Restaurant Review: Ristorante Morini

A typical day for me involves taking a rather long, but not arduous, journey uptown by way of Madison Avenue. There are worse avenues to travel. And every day, for quite sometime, I pass Ristorante Morini and make mental notes to eat there. Thanks to Gilt City, I finally got my chance. Being of the kind that spends hours reading Yelp reviews and following food blogs, I was well aware that Ristorante Morini was not only one of the restaurants belonging to Michael White’s Altamarea Group but also that it had a pretty darn good reputation. And judging by my experience it’s a reputation that’s well-earned.

Ristorante Morini BarRistorante Morini

Upon entry, the first thing you’ll notice about Ristorante Morini is their gorgeous bar, which adds character to the white tablecloth atmosphere. The restaurant does consist of two levels, with the top accessible by elevator. Drawing a fair, but not crushing crowd, their prix fixe lunch menu is one of the better ones that I’ve seen in the city. For our appetizers my guest, Rosemary from NYC Style & A Little Cannoli, had Bocconcini – tomato-braised chicken-eggplant meatballs with mozzarella di bufala and garnished with torn basil.

Ristorante Morini Chicken MeatballsRistorante Morini Meatballs

The meatballs were insane – perfectly tender, and packed with flavor. They tasted like they had some kind of sausage in them, but I’m not certain. I had the Tonno – bigeye tuna tartare, crispy fingerlings, radish, and parsnip crema. I’m a massive tartare fan, so I eat tuna pretty often. This tartare was fresh, and I loved the texture added on by the crispy fingerlings, but the most spectacular addition to this tartare was the crisped capers. They tasted like they had been briefly pan fried, which gave this instant pop of saltiness that enhanced the whole dish.

Ristorante Morini Tartare

For our main, she had grilled sea bass, served with cauliflower, pine nuts, golden raisins, and saba. The dish was plated beautifully, and according to Rosemary, very delicious. I had the Milanese, a crispy veal cutlet wrapped in bruschetta, and served with aged balsamico and cream spinach. I loved it, it’s so filling that I couldn’t even finish all of it (which rarely happens, haha!).

Ristorante Morini Sea Bass

For dessert we had the Budino – a sweet italian custard or pudding – this one featured Gianduja, chocolate crema, banana, and hazelnut gelato. Rosemary had the Panna Cotta, one of my favorite desserts, this was a vanilla panna cotta with citrus, pistachio, toasted meringue, and blood orange granita.

Ristorante Morini DulceRistorante Morini BudinoRistorante Morini Panna Cotta

The toasted meringue were so tiny and perfect! They were really reflective of the entire meal which was clearly executed perfectly and done with attention to every detail. I cannot wait to bring my friends and family here – next time I’m definitely trying their pasta, which I’ve heard nothing but good things about! Want to dine at Ristorante Morini yourself? Right now Gilt City had an amazing deal for dinner and brunch at Ristorante Morini – check them out here! While you’re there be sure to check out Gilt City’s other local offerings!

May 11th Event Alert: The Village Voice Brunch Eats Tasting Event!

The Village Voice Brunch Eats Tasting Event | read more at nyctalon.com

Happy Friday! I’m kind of bummed because today is absolutely gorgeous out and I’m stuck at home ridiculously sick. Leave it me to wait until the beautiful beginning of spring to get monstrously sick. Well done immune system, well done. But enough of my complaining, I’m super super excited to share about this amazing event with you guys. The Village Voice, which if you don’t know throws quite a few exciting food events every year, is hosting their FIRST annual The Village Voice Brunch Eats Tasting Event!

The Village Voice Brunch Eats Tasting Event | read more at nyctalon.com

This is the first year of what I expect will be an extremely popular event – I’ve written about it before, NY’ers LOVE their brunch food! The breakfast-for-dinner food event will be held on top of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s Flight Deck & Space Shuttle Pavilion and will feature 20+ of New York City’s top restaurants and bakeries lauded in the Village Voice. Expect their best bites, mouth-watering brunch dishes plus themed cocktails like bellinis, mimosas, bloody marys and (naturally) coffee – all while enjoying music under the stars.

