I’m glad you have found my blog! The restaurant scene in New York City is always changing and I’ll be using this as a way to keep you up to date on the changes and share my new finds. I hope you’ll check back often or subscribe for updates through RSS feed or email so you can be kept up to date. After all, I don’t want you to have to wait until the next edition of Pines Picks to know about my discoveries!
I got to be a guest on Good Day New York this morning to talk about the Halloween candy reviews I did for DuJour. If you would like to see a recording of the segment you can find it on the Good Day New York website at this link: Good Day New York. Once you are there, look for “Kid Candy Critic” and click it to watch.
I was recently asked by DuJour.com to participate in a review of high-end candies for Halloween. I was glad they wanted to get a kid’s perspective and was happy to participate. They sent me several candies to try and write reviews for. There were some winners but also some losers. Here’s a link to the article in today’s edition of DuJour for the full review: Taste-Testing Haute Halloween Treats
100 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10020
I have always liked Brasserie’s French onion soup, but recently I tried it again, and I have to say that it is better than ever. Brasserie’s version of French onion soup comes in a huge bowl, covered with beautifully-browned and bubbly melted cheese, just the right texture—not too thick and not too thin to hold up to your happily digging spoon. Underneath the baked cheese cover, is a tasty, hot onion broth, that contains a piece or two of soft French bread, lots of sweet onions, and some more gooey melted cheese. The onion soup seems to be on Brasserie’s brunch, lunch and dinner menus at so you can get it almost any time of day.
232 East 43rd Street
New York, NY 10017
Primehouse, my old Caesar salad winner, with its fun, table-side service, unfortunately closed down. So I tried many more Caesar salad places. For the first time, I got to try the Caesar salad at Pietro’s. It was delicious. The salad has a little bit of tang from the anchovies that were cut up in the salad. There are also tiny croutons on the salad. I normally don’t love croutons, but the ones on the Caesar salad at Pietro’s are especially tasty and not too bready. There is also a lot of Parmesan cheese in the salad that adds a nice texture to the crunchy, fresh romaine lettuce. Unlike some of the other Caesar salads that I tried, the Pietro’s Caesar did not have a watery dressing. Overall, Pietro’s mixes a ton of ingredients to make an excellent Caesar salad.
400 7th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215
My friend told me to try the bagels at Bagel Hole in Brooklyn. I went there and the bagels were great. Even if you wait a few hours to eat their bagels, they are still super chewy, soft and delicious. The outside layer of the bagel gives itl a little crunch; then you get to the doughy inside. The bagels have a nice flavor. Overall, Bagel Hole makes an impeccable bagel.
10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019
1 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10111
Normally, even a great soufflé needs a liquid topping to make it super moist. But, the chocolate soufflé at Bouchon Bakery is so rich, chocolaty, and flavorful that I was easily able to finish the whole thing without even adding the crème anglaise. Topped off with powder sugar, this dessert is unbelievable. It is crisp on the outside, but once you break through the delicate shell, the inside is gooey and soft.—an amazing dessert any soufflé lover will enjoy.
In the last few weeks, Carl’s Steaks closed its doors on Third Avenue (around 34th Street). It’s a sad day for cheesesteak lovers in NYC, but hopefully Carl’s Steaks will still be available at Yankee Stadium.
Not long ago, I discovered the breakfast dumplings at Norma’s on 119 West 56th (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues). Norma’s is the first place I had ever seen breakfast dumplings on the menu so I got extremely excited about trying them.
Though I was hoping for the best, I was a little afraid each dumpling might turn out to be a disastrously heavy mini-omelet with clumpy pieces of food in it that the chef called a “breakfast dumpling” just to be different. But, what arrived at the table was exactly what I was hoping for: light, airy dumplings that are small, fragrant, and totally delicious.
The breakfast dumplings come out steaming, and are filled with fluffy scrambled eggs and finely chopped mushrooms and shrimp. They are served with a sweet and sour sesame sauce, which matches perfectly with the dumplings. It is worth going to Norma’s just to try the dumplings!
(Note: per my prior Pines Picks, Norma’s has awesome French toast and other delicious breakfast items as well). The dumplings, however, are definitely a unique standout dish. Not surprisingly, I finished them in record time and have been back several times to get more.
Dylan Prime appears to be closed. I don’t know what the story is. I’m not sure if the closure is temporary (I hope) or permanent. This is a great place, and I’m pulling for it!
95-19 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Rockaway Beach, NY 11693
I tried a lot of fish tacos all over NYC. My choice: Rockaway Taco. Rockaway Taco makes one awesome fish taco. The fish they use appears to be tilapia: it is nice and white and flaky. The outside of the fish is crispy, almost tempura like. The tortilla is not soggy at all, and is hot, grilled and delicious. There is red cabbage on the taco, which give it a nice freshness and a good crunch. I recommend the delicious, flavorful guacamole as an added topping: it really adds zest and texture. All I can say is that is all the flavors combined make up an outstanding, not-to-be missed fish taco.
227 Mott Street
(Between Prince & Spring Street)
New York, NY 10012
333 Lafayette Street
(Between Bleecker & Houston Streets)
New York, NY 10012
Mole Mexican Bar & Grill
205 Allen St
New York, NY 10014
57 Jane St
(Corner of Jane St & Hudson St)
New York, NY 10014
1735 2nd Ave
(between 89th St & 90th St)
New York, NY 10128
178 Kent Ave
(Corner of North 4th St)
Brooklyn, NY 11211