With Summer Restaurant Week under way, there are a plethora of options for money savvy New Yorkers looking to be wined and dined at some of Manhattan’s finest; all while being able to save a few bucks on the side for those increasing subway fares. Aside from the list of bi-annual restaurant specials that we have come to appreciate, there’s a deal not found on the beaten path that is highly worth mentioning.
Lusso, one of Soho’s Italian cuisine newcomers, is currently offering $3 glasses of sangria every night weekly as well as 50% off all bottles of wine every Wednesday through the month of July (and hopefully continuing assuming it’s bringing in more bodies through the door). *Keep yourself posted on other deals the Italian eatery is offering via their Facebook page… last month they offered half off your tables entire tab!
What, steamed corn from a street vendor? Intriguing….and yet delicious. It is a must to check out, located at the South Street Seaport. The Mexican corn cart offers five different variations: Tasty (simple butter, salt), Cheesy (butter, salt, Parmesan), Citruluscious (butter salt, Parmesan, lemon juice), Firetastic (butter, salt, Parmesan, chile pepper, black pepper, garlic powder), and Sweetie (butter, honey). Wow, how do you choose? The prices range from $2.95 for a “regular” to $4.50 for a “major.”
The cart claims, “Our corn is picked, not cut, to keep the milky juice inside. Real, juicier, creamy, more nutritious, smooth and plump, so enjoy your Milky Sweet Corn in the cup.”
Don’t you worry, we will.
Red Mango, one of the leaders in the trendy frozen yogurt craze, is upping their game and introducing “friendly” bacteria to their yogurt. A probiotic will be added to the yogurt, GanedenBC30™, to be exact. This will provide health benefits because it stays in the digestive system, where about 70 percent of our immune system actually lives. So, is this bacteria really good or just a marketing trend to ease fro-yo eaters into consuming more? Supposedly, GanedenBC30™ emphasizes digestive health and contains live and active cultures… just like real yogurt. Perhaps they are actually ringing true to their promise of all “natural” ingredients. Because it has no fat, is sweetened with natural sugar, and contains no preservatives, maybe it is a miracle.
Cuisine: American Nouveau, Brazilian
Price Range: Moderate
29 Union Square West
(at 16th Street)
New York, NY 10003
The Coffee Shop has become known as one of the best casual spots to eat in Union Square. Its atmosphere makes it a happening place in the neighborhood, resulting in an expected wait during peak hours. With it's curvaceous casino style bar separating the dining room into two parts, plus the outdoor seating, Coffee Shop has plenty of space for you to indulge in their Brazilian inspired diner delights. Don’t be mistaken by its 50’s style garb, this place has a full bar serving both milk shakes and mojitos.
It’s summer time and when not torrentially down pouring, New Yorkers want one thing: garden dining! Between the exhaust fumes, honking horns, curious dogs, and nosy passerbyers, even sidewalk tables can sometimes be more trouble than the fresh air is worth. No, we want to leave behind all the commotion for an hour or two and simply relax in a peaceful, preferably European, garden. Of course living in one of the biggest, busiest, most crowded cities in the world such leisurely outdoor ambience can be hard to come by. That’s why we’ve compiled a best-of list of the top garden restaurants in the city. Escape to any of these green getaways and you might even forget you’re still in Manhattan!
There’s a lot going on in the chocolate world today! This means I have exactly two noteworthy updates to bring you. Here they are in organized list form:
1) The world’s first Camel’s milk chocolate is going global. Dubai company Al Nassma, Arabic for a cooling desert wind, started developing the product last October and is now finally on the (very select) market. Camel milk has been popular with roaming Bedouins for centuries, but always had trouble leaking into any sort of mainstream market. The United Arab Emirates only has two camel farms, and only one company, Camelicious (no joke), that supplies Al Nassma with the powdered camel milk that they infuse into their luxury line of chocolates. "We aim to be the Godiva of the Middle East," said Al-Nassma spokesman, a succinct mission statement if I’ve ever heard one. The brand plans to cover the Middle East region first, selling at select upscale malls and specialty shops, but will eventually enter the European and American market as well. Camel’s milk, all obtained from one-humped camels who are resistant to hoof-and-mouth disease, contains less fat, less lactose, and more insulin than cow's milk and about five times the amount of vitamin C! Certainly an oasis of welcome news for diabetics, immune ideficient, and lactose intolerant individuals!
2) If you’re like me you know the heart sinking disappointment when you discover the fun-sized Snickers you thoughtfully safeguarded in your jean pocket for later is nothing more than a gooey irreversible glob of melted mush. You dab a wet paper towel uselessly at your outturned pocket and perhaps lick your fingers half-heartedly, pathetically salvaging what has oozed out of the aluminum wrapper. It always makes for a bad day. But could this age-old misfortune soon be a tragedy of the past? In a modern day Wonka-esque feat, chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut seems to have developed a top secret recipe for… melt-resistant chocolate! Barry Callebaut is a powerful Swiss operation and supplies chocolate based products for some of the world’s largest chocolate companies, including Cadbury and Nestle.
“Can I please have a tall, skinny vanilla, no whip, frappuccino and a glass of merlot to go?"
Does something sound awry with this drink order to you too? Well, Starbucks employees all over Seattle are hearing these requests daily, as they are the pioneers of Starbucks’ new plan to include alcoholic beverages on their menu! Right now they are only serving half-dozen types of beers and wine each selling for approximately $4 to $7--none of the hard stuff, yet...
Their reason for such an enterprise is to mimic that European coffee shop/bar ambiance. They are currently testing it out in "The Coffee Capital" of the US--Seattle, WA; but if all goes well, this new menu addition will spread throughout the nation in no time. In these tight economic times, Starbucks in particular has been losing a lot of business and shutting down store locations left and right; so it is no wonder why the execs of the company had to think up a new plan to drive in customers, and fast! Now they will attract pre-work clientele for their morning coffee, and post-work business men/women looking to wind down with a drink from their stressful day! Brilliant, if you ask me.
I Wonder if and when it will hit NYC!?
Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar
207 Second Avenue (at 13th Street)
New York, NY 10003 (212) 254-3500
Mon-Fri 8am - Midnight
Sat & Sun 9am – Midnight
With his Momofuku family of restaurants (Ko, Ssäm Bar, and Noodle Bar) now a fixture on the NYC dining scene, life’s already sweet for chef/restaurateur David Chang. So when his newest venture, Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar, opened to raves, it was just the icing on the cake. A celebration of all things sugary, Bakery and Milk Bar offers everything from American classics like Chocolate Cake ($5), to the exotic Arnold Palmer Cake, made from an ingenious blend of unique ingredients (iced tea jelly, lemon mascarpone cream, and almond tea crunch).