One chilly Spring day PeanutPimpMama’s friends invited her up for a weekend in the mountains! It was perfect timing as PPM was suffering from a case of the “Winter Saddies” and needed time out of the concrete jungle to decompress. What better way to do that then a leisurely drive through higher altitudes…The Berkshires it was! Nothing like escaping for good company, food, drink and all-around-merriment in the mountainous “nay-cha”.
It takes about three hours for most people to get up to the Berkshires …I made sure to soak in the scenery.
Sometimes there are holdups and unfortunate time-sucking detours that can lengthen the journey.
While this can be a little stressful, it’s nothing that can’t be cured by a Bloody Mary at the Gypsy Joynt in Great Barrington! PeanutPimpMama was thrilled to revisit this eclectic establishment filled with delicious brews and PASTRIES on STEROIDS.
With full access to salt and pepper caddies and all the hot sauce one could ever want, the bacon/olive/veggie loaded beverage is a balanced way to start out your day! This paired with a plate of their brussel sprouts (fried with yunioshi sauce and parmesan) is a scrum-didly-umptious combo!
After some light refreshments, it was time to make a special delivery.
First, a stop off at the wine store was in order!
Evening-one was a quiet dinner at home with the fam.
After dinner we surfed the net for some eligible suitors…Some offers were just irresistible!
The next morning we woke up to a Winter Wonderland!
This called for fuzzy sweaters and brunch at CrossRoads in Hillsdale, N.Y.. It’s a cozy little Hudson Valley café serving amazing farm-to-table brunch for a great price! One goes to the counter to eye up all the yum-yumz, order and pay! In true PPM fashion I (literally) ordered almost one of everything off the menu and shared with my friends tapas-style. PeanutPimpMama is a little greedy and needs to try all-the-things. It’s just how she rolls.
All-the-things were a true delight for $20.00pp (roughly) including a mimosa! This would have easily been a $50.00 experience in Manhattan (at least). Unreal.
The highlight for me was the fluffy frittata with goat cheese, potatoes and spinach. Nothing better than the simple joys of huevos con queso of sorts!
Some fluffy pancakes never hurt either! I thoroughly enjoyed the experience here. CrossRoads is an understated country-chic environment where everyone is beautiful and all the plates are cute. Not much more you can ask for when nursing the wine-hang. Plus they have a funny chalk board they write messages on. They must have known PeanutPimpMama was stopping by!
My affinity for all-things-French started when I was 18. I took all of my graduation money and pissed off to Paris. There were a couple of angry family members that found out my money was not being saved for school books. (#prioritiesalwaysinline) It was a life changing trip and I have to admit I have been running away to France ever since. Once in a while it’s nice to have a little taste of it minus the thousand dollar plane ticket. If there’s anything that NYC lacks, it’s proper French food at an affordable price.
Happy to say there’s hope just yet! I was recently introduced to Chez Napoléon, a very impressive NYC-institution serving French-Foodies since 1960. Much like the teeny-weeny little man himself, this tiny Midtown -resto has a BIG attitude for such a petit-space.
I was invited to join some friends for dinner that had been telling me about this place for ages! I chuckled as I entered this tiny time-warp with a bar just yonder proudly sporting a curtain with the colors of the French flag. I soon realized they make good use of space by condensing their tables (making the word romantic an understatement). My friends were cozily tucked into a corner and greeted with toasted baguettes, warm rolls and a little pot of the most amazing dijon based dressing. I wanted to spread it all over my life. I made sure to leave some room for our Artichaud Vinaigrette, Pâté Maison and the Celery Remoulade starters. Chez Napoléon’s house dressing is something they know they do well. It makes multiple appearances throughout the meal and they promote it on their website. They may as well come out with a bucket and a straw!
Straws… drinking… We have to talk about this bar situation. (Pictured Above): The Peachy-Keenie is shaken with two generous shots of peach vodka and I suspect a splash of Dole peach juice. I won’t lie… The diced peach brought me right back to pre-school in a really good way! #instantfruitcupaction
(Photo Credit @davetitle) The rather stern bartender doesn’t mess about here. He shakes up martinis that will leave you saying “Oui Oui” in no time. After your second round, the third seems like such a great idea. Afterwards…tu est fini!
