes a great meal.

GLASGOW: I always get chocolate deserts but wanted something different, so I passed on trying this dish but visually, it’s sinfully decadent, and David was very happy.

Bosc Pear Tartlette

DAVID: The tart is decadently sweet, creamy and smooth and a great compliment to the fragrant spicy cinnamon ice-cream and the nutty aromatic toasted slivers of almond. The indulgent pear and the woody accompaniments created quite a finish.

GLASGOW: An amazing and elevated take on the classic apple tartlette, this Bosc Pear Tartlette is a reward for your taste buds. It was heaven in every bite, not overly sweet, the crust not too crunchy or hard, and although we’re in full spring mode, I thoroughly enjoyed these fall flavors. The pairing of cinnamon ice cream and almond Frangipane with the pear gave the perfect nod to the fall season without being too heavy on the reference.

The stylish French Brasserie 8 1/2 is located at 9 W 57th St, just steps from Fifth Avenue. While satisfying and rewarding your palate on their sophisticated French cuisine, you will love the breathtaking original artwork by Léger, Matisse and others favored by the Louvre.

Brasserie 8 1/2 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

New Restaurant Alert: Chefs Club Counter Launches in New York City

Attention foodies, there’s a new culinary haven now open in the iconic neighborhood of Soho, NYC. Encompassing the famed corner of Spring and Lafayette, at 62 Spring Street, is Chefs Club Counter, the first “fine-fast” concept brought to life by Stephane De Baets, the Belgian entrepreneur behind the game-changing restaurant group, Chefs Club.

Stephane de Baets

An off-shoot of Chefs Club, Chefs Club Counter will offer a quick and affordable fine food options for customers eager to partake in popular dishes from some of the world’s best chefs in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. The menu, curated by Culinary Director Didier Elena, a 20-year Alain Ducasse alumnus, features select dishes available in a limited quantity for a limited time. We had the pleasure of indulging in Chefs Club Counter’s “fine-fast” food concept with the culinary geniuses Chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Eggslut‘s Alvin Cailan, and George Mendes.

George Mendes

Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Alvin Cailan

The VIP preview of Chefs Club Counter’s decadent bites included possibly the most amazing burger we’ve ever tasted, the JG (Jean-Georges) Burger Sliders, Duck Rice, Grain Bowls, Tomato, and Stracciatella, and Wild Mushroom and Chicory Pizzas, and the celebrated LA favorite, Eggslut Crostini from Chefs Club Counter roster: Jean-Georges Vongerichten, George Mendes, Linton Hopkins, Magnus Hansson, and Eggslut’s Alvin Cailan.

As if these delectable bites weren’t heaven enough, the dishes were paired with Ben Watts’ Watts Up Rosé, which flowed throughout the evening, much to our delight. Almost 600 guests were in attendance to sample the exclusive and limited edition menu, including downtown’s creative luminaries enthusiastic foodies, neighbors, and influencers from all walks of life.

Ben Watts’ Watts Up Rosé – David White

We’re not sure how long the menu will remain the same but we highly recommend you head over to Chefs Club Counter try their delicious fare as soon as you possibly can.

Restaurant Review: Savor Hakka Chinese Cuisine at The Chinese Club

We’ve enjoyed many amazing culinary journeys but our culinary adventure of Hakka Chinese cuisine at The Chinese Club may just be the most flavorful yet. For those non-foodies who are not aware of the Hakka Chinese food served at The Chinese Club, all meals, from appetizers to main dishes and desserts combine Indian spices with Hakka Chinese cooking techniques, and finessed with a modern twist. As foodies who love everything spicy and flavorful, this marriage of cultures is absolutely brilliant. A brainchild of married couple Chef Salil Mehta and Stacey Lo, known for their Michelin star and Bib Gourmand designated Malaysian restaurant Laut in Manhattan, the food at this barely a year old foodie heaven will blow you away.

