Tag Archives: East Village

Brunch Away Your Saturday: Sunburnt Cow

18 Jan

Sunburnt Menu

Sunburnt Cow is something of a brunch institution in the East Village (Ave C btwn 8th/9th Sts) – just ask anyone who’s waited up to 2 hours to get in on the boozey brunch action they have going on there.  Walking into the dimly lit tavern is like walking into the perfect meet market.  The crowd is young, hip + good looking, the staff members are all friendly Aussies, and there’s something about the day drinking atmosphere that makes being approached by randos less “stranger danger” than your run-of-the-mill evening out at the bar.

I must admit, when I swung by the Cow this weekend, the wait time was much longer than I’ve ever been subjected to (~1 hr, 45 mins).  However, after letting the bartender know we planned on dining with the bottomless brunch, he gave us free drinks and kept them coming for the next 2 hours or so, which made it more than worth it.  Just to note: we were a party of 3 and we got there at prime brunch time (1:15pm) which did make it tough to seat us – they only take reservations for parties of 6+, so we were at the bottom of a long list.

Aussie Brunch Fare

Eventually, we grabbed a prime table in the back and got to work on brunch – it’s a pretty small yet standard menu.  My brunch mates had the burger (piled high w/ Aussie fixin faves such as beets, pineapple, tomato, lettuce and a fried egg) and the Bush Benedict which was Australian for your standard eggs benedict.  I had egg whites, which our waiter informed me was very boring, but hey – a girl’s gotta leave room for cocktails!  Sides included are salad greens and/or fries and the grub’s actually pretty good, but we’re not really here for the gourmet food, are we kids?!  The main feature is clearly the party atmosphere and the unlimited drinks.  For $18, you’re getting an entrée and hours of inhibition-robbing cocktails (the special includes bloodies, greyhounds, screwdrivers, mimosas and Fosters) – c’mon, that’s a stellar deal.

RR hearts the Cow

A few tips for the best Sunburnt Cow experience: ideally, grab 5 friends and go as a group of 6 – you can snag a rezzie and bypass the wait.  If you want to do a smaller party, I’d make sure you get there by 12pm – after that, the wait grows exponentially – or you can even eat at the bar!  Brunch is always cash only, so make sure you’ve got moola on hand.  LOVE the cow?  Give a visit outside brunch hours – they always offer the option of a 2-hour open bar for 20 bucks (hello, pregame!).

I’m not one to mess around with brunch, folks… get to the Sunburnt Cow STAT!

French with a Flair: The Affaire

14 Jan

Cocktail Dreams

When the owner of The Affaire, the resto/soon-to-be burlesque joint/lounge (that used to be home to China 1) contacted me to come in opening week, I was skeptical of the once-trendy bar’s ability to reinvent itself as a decent restaurant. Well, boy was I wrong – and I’m not afraid to admit it. This is not your average “bar-gone-wrong-so-let’s-salvage-it-as-a-restaurant”. Affaire in the East Village/LES (Avenue B btwn 3rd/4th Sts) is truly its own unique entity; the sexy restaurant/drink den features a menu of delicious french nouveau cuisine that is actually playfully american in its execution.

I was lucky enough to dine in January while there is still a 3 course $19 prix fixe – for vegetarians they doubled up on the apps – but the important part is that I got to try SO much! As far as starters go, the endive salad with walnuts and pear was yum, the roasted beet with roasted goat cheese and almonds was DELISH but teeny, and the mini pizzette provençal with goat cheese, tomato, peppers & herbs was nice to share. The #1 stand out of the apps was the TRUFFLED Mac & Cheese, which was actually RIDIC – penne with so many different cheeses, topped with bread crumbs and truffle oil, then baked to perfection. We ordered 2, we finished 2 – it’s amazing, go get some – NOW.

Truffled Macs Where its At

As far as entrees go, we had a plethora of veggies for moi and my dining partners had the duck leg confit which, I’m told, was amazing. We also had several sides to complement our main dishes. The haricots verts were pretty standard beans in my book, and the spinach was pretty good too, but the brussel sprouts with bacon were RAVED about.

Before dessert, I got the full tour of the space from Andrew, the owner. While there’s a similar setup, the resto/lounge has been updated since the days of China 1 and I certainly hope that the renovations will breathe new life into the amazingly large and diverse spot. I’m especially excited about talk of brunch, which I’m told will include a DJ and some sort of multiple cocktail option (you can expect a review, once it’s fully rolled out). After our tour, we got to taste dessert! The profiteroles were like little yum eclairs, but the true star was the warm chocolate cake which was served a la mode and made for a warm/cold chocolate nirvana.

All in the Cocktails Details

I should add that the bartenders made it a point to ask questions so as to make your drinks exactly as you want them and the wait staff (esp the most wonderful, Nicole) were all attentive and helpful. Restaurateurs, take note: this is how a restaurant’s roll-out should be. Foodies, take note: this is a new and notable worth trying.  I would particularly recommend going for a late weekend dinner that would easily segue into cocktails downstairs… Whenever you go, visit The Affaire, where it’s perfectly acceptable to be having one (with food, of course). Book through Savored for 30% off your total dinner bill most evenings or check their website for daily specials!

They do excellent private events as well – to book your very own secret society dinner, email PreferredDiners@gmail.com

I’m in, You’re in – We’re all in for Cherin!

