Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Itadakimasu*: Momoya

TL;DR: ★★★☆

Beautiful, delicious sushi. Slow-but-polite service, pricey menu.

Food: ★★★★★
Ambiance: ★★★☆☆
Staff: ★★★★☆

Price: $$-$$$
Number of visits: 1

21st St. & 7th Ave.

*Apologies for the corny title, but "itadakimasu" is a phrase the Japanese say before consuming a meal, like "bon appetit" in French :P

Monday, February 24, 2014

Put a Bird on It: Zucker Bakery

TL;DR: ★★★★☆

Another adorable hole in the wall. Delicious baked goods (read on for a way to get a free cookie ;D*), expensive coffee, cold staff.

Food: ★★★★★
Ambiance: ★★★★★
Staff: ★★☆☆☆

Price: $-$$
Number of visits: 1

9th St. between Ave. A & Ave. B

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Quickie: Grom

TL;DR: ★★★★☆

Why did it take me so long to try Grom?!

This ever-famous gelato shop is definitely worth the hype as its products are insanely creamy and delicious. Grom has really great flavors including the classics, such as bacio (chocolate hazelnut) and stracciatella (milk-based flavor with chocolate chips), and some more unusual ones, such as cinnamon and "crema di Grom," which is the shop's signature flavor.

Friend's coffee pastry cream (February flavor) and cinnamon, my stracciatella and crema di Grom
58th St. & Broadway (among various locations)

I got the crema di Grom and stracciatella, and both were seriously to die for. Crema di Grom is "egg cream with corn biscuits and Columbian 'Teyuna' chocolate chips," according to the menu, and it was probably one of the best gelato flavors that I've tried. The "egg cream" gelato, which tasted like slightly nutty vanilla, was so, so good, and the biscuit chunks reminded me of Belgian spekuloos cookies — I would highly, HIGHLY recommend this to everyone and anyone. The stracciatella was also great; I really loved the crunchy, high-quality chocolate chips juxtaposed with the silky, creamy gelato.

Then why the -1 star?

 $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Grom's gelato is definitely not the most affordable. For the small cup, you'll have to fish out about $6. I guess you pay for the high quality, but it's a bit too steep for my liking, and I think Grom could afford to dial it down a little.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Not Too Different From Your High School: Cafeteria

TL;DR: ★★★☆☆

Crowded space, very loud atmosphere, just-OK food. Though prices aren't too bad here, it definitely would not be one of my go-to brunch places.

Food: ★★★☆☆
Ambiance: ★★☆☆☆
Staff: ★★★★☆

Price: $-$$
Number of visits: 1

 17th St. & 7th Ave. (look how nasty the weather was this day, ugh)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Update: Amedei's Hot Chocolate

So apparently, my review on Amedei's chocolate tasting event not only got some reads, but it also caught the eyes of the Amedei team! Just one day after the post went live, Amedei contacted me specifically about the hot chocolate that I reviewed.

They explained to me that on the night of the event, there was some sort of a mix-up with the hot chocolate machine, which yielded a less-than-perfect product that was unrepresentative of what is actually sold in the store. Then they very kindly extended an invitation for me to come try the "real thing," provided by the store, and I gladly accepted.

The next day, I went to the store's loft, the same place where the event was held, and was greeted by store owner Pepi, who is also the owner of Tarallucci e Vino next door (while I've never been to the Flatiron restaurant location, the East Village cafe has great lattes). We sat down, and I had a cup of their hot chocolate while learning more about Amedei, the products, the store's chocolatier Cecilia Tessieri — who is apparently the first female chocolatier in the world! How cool — etc.

 Hot chocolate