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To say we were in for a treat would do The Chinese Club a great injustice. This was truly an epic culinary experience. The significant aspect of Hakka Chinese cuisine is its texture. Another is how the cooking technique highlights the natural savory flavors of meats. We started off with several amazing appetizers that really stirred our taste buds. Our Hakka Chinese Cuisine at The Chinese Club started with the following four appetizers:

Organic Salt & Pepper Mushroom

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Although I could not enjoy this vegetarian dish because of an allergy to mushrooms, the consensus of the level of deliciousness of this tempura mushroom with scallions was one of utter delight. The unanimous and very audible sounds of yums came from all sides of the dinner table.

Aloo Chat (Indian Street Snack)

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There is so much amazing texture and color in this vegetarian and gluten-free tangy crispy potato dish with crispy noodles. This delightful dish is savory, fresh and tangy all at once. You may not be able to tell from the photo but for us, this dish perfectly captured the amazing combination of Indian and Chinese spices that are found in the Hakka Chinese Cuisine at The Chinese Club.

 Wings On Fire

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Although you can’t tell by this photo which surely doesn’t do it justice, these lollipop chicken wings with spicy mayo will transport you into an instant out of body experience. If you love food that’s full of bold flavor, these make a perfect starter to begin your culinary adventure.

Chinese Bhel Salad

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This perfect little salad crispy noodle salad is all vegetarian and gluten free. The Indian-Chinese style salad boasts a cornucopia of colors and textures that included avocado, pomegranate seeds, puffed rice, carrots, etc. You’ll love every bite for its mixture of smoothness and crunch.

Hakka Chili Chicken

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If you love fiery spicy flavor then The Chinese Club Hakka Chili Chicken offers the perfect amount of flavor excitement you love. These crispy hunks of boneless chicken are seasoned with green chili, onion, bell peppers and soy sauce. They’re so delicious, you won’t be able to stop eating until your plate is completely empty.

Vegetable Manchurian

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The extensive menu continues with the vegetarian Manchurian dish, a divine and flavorful set of vegetable dumplings in a spicy brown sauce featuring garlic, onion, chili, and cilantro. Meat lovers won’t care that this dish has no meat and vegans and paneer fans will be blown away by the flavor.

Schzwen Chutney Vegetable

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Fans of paneer, the decadence continues with this vegetarian delight. You’ll love the Schzwen Chutney vegetable’s mix of spicy vegetable fritters, celery, peppers, onions and scallions with paneer. Like the Chinese Beil Salad, it is a wonderful blend of color and texture.

Fish with Hot Garlic Sauce

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It was very difficult to select a favorite dish from our Hakka Chinese Cuisine at The Chinese Club culinary adventure but the above Fish with Hot Garlic Sauce was at the very top of our seconds and third helpings list, thanks to the perfectly fried fish fillet in a bold garlic, ginger, chili, scallion sauce.

Rice three ways: Cumin, Brown, and Jasmine

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We’d have the pleasure of enjoying Jasmin and brown rice, but thanks to our experience with Hakka Chinese Cuisine at The Chinese Club, we’re adding Cumin rice to our list of must enjoy again over and over.

DESSERTS

Fried Ice Cream with Fried Noodles 

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Words cannot fully describe how amazing The Chinese Club’s take on Fried Ice Cream is. Instead of the traditional breaded ice cream, their version has coconut ice cream surrounded by crispy deep fried noodles. It is incredibly delicious.

Chinese Fortune Waffle

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And the last and certainly not least desserts is this marvelous Chinese Fortune Waffle you see above which features huge egg waffles with coconut and taro ice cream, chocolate pocky sticks, fresh fruits (we love the strawberries and lychee on there), sprinkled fruity pebbles, and of course fortune cookies.

Chef Salil Mehta and Stacey Lo

Pasar Malam - Brooklyn, NY

Pasar Malam – Brooklyn, NY

Stacey’s great grandfather, Lo Fung Sho was an immigrant worker in Darjeeling, India, who at the turn of the 20th century founded the “Darjeeling Chinese Club” as a cultural refuge for Chinese immigrants and expats living in India. This cultural refuge is the inspiration for The Chinese Club. The couple has reincarnated his recipes with Indian spices, Hakka Chinese cooking techniques, and modern interpretations of both cultures.

