Great Fondue at Taureau in NYC

Taureau serves up a great three-course fondue meal. The first course is choice of cheese fondue from a list that ranges from spicy “Devil’s Whiff” to traditional “Old Swiss.” I ordered the “Perigord” cheese fondue, which is basically traditional with some truffle oil and black truffle shavings. The fondue is served with croutons, but a secret is to request classic, pieces of soft bread. I feel that soft bread is crucial to the cheese fondue, and it really goes well with the salty, cheesy flavor. The fondue itself is smooth and heavily seasoned.  It is accompanied by a tasty green salad, which is very refreshing in contrast to the melted cheese.

 

The second course consists of a “Fondue Bourguignonne,” which includes a fondue pot of either boiling oil or broth to cook meat. I got the classic canola oil fondue and also tried the red wine based broth fondue. Served with seasoned, sliced filet mignon (or hanger steak or chicken) and five sauces, the course is fun and filling. Honestly, as it can take a while to cook the meat, the canola oil is more efficient and supplies the same amount of flavor.

The final course is a chocolate fondue, accompanied by different chopped fruits, slices of cake, and marshmallows. The milk chocolate fondue was pretty classic–smooth, rich melted chocolate. There is also a dark chocolate option.

Overall, Taureau’s fondue course is a very filling, very good meal in NYC.

(Note: You can also get just the cheese and dessert courses for a reduced price).

Taureau — 558 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

Bacaro: Mouthwatering Pizza on the River in Providence, RI

Some of the tastiest thin crust pizza I have had is from Bacaro, a small Italian restaurant located next to the river in Providence, Rhode Island.

I ordered the “Margherita Pizza.” Almost paper-thin, the crisp crust is fragile, yet it also has a nice chewiness.  The tomato sauce is spotted on top of a two-cheese covered crust. Then, the pizza is topped with some fresh basil and cut into many small pieces. I love how the parts of the pizza covered with both sauce and cheese had a slightly sweeter flavor than the parts not covered in sauce. This created a combination of flavors and of textures that worked very well.

If you are ever in Providence, you must stop at Bacaro.

 

Pines Picks: Top Ten Dishes in Cambridge, MA

I recently got the chance to live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for a few weeks. Over the course of my stay, I tried many restaurants in the area. It turns out, there is some incredible food in Cambridge. Listed below are my favorite ten dishes:

 

1. Best Waffle: Zinneken’s Belgian Waffles

 1154 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

Zinneken’s Belgian Waffles serves up the best sugary Belgian waffle in Cambridge. I ordered a liege waffle with Belgian chocolate and speculoos, and I was very pleased. Since the waffle is dense, it holds the rich melted chocolate in every bite. Mixed with the gingerbread-tasting speculoos, the waffle has a surprisingly unique, incredibly tasty flavor.

 

2. Best Sushi: Cafe Sushi

1105 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

Cafe Sushi — without a doubt — has the best sushi in Cambridge. The rice has a slight vinegar undertone, and is a solid accompaniment to their incredibly fresh fish. I loved the tuna scallion roll and would recommend it. The nori (seaweed) is tightly wrapped, and the sushi roll is soft and very easy to eat.

 

3. Best Ramen: Santouka Hokkaido Ramen

1 Bow St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Santouka Hokkaido Ramen specializes in ramen. I tried many types of their ramen, and I especially loved the Spicy Miso Ramen and the classic Shio Ramen. The Spicy Miso features a combination of “three kinds of chili peppers” and truly packs a punch. The spice, however, does not take away from the firmness of the thin noodles. I also loved the shio ramen, which was beautifully salted and featured a thick broth.

 

4. Best Scallion Pancake: Changsho

1712 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

Changsho is an institution; it has been serving amazing Chinese food since it was named Wong Foon in the 1970s. I got the chance to eat there, and it was by far my favorite restaurant in Cambridge. One of the highlights was their non-oily scallion pancakes. They are flaky and layered, with each layer crisp but chewy. The steaming pile of pancakes, dipped in a bit of soy sauce or a little duck sauce, makes for a great dish.

