My First NYC Restaurant Week Experience

I wanted to save this post for my food blog, but I decided to give you all the first look and review of my first NYC restaurant week experience at Brasserie Seoul.

I was born and raised in New York City and as a foodie in my family. However, I never took advantage nor experienced NYC Restaurant Week. This summer I decided with my boyfriend to take advantage of it. The restaurant I initially chose was Delmonico’s, but later changed my mind to Brasserie Seoul which is a new, hip, and trendy restaurant with Korean and French flavors and techniques. The restaurant is tucked away inside the new Holiday Inn in Downtown Brooklyn. I visited the hotel and restaurant twice during my summer classes. My class and I met the General Manager who said next time we return we would receive 10% off our bill as we are City Tech students.

I chose August 12th which was a Friday and also a celebration of completing my Bachelor’s degree. My boyfriend and I were seated in the center of the restaurant and had a good view of the kitchen. The servers seemed a little bit nervous and slightly inattentive. We asked for a sparkling water, but unfortunately the rim around my glass cup had a fuzz around it. The General Manager was behind me and asked if everything was okay, but I showed him my glass and he apologized and replaced it with a new and clean glass.

appetizerBrasserie

My boyfriend ordered the Crispy Salmon (salmon sashimi , crispy sushi rice, and chipotle aioli). This was definitely a unique and interesting take on a sashimi, but with a crispy sushi rice instead. It had a little kick of spice to it, but it was tolerable. I ordered the Wild Mushroom & Asparagus (wild mushrooms, asparagus, truffle soy sauce). I really liked this appetizer because I am naturally a mushroom fan. Although the dish was plated beautifully, I felt the plate was too large for the small portion that was given.

entreesbrasserie

For entrees, my boyfriend had the¬†Duck Confit (endive, shallot, thyme orange sauce) which was recommended by a friend of ours. The duck tasted delicious and cooked just perfectly where the meat was soft, smooth, and moist. I got the¬†Waygu Rib Eye Steak ( waygu rib eye with grilled vegetables) *$5.00* additional for my order and I also asked for medium rare, but not too rare. While eating my steak, I noticed parts of it was rare., but I didn’t say anything. The steak also tasted very bland. I wished they provided a sauce or rub on it. The vegetables were grilled to perfection, but again slightly bland.

dessert brasserie

I must admit that the best part of the experience was the desserts. My boyfriend ordered the¬†Strawberry Pie (puff pastry, gelato, and housemade strawberry jam). The strawberry pie was puff pastry and strawberry heaven! It was crispy, flaky, and buttery. So good and so cute! ¬†I ordered the¬†Banana Split¬†(devil’s food cake, caramelized banana, vanilla ice cream) as I saw a lot of photos on Yelp and kept dreaming about it. When it arrived to our table, the general manager kindly explained the different elements that made up this gorgeous dessert. Everything and all of the flavors really came together and tasted amazing! The devil’s food cake was absolutely to die for.

Our dinner cost less than I thought as the general manager gave us a City Tech discount. That was very kind of him and the hostess at Brasserie Seoul is so kind and friendly. Our experience could have been slightly better if maybe our entrees had a little extra flavor and juices to it. This isn’t your typical Korean restaurant, but this is definitely a gem and great addition to Downtown Brooklyn. I am looking forward to our next NYC Restaurant Week experience.

Have you ever been to NYC Restaurant Week?

Why I Love Diners

My boyfriend once said to me, “When it’s our turn to get marry, I’ll make sure to tell everyone that I’ve never been to so many diners until I’ve met you.” Honestly. I don’t know when my affinity for diners began, but I’ve been going to diners for the last six years and I have no complaints except for when the food and the service lacks good quality.

