Artichoke Basille’s Pizza

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza
328 E 14th St.
New York, NY (East Village)

Ah-mazing pizza. Put this on your NYC bucket list if you have one!!! Their special pizza is the artichoke and spinach pie, hence the name Artichoke. The flavor is to die for. It’s like the most delicious, creamiest spinach-artichoke dip on a perfectly baked pizza crust. The first time I had it, I was drunkenly licking the cheese and artichoke off the pizza box in front of friends, strangers and God… Not the classiest way to go about it, but it does speak to the compelling flavor of the sauce. Drunk or sober, I think this is the best pizza I have ever had. The margarita pie is equally amazing…One of the best plain slices I’ve tasted. I will eventually try the crab pizza when I have the money or room in my stomach, whichever comes first. I docked a star only because of the price. It’s like 4-5 bucks a slice! But delicious things in high demand will usually cost you… so worth it though.

Tip for people in groups… Order your pie then head over to (or go before) Crocodile Lounge across the street for some beers to pass the time on the busy weekend nights! They also have (free) pizza too if you can’t hold out for the wait at Artichoke’s…. but it won’t be nearly as good.

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Atlantic City Bar and Grill

Atlantic City Bar & Grill

1217 Pacific Ave
Atlantic City, NJ

I went here my first night ever in AC… It wasn’t the greatest meal I had all weekend but it was pretty good for the buck plus the atmosphere was more fun and casual than most of the other places near/on the Boardwalk. I had the surf n turf which was a lobster plus filet mignon… yum to the lobster! Filet could have been better.

Overall a decent place to have some beer and seafood on the cheaper side when you’re in AC for the weekend!

Andy’s

Andy’s
128 Montague St.
Brooklyn, NY (Brooklyn Heights)

 
Cheap but good Chinese food in Brooklyn Heights. No it is not the most amazing Chinese food I’ve had but for the price and the location it’s a gem. I love the chicken lo mein plate… Makes the best morning leftovers after a night out. Delivery is always fast and polite. As for the restaurant, they are very hustle and bustle… Almost to the point of coming off as hurrying you to finish that last damn wanton on your plate! They are like that with everyone though… I’ve just accepted it. Try to go during the week or on Sunday for lunch for their lunch specials. I love their home brewed iced tea. Light and refreshing!

All in all, Andy’s will always be go-to Chinese takeout place in Brooklyn Heights. Very affordable, huge portions and tasty.

Aged

Aged
2398 Broadway
New York, NY (Upper West Side)

(Update 3/30/14: Now closed)

My two-star rating on Yelp totally reflects how I felt about this place as I honestly felt “Meh, I’ve experienced better.” It was a rainy night in NYC and I was craving meat. What else is new? I decided to try this new steak restaurant that had opened up. It was alright, but honestly they overcooked my filet mignon (asked for rare to medium rare, got medium well- yuck) and it was just so… bland and dry. I never send things back (I am convinced once you do all the cooks and waiters spit in your food or something equally disgusting) so I picked at it. You can’t reverse overdone meat! Sniff. I actually enjoyed my friend’s dish so much better. He got the skirt steak. When the skirt steak tastes 10x better than the filet mignon, you know there’s a problem. Also the sides were just not that good… My stuffed mushrooms were not that tasty… and the creamed spinach was bland too. This doesn’t look promising for their future.

Five Napkin Burger

Five Napkin Burger
2315 Broadway
New York, NY

Oh Napkin, your juicy yet (a little) overpriced original burger always appeal to my carnivorous side. Yes you overcook my burger half the time (rare to medium rare means juicy hot pink, not brown!) but your burger is still delicious with your Gruyere cheese, onion rings and oh-so-amazing chocolate shake on the side. I think I might have to visit you soon!

