Sachi Asian Bistro Opens in Murray Hill

Sachi1

A new high end team has taken over the Pan- Asian spot at 713 Second Avenue in Murray Hill and upgraded the interior and renamed it Sashi Asian Bistro. It’s run by some big names in the biz, Pichet Ong (yes, the James Beard Baking phenom) and Andy Yang (of Michelin Star fame) that bring in flavors and techniques from throughout Asia. While this spot was always one of the better looking restaurants in the hood it now looks more Meatpacking then Murray Hill. I walked by the day started serving lunch, so I popped on to check it out.  After looking through the dinner menu I asked if they have a lunch special menu which they do( so ask if not presented) that had a lot to offer, better then12 different entrees in a Bento Box or Sushi Roll specials.

The first time I went I decided to go hot with the Shaking Beef(Wok Charred with Roasted Salt and Shishito Peppers, which I love) that came with Miso soup(which was very good and somewhat differ then most I’ve had…their Dashi gave it a more lemony flavor that was rather pleasing) and a salad. However, not your typical greens w/Ginger dressing, their salad is a Chicken Salad with hearts of palm, noodles and cabbage. You also get a choice  of appi, I went Crab Shumai over the Mushroom Spring Roll which were loaded with Crab Meat. On my next visit I tried the Sushi 3 roll combo. Again, started with the superior Miso soup and Chinese Chicken salad. For my rolls I went with my standby, Spicy Tuna, Yellowtail jalapeno to satisfy my thing for heat and for something different and unique to the menu the Salmon Mango which turned out to be my fave. Of note, they have a serious Cocktail Menu that I will need to return to investigate,.

Whether you’re looking for somewhere a little more high end them most of what Murray Hill offers for a dinner date/night out with friends or nice business/you simply want a nice lunch spot, Sachi Asian Bistro is what I am hoping is the next step in Murray Hill getting it’s game up.

 

Sashi Asian Bistro is located at 713 Second Avenue

Birdbath’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Hot Chocolate and Coffee by Grand Central

IMG_5338

Add another spot with great coffee, in this case Brooklyn Roasters to your “Where to go by Grand Central list”. The Birdbath spots are the satellite sister locations around NYC of City Bakery. The same amazing cookies (especially the chocolate chunk), variety of baked goods, sandwiches, salads, aforementioned coffee from Brooklyn Roasters and quite possibly the city’s best Hot Chocolate. Tables and chairs outside when it’s nice and when it gets too cold, padded benches to chill out on inside.

Birdbath City Bakery is located in 2 Grand Central Tower

Mimi Cheng’s Awesome Organic Taiwanese Chinese Dumplings

MimiCheng's MimiCheng's2

Do you love Chinese Dumplings, but wish the little pan- fried pockets of pleasure were a bit better for you and not such, much a guilty pleasure? Well I may have just found the organic dumplings(Fleisher’s Grass-fed and Organic Meats here in Brooklyn and Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op.) of your dreams. After jumping off the bus on 2nd Ave on my way to pick up some Art supplies and run some errands I walked by Mini Cheng’s Dumplings. I love Chinese Dumplings ,liked the organically sourced twist, and the price was right so I popped in.

At Mimi Cheng’s they pretty much does one thing and do it right. You choose between Chicken, Pork or Veggie,6 for $8 or 8 for $10. You can get all of one or split by 2, thought not by all 3 for some reason. Think they should(hint, hint:). They come steamed or pan-fried(they recommend pan fried) and arrived surprising moist and  juicy bursting with flavor. The Chicken had Zucchini and the Pork Bok Choy and Cabbage. The wrapper they use is delicious and notably different  from most I’ve had…plus they very lightly pan fry them. Remember, they are organic, so go crazy..go fried. Top them with Mimi’s secret sauce and or Sriracha. The special sauce is very good, but not spicy so I I went with both.

To drink I had Mimi’s Thai Basil Lemonade(they also had an Iced tea and rotate seasonally) which was very tasty and refreshing…hitting just the right balance between tart and sweet.I didn’t get to try them but they have Desert Dumplings as well…stuffed with Apples. They recently started doing Monthly Special Dumplings and in honor of Football season,  for October they are Buffalo Chicken…will need to check these out upon my upcoming return visit.

Mimi Cheng’s Dumplings is located at 179 2nd Avenue

Bravest Sports Bar…Has Your Games, Wings and Brews

Bravest

Looking for a rock solid Sports Bar with all the key ingredients? Well, I have one for you. The Bravest Sports Bar is a classic Sports/Fireman’s Bar in Murray Hill with very good buffalo wings(10 for $5!), a full menu of Nachos, Burgers, Sandwiches and even Salads for those of you watching your girlish figures. A good selection of beers on tap($4 at Happy Hour, $3 Buds) including a well poured Guinness. Plenty of Plasma TVs, a Juke Box with classic tunes along with Happy Hour specials, NFL Game day/night specials and a good mixed crowd round things out nicely.

