NYC Restaurant week 2017 summer

Since its inception in 1992, NYC Restaurant Week has now expanded to four weeks of a financially friendly opportunity to explore and try restaurants you may otherwise feel out of your reach. With 390 restaurants participating, the options can seem a bit overwhelming. If you have no idea where to go, we want to help you make your choice during these last days. Note: NYC Restaurant Week ends tomorrow, Friday, August 18th. So make your reservations now!

So “how does this work?” you may be askingDuring NYC Restaurant Week, you can indulge in a 3-course prix-fixe meal, which will cost you $29 for lunch and $42 dinner (plus the cost of beverages, tax and gratuity). This menu is offered Monday – Friday and on Sundays at some locations. You can find out which restaurants are participating and explore the menus they are offering here.

NYC Restaurant week 2017 summer

To give you a taste of what to expect and to help you narrow your options, here is what a few of our hungry friends had to say:

Danielle, @DaniDares (Food Before Love Insider)

Where to go:

The Clocktower (Flatiron) (lunch)

What to order:

Appetizer: Shellfish linguini, lemongrass, king crab, lobster bisque

Entree: 36 Hour braised Pork Belly, crispy polenta, roasted apricots, golden thyme

Dessert: Peach Eton mess, almond whipped cream, vanilla meringue

Beverage: Gruner Ventliner

Favorite details of the experience: The entire experience was decadent. The walls are adorned with images of classic icons. It felt as if we were in someone’s home that was hosting us for lunch or the perfect setting for a game of clue. The bisque was fulfilling yet not heavy, and the pork belly melted in my mouth with such a succulent flavor.

Branzino

Name: Jessica, @Jessbcause721

Where to go:

Schilling Restaurant and Bar (FiDi) (lunch)

What to order:

Appetizer: Chicken liver crostini with shallot marmalade, house pickles and dijon

Entree: Branzino w/ a black garlic broth, root vegetable fricasse and charred broccoli florets

Dessert: Tiramisu

Beverage: Traditional Austrian beer Hefeweizen

Favorite details of the experience:

I absolutely loved the chicken liver crostini! It was super rich and the sweetness of the shallot marmalade just literally melted in your mouth. I would go back just to have that. I also loved that the broth with the branzino was spicy. The branzino was tender and flaky, there is so much you can do with fish so I enjoyed that they kept the broth light and flavorful and kept the branzino as the star.I would give the food a 4, that tiramisu was heaven in a shot glass.

Ambiance of the restaurant is very farm to table as the location is an industrial converted garage with wooded accents, glowing string lights and plush pillow lined benches.  The door was pulled all the way up so we had a nice floating breeze. I adore restaurants like this that kind of invite the hum of the city in while you dine. You can always feel connected to the world around you..

Great for dates or just catching up with friends. The waitstaff was extremely friendly and were more than accommodating when my boyfriend and I wanted to sample a few of the beers before deciding. Service is definitely a 5. All in all I would love to go back, as I said before its cozy, I had a great time and the food was AMAZING!

Tagliatelle alla Bolognese

Haley & Sarah, @twotastebuds_nyc

Where to go:

Sant Ambroeus (West Village)

What to order:

Appetizer: Battuta Di Manzo (Steak tartare)

Entree: Tagliatelle alla Bolognese

Dessert: Gelato & Sorbet

Beverage(s): Bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon “La Contessa” 2015

Favorite details of the experience: The tagliatelle alla Bolognese was one of the best pasta dishes I have had in NYC and our waitress let us have a wine tasting while deciding which we wanted!

Where have you gone for NYC Restaurant Week? Let us know all about it in the comments below or tag us @FoodBeforeLove on instagram!

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Emily-Burger-Brooklyn

Our Burgers Before Love crew and I took our cravings and taste buds over to Emily in Clinton Hills, Brooklyn. Emily is traditionally known for their delicious pizzas (hence instagram name @pizzalovesemily), however they also created a massively rich burger known as the Emmy Burger.

Emily-Cocktail

Emily is a cozy rustic inspired Brooklyn favorite. Seating can be limited, so I recommend making a reservation in advance, especially on their busy nights. This was not my first time checking out Emily, yet I wanted to make an extra special date to check out the Emmy Burger. As I always do, while I waited for the rest of the burger lovers, I enjoyed two of their Auntie Blayze cocktails. I knew this burger would be huge, so I saved my appetite for when the group arrived.

