I love food, wine, and the occasional adult liquid refresher.  Here are some of the places I like to eat, drink, and be merry at, as well as some recipes I highly recommend.

RESTAURANT REVIEWS


Artichoke Basilles Pizza
328 East 14th Street (between First and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Benjamin
603 Second Avenue (at East 33rd Street)
New York, NY 10016

Beppe
45 East 22nd Street (between Broadway and Park Avenue South)
New York, NY 10010

Best Wingers
711 Second Avenue (between East 38th and East 39th Street)
New York, NY 10016

Bus Stop Cafe
597 Hudson Street (at Bethune Street)
New York, NY 10014

Byblos (closed since Sept. 2010 due to fire but they plan to eventually reopen)
200 East 39th Street (between Second and Third Avenue)
New York, NY 10016

Café Español
172 Bleecker Street (between MacDougal and Sullivan Street)
New York, NY 10012

Chicky's on 86
355 East 86th Street (between First and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10028

Christopher Golden Woks
159 Christopher Street (between Washington and Greenwich Street)
New York, NY 10014

Corner Bistro
331 West 4th Street (at Jane Street)
New York, NY 10014

The Cottage
360 Amsterdam Avenue (at West 77th Street)
New York, NY 10024

Cowgirl Hall of Fame
519 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014

Darbar Grill
157 East 55th Street (between Third and Lexington Avenue)
New York, NY 10022

East of Eighth 
254 West 23rd Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenue)
New York, NY 10011

Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop
174 Fifth Avenue (at West 22nd Street)
New York, NY 10010

El Quijote
226 West 23rd Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenue)
New York, NY 10011 
 
Empire Szechuan Village
173 Seventh Avenue South (at Perry Street)
New York, NY 10014

Fiddlesticks
56 Greenwich Avenue
New York, NY 10011

The Four Seasons
99 East 52nd Street (between Park and Lexington Avenue)
New York, NY 10022

Fraunces Tavern
54 Pearl Street
New York, NY 10004


Gene's Restaurant
73 West 11th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenue)
New York, NY 10011

Ido Sushi
29 Seventh Avenue South (at Bedford Street)
New York, NY 10014

Jane
100 West Houston Street (between Thompson Street and LaGuardia Place)
New York, NY 10014

Julius'
159 West 10th Street (at Waverly Place)
New York, NY 10014

La Petite Auberge
116 Lexington Avenue (at East 28th Street)
New York, NY 10016

Malibu Diner
163 West 23rd Street (at Seventh Avenue)
New York, NY 10011

Manatus
340 Bleecker Street (at Christopher Street)
New York, NY 10014

McCormick & Schmick's
1285 Avenue of the Americas (between West 51st and West 52nd Street)
New York, NY 10019

Molly's
287 Third Avenue (at East 22nd Street)
New York, NY 10010

The Park
118 Tenth Avenue (at West 17th Street)
New York, NY 10011

Popover Cafe
551 Amsterdam Avenue (at West 87th Street)
New York, NY 10024

Porter House New York
10 Columbus Circle, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10019

Rafiqi's Delicious Food
NW corner of East 39th Street and Third Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Second Avenue Deli
162 East 33rd Street (between Third and Lexington Avenue)
New York, NY 10016

Serendipity 3
225 East 60th Street (between Second and Third Avenue)
New York, NY 10022

Spice
199 Eighth Avenue (at West 20th Street) 
New York, NY 10011-1605 

Tavern on Jane
31 Eighth Avenue (at Jane Street)
New York, NY 10014

Ukrainian East Village Restaurant
140 Second Avenue (at East 9th Street)
New York, NY 10003


RECIPES

Bella Burger
When my mother would make her sauce, I used to help with the meatballs.  We always put aside some of the mixture and would form them into little burgers that we fried up for lunch.  So this is basically a meatball done as a burger, but it's delicious.

Bella's Breakfast Sandwich

My mother was the best cook I have ever known, and this simple little creation is one of my very favorite things that she would make for me.  It took me years to be able to make it myself without burning it.

