Cherry Izakaya

I challenge you to dine solo during NYC Restaurant Week because waiting on your friends to join you is not the key to success. Sometimes you have to do it on your own. 

Here are a few places you can try:

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1. Zuma 

Honestly the price point here is really $$$$ so why wouldn’t you catch this deal? Besides, I’m standing by the food here, it’s a tastebuds party. 

Type of restaurant: Japanese

Perfect for: Your Sex and the City lunch date or even a double date. 

What you need to know: They do shared plates here so just know you’re ordering for the table.

2. Baan 

Who knew there was even another restaurant near mother burger and blockheads? When you’re too thirsty for margaritas, you may not even peep. 

Type of restaurant: Korean

Perfect for: This is first date or second date material 

What you need to know: The Bulgogi is a must. You get to cook it yourself, eat good and get this experience at the same d*mn time. 

Tuna Sashimi Baan

3. Miss Lily’s 

Who Jah bless, no man can curse. Need I say more? 

Type of restaurant: Caribbean 

Perfect for: Good vibes

What you need to know: There are two locations, but the Soho location is my favorite!

4. Raymi

Type of restaurant: Peruvian

Perfect for: Any occasion 

What you need to know: The sangria is normally delicious and you can get a free Pisco early in the week when you check in on yelp.

5. Bodega Negra

Type of restaurant: 

Perfect for: Intimate date night

What you need to know: It’s “hidden” at the Dream Hotel, don’t mistake the outside cafe for the real location.

Bodega Negra Maduros

6. Cherry Izakaya

Type of restaurant: Japanese

Perfect for: Any occasion

What you need to know: The spicy tuna crispy rice is a must!

Cherry Izakaya

7. Fonda

Type of restaurant: Mexican

Perfect for: Catching up with friends

What you need to know: The place is really laid back. So don’t try for anything serious.

I also plan to visit The View, Hakassan NY, and Cafe D’Alsace for the first time. Maybe, just maybe, they will make the list next year of must visits. 

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Lure Fish Bar shrimp

Lure Fish Bar was on the NYC Restaurant Week list and it’s so much of a Gem, it’s almost too good to be on that list.

The menu they offered for the week was appealing and I was so excited to be meeting my sweetheart there for dinner on a Friday Night, not to mention, restaurant week was coming to an end so we had to do this right. Imagine the awe I was in because the place looks like the inside of a boat. You have to walk down steps to get inside and the windows are above you. The key to this though, is that the windows are in circular shapes, as a boat would be, and the entire set up looks as such. You know I love me a cute spot to eat. What I may love more than that is a great drink, and the strawberry mojito I had was just that.

Lure Fish Bar Mojito

We started the night with the shrimp tempura that had a spicy mayo on it. The batter, if it even was a batter, was very light and really allowed me to taste the shrimp despite the condiments. We also got to try the salmon tartar which was delicate yet delightful, once you get past the somewhat mushy texture.

Lure Fish Bar shrimp

Lure Fish Bar Salmon Tarte

I am much more of a Salmon girl myself, however, I decided to do the Cod that evening. The cod came with a honey glaze. It was very soft, made fresh and had a good chew to it. The lentils complimented the dish even though I was skeptical about them at first. There still happened to be salmon at my table which was just as delicate at the tartar and had a great pop of flavors.

Lure Fish Bar Cod fish

Lure Fish Bar Salmon

The chocolate molten cake had some salted caramel ice cream to accompany it, along with caramelized popcorn and chocolate pudding to fill it. I went for the raspberry and chocolate pot, my favorite mix of all things sweet. It was like having a mousse in a bowl but a more liquid texture and hints of tart all around.

Lure Fish Bar Molten Cake

Lure Fish Bar Dessert

texas de brazil.chocolate mousse

But it’s still Chicago week here at Food Before love and if you haven’t booked a flight to go there yet due to my recap, you must be a fool. I am getting super nostalgic about this place, like you would think this is home for me so I KNOW I’m selling some of you on it.

When we were in Chicago it was restaurant week ofcourse and we decided to dine at Texas De Brazil.

texas de brazil 

Marcy and I had already made plans to go to the New York location, so the fact that it was about 10 steps away from our hotel, really sold us on making a reservation immediately. Little did we know that after Kumas Corner , we’d be walking into a buffet. You couldn’t tell me that Marcy?

