Tag Archives: New York

Jackson + Rye

7 Jan

We’ve been over this. Time and time again. The New York movement is upon us. Some of them work, some of them don’t. So, I read a great deal about the opening of Jackson + Rye and wanting to wait until the soft launch had passed and all the Christmas cheer, I held off. It is marketed as a New York brunch establishment. Of course most, if not all, New York brunch restaurants are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner also. This is no exception. But what it really stands for is the brunch. Much like Mogador, Extra Virgin & Cornelia, to name but a few in Manhattan, its strengths lie in that delightful time between breakfast and lunch.frontIn prime position on Wardour Street just passed Old Compton, lies the very thoughtfully designed Jackson + Rye. It looks like an East Village brunch spot, slow-moving ceiling fans and everything. We were greeted immediately and seated by the window. The place was packed, this being the first Sunday of the new year, I was quite surprised.

Having mentioned ‘The Nudge’ when the reservation was made, both me and my guest were given a free cocktail of our choice. You can use this offer until the end of January, as a heads up! I chose the Breakfast Sour – Buffalo Trace, lemon, egg white, apricot preserve, peach bitters. It arrived adorned with giant ice cubes in a no fuss, short tumbler. It was an interesting taste, a heavy tone of whiskey and a sharp bitterness to it. The whiskey hue smoothed this, but all in all it was too strong for me. Perhaps it’s old-fashioned of me, but cocktails that can be had with the first meal of the day shouldn’t be the same as the one you would choose last thing at night.

cocktailWe chose a dish each and one to share. There was just such an abundance of choice, we didn’t want to miss out. I went for the ‘Anglers’ (scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, country-style potatoes, grilled toast). The scrambled eggs were cooked to perfection with a creamy texture involving the yolk not quite hardened. Heavenly. The salmon was of very good quality and thinly sliced. The potatoes looked a little dry, but upon sampling them, they were nothing of the sort. They were seasoned excellently and combined with caramelised onions, a sprinkling of spring onions and a fluffy interior, they really completed the dish. It was not served with grilled toast as mentioned, but thick sliced rye bread. I tried this, but the potatoes gave me the carb infusion needed, so I didn’t feel the bread was really vital to the dish. All in all this was a perfect blend for brunch. anglersNext up was the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich. This says it comes with avocado and chipotle mayonnaise. The latter is true but there was no avocado in this burger, but a slaw instead. Served on a soft brioche bun it came open, I presume so you could add the chipotle mayo freely. chickenThe chicken was unbelievable! I know that must sound like an abrupt statement, but the slight crunch of the batter was bliss, followed by, quite possibly, the softest chicken I’ve had since visiting New Orleans. And let me tell you, it’s pretty daring to mention the deep south when talking about fried chicken. The brioche was a great choice and always a favourite when it comes to a chicken burger, it sweetens the dish and the softness of the bread works well when moulding around the awkward shape of the chicken. The slaw counterbalanced the brioche as it gave a splash of savoury to the burger. The chipotle added some spice and the end result was a pretty perfect burger. burger

Accompanying the burger we opted for some shoestring fries. I love the really skinny ones, because you can take a good fingerful all in one go. These were well seasoned, both fluffy and crispy and let’s just say chips off someone else’s plate don’t count towards calorie intake…ahem. friesThe sharing dish was The Buttermilk Pancakes. This was accompanied by ricotta and maple syrup. I haven’t yet tasted pancakes like they do in New York, I’m not sure I ever will, but let me tell you these were very, very good. I mean really delicious. The pancakes were exceptional, warm, fluffy and perfectly cooked. The cream was beyond amazing. It had a slight sourness to it, but this was balanced out by the syrup and the pancake. I wolfed it down so quickly, I could have ordered a second round. Seriously exquisite food. pancakesThis is the sort of place you want to catch up with friends at. A place full of bustle and warmth. The service is really good. Everyone was attentive and helpful and actually looked as though they wanted to be there. The food is cheap and of excellent quality and above all, taste. I will be going back every chance I get. Anything to stop the withdrawal of eating at an actual New York brunch restaurant. Until then…

Jackson + Rye

Rate 4.8

56 Wardour Street, London, W1D 4JG

0207 437 8338

www.jacksonrye.com/
Jackson & Rye on Urbanspoon
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The Cronut

9 Oct

It had to be done. A few months ago when this phenomenon hit the big time, I made a deal with myself (the best kind of deal, it’s always win win) that if I was going to try one of these bad boys (if?!) then it had to be The Cronut. The original, real one.

Maybe it’s just me, but I always believed if you were going to get something like memorabilia, then shouldn’t it be from the actual place? I remember the fashion in England when I was about 17, everyone started to wear New York Yankees baseball caps, from Topshop. Errrrm, no. I waited and waited until I got to go to NY and bought mine from an official New York Yankees shop selling the real deal.
‘Oh but some people aren’t able to go and get it from the real place,’ people might say.
‘Then I’m afraid you can’t have it,’ is what I say. You can’t have everything, otherwise everything would be everywhere and nowhere would be new or different. Oh I’ll just buy my boomerang souvenir from Australia in pound land.
Don’t get me started on Victoria Secret opening up over here…

I digress. Back to The Cronut. An irresistible hybrid of a classic doughnut and a croissant. The creator of this wildly imaginative design is Dominique Ansel. He owns a bakery in Soho in Manhattan, The Dominique Ansel Bakery.
Many have copied this, the world over, calling it The Dosant. Try as they may to have their own success with the copycat creation, Dominique comes out on top. Every morning the bakery makes around 300 Cronuts at $5 a piece. Customers begin to line up at around 5am and wait until the bakery opens at 8am. Everyday. Once they’re gone, they’re gone and tomorrow is a new day.

