Tag Archive | Desserts

Restaurant Review: TBar Steak & Lounge

T-Bar Steak and Lounge Storefront
Image Courtesy of Lawlor Media. All Other Photos By Gail, Except Where Noted

One of the best things about the expansion of uptown Q Train service is that it’s now so much easier for downtown foodies to escape their dining comfort zone and visit great restaurants on the upper east side, such as TBar Steak & Lounge! At TBar, you’ll encounter the same high quality steaks served at classic, old-school establishments like Morton’s or Bobby Van’s, but TBar’s sleek, contemporary decor elevates the atmosphere to something a bit more festive, while they also offer a broader menu. Despite the word Steak being prominently displayed in its name, TBar’s also serves expertly-prepared fish, chicken and duck dishes as well as burgers, pasta, and huge fresh salads, so there really is something on the menu for every palate.

T-Bar Steak Front Dining Room
Image Courtesy of Lawlor Media

You will feel welcome right away in the the well-lit, open space of the main dining area, though it can get a bit lively when the room is full. If you are looking for a quieter, more intimate dining experience, you can ask for seating in the back room, which has a cozy feel with its recessed, red lighting.

Back Room Interior Shot
Back Dining Room

Flower Vase Interior Shot

TBar also has lovely modern decorative touches, such as these lush flower arrangements displayed in brightly-colored, oversized vases, which help to divide the space.

Olive Bread

While you peruse the menu, be sure to indulge in a slice (or two) of the freshly baked Olive Bread, which is studded with moist, ripe olives and served hot to your table with a selection of other fresh breads.

TBar Cosmo 1

Set the stage for a relaxed meal a with refreshing and potent TBar Cosmo!

Beet Salad Overhead

As an appetizer, my dining companion and I chose to split the Beet & Endive Salad ($17.00) which includes both red and golden beats as well as slivers of crisp apple, creamy goat cheese rounds, and a sprinkling of toasted, lightly candied pumpkin seeds, all tossed with an emulsified vinaigrette.

Beet Salad Detail

I never met a beet salad that I didn’t love, and this one is a palate-pleasing mix of textures, where the hint of sweet nuttiness from the pumpkin seeds really compliments the tang of the apples. This salad is perfectly portioned for sharing.

Plated Filet Mignon

We came to eat steak, and steak is what we ordered, in the form of a thick, 8-ounce Certified Black Angus Filet Mignon ($39), prepared with butter and seasoned simply with kosher salt and black pepper. There are steak lovers who will try to convince you that any cut of beef not served on-the-bone means sacrificing flavor for tenderness, but I do not subscribe to this school of thought. TBar’s filet mignon was absolutely delicious, being tender, pink and juicy on the inside with a flavorful, crispy sear on the outside — perfection! Meat cravings: officially satisfied!

Medium Rare Filet
Medium Rare is The Way to Go!

Steak Sauces

A roasted half-bulb of garlic accompanies the steak, should you feel compelled to dip the tip of your knife into one of the cloves and apply a dab of its mellow goodness to your meat (or try mixing a bit into one of your side dishes). A trio of complementary sauces will also arrive at your table, including the house Steak Sauce, classic Béarnaise, and Au Poivre sauce, that let you change it up to your liking!

Steak Elevation

Sides Overhead View

For our sides, we went with the Mashed Potatoes ($10), which were creamy, buttery bliss, and the Crispy Brussel Sprouts ($10) with thick cut bacon and a balsamic reduction. You can choose to omit the bacon if you prefer. Portions are generous and both sides could serve three people, depending on much food you have ordered.

Apple Crisp
Apple Crisp With Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream

Finally, despite being completely full and satisfied from a delicious steakhouse meal, we could not say no to TBar’s decadent desserts  — the Banana Parfait Mille Feuilles, which serves a party of four ($24), is especially legendary — and our selections did not disappoint! For easy sharing, a great choice is the warm Apple Crisp ($15) drizzled generously with caramel sauce and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This dessert is loaded with tender apples, and so huge it could easily serve three people. (Confession: I took half of it home to eat the next day!)

Lemon Cheese Cake

There was also a special dessert that we could not resists:  Lemon Cheesecake ($12) with a sauce of tart lemon curd and fresh raspberries, which was so light it nearly floated off the plate. It tasted just as good as it looks!