Bravest Sports Bar is located at 700 2nd Avenue

Michael Harding Oil Paints/New Wave Artist Palettes Demo’s at Jerry’s Palette Shop

NWMHJPS2 NWMHJPS

Jerry’s Palette Shop has been really doing a great job lately reaching out to the Art Community in the NY area by conducting Demo’s, Drawing Events and the like. Here’s the latest on the recent demo’s I attended for world famous Michael Harding Oil Paints and up and coming New Wave Artists Palette.

New Wave Palettes is run by brothers Kyle and Keith whose Dad is  a portrait painter. While most Artist Palettes stress the wrist after a while they out together a hand held curved palette- with 3 points for the hand, arm and hip points that keeps wrist straight. Made out if Maple wood, it’s finish stands against any paints or mediums. They come in Large Studio (righty and lefty), a Detail palette(smaller) and for travel the Highland palette. For those who prefer to sit while they paint and like a rectangular palette they offer a number as well that include the Table Top Posh palettes(neutral or grey in 2 sizes). A rectangular 11X16 built for most travel cases and a Peel-able gray rectangular palette which is disposable and glued on 3 edges to keep paper secure. I picked up a peel-able rectangular grey one to try out and see how laying out my colors on a grey palette vs a while one affects my blending and painting.

Up next was Michael Harding Oil Paints. Michael starting making his own paints after observing Rembrandt’s works at the National while at University in the UK.  After fellow students saw his colors he starting marking them to sell and eventually landed a job as the in-house supplier for a major store in London. This helped connect him with some notable local Artists that eventually led him to world famous artists like David Hockney. His oil paints are hand made the way the Old Masters did n the UK and sold in 35 countries around the world. Michael takes vibrancy of color to another level because he doesn’t add filer to cut costs like the larger labels do, but uses just high end pigment with some linseed oil which increases light fastness and Chroma.The collection includes Old Master colors (ie Lapis Lazuli made from semi-precious stones from Afghanistan as  well as the new artificial  colors like Ultramarine Blue ).

After Michael shared his story on how he got into the business and how his paints differentiate from his competitors he let us come up and experiment mixing his paints which I rather enjoyed. Some went right after his rich bright colors while I started mixing up flesh tones. I used a palette knife while some used their fingers. Of note, samples of Titanium White 2, Ultramarine Blue, and Magenta were given out as samples. I also picked up the Rose Madder, Kings Blue Light and his Cadmium Yellow which I’m really looking forward to trying out on my upcoming new pieces.

Jerry’s Palette Shop is located at 111 4th Avenue

Mimi Cheng’s Dumplings…Organic, Delicious & Good for You

IMG_5301IMG_5298

Do you love Chinese Dumplings, but wish the little pan- fried pleasure were a bit better for you and not so much a guilty pleasure. Well, I may have found the organic dumplings of your dreams. After jumping off the bus on 2nd Ave on my way to pick up some Art supplies and run some errands I walked by Mimi Cheng’s Dumplings. I love dumplings , liked the organically sourced info on the menu board and the price was right so I popped in.

The menu is fairly limited to Chicken, Pork or Veggie Dumplings, but hey came for the organic dumplings , right? You can get all of one or split by 2, thought not by all 3. Of note, I think they should change this (hint, hint:). Go for 6 for $8 or 8 for $10. You can get them steamed or pan-fried, they recommend pan fried. I found them to be very juicy and flavorful. The Chicken has zucchini mixed in with it and the Pork has Bok Choy and Cabbage. The wrapper they use is delicious and notably different from most I’ve had…plus they very , very lightly pan fry them. Hit them wit some of Mimi’s “secret sauce” and or Sriracha, I used both. To drink I had Thai Basil Lemonade that was very tasty and refreshing …just the right balance between tart and sweet. They have Iced Tea as well. While I didn’t get to try them, they have desert dumplings stuffed with apples and cinnamon. These really are some of the better Dumplings I’ve had, add them to your Best Of list.

Mimi’s Dumplings is located at 179 2nd Avenue.

Trading Post…Fine American Dining by the Water Downtown

Trading Post Lobster Cobb

I had a business lunch with some Partners recently and one of them recommended the Trading Post for great American food in an upscale tavern setting. It’s a fairly large space inside with a very long bar with very pretty girls behind it with some super comfy padded bar stools by the bar and by the high tables by the windows. The Trading Post serves classics like Turkey sandwiches, Burgers, Steaks, French Onion soup along with twists on classics like their Cobb Salads with Lobster.

Most of our party ordered up the Lobster Cobb which came served like a fancy tartar packed puck but once dismantled had a fair amount of lobster meat. As an added bonus for me one of my friends likes the lobster tail meat, but not the claws..which I took care of for him. We also got a side of the jalapeno mayo (comes on their Lobster Roll) to dip the Lobster in. I really liked it but found it more flavorful then spicy. My bud on the other-hand was kinda feeling the heat. One of our friends started with the Onion Soup that he put down before I could how it tasted…guess he liked it and another got the Turkey sandwich with homemade potato chips that he shared with the table that were amazing.