Plus, the Voice has just released the first round of 8 participants including The Black Ant, Butter & Scotch, Calle Dao, Le Fond, Nha Minh, Osteria Cotta, Streets BK, and Underwest Donuts!

VIP Guests will receive a VIP gift bag and have access to the VIP Shuttle Pavilion, while all guests will sample and sip from 20+ attending vendors aboard the top of The Intrepid’s Flight Deck, amongst properller planes that were used during World War II, guests will also enjoy full access to The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum ($22 Value).

Tickets on sale here!

Also, Brunch Eats is accepting volunteer applications until April 27th to assist the Voice team on-site at the event. All volunteers will receive a free general admission ticket to the Village Voice Brooklyn Pour Craft Beer Festival. For more information and to apply, visit here: http://microapp.villagevoice.com/brunch-eats/2016/volunteer.php.

Sponsors for Brunch Eats include: Califia Farms, Whole Foods Market, Vita Coco, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Frames NYC, John Wm. Macy’s CheeseSticks, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Polar Beverages, and Green Mountain Energy.

EVENT DETAILS:
The Village Voice’s First Annual Brunch Eats Breakfast-For-Dinner Food Event
DATE: Wednesday, May 11th 2016
VENUE: The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s Flight Deck
    12th Ave & W. 46th St. | Manhattan, NY 10036
TICKETS: On Sale: Wednesday, March 30th @ 10AM — http://bit.ly/BrunchEatsTix
General Admission Ticket – $60 | VIP Ticket – $85
TIME: 8PM – 11PM
For the latest on “Brunch Eats” please visit:
www.bruncheats.com

Best for Brunch: Dominique Bistro in the West Village

Brunch is pretty much a NYC staple. It seems like we’ve altogether abandoned the idea of “lunch” for a menu featuring both breakfast and dinner hybrids, and I’m sure not complaining. Brunch is my new favorite meal (followed shortly by dessert), and finding great brunch spots is sort of a personal mission of mine. A couple of weeks ago, with fork in hand, my friend and I were invited to stop by Dominique Bistro over in the West Village. Located on the cutest corner, you can’t help but feel like you’ve stepped away from the bustle of everyday busyness when you arrive at Dominique Bistro.

DOms NYC

 

That relaxed kind of energy is maintained throughout. The inside of Dominique is modern, but relaxed and the service is attentive, but not overwhelming. You won’t be bothered by persistent servers here. In the mornings quite a few people stop by just for the coffee, and when we arrived there were already a few couples brunching. Dominique Bistro does sport an open kitchen set-up, but it’s all very well done and you definitely don’t hear the clatter of plates or pans coming from that corner. In keeping with that elegant Parisian feel, the actual restaurant is pretty small, but tall ceilings and large open windows open the space up in such a way as you don’t feel crowded at all.

Dominique Bistro in the West Village, NYC | read more at nyctalon.comDominique Bistro in the West Village, NYC | read more at nyctalon.com

The brunch menu is ideal – you have savory options like Truffle Eggs, Eggs Provencal, and the classic brunch stand-bys Eggs Benedict and Avocado Toast, as well as a sweeter option in the Belgian Waffles served with fresh berries and chocolate mousse. I opted for the Duck Hash, boasting duck confit, potato, poached eggs, lardons, and arugula, while my friend had Eggs Benedict with prosciutto cotto.

Dominique Bistro in the West Village, NYC | read more at nyctalon.comDominique Bistro in the West Village, NYC | read more at nyctalon.com

I’m not going to lie, I should have stopped half-way through the Duck Hash. It was insanely filling, but the flavors were so on point that I had to restrain myself from licking the plate. The Duck Confit was perfectly tender, and the lardons were crisp, a perfect accompaniment to the poached eggs (also done perfectly). There was no part of that dish that I didn’t love. My friend loved her Eggs Benedict. “This is exactly how brunch should be” she said, sipping her expertly made cappuccino “great food, done well enough that it almost feels too decadent for breakfast”.

Dominique Bistro in the West Village, NYC | read more at nyctalon.com

Since then I’ve been poring over their menu, making plans to eventually head back to dinner. With entree options like Bouillabaisse, Duck Confit, and my personal favorite – Beef Bourguignon, Dominique Bistro is perfect for brunch, but definitely sounds like a sound option for dinner too! I can’t wait to head back!