The sad fact about diners is that a lot are closing down or have closed down, leaving us hungry customers with limited choices in diners. For now, I’d like to share with you my three favorite diners and why I love diners in general:

Coachhouse diner dishes

My boyfriend and I frequent Coach House Diner when we’re in New Jersey and want to go to a restaurant/diner that is affordable and delicious. I like this diner a lot because it feels like a diner, but than it doesn’t. They do have booths, counter tops, diner-like food and beverages, and they are opened 24/7. However, they also have a restaurant vibe to it because they have an exclusive section that’s a bar, it’s fairly spacious and comfortable, and they have daily specials for dinner and special soups that you wouldn’t find at other diners. They also have a salad bar for you to customize your own salad and always have a delightful,freshly baked bread basket for you. I highly recommend this diner if you’re in New Jersey!

brownstone pancake factory menu

Another diner I really and truly love is Brownstone Pancake Factory. They have two locations – Jersey City and Edgewater which I have been to both, but my ultimate choice and favorite one is Jersey City. I have been to the one in Jersey City both on weekdays and on Saturdays and there’s always a little wait, but hell it’s worth it. Brownstone Pancake Factory offers diner like dishes, but their main focus is brunch and pancakes. This is my go-to diner for brunch in New Jersey.

I found out about this place through Food Network, Yelp, and because a friend told me a restaurant, but I thought it was Brownstone Pancake Factory, but I was mistaken. One factor that separates Brownstone Pancake Factory form any other brunch place we’ve been to is they have these insane, monster-like pancake wraps which is what Guy Fieri tried on his show: Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

vegan dishes

Another one of my favorite diners is a local spot in my neighborhood: Vegas Diner. It’s also dear to my heart because it’s the place that my boyfriend and I had our first official date on Christmas Eve of 2010 (yes I remember it so clearly). This diner definitely has history in Bensonhurst and definitely a very family friendly diner. The food here is delicious and I always leave this diner as I do with most diners completely full. Unfortunately, I’ve heard recently that this diner may have been bought out or will be facing a conversion, so looks like my boyfriend and I may have to make a visit soon.

More reasons why I like diners are that: there’s always something for everyone at a diner and opened either late or 24/7 and it just feels very homey, comfortable, and I never leave diners starving again. I have been to my share of bad diners and bad service/food at diners, but that’s a whole different story.

Do you like diners? What’s your favorite diner that you’ve been to?

Restaurant Review: Heights Cafe

It’s not every day or normally that I eat in Downtown Brooklyn/Brooklyn Heights for dinner, but last month/semester my team and I decided on visiting Heights Cafe for our marketing project. One of our team members is actually a server at Heights Cafe so it worked out perfectly. I came with my boyfriend on a Saturday at 5PM ¬†as dinner just started.

a cafe on the corner

Heights Cafe is located in the heart of Brooklyn Heights and is in a beautiful location because it’s just a short walk from the Brooklyn Promenade. The restaurant/cafe has a warm and bright atmosphere. The walls of the restaurant are decorated with paintings from local artists.

Our friend greeted us with a warm and friendly smile and asked what would we like, gave us recommendations, and etc. We started off with drinks:

a pink drink in a martini glass and a glass of beer

My boyfriend ordered the Angry Orchard¬†and I had a¬†Watermelon Martini.¬†The watermelon martini had a nice and refreshing watermelon taste to it. It reminded me of a Jolly Rancher candy, but in this case infused with alcohol. It was super strong, so I didn’t quite finish it.

a bread basket with butter

Bread Basket

spinach dip with corn chips

Warm Spinach Dip with Corn Tortilla Chips

For appetizer, we had the the Warm Spinach Dip with Corn Tortilla Chips. We typically order fried calamari as an appetizer, but this time I wanted to try something different. The tip was a delight, not too cheesy and you get spinach in every bite. The chips were crunchy and fresh.

a dish of ravioli with asparagus and tomatoes

Wild Mushroom Ravioli

My boyfriend ordered the¬†Wild Mushroom Ravioli from the dinner specials menu for the day we went. It was $20.95, so definitely a little more expensive then ravioli we’ve had in other restaurants. The wild mushroom ravioli had olive oil garlic sauce, sauteed shrimp, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes.
The dish is definitely colorful and vibrant. The ravioli was delicious and super filling and I would have preferred more sauce.
macaroni and cheese

Lobster Mac & Cheese

I had the Lobster Mac & Cheese. The lobster mac & cheese was bathed in brandy lobster cream, Parmesan, Gruyere, and cheddar cheese. I liked it for the most part, tasted more like cheese than lobster-like.I actually had trouble finishing the lobster mac and cheese because there was so much cheese and cream that I got full instantly. The cheese was just a little overwhelming.

