NYC Restaurant is HERE!!

>> Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New York Restaurant week
Today is the first day that you can begin to make reservations for Restaurant Week. I am all over this: Cafe Boulud (which apparently offers the pre fixed lunch every Tuesday - Saturday for $24, but no matter...) The website is really nice and offers you the ability to browse by cuisine, time of meal (lunch, dinner etc.) or neighborhood!

Check it out here! I am hoping to go to Mesa Grill as well :)


Stanton Social

>> Monday, June 29, 2009

Stanton SocialSleek and sexy, oozing with ambiance, The Stanton Social is a port for all trendy people on the Lower East Side. I have wanted to eat at Stanton Social ever since I moved to New York, but for whatever reason have never been able to make an when a group of friends from college came in town, my good friend Cole suggested that we all go here and I was ECSTATIC. It was truly what I like to call a "dining night," lots of different items stretched out over three hours, with great people.

As we walked into the restaurant we were quickly ushered upstairs to the bar where the rest of our party was waiting. Lined with mirrors all over the walls, in a dimly lite room, I felt
like I was somewhere I shouldn't have been -- and I liked it. Crowed on a Thursday, I hung back and sipped on some water while I waited for those glorious words "your table is ready." Sure enough 15 minutes later we ventured back down the steep staircase and were sat at the first table in the front by the windows; this would later prove to be a mistake on their part.

We were fortunate enough to have such a large group that we were able to select items from the menu and create our own pre-fixed menu. Let me tell you, this was one of the best calls I have seen in all my dining experience. I later learned that Cole and Leah hand-picked the items on the menu, I will say that 9 out of 11 were homeruns. With only two being lackluster, Stanton Social is ranking high in my Frugal Foodie book.

For our first course we had:
  • Nori Spice Tuna Tartare Roll
  • Chipotle Grilled Shrimp - tomatillo and feta relish
  • Dry Rubbed & Charred Chicken Wings - chipotle, molasses & bourbon glaze, bleu cheese fondue
Stanton Social - Wings
I will just spare everyone the guessing game - the tuna was out of this world. Had this been at the end of the meal and I was a little tipsy, I gladly would have eaten the entire plate. I mean, it was that good. The shrimp however, was a TOTAL
miss for me. I am not a huge crustaceans fan, but still even people at the table who love shrimp, thought that the shrimp were tough. Maybe it was an off night, but I would not order that again from anywhere. Wings, totally different story. Smoky, crispy, charred, heat. All things that make for an incredible wing were there, I didn't really care for the bleu cheese fondue, it kind of settled by
the time it got to me and was cold so I didn't see or care for the fondue part, but either way it wasn't really necessary, the wings were perfect on their own.

Quickly after I devoured all that came the next round:
  • Beef Carpaccio - pickled shallot, fried capers, wholegrain mustard-creme fraiche
I am happy to say that some people would not touch the raw meat. This was great for me. I could easily eat that everyday and must learn how to fry capers. In my opinion, that is what made this dish go from delicious to extraordinary. The salty, sweetness that is capers, combined with a deep crunch, just changed the game. I mean it was really, really nicely done. I dare say it rivals Craft.

After having seconds on that course, the kind wait staff at Stanton Social realized it might be a
good idea to wait a second before bringing the third course and I thank them for that. I might have died if they kept the food coming so quickly. Eventually, the third course came and I was back in action:
  • Kobe Beef Burgers with bbq sauce
  • Rhode Island Lobster Roll
  • Braised Short Rib Soft Tacos - tomato, red onion, cilantro & smoked paprika relish, 'refried' cranberry beans
  • Frites with red chile mayo
  • Grilled Asparagus - lemon oil & smoked sea salt
Um. Seriously. My mouth is watering as I write this. Let's just get this out the way - no one liked
Stanton Social - Sliders
the lobster roll. It was a traditionally Northeastern lobster roll and being that our entire table was Southern, it just did nothing for us, at least not on my end. The lobster was fine and tender, but really the celery was just way too overpowering. Not good. However, the Kobe sliders and short rib tacos more than made up for that. The burgers were cooked medium and so juicy I probably went through about 5 napkins just from having one. Soft, sweet onions on top with a tangy bbq sauce made these stand out from any other sliders that I have had. And then the short ribs. I have been on a real short kick lately as you might have read in my STK post. These were just as tender, and packed with flavor. I think everyone agreed that the sliders and tacos were their favorites of the night.

