Órale Mexican Kitchen, New York, NY

Here is huge tip for future reference: The way to win me over is to give me a mind blowingly good, but not brain freezing, frozen margarita. I prefer it to be a frozen strawberry margarita, but I also understand limitations. I will also do cucumber, passion fruit, pomegranate, and one day I hope to encounter a raspberry frozen margarita. I am sure that my literary idols do not respect me for this and are currently glaring down at me as they sip the heavy, brown liquors that saturated their livers and eventually killed them.wpid-img_2311.jpg Continue reading “Órale Mexican Kitchen, New York, NY”

Guest Review: Wild, Williamsburg, NY

Austen writes the exceptional and equally snarky book blog, Page Terror and is my NYC correspondent while I am in Arkansas.

Foodette and I go back some years and, for avid readers, I believe that I have been referred to as ‘Austen’ in past reviews. Austen is a reference to Jane Austen, the brilliant social satirist who earned herself a place next to men such as Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope, but instead gets cast into the same lot as Nora Ephron. My point is that although Foodette has graciously titled me Austen, Foodette is the writer whose unique voice sends you spiraling forward with her highly unusual and provocative prospectives. She is a great catalyst for thought and I frequently find myself questioning my palate in response to her.IMG_2280-2 Continue reading “Guest Review: Wild, Williamsburg, NY”

Hearty Kitchen, West Hartford, CT

Connecticut is great– we have beaches, a tasteful selection of outerwear and haircuts, and our babies are born with a keen sense of interior design and frigid sarcasm. But our fried food is self-sacrificially uninteresting. So when Hearty Kitchen entered the Hartford scene last month, I was really looking forward to trying their fare. The menu featured simple things- fried chicken as the main protein, paired with waffles or biscuits, all available gluten-free. Unfortunately, Nutmeggers are going to have to keep looking. Hearty Kitchen succeeds as a takeout operation and fails as a restaurant.wpid-IMAG1210-1.jpg Continue reading “Hearty Kitchen, West Hartford, CT”

Guest Post: Beit Sitti, Amman, Jordan

(Editor’s note: Cousin Plate-O is filling in for me today, reporting from his post in Jordan, where he’s working as a teaching fellow! Plate-O can be found at In His Majesty’s Scholarly Service.)

According to Wikipedia, nearly ten million tourists each year pay a visit to Jordan, the country I’ve called home for the past six months. Whether to soak up the sun in Aqaba or to sweat their way through rocky ravines to glimpse the monastery at Petra, they come in droves: picture-snapping, shoulder-satchel-slinging, zip-off-pants-sporting adventurers from around the globe. And as a resident, however recent, I can’t help but feel touched. Other locals, though, take advantage of their homeland’s particular attributes, and one in particular capitalizes on visitors’ hunger for more than just exotic sights. Beit Sitti, located in the pleasantly hilly Jabal al Weibdeh neighborhood of Amman, the capital city, aims to give its patrons a holistic experience of Jordanian food, and it was here that I found myself on a recent, sunny weekend.Ben photo 1 Continue reading “Guest Post: Beit Sitti, Amman, Jordan”

Ken and Cook, New York, NY

Rule of thumb- if they’re playing classic rock, it’s going to be good. If they’re playing a curated selection of late Blondie, T-Rex, and Depeche Mode, it’s going to be freaking awesome. Austen and I took an evening to relax and slurp oysters at the new, fabulous Ken and Cook, a downright delightful raw bar and restaurant in Solita. The restaurant, less than a year old, features a hefty seafood selection, curated cocktails, and larger plates that are not to be passed up.DSC_7821-2 Continue reading “Ken and Cook, New York, NY”

The Benjamin Steakhouse Westchester, White Plains, NY

Quasi-restaurant week? Maybe. Last week’s trip was a bacchanal with more travel and calories than your average Caesar’s Palace buffet line, so without further ado, dinner at the Benjamin with my father. It takes a special person to pick up their child at the train station and listen to them cry about eating too many oysters. The Westchester Benjamin is low-slung and dark, and has valet parking and a convivial style, but strange architecture. I’m not sure what compelled them to fit every diner in the same, widespread room, but combined with the dark lighting and volume, it felt like being at a wedding.DSC_7946-2 Continue reading “The Benjamin Steakhouse Westchester, White Plains, NY”

Asian Wine Dinner at the Madison Beach Hotel, Madison, CT

A week ago, we went to a specialty dinner hosted by the Madison Beach Hotel, close to where I grew up. I spent a lot of time in Madison as a child, as we had many family friends who lived there, and went to a synagogue close to the center of town. It’s home to my favorite cinema and bookstore, as well as some excellent restaurants. I’d even been to the old hotel on the wharf for a few parties, but hadn’t yet had the chance to see the new property.

The hotel hosts multiple dinners a month, often centered around a specific theme or hosted by a brand. We were here for an Asian wine dinner, featuring the wines of Chateau St. Michelle. We started the evening off with a glass of 2012 Eroica and a few appetizers in the lounge. Our favorite noshes were the spicy salmon handroll, packed with more smoked lox than rice, and the baby banh mi sandwiches.DSC_7529 Continue reading “Asian Wine Dinner at the Madison Beach Hotel, Madison, CT”