IMG_5117

As the group arrived we headed over to our table to get our grub on. We wanted to try everything, however in true Emily culture, we ordered a pizza pie for the table to share. We kept it plain with a classic cheese pizza topped with basil as we all knew the size of burger we would soon get.

Emily-Burger-Brooklyn

The Emmy Burger is composed of a 7oz artisanal Pat LaFrieda meat patty, EMMY sauce, caramelized onions, Grafton cheddar cornichon and a side of skinny fries. All of this comes in at a price tag of $26. When it arrived to the table, it stole the show as you could see all the beautiful layers of flavor it possessed. The Emmy Burger was so large that I could hardly wrap my hands around it in order to take a full bite. After that initial bite, flavors began to explode in my mouth. It was incredibly meaty and rich, caused by the combination of special sauces and caramelized onions. It is a perfect marriage in your mouth.

Emily is definitely worth returning to, however I suggest bringing along a friend to help you finish your burger!

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Shareable Rum Bucket

I love a good rooftop bar! There’s something about gazing out over an awesome skyline view combined with great drinks and food, that always gets me. Luckily for me, there’s quite a few to choose from in NYC and I’m always down to go to a new one I haven’t visited yet. So when I found out about this beach themed pop up bar at the Arlo Soho hotel’s Good Story rooftop, I couldn’t wait to check it out for this month’s Cocktails Before Love  NYC meet up.

Good Story Roof Top Bar overlooking the East River in lower Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood, is known for its craft beer, well-mixed cocktails and in the warmer months, grilled snacks and small plates. As a twist, various ‘pop-up’ concepts take over Good Story from time to time, as the bar transforms into any given theme. This summer it’s a beach theme pop up called Harry’s Surf Shack and we all agreed they did a great job with its execution. Such a fun and lively spot to bond with my fellow foodies!

Frozen Margaritas and Pina Coladas
Photo by N. Salter

The hotel itself  is clearly chic as you first step through the doors. The lobby is very inviting and I couldn’t help but wander a bit before heading to the roof and take a peak at the nice mix of common spaces complete with sky-lighting and exposed brick giving it a modern city feel, vibe. The hotel also houses the fairly new, Harold’s Meat + Three, a modern restaurant conjuring up Southern flavor,  which I will need to make a return visit to sample the tasty looking  menu items.

On to the roof – stepping off the elevator you are in the indoor portion and transported to…insert name of your favorite island or beach getaway! The walls are done up in graphic, tropical floral prints and the seating arrangements, throw pillows and end tables all have a relaxed beachy vibe – super cute. I zeroed in on the frozen drink machines at the bar and couldn’t wait to find out what the Frozen Cocktails for the day were. There were two to choose from – a margarita and a piña colada. I went with the piña colada while others in the Cocktail Before Love crew sipped on the margarita. We all agreed that the alcohol was definitely present, something that sometimes is lacking in frozen drinks – but not these, they were icy AND still boozy.

Guacamole with cotija cheese and chorizo
Photo by N. Salter

I was all prepared to have my favorite drink this summer the frozen rosé, or frosé as it’s been called, but the bartender informed us that they didn’t have it that particular evening. Apparently they rotate the frozen drink offerings through out the week. I was disappointed but got over it once I started in on my piña colada! The drink menu featured all the traditional choices associated with the beach – a tropical sangria with Pinot Grigio, mango and pineapple and classics such as the Mai Tai (Appleton Rum, lime and orgeat) and Painkiller (rum, pineapple, cream of coconut and nutmeg) The sharable rum buckets, good for up to four people and served in cool sand buckets, were a hit with everyone. Our crew ordered the Rum Punch bucket, a mixture of light, dark and spiced rums infused with fresh guava juice and the Coco Loco bucket, perfect for must of us who loved coconut – coconut rum, light rum, coconut cream and coconut water. Honestly, all the drinks were on point here – balanced, refreshing and potent.