The menu for The Chinese Club changes every three months and secret, off-menu items are posted on their social media; many with limited availability. Want to try these dishes for yourself, head over to 208 Grand St in Brooklyn, NY. If you have tried Hakka Chinese Cuisine or visited The Chinese Club, then share your experiences in the comments.

Freshark Juice Bar & Grill: Your Destination for Eating Clean

Attention all healthy eaters, foodies, juice bar fans, and those who are all about clean eating. Whether you’re an expert on the topic or a beginner wanting to implement healthy eating into your lifestyle, we’ve got a great, new place for you. We had the pleasure of welcoming Freshark Juice Bar and Grill to their first Manhattan location, the second opening for the brand (the Ripe Juice Bar on Long Island was the first).

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Freshark Juice Bar and Grill was founded by two health-conscious restaurateurs (and high school friends), Peter Kambitsis and Elias Kalogiros, with Mark J. Sarro as the culinary wizard and Director of Operations.

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In the world of fast food, it’s quite difficult to find a healthy place to eat or get a fast meal with slow-food flavor without the calories and fat. Luckily for us, Freshark Juice Bar and Grill solves both those problems. healthy food, squeezed-to-order juices and smoothies.

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Are you ready for made-to-order wraps, overflowing salads, lean burgers, and grilled entrees? At the event, we got to an enjoy an array of delicious food (see the first photo directly above) including Sweet Potato Power Cakes, vitamin-packed sweet potato pancakes stacked up with egg whites, turkey bacon, and served with agave syrup; the Farmers Salad with fresh grilled broccoli, sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, and roasted red peppers with lentils over mixed kale blend & agave lemon mustard dressing; Acai Granola Bowl, a bowl created of raw oats, nuts & fruits filled with refreshing acai berry sorbet, protein-packed peanut butter; Tex-Mex Wrap, a 3-bean medley, pico de gallo, chipotle lime bbq sauce, shredded cheddar; Peanut Butter Balls, a delicious blend of peanut butter, raw oats, granola and dark chocolate; Apple Pie, a new take on the tradition dessert with apples, dates, almonds, egg white protein, and cinnamon; Raw Cocoa Balls with dates, cocoa, cashews, whey protein; the Immune Booster energizing juice with orange, ginger, carrot juices; the Acai Detox super smoothie with acai berries, strawberry, apple, blueberry; and a wheat grass shot from local organic wheatgrass company Perfect Foods.

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The new Freshark Juice Bar and Grill is located at 1026 second ave, between 54th & 55th streets. They’re open seven days a week from 10am until 8pm (Saturday and Sunday), and 10pm (Monday – Friday). We highly recommend stopping by the savor their slow-cooked flavors, fresh juices, and smoothies.

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Restaurant Review: Desi Galli Fresh Indian Street Food

It’s nice to know that tucked away on a bustling busy street in the iconic East Village that there is a place, Desi Galli, that carries on the tradition of the diversity that makes this neighborhood great. We now have someplace to retreat to for fresh Indian cuisine at more than fair prices for those times when we retreat to Tompkins Square for some visual design inspiration, or on a hot toddy bar crawl and need some satisfying comfort food.

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The small restaurant boasts two locations, one in Kips Bay, and the other in the East Village, where we dined. The intimate setting is the perfect location to fully immerse yourself in Desi Galli’s delightful offerings. You’re surrounded by the wonderful smells before you’re even at the entrance. It’s almost like the wonderul aromas lure you into the restaurant by invisible hands. We sat down for an amazing five-course meal of the most delicious and fresh Indian streetfood we’ve ever had. While David’s palette was fairly new to this food genre, I’ve personally been enjoying it for years and Desi Galli did not disappoint. So get settled in as you journey with us on this magical culinary adventure into fresh Indian street food.

Course 1 – Desi Poutine

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DAVID: This poutine remix is pretty delish. It’s like Desi disco fries with the fragrant red curry that has a textural ragu-like thickness that balances nicely with the crisp fries. The creamy element of the cheese gives the dish that smooth topper that adds to the textural explosion. I liked that it was not greasy so like a classic poutine, the fries held up to the sauce.