The frites were great, the asparagus forgettable, but the night was not over yet. We still had dessert...
  • Warm Doughnuts - caramel, chocolate and raspberry dipping sauce
  • Cookies
The doughnuts were light and fluffy, more like a little beignet that you dip in the respective sauces. I thought it was a fun interactive treat and a nice way to end the night. The cookies were great too, the provided a wide variety and were good for a group - the key lime cookie in particular.

This was a great, great, night filled with lots of laughs and great food. I think this was the perfect atmosphere for groups and I would highly recommend going there with any big party.

Stanton Social
99 Stanton St.
New York, NY 10002


Top Chef Masters

>> Friday, June 26, 2009

Top Chef Masters

I didn't get to write about it, but I will say that last weeks episode was much better than the premier episodes (might have something to do with the Lost tie-in, but who knows...) and I thought Wednesday's episode wasn't half bad either.

This week's Masters:

Wilo Benet - Puerto Rican chef of Payá in San Juan.

Cindy Pawlcyn- Napa Valley chef of Backstreet Kitchen, Go Fish, and Mustards Grill.

Ludo Lefebver - sassy french chef of Ludo Bites in LA. Ok maybe not sassy, but that accent just really makes him seem so.

Rick Bayless - owner of frontera grill in Chicago.

Quickfire Challenge: Create a dish around a color.
I really liked this challenge, but the chef's did not seem too. I understand that plates need lots of
color, but that's why its a challenge...


Wilo won with his smoked salmon tartar and I thought that his looked the best and the most appetizing. Ya know, aside from leaving on the ring that held the tartar together. But other than that...

Moving on to the elimination challenge: Use a protein you normally don't use for a street food dish.

I actually like this challenge too. I always think its interesting to see how chefs can great creative when face with the forgotten about parts of an animal and since I had just eaten tongue I was also interested to see what this guy would do with the tongue.

In the end Rick Bayless' tongue tacos with chorizo, bacon, guacamole and cojita cheese, were deemed "the perfect street food" and everyone left his table looking happy.

I am going to Chicago next week and I am hoping that I will have a chance to dine at one of his restaurants there.

Till next week! And thanks to Bravo's website for posting such pretty pictures that I can take screenshots off :)


Chicken Stir Fry

>> Wednesday, June 24, 2009

chicken stir fry

I'm always desperate for something healthy, delicious and easy to cook, so I'll often turned to my dad for inspiration and after talking I'll cook something completely unrelated to what we are discussing :) Take today for example, here is how our conversation went:

Me: "Dad, I am hungry what should I have for dinner?"

Dad: "Well today I had a salad with some jumbo grilled shrimp and..."

Me: "OOO I will make stir fry"

So I set off to the grocery store for a few key ingredients, heated up the wok and 20 minutes later had a great, healthy meal.

Ingredients (for one, as always):

  • 1 chicken breast

  • "fajita mix" balance of onions, red peppers, green peppers

  • 4 - 5 mushroom caps, halved or quartered (optional)

  • sesame oil

  • vegetable oil

  • teriyaki sauce


Heat your wok (a frying pan will work fine) on medium high heat and coat evenly with vegetable oil.

While the pan is heating, slice the chicken into long strips or cubes then salt and pepper.

Once the oil starts to smoke a little bit add the chicken into the wok and move vigriously around the wok. The great thing about having a wok is that the surface area is large enough to move everything around constantly and it's easy to regulate the cooking temperature.

Add in the vegetables after about 5 minutes of cooking and then sprinkle with sesame oil. Let the vegetables and chicken cook together for about five more minutes.

After a total of ten minutes of cooking add in about 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce and let everything cook together for about a minute.

Then you're done! That's it! Wasn't that hard was it? I know, I know, I'm good.


Adam Corolla and BBQ

>> Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yes you read that right, the self-dubbed "Ace" or "the Aceman" invites some pretty funny people over to Jimmy Kimmel's house (who is noticeably absent by the way) for a good ole fashion BBQ, including Chef Perry Lang who teaches the boys a thing or two about BBQ, steaks and grilling. The clip is one of a three part series and is funny and the information is pretty good too!! Hope you enjoy!