We paired our drinks with small plates straight from the on premises grill. Of course, I had to try the guacamole and chips,  which came in a small and large size with the option to add a mix-in. Mix-ins included roasted red pepper, red onion, jalapeno, bacon bits, chorizo and cotija cheese. It was a tough decision, since all the choices sounded great, but I finally opted for the chorizo and cotija cheese – and I was so glad that I did; it really was delicious! This guacamole wasn’t chunky, instead it had a smooth and creamy consistency, almost dip-like and with the addition of the zesty, mildly spicy chorizo and the cotija cheese, I easily almost ate the whole portion myself! The rest of the group ordered steak and chicken tacos, which were served as sort of a make your own taco station. The taco ‘smorgasbord’ included tortillas, sliced jalapeno, onion, salsa, cilantro and lime and the well seasoned, grilled steak and chicken. Thumbs up all around! Other food offerings such as burgers, hot dogs, Mexican street corn and lobster rolls are sure to please for the next visit.

Shareable Rum Bucket
Photo by N. Salter

If you haven’t been to the beach all summer, Harry’s Surf Shack at Arlo Soho hotel’s Good Story roof top, gets you in the mood without stepping near the ocean. I wonder what the next pop up theme will be? I certainly plan on returning to find out!

If you want to be down with our next foodie adventure, be sure to RSVP for the next meet up.

Cheers!

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Cup Tap + Cork

Calling all beer and wine lovers! The 5th annual Tap+Cork: Brooklyn Beer & Wine Fest hosted by Arts+Crafts is returning to Restoration Plaza on Saturday August 12, and you do not want to miss it. Described as the experience of grand tastings with a block party atmosphere, this day long even features over 60 craft beers and wines to taste, delicious food pairings from local vendors, and live music and entertainment. More than one thousand beer and wine lovers have come out to this event in the past, and they are doing it even bigger this year with added events throughout the weekend to cater to everyone’s needs.

Tap + Cork Flyer

This tasty fest will contain a multitude of curated craft beer and artisanal wine selections from known breweries and wineries such as Harlem Brew, Five Boroughs Brewing, Veltins’ Grebensteiner, Dyckman Brewery, Owls Brew, Brooklyn Oenology, Cherulin Thomas and Mouton Noir. Patrons will be given a commemorative sampling cup to try out the selections offered from different vendors. While sampling the delicious libations, you’ll be able to indulge in some equally delicious treats and eats from some local food vendors, and DJ CEO and DJ Christopher Sealey will be playing all the tunes in case beer and wine makes you want to dance a little.

Tap + Cork Group
Photo by Nicholas Nichols

In its fifth year, some other perks have been added to the fest such as TapNight Out on August 11, and the very first Tap+Cork Champagne Brunch on August 12, the day after the fest. The Saturday festival will also feature a #DrinkBetter VIP lounge, which has a special 3-hour tasting session with unlimited tastes of top-shelf curated selections, food, and beverage.

Sounds like something you’re interested in? Well, General Admissions tickets are only $25, and allow for 15 tastings (Yes, FIFTEEN!), and you can also buy additional sets of tastings at the event if fifteen is not enough to satisfy your craving, because with over 60 vendors, you may wanna try out more. VIP ticket start at $60 and includes access to the #DrinkBetter lounge.

Tap + Cork NYC
Photo by Nicholas Nichols

So, what are you waiting for beer and wine aficionado? Visit www.tapcorknyc.com for more information and to purchase those tickets.  And remember, Tap+Cork: Brooklyn Beer & Wine Fest is going down Saturday August 12, from 2-8 at Restoration Plaza (1368 Fulton Street).

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Secret Summer NYC Cocktail Glass

Pssst…can you keep a secret?

Well some secrets aren’t meant to keep!

Secret Summer NYC is back for another exciting installment as the first and only farm-to-bar immersive food and cocktail festival combined with music, fashion, art and performance.

Only days away, this one-of-a-kind event takes place on Sunday, August 6th, from 4pm – 10pm at the The Foundry, an event space located in Long Island City, Queens that will be transformed into a lush, garden-like setting befitting for this summer time soirée that attracts NYC’s hottest crowd. What better way to spend your Sunday Funday than sipping on creative cocktails and noshing on gourmet bites in a beautiful urban oasis!

Secret Summer NYC Bartender
Shot by Dee Williams

The MVP of the day – the drinks – will be curated by bespoke catering and hospitality company, RAPT New York, who specializes in farm-to-bar mixology sourcing the best ingredients from locally owned farms and urban hydroponic gardens. A glimpse into the cocktail menu showcases intriguing creations with clever names, such as the “Resting Birch Face”, with Woodford Reserve bourbon, foraged black birch, Wilklow Orchard cherries and Farm One mints and the “Figgedaboudit”, a concoction of Zacapa 23 rum, mission figs from Murray Farm, Harmless Harvest coconut water, honey and thyme.

