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!

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 comforting and delicious.

Shorty’s restaurants are only in New York City, and they are all 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)

Great New Restaurant: Legasea Seafood Brasserie

The Tao Restaurant Group recently opened “Legasea Seafood Brasserie,” a fun restaurant located in the MOXY Times Square Hotel. The menu is seafood oriented, and it also has a large selection of classic American dishes such as a BLT salad, fried chicken, and a “Double Bar Burger.” One of the most exciting parts of the menu is the for-the-table section. They offer an 8-Piece Fried Chicken platter with biscuits and hot honey, a lobster bake with shrimp, clams, mussels, corn, and potatoes, and an Alaskan King Crab boil with old bay fries. These dishes are gigantic and could easily be shared by four people.

First, I would like to note that the “Hawaiian rolls” that are served at the start the meal are sublime. The soft fresh buns are topped with a semi-sweet glaze and some mild seasoning and have a delectable airy interior. Served with some house-made sweet pickles and cole slaw, the rolls are an ideal beginning to the meal.

Next, I tried the “Eight Piece Fried Chicken,” a standout dish. Particularly in a seafood restaurant, the quality of these beautifully fried pieces of chicken is shocking. The skin has a thin fry, but one that is extremely flavorful and crunchy. Served with dense, layered biscuits and a bottle of spicy honey, the dish perfectly satisfies any craving for something salty or fried.

 

My family and I also ordered the “King Alaskan Crab Boil.” King Crabs are usually very difficult to eat because it can be hard to get to the interior meat, but Legasea cooks the crabs and cracks them so they are very easy to enjoy. The fibrous, soft crab bathes in a sauce of garlic, butter, and other fine seasonings. The Crab boil alone is worth a trip. (Note: I recommend ordering some cocktail sauce on the side).

 

 

For dessert, I ordered the “World’s Fair Sundae” with vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream topped with salted caramel, hot fudge, Oreos, and caramel popcorn. A nice finish to a delectable meal.

While the restaurant is still new, it already popular. The great food and fun atmosphere makes Legasea Seafood Brasserie a true find!

Legasea Seafood Brasserie: 485 7th Ave, New York, NY 10018

Decadent Slices of Cake at HARBS in NYC

HARBS in New York City serves some delicious cakes, precisely iced and topped with the freshest ingredients. They have around ten types of cakes at any given time; all are displayed in a glass case near the entrance to the restaurant.

I really enjoyed the white peach cheesecake. The cheesecake has a gelatinous texture, unlike that of an Italian ricotta cheesecake. The soft, juicy white peach works well with the extremely airy cake. The slice is finished with a thin and savory crust.

The strawberry cake consists of layers of delicate white cake, whipped-cream, and sliced fresh strawberries. The coldness and freshness of the firm strawberries mingles beautifully with the moist cake and whipped cream forming an ideal and simply delicious dessert

HARBS: 1374 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10075

Extraordinary Lunch at Tempura Matsui

Tempura Matsui is a Japanese restaurant focusing on tempura (fried vegetables and seafood). The small, 20-seat restaurant is located in Murray Hill, hidden approximately 50 feet to the right of the entrance of a hotel. Tempura Matsui calls their style of making the art that is tempura “The Matsui Way” after their grand chef Mr. Matsui.

While numerous restaurants in New York City makes tempura, Matsui’s paper-thin batter gently coats the ingredients and enables the juices and subtle flavors to stand out. The lunch is a set menu, priced at 40 dollars.

I sat at the ten-seat tempura bar, right across from the two chefs and a large pan of bubbling oil.

To start, they served a plate of cold, round udon noodles accompanied by a bowl of sauce to dip. With two slurps, I inhaled the tiny amount of noodles. When dipped, the noodles hold onto the sauce, adding a nice saltiness and a bit of tang.

Next, the star of the meal: the tempura courses. Piece by piece, the chefs placed the delicately fried shrimp, fish, and vegetables onto a small block in front of me.

My favorites were the eggplant, the onion, and a fried mixture of chopped vegetables (including pumpkin, sweet-potato, and string bean). Each piece of tempura is accompanied by radish and tempura-sauce to cool down and add another layer of complexity to every bite.

Biting into the fried slice of eggplant produced a burst of juices enclosed in a thin layer of lightly-salted dough. I was shocked by how hot the interior of the eggplant was, so be cautious.

The god-father of an onion ring, the onion tempura held absolutely no greasiness. The sweet flavor of the onion worked beautifully with the crispy coating.

Lastly, I really enjoyed the fried mixture of vegetables. All veggies were cubed in precisely the same size and bound together on a bed of fried, flaky dough. The sweetness of the potato and pumpkin added to the texture of the firm cuts of string bean.

The whole special tempura experience is definitely unlike any other in NYC and worth a try.

Tempura Matsui: 222 E 39th St, New York, NY 10016