Tag Archives: restaurant

Dinner at Sao Mai

I went out with friends to Sao Mai Vietnamese restaurant and we ordered family style, so that we would be able to enjoy a wide variety of dishes.I started off with the Vietnamese Iced Coffee, which was quite strong and not creamy/sweet enough for me… It didn’t enough condensed milk, but it was still pretty good.

saomai_coffeeWe tried many different appetizers, such as the house special platter, which consisted of spring rolls, barbeque chicken, pork and beef and was served with lettuce, pickled carrots, mint leaves and light sweet dipping sauce. I enjoyed the barbeque meat, which was charred slightly (the way I like it).

saomai_appetizersI also really liked the shrimp summer roll with lettuce, mint leaves and vermicelli noodles, wrapped in rice paper and served with peanut sauce. The summer roll was delightfully airy and wonderful. Another appetizer we had was a steamed rice crepe, with minced pork and mushroom which was not one of my favorites.

saomai_summer rollAs for the main courses, we selected one dish per type of meat/fish/veggie: Lemongrass chicken, beef cubes, grilled pork chop, crispy whole fish and tofu with mixed vegetable in traditional Vietnamese sauce. The chicken had a nice flavor to it, while the beef was succulent, juicy and tasty. The pork chop was cooked perfection and had very nice seasoning.

saomai_porkchopThe crispy fish was red snapper with a ginger lime sauce and while it was a bit difficult to cut, it tasted delicious with a great amount of crunch.

saomai_fishOverall, a very full and fulfilling meal. The only downside was that they do not have any dessert, but all was not lost! Afterwards, we headed to nearby Veniero’s pastry shop. For once, I was actually did not need to have my own dessert so we shared amongst ourselves. I tried a little bit of the blood orange/chocolate cake and some of the chocolate cannoli. Both were quite lovely and enjoyable, especially the chocolate parts. The orange cake had a nice delicate quality to it and the cannoli was a bit richer with a more robust sweet flavor to it.

dessertsIt turned out to be a great night of culinary treats and was happy I had the opportunity to try so many different menu options first at Sao Mai, then at Veniero’s.

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Sao Mai
203 1 Ave
New York, NY

Veniero’s
342 E 11 St
New York, NY

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Dinner at Burger & Lobster

I had the pleasure of dining at a lovely new restaurant in the Flatiron District, called Burger & Lobster. The concept is so simple that they don’t even need a menu. There are three choices: Burger, whole lobster or lobster roll. Each meal comes with both fries and salad.

I chose the lobster because I haven’t had that in awhile and I figured that was probably the best deal. I decided to go with the grilled lobster option and was not disappointed.

burgerlobster_meThe lobster was a decent size and it came with lemon-garlic butter. Plus, it was pre-cracked so it made it a lot easier to enjoy. The lobster meat had a nice flavor to it and that lemon butter is life. The salad was mediocre to me but the fries were warm, crispy and delicious!

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My friend ordered one of the desserts: Chocolate mousse and was kind enough to let me try some of it. Truly delectable flavor of sweet, rich, delightful chocolate with darker chocolate at the bottom.

burgerlobster_dessertEven though I did not get to try the burger or lobster roll, I heard that the burger was quite good (and worth the $20), and the same for the lobster roll. I would definitely come back to try the burger!

Tip: Try it soon, before it becomes completely crowded and difficult to get a table (they don’t take advance reservations).

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Burger & Lobster
39 W. 19 St
New York, NY

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Dining at Aleo

I had a lovely dinner at Aleo Restaurant & Bar earlier this week, which is a cozy adorable spot in the Flatiron/Gramercy area that showcases innovative Italian cuisine with  traces of Mediterranean flavoring.

For the entree, I chose New Zealand Lamb Chops, which consisted of grilled lamb chops, roasted potatoes, asparagus, cumin-marinated carrots, au jus and taziki white sauce. The lamb was cooked perfectly and had amazing flavor. I enjoyed it with the taziki sauce which had a strong yogurt and dill taste, and was slightly tangy. All the vegetables were wonderful, especially the carrots and potatoes. The carrots were incredibly flavorful and just the right texture. The potatoes were underneath the lamb chops and had soaked all the delicious sauces and spices from the lamb.

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My friend and I shared a dessert of  chocolate molten cake with vanilla gelato, which was wonderful. The chocolate was rich and delightful. I would have liked it if the chocolate inside was a bit more warm and melt-y but overall the cake had a lovely sweet and deeply chocolate-y flavor. The gelato was incredibly delicious and a nice change from the boring old ice cream accompaniment.

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Overall, a delicious, flavorful well seasoned and balanced meal with good service. I even received $10 off the bill because I had a birthday coupon, which made for a happy and a great end of meal!

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Aleo
7 W. 20 St
New York, NY

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Restaurant Week Dinner at Brasserie

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Brasserie is a gorgeously set up French restaurant, in an oval shape with modern decor and a an elegant, classy feel. I was seated promptly and a baguette was placed on the table with Echire, butter from France. The bread was quite hard and didn’t have much flavor.

For the appetizer, I had the brandade de homard, which is a lobster mash and salt cod mixed into a purée with olive oil and milk. The dish came with half of the empty lobster shell as decoration. It was delicious- Just the right amount of saltiness and strong flavor of lobster. The dish also came with roasted garlic baguette, which was a tasty touch.

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As for the entree, I chose Cassoulet Toulousain, which is a classic French dish of rich, slow-cooked casserole.  This came in a soup of navy beans, with duck confit, braised pork belly and garlic sausage on top. Normally I don’t really enjoy beans, but the beans in the cassoulet were decent- There was a sweet orange colored sauce with the beans so that helped. The duck confit was tender and wonderful. The pork belly was crispy and reminiscent of bacon. And the garlic sausage was cooked to perfection!

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The dessert was Financier aux Figues, which consisted of almond cake, black mission figs and honeyed yogurt “faisselle.” I truly enjoyed the almond cake- It had a chewy consistency and a delicate, sweet taste. Both the figs and yogurt were slightly bland, but worked well with the richly sweet almond cake.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and deliciousness of dining at Brasserie.

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Location: 100 E 53 St

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