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Colonie – You can decide which neighborhood you’re in …

I spend my first summer in New York mostly in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
With a full view of downtown Manhattan’s skyline, plenty of lawns, a little beach and multiple hide out benches, it’s the perfect place to unwind, relax, wander or people-watching.

Maybe I should write some posts on all the great things that happened to me so far at this park? – Keep going, we’re all ears!

Anyhow, after one of my days at the park, I wasn’t really in the mood for cooking at home. – Reading all those reviews, you wouldn’t think I’d actually know how to cook at home, would you? So I was walking home and stumbled upon Colonie. Oysters and pasta on the menu, fun people inside, a bar, planters on the wall… Yeah, found my dinner spot I guess!

Ever since that first time, I’ve been visiting Colonie on many occasions. With Mr. P., with P&C – my ‘NYC-parents’ for brunch, with I. to catch up on our friendship. The vibe is lively, food simple American but always on point. Can’t remember a single time when I didn’t have a good experience at Colonie.

And since Hospitality is keeping me alive in New York, I know I can always get my free shot here!

Colonie
127 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Photo credit: Colonie
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Maison Premiere – Keeping it raw

Working in high end restaurants has it’s perks.
Yes, I know, the pressure of delivering constant high quality service can be challenging.
On the other hand, it creates a bond between the team that can be extremely strong.
So when I made the decision to come to New York, couple of those friends took that as an opportunity to visit me and obviously discover the ‘next-best-places’ to eat in New York.

Finding those new exciting places takes time and a feel for quality.
There isn’t a formula that will tell you: If you do this, put this on your menu, put those plants on the table and hire only young girls with tattoos, you will be successful.

You need to have a great concept, and that’s exactly what they had at Maison Premiere.
So when a bunch of us old co-workers decided to try the ‘raw-bar-Sunday-Brunch’, we went for the complete experience!

I agree, sitting at the bar is fun when it’s just the 2 of you.
With 6 people, logistically not the best choice.
But that was the only place where we could order the complete set of oysters, uni’s and clams! And be sure they have A.LOT!

But even if you’re not a party of 6, I would still choose a seat at the bar.
It’s just so much more easier checking out the bartenders!

Go and enjoy!

Maison Premiere
298 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11249

Photo credit: restaurantgirl.com

Tetsu – it’s not Masa

Every Spring I get really excited!
New season! Yay!
Great for fashion lovers, flora enthusiasts and beach addicts!
It’s when they all prepare for summer time! Even the city does!

Not that I am a fashion lover – I do appreciate nice summer dresses though.
I’m more preparing for my friend Mr. P. to come back to New York!
After a long, cold winter, it’s always such a pleasure seeing him again.

So when I got his text:
Hi Foodie Friend, Back in the City,
Where to go for our ‘Welcome, Happy-to-be-back-in-NYC’ dinner? Let me know!
I got all excited and pulled up my hit-list!

The exact same week as I got this text, a friend of mine told me he had applied for a new job at this amazing Japanese neighborhood restaurant called Tetsu.
I had never heard about it, but did some research and made a reservation.

You know, New York is a city full of opportunities, where it’s great to share idea’s, concepts and experiences. And that’s exactly what we did at Tetsu.
We shared our food – YAY! Wagyu ragout! – had a nice bottle of wine, caught up on life and where amazed by their goat cheese cheese cake.

A place like Tetsu will make you happy.
And that’s more then enough reason to go!

Tetsu
78 Leonard Street
New York, NY 10013

Photo Credit: Dacia Pierson for Tetsu

Momofuku Noodle Bar

Quite some time ago, I ran into this cute guy.
Happens in New York.
He was fun to spend time with and he lived in East Village.
He also showed me some great Asian spots but none of them could match up my all time favorite around his corner: Momofuku Noodle Bar.

I can’t even remember the amount of times I’ve had their Ramen Bowl.
It’s really that good and worth the trip.
Even if you’re coming from the Upper East Side after cheering for runners of NYC Marathon.

Or if you want to impress your date or a friend who has never had noodles before.
You have got to set high standards. Always.

And no, you don’t need to be seeing a cute guy to enjoy the experience of their hospitality, you’re more then welcome by yourself too.
Ask for a seat at the counter and take a glimpse of what happens in the kitchen!

But even if none of the above matches yours, just go.
You won’t regret it!

Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10003

Photo credit: Momofuku Noodle Bar

Vinegar Hill House – Little Brooklyn Gem

The discovery of a hidden gem,
or when turning left is absolutely right!
That’s how I found Vinegar Hill House,

Just kidding, my date took me here after gazing at the stars the night before.
Nonetheless, I was amazed by everything.
Not seeing the guy anymore – this place every once in a while …

From the delicious granola parfait, over our freshly squeezed OJ
(-I didn’t know that was short for Orange Juice at the time) till the summers breeze cooling down the patio.

