It’s been a while since we were able to post restaurant reviews in this space, and I’m so happy to bring them back with a look at our recent visit to Tasca, a neighborhood gem located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. An ideal destination for a Date Night or any occasion, Tasca offers an elevated, contemporary blend of Spanish and Latin-Caribbean cuisines, paying homage to the traditional recipes and flavors of Spain, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. I have not been to another restaurant quite like it.
Do you love Steak? I sure do. Shortly before the Christmas Holidays, I was invited to dine at Le Marais, one of NYC’s most highly-rated steakhouses, which also just happens to be Kosher. While there is certainly no shortage of excellent steakhouses across Manhattan, if you enjoy the old school, dark wood interiors and high quality beef of Peter Luger, but would prefer to avoid the endless waiting for a table, accompanying brusk service, and the trip to Brooklyn, then Le Marais is well worth a visit. This is especially true if you keep Kosher, because finding an excellent steakhouse which adheres to Kosher dietary law is not so easy to do.
Do you like French food? I sure do. Recently, I was invited to dine with a couple of friends at Jubilee, an authentic French eatery that’s just a short trip up First Avenue from my east village flat. Owned and operated by Eric Macaire, head chef Luc Holie (formerly of the late, great L’Absinthe) and his amicable wife Ilda (the couple hail from Montpelier and Paris, respectively), Jubilee is a neighborhood gem whose warmly decorated interior is elegant while remaining comfortable, cozy and charming. I felt welcome right away.
A steak house might be described as Manly, Elegant or Down Home, depending on its location, target clientele and the type of image it wants to project. Open for under a month and centrally located just a few blocks west of Macy’s or east of Times Square, Desmond’s Steak House seems to indicate that one Steak House can be all things to all people, within reason of course. Occupying an 8,000 square-foot space (formerly the site an OTB) at 513 Seventh Avenue, Desmond’s is a welcome dining addition to a neighborhood that’s somewhat calling out for a renaissance. Before you even open a menu, the interior of Desmond’s offers you a choice of rooms and dining spaces in which to enjoy your meal, each with subtly different décor to suit your mood, or the size of your party.
Mmm…Delicious Meat Map (Image Source)
There is something so compelling about a raw steak shaped like our country. It makes me want to eat it, yes, but it also makes me want to find out more about where such a steak might have come from. In this case, it is part of a photo book by Dominic Episcopo, called Meat America.
You can find out more about Meat America, and order a copy for yourself, at This Link.
The greatest discovery any foodie can make is finding a local restaurant where you just know when you sit down at your table that anything you could order on the menu will be delicious. This is not the same thing as having a favorite restaurant where you really love the Cheese Enchiladas or the Green Coconut Curry. I’m talking about a dining establishment that not only serves your favorite dish, but a place where the quality of what you already know you love is so amazing that you’re encouraged to try things you might not have otherwise. It is from such circumstances that true Food Adventurism is born, and that just makes life more enjoyable. Because dining out is awesome.