Review: As we were walking through Midtown on a windy night we came across a couple of inviting restaurants on 53rd St. In the mood for some food to warm us up, we ducked in for some noodles and bbq at Obao. Despite its relatively obscure location, Obao does not disappoint. It has a very inviting interior: soft lighting, wood and Asian accents, a garden area in the back, and sky lights above the middle table. We couldn’t decide on just one thing that we wanted, but there were plenty of items that caught our eyes…so we ordered them all, moderation is not our strong suit. The pork belly was delish with out being too fatty, the dumplings felt like authentic southeast Asian dumplings (less doughy), and the fresh shrimp rolls took the BF back to his trip over there. We knew we couldn’t leave without at least one noodle dish so we finally decided to go with the vermicelli noodles with pork and shrimp – a colder dish that still hit the spot. Washing everything down with a glass of wine and pint of beer, Obao turned out to be the right pick for a last second date. Friendly and fast service made for a great evening with a tab that makes us ready to go back and try more. This restaurant was recommended by the highly acclaimed Michelin Bib Gourmand two years in a row for a reason! Definitely a must try!
Review: Between the two of us we’ve had the pleasure of eating both the dinner and brunch at the two different locations. Your standard brunch fare at the Park Ave. location does not disappoint. Friendly service makes up for the outdated decor and cavernous space, which feels a little cold and impersonal. The food was good, though not very memorable. Solidly good eggs benedict and sweet dessert crepes hit the mark on a cold rainy morning. The BF had dinner downtown at the FiDi location which is much smaller and cozier. It’s a great place to meet up and catch up with some old friends. The steak frites were a mixed success…amazing fries, average steak. But yet again the dessert was the game saver – bananas flambee cooked tableside was a great way to leave on a high note. Bourdain’s Les Halles is an old New York standby and you get that feeling while there, if only he was back in the kitchen.
Review: The Beekman Beer Garden has amazing views and a decent craft beer selection. It’s a great place to grab a beer after a long day of work and watch the sunset with your date. There’s a mixed crowd of tourists and businessmen given the seaport location and it can get super packed in nice weather, but if you can get there early enough and grab a table or couch Beekman can be the perfect, romantic spot to have a few drinks before heading to dinner. Though later at night on the weekends it’s less of a romantic spot and more of a get drunk with your buddies type of place. Also when we went, even though it was fairly empty, the service was slow and not frienldy with one person manning the whole show and a manager helping at times. If I hadn’t been here before I would’ve thought this place was getting by on location and view alone.
Review: Haru is your chain sushi place that churns out solidly good sushi with decent creativity with their rolls, but this is not a place for the sushi purists. They have good apps like the crispy duck and shrimp and mushroom shumai, a bunch of good specialty cocktails ($13 a pop) and solid rolls. Haru is a better spot for a group dinner rather than a date, but nonetheless, an above average last minute place when you’re in the mood for sushi. The menu isn’t the cheapest out there but the wait is never too long so reservations aren’t really necessary.
Review: We’re pretty obsessed with Luke’s Lobster – super fresh seafood from Maine right in the middle of the East Village (and FiDi, UES and UWS). We always seem to end up here whenever we are in the area! They have delicious lobster, shrimp and crab rolls, lobster and shrimp being our favorites. Really good sodas and chips as well. But since it’s locations are all pretty small take out places, it’s not ideal for a date but more of a place to stop in if you’re looking for a quick bite before heading elsewhere. Also not the cheapest meal for a take out sandwich but they do drive the seafood down from Maine daily and it’s definitely worth the price. Luke’s Lobster is a great spot to grab a bite to eat and has the best lobster rolls you’ll find south of Cape Cod. Great healthier alternative to a slice of pizza when you’re out in the East Village or near one of their other locations.