Dominique Bistro
14 Christopher St
New York, NY 10014
(646) 756-4145

http://www.dominiquebistro.nyc/

Brunch with Gilt City: Catch NYC

I don’t think there are words that describe how relaxing and fun it is to have brunch with one of your closest friends (okay, my sister) on a rooftop surrounded by the city sights and sounds of the Meatpacking District. But I’ll try. This weekend, thanks to Gilt City and Catch – a trendy restaurant in the heart of the Meatpacking District – I was able to try Catch’s exclusive Gilty Menu.

Brunch in NYC with Gilt City | read more at nyctalon.comBrunch in NYC with Gilt City | read more at nyctalon.com

To start we both ordered the Catch Roll, which features tender crab, salmon, and miso-honey. My sister and I adored this roll – we eat a lot of sushi, and we could tell right off that the salmon and crab were fresh and we loved how they torched the roll whilst serving it. As a party of the Gilty Menu, you also get a glass of Chandon Delice – which is delicious by the way!

Brunch in NYC with Gilt City | read more at nyctalon.comBrunch in NYC with Gilt City | read more at nyctalon.com

You get about four options for your entree, and trust me it is hard to pick with tasty brunch opportunities like Blueberry Pancakes with orange segments and blueberry butter or Organic Chicken Breast salad with Tuscan kale and caraway seed vinaigrette. Alas, we both settled on the Lobster Roll, served with old bay chips. There’s something irresistibly decadent (and dare I say New York) about eating lobster while sipping bubbly on a roof downtown.

Brunch in NYC with Gilt City | read more at nyctalon.comCatch NYC Rooftop Brunch

The lobster roll was hands down the best lobster roll I’ve had in the city. I’m not kidding, and I’ve had quite a few rolls. There was a generous portion of meat (and ample claw meat at that), but not too much that it becomes overwhelming. The lobster salad had a delicate citrus flavor and benefited greatly from the presence of chives, a buttery potato roll, and a side of old bay potato chips.

Brunch in NYC with Gilt City | read more at nyctalon.com

For dessert we were served a chocolate cookie sundae with caramel chocolate sauce and the ice cream of the day – there definitely was a scoop of chocolate ice cream, and the green colored scoop tasted of either matcha or basil – it was literally the most perfect dessert for our brunch. Honestly, Catch served up one of my most favorite meals that I’ve had this summer – I definitely recommend that you pounce on their deal with Gilt City!

The Gilt City Catch offer is a part of Gilt City’s Best of Gilt City collection! Snap up your next NYC experience by checking out the entire collection here!

Best of Gilt City Collection | read more at nyctalon.com

New York Fashion Week searsStyle Brunch & Fall Fashion Preview

Last week I had the amazing opportunity to attend the searsStyle New York Fashion Week 2012 brunch held at Bagatelle in the meatpacking district. Now as a loyal Sears customer (my mom had my baby pix done at Sears!), I was more than thrilled to get a closer look at what Sears was offering in the way of fall fashion. And let me tell you, fashion options from Sears this season are all on trend and look pretty darn fabulous!

At the event I was able to scope out what’s in store for denim lovers like me. There were loads of options- everything from plaid cuff jeans, to nude-colored glittery ones. My favorites were a long pair of black skinny jeans- which I was lucky enough to get to take home with me.

I was also able to talk to the lead designer for the Kardashian Kollection- Bruno Schiavi. He was so nice, and was happy to talk about the process behind designing the line, as well as what it was like working with the Kardashians.

One of my favorite aspects of the event was the location. Bagatelle is located in the heart of the meatpacking district- where much of Fashions Night Out had taken place a couple of days earlier. The chic bistro catering the brunch- with tasty treats like bacon and black truffle scrambled eggs- which was super decadent and delicious!

Yum. The bacon is gone- I might have eaten it ;)

I had a blast at the searsStyle brunch! But for a full, more in depth coverage of what to expect this fall at Sears- stop by and read my first ever guest post on Whirlwind of Surprises- a blog owned by my friend and fellow fashionista, Cinny! Check it out here!

Thanks for stopping by, have any questions or comments about the searsStyle brunch I attended? Leave ‘em in the space below- comments make my day, and questions are answered asap!