GLASGOW: The fall season always puts me in the mood for savory, hearty meals that not only satisfies your hunger but also soothes your soul. That is what Desi Galli’s take on Poutine did for me. For those familiar with the Quebec dish, french fries and cheese curds are normally topped with brown gravy, in Desi Galli’s delicious spin, tikka sauce replaces the gravy, and grated paneer takes the place of the cheese. The result is a decadent dish that both vegans and meat eaters will thoroughly enjoy. An added bonus to the Desi Poutine is the fries remained wonderfully crisp under the tikka sauce, a huge plus for this fan of non-soggy fries.

Course 2 – Lamb Bhuna Kathi Roll

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DAVID: There is so much flavor here. The wrap or roll is very light but has a surprising denseness that holds the chunky lamb and veggie mixture that are seasoned quite lovely. The tender lamb is quite wonderfully balanced coupled with the herbal mint, cilantro, spinach and natural sweetener (Desi Galli’s secret) which adds a verdant pop of fresh flavor in the dish.

GLASGOW: I love a good Kathi Roll, but I usually go for chicken, so getting the lamb was a very nice change. The Lamb Bhuna Kathi Roll provided joyous levels of flavors that are almost…..almost indescribable. The hearty and slightly gamey flavor of the lamb seems to highlight the mint, cilantro and slight sweetness in the roll. It’s just flavor, upon flavor, upon flavor. It’s a definite must-try.

Course 3 – Palak Patte Ki Chaat

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DAVID: As someone who always looks for the meat in things, surprisingly, I didn’t miss the meat here. The layered vibrant texture of this dish creates a chunky, crispy, smooth satisfying loveliness as you hit each layer of coarse bold seasoning down to the finer more penetrating seasonings. My palette was quite satisfied especially with the added touch of pleasantness from the both sweet and slightly tart tamarind chutney.

GLASGOW: This dish is actually a new one for me as I tend to stick to the non-vegetarian side of all Desi menus, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect besides an assortment of flavors. The best way to describe this dish is to think of a layered dip, but more (if that makes sense). Not only was it an assortment of flavors, but textures as well. With the freshly chopped tomatoes, green chutney, mix of crunchy, crumbly, smooth, and crisp textures, and the multiple other spices, you are in for an explosion of palate pleasures.

Course 4 – Lamb Curry

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DAVID: This is a hearty lamb stew. The gamey tender lamb is kissed rather adoringly by the thick ragu-like curry. The filling robust weight of this stew was perfectly balanced with the fragrant basmati rice not only in flavor but also in depth. A stew like this needs a rice like this.

GLASGOW: Curry dishes are my favorite with dishes made with red and/or yellow curries being at the top of my list. I love curry everything, chicken, fish, shrimp, meat, vegetables….everything, so my take on this dish may be more biased than others. This time around,I continued the lamb journey continued with a wonderfully thick Lamb Curry made with Spiced Australian lamb chunks paired with the very fragrant basmati rice. It was heaven in every bite. This is the type of dish I’d happily enjoy every day of the season without getting bored of its flavors. It’s hearty, perfectly spicy, with its own touch of sweetness. Just writing about it is increasing my desire to have it right now.

Course 5 – Shrimp Biryani

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DAVID: This is such a fresh dish. The shrimp is very well-seasoned and has an airy freshness that turns into a spicy briny goodness. The yogurt sauce cools down this fragrant and zesty number with a cool and creamy crunch. Once again you may find yourself searching to figure out all the layers of the seasonings, but why bother, just napkin-up and dive in.

GLASGOW: Last but certainly not least is very flavorful and fragrant Desi Galli Shrimp Biryani, a dish boasting seasoned shrimp and fragrant rice containing tons of spices such as saffron, cardamom, ginger, etc, vegetables . Gluten-free. Served with raita (yogurt sauce . Biryani is another dish that’s high on my favorites list. It reminds me of something similar I grew up with called “Cook Up”, like Biryani, it’s a complete meal in one.