Interior Shot with Boxes

As an aside, TBar Steak & Lounge happens to be located right next door my favorite import/gift/ housewares store, Flying Tiger (really, go there, you’ll thank me).  I noticed when we were seated that the restaurant had placed a selection of Flying Tiger’s navy-and pink-polkadot round storage boxes in the front window as part of their display. The boxes not only looked great, but this action ups the neighborhood-gem vibe that you get from TBar, while saying so much about how this restaurant supports local commerce. Just another reason why I’ll be looking forward to future visits.

TBar Steak & Lounge is Located at 1278 Third Avenue near the Northwest Corner of 73rd Street, NYC. Visit their Website at TBar NYC Dot Com.

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Mark Ryden Presents Whipped Cream at the Paul Kasmin Gallery

Dessert Counter
Dessert Counter By Mark Ryden (All Photos By Gail)

Good timing: it is a thing. Because we neglected to pay close attention to the unorthodox start time of the recent opening reception for Mark Ryden’s The Art of Whipped Cream exhibit at the Paul Kasmin Gallery, we arrived four minutes before they locked the doors behind us, and had to do a mad dash through the gallery to snap some photos for this post before they gave us the bums rush.

Mark Ryden Fans
Marky Ryden Fans Are Much Cooler Than You Are

The upside to our extreme tardiness is that gallery was nearly empty, and we were able to secure many decent, people-free photos! Winning!

Whipped Cream Installation View
Installation View

The Art of Whipped Cream features drawings, sketches and paintings created for the production of American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream. A concurrent exhibition of Ryden’s work for the ballet is running at Gallery Met, located at the Metropolitan Opera House, through July 8th, 2017.

Please enjoy our photos from the show!

Cotton Candy Curtain
Cotton Candy Curtain

Whipped Cream Drop
Whipped Cream Drop

Princess Praline and Her Entourage
Princess Praline and Her Entourage

Princess Praline Detail
Princess Praline, Detail

Parfait Man
Parfait Man

The Carriage
The Carriage

Nicolo
Nicolo

Sketches
Sketches

Church Tree Scrim
Church Tree Scrim

Installation View
Installation View

Plum Brandy
Marianne
Boris

Mark Ryden: The Art of Whipped Cream will be on view through July 21st, 2017 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 515 West 27th Street,in the Chelsea Gallery District.

American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream will be Performed at the Metropolitan Opera House, NYC, Through July 8th, 2017. Buy Tickets at This Link.

The Hospital
The Hospital

Nurse Corps de Ballet
Nurse Corps de Ballet

Dessert Counter Detail
Dessert Counter, Detail

Yes, It Exists: Cupcake ATM

Cupcake ATM
All Photos By Gail

The Ramones were so right on when they sang “Well, New York City Really Has It All,” because hungry, on-the-go Manhattanites can now purchase a freshly-baked cupcake at any time from an ATM right on the street! It simply does not get any more Space Age convenient than that. If you live in NYC, you might even remember when this made the local news.

Cupcake ATM and Storefront

The Cupcake ATM is attached to the front of Sprinkles Cupcake Store, and it is continuously restocked day and night with a variety of freshly baked cupcake flavors and even Cupcakes for your Dog! New York City!

Sprinkles Cupcake ATM is Located at 780 Lexington Avenue between 60th & 61st streets (Near Bloomingdale’s!) in NYC!

Sprinkles Cupcakes

Rainbow Christmas Wreath Cake: Make It

Wreath Cake

Ingredients

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® White Cake Mix

Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box

Red and Green food color

1 container (12 oz) Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white frosting

Betty Crocker® Decorating Decors® Red, Green and White Candy Sprinkles

Directions

  • Heat oven to 325°F. Generously grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with shortening or cooking spray. Make cake mix as directed on box, using water, oil and eggs. Pour half of the batter into medium bowl; set aside. Divide the other half of batter equally between 2 small bowls. (You will be left with 3 bowls of batter.) Add red food color to 1 of the small bowls and mix well. Add green food color to the second small bowl and mix well.
  • Pour half of the white batter from medium bowl into cake pan. Carefully pour red batter over white batter in pan. Carefully pour green batter over red batter. Then pour remaining white batter from medium bowl over the top. Do not mix the colors.
  • Bake as directed on box until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Turn pan upside down onto cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet; remove pan. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Place cake on serving plate.
  • Divide frosting between 2 small microwavable bowls. Microwave 1 bowl on High about 5 to 10 seconds; mix well with spoon until smooth enough to drizzle. With the spoon, drizzle white frosting back and forth around the whole cake in a striping pattern until you use all of the frosting (allow some frosting to drip down onto plate in middle of cake, if desired).
  • Microwave second bowl of frosting; stir in a few drops of green food color. Drizzle over cake, scattering back and forth in the same type of striping pattern. Decorate with sprinkles. Let stand until frosting is set before serving.