Bella's Calamari Salad
Bella is Italian for beautiful.  My mother was not Italian but she was beautiful, and she cooked Italian food that would put both Lidia and Mario to shame.  If you have only ever had calamari fried in a restaurant, you will be surprised how delicious this cold salad is.  Pronounce it "gollamod" if you want to sound like you're from Brooklyn.

Bella's Egg Salad
Egg salad is one of those great comfort foods.  My mother's egg salad is still the best I have ever had.  The key is having the eggs in very fine pieces and adding diced onion (a little diced celery is nice too but my mother eschewed celery in her egg salad).

Broiled Fish
Along with steak, fish is my favorite thing to cook at home.  And simple is best with this easy recipe for broiling.

Caviar Dip
This is a quick, elegant, and tasty dip combining three of my favorite ingredients: caviar, sour cream, and onions.  Serve it at your next party and see for yourself.

Chicken Livers and Rice
This is a Jewish peasant dish that is as simple as it is rich and delicious.

Chicken Salad
Here is another classic comfort food that often gets mangled by amateur deli people.  Follow the same principle as with Bella's egg salad and finely dice the chicken.  For a great timesaver, use one of those already cooked rotisserie chickens from the supermarket.

Chinese Dumpling Sauce
I made this up while doing a recipe I had gotten from a magazine for Asian chicken wings.  I wasn't crazy about the wings but this sauce is delicious.

Classic Italian Sub
This is a monster of a sandwich - definitely not for the seven grain with sprouts and avocado crowd.  For best taste, make ahead, wrap in tin foil, and refrigerate for a few hours before eating.

Colorful Pasta Salad
A delicious, easy, and pretty dish - just like me!

Coq au Vin
The classic French dish of chicken and wine.  This is mostly the recipe from The New York Times Cookbook with a few tweaks by moi.  Because it is basically a stew, coq au vin tastes better the longer it sits.  My advice is to make it at least a day before you want to serve it, refrigerate it, and then reheat.

Eggs Benedict Arnold
I think I am a pretty good cook, but I am especially good at breakfast.  If you ever sleep over, you will find out for yourself.  If a western omelette and eggs benedict had a child, this delicious dish would be the result.

Faux Poached Eggs
Here is another great recipe from Denis O'Shea.  All of the great taste of poached eggs with none of the effort.  As Denis might say, "Less work for mother!"

Funny Coffee
A few years ago at Christmas dinner, to my horror, Denis O'Shea poured a snifter of Grand Marnier into his coffee.  He then gave me a sip.  I was hooked.  So simple yet sublime.  Since then, I have learned never to question the Daddy Bear.  Grand Marnier in my Corn Flakes?  Sure, if you say so.

Gazpacho
The classic Spanish cold soup.

No Fry Fried Rice
Another great recipe from my mother - trust me, this fried rice is just as good, if not better, than what you will get in most Chinese restaurants.

Pasta Gazzara
Here is a hearty pasta dish I totally improvised one night with a few simple ingredients from the market. I must humbly say that I really impressed myself.  Why Pasta Gazzara?  I dunno.  It sounds really Italian and I always thought Ben Gazzara was a terribly underrated actor.  He was never  nominated for an Oscar - the least someone could do was name a bowl of macaroni after him.

Perfect Steak
Grilling steak at home should not be intimidating.  Follow these simple rules and you will always have a perfectly cooked piece of meat.

Reuben Redux
A delicious take on one of the all-time great sandwiches.

Swedish Meatballs
Here is a recipe that is not only a delicious main course, but it's all done in one dish in the microwave in under thirty minutes - take that, Rachael Ray!  Also can be made as smaller meatballs and served for hors d'oeuvres.

Vegetable Cream Cheese
Make this next time you have bagels and don't worry about anyone schmearing you!

Vegetable Dip
Trust me - after you try this, you will never buy dip in a can again.

Western Scramble
This is basically a western omelette but done as scrambled eggs.  Especially good if you're making breakfast for a lot of people.