The best part about this place is that they walk around with all different types of meats on a stick for consumption at your convenience. Filet Mignon wrapped in bacon, brazilian sausage, lamb chops and then some , are passed, served fresh and ready to eat during your entire dinner.Literally, during the ENTIRE dinner, we almost didn’t want anymore but they do say Brazilian meat is the best ……It wasn’t super loud in here either so I really got to enjoy the company of my date #heyboo . I also ordered something like a pina colada which was delicious while Marcy had a classic mojito.

texas de brazil.cocktail

For Dessert, which was the real winner of the evening, we thoroughly enjoyed the chocolate mousse cake and the cheesecake.

texas de brazil. cheesecake

texas de brazil.chocolate mousse

The chocolate cake is for true chocolate lovers only because it truly was a triple dose of chocolate yum. It was rich, moist and seemed to be never-ending but I wasn’t complaining! The cheesecake according to Marcy was nothing short of “AMAZING” . The package for the dessert to take home was the cutest thing too! Maybe it’s not just the meat they’re good for…..The service here was truly delightful. Our server, Andres was attentive, kind and funny so we really appreciated that aspect of the experience.

All of the sides served in the buffet were good and because of the variety of items it wasn’t boring either. We had absolutely no complaints about anything. Talking about this makes me want to go there this weekend but definitely , if you can’t make it to Chicago for this, try New York.

Zoes fried poached egg

Who needs a break from restaurant week? Not I !

But I took one anyways. Weren’t expecting that were you? Well, I  Chose to dine at Zoe’s in the Lower East Side with a deal from Gilt. The deal required that the chef choose the menu and a tasting party it was.  I started off with the sake and wished I ordered wine, it was going to be a long night.

The chef started with the kale and radicchio salad, with anchovies and a poached egg to start. I normally don’t indulge in poached eggs but I refused to pass up on a fried one and I’m glad I didn’t. This had to have been one of the best  salads I’ve had from the fried egg alone.

Zoes fried poached egg

In the next two minutes, we had lamb. This was served two ways: braised on the bone and fried served over onion soup.

Zoes Lamb

I was hoping this wasn’t the whole meal when they brought out this Mediterranean Dorad fish. Aside from the bones in this baby, it was great. Evenly fried, crisp in all the right place and the raisins on the top provided a good sweet contrast to the succulent fish I was having.

Zoes fried fish

Lemon posset for dessert which was extremely tart; I honestly wasn’t expecting the strong tart flavors at all.

Zoes' Lemon Posset

Towards the end, the chef, Zoe, came out to introduce herself and see how everything was. She’s super cute and pleasant. Not to mention she was on Bravo’s Chef Academy so it was really cool meeting her.

Update: This location is now closed.

cocktail city crab

I almost forgot I went to City Crab and Seafood and I had been wanting to eat here since the last restaurant week but I just couldn’t find the time.

I started with the mussels; awesome sauce and a garlic crostini to accompany them. Not what I’m used to but of course, I ate it anyway (save your judgement). Well-cooked mussels are important! But the secret is in the sauce. So for drinks, I had the Heartbreaker *insert smug look here*. It was raspberry vodka, pineapple juice, and some other stuff that makes it tasty.

cocktail city crab

I also had crab stuffed lobster with corn on the cob, delicious but overwhelming. I love crab meat and it was well seasoned, well made, and a great add-on to this beautiful lobster.

lobster city crab

The cheesecake was thick in texture and made for two to indulge in. Really can’t complain about City Crab and Seafood . It was a very decent meal and I’d go back for their Mac and Cheese.

cheesecake city crab


Chocolate Molten Cake Zengo

Asian & Latin fusion, Zengo is right up my alley.

Sangria Zengo

It was my first time trying an eel roll and it was very good. Mainly because I couldn’t taste the eel! Ha! I was afraid it would be horrible but it was a good combination of flavors. The sangria was somewhat on the average side but it’s rare to blow my sangria socks off.

Sushi Zengo

As an entrée I ordered the flank steak with mashed potatoes. I hated the mashed potatoes; they had an odd flavor to them which I couldn’t pinpoint and it made it impossible to enjoy. What a shame because the steak was fairly good, but if I can’t enjoy the meal as is, I won’t order it again. Yikes.

Flank Steak Zengo

Chocolate molten cake with Ice cream on top, you can’t go wrong with this one. The super rich flavor and a great balance between the cake and the ice cream is always appreciated. The ambiance here was also sexy and laid back which I enjoyed.

Chocolate Molten Cake Zengo