It was a pleasure to experience the fresh Indian street food from Desi Galli, and we’ll certainly be back again and again to indulge our appetite. If you’re near Tompkins Square Park, head over to the Desi Galli East Village location at 172 Avenue B; and if you’re in the Kips Bay area, you’ll find the Desi Galli Curry Hill at 101 Lexington Ave. If you love Indian food, make sure to bookmark these two locations. If you’ve enjoyed the food at Desi Galli, please share your thoughts in the comments.

Desi Galli East Village Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Village Voice Brunch Eats Food Event Recap

With the introduction of this latest culinary event to their roster, the Village Voice has once again created another hit for foodies. We had the pleasure of attending the first ever The Village Voice Brunch Eats Food Event, which celebrates all things brunch, and what many has been doing for years, eating breakfast food for dinner.

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Held aboard the top of The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s Flight Deck, foodies from around the tri-state area gathered to indulge in the delicious brunch offerings from the 26 area restaurants that participated in the inaugural The Village Voice Brunch Eats Food Event. The restaurant lineup included Barbounia, Bustan, Champs Diner, Distilled, Dough, Edi & The Wolf, Eggplant by Korilla, Ess-a-Bagel, Eugene & Co, Irvington, Jianbang & Co., Kingsley, Mezetto, Mr. Purple, Solber Pupusas, Tom’s Restaurant, Tygershark, Xe May Sandwich Shop, The Black Ant, Butter & Scotch, Calle Dao, Le Fond, Nha Minh, Osteria Cotta, Streets BK, and Underwest Donuts. Here are a few of the amazing culinary delights we indulged in:

The Black Ant – Torta de Pato: Corn Bun, Duck Carnitas, Crispy Potatoes, and Negra Modelo Morita Salsa

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Mezetto – Avocado Toast: With Hard Boiled Egg and Romesco Sauce

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Kingsley – Praline Bacon French Toast Bread Pudding with Pork Fat Frosting

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Breads Bakery – Mini Pastries, Assorted Crostinis, and Mini Burekas

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Jianbing Company – Original Jianbing with Bacon and Vermont Maple Syrup

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Tom’s Restaurant – Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

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There were so many extraordinary dishes to try at the Village Voice Brunch Eats food event, and we naturally we had several favorites. We reveled in some new foodie experiences, like Jianbing, a traditional Chinese street food similar to crepes but this version boasted a modern update with the addition of bacon and Vermont Maple syrup. We alternated between savory and sweet dishes until we barely had room for drinks. Check out a few more of the delicious dishes we enjoyed:

Attendees were treated to the soothing sound stylings of live band The Brooklyn Sugar Stompers, who regaled us with an homage to the 1920’s, Jazz’s Golden Age.

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As always, we had an amazing time with at the latest Village Voice food event. With the increase of more and more people enjoying breakfast for dinner, we see The Village Voice Brunch Eats as a must-attend foodie event annually. Do you enjoy breakfast for dinner? Will you be attending net year’s Brunch Eats?

Restaurant Review: Zengo Restaurant

There are so many amazing food experiences to be had in New York, and no we’re not talking about the tourist restaurants, we’re talking the hidden gems that you may walk by every day which boasts delicacies so delicious, it’s almost too sinful to enjoy…..almost. We had the pleasure of being introduced to Zengo Restaurant, an amazing food oasis located not too far from restaurant row and trust us when we say you’d definitely want to stray from the beaten path of restaurant row to delight in this foodie’s dream.

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First things first, the exterior of Zengo Restaurant does not do the inside justice…..at all (you’ll see what we mean at the end of this post). You can have a separate adventure on each of its three floors. For our culinary journey, we were on the main floor, which features the Latin-Asian food and drink menu (the lower level, the La Biblioteca de Tequila Lounge, is all Latin and boasts  over 400 Tequilas, and the upper, Asian level features an impressive variety of Japanese sakes, but today we were to indulge in the delicious results of combining these two wonderful bold flavors.

1ST COCKTAILS

WATERMELON SOJU MARGARITA

Zengo_Restaurant_Watermelon_Soju_Margarita_Cocktail_www.mylifeonandofftheguestlist.com

David: With this drink in the Biblioteca Tequila bar,located downstairs at Zengo Restaurant, you get the unmistakable freshness of the watermelon that is cut with the starchy punch of the soju then infused with the lively tart punch of a margarita. Nice layers of flavor for a well-blended drink.

