Cherche Midi

This less than a month old restaurant on the corner of Bowery and Houston has already generated a lot of buzz.  

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The interior of the restaurant totally reminds me of Balthazar, another one of McNally's restaurant. 

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This Prime Rib Burger, already being compared to the Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern, was the reason for our visit.  It did not disappoint!  The burger was super juicy and flavorful!  The combination of high quality prime rib, bacon marmalade mixed with chopped mushroom, and gruyere cheese was delish!  As an added bonus, the juicy drippings from the burger nicely flavored my plate of fries.  

PRIME RIB BURGER WITH BACON MARMALADE, ROASTED MUSHROOMS, AGED GRUYERE CHEESE AND POMMES FRITES

PRIME RIB BURGER WITH BACON MARMALADE, ROASTED MUSHROOMS, AGED GRUYERE CHEESE AND POMMES FRITES

The cheese selection looked quite good, but we wanted something sweet.

The Raspberry Soufflé was amazing!  Super light and fluffy. I really liked the slightly hardened shell, which tasted a bit like caramelized sugar. The creme anglaise that was poured into the soufflé helped cut down the tartness of the raspberry.  I almost ordered the chocolate soufflé as well, but I exercised some much needed self-restraint. 

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There were several items on the menu that I would like to come back and try, the Lobster Ravioli being one of them. 

Verdict: AA. This place reminds me a lot of Balthazar. Comfortable setting, good bistro classics, and attentive service, without the madness of Balthazar. Adding this to my list of go-to French bistros in the city. 

Cherche Midi
282 Bowery (@Houston St.)
http://www.cherchemidiny.com

Ruby's

Burger for brunch?!  Perfectly acceptable so long as there's an egg on top :). 

Ruby's is a tiny Australian eatery in SoHo. After seeing how miniscule kitchen is, I am even more impressed with the quality of the dishes. It does look like they might be expanding into the space next door. 

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My burger was overcooked. 

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Verdict: A+ . Limited menu. 

Ruby's
219 Mulberry Street (Between Prince & Spring St.)
http://www.rubyscafe.com

Minetta Tavern

This dimly lit, old-school institution is the perfect spot for grabbing late night drinks or dinner. I was here years ago when Minetta first reopened and reservations were near impossible to get.  I have to say, I like the restaurant much better now. More relaxed. Less pretentious. 

Expert cocktails at the bar while we waited for our table.

Expert cocktails at the bar while we waited for our table.

We hadn't planned on having a huge steak at 11pm, but we when saw this beauty (the gentleman who was sitting next to us at the bar was having this dish), we couldn't resist.

Bone-In NY Strip

Bone-In NY Strip

We even got the same mushroom side dish, which was equally yummy.

Sautéed Mushroom

Sautéed Mushroom

Their signature Black Label Burger, the reason for our late night visit, was much better than I remembered!

Black Label Burger

Black Label Burger

Not sure where we found room in our stomachs for dessert, but I am glad we did.  The soufflé was very light, with only a hint of the grand marnier. 

Grand Marnier Soufflé 

Grand Marnier Soufflé 

Minetta Tavern
113 Macdougal Street (Between Bleecker St. & West 3rd St.)
http://www.minettatavernny.com

Verdict: AA

Unami Burger

Being away from NYC for two months means I am now a bit out of touch with the latest NY food trends and dining scene.  Everyone seems to be talking about a new pastry creation called the Cronut and this new Californian burger joint Unami Burger.

I have heard that the wait time at Unami can be upwards of an hour or two.  So, I decided to check it out during lunch time, as in 2pm…after the lunch rush is over.  I only had to wait about 15 minutes for a spot at the bar.  I got the Truffle Burger. The was one messy, but yummy burger.  And there's no mistaking the truffle in the burger. 

TRUFFLE BURGER - WITH TRUFFLED AIOLI, HOUSE TRUFFLE CHEESE, TRUFFLE GLAZE.

TRUFFLE BURGER - WITH TRUFFLED AIOLI, HOUSE TRUFFLE CHEESE, TRUFFLE GLAZE.

Verdict: A-.  I liked the burger at Unami, but it is no steakhouse burger.  A friend asked me if the Unami Burger is better than the Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern.  My answer is, I would never try to compare the two. I don't consider the two burgers to be in the same league!  I think of Unami Burger more as a casual, neighborhood burger joint that serves interesting specialty burgers. 

Unami Burger
432 Sixth Avenue (West 9th & 10th St.)
http://www.umami.com/umami-burger/eats/umami-greenwich-village/