Secret Summer NYC Cocktail Menu
Shot by Dee Williams

After getting your drinks on, you’ll definitely want to sample some food to accompany them. This year’s featured food trucks include Luke’s Lobster, La Pulperia, Big D’s Grub Truck and Wafels & Dinges. Offering a variety of flavors and cuisines to satisfy multiple palates, from savory to sweet – these trucks will have you covered whether you want a light bite or something heartier.

Secret Summer NYC Cocktail
Shot by Dee Williams

What’s a good summer party without entertainment? Secret Summer will present a live band, drumming performance group and a DJ to set the musical mood. Plus, for extra fun factor, a photo booth, gold flash tattoo stations, nail art stations and face painting and mehdni body art will all be featured.

Secret Summer NYC Cocktail Glass
Shot by Dee Williams

General Admission tickets include complimentary cocktails and drinks; food is for purchase. And luckily, tickets are still available here. Be sure to use the promo code ‘SecretFoodies‘ to receive 20% off.

If indicative of summers’ past, this year will sure to be an experience like no other. Hope to see you there!

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Lori Lane And Pizza NYC

I fell in love with &Pizza the very first time I took a weekend trip to D.C. a few years back, so much that I went back 3 times that same weekend. Ever since, whenever I am visiting D.C. or Philly, I make it my business to stop by one of their shops and get some pizza. I’ve been praying to the food gods that they would bring a shop to New York, and they finally answered my prayers when they announced they would be opening a shop in NYC this summer. This has been my favorite pizza shop for 3 years running, so of course, I was delighted when they invited us to their pre-opening party at their new NoMad location to try out some delicious pizzas and cocktails.

Feta Pizza And Pizza

At &Pizza, you can choose from some of their delicious already crafted pie options, or opt to create your own pizza masterpiece. At the event, we feasted on some of their pre-crafted options. If you opt to create your own, you start with choosing your dough, which includes gluten-free options and my favorite, Ancient grains. Then you pick a sauce which includes everything from classic tomato, to basil pesto, mushroom truffle and a spicy tomato. Next you can choose between Shredded cheese, fresh mozzarella, or vegan cheese. Once that’s done, you move on to toppings, and they have so many! Broccoli, pineapple, mushroom, spinach, spicy chickpeas, jalapeños, the list goes on. Then you top it off with a protein of your choice with classics like pepperoni, Italian sausage and chicken, but also shrimp, scrambled eggs, and a vegan beef crumble. Then they pop it into a conveyor belt like oven and you wait for it to come out hot and delicious from the other end. Before boxing it up, they allow you to add a few finishing touches like parmesan cheese, fresh basil, olives, and even hot sauce!

Robin Thomas And Pizza NYC

And Pizza Spread

At the event, they showered us with tastes of some of their NoMad pizza creations such as the OG, which had classic tomato sauce with mozzarella, tomato, and basil. The Farmer’s daughter had spicy tomato sauce and was topped with spinach, mozzarella, Italian sausage, egg, parmesan and red pepper chili oil. My favorite was the Maverick which was stacked with pepperoni, salami, and Italian sausage, and had their delicious pesto sauce drizzled on top.

Lori Lane And Pizza NYC

But what really stole the show for us was the dessert pizza called Lori Lane. It had sweet ricotta, strawberries, powdered sugar and a berry drizzle on top. I’ve never had a dessert pizza before but WOW, this one was amazing. So good that we found ourselves watching for when they would bring out a fresh one. While nibbling on bites, they also had wine and beer to sip on a DJ spinning tunes, and some awesome &Pizza merchandise to grab. One cool handout was a personalized pizza pie box, by an artist who would design it with whatever you wanted.

Graffiti And Pizza NYC

While at the event, we also got the chance who to chat with &Pizza co-founder and CEO Michael Lastoria who shared that the idea for &Pizza came to him while living in Chelsea, and although he eventually took the idea to D.C. where it was born, he always knew it would come back to the Big Apple. So, it turns out that &Pizza has a little New York already inside of it!

Make sure you check out &Pizza NoMAd at 15 West 28th street, between Broadway and 5th avenue. You won’t regret it!

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