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.

An Unforgettable Experience at a Celebrity Chef Restaurant

It’s not every day that I have the opportunity to eat at a celebrity chef restaurant or enjoy food with my family at a fine dining, upscale restaurant. The day after Christmas, my family and I had a family day in Midtown – lunch at LandMarc¬†which is owned by celebrity chef and television food personality – Marc Murphy and we watched the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City.

The inside of LandMarc was quite dark, but definitely an upscale atmosphere and the window seats gives you a great view of Columbus Circle & Central Park. The staff were friendly and helpful. We all ordered individual entrees and a few appetizers/side dishes to share.

food dishes

We ordered the Roasted Marrow Bones,¬†Grilled Octopus, French Onion Soup, and¬†Brussels¬†Sprouts with Bacon. The roasted marrow bones was accompanied with onion marmalade, grilled country bread, and fig jam. I’m not a huge fan of bone marrow, but these were excellent and full of flavor! My boyfriend ordered the French onion soup and it was delicious and full of beef-like broth. The grilled octopus was delicious! The Brussels sprouts with bacon was yummy! The Brussels sprouts were sauteed just perfectly and the bacon was had a nice crispy-ness to it.

a plate of meat and greens

My boyfriend ordered a Steak & Eggs which looked really vibrant and tasty! His dish also came with home-fries and a watercress salad. The steak was cooked just the way he likes it Рmedium well. The home-fries had a little spice to it.

a scallops dish

The Seared Scallops with Polenta & Mushrooms sounded fantastic, so I decided to give it a shot. The scallops had a nice golden shade of brown on top, The mushrooms and polenta was very buttery and filling. There were instances where the scallops were unpleasant to eat because it felt sandy and it gets worse.

Well when I was eating the scallop, the texture felt weird and later on that evening, I felt very sick and the next day it was a family holiday party, where I felt like I had no appetite and ended up vomiting and realized I had food poisoning from the scallops. Luckily my mom only had 1/2 a scallop so she didn’t end up with the damage, I did. It took a few days to recover and I had to be extremely careful of what I was eating after that day.

I really wanted to like LandMarc mostly bause it’s a celebrity chef restaurant, but the very fact that I had food poisoning from the scallops and not to mention the fact that they had sand in it just wasn’t a pleasant experience for me. I may return for a second chance, but I will most definitely not order the scallops and make sure my food is properly cooked again.

Brunch at Manila Social Club

My boyfriend, friends, and I had brunch at Manila Social Club located on Hope Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The cuisine is Filipino/French. We made reservations for noon on a Sunday and surprisingly, it wasn’t crowded at all. The restaurant was very clean, simple, cozy, and relaxing. The staff are very friendly, super nice, and laid back. Brunch is usually crazy, busy, and feels rushed, but when you come to Manila Social Club – it just feels relaxing and not rushed. It was such a wonderful experience that I didn’t want to leave.

Biscuits with Ube Butter

Biscuits with Ube Butter

We were given complimentary biscuits and ube butter. These were probably the best biscuits I’ve had so far because they were fluffy and had a little sweetness to it. The ube butter complimented the biscuits very well. The ube butter was unlike anything I’ve ever had. It had a smooth and melt-in-your-mouth texture, not too sweet. I really liked this!

a glass of Tres Leches and a glass of Ube Iced Latte

Tres Leches & Ube Iced Latte

My boyfriend ordered the Tres Leches (espresso, milk, Dulce de Leche, whipped cream). This drink can be served iced or hot, but my boyfriend got it and hot. This was an interesting concoction in terms of taste and I also think it would taste a lot better if it was iced. I got the Ube Latte (ube infused with simple syrup) and it can be served iced or hot. I got it iced and it was interesting. It was a little too sweet for me even when I mixed it. I liked that Manila serves most of their drinks in cute mason jars!

Appetizers

Appetizers

We ordered three appetizers.The Lumpia Shanghai¬†are Filipino egg rolls filled with duck and longanisa (sausage/chorizo). It came with two types of sauce – one was spicy and the other tasted like a fish sauce. The Lumpia Shangai were crunchy, fresh, and yummy!We also had the Longanisa Sliders which are sliders with daikon pickles and lotus chips. The Longanisa Sliders were adorable, moist, and just really delicious. Who would ever ¬†though lotus chips would or could taste so so so good?¬†The Spam Fries¬†is listed as a side dish under Manila’s menu, but we treated it like an appetizer. I almost always order Spam Fries at a Filipino restaurant. First off, love love love the presentation and creativity behind it. The Spam Fries weren’t salty at all. I wonder what was their secret to making some of the sodium diminish.

Mango Souffle Pancakes

Mango Souffle Pancake

My boyfriend loves mango and he’s a pancake type of guy. The Mango Souffle pancake looked like a giant,fluffy cookie with chunks of mango embedded inside. I tried it and loved every bite of the pancake and there’s that Ube again, extremely yummy!
Garlic Rice

Garlic rice

My boyfriend & our friend ordered the Garlic rice as a side dish. We all felt it was a little bland and definitely not enough garlic flavor in the rice.
Roasted Vegetable Paella

Roasted Vegetable Paella

One friend ordered the Roasted Vegetable Paella which looked absolutely vibrant, inviting, and hearty. The paella tasted yummy and is a good vegetarian option if you prefer something vegetarian.

My girlfriend and I ordered the French Toast Espesyal. The French Toast is deep-fried with black & blue jam, mango syrup, and macapuno ice cream (coconut). I don’t typically order sweet dishes like pancakes, waffles, or French toast for brunch, but this sounded really good. In my own opinion, I kind of regret ordering this dish because it was just too sweet for me. and very filling.

Longanisa Hash

Longanisa Hash

We also ordered the Longanisa Hash as a side order too. Everything was cut into perfect bite size. The Longanisa Hash was delicious and just full of flavor.

Overall, it was a delightful experience at Manila Social Club. I definitely want to come back and try their dinner menu some time. I would most definitely come back to Manila Social Club again and it’s definitely one of the best restaurants I’ve been to in Williamsburg. There’s really something genuine about Manila Social Club!

 

Have you eaten at any restaurants in Williamsburg before? If so, what was your experience like?

Delicious Ramen at Ramen-Ya

As much as I dislike this never-ending, gloomy,and subzero weather, I can actually say that I really enjoy eating a particular Japanese comfort food that’s warm and hearty and that I can never seem to get tired of and that’s ramen.

I recently visited a new ramen restaurant located in Greenwich Village, NYC called Ramen-Ya. I was really excited to try this restaurant since my boyfriend and I have tried it’s original location in the West Village.

dumplings

For appetizer, we tried the Okra Pork Gyozas. These were quite tasty and different from what we usually order. They were pan-fried and stuffed with minced pork, okra, and shisho with ponzu sauce.The okra gave a slime-like texture to the dumpling, but it was interesting.

a food dishMy boyfriend ordered the Shio Black (Tonkotsu) ramen. The noodles were thin and straight bathed in the original berkshire pork broth which was full of flavor and deliciousness, with a hint of the black garlic oil. It was topped with cha-shu pork, tree mushrooms, seasoned egg, and scallions. These are just a few typical ingredients you would fine in an authentic bowl of ramen. In my opinion, this ramen was alright, but the taste of the black garlic oil was overpowering.

a food dishWe also ordered a mini curry rice on the side. It was truly mini as the menu says. The mini curry rice was yummy, especially that curry sauce.

a food dish

I ordered the¬†Shoyu (Tonkotsu)¬†ramen and man was I excited for it. This bowl of ramen had a unique set of flavors! It’s similar to the Shio Black ramen in terms of the straight thin noodles and toppings. The only difference is the broth. The broth was absolutely heaven! The noodles were cooked al dente and the berkshire pork was really moist and juicy.

In conclusion, we really liked this ramen joint! It’s different from the others that we’ve been to because not only was it really spacious, but the kitchen was a closed kitchen and the food was just really phenomenal! There will definitely be a second trip to Ramen-Ya in the near future since I would like to try their other menu items. While it’s still freezing and cold outside, why not try out Ramen-Ya and have a bowl of hearty Japanese soul food with a friend or family?