Saturday

Gus & Gabriel Gastropub

Gus & Gabriel Gastropub is a new addition to the proliferation of great eats on the Upper West Side. It opened in the old Kefi location by the same owner Michael Psilakis but with a nice new look. There has been much to-do about whether Gus & Gabriel is really a gastropub or an elaborate diner. I say, who cares? IT'S GOOD! I mean seriously, if you can get all of your favorite American comfort foods, tweaked a-bit more modern, all under one roof, I say YES!
So this is how the evening went. First the restaurant treated us with an order of the BBQ Pork, Cheddar & Jalapeño Tater Tots with spicy BBQ sauce. Why was it given to us? I'm not sure. Maybe because after arriving we had to go to the ATM down the block to get cash after finding out they don't take credit cards. At least we found out before dinner; I wouldn't want to wash these dishes, too sloppy!
Next, had the Buttered Sweet Corn & Jalapeño Soup with crème fraîche, pecorino romano and chive. This was delicious! Just sweet enough, just spicy enough, just perfect.
Of course, I can never pass up a chance at potato skins since they are rarely offered on menus anymore; after all, it's not 1991. These skins were stuffed with chili, aged cheddar, monterey jack, bacon and sour cream.
There are great burger combinations offered but, the one that stuck out most to me was the Fried Egg, Bacon, Onion Rings & Gruyère Burger with french fries. The beef was cooked perfectly medium, the egg yolk runny, the cheese melted and the fries crispy. Even the cole slaw was one of the best and creamiest I've had.
The other entree was the Barbeue Roasted Pork Butt Steak with crispy onion strings, mashed potatoes, and corn. The problem I had with this dish was that I expected more of a pork steak or chop. This resembled pulled pork except clumpy and the sauce itself was eh. Since I'm critiquing, let me add that the food overall should be served hotter and the water served at the table in the attractive blue bottles should be cold.
Now for the best part, DESSERT! There is a large menu of fun drunken floats and shakes to choose from. So from the dessert menu, I ordered the Chipwich & Shake, a caramel ice cream, chocolate cookie sandwich that came along side of a Jim Beam bourbon spiked rich vanilla shake. I know, I know...
Gus & Gabriel Gastropub
222 W 79th St New York 10024
(Btwn Amsterdam Ave & Bway)

Phone: (212) 362-7470

Thursday

"Tastes of Summer" at the Rock

The Rock Cafe grillmeister!
Tastes of Summer took over Rockefeller Plaza at Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan yesterday and today. The Rocks favorite restaurants set up outdoors and sold their goodies to hungry Manhattan lunchers from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Morrel Wine Bar had zucchini fritters; Cucina & Co. had chicken capri paninis; 'wichcraft had a $4 slow roasted pork with chili, avocado-n-pickled onions; Godiva sold chocolate covered marshmallows and bite-size brownies for $1 and Magnolia Bakery had their famous cupcakes. Lines weren't long and went fast. My lunch consisted of the following: A $7 grilled cheeseburger with a pickle from Rock Center Cafe, a $2 pink lemonade from AJ Maxwells Steakhouse, a recession special $1 ice cream cone from Ben & Jerry's and a $2 iced coffee (black) from Dean and Deluca. And it was all good!

KITCHEN OF THE YEAR

The deck of the promo-house at the Rock Plaza
All this week House Beautiful magazine's kitchen of the year has been on display outdoors at Rockefeller Plaza. A model house was built with a deck, an indoor and outdoor dining room and with an exact replica of the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten's kitchen. Cooking demonstrations and tastings will be conducted there by chefs from Rockefeller Center restaurants whom will showcase thier talents.

Wednesday

Paul McCartney Raises the Roof!


Paul McCartney performed in Manhattan today at 5:15pm atop of the Ed Sullivan Theater Marquee for Late Night with David Letterman to a crowd of New Yorkers who cheered him on from the street and hanging out of surrounding buildings windows.

Paul played fan favorites such as Get Back, Band on the Run, Helter Skelter and Back in the U.S.S.R. Paul sounds better than ever!

The Late Show will air tonight at 11:30pm on CBS when Dave will dedicate the entire hour to Paul McCartney celebrating Paul's return performance at the Ed Sullivan Theater where The Beatles first played February 9, 1964.



Friday

$10 ON THE 10TH DUE TO TURNING 10!

Watercress, grilled peaches, manchego cheese, balsamic vinegar
The best deal in New York City is how the bartender described it and he wasn't kidding. It was Beacon Restaurant's 10th year Anniversary and they celebrated by offering a three course dinner for $10. YEP, TEN BUCKS! On top of that, the house was also offering bottles of Pinot Grigio and Rosé wine for $10! The restaurant booked 500 reservations for their Anniversary and created a special $10, three course menu derived from their regular menu.Braised shorts rib on polenta with crispy onions
You got to choose one of each category. Appetizer: Watercress with Grilled Peaches or Chilled Yellow Tomato Soup with cilantro relish or Seafood Chowder with fennel and saffron. Entree: Wood Roasted Salmon, watercress & horseradish or Herb Roasted Chicken & salad or Stout Braised Short Rib with crisp onions or Summer Vegetable Risotto pecorino. Dessert: Devils Food Chocolate Cake with vanilla ice cream or Coconut Cheesecake with fruit or Trio of Sorbet mango, berry & plum.
Coconut cheesecake with mango sauce
There was also a $10 chef's special plate of an array of sausages from the wood burning oven which was really good! The regular menu was also offered at a 10% discount. This really was the best deal in town today. Happy Anniversary Beacon! I GIVE YOU A 10!

Bouley Bakery and Market

I went to Bouley Bakery and Market for just a lil morning something and was completely unimpressed and left unsatisfied and blah. First of all, I entered the bakery and instantly found myself underwhelmed. Although the bakery selections can seem good at first glance but, they're a bit played-out. I mean, these pasties and bread are nothing special and you can find anywhere. The hot bar food looks boring and unappetizing too.Let me be more clear, a chef like David Bouley should be turning-out a more innovated, modern product with flair like, per se, Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery at Time Warner Center does. Also, the dining area at Bouley is very dated reminding me of a Holiday Inn lobby circa 1986. The service attendants are very dismissive and outright uninterested with a hint of attitude adding to the drab of the environment. Bouley needs an all around makeover soon.

Wednesday

** Szechuan Gourmet (Midtown West)

Double Cooked Pork Belly with chili leeks

The famous New York Times 2 Star Chinese restaurant Szechuan Gourmet opened a new location in Midtown West, so I decided to go and add some spice to my day. The lunch menu is very reasonable and the portions are the same as at dinnertime. Every lunch entree includes a soup of your choice between the wonton or hot and sour which is incredibly spicy and filled with mushrooms.

WARNING: You're about to enter a spiciness overload. Szechuan food is not for the faint of heart or the weak at the knees. And particularly here at Szechuan Gourmet the food is extra HOT! So MAN-UP! You too ladies and enjoy the ride!

For appetizer, the favorite Szechuan delicacy of thin sliced beef tendons (yes, you read right) with roasted chili vinaigrette is a great departure from the usual. Then for the entrees, one of the favorites is the Double Cooked Sliced Pork Belly with chili leeks, and also the Chef's Ma Paul Tofu with chili minced pork (ouch). All entrees come with rice and don't worry water glasses are quickly refilled.
Szechuan Gourmet
(56 ST between Broadway & 8 Ave.)