The veggie burger is a yummy pick too. It’s very tasty without having that soy/fake taste I can’t stand. There’s actually lots of vegetables in it like beets (hence the surprising red color)! Sometimes my boyfriend and I will order one original and one veggie and split the two. It’s a veggie burger done right! So few out there in the world…

I have been to both establishments (Hell’s Kitchen and UWS) and both have a very lively atmosphere. I remember the UWS one better since I go to this one more often since it’s in Boy’s neighborhood. The one there seems a little bigger to me plus I love the decor of the place. Nothing says “fresh meat” than a bunch of meat hooks hanging from the ceiling! Overall, yummy burgers to have once in a while (or once a week if you have no self-control) for that special pricey burger indulgence. Go ahead; eat it. I won’t tell.

P.S: This might come off as harsh but don’t be THAT person that orders sushi at a burger restaurant…. I will never understand that. I get sushi at Japanese/sushi/seafood restaurants only… but I guess that is a personal preference. Eat the meat! Savor the meat. Love the meat. Use a napkin, you dirty animal.

Cynergy Spa

Cynergy Spa
87 Fort Greene Pl
Brooklyn, NY

 

So I had decided to surprise my then boyfriend of 4 years with the Couple’s Spa Package at Cynergy Spa this weekend for our anniversary. In all that time, I had never really fooled him or surprised him with a gift… Well, now it was my turn and I took no mercy. To begin with, I actually convinced him that we were going deeper into Brooklyn to pick up some gluten-free cupcakes for a beach BBQ later that evening at my cousin’s house. I had all my bases covered perfectly having my aunt and visiting cousin in on the situation. So come Saturday morning, we left to pick up the special cupcakes… No ounce of suspicion whatsoever. I should have been an actress! We walk right into the spa and I hand him his gift certificate… Surprise!! The rest is history.

Anyways, onto the experience… The woman in the front was very hospitable and sweet. She immediately escorted us down a long, dimly lit hallway to the couples room in the back. I was surprised at how big it was for what seemed like such a small place. The couple’s package consists of a jacuzzi dip for 25 minutes, 55 minute massages side by side and then champagne, chocolate and strawberries to cap it off with.

My massage was great… I think I fell asleep at the very end just because I was so relaxed. When we woke from our euphoric haze, we saw that at the foot of the massage tables they had set up a little table and two little chairs; on top of the table was a cute little ceramic fondue pot with melted chocolate and a large martini glass full of fresh strawberries plus two glass champagne flutes. The nice lady from the front then came in with a bottle of champagne and filled our glasses up and said we could always ask for more later (which turned into us drinking the whole bottle…I was buzzed for the rest of the day). The great thing was though we were not hurried at all and we took our time drinking our lovely champagne and savoring the delicious strawberries and chocolate.

We left feeling relaxed, unwinded and sleepy. All in all, a great experience! I would recommend the spa to any couple wanting to celebrate that something something special. Absolutely romantic and just delightful.

Au Pied de Cochon

Au Pied de Cochon
536 Avenue Duluth E
Montréal, QC

 
This review is about 7 months late, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. My boyfriend at the time had taken me to Mont Tremblant for a skiing trip for my belated Graduation present and Christmas present. On our trip, we stayed in Montreal our first night across the border. I had read many times over on websites that this place was the place to go for great Canadian-French cuisine so I thought this was the perfect place to try my first authentic French meal. Whoa, they were not lying! I’ll admit I did not know really anything about French food prior to this trip so I asked the waitress for her recommendations which she gladly gave in her thick French accent.

We started off with the cromesquis with foie gras appetizer which is basically this tiny pastry thingy filled with hot, liquid foie gras that explodes in your mouth. We also ordered an appetizer of marinated smoked sausages that we just had to try. Next, for our main course we split the infamous “Duck in a Can” entree as well as the Beef tartar with a side of fries cooked in duck fat! The tartar was great but the duck was PHENOMENAL. Even though I am pretty sure I contributed heavily to my LDL count in this one meal, I must say that it is one of the most delicious and mind blowing food experiences I’ve ever had! It has opened me up to the world of French cuisine. I can’t wait to eat here again when I come back for another skiing trip. It was my favorite meal the entire time I was in Canada.

If you’re ever in Montreal, do not miss the opportunity to have a food revelation like I did at this neighborhood gem!