New Year

The end of the year is almost here and it’s time to celebrate all you’ve accomplished with loved ones. Our Food Before Love Insiders gave use the details on where they plan to chow down before the new year is here and now they’re sharing the love.

If you can’t make it to these places before the new year, don’t fret, they’ll still be around in 2018. Just know, these places have the FBL stamp of approval!

Robin, NYC Insider

Why: I’ve had K Rico on my to-go list for a while now, because I’m always looking for new spots to add to my ever growing brunch list. K Rico offers a $27 boozy brunch option, which is something you won’t come across often in the midtown west area.
What to order: I’m definitely starting with the bottomless mimosas (duh!), and then the crab cake benedict has my name written all over it.

Simone Bradshaw, Miami Insider

Where: Lil Greenhouse Grill,1300 NW 3rd Ave, Miami, FL 33136
Why: Why not? It’s an awesome restaurant – great food, service with a smile, chill vibe, and lovely people.
What to Order: Mac and cheese, ribs, rib tips, half chicken, collard greens, baked beans, red velvet cheesecake.

Lil Greenhouse Grill
Lil Greenhouse Grill ribs. Photo by mmanrique1428.

Natasha Salter, NYC Insider

Where: Le Rivage, 340 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036 (between 8th and 9th Avenue)
Why: I’m always on the hunt for an amazing burger and I’ve been wanting to try this little French bistro’s infamous, signature French Onion Soup burger!

Le Rivage
Perfectly seasoned beef, cheese and caramelized onions, this is what dreams are made of. Photo by Le Rivage.

Where: Rice & Gold, 50 Bowery, New York, NY 10013 (between Canal and Bayard Street)
Why: I love Asian fusion cuisine and this is the newest hot spot everyone’s buzzing about. Savory comfort foods are what I crave for the holidays and they specialize in dim sum, dumplings, pho and shareable plates. The perfect place for groups to enjoy a holiday meal.
What to Order: I can’t wait to try the Pho Soup Dumplings, Lobster Fried Rice and the Jerk Roast Duck.

Ariel Ijaduola , NYC Insider 

Where: Dorlan’s Tavern & Oyster Bar,  213 Front St,, New York, NY 10038
Why: The seafood is very fresh at Dorlan’s and it’s in cool area right in the heart of the South Street Seaport.
What to get: Lobster mac and cheese is to die for!
Dorlan's Tavern
Every bite of these cheesy treat is filled with delicious crab meat! Photo by Dorlan’s Tavern.
Where: Nom Wah Tea Parlor, 13 Doyers St., New York, NY 10013
Why: It is the perfect place to satisfy an authentic dim sum craving. It’s cheap and incredibly filling.
What to get: Steamed Dim Sum Sampler so you can try a little bit of everything!

Lauren, ATL Insider 

Why: Most people haven’t heard of 101 Steak in Vinings and that’s a good thing, because it’s still a hidden gem. I’ve been plenty of times and the food is consistently amazing!
What to order: Order the Steak Benedict – 4oz filet, poached eggs, Béarnaise atop an English muffin and served with home fries. Treat yourself to an elevated experience and make that Benedict Oscar which adds jumbo lump crab meat and grilled asparagus (for an additional cost, but so worth it). It is so indulgent and delicious!
101 Steak
Steak and potatoes, a quintessential hearty meal. Get your fix at 101 Steak in ATL! Photo by 101 Steak.

Tameka Jo Pauldo, ATL Insider

Where: The BQE Restaurant & Lounge, Atlanta, 262 Edgewood Avenue, NE
Why: If you love southern cuisine with a modern twist, combined with a relaxed ambiance and jazz music, this is the perfect place.
What to order: I plan to order crispy fried green tomatoes as an appetizer, and red velvet chicken & waffles for my main entree.

Casandra Rosario, Food Before Love Editor-in-Chief

Where: Chef’s Club, 275 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012
Why: Chef JJ’s residency at the Chef’s Club is about to end and if you haven’t booked a reservation yet, this is your last chance to experience it. They’re even including two menu’s to choose from on New Year’s Eve, “99 problems” and “I’ve got 5 on it” for larger parties. How can you say no?
What to get: You might as well end the year with a bang and get everything but we’re loving the Tuna Tartare and the Udon Noodles for sure.

Tuna Tartare Chef's Club

Let us know when you try some of our favorites across the country! Tag us on Instagram and don’t forget to hashtag #FoodBeforeLove. Happy eating!

 

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seafood paella
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Recently, a couple members of the Hungry Crew joined me in checking out one of Miami’s seafood hotspots, Rincon Escondido Tapas, located at 2697 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33137. Rincon serves traditional Spanish and Argentinean cuisine in a tapas style and has quite the reputation for their seafood paella.