Enjoy!

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ Announces New Desserts & Boozy Beverages

Brother Jimmys Dessert Menu
Menu from Dessert Tasting Event (Above Photo By Gail, All Food Photos By Anne Raso)

No matter how full I am from eating a meal, 90% of the time, I want dessert. Because that is how roll.

Apple Crumb Pies Etc
Red Velvet Cake (Top Tier) and Apple Crumb Pie (Lower Tier)

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ is a place that will likely leave you feeling very satisfied after a meal of their ribs, chicken and other specialties – because their food is amazing. But on future visits you might have a more challenging time saying no to one of their home baked sweet treats, because they have just created a New Dessert Menu on which every pie, cake and ice cream creation is delicious. I know, because I tasted everything.

Earlier this week, Brother Jimmy’s hosted a fun Dessert Tasting Party to give bloggers a chance to sample and preview items from the new menu, which also features an original selection of “Boozy Beverage” dessert cocktails. Here are some photos from our sugar-fueled evening.

Cherry Rhubarb Pie Float

The Cherry Rhubarb Pie Float contains Rhubarb Tea Liquor, Cheerwine Cherry Soda and Rum Ice Cream. Very sweet and very strong, if you like Dessert but also like to be wasted, this drink is for you!

Pecan Pies

There are two new pies on the menu. The Pecan Pie tastes as good as it looks, so if you are a fan you are going to love what they serve at Brother Jimmy’s. The Apple Crumb Pie, pictured further up top, is completely delicious and was quite clearly a favorite of many at the event. The crumble top is the perfect sweetness and texture, and the tender crust is loaded with delicious sweet-tart sliced apples. Better than Mom’s!

Red Velvet Cakes from Brother Jimmy's

I am a little bit of a Red Velvet Cake snob but this is the best Red Velvet Cake I’ve ever had. These are just tasting sized cakes but what you’ll get a is a big chunk of three layer cake that is moist and light and frosted to perfection with yummy creamcheese icing.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

These are Ice Cream Sandwiches from Melt Bakery, who deliver them directly from their freezer to Brother Jimmy’s. If you’ve ever had an Ice Cream Sandwich from the Coolhaus truck, these are very similar, with a selection of different types of cookies matched with interesting Ice Cream combinations. I had one of the pink ones you see in the above photo, which was a Sugar Cookie stuffed with a Berry Ice Cream.

Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae

This is a Brownie Sundae that they made fresh for each of us and brought to our tables after I was already engorged with sweets, so we had no choice but to eat it. The Brownie is served warm and topped with Butterscotch Swirl Ice Cream and Jimmy’s Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce. It was Insane.

These new desserts are price right as well. The Melt Bakery Ice Cream Sandwiches are $5 and all other Desserts are priced at just $7 each. The Boozy Beverages are $7 and $8. Be sure to add one of these delicious desserts or beverages to your next dining experience at any Brother Jimmy’s location, and tell them The Worley Gig sent you!

Restaurant Review: Patiala Lounge at Junoon

Patiala Lounge from Website
Above Photo Courtesy of Junoon Website. All Food Photos Courtesy of Diane’s iPhone

Delicious Indian food can be found all over Manhattan; from East 6th Street to Curry Hill and elsewhere. But when you really want an unforgettable fine dining experience in the realm of Indian Cuisine, there is no question that the place to come is Junoon. On a previous visit to this Michelin-starred foodie haven on West 24th Street, we were wowed by delicious foods perfectly paired with a variety of wines (wine pairings are a Junoon specialty), gracious, personalized service and the understated opulence of the main dining space. When we paid a long-overdue return visit to Junoon last week, we decided to change up the experience a bit by dining in the Restaurant’s equally gorgeous front room and bar, which is called the Patiala Lounge.

Patiala Lounge Seating
Photo By Gail

Offering the same menu as Junoon but in a more relaxed, intimate (and dimly lit) space, Patiala Lounge provides a variety of seating options. From the room-length bar to high communal tables, clusters of sofas, low tables and side chairs, or suspended, glass topped tables (which were formerly swings) that display a collection of colorful Indian spices and dried flowers, Patiala is an ideal destination for everything from an after work cocktail and light bite to an impressive first date. Chef and Culinary Creative Director Aliya LeeKong along with Executive Chef Vikas Khanna have created a menu with all of your Indian favorites as well as their own special creations.