>> Monday, June 22, 2009

STK Braised Short RibI just want to take a minute and talk about how cool I was for a night. I went to STK then to Tenjune. Basically the opposite of a normal Friday night, but SO MUCH FUN! We had two of my wonderful friends in town, Kara and Melissa, and decided that we wanted to take them out on the town and show they a trendy, NYC time.

STK (vowels are so last year) is located in the Meatpacking district on Manhattan's West side, and let me tell you walking through there on Friday night is an interesting event. There is a mix of young, cool, hip trendy people, and then older men crusing for these young, cool, trendy girls. Needless to say I stuck out like a sore thumb, but it was fun trying to fit in :)

When we walked up to STK, self-titled "not your daddy's steak house" was not in fact my father's steak house, because at my "father's steak house" we don't have a huge crowd. There were SO many people around, either waiting to get into STK or Tenjune. It was slightly overwhelming, but I quickly found the bar and everything was all right. Dimly lit, and beats bumping STK was alive and in full swing. I couldn't tell if people were there for the bar or to actually eat, but it didn't matter, I was with my group and we were having a great time.

After about 15 minutes of waiting we were seated and began to peruse the menu. STK offers seafood and steak, however, being that the title of the restaurant is "steak" I knew I was going to go with meat. Here is what we ordered:

  • Fresh Oysters on the half shell
  • Skirt steak
  • Strip
  • Braised short rib with miso and crispy shallots
  • Sole with fresh vegetables and artichoke
As you can tell from my description
above which two were the obvious stars: the sole and the braised short rib. Leah got the sole and it was so flaky, tender and light. They did a really nice job with it, a lot better than I expected. Ah, the short rib. Honestly, it was the best thing at the table in my opinion and maybe that's becuase I ordered it but, nonetheless it was absolutely divine. The meat was falling apart and the sauce wasn't too sweet but all a nice background to the meat. I love crispy shallot on anything so that was a big plus. The radish also added a nice contrast in texture. Kara was sitting next to me and was enjoying the dish so much I basically just pushed it in front of her and let her go to town.

I think everyone agreed that the skirt steaks were ok, but nothing to write about -- so I won't, and everything else was good but not great. If I were to go back to STK it definitely wouldn't be for the food but most definitely for the atmosphere and they know that. STK isn't exactly cheap with most entrees ranging from $20-$30 and drinks $13-$15 a piece...

Overall, you could have given us ramen and it would have been great. Good times, good people, great night. Can you ask for more?

26 Little West 12th
New York, NY 10014



>> Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What a pleasant, pleasant surprise. This restaurant snuck up on me and I couldn't have been happier. August is some place that I have seen before and heard good things, but would probably never go there for no other reason than there are so many other places that I want to eat. So last week when my roommates informed me that we were having roomie dinner and we were going to August, I was happy to test it out.

That night I had to work late and came straight to the restaurant from work and to be honest, I wasn't in the best mood. A glass of pear champagne later, I was back in Frugal Foodie mood and ready to get the party started. What I loved immediately about the place was the back patio. Through the restaurant there is cover patio with greenery and chandeliers that make you feel like you are dining in an outside garden. So cute!

As a general rule, if you dine with me we are all going to get different things. So the table ordered the following:

  • Slow roasted suckling pig with smoked olive polenta
  • Whole roasted Orata
  • Grilled filet with lentils, tongue and a mustard bearnaise
  • Mussels in saffron and mustard
I won. I won so much it hurt. My politically incorrect suckling pig was so unbelievably good my mouth is watering as I write about this now. The smoked olive polenta was creamy, smokey, cheesy, basically it was the perfect comfort food.
I would set my fork down, then pick it right back up and scoop the deliciousness back in my mouth. Ugh, SO GOOD. Then the suckling pig. The sweet, baby, suckling pig. It was so tender and the skin so crispy, and the sauce was sweet. Overall all the requirements for the perfect disk - tender, crispy, sweet

The steak was moist, tender, nothing that I would order again, but still pretty good (I am picky person when it comes to what constitutes a steak that I would order again). The fish was so fresh and clean tasting it was pretty unbelievable. I love when they present the fish to you whole and then go back and filet it. I just like seeing the product in its natural state like that. Makes me feel better about the quality. The mussels were good, but to be honest the best part was the bread with pesto on top.

