The Dutch – Comfortable, Terrific American. A Soho Spot Sure to Be a Regular Destination

The Dutch Soho New York City Bar Room Business Travelers: Do you recommend The Dutch for

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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 4.2/5 (5 votes cast)

The Dutch occupies a prime corner at Prince and Sullivan Streets in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood. The spot, west of West Broadway (a mouthful), is removed from the tourist onslaught centered on West Broadway and points east. This makes for a pleasant meal at a lively restaurant with terrific food. After a super strenuous workout at Barry’s Bootcamp in Tribeca, I’m strolling through Soho heading home to Greenwich Village on a beautiful afternoon. I approach The Dutch and realize this is exactly what the bootcamp instructor would want me to do, stop in for a fancy cocktail (or two!) and a big weekend brunch! The Dutch did not disappoint.

The Dutch Experience: The Dutch is a popular restaurant usually packed for brunch on the weekends. I arrive about noon and seem to have beaten the rush. The main dining room is closest to the street corner and the “bar room” is further back facing Prince Street. The day is beautiful and the large windows are all open to the street. The bar has three sides with about 4 seats on the shorter side and 7 on the long side with the final short side being a service area. The bar room has the bar in the center with seating along the walls. There are about six window seats looking directly out onto Prince Street. On a beautiful day like this, with the windows wide open, these are probably some of the best seats in the place. Sit here, enjoy the weather and watch the day walk by as you enjoy your meal. I sit at the bar, this is BarTaste after all, in a seat on the long side near the corner of the bar. This gives me a terrific view of much of the restaurant and the view out the windows to both Sullivan and Prince Streets. The bar staff are quite nice and friendly.

I start off with the Mellow Punch – Mellow Corn Whiskey, Maraschino Liqueur and freshly made orange and pineapple juices. Very tasty and a great way to start brunch. I spy the Pork Breakfast Roll with egg, cheese, mustard and a hot pepper. Being from Philadelphia, where Taylor’s Pork Roll is a big favorite, I ask about The Dutch’s version. It is house made and sliced thick. I order the Pork Breakfast Roll. My meal arrives and I know I did not go wrong. The thick cut pork roll, on a house made bun, is topped with beautiful, fluffy and cheesy eggs, seemingly an entire omelette. A tasty side salad completes the meal. The bun is topped with a hot pepper which I quickly slice and add to the sandwich. The food is wonderful and, as I begin to eat, it just gets better and better and I realize how large the sandwich is. This is a substantial meal and terrific, I take my time and enjoy every bite.

The Dutch Soho New York City Pork Breakfast Roll Brunch

The Dutch Pork Breakfast Roll, Eggs, Cheese, Mustard, Hot Pepper Photo Valerie C. Yelp

Business Travelers: The Dutch is a terrific destination located in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood (South of Houston – that’s How-ston not Hew-ston!), worth the trip from most parts of New York. A great way to spend a day or evening in New York City with with friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues. The time I was there the clientele seemed to be mostly from the neighborhood so it is a good choice to sample one of New York’s neighborhood hangouts. Allow extra time to spend in Soho with it’s cast-iron buildings and experience some of the best walking, shopping and nightlife in the city. Although many of the galleries have moved to other neighborhoods such as West Chelsea, there are many still to see and beautiful streets for strolling, people watching and spending. This central location puts many other Manhattan nieghborhoods such as Greenwich Village, Noho, Lower East Side, Little Italy, Tribeca and Chinatown within easy walking distance. A comfortable place for women traveling on business.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆

The Dutch
131 Sullivan Street (at Prince St)
New York, NY10012
212-677-6200

The Dutch Menu

The Dutch on Urbanspoon

Sant Ambroeus Soho – Fun Lunch, New Friends, Beautiful Food

Sant Ambroeus Bar Restaurant Soho New York Manhattan

After having a great lunch with old friends at Sant Ambroeus in the West Village, I was very much looking forward to having lunch with new friends. Tabelog.us is the United States Restaurant Guide launch of the hugely popular Gourmet Restaurant Guide Tabelog Japan. The people behind the US expansion, Lord Of The Forks and Cutie Patroller (yes, their Tabelog blogger names), invited me to lunch to talk about my plans for BarTaste, their plans for working closely with the foodie blogger community and Tableog’s expansion plans beyond the current cities of New York and Chicago. I am looking forward to some of the big things they have in store.

