Monday, March 30, 2009

Brasserie Julien

1422 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10075, 212-744-6327,

Brasserie Julien in pretty, romantic and not too stuffy. Service is friendly but they get a little overwhelmed later in the evening as the place gets more crowded. The back is roomier and the live music won't be so loud. Appetizer specials were interesting and delicious. Unfortunately, we had to send both entrees back - one was way to raw and the other inedibly chewy. Both were fixed/replaced with no attitude but it was still aggravating. Dessert was the chocolate offering but it was a complete disappointment - tiny and average tasting. Overall, the place is too pricey for what you get and there are too many other choices to back to this one.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Louis XVI Closed...We're Devastated

We're by the Great South Bay in summers and Louis was our find. Our hands-down-favorite restaurant. Pricey but so worth it. We plan all winter for a meal here and now they're closed.

A part of us isn't really surprised. Patchogue is an old fishing village and not the sort of place you'd normally find a restaurant like this. Too far from Manhattan, not quite close enough to the Hamptons. It added to the feeling that this was our special place but obviously didn't do the owners any good.

The chef, Jean-Claude Teulade, came from a four star place in the city and we're hoping to track down his next location. Wherever he's cooking, we'll be heading but we haven't been able to find him yet. Anyone know if he's landed?

Monday, March 23, 2009


1594 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028, 212-861-9368,

A stroll up 2nd Avenue in Yorkville on a warm Saturday evening, past rows of noisy bar/restaurants with sidewalk seating and young crowds reveling, brings you to the far more subdued Firenze. The well dressed owner stands outside and quickly spots the slightest interest. He corrals you into the restaurant, guaranteeing you will enjoy your meal. You're walked past the civilized bar area with a sophisticated piano player and are handed over to a smiling waiter to be seated. Romantic tables decorated with subtle floral tablecloths, painted chargers, tall candlesticks and mini flower pots are more reminiscent of a French brasserie but the food is 100% Italian.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wicked Wolf

1442 First Avenue, New York, NY 10021, 212-861-4670

We ducked in here on a freezing night without expecting too much. But this place is full of surprises. It was packed while many neighboring restaurants are empty and the food is a terrific value. The menu is a bit limited and somewhat boring. But what appealed on this cold night was the prime rib dinner. We ordered it, again, not expecting too much considering the low price. But what arrived was as good as a pricey steak house. The restaurant is noisy and the ambiance is far from romantic although we saw many couples who appeared to be on a date. Worst of all, the service from our overly-busy waitress was slow and sometimes scattered. But in the end, we got a hot delicious and satisfying dinner including a great new wine discovery for what we'd expect to pay at our local diner. No complaints about a great value!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Green Kitchen Restaurant

1477 First Avenue, New York, NY 10075, 212-988-4163,

Green Kitchen Restaurant

This is a cut above a diner. We wandered in one evening when we were too tired to cook and were pleasantly surprised. Both the service and food were a notch above typical diner offerings. Entrees are extremely generous and tasty, rival some of those at "nicer" restaurants and come with large salads and a bread basket. We went back the following week and were treated like regulars, with the waiter bringing us complimentary appetizers while we perused the menu. The dessert offerings are surprisingly poor for a diner but there are plenty of bakeries nearby to pick up something on the way home. Overall, this place offers a pleasant, tasty meal and a great value.