Our amazing server (from Marseille) gets a notable mention! Her accent added true authenticity to our experience. The service was spot on and she served each and every potato with pride. For dinner I shared the Moules Marinières along with the catch of the day which was a lovely piece of salmon served with the buttery potatoes and some julienne vegetables. If you’re looking for a real “bang for the buck” check out the prix-fix menu which includes a starter, main and dessert for $34.00. It’s like restaurant week all year round!
A video posted by PeanutPimpMama (@peanutpimpmama) on
Of course we made sure to order their famous dessert soufflé which you request with your meal. Evidently they can take up to an hour to “reach perfection”. I totally missed the different flavors they offer though…Grand Marnier, Chocolate, Vanilla, Lemon and Coffee oh my!
Another restaurant week just passed! I visited The 21 Club with Momzie and Casa Lever with my dear old friend Gabbrachella. She had suggested Le Cirque, but after a really awful glass of wine there last Summer (and service to match) I thought we should enjoy our resto-week discount elsewhere. After perusing the menus I noticed Casa Lever was offering a wine pairing. After my friend’s stamp of approval, we were celebrating her relocation to the (almost) city for just under $80.00!
#fabulous (and 18 here).
After a long stand at the bar with a mediocre cocktail (bartender’s suggestion with my choice of spirit) we were finally seated twenty minutes after our requested reservation time. The bar area had started with standing room only. It cleared out rapidly leaving us with the entire area to ourselves. I ordered two drinks while waiting for our table and was underwhelmed with each impromptu “spicy mezcal cocktail” shaken “especially” for me. The cocktail list looked very sweet and lacking in any edge. PeanutPimpMama needs an edge!
We finally arrived at the table and within moments our zippy servers had a basket of fresh bread and olive oil for our consumption. We selected our dishes from our resto-week menu along with our wine tasting and out came an amuse-bouche that looked like something ripped off a Caesar salad on-the-line. Seriously, it was a cheesy crouton on a plate with herbs. (scratches head*)
Thankfully that was redeemed by a really fresh Caprese salad with super soft mozzarella balls sliced in half with beautifully ripe Kumato tomatoes and delicately plucked leaves of basil with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and crushed black pepper. This course was paired with Riesling “Le Dragon” Josmeyer (2012) from Alsace. This salad is a perfect example of beauty in simplicity. I could eat this until the cows come home.
My main was a succulent piece of salmon cooked medium rare and served on a bed of beluga lentils with a leek sugo sauce. The salmon was topped with a “row of roe” (drum roll*). It added an interesting flare that didn’t feel quite so…Italian? I was a bit caught off guard by the roe’s flavor and the odd sense of humor in presentation. Egg on a chicken anyone? This moist and savory course was paired with a Bourgougne Blanc Guy Amiot (2012) from Burgundy.
My meal ended with their famous chocolate dessert “The Gianduia” which is regularly featured on their menu. It’s basically a chocolate moussey block with a moist crust topped off with formations of hazelnut mouse and dark chocolate walls and ceiling. If you like chocolate, this is the way to go.
My friend (always keeping it light in true spirit) received a turkey shaped mass of sorbettos. (Pictured above): lemon, raspberry and mango sorbet with a crispy biscotti feathered tail? All gelati were prepared by Sant Ambroeus. (of course daaaaaaahling*)
It’s a cool place inside with a slight art-deco influence. If you come with a larger party you might get to sit in one of the cool tables that appear to be set into the wall in a cut-out geometric cell-like formation (not pictured here). The place had a great after-work buzz, but definitely not the ideal clientele for two single ladies out on the town. I would have thought the contrary given the area. It could depend on what demographic you’re after. 50<
Oh the holidays! We finally have a chance to sit back and relax with a couple of bevvies and watch as people become less and less appropriate and more and more full of “merriment”. While event coordinating has always been a huge element to my life over the years, this holiday season was extra special as I had the liberty of party planning with Del Posto. A big fan of Mario Batali and Italian food in general, I was elated to finally to dine at one of the country’s best Relais & Chateaux restaurants located right here in NYC.
When you enter Del Posto you can’t not be impressed by the dimensions of the towering space. Our guests were greeted by the most welcoming staff and copious amounts of prosecco (Flor, Prosecco NV Veneto). I was pleased with the newly refurbished Barbaresco room (downstairs level) where our event was held. It was softly lit and the dark wood contrasting with the crisp white linens and leather chairs created a perfect canvas for the enticing (and photogenic) meal ahead. I was excited to see bottles of white and red wines generously topped off as guests convened and a buzz slowly filled the air.