THE RESTAURANT

Rincon has the classic “hole-in-the-wall” appeal. Everyone knows that hole-in-the-wall restaurants have the best eats. Outside, there is seating on a raised concrete patio. Inside, Rincon is cozy, with small tables clustered about that can be rearranged depending on the size of your party. It also had an eclectic décor. Rincon is perfect for casual dining, no reservation is necessary, unless you want to order Rincon’s most popular dish: the paella. It’s a good idea to call ahead if you want to order that dish. All of their food is made to order and the paella – which comes with either chicken or seafood – takes about an hour to prepare.

THE FOOD

seafood pallea
The paella is a must try at Rincon, but call ahead if you and your party don’t want to wait for this dish. It takes about an hour to prepare. Photo: Rincon 

Rincon’s seafood paella (“Paella de Mariscos”) is a traditional paella with shrimp, squid, mussels, and clams. One order typically feeds two people, but the Hungry Crew and I ate to contentment and had leftovers – which tasted even better the next day. The presentation of the dish was mouthwatering, the aroma was delicious. It was flavorful, but a bit salty. Luckily, we each had a glass of white wine sangria to cleanse our pallets.

While waiting for our seafood paella, we indulged in some tapas. We ordered the grilled squid (Chipirones a la Plancha), cod fish croquettes (Croquetas de Bacalao), and sautéed garlic shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo).

Before the tapas arrived at our table, the owner served us a small bowl of potato salad as a starter. I usually don’t like potato salad that isn’t made by my mother, but Rincon’s potato salad was tasty. It was well seasoned and not overly creamy.

As we were finishing the potato salad, the grilled squid arrived with warm bread on the side. The grilled squid was not big on flavor. However, the oil based sauce that it was served in was delicious with the bread. Next came the codfish croquettes and OMG they were fantastic! The four pieces were just enough to wet our pallets. Shortly before the seafood paella came out, the sautéed garlic shrimp arrived with more warm bread, it was delicious. The shrimp was well seasoned and perfectly cooked with a kick of spice.

 

Grilled squid served in a buttery lemon sauce.

We ended our meal on a sweet note with flan–a creamy custard dessert popular in Spain. It was divine. The flan’s consistency was perfect and was not overly sweet.

BOTTOM LINE

Overall, I would give Rincon Escondido a rating of four out of five shrimp. It’s a great place to enjoy scrumptious seafood in Miami while hanging out with friends or a casual date night.

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game time
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Thinking of where to take dad for an amazing meal to show him how much he’s loved for this Father’s Day? Whether he loves sports, being on or near the water, rooftop views, or simply delicious food in his belly without the extra “fuss” — we’ve got you covered.

Father’s Day Brunch on the South Beach Lady

Treat dad to delicious eats, beautiful views, and some tunes for dad to bust a move, as you sail around Miami on a luxury yacht. This boating experience is being offered for $79 per adult and $39 per child (under 12 years old)

    1. Location: 1318 N. Ocean Dr., Hollywood, Florida 33019
    2. Price: $$$

To make a reservation, visit South Beach Lady’s website

yacht

Brunch on the Waterfront at River Yacht Club

If you want to avoid dad getting motion sickness, but you still want him to spoil dad with open air fine dining on the water, you should try River Yacht Club. It has great water views and you can also arrive by boat!

    1. Location: 401 SW 3rd Ave., Miami, FL 33130
    2. Pricing: $$$

To make a reservation, contact River Yacht Club at (305)200-5716 or visit their page on Open Table 

Dinner at Morton’s the Steakhouse

For the steak loving dad, Morton’s is offering a three course meal for $59 this Father’s Day.

    1. Location: 1200 Brickell Ave, Miami, FL 33131
    2. Pricing: $$

Contact Morton’s the Steakhouse to reserve your table at (305)400-9990

Mealtime at GameTime!

Have a laid back time with dad at this sports restaurant with delicious bites to satisfy the whole family. Want to make this special time even better? Dad eats FREE with the purchase of another entree of equal or lesser value.

    1. Location: 5701 Sunset Dr, Ste 330, Miami, FL 33143
    2. Pricing: $$

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to share delicious bites with dad! Make your reservation now by calling (305)667-4263.

game time

Father’s Day Lunch Buffet at Leona’s Palace

Prime Rib carving station…baked mac and cheese…homemade mashed potatoes…hawaiian barbeque chicken…is your mouth watering yet? I hope it is because Leona’s Palace has these goodies lined up and more for dad this Sunday.

    1. Location: 2029 Harrison Street, Hollywood, FL 33020
    2. Pricing: $30 for adults and $15 for children

Get your tickets to this lunch by visiting their site.

Brunch at Area 31

Take dad to a place where he can feel like he is eating on top of the world! The views of Miami are absolutely beautiful. Almost as beautiful as the presentation of the plates at Area 31. The taste? Simply devine.

    1. Location: 270 Biscayne Blvd Way, Miami, FL 33131
    2. Pricing: $$

Brunch will be served between noon and 3 p.m., so be sure to contact Area 31 for a reservation at (305) 424-5234.

skyline

Treat dad to an indescribable experience with delicious food, in a lovely atmosphere, and surrounded by the people that he loves most.

