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Wednesday, August 17, 2016


8 W. 18th St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 2 - Super Happy
Visits: Often
Ootoya has a summer lunch special going on right now that is simply delicious. Chicken Katsu over rice and cabbage salad with a small bowl of cold udon. Lovely and perfect for the array of hot steamy days we've been having. A little slow down of posts as we head into the last stretch of summer, but by autumn you will find us here, eating and writing about it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

al Vicoletto

9 E. 17th St, NY, NY 10003

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visits: Becoming a regular
Al Vicoletto is becoming a new regular spot for us. It's charming in a way that reminds us of European cafeterias, light and airy with a reasonably priced diverse menu. We both had the half sandwich/ half soup combo today. For $12 it's a good, not heavy, lunch.

Zero Otto Nove

15 W. 21st St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 2 - Super Happy
Visits: Often
Friday lunches, which this was, should be easy and relaxed. For us that is unequivocally our usual order at Zero Otto Nove of the insalta di tonno (tuna salad) and carmanuccio pizza (cheeseless with sausage pizza)

Friday, August 5, 2016

Saigon Market, with Brigid

93 University Place, NY, NY 10003

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visits: First time
We'd never been to Saigon Grill, one of those Asian mainstays of the Union Square area so it seemed like a fun idea to meet Brigid for lunch in the new incarnation, Saigon Market. The grilled pork chop was precisely what I expected, which is to say slightly too sweet for my tastes, but still tender and nicely grilled. The real surprise were the pickled vegetables accompanying the pork chop. They provided the perfect counterpoint to the sweetness. I wouldn't say we'd rush out to go again but we wouldn't be opposed to eating there again.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

City Crab Shack

10 E. 16th St, NY, NY 10003

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visits: First Time
In a brilliant move City Crab takes over the old Chat n Chew and becomes a more low key version called City Crab Shack. I say brilliant because the former vibe of southern soul food was easily transformed into seafood shack with probably very little effort. We could hardly tell what had changed from before to now. The oysters were lovely but the fish and chips, or rather the fish, was bland.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

By Chloe

60 W. 22nd St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visits: First time
by Chloe, the highly touted vegan fast casual, opened down the block from us maybe a month ago and we have avoided trying it because every time we walk by, long lines snake out to the sidewalk. Finally today we had a late breakfast and thought, oh great, a late lunch a by Chloe when it won't be as crowded. Alas that was not true at all. The ordering experience is hectic and cramped. You're surrounded by lots of semi-stylish women who are all equally annoyed at the process but yet somehow still standing there waiting for their order, like we were. We were prepared to be underwhelmed by the hype but Chloe is doing something amazing because the classic burger and kale caesar salad were rather tasty. Tasty enough that we might be tempted to brave the lines from time to time in the future.

Monday, August 1, 2016


16 W. 23rd St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visits: Often
LENWICH BRING BACK YOUR BREAD! Or at least the hero. I don't know if you changed suppliers or what but the bread for the hero is terribly sub-par. Bland and tasteless, it crumbles apart and is unable to hold together the superior ingredients of the Italian. You're killing us.

Union Fare, with Michelle and Gigi

7 E. 17th St, NY, NY 10003

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visits: Second Time
Union Fare has quickly become the 'hood's go to cafeteria. With a large seating area and options ranging from poke bowls to pizza made to order, you can see how appealing that combination might be. We grabbed some poke bowls and installed ourselves in a little table towards the back and stayed there for hours, nary a soul bothering us. Great place to catch up with old friends and new babies.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Upland, with Hong

345 Park Ave South, NY, NY

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visits: First time
It's surprising we have not yet been to Upland, considering what a lovely restaurant it is and that Obama had lunch there when he was in town last year. It's right up the street from Doberman, where my sister works, so we met her for a charming lunch of caesar salad, addictively good french fries, a pretty amazing porchetta and egg sandwich and equally delicious bucatini cacio e pepe. It's not a cheap lunch, though not prohibitively expensive. Definitely a place to go if you want to impress.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Chop Shop

41 W. 24th St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visits: First Time
We're never going to say no to new Asian options in the 'hood but sure do wish Chop Shop could be better. They were swamped today, so swamped back of house brought out dishes to front, which was kind of cute. The dishes we had were just shy of good. The cucumber salad too sweet. The pork buns a little skimpy and the salt and pepper baby chicken not enough salt and pepper. Still this neighborhood is so lacking in Asian food that I'm quite sure we'll be back to try something else. Maybe they'll have improved by then!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Tacombi Cafe El Presidente

30 W. 24th St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visits: Once in a while on its way to regular
We stuck to one breakfast taco each plus a plate of guacamole but even that was a bit too much. We left stuffed. It could really use a small side of something tart of citrusy, a cabbage salad maybe. The breakfast tacos are too irresistible to give up. We're going to keep going until we find the perfect accompaniment.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Yakitori Totto

255 W. 55th St, NY, NY 10019

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visits: First time
We had a work errand near Columbus Circle so we stopped at Yakitori Totto for lunch. M. forgot to take a photograph of the yakitori don (rice bowl) she ordered but did somehow strangely remember to get one of the salad? It's a very affordable and filling lunch for midtown though we wouldn't say extraordinary from a taste point of view.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Homes Kitchen

22 E. 21st St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 3 - Feeing Good
Visits: Often
Sometimes when you're having a lame morning and your friends all stink, the best thing to do is have a comforting lunch of fish fillet, green beans and rice at Homes Kitchen. I assure you, it does quite the trick.

Barn Joo, with friends

893 Broadway, NY, NY

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visits: Regularly
Our book club friends, George and Bill, met us at Barn Joo for lunch, along with Nancy, for a fun lunch of bibimbap, summer plans and miscellany. We all ordered the bibimbap, per usual, but George went out on a limb and had the spicy momil, a cold soba noodle dish, topped with sashimi that looks divine, as you can see here. He said he could eat it every day, it was so nice. Something to try next time!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Hill Country Chicken

1123 Broadway

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visits: Regularly
Hill Country Chicken was surprisingly not crowded today, maybe no one wanted to leave the comfort of their air-conditioned offices for lunch out? Three blocks was our limit.