Tag Archives: pasta

Millesime for Restaurant Week Winter 2013

28 Jan

The Carlton Hotel in Flatiron has been home to many restaurants, including Town and Country. I know I have been there in the past, but it was before the blog. You enter into the lovely hotel lobby and then go through the bar/entertainment space and up the stairs. The restaurant there is now called Millesime.

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There is a really beautiful glass ceiling in the dining room.

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Millesime is participating in Restaurant Week and we were there for lunch. I ordered off the Restaurant Week Menu and my dining companions ordered off the regular menu. The restaurant week menu had 2 choices in each category. Butternut Squash Soup with crispy prosciutto or Butter Lettuce Salad with mustard and hazelnuts for the appetizers. Tuna Salad Roule’ with lavash, radish sprouts, marinated vegetables, tomato confit & potato chips or Linguine Gratinee with sauteed chicken, tomato, kale & parmesan for the entree. Orange Creme Brule with almond tuile or Cherry Chocolate Croissant Pudding with chocolate ice cream for dessert.

My dining companions both tried the crab and onion soup with gruyere crouton. They both seemed to like it, but neither finished it to save room for the entree.

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I went with the squash soup. It was pretty good, but could have used some more flavor. It was very one note. Even the crispy prosciutto didn’t really scream flavor.

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For entrees, one person ordered the veal piccata with ricotta gnocchi, roasted cauliflower, pine nuts, and lemon. She said it was pretty good but there were a lot of flavors going on.

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The other person ordered the steak sandwich and seemed to really enjoy it.

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I went with the linguine gratinee. Hmmmm… This pasta was most certainly round, not flat like linguine. And it was just… plain. Totally lacking in flavor. I salted it to death and it was still pretty flat. I have no idea what they were going for here, but this dish was really bland. Even a bit of basil or some wine in the sauce would have made it better. Even the chicken just tasted like boiled chicken in there.

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Thankfully, dessert was delicious. It was like bread pudding and the cherry and chocolate together were great flavors.

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Millesime was getting some press as being underrated and there were a number of great reviews. I just didn’t get it. Perhaps they just really screwed up their Restaurant Week selections, but I will not be running back here. Food needs flavor. Salt is cheap. It’s no excuse to have bland food at such a nice restaurant. It was all barely average, but the rating gets a little bump for the delicious cherry and chocolate dessert.

Total Nom Points: 5.5 out of 10

Total Nom Points: 5.5 out of 10

Casa Nonna: Pasta

25 Oct

 

We have gone back to Casa Nonna a few times in the months it has been open.  Afterall, it is right in our building.

This time we decided to try the pastas, and boy am I glad we did!  It is here that Nonna really shines.

First, we tried the Bucatini alla Matriciana, which is spaghetti “with a hole,” sweet onion, pancetta, and tomato.  I keep forgetting how much I enjoy bucatini.  Somehow adding that hole into the spaghetti really makes it that much better.

 

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This was delicious.  Filled with flavor, great pancetta, and sauce that just sang.

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We also tried the Stracci di Manzo, which is “Rags” tossed with braised beef short rib and tomato.  The pasta was perfectly cooked and the braised short ribs were just perfect and delicious. Really impressive.

 

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And after such a healthy meal (ha!) we decided we had to have dessert.   We tried the Torrone Semi Freddo, which was Italian nougat, almond sponge, and chocolate crackle sauce.  I think when I heard “chocolate crackle sauce,” I figured something along the lines of magic shell.  It didn’t harden, but it did taste good.  I haven’t been overwhelmed by the desserts here.  Not to say that they aren’t good, but they aren’t GREAT either.

 

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Stick with the pasta

 

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Artichokes and Truffles Sauce: Gilt Taste

1 Aug

 

 

I have been shopping with Gilt for a while.  They have some great (and some not so great) deals on fashion and home goods.  They used to be a bit too pricey all the time, however, they have lowered prices and now have designers making (sometimes less quality) goods right for them.  You need to be smart in what you buy and do your research to make sure you’re really getting a good deal, but I have found some EXCELLENT items.

I was excited when they announced a new division: Gilt Taste.  It’s goal was to focus on foodie type items.  It reminds me of an upscale food market.  I love browsing through it, but I can’t say that many things have caught my eye to say “I need to buy this now!”  Impulse shopping for food items is not something I do in the same way that I do for, say, shoes.  (I will definitely be shopping there for my next dinner party, however!) But right in the beginning, one thing caught my eye.  I didn’t say anything, so imagine my surprise when Mike said he had a surprise for me and placed in my hand, this…

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Artichokes and Truffles sauce!  Two of my very favorite things, in one can.

We decided to make a scampi type dish with is with fresh pasta, scallops, and shrimp.