Another fine West Village eatery. Despite not being on the top of my "must eat" list, I was definitely happy with August and all of it's charm.

359 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 929-8727


Revisiting Novita

>> Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's a sad day in the world of the Frugal Foodie. Today is Annie's good bye dinner before she departs to the South for warmer weather.

We are going to Novita, a place that I have been many a time, but honestly wish I could eat there everyday. Here is a post I wrote back in September and I hoping that it's as good as I remember:

Oh. My. Goodness. If you weren't dining with Leah and I on Monday night you missed out on an incredible meal. This was the personification of perfection. Seriously, perfection.

Nestled away off of Park Avenue, there is a little Italian eatery, Novita (pronounced no-vee-TA), which has quickly become my favorite Italian restaurant in NYC.

Everything from the service to the decor is straight up Italian. The wine selection is impeccable and the food is unbelievable.

We ordered a lot so bare with me, I'll go over my favorites, but I promise everything was delicious and thoughtful...


  • Carpaccio di manzo con tartufi neri - Kobe beef carpaccio with arugula, parmigiano and black truffle
  • Insalata di carciofini - Fresh baby artichoke salad with mushrooms and shavings of parmigiano

  • Squash blossoms - battered in cornmeal and deep fried stuff with ricotta cheese and served with prosciutto (pictured left)

  • Tuna wrapped in phyllo dough - flash fried and served with reduce balsamic vinegar and a spicy aoli sauce**


  • Branzino con carciofi - Pan-roasted sea bass with artichoke fricassee
  • Salmone alia griglia - grilled salmon with crisp potato carpaccio, sweet onions and black olives**
  • Vitello alla Milanese - Veal Milanese-style with rucola and tomato
  • Spaghettini neri ai frutti di mare - Black spaghettini with mixed seafood in spicy tomato sauce
  • Strozzapreti al pesto - Homemade strozapretti with pesto, pinenuts and shavings of parmigiano
  • Orecchiette con salsiccia piccante - Orecchiette with spicy sausage, broccoli rape, and tomato sauce


  • Sorbetti misti - Homemade mango, strawberry, and lemon-mint sorbet
  • Tortino di cioccolato - Individual warm chocolate tart with pistachio sauce and white chocolate gelato
  • Tiramisù - Espresso soaked biscotti layered in mascarpone cream and cocoa**
  • Cheesecake - Homemade with marscapone cheese, served with a raspberry sauce

As you can probably see we had a large party in tow (Leah's mom's friends were with us and I'll say this, dining would not have been complete without them, they are a RIOT! Soo much fun!!), anyways we ordered A LOT, but I will just talk about my favorites...

Tuna with phyllo. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Basically they take sushi grade tuna and wrap it in phyllo dough, then flash fry it so that the outside is warm and crispy and the inside is still rare. Served with a balsamic reduction and spicy aoli, this is the perfect way to start the meal off! I would order two, its just amazing.

For entrees my favorite was the salmon with potato carpacchio, onions and olives. My salmon was cooked perfectly and the skin was left on (in my opinion the most tasty part) and the olives and onions added the perfect hint of sweet and salty that I crave. It was light, delicious and served along side some sauteed vegetables.

Dessert. Ah, dessert. The final frontier. It's hard to mess up dessert, but it's also hard to make the perfect tiramisù and yet Novita in their infinite wisdom has perfected this after dinner treat. It's the perfect blend of the strong espresso taste and the light, fluffy marscapone cream. Definitely a must.

Overall, the dinner was great, the wine never stopped flowing, the company was to die for and I didn't walk out completely stuffed. It was just, perfection. Appetizers range from $10-15, entrees from $16-25 and desserts from $8-10.

A special thanks to Leah and her mom for this fabulous night!

102 E 22nd
New York, NY 10010
(212) 677 - 2222


Top Chef Masters - Episode 1

>> Thursday, June 11, 2009

First off, do not read this if you have not seen the episode. There will be some spoilers. 

Secondly, ok what did everyone think? A couple of weeks I wrote about how excited I was that Top Chef Masters would fill my TV void this summer, however, after the first episode it's clear to see that this is not going to be like the Top Chef we all know and love.

So first of all, they don't have all of the "Masters" competing at once, they make them compete in heats and then the winners will compete in a "championship" round. Ok, fine, I get it, you
 couldn't get all the Top Chefs available at the same time. 

