eat. shop. love. nyc.

Scoop St. Taste of Nolita Food Festival
June 21, 2011, 11:03 am
Filed under: Eat, Go | Tags: , , ,

They gone done it again. Scoop Street first broke onto the online couponing scene two years ago with its Taste of Seventh Street food fest. Now they’ve picked some stellar Nolita eats.

I’m there.

Taste of Nolita
$19 ($35 value) Scoop it!
If you had to pick just one neighborhood in New York that embodies cool – that has all the chic-est boutiques, the hippest vibe, the widest variety of delicious restaurants – what would it be? Nolita wins our vote, which is why – after two Tastes of 7th Street and a Taste of Midtown East – we’re bringing you our first ever Taste of Nolitafood festival.From tacos at Tacombi to award-winning croissants (Serious Eatsrated them #1 in NYC) at Ceci-Cela to fusion hot dogs at Asiadog, Nolita offers some of the city’s most diverse and lauded food options. But don’t just take our word for it – grab your friends, family, date, or anyone else you know and come experience the flavors for yourself.For just $19, your “Taste of Nolita” ticket gets you nearly half off the signature menu items – a $35 value – at the neighborhood’s hottest eateries all day from Wednesday-Friday, June 22nd-24th, 2011.Whether you try them all in one go – complementing the tastes with discounts on coffee and drinks – or spread out your sampling over the three-day affair, this is one event you won’t want to miss out on.So where does this one-time event make you an insider?

  • Asiadog – any one of their signature hot dogs with your choice of their seven toppings
  • Tartinery – one small croque monsieur tartine (open-faced croque monsieur sandwich)
  • Tacombi – one taco al pastor (marinated pork with pineapple)
  • Oxley’s Carvery – Choice between:
    • Any signature sandwich, including roast beef or turkey with stuffing and cranberry sauce
    • One Yorkshire pudding platter duo with pulled pork and braised beef
  • Ceci-Cela – one small croissant
  • Eileen’s Special Cheesecake – one mini cheesecake

Is your mouth watering yet? Hurry and grab your tickets to the first ever Taste of Nolita extravaganza before they disappear.

Read more…


Michelada Recipe for Cinco de Mayo
May 5, 2010, 1:12 pm
Filed under: Drink | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Photo credit:

When I was in Mexico last November for a friend’s wedding, I was introduced to a fantastically refreshing beer cocktail called a michelada. I drank several over the course of the week in various parts of Mexico: Acapulco, Mexico City, and Veracruz. Each one was slightly different from the last, but we did pick up a shortcut from our bartender in Veracruz: Maggi Jugo.

Basically, a michelada is a savory beer cocktail. It is always served in a glass with the mix at the bottom and the beer on the side, and you pour the beer into the glass when you are ready to drink. In some ways, it’s a lot like a bloody mary. It seems to be more of a daytime drink than a dinnertime drink, and some bars serve the mix with Clamato juice.

There’s no single right way to make a michelada, as it varies by region and by establishment, and it all comes down to personal taste. We experimented with different proportions at home, and this is what we came up with:

  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle Mexican beer – it’s a michelada claro if you go with a light beer like Sol or Corona, and it’s a michelada obscura if you choose a dark beer like Negra Modelo or Indio. I prefer the obscura, but it’s all a matter of preference.
  • 3 key limes, juice of – juice of three regular lime wedges will do just fine, too.
  • 1 tablespoon of Clamato or other tomato juice (OPTIONAL – In Veracruz, they didn’t use any tomato juice at all) – my buddy Jason swears by Mr. & Mrs. T’s Bloody Mary Mix.
  • 1 tablespoon Jugo Maggi seasoning – this magical michelada sauce tastes a little bit like soy sauce and worcestershire sauce mixed together, but lighter and more spiced. If you don’t want to go out to the grocery store and pick up a bottle of this stuff in the international foods aisle, you can substitute 1/2 tbsp worcestershire, 1/2 tbsp soy, and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  • Tabasco (or other high vinegar hot sauce) to taste

I like to make my micheladas look pretty by rimming the glass with lime juice and dipping it in Tajin Clasico Seasoning, which is described by the manufacturer as a powdered salsa with salt and lime. It’s a little spicy, it’s tangy, and it’s salty. I like to rim beverages with it, or sprinkle it on fresh fruit or black beans or anything that could use a little zing.


  1. Rim chilled tall glass with lime juice
  2. Dip rim of glass upside down into small dish of Tajin Clasico Seasoning (or celery salt, if you prefer)
  3. Combine all ingredients except beer in bottom of glass and add ice
  4. Garnish glass with a lime wedge and/or a peeled cocktail shrimp, if you’re feeling fancy
  5. Serve glass and bottle of beer separately, allowing guest to add beer as they drink

I understand that Mayahuel in the East Village serves an excellent and spicy michelada, though I haven’t personally checked it out myself. They use a sangrita as the base (spicy drink mix made with tomato juice, orange juice, and spices) plus lime and Negra Modelo. $9. They also serve cheladas, beer cocktails with lime and salt. $7. Cafe El Portal in SoHo also serves micheladas and cheladas for $6 a pop.

