The Latest Pines Picks — Updates and New Picks

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!

Pork with Kimchi Xiao Long Bao at La Salle Dumpling Room

Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) are very rare and take a lot of time to properly create. Chefs must first transform the soup into a gelatinous form that will eventually be steamed into liquid soup within the dumplings. Each restaurant does it differently, but there are a few essential components to a great soup dumpling: a dumpling wrapper that doesn’t easily break, an ideal amount of soup, and a soft filling (usually with either pork or crab meat).

The “Pork with Kimchi Xiao Long Bao” at La Salle have a very thick, spicy flavored broth and an appropriate amount of soup. I enjoy waiting a few minutes and inhaling the dumplings whole. La Salle also makes regular pork Xiao Long Bao with a comforting salty broth.

La Salle Dumpling Room: 3141 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

Best Fondue in Geneva at Les Armures

Known for the best fondues in the world, Switzerland is also home to my favorite cheese fondue. Geneva’s Les Armures crafts the flawless pot of melted cheese. Served with cubed pieces of baguette-like bread and boiled potatoes, the fondue warms the stomach. The slowly bubbling pot of Swiss cheese and Gruyere holds subtle hints of garlic and a slight tang.

The final moments of the fondue, when the cheese melts into an extremely delicate crisp, are seconds that you will crave forever. For the perfect fondue, Les Armures is the spot.

Les Armures: Rue du Puits-Saint-Pierre 1, 1204 Genève, Switzerland


Gnoccheria by Luzzo’s


It makes sense that Luzzo’s, the famous pizza restaurant in New York City, with amazing thin crust “Bufala” Pizza (hearty tomato sauce, soft – thin mozzarella di bufala, aromatic basil), started its own Italian food eatery. But, what Luzzo’s has done is truly special: it has created a restaurant that specializes in gnocchi, aptly named Gnoccheria by Luzzo’s.

Gnoccheria has numerous types of gnocchi. You can order classic potato, purple potato, or spinach gnocchi. Then, you have the option of ordering a stuffing for the gnocchi (cheese-stuffed, mushroom-stuffed, and asparagus-stuffed). Next, you have a choice of many sauces from the Pomodoro to the Sorrentina to the Ragu to the pesto to the Quattro Formaggi (four cheese — like a fondue covered gnocchi).

While I enjoyed the spinach and purple potato varieties, I liked the classic gnocchi the best. It was the lightest and fluffiest of the three, and very flavorful. For me, the Sorrentina was the standout sauce – a tasty tomato sauce with gooey mozzarella and fresh basil already folded in. The other sauces were quite good as well, ranging from the heavy Quattro Formaggi, (a four cheese-like fondue sauce with a strong Muenster flavor) to the light Pomodoro sauce, (a simple tomato gravy).

I really loved the Gnoccheria. No other spot that I know of will exhibit more dedication to the art of gnocchi and that alone is worth experiencing.

Gnoccheria by Luzzo’s: 234 EAST 4TH ST NEW YORK, NY 10009

Comforting “Philly Steak Sandwiches” at Shorty’s

Shorty’s has many locations around New York City and is home to delicious “Philly Steak Sandwiches.” The cheesesteaks are very authentic: they remind me of the delectable sandwiches from Pat’s in Philadelphia. However, the rolls at Shorty’s are very airy and have a chew factor that beautifully complements the thinness of the steak. Covered in sweet fried onions and classic gooey cheese wiz, the sandwich is both mouthwatering and comforting.

Shorty’s restaurants are only in New York City, and they are open for delivery until midnight.

Wafels and Dinges Flagship Restaurant

Wafels and Dinges food trucks have roamed and ruled New York City serving fresh Belgian waffles in all boroughs for many years. Fortunately, the staple also has a Cafe on Avenue B that on which you can always count. Serving everything from “De Hashbrown Waffle” to “WMD – Waffle of Massive Deliciousness,” the cafe has a larger selection than the Wafels and Dinges trucks.

Definitely check it out!

FLAGSHIP W&D CAFÉ: 15 Avenue B (at E 2nd st)