Sunday, 13 November 2011

Pulino' Bar & Pizzeria

So it's back to the Big Apple for a slice of its best from Pulino's Bar & Pizzeria in the Bowery.

A relative newcomer and technically not just a pizza joint, but with pizza this deliciously chewy and having a charred crust, it doesn't get much better than this.

Pulino' Bar & Pizzeria
282 Bowery
New York, NY 10012
(212) 226 1966

Monday, 24 October 2011

Vibrant Violet Cupcakes in Primrose Hill

These little violet cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery in Primrose Hill were Monday’s special. The cakes here are made in small batches, home style, and are smaller than their American style London counterparts.  Earl Grey, Coconut-Lime and Coffee round out some of the other flavours.   

Mine wasn't that moist and the icing was of the hard, sweet variety. But for a very refined, fresh, sugar rush, you can’t get better in the area.

Primrose Bakery
69 Gloucester Avenue
London NW1 8LD
(020) 7483 4222

Friday, 21 October 2011

Fratelli la Bufala

Back to the pizza today. Another of Time Out’s finalists, this Hampstead Heath eatery has good bread and olive oil, but the pizzas don’t have the pizzazz of other places in town and the ingredients could be better. Some of them looked canned to me. 

But, the place does the business so others must see something I don’t. I’m more a fan of thin, foldable, NY style pizza which this is not, but in a pinch, this will do nicely.

Fratelli la Bufala
45A South End Road
London NW3 2QB
(020) 7435 7814

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Cheese Fries!

There are Snuffer's cheese fries and then there are everyone else’s.  The closest I’ve managed to have created were at the otherwise unremarkable “American style” eatery The Diner.  Several locations are dotted about town but this was from the Camden location.  

The fries are a little too thin, but there’s bacon, cheese, and jalapenos, no spring onions or ranch, but then you can’t have everything. 

It’s an off menu item, but they will do it for you.

The Diner
2 Jamestown Road
London NW1 7BY
(020) 7485 5223

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Lotta Latte for your lolly

When the weather’s good (or bad) but especially on a mild weekday, mid-morning, sit back and watch the traffic go by on Hampstead High Street with a latte from Base Bistro.  This is the life. How very civilized.

Just try to ignore the seductive aromas wafting over from the Creperie nearby and you should be fine. Or stroll over the get in line for one of those also. Just don't bring it back to BASE.

70-71 Hampstead High Street
London NW3 1QP
(020) 7431 2224

Monday, 17 October 2011

Brompton Quarter Brasserie

At times, the only thing you need is something rich, dark, and sweet, and it doesn’t come much better than this chocolate torte from the Brompton Quarter Brasserie in Knightsbridge.

Rich, but not cloying, and perfectly set off by an espresso, this is an occasional treat worth its toll on your diet. 

Brompton Quarter Brasserie

225 Brompton Road
London SW3 2EJ
(020) 7225 2107

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Sunday Morning

Sunday mornings in London are odd. There really isn’t the New York style brunch rush with people lining up outside their favourite eateries just to snag a spot. In fact, up until relatively recently, most places didn’t open until noon and going back 20 years, nothing opened at all. Yes there are the hotels the faux Brassieres but aside from The Wolseley on Piccadilly, there aren’t many American style places about. 

One place I did feel like having proper Pancakes was at Automat in Dover Street. Buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup and blueberries.  Clinton Street this is not, but it’s about as good as you’ll get short of making them yourself.

33 Dover Street
London W1S 4NF
(020 7499) 3033 

Square Meal

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Green Cottage

Meanwhile, back in London, this unassuming little restaurant on the very busy Finchley Road does a roaring trade. Service, though efficient, is curt to put it kindly, but the food is quality and the low prices make this a true gem. 

It may not look like much from the outside, and prettier places are either side, but it’s a testament to Green Cottage that it has been going so long even with stiff competition. A recent face lift has freshened up the place, though thankfully, they’ve left the menu alone.

Royal China this isn’t, but then you’re not paying royally for the privilege.

Green Cottage
9 New College Parade
Finchley Road
London NW3 5EP
(020) 7722 5305

Friday, 14 October 2011

Not Masa Per Se

All good things come to those who wait. And so it goes at Chef Michael Lomonaco’s Upper West Side eatery located in Columbus Circle. Putting aside the fabulous starters (octopus salad anyone?) and hearty mains (just about every prime cut imaginable), as you’d expect from this pedigree and price point, the desserts are equally as delicious.

Take this rich chocolate cake/pie hybrid with Chantilly cream and vanilla bean ice cream.  The only thing better is the view across Central Park as you devour this decadent dish.  I hear rumours of a South Carolina layered coconut cake on the menu so that’ll warrant further investigation.

Porter House New York
10 Columbus Circle, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10019

(212) 823 9500

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Best Pizza in New York?

And while we’re across the pond, I’d be remiss to not include one of my favourite (not to mention one of the best) pizzerias in the city. Yes, it’s Brooklyn, but only just as Brooklyn Heights doesn’t really count (or so I'm told).

There’s not a lot I can say about this place except as with many popular places in NYC, get there early, bring cash, and no slices! 

That’s all.

Yes, it was as good as it looked.

No, I didn't eat a whole one.

Okay, so what if I did? I walked back across the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria

Under the Brooklyn Bridge
19 Old Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 858 4300

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Mitoushi Sushi

When in NYC, people will tell you to “get out to the boroughs” and so today's dish comes from Brooklyn. Okay, so that’s not exactly miles away (unless you're an UES er) but I least I left the island.

Fresh, simple, elegant, and very tasty, this sampler platter makes for a good, light lunch. Perfect to fuel the trip back across the East River.

Mitoushi Sushi
177 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 935 1600

Monday, 10 October 2011

Hubcap sized pancakes anyone?

Today, it's back over the pond for some fluffy, delicious American pancakes (or just pancakes as we'd call them) from the Clinton Street Baking Company in NYC. These gigantic, hubcap sized creations are a great way to start any day. Probably just not every day. Classic blueberry with a sinfully sticky maple sauce served on the side. Guaranteed to get you off to a good start. 

Clinton Street Baking Company
4 Clinton Street (btw. East Houston & Stanton)
New York, NY 10002
(646) 602 6263 

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Fry Day

Sometimes, even if not a Friday, only fish will do! And some of the very best can be found at the Golden Hind in Marylebone. Don’t let the rather tired decor fool you. Crispy batter ensconces perfectly cooked cod (or haddock) accompanied with steaming hot chips and mushy peas. Portions are large, fairly priced, and will definitely fill you up.

BYOB and no corkage makes this a great Friday (or any day) lunch place. Doors open at noon and every seat in the house is packed in minutes, so either go early, or towards the end of lunch service.

Best fish and chips in London? Legally speaking, perhaps.

 The Golden Hind
  73 Marylebone Lane
  London W1U 2PN
  (020) 7486 3644

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Franco Manca Pizza

             Franco Manca
             4 Market Row, Electric Lane
             Brixton, London SW9 8LD
             (020) 7738 3021


Today, it’s back to Carb overload for a trip to the original Franco Manca in Brixton Market. This tiny, tiny (why are all the good pizza places so small) south London—yes, I crossed the river— gem has a massive following, and with good reason.  Chewy blackened crust gives way to a soft, yet cooked middle.

Get there before opening to snag one of the handful of seats inside, or watch others devour pizzas while you endure a long wait. You could always tailor your pizza toppings during that time.

There’s another location in Chiswick with more (hopefully) to follow soon.

Square Meal

Friday, 7 October 2011

Couture Cupcakes?

I’d received a tip off about this place in Covent Garden a while back.  An “imitation” Lola’s was how it was put. Same pastel colours, same flavours, same display cases (though to be fair, how many ways are there to display cupcakes?), etc. So off this lawyer went roving across town to this Covent Garden newcomer. Yep, not bad at all. I still prefer the Red Velvet from the Lola’s store off Berkeley Square, but if in this neighbourhood, Sweet Couture is definitely worth a visit.

  Sweet Couture Cake Boutique 
   23b New Row, London WC2N 4LA
   (020) 7836 8231 ‎

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Best Pizza in London?

The Santa Margherita from Time Out’s winner of best pizza in London, Santa Maria Pizzeria in Ealing, west London. All 16 seats at this tiny eatery were grabbed shortly after opening at noon until end of service with a line outside the entire time (though 10 more seats have since been added to help alleviate lines). Yes, this might well be the best pizza in London. Definitely requires a further visit.

Santa Maria Pizzeria  
15 St. Mary’s Road, London W5 5RA  
(020) 8579 1462

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Blackberry Cupcakes?

These perfectly balanced blackberry and vanilla, cream cheese frosted cupcakes from Ottolenghi in Notting Hill are sinfully delicious. Moist, juicy cake (a must) with a not to sweet softer frosting makes for a winning combination. Definitely a street legal high.

63 Ledbury Road
London W11 2AD

(020) 7727 1121

Square Meal