In this first episode, Tim Love, (who I was personally pulling for...maybe a Texas thing), Christopher Lee, Hubert Keller, and Michael Schlow, all competed in a quick fire and an elimination challenge. Their first quick fire was to make desert in an hour (I think) for four girl scouts (girls, who obviously, know their cookies). While all creative, not all the chefs could rise to the occasion and cooking for kids really isn't easy so I can sympathize with that. Hubert Keller ended up winning with his fanciful swan, whip cream mouse,  and chocolate mouse dessert.

For the elimination challenge the chefs were tasked with cooking in a dorm room using only a microwave, toaster oven and hot plate. It was pretty hysterical to hear how none of the chefs really knew how to use a microwave. I found this extremely comforting and testament to their ability, I mean really, microwaves should only be used to reheat things, not cook them...

Instead of walking through each menu one by one I just want to go over some highlights:
  • Hubert Keller's first course of Scottish salmon over creamy whole grain mustard - I just thought the color were beautiful and I would have NEVER guessed he cooked that in a dorm room!
  • Christopher Lee's second course of creamy risotto with sage, proscuttio and parmesean - like Gael Greene said I love anything creamy and cheesy
  • Which brings me to my other favorite: Hubert Keller's creamy macaroni and cheese with prawns mushrooms and fresh herbs. Um, are you kidding me? I could easily gain the freshman 15 in a week if I has someone cooking that for me. 
Based on my analysis and the judges as well Hubert Keller won this thing hands down. It was like the man could do no wrong (well, aside from taking his macaroni into the bathroom and rinsing it off in the shower to stop the cooking), but other than that everything was pretty perfect!

I am still on the fence about the show in it's entirety, but I enjoyed it none the less. 

What did you, dear foodies, think about last night's episode?

For your enjoyment, below is a video that shows Fabio making Hubert Keller's delicious, creamy mac and cheese:


Find Local New York Events!

>> Monday, June 8, 2009

Are you bored? Want to know where the best happy hours are? Check out the new tool on my sidebar that will let you know what events are going on in the New York city area. Seriously, this is one of my favorite tools for the city. 

You can follow them on Twitter too:


Random Pictures

>> Friday, June 5, 2009

Hello Dearest Foodies, 

I will be home in Texas for the weekend, but thought I would leave you with some photos that I took from my roof at dusk, the New Museum and the Brooklyn Bridge. You can use them as background or desktop savers or just look at them here :) Let me know if you would like the actual file and I can send to you. Email me at: 

Have a wonderful weekend!!!



How to Make a Chicago Style Hot Dog

>> Wednesday, June 3, 2009

As you may remember a couple of weeks ago I wrote about Matt's Chicago Dog and his amazing, yes, you guessed it, Chicago Dog. This week I found a great video made by Whole Foods teaching us, common culinary folk, how to make a true Chicago style dog. If nothing else this is just amusing to watch :) Enjoy! 


Unibroue Ephemere

>> Tuesday, June 2, 2009

So let me just preface this by saying I had this beer at Spitzer's Corner and have been looking for it EVER SINCE. Seriously, that was almost six months ago...Anyways, image my surprise when last week I was looking for some beer to bring to a BBQ when I saw this little gem sitting on the beer shelf at Whole Foods. My inner monologue went something like this:

"That can't be it, can it?" "But, how? How can my search have been as simple as going to Whole Foods?" "Is this really it? Has my search come to an end?!"

I think you can now fully understand how shocked I was. So I decided that even if I was mistaken I should just buy this beer anyways in the spirit of trying new things. Luckily, I was right; the instant I popped off that beer cap I knew I had found it.  A smooth, light wheat beer infused with apple and vanilla flavors. Guys, calm down, I know you are jumping at the bit to get your hands on this beer. Seriously, though it's one of my favorite beers of all time and if you like Blue Moon, you will love this. You know how Blue Moon has that hint of orange? Well this has the same hint, but with APPLE. Ugh, delicious!!!

Before finding it at Whole Foods, I had searched high and low, I even called the distributor! However, I can assure those in the NYC area that you can find this beer at the Whole Foods on Houston and Bowery. This is a perfect summer beer and a MUST TRY!

Thanks to this person's flickr page for the picture of the beer above. 



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