The first plate served was the Antipasto course, an “Insalata Autunnale” composed of Slow Roasted Tubers, Mustard Greens & Foglie di Noce. Much more substantial than your typical green salad, it was a nice warm way to start off the meal on this cold and rainy afternoon. It was cozy! (PeanutPimpMama loves all-things-cozy.)
For our mains, “Secondi” we had the choice of a sea bass prepared with chestnuts, chicories and salsify or a succulent cut of NY strip steak with charred onion salad and eggplant alla Pizzaiola. (below)
The bass was divine, but by the time I got around to trying a bite of my friend’s strip steak I was chewing for quite a while.
Finally it was dolce time! The absolutely perfect slice of fig jam crostada arrived à la mode with Fiore di Latte Gelato and Aceto Balsamico drizzle. It was a perfect note to end this seasonally influenced meal without feeling like you were going to explode from pure gluttony.
Last but not least… A sophisticated plate of assorted biscotti were presented at the center of the tables. These were necessary since it was “coffee time” for some but not for most as the bubbles and chitter-chatter among tables continued to flow.
What would a proper holiday party be without after-party drinks? As our guests left the Barbaresco room the stragglers were welcomed up to the bar on the main level where we were presented with an extensive wine and cocktail list. While the knowledgeable bartenders can sell you on some fine Italian wines, we opted for a classic bubbly creation indigenous to Venezia- The Bellini.
These easy sippers were quite a production to make. Fresh peach purée and a river of prosecco were combined in a magical mixing jar. After a few waves of a wand they were elegantly presented in two frosty flutes for our enjoyment. Totally worth the forty dollars après an entire afternoon of pure decadence!
Overall this was an impeccable experience full of delicious cuisine, professionalism and quality. I would only hope to have another event here one day. Please keep in mind that Del Posto is not a shot bar. I’m still trying to find out where all of this tequila came from!
Our bachelorette clan was in a state of recovery after a night of good clean block-party fun. As we slowly woke up and became humans again, it was time to research brunch options. We had experimented with the diner closest to our hotel the night before with no luck. I remember the cream of broccoli soup being edible, but the inside of my eyelids were way more interesting. This special morning I knew that a small town café would be the way forward. This would supply good cheap grub and give us a local-yocal meal. Who wants eggs and bacon made en-mass when you can have Hudson Valley’s best with pumpkin lattes in-hand?
When I googled the café they mention that they are a “kid friendly restaurant”. This made me chuckle. I understand if you want your audience to know you are animal friendly, but a kid friendly café ? This isn’t already assumed? Perhaps they should work on the delivery noting their “kid’s corner” or “reading room”? There’s no missing it as it dominates three quarters of the dining area (complete with La-Z-Boy reclina-rocker). #vintagepiece #reclina #whoneedsrrrrssss #IfeelsoBK
The inside of Wobble reminds me a lot of our hometown diner called Victoria’s Cozy Corner (formerly known as Johnny’s) with its old-school vibes. For anyone that has read PeanutPimpMama’s review on Victoria’s you would know that it was way more cozy when it was still Johnny’s. Sadly that is no longer the case and that corner has seen its heyday.
On this particular bright and early morning I was hardly feeling fresh as a daisy or decisive. I became that annoying customer questioning; “What do I absolutely need to try to have the ultimate experience here?” We were instantly sold on some home made cider donuts. They didn’t exactly cause bloodshed, but there were multiple forks on the plate at once.
The selection of egg dishes and pancakes was most appealing on the menu. They even have a crepe section for the exotic types, oui oui! Eggs…WE NEEDED EGGS. There were omelettes all around that morning. I decided to be adventurous and go for one of the daily specials. This dish is made with two scrambled eggs over polenta and dressed in their red pepper emulsion with grated parmesan and served with a side of home fries…yeah.
Of course there was a fluffy short stack served alongside my huevos. I couldn’t bear to turn down flapjacks when I saw the interesting accompaniments they provide. (Pictured Above: Pancakes with cream of wheat, pecans and chocolate chips dusted in powdered sugar.) While it’s kind of a pet peeve of mine to not have all of the ingredients inside my pancakes, they were delightful. All of those nuts on top make for awkward bites when they could be easily minced up inside.
We certainly had one beautiful spread that morning which helped to motivate the ride home. Not certain any of us would have lasted otherwise…Saved by The Wobble!
The place may have minimal curbside appeal, but all that warmth and coziness awaits you within. (PPM Tip: Request the window seat) Even if the pumpkin latte is really just coffee with pumpkin syrup, you need a reason to go to Ossining. It’s a great name isn’t it?
Oh it’s Autumn again! What does that mean? There are loads of great excuses to get out of the city and embrace all of the fun things that Fall brings. This past weekend I was hypnotized by beautiful scenes of golden foliage and pumpkin-spice galore as I drove up to the Hudson Valley for my cousin’s bachelorette party. She happens to be a big fan of Halloween so we decided to base her celebration around autumnal-festivities. The Village of Sleepy Hollow seemed like a good place to get that done! While we got a late start and missed the majority of the spooky fun, it was still nice to get out of the concrete jungle and have an adventure for the weekend. Honestly I was happy to see trees. #novelty
We stopped at the local provisions store in order to prepare for the night ahead. This Vampire wine stood out on the shelves for its uncanny theme and curious label. It would never happen if it weren’t for Halloween. Now that I’ve read up on their story I have a bit more respect for them. PeanutPimpMama shall visit the Vampire lounge and vineyards in the 2016 calendar since the other wines need to be had for a fair assessment. #marketinggonewrong
This fine wine called for fancy stemware… #desperatetimes #desperatemeasures
After putting on our Saturday-finest we called some taxis to head into the village of Sleepy Hollow. Our taxi ride set the tone for the evening with a driver that couldn’t help himself from spewing his life long narrative. I tuned out for most of it as he kept repeating the word “subpoena”. We soon arrived in the center of town and realized that dining was going to be a challenge with a group of nine girls and restaurants that wouldn’t accept reservations. On the upside, the menus all seemed to be fairly priced with lots of delicious micro brews on draft. (PeanutPimpMama likes this.)
Finally we found a restaurant that was willing to accommodate us with an hour wait. Their hostess highly suggested that we walk down the strip to a bar called The Huddle for a drink in efforts to kill time. This venue is your average upstate cozy bar with a couple TV’s, photo-bombing creepers and a jukebox for all of your inebriated entertainment needs. Their bar staff is very friendly too!
While glancing at the drafts my eyes were instantly drawn to Southern Tier’s Pumpking Ale. This was ordered along with my cousin’s genius suggestion for a sugar and cinnamon rim. Nothing tastes more like fall than a nine percent pumpkin beer with hints of cinnamon and cloves and an after taste with the essence of pie crust.
The plot had a very interesting twist that night. Dinner nearly happened at a proper sit-down restaurant until “The case of the pumpkin martinis and bye Felicia” occurred. To summarize, nine pumpkin martinis and some poor service created a lot of emotions and sent us straight back to The Huddle. They sure saved the day with their awesome “Huddle Balls”- fried Mac n’ Cheese delights with beefy centers (pictured above). The bride-to-be made a solid attempt at the “Huddle-burger”-topped with bacon, avocado and cheddar cheese (pictured below). They have tasty bar food on their menu that gets the job done!
PeanutPimpMama did not partake in the burger, but she rather enjoyed the thinly cut rosemary fries. They went especially well with the house blue cheese dressing and assorted condiments she was able to forage off the table caddies.
The night ended with a lot of fried foods. It was all-good since we were able to dance it off at the local block party. Coincidentally there was an amazing DJ spinning beats right in the middle of the road.
We needed something to burn off that funnel cake…Oh yeah and those fried Oreos too!
I can’t help but think of how funny it is that American’s have suddenly discovered avocados, Mexico, and rosé wines. I would say the average person’s college experience with Franzia, Paul Mason and Sutter Home has left some residual scar tissue behind. It seems we have turned a new leaf and the south of France is giving the U.S.A. the hard-sell on some of the country’s finest pink-vins. How are they doing that you ask? By joining forces with NYC’s luxury cruise-liners and responsibly containing hundreds of passengers with unlimited pink-sips and very light appetizers for four hours straight. All you need is an overworked crowd, unlimited booze on a rocky ship and you got yourselves a situation.