Sant Ambroeus Soho is a Milanese inspired restaurant with a  fun lunch crowd. The place is perfect for locals, business travelers, tourists and anyone who wants to entertain clients, colleagues, friends or coworkers.  It’s location in Soho puts you right in the middle of a great neighborhood. Go on a nice day or evening and leave some time to walk the neighborhood. Explore some of the very popular small shops, bars and restaurants, both new and old, throughout  SoHo. Sant Ambroeus’ central location puts you within an easy walk to other Manhattan neighborhoods like NoHo,  the Lower East Side  and Greenwich Village and the Bowery. Although I did not eat at the bar, it looked very inviting for a good meal, drinks, coffee or pastries. Great for women traveling alone on business.

We shared the entire meal. Everything was delicious and service was good with friendly fellow diners and staff. My favorites were the Cotoletta alla Milanese, a beautifully done and tender veal chop Milanese  and the Prosciutto e Mozzarella with wonderfully tasty prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella which just melted in your mouth.

Here are some photos of what we ate, loved it all:

COTOLETTA ALLA MILANESE traditional veal chop Milanese, garnished with rucola and tomato

 COTOLETTA ALLA MILANESE traditional veal chop Milanese, garnished with rucola and tomato

 BRANZINO IN PADELLA seared branzino in a light limoncello-caper sauce, seasonal vegetables

 BRANZINO IN PADELLA seared branzino in a light limoncello-caper sauce, seasonal vegetables

Sant Ambroeus PROSCIUTTO E MOZZARELLA San Daniele prosciutto with buffalo mozzarella and marinated artichokes

PROSCIUTTO E MOZZARELLA San Daniele prosciutto with buffalo mozzarella and marinated artichokes

Sant Ambroeus TAGLIATELLE SALTATE ALLA BOLOGNESE with a light veal ragù

TAGLIATELLE SALTATE ALLA BOLOGNESE with a light veal ragù

Now It’s Desert Time!

Their signature dessert: SANT AMBROEUS chocolate mousse cake with a chocolate custard centerTheir signature dessert: SANT AMBROEUS chocolate mousse cake with a chocolate custard center

Sant Ambroeus I BISCOTTI a selection of cookies

I BISCOTTI a selection of cookies

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆

Sant Ambroeus Soho on Urbanspoon

Kin Shop – Fantastic Contemporary Thai & Terrific Fried Chicken Sandwich

Kin Shop Fried Crispy Chicken Sandwich Manhattan Greenwich Village New York

Business Travelers: Do you recommend Kin Shop for
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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 4.2/5 (4 votes cast)

Kin Shop has been a favorite in Greenwich Village since it opened. Dinner has always been delicious with a fresh, inventive take on Thai food which keeps diners returning time after time. I’ve had the fried chicken at Kin Shop so when I heard about the Crispy Chicken Sandwich I had to get there fast to give it a try.

The Kin Shop Experience: The Crispy Chicken Sandwich is only served at lunch during the week and at brunch on the weekends. Early one weekend afternoon I head to Kin Shop and find the restaurant not too full with several seats open at the bar. I am pleasantly surprised and sit down to take a look at the menu but I already know what I am going to order.

The bar has about 7 seats facing the wall. There is also a 4 seat chef’s counter facing the open kitchen in the back. I choose to sit near the right end of the bar where I can see all the kitchen action to my right and through the restaurant out onto Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas for the tourists) to my left.


Before I order, someone else sitting at the bar receives his Crispy Chicken Sandwich order. I order one for myself and he nods his approval. He looks like he is thoroughly enjoying it so I am looking forward to my own.