 

5. Best Nachos: Felipe’s Taqueria

21 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

After passing by and noticing a high-piled stack of hot nachos, I stopped in to get my own. Felipe’s has many options, but the nachos caught my eye. The nacho chips are put in an oven to melt the cheese and then are topped with refreshing, chopped Pico de Gallo, cubed medium steak, black beans, and tasty mild guacamole. I ended up making a second trip and ordered the same thing. They are that good.

 

6. Best Cannoli: Mike’s Pastry

11 Dunster St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Imagine a cookie filled with sweet, light cannoli cream and wrapped in chocolate chips. Mike’s Pastry has a Florentine cannoli that is exactly that. The cookie shell has the same thickness as a caramelized classic Florentine. The cannoli cream is lighter than most, but splashed with some well-sized chocolate chips, it suits the Florentine’s thickness well.

 

7. Best BBQ: Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ

16-18 Eliot St, Cambridge, MA 02138

You cannot go wrong with Kalbi Short Rib and steamed white rice from Japanese BBQ spot Gyu-Kaku. The meat is marinated in a delectable sweet and salty, almost teriyaki-like sauce. The Kalbi Short Rib is super thin and you cook it right at your table. After about two minutes, put the short rib right on top of some warm steamed white rice for a hearty and tasty meal.

 

8. Best Dumpling: Changsho

1712 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

The soup dumplings at Changsho are so good they justify their 30-minute wait time. Served with a small amount of tangy vinegar, the piping hot soup-filled dumplings are unbeatable. The casing of the dumpling is not sticky and holds a fair amount of the salty soup and some meat. A secret is to wait a few minutes for the dumplings to cool down just enough, and then eat each one whole so that the soup literally explodes in your mouth.

 

9. Best Falafel: Falafel Corner

8 Eliot St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Falafel Corner serves up some very tasty falafel. The dollops of chickpea are fried to a golden brown and then topped with flavorful tahini, tomato, and lettuce. Tightly wrapped in a warm pita, the falafel at Falafel House is well worth a try.

 

10. Best Pizza: Otto

1432 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

Otto has some super thin, very high-quality pizza. There are many options, but my favorite is the classic pepperoni. The slice has the right ratio of cheese to sauce to dough and hits the spot if you are looking for some satisfying pizza. (Note: the bottom of the slices have a fair amount of cornmeal, which may be a turn-off for some. However, I did not mind.)

Eating My Way through Hudson Eats

I enjoyed exploring all the offerings at Hudson Eats to find the dishes I can recommend as my favorites. I wrote an article about it that was featured on Betty Confidential. Click here to view the article!

 

 

Throughout New York City, there are many modern food court-like spots that have a variety of restaurants and eateries. These food courts have become incredibly popular, and an important stop for any foodie living in or traveling to New York City. One of the newest and best food courts is Hudson Eats near the World Trade Center at Brookfield placeHudson Eats boasts a wide variety of offerings: from BBQ and dumplings to cupcakes and sushi, you can find just about any food you are craving! The individual eateries include Black Seed BagelBlue Ribbon Sushi BarChop’tDig Inn Seasonal MarketDos TorosLittle MuensterMighty Quinn BarbequeNorthern TigerOlive’sSkinnypizzaSprinklesNum PangTartinery and Umami Burger. The giant food hall is packed around lunch time

I set out to find the best foods in the Hudson Eats food hall. After trying all sorts of foods within each of the eateries, below are my favorite dishes and recommendations.

 

  1. Best Pizza: Skinnypizza

Plain Slice with original skinny crust-

This incredibly thin slice of pizza has a large amount of light, sweet tomato sauce and a thin layer of mozzarella cheese. The skinniness of the crust highlights the density of the cooked tomato sauce which adds a great taste to the simply delicious slice.

