May 27 2017

Coindre Hall

101 Browns Rd,
Huntington, NY 11743

Wiki: this medieval French château has 40 rooms (80k sq ft/7,400 sq m), was built for pharmaceutical magnate George McKesson Brown in 1912; he lost it to the stock market crushed in 1929. It’s on the Huntington Harbor. It’s named after Father André Coindre. Now used for events and weddings.

Pro: the many rooms, give the cater the opportunity to place drinks and finger food in a few rooms on the second floor – thoughtful and intimate. However, the con is, main hall on the ground floor is small and adjacent to the dancing room, which is inconvenient.


The food is above average for such event. Catering is by Lessing – they do a lot of business in New York, such as golf courses etc. All the event I attended, would have more than enough food. This one is no exception. I wish both sides would consider the wastefulness of the food and do something about it – like, putting out less food? The wedding ceremony is at 6pm, followed by reception then full sit down dinner. Maybe they could serve less food during the reception? Drinks and finger food are enough. No need to have chefs cooking up pasta, roasted pig … Less is more?


The sit down dinner …



May 24 2017

Piccola Bussola

159 Jericho Turnpike
Mineola, NY 11501

The stories told by Uncle Tony is the best part of the evening, and the drinks too. FYI, owner Tony Lubrano is probably half my age, and we, as far as I know, are not related – rumors stops here -:).


This Italian restaurant sits on the busy Jericho Turnpike. They’ve valet parking. 2-hr street parking, free after 6pm is also an option. The bar by the entrance is pretty big. To the right is their main dining hall and behind the bar, is another hall, good for private functions.

Uncle Tony cooked up a 10-course tasting menu, plus 3 desserts, plus a big selection of wine (Prosecco, Chardonnay, Pinot blanc/noir, Carb, Moscato … oh my). It’s a very generous (on his part) and rowdy (us) evening, 2 hours event ampliated into 3.

0) yummy bread (ciabatta?)
1) Stuffed mushroom
2) Baked Clam
3) Scallop risotto
4) Tortelloni ala vodka
5) Eggplant meatball
6) Chicken napolitano
7) Veal sorrentino
8) Dijon salmon
9) Roasted red pepper ravioli
10) Steak

Desserts: Napoleon, tiramisu and Zabaglione.

The service is great. The decor is average. the 10 courses, the first few are rather bland. Eggplant meatball is super – Uncle Tony’s mom’s invention. Veal sorrentino is good too – I do have a salty tongue. The tiramisu is super yummy. Napoleon is good too. Zabaglione (alcoholic foaming, light…) is refreshing – I ate them all … for someone who doesn’t really like desserts – this is really a big compliment. Thank you Uncle Tony and my great tablemates who made my day -:).

May 20 2017

The 9th Avenue International Food Festival

9th Avenue, between 42-57 streets

A street fair on the west side, 2-day event.

A wonderful day out.

We did’t go too deep in to the fair, instead we stopped at Kilo, a wine bar, have really good time there.


May 20 2017


857 9th Ave
New York, NY 10019

The joke goes that you need eat to have energy, in order to be able to go on diet. Ehhhh … pardon me my chinglish but you get it.
As I’m closing their handsome but heavy bathroom door, I thought of this joke. You’ll need that little extra strength to deal with the bathroom door. All good and pretty clean bathroom.

High ceiling. Small. Exposed brick walls. Delicious food. Good wines, served in great wine glasses – theirs ranks near the top of my good wine glass list – thin stem and fat bulb, feels really good both in hand and on the lips.

We went on a Saturday evening before the Brahms violin concert @ Lincoln Center. We usually go north for dinner bec the south is just bit dingier. The host asked us if we’ve reservation – so remember to make one – nevertheless, he sat us immediately.

They hang a candle holder as decor. A nice wooden bowl for the shells. A cool tattooed wine connoisseur. Everything feels just fine. The south of Lincoln Center is just as lovable.


May 14 2017

Joe’s Sicilian Bakery

21216 48th Ave
Bayside, NY 11364
(718) 225-2272

This is a tiny Italian bakery, with no sit down. Girls behind the counter are experienced and efficient, working in harmony; making the trip inside pleasant. They offer to cut the round bread (ciabatta?) which is appreciated (I prefer Addeo & Sons Bakery in Bronx tho), although sometimes I do enjoy tearing apart my bread.
The butterfly cookies and biscottis are all good.


May 14 2017

Nan Bei Ho

It’s not as crazy as I expected. Although the waiting staff throwing dished into the cart when they clean out a table, could have been handled with little less brute and more care? Let’s be honest, does throwing takes less time than putting down a bowl or dish?

Aside, food is pretty good. The texture of scallion pancake is less chewy, perhaps made from thick paste then dough.

May 11 2017

Congee Village

36-36 Prince St
Flushing, NY 11354

The second one after their Chinatown flagship. So far the rating is pretty low on Yelp, only 2.5 generated from 169 reviews. I don’t have any issue with them, from one lunch. We ordered a lot, a little too much. All of the food/dishes are good. The congees are delicious. Service is fine. Bathroom is clean. I’ll return.


May 11 2017

Tout va Bien

311 W 51st St
New York, NY 10019

Bring a seat cushion. Cute little French bistro, a minute walk to Cats. Fresh flowers. Inexpensive wine that tastes good. Yummy bread. Baked Brie, Escargots De Bourgogne and Mussels Mariniere are pretty good;
The Boeuf Bourguignon/beef stew is pretty hard, Pâté Maison is so so. And the seat is … you really need a thick cushion; don’t enjoy this type of Parisian Bohemia -:)

May 10 2017

Le Parisien

163 E 33rd St
New York, NY 10016

A cute little neighborhood French bistro on the east side. Unfortunately my guests were on vegan diet for the day – it’s the 15th of the month on lunar calendar. We’ll have to order double pasta which isn’t on the menu and double salad. Good service and good food, pretty yummy wine by the glass. Yelp review

May 10 2017

Guangming Temple 光明寺

146 Baxter Street
New York, NY 10013

I’m not too surprised to find this temple in Chinatown but their size is pretty big: four stores above the ground, plus a basement. The front door is at 214 Center Street.

The ground/street floor is for worshiping, with two separate rooms. Upper floors have offices, library and guest rooms.


This lady is 90 years old who helps out in the kitchen in basement. On the first and 15th of each month on lunar calendar, they service free lunch, like the soup kitchen kids all worked at when they were young. The veggie dishes they cooked are really delicious. I helped out for two hours. Of course, some would take advantage by having more than one meals. The staff seem to know who they are. When an elderly woman who’s hunched severely has two tickets, they ask her to give up one for others.


The dish on the left is chopped stems from the dried shiitake mushrooms, just saute it with oil and salt – very yummy.