The chicken has a fried coating which is crunchy and very tasty, clearly the star of the show. The in-house baked bun has a slight kick and easily cradles the chicken toppings of napa cabbage slaw, thai-style pickles and nam prik ong sauce. On the side comes emping chips made from the melinjo nut. These chips are much lighter and airier than potato chips and a welcome change from the usual salty sides of potato chips or french fries.

Another new arrival at the bar and another chicken sandwich order is placed. Very pleased with my meal. The hard working staff were very friendly and attentive, making for an overall great experience.

Next time I go to Kin Shop, I hope to come for dinner and snag one of the four seats at the chef’s counter, looks like it would make for a fun meal.

Business Travelers: For both contemporary reinterpretations of traditional Thai dishes and wholly new items inspired by Thai ingredients, Kin Shop can’t be beat. Located Downtown in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, Kin Shop is great for Business Travelers and anyone who wants to entertain clients, colleagues, friends or coworkers. Leave yourself some extra time to explore the nearby neighborhoods. Very good starting or ending point for a walking tour of what some say are the most beautiful blocks in Greenwich Village and the city, West 10th, 11th and 12th Streets between 6th and 5th Avenues. Take a stroll through the streets of the West Village with beautiful residential blocks and shopping. Noho, Soho and Chelsea are also nearby. Great for women traveling alone on business.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆

Kin Shop
469 6th Avenue (11th Street)
New York, NY 10011
212-675-4295

Kin Shop Menu

Kin Shop on Urbanspoon

 

Parm – Terrific Old School Italian-American in Little Italy

Parm Restaurant Little Italy restaurant Manhattan New York

Business Travelers: Do you recommend Parm for

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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 3.9/5 (5 votes cast)

What can you say about a Little Italy restaurant whose red typefaced menu is heavy on red gravy and traditional Italian-American fare? Delicious! This has always been a favorite food of mine, evidenced by these previous reviews and Parm does it well. It’s all here: meatball and chicken parm, sausage & peppers, turkey and eggplant sandwiches. A different dinner special is served each night. Unfortunately the Veal Parm is only available on Saturday night so I missed it. Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone are behind this restaurant. This same duo is behind critically acclaimed, high-end, red-gravy Carbone where the Veal Parmesan is $54. I wonder if Parm’s $25 Veal Parm Saturday dinner special is comparable? I will find out and report back.

The Parm Experience: Entering Parm you might think you have arrived in a diner. One quick look at what everyone is eating at the counter confirms you are in the right location. Several people are hanging in the entry area waiting for tables. All the seats at the counter are taken so I pause when someone comes comes over and asks it they can help me. I say I was hoping to eat at the counter and they quickly pull out a stool and deftly place it in a gap at the counter’s corner near the door. My seat luck strikes again. There are about about 8 seats on long side and now 2 on the short, including mine.

Realizing there will be no Veal Parm today, I order the meatball parm hero sandwich and baked clams. The hero comes on classic Italian bread. Other options for all sandwiches include a semolina roll or a no bread platter with a side salad or ziti. The sandwich is wonderful. The meatballs are perfectly cooked, not overdone, tender and nicely seasoned pairing well with the gravy and mozzarella. Maybe the best meatballs I have ever had (sorry Mom & Dad). The clams were a great start to the meal. I order the Pizza Knots to go and the treat continued at home.

Looking around at my fellow diners I drool (not literally) at the Baked Ziti with Meat Gravy, Chicken Parm and the Semolina rolls. The atmosphere is diner-like with 1960’s “tap your foot” dance music. There are 2 small TVs both showing Basketball on ESPN.