My friend and I have a bit of experience in hospitality and we were quite surprised at the set up of this event. It’s almost advantageous to turn up late and avoid being corralled into a garage with 300 people. The hot and steamy summer weather leaves one a bit parched by the time they get to the entrance. It is here that the glasses await you.
We had some overcast skies and a light rain shower to welcome us on board. After being herded like cattle for an hour, the overhead spritz was oddly refreshing. The ship left from pier 40 near Houston and wrapped around the financial district. We had a nice view of the Trade Center and an epic skyline.
La Nuit en Rosé was quite literal since the food situation happened to be a bit scarce. (Never a good thing.) Pictured above: A sample of wine, cheese by Artisanal, Israeli cous cous salad, salmon salad and bread. I feel a bit queasy thinking about this moment still. It stayed with me for a while.
That random duck bruschetta tho…
As the night came to a close, the only sustenance left was an olive oil tasting station. It was like something out of the zombie apocalypse as people (barely able to walk) crawled up to the counter to dip the last crumbs of the bread basket in assorted oil flavors. Finger-lickin’ good!
The DJ started pumping as the sun went down and the lower level turned into a discotheque! The great selection of commercial house took me back to my younger days on the Riviera. It was a little precursor to my travels ahead. Unce unce unce (PeanutPimpMama Fist Pumps*)
It was all-class in the back of that boat as the magnums came out to play.
Didn’t get to bust out your pink outfit as planned? Rest assured, the experience is complete with free accessories! (Pictured Above: A saucy passenger ports her free sunglasses complimentary of LNR.) It’s better than your average bar mitzvah. La Nuit en Rosé- Cause you need more reasons to drink pink wine on a boat? Just stay out of those bathrooms.
Keep Sippin. ~PPM
(Disclaimer: Eat before you get onboard! Best to stay away from the Meatpacking District as tempted as you may be by proximity. You never know what kind of stale pizza the acquired company may lead you to.)
I saw the movie The Secret Garden when I was a small child. I believe that was way back in 1987 when I was a wee-little kindergartner suffering through many evenings of latchkey. While rooftops bring a majestic summertime option to “The Big Apple”, my next favorite spaces of which to fill my belly would be in the hidden gardens of NYC. These tiny gems are very special places tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the concrete jungle. I recently ventured out to one which was owned and operated by the famous Parisian Ladurée in SOHO. To my dismay the service was a far cry from the atmosphere. After all, snooty service doesn’t work sans L’Arc du Triumph nearby. The “Freedom Tower” doesn’t have quite the same effect.
With mom in town for her birthday weekend, I really had my hopes up for a special experience since Ladurée carries so much nostalgia for me. The silver lining- the consistency of the food standards… Nice omelette.
Pictured Above: Cousin Erika visits PeanutPimpMama in Paris- 2007
I had specifically requested garden seating and the tall lanky model-type hostess made it apparent that she was too busy to deal with my request. Isn’t that what they pay her the big bucks for? After standing around for a bit, we were finally ushered to the back of the venue and through the lush dining room to be seated on the terrace (not in the garden). A couple of lost servers and busboys scurried about until finally one was flag-able. We were assured someone would be right with us but I’m not certain where the help was commuting from. It took at least 25 minutes to be greeted, forget about taking our order!
It took another 25 minutes to acquire a drinks list (pictured above).
In the time it took to retrieve the boissons list and order, I could have had three martinis. It seems to be one of those communistic-restaurant setups where everyone pools tips. Often times people get lazy and expect the next person to pull their weight. In the end the quality of service and overall experience suffers for it. When one (wo)man is in charge of their own tables they stay on top of their game. #TRUTH. The martini pictured above is one of their seasonal rose cocktails I had seen plastered all over Instagram. The Maî·tre d’ referred to them as “One of our new bébés”. It’s a marvelous drink. I wish they didn’t serve it to me 3/4 of the way full. For $20.00 I made sure to return the beverage for an appropriate pour. I witnessed the bartender peering over the crowd demanding to know, “Who returned this drink exactly?” (PPM raises her hand*) After a bunch of bottles were slammed into the rail a new drink appeared. Voila* It was still a bit short, but better than served with a saliva-floater!
