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!

Best Bacon in NYC by far!

Tavern62After ordering the “clothesline” Candied Bacon at Tavern 62, I may never be able to look at regular bacon the same way. The thick cut caramelized bacon has delicious sweet flavors from a glaze that has hints of honey, maple and red wine vinegar. The glaze is very thick and contrasts the saltiness of the chewy bacon. The bacon is perfectly lean, while still having a good amount of buttery fat. The ends are made to a caramelized black color and the bacon is topped with some black pepper. The dish is unreal and the restaurant as a whole serves some of the best dishes in NYC.

I also recommend the “Angry Dumplings,” which are filled with lobster and topped with a fiery chili oil based sauce.

135 E 62nd St
New York, NY 10065, USA
Tel: (212) 988-9021

Soto is closed

Tiny Japanese sushi restaurant at 357 6th Ave, New York, NY is now closed.


Taiyaki NYCFish ice cream? Crazy good.
Taiyaki NYC is serving up some of the thickest, most delicious soft serve in fun waffle-like cones that are shaped like fish. I loved the green tea flavor – it brought me back to the Taiyaki desserts in Japan. The ice cream is sweet and has a subtle green tea flavor. Topped with some condensed milk and some colorful Mochi pieces, this dessert is super fun.

I also really liked the chocolate Taiyaki. It’s a must go.





119 Baxter Street
New York, NY 10013
Tel: (212) 966-2882

Drunken Dumpling

Drunken DumplingDrunken Dumpling in NYC is serving up some delicious soup dumplings. They have a couple types of soup dumplings, but my favorite is the Pork Soup Dumplings. Filled with tasty light broth and a small amount of salty pork, the dumplings are a great snack. If you are in the mood for something bigger, they have an XL soup dumpling that you can wait 25 minutes for. This giant dumpling must be consumed with a straw handy!

(Also, right next door, is Davey’s Ice Cream! Stop by for an unbelievable scoop of Speculoos Chocolate Chip Cookie)




Drunken Dumpling
137 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10003
Tel: (212) 982-8882

Da Greco

Da GrecoDa Greco has a large variety of pastas and Italian dishes. I did not expect to have such delicious pasta in Spain, but Da Greco has some of the best pastas ever. Each dish was better than the next. From the light gnocchi smothered in incredible, sweet tomato sauce to meaty, delectable lasagna to the best spaghetti arrabbiata of my life (angel hair, super thin pasta), Da Greco was so good that my mouth waters thinking of it.

To finish the meal, the desserts are very good. My favorite was the super sour Lemon gelato, which is very refreshing.

Da Greco 2








Da Greco
Carrer de Santa Teresa, 10,
08012 Barcelona – Spain
Tel: +34 932 18 65 50

Can Solé

Can SoléI have to admit that my favorite restaurant in Barcelona was Can Solé. I also have to admit that I am a huge fan of paella. Simply put, I have never had or seen such beautiful and amazing paella in my life. The yellow rice is exactly al dente, seasoned pleasantly with saffron and topped with either a ton of seafood or lobster that has no chew and just melts in your mouth with the flavor of the rice. The paella is served per person and comes in a giant pan. This is the best paella in the world.

To start, I highly recommend the delectable garlicy, salty prawns and the anchovies if you want a small snack. However, the paella alone can make for one of the best meals ever.

Can Solé 2







Can Solé
Carrer de Sant Carles, 4,
08003 Barcelona – Spain
Tel: +34 932 21 50 12



EscribaOn the walk back from Boqueria Market, we passed a place called Escriba. I got a freshly cooked waffle out of a window in the store with crèma catalana. It is kind of like a slightly orange-zest flavored vanilla cream topped with sugar and then torched to a crunchy shell on top of the soft, sugary waffle. Great snack.


Escriba Rambla
Rambla de les Flors 83,
Barcelona – Spain
Tel: +34 93 301 60 27


In the New York Times building, there is an awesome Japanese restaurant serving up some delicious grilled vegetables and fish, traditionally called “Robata.” They cook and grill many the dishes in front of your eyes and it is a really fun experience in NYC.

231 West 40th Street
(New York Times Bldg. Ground Floor)
New York, NY 10018
(212) 354-2195

MAST Brothers -Brooklyn

Mast cookiesMast Brothers make some of the best, smoothest chocolate bars in the world.

Luckily, they have a few stores in New York.

Once you walk near the chocolate shop in Brooklyn, you can smell the sweet aroma. They sell many varieties of chocolate bars, but the standout items in the Brooklyn store/factory are the giant warm Chocolate Chip Cookies. The edges of the cookies have a layered appearance and are crispy, while the centers are soft and chewy. Topped with a light amount of sea salt and filled with tons of premium chocolate, the cookies are a must have.

Mast Brothers
111 N 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 388-2644

UES China Fun Closes

UES China Fun closes after 25 years. The fun is over.