Taste it: What I’m Eating and Wearing This Week

This blog started as a continuation to a blog I had years ago with a friend of mine. I wanted it to follow my new life in Brooklyn and only post when I felt inspired. Well, that’s no way to create content and I would be the first one to tell my clients that!

So I hereby announce that every week I will be posting a regular feature called “Taste it: What I’m Eating and Wearing This Week” which will cover the restaurants I checked out, and the current items in my closet that I’m obsessing over.

And since I haven’t reviewed any restaurants in quite some time, there’s a lot to discuss. Starting with the good…

Taste it

// Red Hook Lobster Pound (Red Hook) – My idea of a perfect summer meal would go something like this: a dozen oysters, a Maine lobster, and a corn on the cob. Red Hook Lobster Pound gets two out of three accomplished. This Brooklyn (and now Montauk) spot is a go-to for all things lobster; 1 lb, roll, however you enjoy your sea bug. It’s a roll-up-your-sleeves kind of joint where they literally grab the poor little guy in front of you, throw it in a broiler, and serve it to you at their communal tables next door. Don’t go for the service, and certainly don’t go there on a first date unless you’re planning to somehow not get your hands dirty. My recommendation: Go with someone you’re comfortable with, grab a bib, and get yourself a whole lobster. It’s frigging delicious. $$

// Il Buco Alimentari (Noho) – I love a good rustic italian joint and this place reminded me why. Il Buco‘s sister restaurant, Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, is one of the best restaurants I’ve been to in a very long time. I took my mother here for Mother’s Day Brunch and went back with her only a couple of weeks later– apparently it’s her new favorite restaurant. Come here with an empty stomach and ready to salivate. Their pizzas, sandwiches, and appetizers are almost overwhelmingly hearty but well worth the visit. And make sure you pair your entree with the Baked Artichoke and an Aperol Spritz. $$$

// TALDE  (Park Slope) – Opened by a former Top Chef contestant, this Park Slope spot hit all the right spots. My meal was perfect (if you’re down for something glutenous.) Do order the shrimp toast, kung pao chicken wings, roast chicken & foie gras lo mein, and pork shoulder with watermelon. To offset the heaviness of the meal, pair that with a strawberry jalapeño margarita and you’re ready for business. $$$.5

// Alder (East Village) – That Wylie, he really knows what  he’s doing, huh? Alder is WD-50’s sister restaurant and has been a hit since day 1. A must, MUST go. Some of the most memorable dishes I had there were the pigs in a blanket, chicken liver toast, and saffron spaetzle. Quick tip: arrive early to avoid 2+ hour waits– OR– post up by the bar where they offer the full menu. The Wylie-look-alike bartenders will “secretly” reserve you a spot if you’re kind to them. $$$.5

// Lupa (Soho) – If you’re from NYC, you’ve probably made it to Lupa by now (or at least have heard of it). Mario Batali’s OG SoHo restaurant was as good as I remember it from 8 years ago. The crowd was mixed, lots of couples, some families, and some “ladies night!” tables. If you haven’t been, you must. It’s just a classic. Everything is across the board tasty, but I was particularly blown away by the famous Amaro Coppetta dessert paired with an Amaro liquor. I seriously left there wondering how I’ve never tasted that before. HEAVEN. $$$$

My Big Group Recommendation

// Los Feliz (LES) – What do you get when you put an affordable Mexican restaurant in the middle of LES with banging good tacos and a cavernous lounge in the basement? A bunch of 20somethings looking for a good time. While not particularly known for the best food in the world, Los Feliz may actually surprise you, and it is definitely a guaranteed great option to get rowdy with friends all under one setting. The restaurant cooks up some delicious tacos, ceviches and quesadillas, while the bar downstairs cranks out Patron shots. Be ready to eat and be merry! $$.5

Leave it

// The Leadbelly (LES) – Though one of the cooler spots in the Lower East Side, I particularly was disappointed in the food; the oysters were nothing special and the other dishes were eh. Fine, I can live with a cool vibe and decent food (I mean, I’ve eaten at Sons of Essex a few too many times.) But servers beware: I do not appreciate shady service. I hardly look for a food deal but when there is one, damn it I want to know about it. Their service lost some major points in my book for lack of “communication” about their happy hour specials. Shame on you, waitress. $$.5 

// The Pines (Gowanus) – Experimentally tasty food, cool vibe and staff, and a shabby chic decor I adore, and yet somehow I left feeling really ticked off. The only real reason I really became angry at this place was their high prices. No, it’s not unfairly priced… IF YOU WERE IN MANHATTAN. An average cocktail will run you about $14-16, apps are upwards of $18, and entrees go up to mid-$30s). But Gowanus is not Manhattan. And isn’t the point of being in an underdeveloped (or up-and-coming… however you want to look at it) neighborhood to pass the savings off to the customer? Their rent must be really low. Like insanely low. And their markups are crazy high. Not to mention it’s cash only (um, last time I checked, cash only was reserved for cheap East Village restaurants) so they’re clearly trying to make a killing here. Hey, good for them I guess! $$$$

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{Baked artichoke at Il Buco Alimentari}

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{Pork Shoulder from Talde}

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{1/2 lb Maine Lobster from Red Hook Lobster Pound}

Style it

I’m currently obsessed with my Topshop shawl which I sadly can’t locate online (however, I purchased it at the Topshop in Soho less than a month ago.) It’s been everywhere with me; work, Governors Ball, dinner, you name it. In the pictures below, I paired it with a t-shirt from ByMisha’s new capsule tees and some Levis I turned from boyfriend jeans to shorts. I also added a little vintage neck bling bling to for that casual day to night transition.

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That’s all, folks. Stop by next time for some more tasting and styling.

xx Cyn

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