To finish our meal we ordered Coffee and Cappuccino’s, the coffee coming in Alice in Wonderland size coffee mugs. Service like the food was very good. A great place for a business lunch or dinner and likely a good spot for a beverage or three after work. Of note, It is all the way down John Street by the water…so if you hear the sound of a splash…you walked past it…

The Trading Post is located at 170 John Street

Sprinkles Cupcakes…Ice Cream!

IMG_5287 IMG_5286

Sprinkles well known for their Cupcakes and Cupcake ATM (yes, you read that correctly) introduced Ice Cream over the Summer and it is pretty awesome. They have over 2 dozen flavors that rotate daily, plus special flavors as well. There were many that sounded good on the Monday menu but not the ones I really wanted to try. I was about to leave and come back another day when I overheard the Counter Girl state that their Mint  Chip uses  “Spearmint ” which stopped me dead in my tracks and I ordered up some plus the Cherry Vanilla with Morello Cherries simmered in Pinot Noir in Madagascar Vanilla with Bourbon. Of course while I was there how could I not pick up some Cupcakes for my niece and nephew…and me:) Banana, Coconut, and Black and White. We might even share them….maybe. Of note, they have stay-fresh bags to keep your cupcakes moist and yummy…

IMG_5285 IMG_5284

Sprinkles is located at 782 Lexington Avenue

Davey’s Ice Cream…will put a Smile on your Face:)

Davey'sIceCream

On the last weekend of the Summer I not only needed some Ice Cream, but was thinking somewhere new as well. Since I was in the East Village I remembered hearing about Davey’s Ice Cream  so I strolled  over to try their small batch gourmet ice cream.They carry 7 core flavors that are all twists on the classics such as Mexican Vanilla, Black Pepper Strawberry and Peppermint Chip to name a few plus 2-3 specials that change regularly. In addition they have a large variety of toppings both wet and dry.

I when I can control myself(I eat smaller amounts at a time that way)  go pint to go vs cup or cone. For whatever their reason if you want a pint ($9.50) to bring home you can only choose 1 flavor. Hunter Insider tip for you, order a Double ($5.50+ an extra scoop ($2.00)to go. You can get three different flavors, it costs less and pretty much fills up a pint.I ordered up Smore’s which absolutely named the Marshmallow flavor, Roasted pistachio and loaded with chocolate Peppermint Chip. The staff is friendly and will let you try their flavors out…you will not walk away without a scoop or two…

Davey’s Ice Cream is located at 137 1st Avenue

Toloache Thompson…Another Hit From Julian Medina

IMG_5065 IMG_5063

Toloache Thomson is yet another hit from Super-Chef Julian Medina, the sister restaurant to its uptown sibling and cousin to the Yuerba Buena’s. My bro started with a Sandia Margarita(Tequila , Watermelon lime) and I choose the De la Calle (Tequila, Cucumber , Jalapeno ,and lime). While trying to decide which appi’s to share and our respective entrees we ordered up the Guacamole Frutas (Avocado , pomegranate , onion, mango, apple, Thai basil, Habanero) I thought it was great but not spicy, my Bro liked it as well but found it spicy, what can I say. After much heated debate we decided on the Atun Ceviche (Spicy Yellowtail, bathed in  watermelon and key lime), a Quesadilla (Shrimp, and Pineapple, in a Chile de arbol salsa and cheese) and the Beef Short Rib Tacos with Marrow and  Red Onion Jalapeno chiles. All were exceptional with the Ceviche being my favorite…or was it the Tacos?

For entrees my bro went with a Latin version of the Asian Fusion classic Miso Glazed Black Cod…what you ask is the Latin Twist? Tequila in the glaze and Chipolte in the Black truffle butter…how’s that work for you? I love Paella so I ordered up the Tumbada, a Seafood via Veracruz style Paella with Shrimp, Fish, Clams Octopus, and Chorizo. A great dish and if you like Octopus I highly recommend it. To go with it I ordered a great drink from the Mezcal Cocktail selection made with Pineapple…though I cannot remember it’s name. Possibly because when the check came we were served the chef’s special Herradura Double Barrel Reposada …in a Flute glass. My Brother sipped it, said “Bueno” and then poured it into mine claiming he had to drive. He did…so more for me. It was deep, rich and smokey. If you’re a Scotch drinker try some. Of note, the service was absolutely exceptional by friendly waiters who really cared. On a rating of 1-4 I’d give Toloache Thompson a 5…the service gets an extra bonus star of it’s own.

IMG_5058 IMG_5064 IMG_5061

Toloache Thompson is located at 205 Thompson Street