 

  1. Best Ice Cream Sandwich: Cool Haus @Umami Burger

“I’m Pei-nut butter” ice cream sandwich-

At Umami burger, they sell a variety of Cool Haus ice cream sandwiches. Cool Haus has an ice cream sandwich truck that travels around NYC, so it’s very unique that they sell their sandwiches at Umami Burger. I tried an ice cream sandwich with double chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter ice cream. After waiting two minutes for the ice cream to soften, the soft rich chocolatey sweet cookies went perfectly with the mild and subtle sweetness of the peanut butter ice cream.

LittleMuenster

  1. Best Grilled Cheese: Little Muenster

Grilled cheese with white American cheese and caramelized onions-

Little Muenster has the best grilled cheese in Hudson Eats. From the perfect crunch in the buttery, super fluffy toasted bread to the tasty caramelized onions and the white American cheese, it was a delicious grilled cheese!

  1. Best Bagel Dish: Black Seed Bagels

“#1” Bagel Sandwich with smoked salmon, plain cream cheese, capers, tomatoes, and red onions-

My favorite bagel dish in Hudson Eats was from Black Seed Bagels. They wood fire their bagels, which gives them a unique toasty but chewy layer. I ordered the #1 bagel sandwich and loved every bite of it. I got a toasted plain bagel which made the plain cream cheese even more melty. The creaminess of the light, warm cream cheese went perfectly with the refreshing cold tomato slices and the saltiness of the thinly sliced smoked salmon and the plump, fresh capers.

  1. Best Sandwich: Num Pang

 “Pulled Duroc Pork” Sandwich-

At Hudson Eats was the Pulled Pork sandwich at Num Pang. It was unlike any other pulled pork sandwich I’d ever eaten. On a perfectly toasted baguette-like oval roll laid a delicious layer of sweet and sour tender pulled pork. On top of the pulled pork was a light creamy spicy mayo spread. I added pickled carrots and a refreshing bite of the cold cucumber with some cilantro. It was an incredible mixture of ingredients in an unforgettable sandwich.

  1. Best BBQ: Mighty Quinn’s

Brisket Sandwich-

The fall-off-the-bone, well-seasoned brisket at Mighty Quinn’s was out of this world! They included a little sea salt which combines with the juiciness of the meat and creates a great salty flavor. The lean brisket on a soft roll with a few very lightly pickled cucumber slices makes for an especially flavorful meat.

  1. Best Sushi: Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar

Spicy Tuna Roll-

The Sushi at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar was overall extremely tasty and super fresh. I loved the Spicy Tuna Roll which was very simple. It had just the right amount of tuna with the exact amount of kick needed, a lot of rice with a nice acidity and seaweed created the perfect simple yet complex-in-flavor sushi roll.

sprinkles

  1. Best Cupcake: Sprinkles

“Vanilla Milk Chocolate” Cupcake-

Sprinkles, home to the Cupcake ATM, produces some of the best cupcakes in New York City. This outpost reflects the same impeccable standards of the other outposts,  despite not having its own cupcake ATM, features amazing cupcakes. My personal favorite is the Vanilla Milk Chocolate cupcake. It is a light vanilla cake with super creamy and rich sweet milk chocolate icing.

Dumplings

  1. Best Dumplings: Northern Tiger

“Heritage Pork and Chive”-

Northern Tiger not only has the best dumplings in Hudson Eats, but features one of the best dumplings in all of NYC. I was shocked at how unbelievable the pork and chive pan fried dumplings were. They have the perfect levels of juiciness and saltiness. he chive adds a delicious complex flavor, with a sublime ratio of filling to dumpling.  The pan-fried wrapper was cooked to perfection With the citrusy-soy sauce, the dumplings are worthy of being named the best of NYC.

Hudson Eats is a cool place.  It not only has great food, but creates a vibrant and fun destination with spectacular views. It is well worth the trip downtown, but if you happen to be visiting the World Trade Center, Battery Park, or Financial District, you have no excuse for not stopping by to check it out.

Good Day New York

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.