Tag Archives: Chelsea

Mother’s Day at Greensquare Tavern

29 Apr

(press release)


Chef John Marsh and his partners at Greensquare Tavern, the new farm-to-table restaurant at 5 West 21st Street, are offering Mother’s Day specials inspired by their own moms.

“My mother was an amazing gardener and a terrific home cook,” Chef John Marsh recalls.  “Local ingredients meant our back yard.”

Partners Larry McIntyre and Leon Bell also credit their mothers with inspiring a life-long love of food. For Leon’s mother, a Holocaust survivor, “food is life. Food is love.”

Along with its regular menu, Greensquare Tavern will feature a $45 Prix fixe menu with a choice of appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert including the Mother’s Day specials below:

* Jane Marsh’s delicious Pan-roasted Striped Bass with citrus herb sauce, caramelized onion mashed Yukon potato & sauteed swiss chard.

* Rita McIntyre’s famous Lasagna Bolognese with handmade pasta sheets, ground beef, veal & pork; three secret cheeses & homemade marinara served with sautéed broccoli rabe.

* Celia Bell’s Veal Scallopini with roasted shallot demi-glaze, risotto Milanese & sautéed spinach.

For reservations call 212-929-2468, or visit greensquaretavern.com.
Of course,  all moms will leave with a beautiful rose to cap their meal.
Small plates: $9 – $10
Medium plates: $13 – $19
Entrees: $23 – $26

Billy’s Bakery — Becoming a Cake Zombie

16 Nov

You’ve probably seen zombies in horror films, but its real roots are in West African voodoo. The belief behind zombies is that wicked magic takes over your body, and transforms you into a flesh-eating monster. As terrible as that sounds, there is an even stronger, and more dangerous type of zombie out there–a cake zombie.

If you’re ever within a two block radius of Billy’s Bakery, an unparalleled baked smell wafts into your nostrils, and transforms you into the above zombie. For those unfamiliar with the lore, a “cake zombie” is someone who, upon picking up the slightest baked goods scent, will become a drooling, groaning, and even violent person until they get their cake fix. I am a cake zombie through and through, and for me, Billy’s banana cake restores me to sanity.

Before you lose your cake zombie status however, you must wait on the inevitable Billy’s line. Cake zombie or not, the wait is one of the most intolerable life experiences. Red velvet cupcakes, pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate chip cookies, and a plethora of other love handle inducers laugh at you through the glass case as your stomach twitches in pain. There have been many times when the nice folks at Billy’s have told me to “keep the groaning down.” I try, I really do.

At $4.50 per slice, you might think it’s a bit on the expensive side for a piece of cake. Despite the unsettling price tag, the slice is huge (big enough to feed any zombie), and the quality is unmatched. The cake itself is incredibly moist, and the bananas shine through each bite. The best part is the cream cheese frosting. The words buttery, thick, and creamy instantly come to mind. In a nutshell, Billy’s banana cake is pure bliss. If you don’t indulge on your basic human impulses when you’re near Billy’s, then you might just be a regular zombie.

Note: if you’re ever in line in front of me, and you order the last slice of banana cake, expect a world of pain (or just a lot of me crying).


184 9th Ave (between 21st St & 22nd St)
(212) 647-9956

75 Franklin St (between Church St & Avenue Of The Americas)
(212) 647-9958


Artichoke Basilles Pizza – Decisions, Decisions

15 Nov

New York City has long been known for their pizza. Joints like Di Fara, Grimaldi’s, and countless others have been staples in the pizza scene for years, but in 2008, Artichoke Basilles Pizza threw their hat into the ring. Since opening their East Village shop, Artichoke has evolved into a city-wide favorite, and recently, has even opened a few new locations (in Chelsea and the Greenwich Village). Unlike the traditional pizza shop, however, Artichoke Basilles Pizza only offers four slices–artichoke, margarita, Sicilian, and crab.

You’d think only offering four slices would be limiting, but to be quite honest, it has the complete opposite effect. In fact, choosing between their slices is more stressful than being a Mets fan (which I unfortunately am). For me, the insufferable question is always: “artichoke or crab?” On the one hand, the artichoke slice is a creamy artichoke and cheese dip on a slice of pizza. If I’m at a restaurant, and they have artichoke dip, it’s one of those no-brainer orders. But don’t forget about the crab slice. This luscious slice features lumps of fresh crab, and is doused in a rich crab sauce. They’re both the same price ($4.50 or $5, depending on location), so you can’t use that as a deciding factor. It just becomes a coin toss. A stressful, potentially life-changing, and super delicious coin toss.

Regardless of which slice you end up with, Artichoke Basilles Pizza will not disappoint. Even though $4.50-5 seems like a lot of pay for a slice of pizza, the slices are huge, and the ingredients are unquestionably fresh and unique to any slice you’ll get in this city. Oh, I also forgot to mention they’re open until the wee house of the morning–making Artichoke Basilles Pizza one of the best late-night food stops too.

