Tag Archives: Prosecco

In a Class of its Own: The Mussel Pot

22 Jul

I could seriously eat mussels for every meal (I guess you could say I’m a mussel over-achiever).  So when I hear about a restaurant whose sole purpose in life is to school the mussel-fiending masses on the art of fine mollusk-making, it gets added to the top of my to-do list.  With creative twists and some expertly executed classics, the gorgeous Greenwich Village gem The Mussel Pot (Bleecker btwn Sullivan and McDougal) makes the grade.

The average sized dining room is literally the only thing that’s ordinary about MP – from the sleek bar to the chic dining room and all the way back to the lush garden, this place exudes luxury.  We went with our server’s drink suggestion and ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc ($42) – on my 2nd trip, we went for the Prosecco ($43) – both were A+.  For apps, the Beer Poached Shrimp Cocktail w. Gazpacho Cocktail Sauce ($13) was a great spin on the classic.  The Summer Salad ($9) was refreshing w/grapes and Gorgonzola, not to mention the balsamic honeydew vinaigrette.  BUT I know what you’re all really here for… the MUSSELS!  So, without further ado, I present my MP Superlatives:

Biggest Flirt: The Thai Mussels ($19, w/ red curry, lemongrass, cilantro, coconut milk, couscous) – spicy and so flavorful; they’ll tickle your taste buds!

Most Likely to Succeed: The Fra Diavolo Mussels ($18, w/ tomato, garlic, fresh herbs, spicy pepper) – I asked for the spiciest sauce and my server’s suggestion was a great success!

Cutest Couple: The Ciaopino Mussels ($22, w/ classic Italian broth, clams, shrimp, scallops, basil, garlic Parmesan croutons) – what’s better than mussels?  Mussels coupled with delicious shellfish buddies!

Most Popular: The Provencal Mussels ($18, w/ white wine, shallots, cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil) – the quintessential French classic has a ridiculously good sauce – perfect for pairing with bread!

Obvi I love trying new spots so this is huge: I went back to The Mussel Pot the SAME week I had my first taste – hey, I had to work my mussel memory, don’t judge!  Make your plans to get there now – mail out report cards my thank you note later.

Forget the Nth Degree, Try 10 Degrees

3 May

As you probably know, I’m more of a “go HERE for this but go THERE for that” type of gal; it’s rare that I come across a place I’ll recommend for a wide variety of social situations… but then there’s 10 Degrees.  This East Village (St Marks btwn 1st Ave/Ave A) cocktail + wine lounge has great food, an extensive drink menu and excellent happy hour/day-drinking-friendly specials that can play to the most casual of friendly hangs to the most swoon-able date nights.

For your next date, grab a stool at the bar or a table along the back corridor for a more private rendezvous.  A glass of Prosecco ($12) will get your bubbly self off to a fab start, play it safe and choose a classic cocktail ($10-14) or experiment with something new – the French 75 ($11) is the perfect blend of citrus, bubbly and gin.  There’s also an extensive wine list (1/2 priced bottles on Mondays) and an interesting selection of beers.  You’ll be feeling saucy in no time.

After you’ve got your refreshments settled, I strongly suggest you consider grabbing a bite.  The mixed plates of meats and olives are perfect to casually share and nibble off of – I personally love the mix and match cheese plate options (3 for $21 or 4 for $26).  If you want to go all out, the Avocado Toast ($7.50) is EXCELLENT; the flavors are so fresh with a splash of lemon juice that dances on your tongue (forgive me while I have my moment).   The Paninis are equally impressive; particularly the Caprese ($9.75), which you may want to skip if you’re on a date but will absolutely have to try if you’re ready to dig in to a seriously fab pressed sandwich.

While date night is always a good time, my favorite time to play at 10 Degrees is with a group of friends for a weekend funday.  The front lounge area has windows that open to the sidewalk, creating the perfect atmosphere to enjoy 2-for-1 cocktails (on the daily) from 12-8pm.  AMAZING deal.  On a recent trip, some friends had the Porc Burgerettes ($9.75) which are adorable sliders made of sake glazed pork belly topped with a fried quail egg and accompanied by a Cabernet Sauvignon jelly.  Sounds almost good enough to make me reconsider eating meat –almost

If you’re looking to throw an all out rager, there’s a back room which can be rented out for larger groups – open bar options and food platters for groups make this a no-brainer party spot.  So next time you’re in the East Village without an agenda and with a desire to get your drank and eats on, use your brain; there’s no degree of separation that should keep you from 10 Degrees.

Tusc-Mex? Heck YES! Matilda Restaurant

1 Dec


Let’s take a trip to the crossroads of Italy (Tuscany, to be precise) + Mexico and try to imagine a happy place where these two very different cuisines intersect in a harmonious culinary collaboration.  It’s tough to picture, I know, but Matilda Tusc-Mex Restaurant, a funky East Village resto (on 11th St btwn Aves B/C) pulls it off beautifully.

While this sexy, modern spot that proudly blasts 80s/90 dance-anthems would make an awesome weekend night out, Tuesday night is where it’s at for the ladies.  The Ladies Night special includes not only 1/2 off all the specialty cocktails, but a FREE glass of wine (red or white) with your meal.  Sooo we started with Prosojitos (Prosecco + Mojito = AMAZING)… I got the original mint/lime and my dinner date Marissa had the fresh strawberry – it was only $5.50 (normally $11) for a big, delicious, muddled cocktail.  Awesome deal, in my book – they are so refreshingly wonderous (I recommend asking for less sugar, if you’re sensitive to sweets or looking to shave calories).

Eat a Lotta Burrata!

As an appetizer, we had the Burrata con Pomodorino which was a creamy mozz-ish cheese served with fresh made tortilla chips and brick-oven roasted cherry tomatoes.  So good, especially eaten with the complimentary basket of bread that was dense and had a cake-like consistency.

Next up, I cleansed my palate with the FREE glass of white wine (was actually quite good) and the Ruccola con Ananas e Ricotta Salada which is a mouthful to say, but is a very simple arugala salad with yummy chunks of ricotta cheese tossed in with pineapple and avocado.

Tortilla Pizza!

The main event was the tortilla pizza – you can make it with any of the toppings listed, but we went with our server’s suggestion and got tomato sauce, spicy veggies (OMG, so firey hot, SO freakin good!!!), mozzarella, and avocado.   It was the epitome of collaboration between Tuscan and Mexican dishes and was a fiesta in my mouth!

With a party-like atmosphere and awesome Tusc-Mex collabs that shame the average Tex-Mex dish, Matilda is fusion done right.  Plus there’s no arguing with a good price tag – with the ladies night special (go on TUESDAY girls) our bill was only $50 bucks.  I want to go back for more – who’s coming with me?!

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