Monday, July 23, 2007

Il Valentino, Manhattan

Manhattan is full of upscale and high-end restaurants, but many, if not most of them are pretty popular and tend to get crowded often. But there is an elegant, charming Northern Italian restaurant called Il Valentino that is just east of the hustle and bustle of Midtown Manhattan that has somehow stayed under the radar for the most part.

Il Valentino, which is inside the Sutton Hotel on East 56th Street, offers a number of interesting dishes on their menu, including homemade orecchiette with veal sausages, broccoli, and pepperoncini; linguini with shrimp and wild mushrooms in a garlic, olive oil, and white wine sauce; Tuscan-style fish stew with clams, calamari, shrimps, mussels in a tomato and wine broth; and grilled cornish hen with baby greens and roasted potatoes.

I have yet to make it to Il Valentino, but will try to make a trip there either later this year or early in 2008; if you have been to Il Valentino, please let me know what you think. Thanks!

Here is the address for Il Valentino:
Il Valentino
330 East 56th Street (inside the Sutton Hotel)
New York (Midtown East), NY, 10022

The phone number is:
(212) 355-0001

And here is the Web site for Il Valentino:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Topaz Thai Restaurant, Manhattan (Midtown)

On one of my trips to New York a few months ago, a family member of mine from Manhattan introduced me to what I think is one of the best Thai restaurants in the city. It is called Topaz, and it is right in the heart of Midtown, though the street itself (West 56th) is relatively quiet. Topaz is a bustling place when people are getting ready to see shows nearby, but it isn't well known, and so it was that on a weekend night, the place was pretty quiet when we went.

The dishes at Topaz are often hot and spicy, with the Tom Yum Goong soup being particularly hot (but very tasty). The Bangkok fried rice entry is a good option to get there (especially if you don't want food that is overly hot). Some other options at Topaz include tamarind duck, pad Thai, drunken noodles, and lots of other dishes.

If you like Thai food and happen to be in the Midtown area of Manhattan, head over to West 56th Street to try this wonderful place. It is definitely a hidden gem that just happens to be in the heart of the country's largest city!

The address for Topaz is:
Topaz Thai Restaurant
127 W 56th Street
New York (Manhattan), NY, 10019

The phone number is:
(212) 957-8020

Monday, July 2, 2007

Una Pizza Napoletana, East Village, Manhattan

I have been to Grimaldi's in Brooklyn, and every time I hit a new pizza place that is supposed to be "the best" or "the one and only place to go for pizza," I leave the place saying, "Well, it was no Grimaldi's." But now, I am hearing (and reading) about a place in the East Village that may rival Grimaldi's. It is called Una Pizza Napoletana, and it sounds very good, indeed.

The pizza at Una Pizza Napoletana is cooked in a wood-fired oven, which is rare where I come from (Boston), but perhaps not so unusual in New York City. All the ingredients are fresh, from the crust to the tomato sauce to the mozzarella cheese. And the end result, from what I am hearing, is a pizza so good that it may just rival the best pizza places in all of New York, including Grimaldi's. And that is high praise indeed; I cannot wait to try Una Pizza Napoletana!

If you have been to Una Pizza Napoletana in the East Village, please let me know what you think. Thank you!

Here is the address for Una Pizza Napoletana:
Una Pizza Napoletana
349 E 12th Street
New York (East Village), NY, 10003

The phone number is:
(212) 477-9950

And here is the Web site for Una Pizza Napoletana: