May 13, 2014

Be careful tipping - Blue Ribbon Bakery tricked me...

This post is a little bit out of frustration and annoyance to a recent trend that I am seeing at restaurants.   These days many restaurants are putting suggested tip amounts on the receipts - 20%, 25% and 30% amounts.

I typically tip 20-25% on my bill.

When splitting the bill with friends, each person usually puts that tip on their individual receipt...thus the collective tips add up to the 20-25%.

Last night I dined at Blue Ribbon Bakery with two girlfriends and we split the bill 3 ways.  When we got our receipts there was a suggested tip amount.  In my stupor (perhaps that glass of wine hit me too hard)...I ended up just putting that amount as my tip - meaning I tipped 20% of the entire bill on my third.  Essentially amounting to a 55-60% tip!

I didn't realize this until I got home - and I thought about calling the restaurant.  But, I figured I would let it go this amounted to an extra $12, which I can stomach for my own mistake.

But really, shame on them - this must happen often to unsuspecting diners and international tourists who are already unfamiliar with the tipping culture here....

Just be careful and ignore any "suggested amounts."  We should be smart enough to do the math on our own.

...Perhaps it's their way of punishing us diners when we ask to split the bill on separate credit cards.  Sigh.

May 6, 2014

oPhone + oNotes - Do we really want an aromatic phone?

Today I got an email announcing the impending launch of oNotes - the future of aromatic text messages is almost here...

Next time I send you a text about the awesome bakery down the street, you will get a scend of bread wafting to your nose.  OR, what about sending you an image of NYC on a hot summer day?  What scent will accompany it?  Shudder... this something the world is ready for?  Sensory overload?  Or a chance to experience everything with a click of the button.  No more need to wait 3 hours for that coveted can just smell mine :)

Be the first to own your very own oPhone - from June 17th to July 31, you can purchase yours on indiegogo for $149.

Birch Coffee Cold Brew - Great way to start the morning

Since last summer I have been religiously buying weekly growlers of Cold Brew from Birch Coffee. Since I live just around the corner from Birch I opt for pick up rather than delivery - which you can certainly do - and would be a great asset to any office!

The cold brew is deliciously strong, nutty and think (not watery like most iced coffees).  The first time it's $18, and then $15 each time after.  Just bring your empty growler back and swap out for a new one and you are set for the week!

Half and half and a splenda is good for me, but it tastes great just black for those of you hardcore coffee drinkers!  I find that it's way more worth it than going to Starbucks all the time.  I'll be starting my mornings off with this daily luxury all summer long :)

Birch Coffee
21 East 27th between 5th and Madison

April 21, 2014

My Weekend Brunch

So after my favorite bartender at Maialino jumped ship I've decided to start making brunch at home more often.  My go to is soft scrambled eggs, bacon and challah toast.  Sometimes simple is better.  For two, I usually whisk 5 eggs plus a dash of half and half and cook on low heat - stirring often.  It usually takes about 10 minutes to cook, but out come delicious fluffy scrambled eggs.

Add a couple strips of bacon - cooked on medium heat on my DeBuyer iron fry pan (bacon comes out totally crisp - and the more you use the pan, the better it tastes!)
plus toasted challah from the greenmarket and voila!

I've also started grounding coffee beans and doing french press in the morning as well. Nothing is better than fresh ground coffee...!  I use the Chambord french press - after years of using a plastic french press, I realized of course glass is better - retains the heat and cleans more easily!

Easy breakfast in less than 30 minutes!!

Joseph Leonard - An oldie but a goodie!

Recently on a warm Saturday afternoon (finally I know after what must have been the world's longest winter!) we found ourselves out in the West Village around 6pm thinking where should we eat?  Wanting to take advantage of the early time and the fact that the weather was so nice no one was thinking about eating dinner so early, for fear of missing out on much needed sunshine I though - now would be the perfect time to try somewhere I've always wanted to go.  Joseph Leonard!  Seriously, over the past I don't know how many years, I have walked by this restaurant countless times, driven past it in cabs - always noting how crowded it always is!

I've been to the sister restaurants - Fedora, Chez Sardine and Jeffrey's Grocery...but always wanted to try the original.  So now was my chance.  

We were seated immediately right by the window (I guess since it's so tiny, every table is by a window)...but it was lovely to say the least.  This restaurant is probably the definition of quintessential West Village style.  The staff was super friendly, and I settled in for what ended up being a two hour dinner.  Not rushed one bit - no matter how crowded it got.

The food was delicious - every dish complemented with spring vegetables and cooked wonderfully.  Mussels and fries, and a deliciously flaky hake dish smothered in truffled mushroom and spring peas.  A side of the stuffing with gruyere to boot and I was in heaven.

The best part was dessert - how can you ever turn down monkey bread?  The portions were big, the drinks strong, and the ambiance and staff perfectly lovely.  If I lived in the neighborhood this would definitely be my go to spot.  Even with the customary 1 hr+ wait.

I have been to their other sister restaurants, but I have to say - as with most restaurant groups...the original usually can't be topped. 

170 Waverly Place at West 4th

No reservations

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