30 Dec

Happy Hours and Hours

Cherin Sushi in the East Village (6th St btwn 1st/2nd Aves) really is an oldie but a goodie.  The long + narrow sushi den has been my go-to byob spot for years now and it’s no mystery why; good cheap food, a relaxed atmosphere, and laid back service make for a consistently enjoyable evening out.

This place is still BYOB (with a small corkage on the weekends), but now that they have their liquor license, they’ve really stepped up their game.  The specials are absurd; all day Monday and from 5-8pm Tues-Thurs almost any 3 rolls on the menu are $9.95 and the drink specials are excellent as well (beers are $2.50/house sake is $3/wine is $4).  The specials are great if you’re looking to get a fun night on, but don’t necessarily want to get “all-you-can-drink” crazy.

It Rolls On and On and On

Beyond the low prices, the food is actually good.  They do some interesting spins on the classics like providing a bed of sea salt for the edamame or offering a spicy variation of the miso soup (which is just great, btw).  The rolls are small but bite-sized, which I prefer and they’re all really creative.  Even the vegetarian rolls bring something to the table (the Crunchy roll with apple in it is my JAM).   My friends rave over the Sushi Surfer roll, which has banana, eel and crunch in it, and the Gillian roll, which is made with tuna, shrimp and avocado on top of crunch & real crab meat.

Cherin is good for a party of 2 or a larger party of up to 10.  The smaller restaurant can get loud but it’s never too much, which I appreciate as a break from the louder party scenes of most sushi spots with cheap drink deals… plus, your server is always a holler away.  I recommend you check it out next time you want a reasonably priced dinner that won’t make you feel like you’re pinching pennies.

Cherin Sushi – now accepting reservations, highly recommended for the weekends – (212) 388-1348.

The Redhead: Not Your Average Ginger

8 Dec

For some time now, I’ve heard the whisperings of a great restaurant called The Redhead which is practically around the corner from me (it’s on 13th St btwn 1st/2nd Aves).  I’ve walked past it but never thought to stop in because from the outside, it just looks like a small bar…  But step inside, and you’ll find yourself in a cozy space with a full bar that’s portioned off for a dining room in the back half.

Flat Bread Heaven

While you’re passing the time before getting a table (we had a 35 minute wait), grab a drink at the bar – it’s full of young, hip people and the drinks are equally as trendy.  Jessica and I both opted for the Revival, a lemony gin concoction that was really refreshing.  Once we were seated, we were presented with fresh baked potato rolls that were awesome with the resto’s sweet butter.  Then, after checking out the menu, we opted for the flatbread with mushrooms and marscapone which is a must try dish in my book, and extremely easy to split with a group.  The table next to us asked what it was and immediately ordered one for themselves.

A Few Good Gnocchi

Next up, we had the roasted beet salad (if you didn’t  know, I’m beet obsessed) – the candied pistachios in the mix were a first for me and I really liked them.  As an entrée, we had the potato gnocchi which was chock full of brussel sprouts and chestnuts, but unfortunately I didn’t think it had enough actual gnocchi in it for an entrée sized portion.  That being said, the few I did have were great.

Blondes <3 the Redhead

After having been, I think it’s a crime that I’ve walked by The Redhead as much as I have without stopping in.  It has the quintessential “neighborhood” vibe and does upscale without being pretentious or being insanely pricey.  If you’re in the area, think twice before passing this one by.

Sunday Supper @ Supper

29 Nov

Sunday Supper!

Sundays have long been claimed by the brunch gods (we all know I’m a big fan of that), but this Sunday I decided to change it up and do my dining later on in the day.  It only seemed right that my Sunday Supper resto of choice would be Supper Italian Restaurant.

Supper is an under-the-radar gem in the East Village (2nd St btwn Aves A & B).  The resto is usually busy but they own the space next door and made it into a sexy bar/lounge for the hungry dining masses to grab a pre-dinner drink while waiting.  Miss Taylor and I ate our Sunday Supper at 6:30pm and had no trouble getting a table – we had our choice of sitting at the bar which overlooks the kitchen or the communal dining table – both very cool options, but we opted for the communal table.

We got the beet!

To start, we had the Roasted Beet Salad with Robiola cheese (which is somewhere between mozzarella and goat)… it was simple, but a great, lighter appetizer to share.  With the appetizer, they brought out the complimentary bread which is crusty and warm and coupled with spicy white beans in olive oil that were absolutely awesome.

Pasta Mouthgasm

Next up, we split 2 different pastas that were both happiness in every bite.  The Spinach Gnocchi alla Aglio d’Orato was by far the BEST gnocchi I’ve EVER had.  Sadly, it was only a daily special, but fear not – there’s some sort of gnocchi on the menu daily – TRY IT.  Our other dish was on the regular dinner menu but was anything but regular – it’s called “The Timely Priest Stranglers”.  The pasta was a hybrid of spaghetti and ziti swimming in homemade marinara and was perfectly complimented with a dollop of ridiculously fresh ricotta on top.  All this and a few glasses of wine clocked in at about $75 bucks, not too shabby!

Supper is really all about the dining experience, from grabbing a glass of wine at the swanky lounge next door while you wait, to the mouth-gasmic pastas they’re knocking out daily.  If you’re looking to go to out for a gourmet Italian dinner that will impress your foodie friends without making a crazy dent on your wallets, look no further than Supper!

%d bloggers like this: