• Category Archives Food
  • All food related entries.

  • Pizza flavored chicken – Recipe

     

    Fun and quick one. I made this one up for the kids one day a long time ago  just for fun, and they really liked it, so I guess  I can share…

    Ingredients

    Chicken  breast – for this I usually use the frozen chicken tenderloins from Costco (well, when I originally made them it was called Price Club….), but it can be made from any chicken breast. Cut to cubes about 1” in size, or whatever floats you boat…

    Garlic – 2 cloves, sliced

    Olive oil

    Ketchup

    Dry oregano (in the spices section if you need an explanation…). I’m not sure why I used oregano (probably whatever was in front of me), but it came out good…. You can modify of course, use dry basil, or pizza dry mixed herbs.

    Black pepper to taste.  If spicy is good, you can use a little hot red pepper (powder) as Cayenne or similar.

    Preparation

    Fry the garlic a little in a pan with the olive oil (30 seconds, no more cuase it gets bitter) to get the flavor into the oil, add the chicken and fry until it starts to get white on the outside (real quick). Add some Ketchup, Dry Oregano, black/red pepper to taste, stir on a small flame for a couple of minutes and serve.

    Serving

    Now that’s up to you.  It can be good with just bread or garlic bread, rice, pasta…. You should know what your kids like…or you… slice some tomatos and cucambers on the side.

    L.


  • Jambalaya – Recipe

    Well, I’m not Creole… but like spicy food…

    The story starts with me fishing with the kids at Lake Hopatcong (great place). We’ve been there before, and last time I made seafood pasta with the fish we got (maybe I’ll write about it sometime…). This time, the last fish of the day was a small catfish my son got, so I got the idea to make catfish Jambalaya.

    I fileted all the fish we caught (mixed, including the catfish) and got some shrimp. Shrimp were peeled with only tale on (uncooked of course), and fish pieces cut small, probably 2” in size, maybe less. Play with it – no rules…

    You can use any seafood. Catfish, white fish, shrimp, clams, mussels, whatever. Clams and mussels cook before adding…

    Ingredients:

    Seafood – as described above. I used mixed fish including catfish cut to 1-2” pieces and shrimp. Pound to two of fish, 20 shrimp, depending on how many people and if you want leftovers…

    Vegetables – two large onions, 3-4 celery sticks, red bell peppers, all diced. I also added mushrooms (cut to ½” pieces), carrots (handful of carrot “strings” from a precut bag) and 3 small tomatoes, diced.

    Garlic – 4-5 cloves , sliced.

    Bacon – 4-5 strips cut to small pieces (1/2”x1/2”).

    Butter – half a stick.

    Spices – Cayenne pepper, Smoked Habanero (you can find it at www.davesgourmet.com ), Black Pepper, a little sage and thyme, salt, flat tablespoon chicken soup powder, flat tablespoon onion soup powder (Israeli brands soup powders are a good choice for that, get in Israeli stores or www.parkeastkosher.com ).

    Cooked rice to serve it on.

    Scallion, chopped, to add on top when serving.

    Preparation:

    I used a deep large Teflon heavy pan – chose your weapons as you like… Fry the bacon pieces until starts to get crispy, then pull them out leaving the fat behind. Add the butter,  and when melted add the onions and sauté them (well, actually fry them…) a little until starts softening, then add celery and bell pepper, carrots and mushrooms (and whatever vegetables you’d like to add, up to you…). Sauté it for a few minutes until starts to looks it’s cooking. Add Garlic.

    Add spices and soup powders and tomatoes  and mix for another minute or two.  Push to the sides making a free spaces in the middle and put in the fish pieces, fry until cooked a little, move aside, add shrimp and fry until starts to get pink, put back the bacon pieces, mix gently all together. Add about two cups of water and mix gently. Let cook a little until the liquid looks a little thick. Cover and cook for a few more minutes.

    Serving

    Put rice layer on the dish. Put some Jambalaya on top. Put some cut scallions on top. Eat.


  • Recipes

    I love cooking and love eating good food. I’m not pretending to be an expert (at anything) but I’m getting good feedback and repeat “customers” (well, free helps too…).

    I’m going to write here whatever recipes come to mind, or I make. I’m not accurate with anything I cook – it’s a matter of what I have at home, what seems right and taste good – no real rules, measurements or strict ingredients. If you need cooking instructions that are accurate and you can’t deviate from the written instructions, you’ll probably have a little hard time with it… but I’ll try to always give alternatives, hints and tips about stuff… if you’re not enjoying cooking, and not enjoying experimenting with cooking,  please don’t bother.

     

     

    L.


  • Café Lalo – Restaurant Review

    Go for dessert or to sit and chat over coffee….

     

    http://www.cafelalo.com/

     

    201 W 83rd St

    New York, NY 10024

     

    (212) 496-6031

    Map

    Lalo is a noisy little café with a huge selection of desserts, good coffee, nice selection of breakfast and brunch items, full bar and a great atmosphere…

    Don’t expect to have lunch or dinner here (no meat on the menu)… this is a place to have dessert or eat a breakfast/lunch, go before or after a show or for dessert after dinner for sitting and chatting, or when you just crave for a dessert…

    Opine Away rating of Café Lalo:

     

    Rating index:  0 – Don’t bother. “-“ – irrelevant.  1 to 10, 10 is best. Price $ to $$$$$

     

    Style of visit

    Food

    Décor

    Atmosphere

    Price

    Family

    Friends

    8

    8

    8

    $$$

    Out of towners

    8

    8

    8

    $$$

    Unmarried

    9

    9

    9

    $$$

    In and out

    8

    8

    8

    $$$

                                                   

    L.


  • The NOHO Star – Restaurant Review

    The picture is not a mirror image, that’s the way the sign is…

    http://www.nohostar.com/

    330 Lafayette St
    New York, NY 10012

    (212) 925-0070

     Map

    The NOHO Star is good food, good service, nice atmosphere, somewhat diner style. We had brunch, steak and egg, served with grits, all were good, fresh OJ was good, coffee was surprisingly good, side bread that we asked for was pretty terrible, soup was good.

    Excellent to sit and chat, not too noisy, acoustics are reasonable, no pressure to go away….

    Great brunch place….

    Opine Away rating of The NOHO Star:

     

    Rating index:  0 – Don’t bother. “-“ – irrelevant.  1 to 10, 10 is best. Price $ to $$$$$

     

    Style of visit

    Food

    Décor

    Atmosphere

    Price

    Family

    6

    6

    6

    $$$$

    Friends

    8

    7

    7

    $$$

    Out of towners

    8

    7

    7

    $$$

    Unmarried

    9

    9

    9

    $$$

    In and out

    9

    9

    9

    $$$$

                                                   

    L.


  • Mantra – Restaurant Review

    Mantra Restaurant
    Mantra Restaurant

    Surprised me. 

    www.mantranj.com

    275 E, Rt 4 (Westbound)

    Paramus, NJ 07652

    Phone: 201-342-8868

    Map

     

    There used to be a different Indian restaurant in the same location. No comparison. This restaurant is higher-end one, with nice NYC-style decor, a bar that opens till late (relative to this area’s close-by-9PM places) and… very good food. I admit I ate here only once (yesterday…) but I’ll go again and if anything will change, I’ll update.

    Been there with a friend, and we both were surprised and very pleased. Had Samosas for appetizer, Chicken Tikka Masala (not on the menu, they have the Chicken Makhani which is the same without onions and bell peppers, but if you ask they’ll make it Tikka Masala), Rogan Josh, bread basket and rice pudding. All were excellent, served in nice dishes, and I’m getting hungry again thinking of it.

     

    Prices are not cheap. We had a glass of wine and a couple of bottles of sparkling water and ended up paying just over $50 each including tip, but it is justified by the excellent food, good service and refreshing atmosphere for a suburban restaurant. Will definitely go there again.

     

    Opine Away rating of Mantra:

     

    Rating index:  0 – Don’t bother. “-“ – irrelevant.  1 to 10, 10 is best. Price $ to $$$$$

     

    Style of visit

    Food

    Décor

    Atmosphere

    Price

    Family

    8

    8

    6

    $$$$$

    Friends

    9

    9

    9

    $$$$

    Out of towners

    9

    9

    9

    $$$$

    Unmarried

    9

    9

    9

    $$$$

    In and out

    0

    $$$$$

                                                   

    L.

    Update 9/13/2008 – Been there with a large group (11). Service was terrible. Slow, mistakes, everything that can go wrong did. The food was still very good. Even after complaining to the manager, they just couldn’t keep up with the service. We had two salads that the vegetables were not fresh. I still recomend this restaurant, but for small parties only.


  • The Greek Village – Restaurant Review

    For a full disclosure – I’ve been there only once, so I’ll add to this if anything changes in my future visits – and I will go there again….

    211 Livingston St

    Northvale, NJ 07647

    (201) 750-8570

     

    This is a tiny family-run restaurant with no fancy bit in it – but the food is good, the portions are generous and the service is efficient (this word was selected carefully, as they are very nice, polite and fast but don’t expect any ceremonial fancy over-smiling “may I wipe your mouth for you sir”…). The family is genuine Greek, the food is genuine Greek, and the service is genuine Greek…

     

    Don’t expect anything from the décor, that’s not the reason you’re going there… enjoy the food, the non-pretentious atmosphere, and again, the food….

    Opine Away rating of The Greek Village:

     

    Rating index:  0 – Don’t bother. “-“ – irrelevant.  1 to 10, 10 is best. Price $ to $$$$$

     

    Style of visit

    Food

    Décor

    Atmosphere

    Price

    Family

    9

    6

    8

    $$

    Friends

    7

    4

    4

    $$

    Out of towners

    7

    4

    4

    $$

    Unmarried

    8

    4

    4

    $$

    In and out

    9

    $$

                                                   

    L.


  • Carmine’s – Restaurant Review

    You’re not going to stay hungry.  

    www.carminesnyc.com

    They have a few locations (NYC, Atlantic City, Paradise Island). I’ve been to the two NYCs:

    200 W. 44 st.

    New York, NY 10036

    Phone: (212)-221-3800

     

    And my preferred one:

    2450 Broadway  (Between 90th and 91st)

    New York, NY 10024

    Phone: (212)-362-2200

     

    Carmine’s serves dishes family style – big, enough for a few people. I would recommend going there at a least a party of 4 – although I ate there by myself a couple of time… lots of left overs..

    The food is good and consistent.  My standard order is Carmine’s salad, fried calamari (one of the best I know) and seafood pasta in red sauce (lobster, clams, muscles, shrimp, fish…), if more than 4 adults, usually also the Chicken Scarpariello (pieces on the bone with lemon, butte, olive oil, garlic,  a little rosemary). That can feed 3 couples.

    For desert – Tiramisu is excellent ( enough for 3 couples…) and if you’re with kids, or a big party that want to have fun, the Titanic is a huge portion of ice cream with all the goodies – brownie, whipped cream, fudge, banana, strawberry, nuts….

    Carmine’s is reasonably prices. The ceiling is very high, and the place’s acoustics makes it noisy but not too noisy, just enough to make you comfortable to talk and not whisper.  The service is usually very good. Reservations are made only to large groups (over 6).

    Opine Away rating of Carmine’s:

     

    Rating index:  0 – Don’t bother. “-“ – irrelevant.  1 to 10, 10 is best. Price $ to $$$$$

    Style of visit

    Food

    Décor

    Atmosphere

    Price

    Family

    9

    8

    9

    $$$

    Friends

    9

    7

    8

    $$$

    Out of towners

    9

    9

    10

    $$$

    Unmarried

    8

    7

    7

    $$$

    In and out

    $$$$$

                                                   

    L.


  • Lucien – Restaurant Review

    Don’t tell anyone about it, I don’t want it to get too crowded.

    www.luciennyc.com

    14 1st Avenue

    New York, NY 10009

    Phone: (212) 260-6481

     

    Lucien is one of those gems you want to tell only people you really like about. The place is very small, with a small bar and amazing food.

    French food without any fuss. The Foie Gras appetizer and the Fillet Mignon are my favorites.  

    The Foie Gras is served with onion jam and kind of apples (they taste something between an apple and a pear…) and I can’t stop myself of cleaning the plate with the baguette after the Foie Gras is gone.  

    The Fillet Mignon is served with light black pepper cream sauce and amazing French fries – the sauce is so good, I clean the plate (again) with the fries until there’s no more sauce.

    Desserts are great too…  Try the Crème Brulee or the Tart Tatin… I’m getting hungry now….

    Prices are reasonable for the quality of food you get.

    Opine Away rating of Lucien:

     

    Rating index:  0 – Don’t bother or irrelevant.  1 to 10, 10 is best. Price $ to $$$$$

     

    Style of visit

    Food

    Décor

    Atmosphere

    Price

    Family

    0

    0

    0

    $$$$$

    Friends

    10

    8

    9

    $$$

    Out of towners

    10

    9

    9

    $$$

    Unmarried

    8

    9

    10

    $$$

    In and out

    0

    0

    0

    $$$$$

                                                   

     

    L.


  • Sushi Samba – Restaurant Review

    They have a few of them in the US  – NYC, Chicago, Miami, Dallas… I’ve been to the two in NYC:

    www.sushisamba.com

     

    245 Park Ave S

    New York, NY 10003-1404

    Phone: (212) 475-9377

     

    And

     

    87 7th Ave S

    New York, NY 10014-3415

    Phone: (212) 691-7885

     

    I’m writing one review for both, because it will sound practically the same…

    If you’re looking for a traditional Japanese sushi, this is not the place. Saying that – they have very good food.  Sushi and Sashimi are creative and fresh, other dishes like the Moqueca Mista which is their version of a seafood paella with coconut milk (I like this dish very much) are great. The deserts I’ll skip, nice presentation but usually pretty disappointing taste. Selection of tea is not great…  Sushi is prepared in the middle of the restaurant, so you can look at the sushi chefs at work…. Pretty good bar.

     

    Prices are high, no doubt about it. The place looks great, has excellent atmosphere, you have no chance of being taller than the hostess…. or leaner for that matter…

     

    The service is just OK – not fabulous, but reasonable.

     

    I recommend going from time to time with friends to have fun, and with out of towners. You don’t need a second mortgage for it, but it is expensive, but to have, drinks and good food in a very nice environment it’s a great place.

     

    Opine Away rating of Sushi Samba(s) NYC:

     

    Rating index:  0 – Don’t bother. “-“ – irrelevant.  1 to 10, 10 is best. Price $ to $$$$$

    Style of visit

    Food

    Décor

    Atmosphere

    Price

    Family

    $$$$$

    Friends

    8

    9

    9

    $$$$

    Out of towners

    9

    9

    9

    $$$$

    Unmarried

    8

    9

    9

    $$$$

    In and out

    $$$$$

       

     

     

     

     

     

    L.