SMOKED GINGER

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David: This was like a perfect spiked ginger beer. The fresh ginger and lemon with the cloying honey made for a great fresh and sweet that married nicely with the spicy bourbon whiskey and the pop of the apricot brandy. A sneaky drink to enjoy and not even realize you’re 3 in before it hits you.

TROPICAL WHITE SANGRIA

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Glasgow: This white sangria was a refreshing mix of Macabeo white wine grape, rum, mango, orange, passionfruit, and pineapple. Fair warning, the lightly sweet drink goes down pretty quickly and smoothly, so expect to order more than one. I paired this delightful cocktail with our second appetizer and it really celebrated the spicy elements of the dish.

ACHIOTE HOISIN PORK AREPAS – 1ST APPETIZER

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David: This was highbrow Mexican street food with a dash of the Far East. It’s such a nice blend of the zesty hoisin pork on top of the rustic corn arepa. The creamy sour cream and fresh guacamole added a smoothness to the earthy flavors of the corn cake and the pork.

Glasgow: This was my first experience with Arepas and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but you can’t go wrong with crunchy corn cakes topped with the sweet and salty taste of Hoisin pulled pork. I loved the contrast of the cooling freshness of the crema Fresca and avocado against the spicy pull pork flavors and crunchy corn cake.

SLOW COOKED PORK RIBS – 2ND APPETIZER

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David: These ribs were so tender and savory with a sugary pop of spice while the cucumber kimchee added a fresh element of garden heat. The great flavor profile came from how each element was finished with the sweet smokiness to the pork and the tart heat to the cucumbers.

Glasgow: Talk about succulent and slow cooked to perfection. These juicy ribs slid off the bone with ease and were so flavorful, we considered placing another order. The sweetness of the roasted garlic chipotle glaze reminded me of sweet-style barbecue, and the spicy cucumber pickle added such a wonderful level of heat and flavor intensity, I found myself mixing the cucumbers into the glaze…yum.

SPICY LUMP CRAB GUACAMOLE – 3RD APPETIZER

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David: This dish was just easy textural loveliness. Fresh generous crab married with a chunky creamy guacamole served with thin tortillas. You got layers of meaty briny, garden savory creamy and rustic salty for a satisfying harmonious dish.

Glasgow: I am officially spoiled, thank you Zengo restaurant. From now on, I want all my guacamole to be topped with fresh crabmeat. If you’re looking for flavorful guacamole (ginger, yuzu, cilantro, and Thai basil bring zest and peppery flavors) with an element of fresh seafood (you can practically taste the ocean…..that’s how fresh the crabmeat tasted), you must try it. The thin, crisp tortilla chips allow the crab and guac to shine without distraction. You’ll never want ordinary guac ever again.

2ND/3RD COCKTAILS

FRESA SMASH

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David: What a delightful strawberry lemonade mojito on full blast. The powerfully smooth Blanco tequila met up with mojito nods like mint and citrus then mellowed out with this kick of agave nectar. This is another great sneaky drink that’ll send you into alcohol heaven without you even realizing.

TAMARIND-TOGARASHI MARGARITA

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Glasgow: Not many people like the tart and sometimes sweet taste of tamarind but I definitely do. This cocktail was an easy sell for me and is a wonderful drink for anyone who loves exotic flavors. The hint of citrus adds a fresh zing to the already delicious cocktail. I loved the smooth, clean taste of this cocktail and boasts a nice balance of sweet and tart. There was no harshness to it.

TEMPURA WHOLE FISH – 1ST COURSE

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David: The impressively displayed branzino is almost meat-like in its rich flavor but yet so tender and mildly sweet. The extremely light tempura batter is the perfect non-overpowering compliment. The dipping sauces add that element of sweet and tangy that marries nicely to the fish.

