May 30 2018

Brooklyn Bridge Park in the dark

Brooklyn Bridge ParkBrooklyn Height Promenade, and the million dollar condos (?) or townhouses.

   


May 30 2018

The tip of Manhattan

Around Pearl Street near the South Ferry and Pier 6. Vietnam Veterans Plaza @ Water Street.

      


May 30 2018

Fraunces Tavern® Museum


54 Pearl Street,
New York, NY 10004
212-425-1778

The building is the oldest surviving building (NYS?) tracing back to George Washington – his headquarter where he negotiated with the British for peace. The pub is on the 1st floor and the museum is on the 2nd & 3rd.

This single shoe belonged to GW. There are a few paintings in the museum. The museum is really small. They offer some program which is way I went. Headwraps of African Women in America by Cheyney McKnight @ $20. (The normal admission is $7.) Somewhat disappointed – most, if not all materials are  from the web … I could have googled myself …

   


May 28 2018

ChilSung Korean BBQ


221-16 Horace Harding Expressway
Oakland Garden, NY

Won’t return.

Smoky – poor ventilation. Running waiting staff – so rushed. Sweet kimchi. Falling kids (other dinners’ and they let their kids run wild). Nay.

Food is ok, 3 stars – 5 kinds of beef many has gristle. The 2-star rating is for service, like dining in a war zone.

The first page of their menu says they’re 7 stars of food and service. That has to be a joke, as big as their restaurant.

The waiting staff didn’t have time to take our drink order. Corkage fee is $25 but I didn’t see a wine list/menu. On my way out, I saw their wine racks.

When we finished our dinner, our hall (they’ve 3 areas) which is inside with large tables (8 people and more) became quite (at around 7), but that doesn’t slow them down – dumping the fruit plates while the table is still messy and full.

We’ve two birthday cakes (we needed to tell 5 times to chill them, 5 times!) – after cutting the coconut, with the same knife they cut red velvet. 7 stars?

Parking is easy: on the street or behind.

 


May 18 2018

Park Avenue Tavern


99 Park Avenue
New York

Will return. A great lunch spot. A pretty bartender. Good service. Decent food. It has two levels. We dined at the lower level because I forgot to make a reservation. The crab cake is delicious. The salad is fresh and to the point.
 


May 17 2018

Dadong New York


3 Bryant Park
New York, NY 10036

Finally, I dined at Dadong in New York. I probably will return reluctantly, because of, I’m from Beijing, their duck is good, the decor is nice. At the moment, they may be the only high-end Chinese restaurant in town (Tse Yang @  34 E 51 St closed about 10 years ago; Mr. K’s at 570 Lexington closed too … those so-called high end needed to be shut down, making room for the newer ones. Buddakan & Tao, and the like are under the name of Asian or Asian fusion…). I heard from a friend that the majority owner of Dadong is from Hong Kong, and Dadong itself holds a minor stake.

The entrance is from a yard. Their interior decoration is pretty good, not as tacky as their many branches in Beijing.

 


They have an extensive wine list, with nice wine glasses – thin stems and light. This 2014 Pinot Noir is from Domaine Fourrier (Jean-Marie Fourrier) in Bourgogne/Burgundy, France – where they produce Burgundy wines, also the pinot noirs and Chardonnay, Chablis and Beaujolais. The sommelier said this wine is allocated to them – which brought me to think of food rations 粮票 ha ha.

The service. It’s good but inflexible: when our server kept on asking if there is anything he can do for us, that makes me wonder how can’t he judge if we need him or not? More training, perhaps? I do miss the good old boys at the steakhouses who just knew when or what a customer needs. A girl came to take our order, lectured without any regards that all food should be shared … Don’t I look like a Chinese? Thank heaven they didn’t try to teach us to use chopsticks. Then funny enough, after my friend order this wine, the sommelier switched to French but when my friend replied in excellent French – yes Americans are known to have no second language – he then switched back to English.


We were running 45 minutes late but called ahead. When we got there, were seated immediately, to the third floor. The first/ground floor is just a reception desk with a single girl manning it. The second floor is the bar, pretty noisy. The small dining hall on the third floor is very quiet, with one couple at the table near the elevator. Oddly enough, the usher wanted to seat us on the first table to the elevator, next to them – what was she thinking? By the time we’re done, the hall only added two more tables with six people in total – I asked for the table at far end. “Fine,” she said and then led us over. When we were just about to sit down, a staff came, “oh, no. This table is unstable.” As the leg was broken. Emmm… they’ve just opened last November, and the unstable table is nicely laid out with tableware. It was so close to us, I had to ask them to move it away from us a little, avoiding knock over unintentionally by me.

The food. The freebies, edamame (ends cut – detail, very good) and boiled peanuts are good choices. Tufu with scallion, water chestnut 马蹄, pea sprout 豌豆苗 and zhajiangmiao (noodles) 炸酱面 are good.

  


The duck is good, they sell half too.

The pinenuts fish and dumplings have been cooked long before they were served – I liked how they pace the food but that doesn’t mean the chef should cook so far ahead, and let the food sit around. The fish wasn’t crisp. One look at the dumplings I knew they were toward cold – see the sagging skins, and the fillings are ok but could be a little less fine/fussy. The dumplings were topped with alfalfa sprouts – totally not necessary. Two dumplings are broken, come on, this is so basic!

 

Some diners on the other side were overly loud for this type of environment – remember, it’s a Chinese eatery, with many Chinese – not something the restaurant could control. Nice music but could tune down a bit.

All in all, I think Buddakan is better, not that many issues I could think of.

And another basic question, where is my duck bone? I ordered half, there still should be half of the bones, right?


May 16 2018

Samwon Garden


37 W 32nd Street
New York

Won’t return.

A casual Korean BBQ place in Korean town near Penn station. Good service. Noisy. Hearty laughs and chats. Clean bathroom.

Food, somewhat disappointing. The kalbi – short rib, the color is too dark for my comfort and with too many gristles. Rib eye and bivim are okay. Kimchi is good, not sweet. It’s kind of odd that our server kept asking me if the food is good. “Really good” I lied.

Wine: my bad to order one … but the Penfold Max’s Shiraz 2015 turned out to be pretty good, legs and smooth. The staff clearly doesn’t know (or they don’t care) how to serve wine.

 


May 13 2018

Sabor Guarani Restaurant Bar


40-04 Bell Blvd
Bayside, NY 11361
Paraguayan food

Will return. A neat little Paraguayan restaurant on the busy Bell Blvd. Good food, wine – love their Three Ranch’s 2014 Rock n Vine Cab, good service, clean bathroom. Music is a bit too loud.

We sit at the back … pls next time don’t shake out your plastic garbage bag … you can do it quietly/discreetly, right sweetie?