Shocked by the whole scenario, mom and I made sure to introduce ourselves to the Maitre D’ Delfi. She’s a spunky little lady all buttoned up with a pixie cut and a swift walk. After listening to two disgruntled Americans talk over each other about the afternoon, Delfi tried as hard as she could to appear sympathetic. She sent out a special dessert for my mom and assured us that our next “ex-peer-rey-ance” at Ladurée will be much better if we ask for her. She made mention that she is a mommy too and therefore understands our “see-chew-ay-see-on”. Delfi really should have comped our meal or got us a round on the house (for serious). No one received gratuity that day- “TRUE EURO STYLE”. That’s a first to go down in PeanutPimpMama’s history.
This was the longest and most difficult brunch of my life.
One of my favorite things to wake up to is an inbox full of emails with “Best of Rooftops” from the likes of Thrillist and Time Out Magazine. Today I bring you one very special rooftop that has a little something for everyone, including those who seek out the finer things in life and appreciate a little “cult-cha” temps en temps. I was on a mission to see The Roof Garden Café at The Met when a yellow cab video convinced me that I NEEDED to see the new installation by the artist Pierre Huyghe. As someone with an arts degree, I’d like to think that I have an open mind and can be capable of deep-thoughts and thinking outside the box. I have definitely been guilty of coloring outside the lines…
Before heading to the rooftop for my treat, it was important to pay my artistic dues. It was hard to miss “Perseus with the head of Medusa” who not only proved to be a good landmark for navigating through The Met, but also a tad startling to peer at. Those dimensions “tho”: Overall (confirmed): H. 95 1/2 x W. 75 1/2 x D. 40 1/2 in. (242.6 x 191.8 x 102.9 cm)
PeanutPimpMama has a great appreciation for the old things. She likes to pretend she was Mary Antoinette in a past life, except that she got to eat the cake. (She didn’t share it either.)
After looking at artifacts from all over the world we made our way to the elevator with the other excited museum-a-neers. To our surprise we arrived on the roof to find quite a sight for sore eyes. This installation included dismantled rooftop tiles with a tank placed arbitrarily and chillin’ off to the far right corner. This tank was special “tho”. It seemed to have a meteor rock-like formation inside surrounded by magical waters. When you get close you see lots of little creatures inside including baby horseshoe crabzies crawling about with their creepy little legs. People stand mystified by the big rock in a fish tank as they video tape and photograph the cloudy waters which clear up to reveal aquatic life forms once every thirty seconds. This murky crustacean bath somehow captivates the audience with all of these CRABZIES.
What really made this installation a lot more interesting: They have really worked on The Roof Garden’s offerings since my last visit. What used to be a limited selection of wines and domestic bottled beers has turned in to a full-on cocktail party with specialized vats of juicy goodness ready to be combined with a spirit of your choice ($15.00 + tip) or served “virgin” style ($6.00 + tip) for those just looking for pure refreshment. Pictured Above: PeanutPimpMaMa sips the “Cypress”- Blackberry-Lime Shrub, Pomegranate with Canadian Club Whisky. Did I mention the pour was generous?
The downfall is that you’re paying $15.00 on another rooftop in Manhattan for a drink in a plastic cup. The bright side- The bartenders have quite a heavy hand with their pour and you’re drinking on rooftop in Manhattan overlooking Central Park. If you’re hungry they have overpriced snacks to match! That view “tho”…PRICELESS.
You can’t make this up.
<3 PeanutPimpMama (a DEEP thinker).
Pictured Above: “PPM zinks deep zoughts wis ze zinker” @ Musée Rodin Rodin 2007
So all these years you thought you had to leave THE-island for “Proper Greek Food”. Well ASS-toria we’re taking it back! For the last 15 years The Greek Kitchen has been providing Midtown-West with traditional Greek food “on fleek” with fresh ingredients and a bit of flare. PeanutPimpMama was excited when a mysterious PR man tweeted to request a foodie review. After all, this mature west-side establishment was serving up one of PPM’s favorite Mediterranean cuisines. The generous feeding finally took place and caused a pure foodie-coma with a belly and doggie-bag both bursting with leftover feast!
The Greek Kitchen is located on the corner of 10th Avenue and 57th Street. They have an easily visible storefront which opens up for the summer season!