Note: they are cash-only, so make sure to remind your drunker friend to make a visit to the ATM, and that he/she “owes you.”

328 E 14th St (between 2nd Ave & 1st Ave)
(212) 228-2004

111 MacDougal St
(646) 278-6100

114 W 17th St and 10th Ave
(212) 792-9200


Bombay Talkie — Taking Street Food Inside

25 Oct

One of the most popular vehicles of food-creation has been street food. Street food emphasizes quick, small, and delicious dishes–and often one’s that are true to traditional, ethnic cuisines with a bit of “hipness” injected. This all rings true with Bombay Talkie–except it’s a sit-down restaurant.

Don’t get the wrong idea, Bombay Talkie offers plenty of traditional Indian entree style courses, but they proudly feature a list of “street bites” that could easily be transplanted to a marketplace beyond the concrete jungle. The “street bites” menu boasts plates like papdi chat, bombay bhel, pau bhaji, vada pav, frankie rolls, crab cakes, ginger pork kebobs, kathi rolls, and dosas.

I went for the crab cakes and a dosa with lamb. The crab cakes featured crab (of course), mashed potatoes, onions, a cilantro breading, and a tamarind chutney dipping sauce. The dish was a solid idea mixing traditional Indian flavors with the Maryland staple. While the exterior appeared crispy, it wasn’t as resilient as a crab cake should be. The “fried” fell off as soon as I cut the crab cake, leaving me with a little fried and a little mush. A better execution would have resulted in a very interesting dish.

The dosa, which is a rice and lentil “crepe,” is a much more familiar Indian dish. Unlike “crepes,” the rice and lentil dosa brings more unique flavors to the table than its wheat-based cousin. Bombay Talkie’s version was stuffed with minced “tart lamb,” and accompanied by contrasting tamarind chutney and cucumber raita dipping sauces. While the dish was tasty, it was a chore to eat, and I found that most of the meat ended up on the plate instead of my mouth.

In addition to the two “street bites,” I also ordered the classic chicken korma, pork vindaloo, and garlic naan. The korma was creamy, but the chicken was a little too firm. The dish also lacked the “entree”-size portion its $17 price tag suggested it should have. The vindaloo sauce was only moderately spicy, but its consistency was more similar to a salsa than a sauce. Unlike the chicken in the korma, the pork was appropriately tender–but the portion was still too small for its cost ($18). Lastly, the garlic naan had a real garlic kick to it and looked like an individual-sized pizza (a good portion).

Bombay Talkie certainly has some tasty offerings to foodies craving new-age Indian “street food,” but the menu prices are just too unreasonable, and there’s a good chance you’ll leave unfulfilled and significantly poorer.

189 Ninth Avenue
(212) 242-1900

Cookshop — Hype Unfounded

18 Oct

There are always those restaurants friends incessantly urge you to try. You know those restaurants–they have huge lines out the door, feature semi-exotic takes on classic dishes, and are often filled with lots of fun, young, and beautiful people. Cookshop, in the heart of Chelsea, fulfills all of those dangerous quotas. So naturally, it sat loudly atop my “must-eat” list.

Unfortunately, those restaurants tend to live on hype instead of execution and service. This was certainly the case with Cookshop. I excitedly went to the teaming restaurant for dinner with family, and immediately noticed the lacking service. Our waiter was extremely inattentive, but it also appeared as though the restaurant was understaffed. “Maybe the food will make up for it,” I positively thought.

I should have stuck with my generally pessimistic, New York roots. The beet soup was chalky, the pork was overcooked and fatty, and the chicken was bland and had overwhelming sauces. I’d also like to mention they were “out” of two dishes we wanted to order, so that too was disappointing.

Despite my dinner experience, I somehow couldn’t just let go of Cookshop. “Maybe brunch will be better,” I again, positively thought. Considering I’ve stopped giving change to people on the train years ago, I find it odd I was falling for Cookshop’s facade. What kind of New Yorker am I?

I decided to stop in for brunch to give Cookshop another shot. I ordered the buttermilk pancakes with seasonal fruit compote and syrup–that is, about 45 minutes after I was seated. I honestly must have read the entire newspaper and beaten BrickBreaker three times before the waitress realized I had a pulse. Mind you, the restaurant wasn’t even packed, so it’s not as if orders were flying in. I assume the chef was also reading the newspaper and playing BrickBreaker.

Like dinner, brunch too missed the mark–the pancakes were bland, the compote was too sugary, and the syrup was probably Duane Reade brand (do they make syrup?).

With the plethora of great food in Chelsea–and in New York for that matter–there’s little reason to waste your time and money in Cookshop. For a laughable average of $27 per entree, you could be slapping high fives at Spice Market with Jean-George. Trust me, he loves high-fives.

156 10th Ave (between 19th St & 20th St)
(212) 924-4440

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