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NYC RESTAURANT WEEK: INSTAGRAMMY

It is my favorite time of the year again, and the foodie gawds are looking out for our wallets!  It’s NYC Restaurant Week from July 24th – August 18th.  During this special time, you are able to get a three-course prix fixe dinner for $42 or a three-course lunch for $29.  Of course this does not include beverages, gratuity, and tax SO BE SURE TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR SERVER – THANK YOU.  I highly encourage you to make a reservation due to the popularity of this event via their program sponsor OpenTable, or you could go old school and actually call the restaurant. Feel free to check out the NYC Restaurant week official website for more deets and a complete list of restaurants.

When it comes to food we first eat with our eyes.  By that I mean we are naturally stimulated by our sight.  The more appealing food is the more likely you are to indulge.  Here are some restaurants that do an superb job of stimulating us visually with a great IG page.  In the wise words of Fab “…you look so good you should win an InstaGrammy”.  Check out the list below and be sure to follow a couple, because they won’t disappoint you.  These restaurants should win an InstaGrammy!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BWGOcS0Fg2M/?taken-by=juelanclub&hl=en

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Categories Food

Menu Preview at Zio

If you cannot tell from my IG feed and previous post I am a FAN of Zio Ristorante.  They lured me with their happy hour and stole my heart with their food.  They recently invited me to come and preview their May lunch prix fix menu, and what food blogger can say no to that?  Each month their 3 course lunch menu changes, and for a whopping $20 you can eat like a king or queen.  The quality, presentation, and portions will leave you wanting to snap a pics for the Gram and scheduling all future lunch dates at this restaurant.  Lets dive into this menu!

The starters for the May menu included Zuppa, Insalata, and Calamari.  The Zuppa is a puree of green peas that is served warmed and has a hint of mint.  The Zuppa has a great balance of the peas and the mint, the mint actually provided a delicate after taste.  The Insalata includes mixed greens, strawberries, pumpkin seeds, fresh mozzarella, and balsamic vinaigrette.  This salad screams spring and summertime because it is light and refreshing.  The calamari had to be my favorite from the appetizer section of the menu.  The grilled calamari included mango, cherry tomatoes, and fennel.  This perfectly grilled calamari just melts in your mouth.

 

Zuppa
Insalata

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Categories Food, Travel

Boston Edition: Beer, Lobster, and More

Boston showed me a great time and it was hard to cram everything into my short weekend in this historical city.  I decided to share a few of my other stops while visiting.

 

Samuel Adams Brewery –  This is a must if you have a beer lover in your company and it is only 15 minutes outside of Downtown Boston.  The brewery is easy to get to via their public transportation system or via an Uber.  The brewery tour is FREE 99 but they do ask for a donation of $2.00.  When I found out the donation goes directly to a charity that is called ‘Brewing The American Dream‘ and supports inner city children in the neighborhood I was lead to give more.  The tour takes less than an hour and you get to indulge in 5 of THE freshest beers that Sam Adams has available.

https://instagram.com/p/BQ8j0qHF6BD/

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Categories Food, Travel

Boston Edition: Din Din at Rigoletto Ristorante

I think the two types of foods that immediately comes to mind when thinking of Boston is seafood and Italian cuisine.  Because of that, the North End neighborhood of Boston has always been known for Italian dining.  I got the chance to check out the new kid on the block, Rigoletto Ristorante, in the popular Italian neighborhood.  I was able to nab a table via OpenTable only 3 hours prior to dinner and was so thankful.  Alot of the Italian restaurants in the North End take reservations but good luck on landing one the of day.  So if you ever visit Boston be sure to plan ahead. (more…)

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Categories Food, Lifestyle

Chicago Edition: Ann Sather

ann-sather-1

Got a chance to hit up The Windy City this past weekend and go to my favorite spot for breakfast.  It something about Ann Sather when you immediately walk through the door you feel at the home.  The servers are always kind and the food always reminds you of something that someone’s grandmother has cooked for you.   Ann Sather isn’t new to the game and has been around since 1945. (more…)

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Categories Food, Lifestyle

STL Edition: Contrary Cupcakes

After months of drooling over IG pics from Contrary Cupcakes I decided to drop in while visiting St. Louis for the holidays.  I consider myself a slight cupcake connoisseur if you have referenced my previous post.  This mini cupcakery opened February 2016 in the South Hampton neighborhood of St.Louis, and has generated a good buzz due to it’s large following prior to having their own storefront.  One thing that makes them so successful is their nontraditional combinations and flavors such as Lemonade, Pancakes & Bacon, and my personal favorite Mom’s Gooey Butter Cake.  The Lemonade cupcake reminded me of almost a lemon Italian ice all while channeling my inner Yoncé.  The gooey butter cupcake was such a SO ST. LOUIS item I had to have it and loved every minute.  Of course if you are not willing to take a walk on the wild side you can always try a traditional cupcake such as Vanilla or Chocolate Birthday.  They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 9am – 6pm or until they are sold out.  They not only specialize in mini cupcakes but also full size cakes as well.  Get out and support the ONLY mini cupcakery in St. Louis and a family owned business as well.

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Categories Food, Lifestyle

PUERTO VIEJO

Puerto Viejo is a Dominican Bistro that is located in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.   This family owned restaurant has captured my heart and my stomach.  Puerto Viejo wins you over with their friendly staff, food that makes you want to plan your next trip back before leaving, tasty sangria, and lets not forget about their homemade Pisqueya Dominican hot sauce. (more…)

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Categories Food, Lifestyle

MELBA’S IN HARLEM

Harlem is associated with so many great things such as jazz music, African American culture, and popular landmarks such as the The Apollo.  Last year over 50 million tourists made NYC a destination for travel, and Harlem is almost always on their list of places to experience.  But while in Harlem one thing you must do is get you some good ol soulfood.  There are many places in Harlem to get your collard greens and fried chicken fix, but my personal favorite is Melba’s.

Melba’s food always taste as if it came directly out of your mother’s kitchen and made with love.  There has been times I had to call my mom and let her know that Melba’s is giving her a run for her money.  The music at Melba’s always adds to your dining experience because the 90’s R&B playlist will have you swaying while chowing down on their famous chicken and waffles.  Time to brag on Melba’s!  Their chicken and waffle entree was the winner on Bobby Flay’s Throwdown.  If that doesn’t screan official then I don’t know what does!

Featured below are some of my favorites which include their Carolina fried shrimp, collard greens with turkey, and the unforgettable mac n’ cheese.

 

melbas

 

 

Contact Info:

300 West 114th Street, New York, NY 10026

(212) 864-7777

Twitter:  @MelbasHarlem

IG:  @MelbasHarlem

www.melbasrestaurant.com

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Categories Business, Food

MEET THE OWNER: HYACINTH

I sat down with the owner of Hyacinth’s Haven located in the historical area of Harlem called Striver’s Row to discuss her menu, the inspiration behind her restaurant/bar, and some challenges she has faced. (more…)

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Categories Food

I FOUND LOVE IN CHINATOWN

I hail from the St. Louis Metropolitan area where our Chinese food is a serious deal for us.  When someone goes back home to St. Louis the first thing they do when they touch down is head to their favorite Chinese takeout spot, grab a pizza from Imo’s, or indulge in a Vess soda. (more…)

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