Hummus and Borscht Play Nicely at 12 Chairs

hummus falafel and pickles

Anyone who has swiped steaming freshly baked pita around a bowl of authentic and creamy hummus knows the real deal when they taste it.

The chickpeas are blended to a velvety smoothness with the help of tehina (sesame paste), seasoned simply with chopped or pureed garlic, freshly squeezed lemon juice, a dusting of paprika and parsley. Done!

Sounds so simple, but it can easily go awry. Continue reading

Vegetable Heaven for Omnivores, Too

Market Sides, Count 'Em!

I’ve fallen hard for the easy neighborhood vibe and colorful, vegetarian dishes at Westville in NYC. The reason is simple, which is a lot like their menu offerings.  Last time I dined at Westville there were 21 market vegetables offered on their daily board. Veggie sides like Curried Okra, Sauteed Kale with Shallots, and Artichoke Hearts with Parmesan are not afterthoughts here. They are front and center for those who chose, or seasonal sides for anyone wanting to add on to their generously sized entrees.  Continue reading

Mediterranean Flavors Sparkle at The Cleveland

dusk on Cleveland patio

On my first visit to The Cleveland we scored a table on their beautiful back patio. As the skies darkened over SOHO/NoLita we appreciated being snugly cocooned from the busy neighborhood.

 Co-owners Paul Shaked and Hudson Solomon are in their mid-twenties and bring a youthful energy and a bit of Brooklyn vibe to their restaurant. Their chef, Tal Aboav, came from Balaboosta’s kitchen via Israel. His Mediterranean inspired ingredients and menu choices often point straight back to his roots.

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Table Verte,Vegetarian French Bistro, NYC

Chef Ken Larsen, Table Verte

Chef Ken Larsen, Table Verte

If you’re staying local this summer but dreaming of Paris, head to Table Verte on 7th Street in the East Village, NYC, for a taste of traditional bistro fare. Well, maybe not so traditional since Table Verte is vegetarian. And as far as I can see, it is the only French vegetarian restaurant in NYC.

That alone, bumped this spot to the top of my “must check it out” list. Continue reading

All Greek and Loving Every Bite

Maria Loi, owner and chef

When Maria Loi, owner and chef of  Loi Restaurant  in NYC, read my Kosher Like Me business card she grabbed me by the hand and insisted that I follow her. I slung my bag over the back of my chair before I had even taken my seat,  waved to my dinner companions, who looked both amused and  baffled (I could hear them thinking, “Oy, here we go again“), grabbed my I-phone for pics (I thought it was an OFF night) and allowed myself to be steered into the inner sanctum of this busy NYC restaurant kitchen. It was brightly lit, immaculate and humming with focused activity. Continue reading

Candle 79 Lights the Way

 

photo: Mimi Giboin

I’ll admit to feeling a quick flutter of excitement when friends suggest eating together and the expectation is that I chose the “perfect” spot.

I rapidly flip through my mental rolodex, wondering if they want the meal to comfort them or blow them away with offbeat creations? Do they want a hip, cacophonous environment or a conversation friendly dining room?

When I ask these questions, I often get the hand-wave and hopeful “YOU chose”. Continue reading