Friday, September 28, 2012

Blue Ribbon at Brooklyn Bowl

My friends know if you want to get me to bowl, entice me with food.  Yup, I'm that kind of piggy:  *Gutterball Queen*Will bowl for food*.  Fortunately they can kill two birds with one stone at Brooklyn Bowl, where they serve up food by the esteemed Blue Ribbon!  Blue Ribbon has various restaurants in NYC and Brooklyn, but this truly unique location allows you to bowl, booze, stuff your face, and listen to live music all at the same time.  I was shocked that bowling alley food could be this good; where have you been all my life??

@Brooklyn Bowl
If you're going to bowl it tends to gets crowded at night, especially on Friday and Saturday, so be sure to get there on the earlier side.  Even if you have to wait a bit for a lane, hang out at the bar where they have a nice assortment of beers on tap.  There is a small dining area with a few tables separate from the bowling lanes, but you can also pump it up a notch and order off the full menu while bowling!

Since I have zero bowling knowledge to impart on you (unless you'd like to hear how I rock out the granny bowl-style!), let's dive right into the food.  Here are a few dishes I've ordered during my visits:

The Roasted Adobo Corn is deliciously loaded with queso fresco, chipotle butter and served with lime wedges on the side.  I found myself rolling the corn in the cheese and butter left on the plate.  

Roasted Adobo Corn

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Haven's Kitchen: Lobster Roll Class

This summer I cooked my first lobster! And I'm so glad I had supervision while doing it.  You know, just in case the crustacean went buckwild on me.  I can now cross this off my bucket list thanks to the 'Montauk Lobster Rolls and Long Island Wines' class at Haven's Kitchen.

Located conveniently near Union Square, Haven's Kitchen is a fairly new establishment that focuses on educating people and promoting local and sustainable foods.  It's an adorable space!  The front part is a store where they carry cute tabletop items, local artisinal pantry foods, and fresh brewed coffees and teas.  It opens up to the classroom with a large communal table and workstations.  They offer a nice variety of classes each month, viewable in their calendar on their website.  

'Montauk Lobster Rolls & Long Island Wines' class at Haven's Kitchen
'Montauk Lobster Rolls & Long Island Wines' class at Haven's Kitchen
We had (I think) ~12 people in class, in addition to one instructor and two assistants.  After donning aprons and sipping some wine, we jumped right in and they brought out a whole tub full of lobsters resting on ice and seaweed.  The lobsters came from the Lobster Place located just blocks away in Chelsea Market (love that Haven's Kitchen used a local and accessible source)!  As the instructor started doing demos and showing us the differences between male and female lobsters, they started waking up and moving around the tub.  [Queue the beginning of my squealing!]

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Gwynnett St.

This past summer I found myself venturing into Brooklyn more and more.  Surprisingly, it's not as far as I thought!  

Located in Williamsburg, Gwynnett St. offers some great modern American food.  The food (and drinks!) were delicious and the atmosphere was lovely.  When I first walked in, I was struck by the warm and welcoming ambiance - dark wood, brick walls, candles, and delicate flowers on the tables.  

Gwynnett St. [photo courtesy of Gwynnett St.]
You can order a la carte or they also offer a Chef's Selection Tasting Menu for $85.  We ordered a la carte, but the table next to us had the tasting menu and I was surprised that the portions were pretty sizable.  I guess I'm so jaded by Manhattan tasting menu portions!  

One must-get staple on their menu is the Whiskey bread with cultured butter.  And yes, it tastes like whiskey!  Order it while you're settling down with cocktails while perusing the menu.  Maybe you'll forget you're consuming alcoholic bread, but then again, what's wrong with that?  It's delicious!  

Whiskey bread with cultured butter [photo courtesy of Bloomberg]
For an appetizer I started out with a fresh pea shoot salad.  It was delightfully summery.  I loved that it paired so well with the warm weather and it looked beautiful.  Though I'm a serious veggie-lover, I did feel that the ingredients all together tasted too 'green'/raw for my liking.  That didn't stop me from eating it all up though!  It was very creative. 

Pea shoot salad

Monday, September 24, 2012


I crashed my friends dinner date Friday and I'm so glad that I did because we went to Motorino.  And it was sooooo gooooood!

Motorino, we finally meet!
It's true, I don't explore my neighborhood as much as I should.  But when I do, I always love my finds!  Motorino was one of those places that I've always been hearing about and reading about but just never tried.  And so when my friend told me she and her bf were headed there for dinner, I couldn't resist inviting myself along.

Located in the East Village, it has the typical EV casual feel in a space that is longer than it is wide. 

Casual space in the East Village
Looking at the menu, you'll notice that its a pretty simple offering with just antipasti and pizzas.  Beers and wines are also available, although I wish there were more moderately priced wines available (how many diners are going to order $50+ bottle of reserve wine with their pizza dinner??).


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Brunch: Calle Ocho

Ahh...boozy brunch.  What better weekend activity is there?  I've been hearing about the bottomless sangria brunch at Calle Ocho and just finally got around to trying it!

Located inside the Excelsior Hotel on the UWS by the Natural Museum of Natural History (they moved to this location last year), this is definitely a popular destination on the weekend.  Make a reservation if you can!

Outside of Calle Ocho (boooo scaffolding)
When you walk into the restaurant (note you access the restaurant entrance via the hotel lobby), you'll notice that the decor is colorful, energetic, and fun chic.  It's crowded, as expected for an all-you-can-drink brunch spot, but it has just the right amount of energy.

