Category Archives: USA

NYC Eats: The Lobster Place @ Chelsea Market

The Lobster Place is a true fish market- displays of various catch of the day, shellfish, oysters, sushi/sashimi bar for easy takeaway, soup bar for piping hot and freshly made chowder and bisques, this place is paradise for the ultimate seafood fan.

We went straight to the lobsters section because while all the other seafood here is reasonably priced, freshly steamed cooked lobsters for $14.50/lb is definitely a steal. After all, the owners would not call it The Lobster Place for nothing!

So the drill is pretty simple.

1) Decide if you want a live lobster to bring home to cook yourself (which is of course cheaper) or pay slightly more for them to steam it for you!

2) Pick from their wide variety of lobsters on display after you have decided the size. We went for Medium and that was satisfying enough.

3) We decided to get our lobster plated up and eat it straight away but be warned that The Lobster Place has a constant stream of customers at all times and seats in this place are limited to bar counter seats at the front. Tip: Start looking for a place while this nice man starts to steam your lobster (which will take roughly 10-15min) so you will be nice and ready to dig into the lobster when it is ready!

NYC Eats: Balthazar

Charming, beautiful interiors with high ceilings, bustling and a never ending stream of customers, Balthazar delivers the true french bistro New York City experience.

A one week in advance reservation for Sunday brunch only landed us with the 3.30pm slot (brunch ends at 4pm!). We were however half an hour early and decided to try our luck. Once we pushed through the heavy wooden front doors, we were immediately overwhelmed by the number of people and tables they had managed to squeeze into the place. Dont get me wrong, the floor area of Balthazar is not small at all but with every inch and corner occupied by a table and another barely inches away, you pretty much get an idea of how popular this establishment is with the New Yorkers. The noise level was high, really high- due to the number of people in the place, due to the number of gatherings held here and perhaps just due to everyone contributing to the boisterous atmosphere of Sunday brunch with family or friends!

Our first entrée was the Grilled Brook Trout over a warm spinach, walnut and lentil salad $25. A very simple looking dish, but a combination of so many different flavors that tied really well with each other! The sweetness of the grilled trout was a great match for the subtle bitterness of the raw spinach and the tenderness of simply boiled lentils. It was all so fresh and healthy tasting.

The chefs of Balthazar were flexible enough to allow us to change our main of Scrambled Eggs in Puff Pastry with wild mushrooms and asparagus $22 to eggs done Over Easy instead. This is one of their best sellers and even if you are no fan of buttery pastries, you’d like this one! The puff pastry was more like a croissant which tasted so fresh, you would believe that it just came from their bakery next door. Even with the butteryness so obvious in the pastry, it was not heavy at all! And with the wild mushrooms and asparagus adding a lovely colour to the overall presentation, this was simply a pleasure to eat.

NYC Eats: Georgetown Cupcake in SoHo

Popularly known for their hit reality TV series on TLC- DC CUPCAKES, sisters Katherine Kallinis and Sophie LaMontagne were the pioneers of the cupcakery scene back in 2008 when they opened their first shop in DC. The two sisters gamely gave up their corporate careers to pursue a sweeter dream and 4 years later, they are the proud owners of 3 cupcakeries- in Georgetown, Bethesda, SoHo, with 2 more opening in Boston and Los Angeles later this year.

According to Wiki, Georgetown Cupcake offers 18 flavors daily, including multiple varieties of chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet that are available each day, three seasonal flavors, and other flavors on rotation throughout the week.

I had been dying to try their cupcakes after watching DC CUPCAKES almost everyday on STAR World and when I found out they had a branch in SoHo, I was determined to add Georgetown Cupcake to my NYC list of places to eat! We made a detour here before brunch as Balthazar was fully booked till 3.30pm so the plan was to come here for a pre-brunch appetizer sort of thing and walking a couple of streets down to Balthazar after!

It felt almost surreal walking into the shop and seeing the displays of prettily frosted cupcakes, their characteristic swirl and designs as well as the iconic bright pink boxes that I had so often seen on TV. ‘I WAS FINALLY GOING TO BE ABLE TO TASTE A GEORGETOWN CUPCAKE!’ was what was playing in my head over and over again as the excitement mounted and I was almost on my tippity toes trying to pick out the flavors I was actually going to try. Which of course was possibly one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make.. Have I mentioned that I was a huge fan?

NYC Eats: Clinton Street Baking Co. & Restaurant

Voted twice by New York Magazine as serving the best blueberry pancakes in the city, Top 10 Brunches by The New York Observer and Best Breakfasts by the Travel and Leisure Magazine, Clinton Street Baking Co. & Restaurant is certainly no stranger to the NYC breakfast/brunch scene.

Starting out as a humble venture back in 2001 by husband-and-wife team Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman, Clinton Street Baking Co. & Restaurant has certainly been put on the map by serving up comfort foods, simple but delicious baked goods and not forgetting, their signature blueberry pancakes that has gotten everyone talking about.

Be prepared to wait at least 30min and even up to an hour if you come here. Rain or shine, the queues are just as long but no one complains. It’s common knowledge that if you want a bite of that fluffy pancake, patience is mandatory. We stood in the rain for 35min before we had a table and once the food arrived on our table, that waiting time seemed little in exchange.

A must order at Clinton Street Baking Co. & Restaurant is their specialty Pancakes With Warm Maple Butter and wild maine blueberry. For $13, you get three very fluffy round cakes topped with a warm and sweet blueberry sauce. It’s said that the secret to these one-of-a-kind pancakes is in first separating the eggs before gently folding in the whipped egg whites into the batter. The result? Light and tasty pancakes that are delicious even on its own. But of course an accompaniment of a douse warm maple butter never did hurt anyone. The serve of melted butter mixed with heated maple syrup at the side was simply addictive and oh so sinful.

The Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwich on the menu caught my eye and while our server recommended the highly popular Eggs Benedict, I was up for trying something different and I was not disappointed! One side of the Buttermilk Biscuit was topped with scrambled eggs in melted cheddar, while the other with homemade tomato jam. And throwing in another side of hash browns to the mix for just $9? I thought it was a real good deal. While the tomato jam made parts of the biscuit a little soggy, the rest of it was incredibly light, a little crunchy and melted in my mouth quite easily. The hash browns deserve to be singled out for not being too oily, crisp and brown on the outside while the potato shreds still remained moist. Not a hash brown fan, but became one that very day.

NYC Eats: Peter Luger Steak House in Brooklyn

Synonymous with great tasting steak and voted 27 times in a row as NYC’s best steakhouse, Peter Luger is indeed a household name when it comes to serving up the finest steaks. After all, this 125 year old establishment is also a one star Michelin restaurant!

Located at about a 15min walk from the nearest subway station, Peter Luger greets you with its boisterous and lively atmosphere as you step through the rugged wooden doors of the restaurant. This place is hardly fine dining and is in fact more casual and unfussed, evident from the simple layout and architecture. The walls are filled with framed certificates of their awards and accolades, even more proof of what a crowd pleaser Peter Luger has been over the years.

Reservations are a MUST at this place and we rushed here after a 5hr flight from Seattle. We were clearly excited to see or rather taste how special this award winning steak really was.

A basket of bread was delivered to our table straight after our orders were placed. There were mainly three types of bread- taste wise, it was not too bad. It was however cold and hard. I was a tad disappointed but I was not about to pass a judgement on a steakhouse simply on their basket of rolls.