Business Travelers: Parm is centrally located in Downtown Manhattan and is terrific for Business Travelers and anyone who wants to entertain clients, colleagues, friends or coworkers. If you want a casual real Little Italy experience, this is your place. Go on a nice day or evening and leave some time to walk the neighborhood. Explore some of the very popular small shops, bars and restaurants, both new and old, throughout the Lower East Side. Parm’s central location puts you within an easy walk to other Manhattan neighborhoods like NoHo, SoHo and Greenwich Village. Great for women traveling alone on business.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★☆☆ 

Parm
248 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10012
212-993-7189

Parm Menu

Parm on Urbanspoon

Burger & Barrel – Wine on Tap, Barrels of Beer and Great Burgers in SoHo

Burger & Barrel Restaurant Manhattan SoHo New York Bar
Business Travelers: Do you recommend Burger & Barrel for

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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 3.7/5 (5 votes cast)

The chalk sign on the sidewalk prepares you for Burger & Barrel with a quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr: “Wine Is A Food.” Burger & Barrel, B & B by which it is known, has an extensive and impressive wine list along with several very good wines on tap. Various carefully selected Barrels of Beer, along with the Wine, compliment some of the best burgers in New York.

Judging by the name of the place don’t be surprised by what I order, of course another burger. No hating my fondness for burgers and the burger kick I have been on for many recent reviews. This will not turn into a burger review site, I promise. There are too many good burger review sites out there already. I will certainly expand my food horizons next time.

Burger & Barrel Experience: On a hot Tuesday evening in June I stay close to home and decide to try Burger & Barrel in Soho, not able to pass up the combination of good burgers and wine. B & B comes from the people who run El Toro Blanco, Lure Fishbar and MercBar. B & B is a Wine Bar, Bistro, American Pub or Wine-Focused Gastropub depending on who you ask.

I walk in and the place is full and lively. I see immediately that the bar is full with no seats available. I tell the extremely nice hostess that I was hoping to have dinner at the bar but I see no seats available. She quickly scans the bar, confirming no open seats, but says I should not have a problem as their bar seats turn over frequently. She suggests having a drink and to expect a short wait. I use the restroom and again my bar seat luckiness comes through, a couple gets up to leave and I quickly settle into their place.

I’ve scored probably one of the best seats at the bar. The bar faces the wall in the front of the restaurant with 3 seats on the short end, 1 on the corner curve and 10 on the long side with the other short side being a service area. I am sitting in the outermost of the 3 side seats with a great view of the entire bar, most of the front of the restaurant and the bustling nightlife of Houston Street through the big front windows. That’s How-ston not Hew-ston! All of the bar seats are actually good. The nice bartenders were working hard to serve everyone at the bar and in the restaurant.

I order the Bash Burger: onion & bacon jam, pickles, american cheese and special sauce, three-time Food & Wine magazine Burger Bash Winner. Recently the Bash Burger was beaten in Eater’s NYC Burger Brackets but some still consider it the best burger in New York City. It is quite good and I highly recommend. Love the two large tasty onion rings on the top. I order the Merlot on tap which made a very nice complement to the meal.

Business Travelers: Burger & Barrel has terrific food and a great Wine selection making it a terrific destination. Located on the northern edge of Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood (South of Houston – that’s How-ston not Hew-ston!), it is worth the trip from most parts of New York. A great way to spend an evening in New York City with with friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues. The night I was there the clientele seemed to be mostly from the neighborhood so it is a good choice to sample one of New York’s neighborhood hangouts. Allow time to explore the cast-iron buildings in SoHo and experience some of the best walking, shopping and nightlife in the city. Although many of the galleries have moved to other neighborhoods such as West Chelsea, there many still to see and beautiful streets for strolling, people watching and buying. A comfortable place for women traveling on business.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆ 

Burger & Barrel
25 West Houston Street
New York, NY 10012
212-334-7320

Burger & Barrel Menu

Burger & Barrel on Urbanspoon

Burger and Barrel on Foodio54

Minetta Tavern – Old Village Charm, French Bistro attracts a Hip Crowd

Minetta Tavern Greenwich Village Manhattan New York

 

Do you recommend Minetta Tavern for:
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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 4.6/5 (5 votes cast)

 

Finally got in the door. My first trip ended at the door, a wait to get into a restaurant and bar at capacity. As Zagat says it “takes an act of Congress to get a reservation.” Having lived in Greenwich Village for many, many years, I’ve still been a bit shy about going to Minetta Tavern not wanting to deal with its popularity and the crowds, which are well known. Today is the time to do it and I am in luck once again. All the tables are full but I see two seats at the bar and I grab one in the center. I should have done this a lot sooner, it’s terrific and everyone will fit right in.

