On March 28th, Joonbug.com was lucky enough to be invited to a cooking demonstration at New York City’s own Tio Pepe in honor of World Paella Day where we were treated with an impromptu wine tasting and desert sampling. For those who don’t know, paella is a traditional Spanish dish. Almost like Spain’s version of Jambalaya, it’s considered to be “scavenger food” made with rice, meats, and veggies.
On Monday, March 7th, a day known as Fat Tuesday, Joonbug.com was honored to sit at Chef Dave Santos’s table in his West Village restaurant, Louro, where we had the privilege of experiencing his Mardi Gras-themed “supper club” dinner. Consisting of 7 fabulous cocktail-paired courses inspired by authentic New Orleans cuisine, the dinner lived up to every expectation, and the inviting atmosphere kept us warm on the cold winter night.
Every Monday, Santos creates a dinner menu tailored to a theme he is inspired by. This fabulous idea revolutionizes the restaurant experience and stems from the success of his Um Segredo supper club, which he originally held in his home in Roosevelt Island. When Santos wanted to bring his Nossa Mesa supper club dinners to Manhattan, he considered the weekend, but rethought it after seeing the dinner rush it typically entailed, and eventually decided on Monday nights. He also decided he would feature 5 to 7 courses, inspired by everything from specific ingredients like uni, to cultural touchstones such as Game of Thrones, Captain America, and Mad Men. The dinners are BYO and typically range in price from $65 to $75. On this particular Monday night, in honor of Mardi Gras, Santos chose a menu that consisted of traditional New Orleans flavors, and paired it with fantastic cocktails designed by his talented mixologist, Muyur Subbaro.
It’s no surprise that The Park in Chelsea is dubbed as one of Manhattan's trendiest restaurants. Helmed by Eric Goode and partner Sean MacPherson, this West Village eatery is a restaurant and night club hybrid — it is a culmination of five different worlds: the garden, the penthouse, the red room, the atrium and the main room.
Each area has its own distinct charm and character — the garden is complete with Japanese maple trees and vines of Wisteria; the penthouse is capped by a glass ceiling and displays a gorgeous view of the High Line (perfect for sunset-watching too); the red room impersonates an old Asian speakeasy with wicker scoop-backed chairs and banquettes covered in raw silk; the atrium is a glass-enclosed area backed by a glazed brick fireplace and the main room is the typical dining room furnished with a 900-year-old red wood root bench and a 30-foot-tall cluster of bamboo.
The West Village just scored itself a cute new neighborhood café on the intersection of Jane and Hudson Streets: Hudson Café! It’s on the same block as Mole, the lively Mexican eatery helmed by restaurateur Nick Cervera and his wife, Chef Lupe Elizalde. The couple also owns Hudson Café, and when they built the place from scratch, they infused their personal touch into the cozy interior — they remodeled the ceiling with a herringbone pattern of reclaimed wood beams, installed industrial-chic lighting in the form of scones and lined the white tile walls with photographs of Cervera's travels around the world.
In the heart of the West Village lies a very charming gated alleyway that has become the home to Virgola, NYC. Just six feet wide with limited seats, making a reservation to snatch a coveted spot at Virgola is essential. The location of the restaurant holds a lot of history with many proud fixtures which the owner, Joseph Marazzo, has built himself. Upon entering Virgola, the black colored exposed brick walls and the soft lighting from an impressive vintage chandelier, will take you away from the bustling streets of New York City for the ultimate epicurious delight.
If you're finding it hard to choose which dish you want to try you can always order the chef’s tasting menu, a six-course tasting menu for the entire table that includes a starter, two courses of pasta, a fish or meat entrée, and dessert. The tasting menu changes nightly and will sometimes feature specials not found on the regular menu.
For all of those craving a taste of Italy that don't have the means to get there, look no further than Pizzetteria Brunetti. Located right in the West Village, this pizza spot has all of the flavor of Italy, without the need of any flights booked.
Until recently, this exclusive pizzeria was only to be found in Westhampton Beach. However, owners owners Michael and Jaso n Brunetti, along with their new partner, Anthony Abenante, decided to take their talents over to the Big Apple, and, oh boy, are our stomachs greatful!
While standing on the sidewalk outside of 529 Hudson Street in the West Village the last thought that crosses your mind is that you’re about to walk into a modern Chinese restaurant. The 1828 townhouse that’s parlor-level space now holds Ed Schoenfeld’s RedFarm, has a rustic, farmhouse feel. Not your immediate vision of a modern Chinese restaurant but somehow the farm-look works. Ed Schoenfeld, a food expert responsible for Chinatown Brasserie, Pig Heaven, and other Asian restaurants throughout the city, grew up Jewish in Brooklyn but always gravitated toward Chinese cuisine. Schoenfeld is living proof that food can easily cross all boundaries no matter your culinary and cultural upbringing.
Can you believe that there is such a thing as National Paella Day? The flavorful Spanish rice dish, which originated in Valencia, is being celebrated today, Wednesday, March 27th at Barraca in the West Village and at Spanish eateries all over the country. To celebrate the national day of all things paella, Barraca’s paella gurus Executive Chef Jesus Nunez and owner Hector Sanz will offer a free plate of paella with the purchase of any drink like their Tequila & Moras made with Blanco Tequila, orujo, blackberry, and rosemary syrup or any of Barraca's house-infused sangrias such as the Sangria Valencia made from rosé, Oleo saccharum “citrus oil,” grapefruit juice, vodka, and ginger. Prepared in a giant paella pan, large enough to feed up to 60 people, guests will sample the delicious Paella de Tierra tonight from 5-7pm. The Paella de Tierra is a savory blend of chicken, rabbit, pork belly, and fava beans complete with Spanish staple ingredients like saffron, sofrito, bomba rice, all cooked in a rich, flavorful stock. Check out the “Paella Manifesto” on the Barraca menu for a step-by-step guide to how traditional paella is, and should be prepared, in restaurants and at home.
Upon first glance, 139 West 10th Street blends in with the century-old brownstones on this quiet, tree-lined West Village Street. On closer inspection though, you see the small white and black stencil sign above the door. This wooden sign tells you that this is not just another brownstone apartment building but rather De Santos, an inviting and warm restaurant with a deep connection to the arts throughout its history and in the present day. De Santos is co-owned by Alex González, the drummer of the hugely popular Mexican rock band Maná, Luis Miguel Amuito, and Sebastian Gonella. The owners all also have their own links to the world of art and music making 139 West 10th Street an appealing location for their Contemporary American restaurant.