Cocktails

We were so smitten by numerous delights on the appetizer section of the menu that we opted to forgo main dishes in favor of concentrating on a meal of exotic starters. We started off with specialty cocktail selections including the Star On Earth ($14) a Floral Cocktail of Chardonnay, Maraschino, Pear Brandy and St. Germain with a Star Anise floating on top as a garnish. This is a very sweet and potent drink, as you might guess by the list of ingredients. My dining companion chose one of the featured nonalcoholic cocktails, the Jaswal ($8), a refreshing blend of Cucumber and Lychee Juice with Fresh Lime, Topped With Ginger Beer (the virgin cocktails can be spiked with your choice of alcohol on request).

Here’s what we ordered:

Paneer Pakora At Junoon

Paneer Pakoras ($12), Generous pieces of Homemade Spiced Paneer lightly fried in a chickpea flour batter and served With Cilantro – Mint – Yoghurt Chutney is amazingly delicious with a nice mix of textures as well as being vegetarian friendly. Junoon makes its paneer in house, and it is the best.

Cauliflower

Lahsooni Gobi ($12), Crispy Florets of Cauliflower with Chili Flakes in Garlic Tomato Chutney has a rich and fresh tomato taste and a hint of fire. If you like just a bit of spice but not too much, this dish is a good choice.

Eggplant Chat

A new favorite as of this visit is the Eggplant Chaat ($12) featuring lightly fried sliced Baby Eggplant topped with crispy Red Onions and served with Yoghurt and Tamarind. Chaat, meaning snack, is a name for most Indian street food, and I just wish they had street food this yummy in the US. Seriously, if you are a fan of eggplant, this dish is must try. The sweet fried onions and blend of sauces take it over the top.

Chicken Thighs

Murg Tikka Mirza Hasnu ($14) is a dish of Chicken Thigh pieces marinated in Hung Yoghurt, Junoon Garam Masala and Cheddar Cheese (yes, the cheese is in the marinade) and served with A Tomato and Cucumber Salad. Juicy and very flavorful from its time in the tandoor oven, our waiter suggested we have it prepared with a little extra char on the outside to accent the tenderness of the meat.

Naan Breads

Because we were in a tasting mood, we asked for a basket of assorted Indian breads that included traditional Naam, Parartha, Roti and a Junoon Specialty Naan stuffed with Prune and Walnuts, which was divine. Breads are priced from $5 – $8 for a basket generous enough to share.

Normally we would not order three desserts (!), but our server insisted we try a little of everything, it seems, as follows:

Junoon Dessert 2

If you are a person who, like me, enjoys many different flavors commingling together on one plate, you will flip over the desserts at Patiala Lounge. This is a Chocolate Spice Cake with a light touch of chili powder giving it a little kick. It comes with a buttery tasting ice cream flavored with pistachio and other assorted nuts. Insane.

Junoon Dessert 1

Here we have a mélange of Coconut Rice Pudding, Bruleed Bananas, Dates, Rum Glaze, Candied Almonds and Ginger Ice Cream. Unreal.

Junoon Dessert 3

The Date Fig Gateau is topped with Salty Caramel Sauce, garnished with sweet and fragrant fresh Clementine segments (which we loved), Meringue bits, Black Sesame Crumble and accompanied by Cinnamon Ice Cream. All Desserts are $12.

There are many reasons why Junoon is one of my favorite restaurants – excellent food, beautifully designed interiors, exceptional service – and I can say that when you visit you will be treated to all of these things equally in the Patiala Lounge as you will in the main space of the restaurant.Maybe I’ll see you there.

Patiala Lounge at Junoon Restaurant is located at 27 W. 24th St., New York, NY, 10010 (Between 5th and 6th Avenues). I would recommend that you phone 212-490-2100 for reservations just in case, as it is a pretty popular place (and with good reason)! The extensive menu can be downloaded from their website at Junoon NYC Dot Com.

Yes, It Exists: Andes Mint Suspended in Strawberry Jello

Andes Mint in Red Jello

The awesome photo above was posted on FaceBook over the weekend by my neighbor and friend, Mary. The photograph clearly depicts a festive and inarguably unique dessert prepared by Mary’s mom, which consists of strawberry Jello gelatin dessert studded with delicious Andes chocolate mint candies. Mary says her brother in law nailed it when he described the flavor as being similar to “eating an apple while brushing your teeth.” Eeeexcellent.