Happy Cinco de Drinko!

Self-constructed 3-course meal

Yesterday’s eatventure with Sara consisted of three stops (unplanned) and a self-made three-course meal.

First stop: Jo’s (SoHo/Nolita)
Ate: 1/2 dozen $1 HH Miyagi oysters – these were normal sized, not on steroids – still buttery and meaty
Drank: HH draft of Ommegang Witte $4 for me, glass of Vouvray for S $10
Note: Angus the Aussie bartender has fabulous hair – he works Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Pardon the crappy camera but can you see how deep this Miyagi shell is? Not at all like the European flat oyster.

Second stop: Sachiko’s (LES)
Ate: Spicy Crunchy Rice (Spicy tuna on crispy rice) 6 pieces $8 – I am addicted.
Drank: HH sake for me, a very full champagne flute for $4; HH sake Cosmo for S $6
Note: We only ended up at Sachiko’s because when we arrived at CSBC (below) at 7pm, there was a 40+ minute wait for a table and we knew Sachiko’s has happy hour till 7:30 on weekdays.

The Spicy Crunchy Rice is good every time. Your choice of tuna or salmon. Also very good for HH is the tonkatsu ($10 – normally $14 if not HH). Sapporo drafts just $2.50 but I was afraid I’d be too full for Stop 3.

Third stop: Clinton St. Baking Company (LES) – February is Pancake Month!
Ate: BBQ Sugar Bacon Cheeseburger (BBQ sauce on the side) $16 & Fresh Blackberry Pancakes with Pecan Streusel and Warm Maple Butter
Drank: Water. We were already tipsy from HH boozing.
Note: 1/2 price bottles of wine on Mondays and Tuesdays. Also, they’ve just introduced a $16 Crab Cake Sandwich & Amstel Light combo deal on Mondays & Tuesdays. By the time we finished dinner at 9pm, there was an hour+ wait! Get there early, put your name on the list, and grab a drink elsewhere until your turn is up.

Can’t stop thinking about Miyagi oysters
February 23, 2010, 1:01 pm
Filed under: Eat | Tags: , , , , , ,

Photo credit: James Antrim, IST

Last night was much like any other: get off work, feel like happy hour, head to Jo’s. Oddly, I wasn’t much in the mood for oysters, but when we sat down at the bar, owner Jim Chu (also of White Rabbit) told us he’d gotten in a shipment of Miyagis and that we should try some.

We ordered a half dozen oysters ($1 each till 8 pm!) along with the last Meat in a Cup ($9) – they make limited portions because it has to cook for 8 hours, and they don’t make it every day so you’re never sure if they’re going to be sold out of it or not. The Meat in a cup is a metal cup of warm-ish meat slow cooked in a rich gravy, served with toasts and a tart frisee salad. Hearty + homey with a dash of acid and greens = yum. Wish there had been one more slice of toast, though, as with 5 pieces of toast there was leftover meat in the cup and it had to be eaten as meat on a spoon.

When the oysters arrived, the first thing I noticed were that they looked like they’d been taking steroids. I thought Royal Miyagis were supposed to be small and delicate. I don’t know if these were the prissy Royal kind; they were fit for the hungry laborer! Even more surprising was the depth of the shells. It turns out that the shell is quite concave, housing a deceptively large bit of oyster meat. The texture was very creamy, but the flavor was a bit salty, a bit fishy, and very meaty – all of that in a very good way.

The other bar patrons were friendly and funny, and Jim was hilarious. There was a group from the nearby Gawker offices and a Juilliard-schooled violinist from the antique lighting shop on Houston. Great mix.

I have plans to have pancakes with blackberries, pecan streusel, and warm maple butter for dinner, but I am tempted to go by Jo’s beforehand to see if there are any more Miyagis as an appetizer…

Add Jo’s to your SoHo happy hour rotation
February 19, 2010, 1:02 pm
Filed under: Eat, Go | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I booked it to Jo’s with Sara N. after work on a Monday night around 7:50 and by 8:00 was already on my second $4 Ommegang Witte (fresh keg – have never tasted beer head quite so delicious – citrusy and wheaty with some darker sweeter spices). We ordered the $1 happy hour oysters (5-8 pm weekdays) and, by god, were they big. Normally, I prefer smaller oysters because they taste more delicate, but maybe it was the beer (perfect pairing!) but these big oysters also had big, briny flavor. I’ve been to Jo’s once before and the oysters were good, but not as good as that night. I’m drooling a little thinking about it.