If you’re half as lucky as I was you’ll be greeted with warmth and a kind smile by the NY-born and Thessaloniki –raised partner George Pappas. He made sure that PeanutPimpMama was watered properly with a bottle of BLINK prosecco-sparkling wine to start. This sexy label designed by the Greece’s Beetroot firm had me ready to pop onto the next plane to Mykonos. Its bottle screams “Let’s party” while pouring Brut-Moscato sophistication. I’d say that is design done well!
These bubbles were a light and airy precursor to the hearty appetizers pictured above. Clockwise: Tzatziki, Revithosalata (Hummus) and Melizanosalata- a trio which can be tweaked to your liking for the price of $14.00 “Pikilia” (3 spreads) or you can “go big or go home” for $18.00 with all 5 appetizer spreads called the “Silogi”. Both are served with a stack of warm and cozy pita bread as a vehicle for all of this “delisch”. To think on most days this is PeanutPimpMama’s dinner alone! #TrialsandtribulationsoflivinginManhattan.Then this mountain of fried zucchini chips called “Greek Piato” ($10.50) suddenly appeared alongside two very generous dollops of tzatziki. A dish that could easily go wrong was filled with delicate little slices fried to a golden hue and sprinkled with hints of oregano and sea salt. Somehow these savory little crisps were almost refreshing with the combination of the cool and creamy tzatziki and aromatic herbs. Our next dish really left a lasting impression on PPM’s soul. Pictured Above: “Feta Sousami” ($13.00)-pan fried feta encrusted with sesame seeds and topped with sauteed figs, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes and drizzled in a fig & Balsamic reduction. As George said, “The approach here was to have a little taste of everything, the sweet with the salty and so on.” It’s NOT ONLY PRETTY to look at, but a sophisticated alternative to the humdrum Saganaki I would have otherwise ordered. Trust me…I love me some salty cheese!
Since George knows how to keep his guests happy, he quickly reappeared with a bottle of white wine to fix our empty-glass status. As it turns out, The Greek Kitchen has an extensive list of Greek wines listed in order of light to full bodied along with a vast selection of micro-brews all ready to quench your thirst. This white wine called “Thyrsus” was very clean and not obtrusive, allowing all of the wholesome flavors of the appetizers to be thoroughly enjoyed.
The next dish that followed not only warmed my mouth but my heart. This dish is called the “Oktapadi Skaras” has quite the intimidating name for such a supple creature. Pictured Below: They’ve grilled our lil’ buddy in a red wine marinade along with some red onions and lemon juice. There is so much beauty in simplicity.The last time I had octopus so tender and juicy was on my 30th birthday at the restaurant GILT (by Villard Michel Richard). They served it as one loooong tentacle on a plate and it cost way more than $16.00. I think I prefer my tentacles pre-cut and camouflaged.
Suddenly a small Greek salad was placed before us with a warning, “This is what is normally served along with an entrée.” George had serious plans ahead for PeanutPimpMama, so they began to clear the table.
The first main presented was the Chicken Souvlaki ($15.00 pictured above). This colorful dish is a deconstructed chicken kebab, just sans the kebab with loads of delicious sides of Greek fried potato slices with sea salt and oregano, smoky red peppers and chunks of savory chicken.
Last but not least, George sent out a grilled striped bass served with lemon, olive oil and capers ($25.00). After this fishy was ready for his close-up he was escorted back to the kitchen and filleted for PPM’s enjoyment. Props and mad-credit go out to ma homies that can eat around fish bones. I don’t know how y’all do it. #MadFishySkillzOnPoint
This splendid main course was paired with yet another Greek wine called Staphylus (not contagious). This cabernet blend made with organic grapes was a great pairing for both dishes. I was amazed the fish was not lost in the flavor. Yet something magical happened with a bite of the chicken souvlaki and a little breathing time. What started out meek turned into a rustic flavor with blackberry and raspberry hints and a spicy finish.
Those lemon potatoes “tho”… HOLY.
I’m not going to lie. I asked for every Greek dessert they had on a plate. Most of them came home with me since I was busting at the seams. You can live on the edge like so, or there are ice cream and chocolate cake options for the less adventurous types.
Then it was “curtains” for PPM.
They thought this would help… Baahahahahahha!
Come eat delicious Greek food in a cozy family-oriented environment where you can stumble on a crawling baby, drink Ouzo, and see horses. Don’t eat meat? Ah that’s okay! They make a lamb! (You knew it was coming.)