Love the colorful walls and decoration

Monday, September 17, 2012

NJ: Ninety Acres

My mother and I are huge fans of Blue Hill at Stone Barns.  As we were getting ready to plan our annual mother-daughter excursion to Blue Hill this year, Piggy KL mentioned that there was a place in New Jersey called Ninety Acres that was suppose to be similar to Blue Hill.  With my curiosity peaked, I looked it up and saw that it was only 20 minutes away from my mom's place.  How can it be that its so close yet we never knew???  So my mom and I decided to push Blue Hill to next year and give Ninety Acres a try!  

Ninety Acres Culinary Center

Located on a 400+ acre park named Natirar (thats Raritan spelled backwards!), Ninety Acres is just a stone's throw away from the  Bridgewater/Basking Ridge area.  The whole 400+ acre space was sold by the King of Morocco in 2003 to Somerset County, who then leased approximately 90 acres to Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group fame (thanks wiki for the history lesson!).  He has developed the main mansion into an event space and the stable/carriage area into the restaurant and culinary school.

Natirar logo (source here) - follow signs for this as you drive on the property
As you drive into the park, you are greeted with rolling green hills and a really beautiful scene.  It's a pretty windy road and takes about 10 min to get from the entrance of the park to the site of the Ninety Acres restaurant.  So make sure to arrive with some cushion time and enjoy the scenery!  I even spotted deer! (Note that while the park is open to the public, the farm area of the restaurant is not open for diners to walk through.)

View as you enter the park
I spot deer!!!
There are three seating options at Ninety Acres: main dining room/bar seating, "Bring Me Food" seating, and the Cognac room/outdoor seating.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone!  Apparantly its 'Make Your Own Cannoli Day' at work today...

I love it when my coworkers try to make me fatter.  My belly thanks you! 

Thanks for reading - Piggy KK

Apiary (revisited)

I first wrote about Apiary a couple months ago here and I liked it so much that I went back for dinner again last night.  I'm so glad we went because it was just as good as my first visit - all my dining buddies and I had such a great time!

This time around, my favorite dishes were the Grilled Octopus appetizer (devoured before I could snap a pic) and the Rock Shrimp Chittara which was a complete stunner!!!  This pasta was packed with tons of rock shrimp and manila clams and served in a simple yet super flavorful garlic tomato white wine sauce.  Heavennnnn...

Amazing Rock Shrimp Chittara
Also not to be missed - the Flourless Chocolate Cake for dessert!  Served warm and still gooey it was a decadent end to a fabulous meal. 

Looking at the pictures from my first visit (blogged about here) and my picture above make me super excited for a third visit, which I'm sure will come again soon.  In the meantime, go and scope it out yourself!  I promise you you'll love it too.

Piggy says Yes (again)!

60 3rd Ave (btwn 10th and 11th St)

Thanks for reading - Piggy KK

Thursday, September 13, 2012


On my third try, I finally made it off the wait list and managed to have dinner at Rosemary's.  And it did not disappoint!  This new Italian hotspot in the West Village sadly does not take reservations so if you are hoping to snag a spot, come early (before 6pm) or late (after 9pm).  Otherwise, you'll be very VERY far down the waitlist (if you can even make it on to the waitlist that is).

So just what is it about this place that makes it so popular?  First thing that caught my eye was the restaurant itself.  I loved the feel of the space - rustic and relaxed.  Take a look!

Gorgeous dining room
Bar area is located in the back of the restaurant, but there are
lots of tables for you to enjoy a glass of wine while waiting for your table
Another shot of the dining room

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hammer & Claws Blue Crab Feast 2012

This past weekend, I attended the 2nd annual Hammer & Claws Blue Crab Feast. For $89 per ticket, each participant was eligible for:

All U Can Eat Blue Crabs
All U Can Drink Beer
No Cash / Tickets to Worry About

(image via

I'm a hugeeeeee crab lover...and all you can drink beer?  There was no way I was passing up this opportunity!  So on Saturday afternoon, I made my way to the Tunnel Space of the Terminal Stores building on 11th Ave and 28th Street. Upon arrival, I checked in and received my bracelet.  I actually arrived 20 minutes after the start time and was happy to see that there was no line at the registration table!

Registratin/check-in table
My participant bracelet and "I'm 21!" stamp
As I made my way through the venue, I saw just how popular this event was.  There were so many long tables filllllled with people eating away!  I loved the casual and relaxed atmosphere!

Full tables in the front half of the hall
More and more tables of fellow crab lovers chomping away!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Brunch: Little Owl

Happy September my fellow piggys!  With Labor Day just this past Monday, I took advantage of the long weekend and snagged myself a spot at The Little Owl for brunch!

Notoriously tiny (or cozy as everyone calls it) and popular, this little neighborhood spot is always fully booked and the waiting list for walk-ins extremely long.  But this Labor Day weekend, I managed to snag a coveted reservation for brunch yay!  I had been to The Little Owl for dinner before and felt meh about my experience.  But I have heard that brunch here is the way to go so what the heck, lets give it a second go!

Located deeeeeep in the West Village, The Little Owl is actually in the building that the tv show Friends made famous.  Look familiar?

The Little Owl is located in the Friends building!
While I had an 11:30am reservation, my dining compadres and I were not seated until noon.  Bummer.  While waiting patiently for our table to finish, we stood outside and watched many many many people come by trying to snag a walk-in spot and walk away unsuccessful.  Moral of the story - come early and/or make a reservation and be prepared to wait a bit.

When you walk in, its a bright space with a homey feel.  I can understand the appeal of dining here - its comforting and relaxing.