I went back to Jo’s the very next day because it’s close to work and because I could not get the Jerk and a Slap (three types of house-cured jerky and a Pork Slap beer for $9) and Meat in a Cup (slow cooked meat served in a cup) out of my head. Sadly, they were out of Meat in a Cup but they did have some jerky and Pork Slap around. I was disappointed with the jerky, as I found it to be too salty, too tough, and too small. On the upside, I loved the Porkslap Pale Ale. It’s hard to find beer in a can that actually tastes good, and I think this is it. Not overly hoppy and just the right amount of carbonation with very slight citrus notes. I’ll be having that again. The gruyere gougeres were not what I expected, but man, those warm little cheesy bread balls are dee-frickin-licious with some sriracha sauce! Continue reading

NYC Oyster Happy Hour Roundup

[tweetmeme]Another reason to love living in NYC – oyster happy hours! Below is a list of restaurants in lower Manhattan (sorry, I rarely make it uptown) where you can find great oyster and/or drink specials during happy hour:

Oyster happy hours I have tried:

  • Jo’s (Nolita/SoHo. 264 Elizabeth St. at Houston. 212.966.9640) My fave oyster happy hour. Dimly lit restaurant with $1 oyster happy hour (and $4 beers on tap, $5 well drinks, $7 select wine) weeknights from 5-8pm, only available in the bar room which has seating at the bar and along the walls (can accommodate groups of 4-6 at the tables). Service is slow if you’re not seated at the bar, so you’ll have to go to the bar to order and to pay. Oysters change daily depending on what the fishmonger brings by – I’ve had Blue Points and Miyagis here. Jo’s isn’t crowded on weeknights, happy hour goes until 8 pm, and the people here are awesome.
  • Lure Fishbar (SoHo. 142 Mercer St. at Prince. 212.431.7676) Stellar happy hour from 5-7pm on weeknights, at bar area only. Arrive early to grab seats as it gets really busy, you may have to throw some elbows to place your order at the bar. $1 oysters and $1 littleneck clams are the best bet; top quality oysters. See happy hour menu here. Shrimp tempura with black sesame seeds is delish. Do not get the lobster croutons. You’ll be sad when you realize there are 4 extremely teeny (MAYbe 1cm squared) cubes. Select beer $5, select wine $6, and select cocktails $7.
  • Essex (LES. 120 Essex Street, entrance on Rivington. 212.533.9616) On Mondays and Thursdays, $1 oysters all night and half price drinks (except for pitchers) from 6-9pm. I think that makes the beers $3, the wine $4, and most cocktails $5-$6. The oysters are decent, but not as good as Lure’s or Jo’s. Still, it’s a great location for grabbing a drink and a snack before doing a Thursday night out in LES, and you really can’t complain when you get to drink an Ommegang brew for $3. Also, this is a huge space, and can accommodate large groups.
  • Bondi Road (LES. 153 Rivington St. between Suffolk and Clinton. 212.253.5311) If quantity is more important to you than quality, and you like shrimp cocktail, then this is the place you will want to be spending your Thursday night. On Thursdays, Bondi Road does all you can eat raw oysters, shrimp, and Oysters Rockefeller (though I have read that sometimes they have oyster shooters instead) for just $9.99. Of course, they will try to convince you to take the $20 all you can drink for 2 hours deal on the side, but you can politely decline and just order as many beverages as you need.
  • Ulysses Folk House (Financial District. 95 Pearl Street between Coenties Aly & Hanover Sq. 212.482.0400‎) This is not really for happy hour, but Ulysses does have an all you can eat Sunday brunch that includes all you can eat oysters on the half shell for $20, along with fruits, breads, cheese and crackers, bagels and lox, sausages, corned beef, roast beef, ham, turkey, potatoes, veggies, salads… and a dessert tray. It also includes a Guinness, a (not very tasty) bloody mary, or a mimosa. It’s best in warm weather when you can eat outside at the picnic tables on the cobblestone street, but don’t expect 5 star food.

Oyster happy hours I have yet to try: Continue reading

Jo’s $21 Sunday Supper and $1 oyster happy hour
January 20, 2010, 12:15 pm
Filed under: Drink, Eat, Go | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

[tweetmeme]Two awesome deals for SoHo/Nolita restaurant Jo’s:

  1. Weekday happy hour oysters just $1 from 5-8 pm. You will find me at the bar with a Sancerre and a small mountain of empty oyster shells.
  2. $21 3-course Sunday supper. $21! Not only that, but there will also be a special $21 bottle of wine available for pairing with your $21 Sunday supper.

Go: 264 Elizabeth St. (at Houston), New York, NY 10012-5512. (212) 966-9640