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Swine cocktail
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Fall is perfect for romance and romance is always better done over Food. With summer soon behind us, and spiked lemonades being replaced by pumpkin hot chocolates, it’s time to replace that roof top brunch for a great indoor restaurant with your beau. Where you should take those new boots over to should always depend on your mood. We hope you can “Fall in Love” with our favorite picks…

 

When you’re Feeling Fancy

Calle Ocho: Perfect for any occasion and a wide variety of Sangria that will keep you coming back for more. They do Cuban food really well and even their bread to start is to die for.

 

Swine: Be sure to sit in the lower level for the true intimate experience and be sure to grab their bourbon whipped cream and bread pudding. Pork lovers aren’t the only ones that will find love on the menu, as they have plenty of delicious options for all. (This location is now closed as of 2015)

 

Haru: Multiple locations all over NYC make this Japanese hot spot a go-to for a great happy hour, quick urge for sushi or even an anniversary dinner for two. Keep warm with the Sake once the sun is up.

Swine cocktail

When you need to be Low Key

La Bodega 47: Who doesn’t love a good speakeasy? A truly hidden gem, pun intended with an array of rums and some amazing curry chicken with rice, this cannot go unnoticed but it’s perfect for when you want to be. (this location is now Sexy Taco & under new management – June 2016)

 

Agua Fresca: Tucked away in East Harlem, this spot is a favorite for their mouth-watering brunch. The huge windows allow you to watch the leaves fall and you won’t miss summer too much with all of their “hot” options.(This location is now closed as of 2015)

 

KiraKuya Sake Bar: Sneak away from the hustle and bustle of NYC for bites of kimchi paired with sake in seductive corners of this 2nd pleasant service you’ll find in town. (This location is now closed as of 2015)

elberta

When you’re feeling like kicking it

Elberta’s: Fun and upbeat with a menu that will make your taste buds dance. Their tomato soup is a favorite you cannot pass up and there’s always a great deal going on. (this location is now closed as of 2016)

 

Fette Sau: One of the few locations you can get pork shoulder by the pound and a good fall beer to match. The lines here are long and the appetites are huge so come hungry and be patient.

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Miles Table Breakfast Biscuit
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One thing you can always appreciate about Philadelphia is their abundance of BYOB Brunch spots. As we are always in the mood for one, Miles Table was the brunch of choice for our 24-hour rendezvous. To my surprise, there was no line and no wait for both the inside and outside area of the establishment. You order at the counter here, similar to some burger spots I’ve been to, take a number and have a seat. They run multiple specials every weekend in addition to their delicious looking menu, which of course, always makes it hard for me to decide. In the meantime, we sat down to pop the champagne!

Friends at brunch

The Nutella French toast won the battle along with the chicken on a biscuit paired with scrambled eggs and potatoes. The Nutella for once, didn’t overpower the french toast  as you could add what you wanted and they provided a good balance of fruits with the dish. The bread must have been taken off the skillet at the perfect time because the toast was fluffy, delightful, and a real sweet sight to see.

Nutella French Toast

The biscuit was certainly not a task for one person as I struggled through the three pieces of chicken they provide you with. In addition to that, there was a whole heap of potatoes waiting for me to devour. The chicken was perfectly breaded and juicy after every bite with great contrast provided by the crisp biscuit. It was a hearty meal that would allow you to consume two bottles of champagne on your own and still be fine, not that I did that or anything. If Green eggs is packed which it almost always is then definitely sit at Miles Table in Philadelphia.

Breakfast Biscuit

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Chicken from La Habichuela
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I never mentioned that I was in Cancun celebrating the birthday of a great friend who reads this blog often. Rainie had been talking about La Habichuela Sunset all week so we decided to make it our last stop in Cancun before we departed back to the states.

After a long day of excursions, drinking by the pool and getting tanned, we made super late reservations for dinner before we hit the town. So late that we were the only people in the restaurant, which worked out because we were dressed classy and this was bossy; it’s tough dressing for a night out and still be appropriate for dinner you know.

The decor of Habichuela is extremely Mayan inspired with many details and huge traditional pieces all over the main two floors with an older look on the lower level that was partially outside. We started the evening with Tamales in our attempts to get involved with the culture; ours were filled with lobster, duck and shrimp. Again, it was flavorless to us so can someone pass the hot sauce please.

Tamales from La Habichuela

We continued to give the food a try and I opted for the chicken breast veronica, which was stuffed with sweet plantain and prosciutto in a sweet Hawaiian sauce. Bad idea. It was far too sweet for my taste buds, overpoweringly sweet, and not exactly what I had in mind for the evening. A lot of the chicken still had fat on it and the slithery feel due to the sauce was not delighting in the least. Hate to say it, but Cancun just couldn’t win me over.

Chicken from La Habichuela

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