Eleven Madison Park

Fortunately, I was able to come to Eleven Madison Park before it shut down for the summer for renovations. It was a very lovely (late, as in 9.45pm reservations!) evening of ridiculously good food. The menu consisted of 11 dishes from 11 years that the restaurant was open that were crowd favorites. The service was impeccable and it was very enjoyable to be seated facing the room. It made people watching much more fun while eating perfectly flavored and beautifully plated food.

I was very full afterwards (so not sure what yelpers are talking about with the tiny amounts of food..) and the plate of dessert and apple brandy for the last course was a very nice touch. Definitely a once in a lifetime meal!

P.S. They gift you a jar of granola for breakfast. I may be eating some of it right now.

Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010

Brasserie 8 1/2

I have never been a big fan of NYC Restaurant Week but it is great for discovering restaurants. I have passed by this building many times and never thought there was a restaurant downstairs. It is a very beautiful venue where you enter the bar and lounge area after the winding stairs. The seating in the dining room is spread out, very atypical of a New York City restaurant establishment!

Though the food is not really worth writing home about (other than the perfectly cooked medium rare duck!), it is a great place to have a nice, quiet dinner. No obnoxiously loud music and the waiters are very attentive. Come here and  enjoy the ambience.

Tip: This place has 1 dollar oysters during Happy Hour in the bar and lounge area. Perfect for midtown slurping after work!

Brasserie 8 1/2
9 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

Taste Good

The service is quick, food is cheap, and all the sauces are on point at this Elmhurst located restaurant. The satay is okay but you can make it better by dipping it in the sweet chili sauce next to the hainanese rice. This totally satisfied my craving for roti canai!

Tip: Bring CASH and order all the things. I certainly did!

Taste Good
82-18 45th Ave, Elmhurst, NY 11373

John Doe

My favorite dish from John Doe was the Mozzarella Burrata.The tartiness from the vinaigrette, the sweetness from the colorful cherry tomatoes, and the ridiculously fresh mozzarella created the best taste in mouth combo.

They have one dollar oysters from 4-8pm and happy hour drinks. I got a well drink (rum and pineapple) for 6 dollars!

John Doe – Craft Bar & Kitchen
253 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016

Del Posto

Birthdays are always a great excuse to go to a michelin star restaurant and I can justify that I am practicing my photography skills in low light areas!

Okay, who really believes that last part?

My favorites at Del Posto are the lobster alla cesare, spaghetti with dungeness crab, and wild striped bass in saor.

I know I picked all the seafood dishes but the spaghetti with dungeness crab was really good. You don’t exactly expect ‘spicy’ from spaghetti but it was delicious. Since it is a 5 course meal, I picked seafood items for most of my courses because it was much lighter and I was still stuffed at the end of the night. Okay, I really picked them because I love seafood but win win all around!

Tip: If you don’t have reservations, arrive at opening (5.30pm) and they might be able to fit you at the bar. If you don’t want to chance it, definitely make a reservation. The dining room looks absolutely beautiful with the double staircase.

Del Posto
85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Cyclo

I really like the pickled plum soda. It might be an acquired taste but I am a fan of eating dried pickled plums by itself.

The pho was good with the oxtail broth. There wasn’t a lot of choices for pho like you would usually see at a pho shop but still a good place if you’re craving pho and don’t want to trek further into Queens.

Cyclo
5-51 47th Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101

Ootoya Chelsea

Tip: Go for the ‘mini’ version of the soba and dinner sets if you want to try everything.

My two favorite things: the asparagus wrapped pork belly and the pumpkin and sweet potato ice cream. Wrapping asparagus in anything meat related will get me to eat it. Otherwise, I would never order asparagus by itself.

Why was the ice cream a favorite? There was a small potato in the parfait!! And it worked! Imagine eating a really sweet cold boiled potato with your ice cream. I kid you not, it was so good!

OOTOYA Chelsea
8 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011