Aky went to New York a couple of weeks ago and what did I ask him to bring back for me? You guessed it. He got there early and queued for a notable period of time (don’t feel bad, he got one for himself too) and made it in when they were still in stock.

The flavour changes on a monthly basis, September was Fig Mascarpone, October is Apple Creme Fraiche. The Cronut has the outer crust of a freshly crisp, sugar covered doughnut, the layers and layers of pastry inside are like a croissant and reaching beyond what I had imagined, it was injected with jam and cream, sweet fig jam and mascarpone. It also has a hole in the middle and was topped with a sugar glaze and a slice of caramelised fig. The cream was so light, just enough to douse the pastry.

CronutsThis is how the bakery themselves describe the creation:

‘Taking 2 months and more than 10 recipes, Chef Dominique Ansel’s creation is not to be mistaken as simply croissant dough that has been fried. Made with a laminated dough which has been likened to a croissant (but uses a proprietary recipe), the Cronut is first proofed and then fried in grape seed oil at a specific temperature. Once cooked, each Cronutis flavored in three ways: 1. rolled in sugar; 2. filled with cream; and 3. topped with glaze. Cronuts are made fresh daily, and completely done in-house. The entire process takes up to 3 days.’

The moment Aky had dropped his bags at home he popped into see me at work and in all its glory, there it was. A Dominique Ansel Bakery Box with a lone Cronut inside.

As I took the first bite, I realised it was new tastes entering my sphere, I love it when this happens. It made me wish I had been there the first time they made one of these, what the look on their faces said when they took their first bite. Perhaps a good old Del Boy line, ‘We’re going to be millionaires.’

It was absolutely heavenly. An incredibly delicious treat that encompasses all the great traits of already mind-blowing sweet creations. It’s soft and buttery, the thin layer of sugar it’s wrapped in will lightly dust your mouth, but you won’t care because you’ll need to make sure no jam is lost to your jeans.

photo credit: Aky Bukhari

photo credit: Aky Bukhari

I don’t mind so much about trying the replicas now I’ve tasted the original. I now know what it should taste like and can compare it to the real deal. I’m incredibly lucky to have tried one.

Rate: 5

Dominique Ansel Bakery

189 Spring Street (between Sullivan and Thompson) New York, NY 10012

Tel:(212)219 2773

http://dominiqueansel.com/
Dominique Ansel Bakery on Urbanspoon

Il Bambino

24 Oct

So I was staying with my beautiful friend Ariana in Astoria, Queens and she suggested we go for brunch to have paninis at a place called Il Bambino. My normal brunch would be more down the pancakes/eggs royale route, also my experience of paninis was that of those practical aeroplane food paninis you get at Cafe Nero. Little did I know what I was in for.

A lovely, friendly little place with an outside area at the back too, we were welcomed in straight away. I chose a guava bellini, it had a good kick to it, not as sweet as you would imagine, but good nonetheless.

We chose a crostini to begin with to share ($6.50 for two). Avocado butter, chorizo, chili oil. OH MY GOD. It really does not get much better than this. The avocado butter was so fricking deelish it was hard not to go behind the counter, find the vat they no doubt have of the stuff and just dunk my face into it. The chorizo was salty and spicy at the perfect thickness and the chili oil, well that is the genius move, the kick of the heat pumped up the avocado butter like what the Tom Cruise divorce did to Nicole’s career. This is not to be messed with, it is unbelievably good.

For the main attraction, in came the paninis ($11 each). I chose the Italian Meatloaf – onion jam, tomato pesto, spicy mayo, provolone and Ariana had the Notorious P.I.G. – Smoked bacon, scrambled eggs, artisan cheddar, truffle spread. baibva onqvioqb. SORRY, just wiping away the drool from my keyboard.

The meatloaf panini was a sheer delight. It reminded me a little of the meatball bolognese pizza I am so fond of at Pizza Express but really, this was in a class of it’s own. The soft meatloaf, perfectly cooked like Mum makes, was whispered with sweet nothings by the onion jam that just married the flavours so delicately. The spice from the mayo and the oozing of the cheese made for the most delicious brunch I think I have ever had. Who knew Cafe Nero could get it quite so wrong.

The Notorious P.I.G. was utter brilliance. The scrambled eggs were cooked so well that you can see the yolk still oozing, which is always the best part of any other type of egg; poached, fried, boiled and so rare for scrambled. The bacon was the perfect compliment to it and far above all of it was the crunchiness and soft centre of the bread itself. So important and the base for all of this. Exceptional.

The menu is fun and inventive and the essence of the place is really good food. I would go back in a heartbeat. Be sure to make this a must eat if you are in New York.

Rate: 5

Il Bambino

34-08 31st Ave, Astoria, Queens, New York, New York 11106

(718) 626-0087

http://ilbambinonyc.com/

Il Bambino on Urbanspoon

*SPECIAL* – The Dutch

5 May

I highly recommend The Dutch in NYC…a bustling brunch spot with a great vibe and fresh approach to an exhausted meal…this was definitely not your typical menu. The use of familiar items but using unusual ingredients spiced up this meal to the max and gave it a great spin and it really was delicious.

The pastry board was mouthwatering and the curried…yes curried doughnut, was unbelievable. Hominy Grits was a bold move for me as I had NO IDEA what it would taste like, it really complemented the spicy flavours in the rest of the dish.

This place is worth a visit…

Rate: 4 (.5)

Pastry Board

Almond French Toast, Bananas Foster

Two Fried Eggs, Hominy Grits, Chorizo, Guajillo Salsa

The Dutch

131 SULLIVAN STREET NEW YORK, NY 10012

212-677-6200

http://thedutchnyc.com/menus/
The Dutch on Urbanspoon

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