Very local people, very Brooklyn vibe and very nice food.

Come early for dinner or later on Saturdays and Sundays for Brunch…

It’s the perfect spot!

Vinegar Hill House
72 Hudson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Photo credit: GrubStreet 

Desnuda – Ceviche 2.0

The first time I had a ceviche was when I was working in a Michelin star restaurant in the Netherlands. The chef there had a Ceviche recipe from his mother.
It was amazing! I absolutely loved it!

The first time I had the Ceviche from Desnuda, it blew my mind!
This was even better than what I had before!

I ran into this place randomly, I was looking for dinner while strolling in the East Village. All places around looked good, but none of them looked as appealing as Desnuda. It was really a secret whole in the wall, hard to find – unless you knew it was there – the menu looked good and all the people inside seemed to have a great time.

I ordered Oysters to start with and the Salmon Ceviche.
A glass of white wine and pretty nice company.
Want to impress your date? Take them to Desnuda!

Desnuda
122 E 7th street
New York, NY 10009

Photo credit: NY Time Out Magazine 

La Vara – Escape to Spain …

Without a doubt one of my personal favorites!
The first time I visited La Vara, I was just wandering in the streets of the cutest Brooklyn Neighborhood ever, Cobble Hill. With a city guide in one hand and a refreshing drink in the other, I parked myself on one of the benches in Cobble Hill Park while I was looking for a nice place for dinner.

La Vara was listed as one of the To-Go spots in this area and was just next to the park.
This Spanish Tapas restaurant creates the perfect vibe for every occasion.

Want to grab a cocktail and a quick bite? Ask for a seat at the bar.
Date night with your boy/girl friend? A table for two please!
Girls night or meeting with the in-laws? The 2 benches by the windows will make sure everybody’s having a good time!

Sharing is caring and all of the plates are prepared perfectly.
No need to make it harder on yourself, just order everything!
In case you do need to make a decision: Go for the CARABINEROS!
This delicacy alone is worth the trip!

Whenever you are in dire need of some really good tapas, La Vara…

La Vara
268 Clinton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Photo credit: La Vara

Karasu – Treasure hunting in the neighborhood!

The best thing about moving around in New York City, is the search for new local gems. And since I recently moved into Fort Greene, looks like I have a lot to discover! Alongside Dekalb Avenue, there are plenty of options but this one is from outer space!

Secretly located inside Walter’s, I felt like being on a treasure hunt!

The little kid was dancing around inside me, – thank God she’s over 21y – because those cocktails …!
Never knew a combo of Yuzu, grapefruit and Shochu would be so delicious!

Same goes for that Ribeye for 2, don’t think about it, just order it.
Besides, couples that share food together, stay together!

– Isn’t that something they say?

Karasu
166 Dekalb Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
– Entrance through Walters

Photo credit: Karasu

Olmsted – Celebrating our love for the neighborhood!

Sharing knowledge and experiences … my favorite drug to survive in this city!

If you get recommendations from a friend with a background in culinary art, it is setting high expectations for Olmsted.
Mr. P. was back in town so I decided to take him on a trip to Prospect Heights for dinner in Olmsted.

While sipping on my cocktail with Yuzu, Vermouth, Gin and Sherry, I started to observe the energy floating in this convivial neighborhood restaurant. Knowledgeable servers explaining the colorful dishes to the guests, an eccentric but very nice bartender stirring cocktails, the passion in the kitchen was more than enough to make sure all plates were looking amazing.

This was a vision that had came to life and everybody in the restaurant was being a part of it – even the planters on the wall.

The Austrian Gruner Veltliner turned out not to be the only thing we had in our glass that night. Madeira and a sparkling wine made us forget about the time.
The garden was the perfect setting for the infamous S’MORES to finish an amazing experience.

Professionals run this place.
Every single detail matters.

Olmsted
659 Vanderbilt Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Photo credit: Paul Wagtouicz

Gran Electrica – Where even the wallpaper contributes to the experience!

When Summer is turning into Fall, and you only have a couple nights left to spend it outdoors with somebody you like,

Take them to Gran Electrica,
This Mexican gem offers everything what you need for a great dining experience!

First of all, service here is on point. If you need another reason, drinks absolutely fabulous, the back yard the perfect setting for a romantic dinner and the fab wall paper will give you the perfect conversation starter.

Besides all that, Gran Electrica is secretly located next to Grimaldi’s,
When all the tourists are trying to get a pizza from the neighbors, the cool Brooklyn crowd will sneak into Gran Electrica!

Gran Electrica
5 Front Street – Dumbo
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Wallpaper by:
Flavor Paper
216 Pacific Street
Brooklyn, NY

Photo credit: Gran Electrica