Although our dinner was a little more expensive compared to most dinners we have had. Overall, I really liked the service and the attentiveness from the other servers before our friend arrived to our table. I also liked the atmosphere because most of the customers are locals, tourists, and/or family.
I think if I am in the area and in search of warm and delicious comfort food than yes and maybe if for a birthday dinner and etc. If a friend or someone asks me for a good Brooklyn Heights restaurant recommendation, Heights Cafe would definitely be on my top three recommendations.

The Best Spring Eateries

I can’t tell you how happy I am that Spring has finally sprung! Now that the warm and beautiful weather is here, it’s definitely time to take advantage of it. Spring means more reasons to be outside, more reasons to enjoy outdoor dining and try out different restaurants without having to worry about the cold weather.

I have come up with a list of eateries that’s worth checking out as the weather is warming up. Hopefully you will be inspired to try these eateries out.

food dishes

 

1.¬†Dinosaur BBQ¬†in Gowanus, Brooklyn is possibly one of Brooklyn’s hottest restaurant! It’s been around for almost two years and each time that I’ve been here has never been a disappointment. There’s indoor and outdoor dining available. It’s very cozy and laid back here and a great place to come with family, friends, or anyone really and enjoy some insanely good barbecue food.

Recommendations:  St. Louis Ribs, Brisket, Chili, Mac-n-Cheese

food dishes2.¬†Hanco’s¬†has a few locations in Brooklyn, but the one I normally go to is located on Montague Street which is very close to school. I like Hanco’s because it’s not your typical Vietnamese eatery. There’s indoor and outdoor dining. There’s no charge for tip and there’s a good variety of simple and traditional Vietnamese foods from banh mi’s to spring rolls to summer rolls to vermicelli to pho. I also like Hanco’s because it’s a very laid back environment and the food is tasty!

Recommendations: Classic Banh Mi, Shredded Chicken Banh Mi, Grilled Chicken over Rice Vermicelli, Vietnamese Iced Coffee

food dishes

 

3.¬†Munchies Cafe¬†is located in Bensonhurst,Brooklyn and is definitely one of my favorite places to visit. Their menu include a BBQ section, Hong Kong style munchies, cold dishes, pudding, bubble tea, and a lot more. I typically come here for their desserts because they are fresh, tasty, and¬†refreshing. In addition, it’s a very laid back environment and very warm and welcoming. I like coming here a lot especially during the summer when it’s hot and I am craving for a cool, light dessert.

Recommendations: Papaya sago with grass jelly, Mario Brothers, Mixed fruits with grass jelly

food dishes

 

4. HOPHAP¬†is located in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn and a great and unique Thai restaurant that’s worth visiting. The atmosphere is very calm and relaxing. Food is authentic, fresh, and full of flavor! I’ve been here twice this year and it has never disappointed.

Recommendations: Crispy calamari with sweet chili sauce, Pad Thai, White lychee sangria, Red mango sangria, and Golden Curry Puffs

desserts5.¬†Just Desserts¬†is another one of my favorite dessert places in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn! I like this dessert place because on most days it closes pretty late between 10:30PM-12:30AM, has a wide variety of desserts and bubble teas, and it’s inexpensive. Just Desserts is a cute place to come for desserts especially during the Spring and Summer time.

Recommendations:  Mango Sago with Grass Jelly, Watermelon Shake, Red Bean Ice, Toddy Palm with Grass Jelly

Hope you found this list helpful and try out a few of these places.

What are a few restaurants/eateries you like to visit during Spring?