Monday, June 11, 2012

Dinner at Hell's Kitchen

During my stint in NYC last week, I took advantage of all of my surroundings: Times Square, Hell's Kitchen, Midtown and more. Having heard good things about all of the restaurants lining 9th Avenue in Hell's Kitchen, we decided to check one out with that very moniker: Hell's Kitchen, the Mexican restaurant.

As I'm discovering with many of the restaurants I visit in the Big Apple, the space was small - several two- to four-person tables surrounding the bar - and dimly lit, creating a feeling of exclusivity (you'll have to forgive the poor photo quality; I intentionally left the flash off so as not to interrupt the ambiance). We were excited to find a handful of open tables when we arrived, so we didn't have to wait very long for seating.

I had a hankering for sangria (a rougher than normal allergy season left me craving one after missing out at a friend's birthday party recently) and quickly ordered a glass of red. Which definitely did not disappoint with its delicious chunks of fruit.

The tapas-style menu had so many attractive options that it was hard to narrow down my selection. So, I decided to try two. First the steamed lobster tacos with avocado, coleslaw and passion fruit aioli. Holy cats, these were fantastic. Giant pieces of fresh lobster, thick slices of avocado and the crunchy coleslaw were well-paired with the sweet-flavored aioli.

My second selection was the roasted chicken and monterey jack cheese quesedilla with a poblano cream sauce. These were also crazy good with just the right amount of heat and tasty pico de gallo.

I'm really glad we walked along the bustling streets of Hell's Kitchen to discover this spot. I'd love to go back and try several of the other notable spots. Stay tuned for one more post from last week's dining adventures :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Din Din in NYC

I'm in NYC for work this week; always my favorite city for trying new restaurants. There are just so many options. And, I love how you can just discover delicious places at random.

Tonight, my co-worker and I explored some Times Square area options.

Obligatory photos:

And we landed at Bella Vita Pizzeria on 43rd Street (a place that no longer seems to have a website, but apparently you can order online here). I forgot to grab an outside shot, but as you can see below, you can walk in and order pizza by the slice or dine in and order off the menu.

It's a quite charming space, small and cozy. It kind of reminds me of Broders' Cucina Italiana in Minneapolis (the deli component of Broders' located across the street from the full restaurant) but with a bit more of a warm and intimate feel and full-service.

I ordered the fettuccine alfredo, which came with large slices of chicken and a thick, creamy sauce. Oh, and it's enormous. After catching a glimpse of the giant bowls of pasta, we knew we didn't need to order any starters or side salads. This was more than filling (and, no, I didn't quite join the clean plate club). The sauce was packed with flavor, and the pasta well-prepared. Overall, it was quite delightful, and I'm glad we happened by it :)