Minetta Tavern Experience: Tuesday evening May 21, 2013 I walk into Minetta Tavern about 7:30 P.M. and sit down at the bar. The seating is tight but the other patrons are friendly and everyone makes room. Once again I am fairly sure what I am having, surprise, it might be another burger. Minetta’s reputation as a stellar French Bistro is well known and the menu is terrific. The burgers have a legendary reputation as well, this is what draws me in tonight.

I order a Johnnie Walker Black Label on the rocks from the very friendly and engaging bartender after looking through the menu. The Bartender thinks I am ordering the Minetta Tavern Black Label Burger, the burger for which the Minetta is well known. I tell him I’m still looking at the menu. Of course I will order the Black Label burger but I want to sip my drink a bit.

I order a medium Black Label Burger. This burger is simple: a selection of prime dry-aged beef cuts with caramelized onions and pommes frites. The smaller, and $9 cheaper, Minetta Burger comes with cheddar so I tell the bartender that I’d like to get cheese with that and he says one word “No.” Now the bartender has been very nice and attentive so far, his response was not meant to be admonishing, rather some good advice. I said “but I like cheese” and he again says “No.” Now I am enjoying this and look at him quizzically and he tells me the burger needs nothing, it is deliciuos and best the way it is. I trust him and go without the cheese. The guys dining next to me at the bar hear the exchange, praise the burger and tell me it needs nor wants any cheese.

The scene is lively, moderate sound level and a full, fun crowd. The bar faces the wall with about 15 seats. Seating is close in places but manageable and makes the bar experience enjoyable. Any seat would be good.

My burger arrives and it looks fantastic and perfectly done with a heaping portion of pomme frites. I ask for ketchup, dip a few fries in, then grab my knife and begin to add ketchup to my bun. The bartender spies me and says “you don’t want to put ketchup on that.” I sullenly begin scraping ketchup off the bun while the two guys next to me look on with the bartender approvingly.

Well, they were all right. Take their advice, order the Black Label Burger as is with the caramelized onions. It was great, cooked perfectly, just juicy enough and the meat blend with the onions was missing nothing, one of the best burgers I have ever had.

The scene here is quite entertaining. While sitting at the bar a couple of Investment Banker types came in dropping names to the bartender, names he, myself, nor the others at the bar recognized. I think they were expecting something “extra” but just looked foolish. I had a terrific night without dropping anything except the ketchup from my bun.

The seat next to me opened up during my stay and a guy sits down and quickly orders the Black Label Burger. His burger arrived quickly as did mine and he ate it very fast then left. During our brief conversation I learned he was a chef in a Midtown restaurant and had never had a Minetta burger. I think he was on a spy mission.

Business Travelers: Minetta Tavern is a classic Greenwich Village institution updated into a fantastic French Bistro attracting lively, entertaining and fun crowds. A great way to spend an evening in New York City with with friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues. Reservations are not always easy so plan ahead. The bar seats do turn over fairly well so walking in and eating at the bar is not a bad option. Minetta is worth the cab trip from wherever you may be in New York. Take some time to walk around the area streets (Thompson, Sullivan, MacDougal, W 3rd, W 4th and Bleecker) which some call the heart of Greenwich Village. This area is full of bars, restaurants and an eclectic collection of businesses. Washington Square Park is about a block away. New York’s legendary Blue Note Jazz Club is right around the corner on W 3rd Street. Walk west on Bleecker Street across 6th and 7th Avenues into the West Village and you will find yourself surrounded by high-end shopping. A comfortable place for women traveling on business.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆

Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012
212-475-3850

Minetta Tavern Menu

Minetta Tavern on Urbanspoon

Minetta Tavern on Foodio54