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It was delicious!   I was hoping for a bit more pop of truffle flavor, but it was delicious and such an easy way to make a gourmet style  meal.

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YUM!

If you want to sign up for Gilt Taste, check out this link.  I’m currently eyeing a cured meats sampler and a gourmet sea salt!

 

 

Gigino Wagner Park

21 Jan

My great aunt is one of the most fabulous people you could ever meet.  She is well over 90, has an impressive shoe collection, could out-bake anyone I’ve ever met, and tells stories in a way that makes you feel like you lived them.  She is loved by every single person that meets her.  And then she got even cooler… she joined a dance class.  I was honored and overjoyed to see her perform with her troupe in Battery Park City with the family one weekday night.  After the show and our long Jewish goodbye, we tromped through a torrential rain storm down the block to the first restaurant we saw: Gigino Wagner Park (20 Battery Park… pretty much at the bottom tip of Manhattan).

It’s in a beautiful space on the water with a view of the Statue of Liberty, however, you’ll have to take my word for it since the rain was so dreadful that a picture was impossible.

We all ordered some delicious sounding Italian food, including gnocchi with a simple tomato sauce (their usual sauce was pepper ridden).

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The gnocchi was pretty good… but I’ve definitely had better.

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I had the same sauce (due to the same problem) over pappardelle.  Again… good… but not great.

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The rest of the family ordered items like the mushroom risotto…

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And the pasta primavera.

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Honestly, everything was just average.  The space could have lent itself to being a gem in Manhattan, but it wasn’t really anything special.  The pastas were all priced between $15 to $20, which seemed pretty over priced for food I’ve had at any run of the mill Italian restaurant for half the price.  I’m curious what their brunch is like, but I wouldn’t return for dinner.

Total Nom Points: 5 out of 10


Angelo’s Pizza

17 Jan

After a delicious event at Ouidad, where we snacked on Melissa’s mini cupcakes, Lori and I were hungry for a bit more.

Next door was Angelo’s Pizza (on 57th Street between 6th and 7th Aves) and we popped in for a late night Italian meal.

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I have no idea why I took a picture of a roll, but I guess, at the time, it seemed interesting.

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We split the Pappardelle Alla Toscanese which came with sun dried tomatoes, wild mushrooms, marsala wine, aged parmigiano, and pecorino cheese in a creamy sauce.  It was quite good, and definitely a hearty portion, even for the both of us.  But I don’t think I would say it’s anything special.

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Overall, it’s hard to make a judgement based on one pasta dish.  It was good, but not REALLY good.  Probably a safe bet if you’re in the area.

Total Nom Points: 6 out of 10


Carbone- For Lunch

8 Nov

I have reviewed Carbone before, however, one of the highlights of working next to your apartment is getting to know the local restaurants even better.  Looking back at my review now, I’m really surprised by how underwhelmed we were there.  When I went for lunch with my coworkers, we had a great experience.  Everything felt very authentic and while not plated all fancy, was just easily delicious.

We started with fresh mozzarella with tomatoes and basil. The mozzarella was unbelievably fresh and delicious!

Everyone basically ordered a classic pasta dish. There was gnocchi..

And rigatoni…

And penne, with chicken.

One coworker got the calzone.

I went with a pappardelle special and it was DELICIOUS!

And we were served some great little cookies at the end.

Every single person raved about this meal.  It was really tasty, reasonably priced for midtown NY Italian, and everyone left completely satisfied.

Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 10

La Masseria – Theater District

11 Aug

So after the miss at Scarmella’s, Mike’s family redeemed themselves in my foodie heart when they chose La Masseria.  I wasn’t expecting much as they are in the theater district (on 48th near 8th Ave), however, we walked in to a lovely setting and then it just kept getting better.

I can honestly say that I have NO idea what I ordered.  I know I enjoyed it and lopped up every last drop with the delicious bread… but I can’t for the life of me figure out what it was.  It must have been a special. 

(Side Note: I have remedied this recently by buying a little pad of paper that has a metal cover… to avoid breaking apart… and a pen that latches in… to avoid losing of the pen.  Thank you for the inspiration Lori!)

The tagliatelle alla bolognese was fantastic.  All the flavors were so fresh and the pasta was obviously JUST made.  Delish.

Mike ordered the prawn.  And it was the biggest freakin prawn I have EVER seen.  I did a terrible job at showing the size, however, consider that this is not a small dinner plate.  Oh no… that is an average sized dinner plate right there.  It was at least the length of a remote control.  Oh… and it tasted awesome!

I was so impressed with this place.  Everything just tasted so. damn. good.  A great little find in the middle of a typically sub-par food neighborhood.

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10