Glasgow: This must-try fish dish was a visual, aromatic and palate-pleasing euphoria experience. I would consider this the equivalent of a chef’s “mike drop”. What a work of art this Whole Fish Tempura is; our photos do not do it justice. The tempura was so light, I forgot it was on the fish. Every bite was perfectly crunchy, the crisp lettuce leaves,  spicy cucumber, bean sprouts, pickled vegetables, and black bean sweet & sour made the dish seem even lighter than it as already was. If you ever want to experience what it’s like to enjoy freshly caught fish cooked right on the beach at a restaurant, this Branzino is your best bet.

SHANGHAI STRIP STEAK – 2ND COURSE

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David: I love a steak medium since it is still tender enough to soak up the juices. With this dish, it was served with an earthy, smoky and tart broth that complimented the slightly bitter broccolini but created a great well-layered complex flavorful dish.

Glasgow: I only tried a small piece of this dish because I was pre-occupied with the fish but was immediately wowed by the juiciness of the steak and the sweetness of the caramelized shallots with the contrasting broccolini flavors. The Taro Chips were divine and have some great crunch and texture to the dish. A return to Zengo Restaurant will include this.

DESSERTS

PISTACHIO CREMA CATALANA

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David: This crème Brule remix is so fresh. The pistachio makes the dish so light but maintains the rich distinct nuttiness of the nut. The addition of the fruit on top makes it very seasonally vibrant in taste and display.

SUGAR & SPICE CHURROS

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Glasgow: This simple yet elegant dish will wow any chocolate lover and is great for anyone who wants a lighter dessert. The Churros were practically light as air, not hard yet retained a very nice crunch, which made enjoying it covered in the warmed, rich dark chocolate sauce doubly decadent.

4TH COCKTAILS

AVION ESPRESSO

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David: It’s tequila and espresso with a dab of fragrant sweetness. I have found a new after dinner love. Such a nice marriage for Avion that is a perfect soothing finisher with a kick for when you want a strong liquor other than a whiskey or brandy. The element of sweet saves the cocktail as the straight tequila with the strong roast could be too much alone. This was a great winner.

LYCHEE BELLINI

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Glasgow:  I know this is not the usual after dinner cocktail but I was looking for something along the lines of a refreshing post dinner cleanser and the Lychee Bellini was the perfect end to this euphoric culinary journey we experienced at Zengo restaurant, plus I adore lychee. The combination of the fresh lychee puree and the sparkling Cava was exactly what I needed to top off this great meal.

ATMOSPHERE/SETTING

Zengo interior

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David: This mash-up restaurant is a good idea both in theory and execution as there are many commonalities between Latin and Asian cuisines. The décor of Zengo Restaurant is pretty awesome with larger than life light fixtures and topiaries that bring to light the sculptural heritage of both cultures and also each culture’s love of nature and the land.

Glasgow: For years I’ve had no real excitement on fusion restaurants because I love cuisines with their original flavors, the local regional spices and cooking methods and I’ve been disappointed a few times with flavors that just didn’t mix well for me, but Zengo Restaurant absolutely got it right. If they were my first experience with fusion, my views would have changed a long time ago. Richard Sandoval perfectly celebrates these two distinct, bold flavors; nothing from the flavors or legacy of these two cultures is lost with Zengo’s flavor fusion. As we previously stated at the beginning, the interior is not what you’d expect when looking at the exterior. You will love being surrounded by all the wood and iron, it’s like being immersed in sculpture, there’s so much to take in.

Along with lunch and dinner, Zengo Restaurant also offers brunch on the weekend and happy hour, and for you cocktail connoisseurs, you’ll love their all night happy hour and reverse happy hour options. Check out the times below:

BRUNCH
Saturday – Sunday: 11:30am – 4:00pm

ALL NIGHT HAPPY HOUR
Monday & Saturdays: 5:00pm to close
La Biblioteca & Main Bar only

HAPPY HOUR
Tuesday – Friday: 4:00pm – 7:00pm (Main Bar only)
Wednesday – Friday: 5:00pm – 7:00pm (Mezzanine only)

REVERSE HAPPY HOUR
Tuesday – Friday: 9:30pm to close
La Biblioteca only

Zengo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato