Tag Archives: salmon

Il Punto- Take 2

14 Sep


We had been to Il Punto (on the corner of 38th and 9th) once before.  It was decent, but not some place I was chomping at the bit to go back to, however.  But when Mike’s family suggested we do a family meal there, we were game.  Hell… it’s hard to beat a place right on the corner!

We started with the artichokes, as we did last time.  These weren’t as good, and the sauce I loved last time seemed changed.



We then ordered “Paper Thin Slices of Wild Boar” which came with mesculin, marinated eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and drizzled with pear vinaigrette.  This was good, but resembled roast beef a little too much to feel very special.  Still tasty though.




I’m a bit foggy on what was ordered, but this may have been some sort of salad with meat and potatoes? Hmm. Not positive.



This was the Salmone Alla Brace, which was grilled atlantic salmon served in a nest of julienne vegetables and roasted potato.


Next was a Lombatina Al Vincotto: A grilled tender rib veal chop with red wine reduction, drizzles with vincotto, sprinkles black turffles, mashed potatoes and swiss chard.  This was pretty good.  Probably the best thing on the table. However…I have no idea what happened to the truffles.



Someone also ordered a fish.  This may have been a special, because I can’t find it on the menu.  I know it’s not easy to bone a fish, but this one looked a bit like it had been through a war when it came out.





Mike got the Bisteca Di Manzo Arrostita: char grilled sirloin steak with roasted potatoes and vegetable. This was pretty good.  Well cooked at the very least, though missing the fantastic char that, in my mind, sets steak apart.


I got the special of pasta with beef and vegetables with shaved truffles.   I need to stop ordering shaved truffles.  They never taste as rich in flavor as I want them too.  This basically tasted like a small diced stew over over-cooked noodles.  Disappointing.  Fair at best.


Overall consensus was pretty poor on Il Punto.  It was fine… but for the price, it should be much more than fine.  (Most entrees were $25-$30)  I probably won’t go back, but it’s just fine if you need an option in the area.

Total Nom Points: 6 out of 10 (a full Nom Point lower than last time)





Florida Noms: Stonewood Grill and Tavern (Wellington)

1 Jun



For a dinner with Mike’s family, we went to Stonewood Grill and Tavern in Wellington, Florida.  It’s a small chain across Florida with one location in North Carolina.

It reminded me of an Outback but without the Australian theme.  The salmon looked great and was enjoyed by all who ordered it.




A few of us got steaks, and all were quite tasty with good char.



Char is key in my opinion.  A good char can lift the quality of even a bad steak, and these were quite good.





The baked potato came with a lovely set of fixins.


The lamb chops were also artfully plated and delicious.



Overall, I thought this was a very good dinner for a “chain”-type place.  I would prefer Outback, simply for the sweet potatoes, but this was still tasty and had a big enough menu for everyone to find something they liked.

Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 10





Southern Hospitality- Hell’s Kitchen

20 Apr

This week’s theme appears to be lunch in the “West of Midtown West” region.

Southern Hospitality was first opened by Justin Timberlake and friends in the UES.  A second outpost recently opened in Hell’s Kitchen, on 9th Ave and 45th Street.

When I checked in on Four Square, I was informed that there was a special where first check-ins were awarded with a free pitcher of beer.  I showed the waitress, and she informed me that I had checked in at the wrong Southern Hospitality (WHOOPS!) but they would honor it anyway.  The guys at my table were pleased.

The interior is massive and decorated in a very fun, southern, barry way.


We went out for team lunch and ordered across the menu.  There was a BBQ chicken chopped salad.


A side of… something?


A cheese steak that wound up being quite disappointing when the orderer failed to read that there was cheese SAUCE on it.


Some BBQ salmon


A plate of smoked sliced brisket (which was questionably brisket) with a side of succotash and collard greens.


And I took a dive and tried my very first chicken and waffles.


They came with a side of mashed taters, which were fair at best.


While the chicken looked over-breaded and over-fried, it wasn’t bad.  But it certainly wasn’t the best I had.  I understand why people like this combo (turns out syrup and fried chicken are delicious together), but I wasn’t impressed.

Turns out, no one else was either.  Nothing stuck out, nothing was particularly good, and nothing was worth going back for.

Sorry JT.  We’ve had much better BBQ, even in NY, elsewhere.

Total Nom Points: 6 out of 10

Fishtail Tasting with FoodBuzz

13 Aug

I was very fortunate to be selected to attend a dinner with fellow food bloggers at David Burke’s Fishtail thanks to FoodBuzz (and Visa Signature). 

(I plan on providing a review as I would any other restaurant and try to not consider the fact that it was free and I won the opportunity.)

One nice thing about being with other bloggers, there was no need to apologize for pulling out our cameras or using our flash.  We also hardly had to ask before taking our forks and digging into each other’s plates to sample the dishes. 

My first glance around impressed me with the decor.  It was quite eclectic and in some ways whimsical, but overall, it had an interesting touch that seemed to be a compilation of things that the decorator just happened to like.  

Our drink selection was a red, a white, or a “signature cocktail.”  I’m still not sure what it was, but it was delicious and STRONG.  It tasted like a combination of a mojito and a gin and soda. 

The passed hors d’oeuvres began immediately and our waiters were understanding enough to pause for photo-ops.  (In fact, our waiters throughout the meal were very impressive and attentive).

My first sample was asparagus wrapped in prosciutto. 

The bread they served was a pretzel like croissant roll that was absolutely delicious.  Not quite BLT popovers delicious, but worth sampling.  The other passed apps included California Rolls (average), mini tuna sliders (delish even with the wasabi, which I’m not a huge fan of!), chicken wrapped escargot (waste of escargot, tasted only like chicken), and oysters with ginger (?) roe.  The stand-out, however, was the lobster dumpling (center).  Perfection.

The one appetizer I couldn’t try, the spicy tuna tacos (allergic to peppers), was also one of the prettiest.  It sounded as though others enjoyed.

The menu provided us with the appetizer options of:
Dry Roasted Angry Mussels- chili oil, basil and lemon
Pretzel Crusted Crabcake- confit orange and poppyseed honey
Warm Octopus- hearts of celery, avocado, and lemon garlic aioli

Due to my allergy, my only option was the Octopus.  It was good, but I just think the chewiness of octopus is not for me.  Flavors were great, however, and the avocado was probably the best I’ve ever tasted.

I did manage to get a pic of the Angry Mussels, however, the pretzel crabcakes were across the table so you’ll just have to take my word for the fact that they looked scrumptious.

Our entree selection was:
Roasted Branzino- asian mushroom vinaigrette
Pan Roasted Wild Salmon- braised bok choy and two curries
Pan Roasted Diver Scallops- sweet corn and lobster risotto and citrus butter

While branzino has quickly become one of my favorite fishes, I love scallops all too much to pass them up.  Add the words lobster, risotto, and citrus and there was just no contest.  Luckily, the friendliness of my fellow food bloggers allowed everyone at the table to sample from each other.

The branzino was a whole fish and it was phenomenal.  Cooked perfectly and great balance of flavors that didn’t overpower the fish but added to it.

My scallops were very good and I enjoyed the risotto, although I wish there was more flavor to the entire dish.

The salmon was really good as far as salmon goes.

My biggest concern when looking at the menu was dessert. They all sounded amazing and I had no idea how I was going to choose just one.  Luckily, they provided us with a sampler of ALL of the desserts:
Peaches & Cream- white chocolate pudding, georgia peaches and strawberry sugar wafers
Chocolate Caramel Cake- chocolate mousse, “cracker jacks,” and peanut butter ice cream
“Can o’ Cake”- molten chocolate cake with all the fixins
David Burke’s Cheesecake Lollipops- raspberries and bubble gum whipped cream

The cheesecake lollipops came out first, and apparently they are a signature of David Burke.  They were VERY good and the waiter was nice enough to wrap some up for me to bring home to the very deserving Mike.

The peaches and cream was my least favorite.  It was just bland to me.  I love peaches but I think they need to be warm and in some conjunction with butter, brown sugar, or cinnamon. 

The chocolate caramel cake was pretty good, but the cracker jacks nearly pulled out my teeth (though they tasted great).  The peanut butter ice cream was Oh.My.Goodness. Good.  It was so flavorful and so delicious and seemed to be everyone’s favorite part.

The “can o’ cake” was a pretty big undertaking.  It required quite a bit of prep and wound up being served by the spoonful with what tasted like sesame bits on it.  Now I LOVE molten chocolate cake, but this just didn’t have the complete “wow” factor I was hoping for.

The pièce de résistance (count it… three French words I had to look up how to spell), however, was the food lovers dream, in my opinion.  Beaters covered in chocolaty goodness.  This put me very near heaven.  There is something just so nostalgic and wonderful about licking something gooey straight off a beater.

The perfect way to end the meal.

Overall, I think the dining experience itself (and getting to dine with kindred spirits) slightly outshined the food.  While it was good, it wasn’t great.  If you go in there and order the lobster dumplings, branzino, and the peanut butter ice cream, you’d be absolutely thrilled with a fabulous meal. I noticed that they have “crispy artichokes” as a side on the menu (we didn’t get to try, much to my dismay), and with that added I think it would be a close to perfect meal. 

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

Another THANK YOU to FoodBuzz for making this happen.  It was a great experience.  I do wish they introduced us to each other as I felt a bit settled in my small table so I’m not sure who else was there.  I also think that the chef stopped in, however, I could only guess from overhearing bits of conversation.  I would have loved to hear a word or two from him!

To check out the other blogger’s takes on our evening, check out these blogs:

High/Low Food/Drink
Zen Can Cook
Blondie & Brownie
Chez What?
Eating the World in NYC
Little Girl Big Appetite
Midtown Lunch
The Pink Spoon
Taste As You Go

Stinkin’ Up the Joint

17 Jul

Mike and I decided to endeavor on grilling fish in my apartment.  One of my favorite kitchen tools is a stove top grill (I bought mine on sale for $50 from Williams Sonoma a few years ago but it does not appear they have it any more).  It fits across two burners and makes mean pancakes on the flat side and great chicken on the ridged side.  Fish was a new undertaking, however.

Now I have a large kitchen by NYC standards, however, it is poorly ventilated and the smoke alarm is in a tiny hallway right outside the room.  The tragedy of this event involved me standing below the smoke alarm for upwards of 20 minutes waving a magazine.  This paled in comparison, however, to the even greater tragedy of making my entire apartment smell of fish for the next four days.

I will sidenote here for a second to talk about the request that went out to all of my friends on Facebook for advice on how to get the smell of fish out of ones apartment when opening all the windows, lighting candles, febreezing, spraying air freshener, and putting out baking soda didn’t work.  I got some very interesting responses.  Lavender oil, scrubbing everything down with lemons, oil reeds, and roasting coffee beans in a skillet came up.  The most creative response, however, came from Mike’s Aunt Helene who gave us his Aunt Meggie’s trick: Boil water in a pot and then cover it and put cinnamon on the lid.  Wouldn’t you know it? It worked!  The smell was hardly detectable after about 30 minutes of boiling.  Good to know!

As for the food itself, it turned out pretty well.  I have come to the conclusion though that I need to accept that I just don’t like salmon.  Smoked is fine, but when it’s cooked I’m just not a fan.  Mike made salmon for himself and a tuna steak for me.  He also prepared an awesome, off the cuff soy, garlic, and ginger sauce for us to dip the fish in.  We paired it with some boxed butternut squash risotto and threw tomatoes and zuccini on the grill pan when the fish was done.  We then enjoyed our labors on the balcony, which was lovely.