Manhattan, NY: Inside Kaikagetsu, A Lower East Side Restaurant


Front of restaurant

The Lower East Side never ceases to amaze me, rich in the spirit of immigrant histories.  Known for hosting art galleries, nightlife, variety in eateries and fine dining restaurants representing cuisines from around the world, I was pleased to discover one of the latest additions to the community, Kaikagetsu.  The picturesque restaurant is located at 162 Orchard Street.   Passersby peak into the inviting dining establishment complete with white curtains draped over gargantuan open windows.  Meanwhile patrons savor bites and people-watch.


Kaikagetsu strikes a balance between upscale and a rustic lodge feel, lending to a sense of calm and relaxation.   The romantically dark ambiance further accentuates a warm environment quietly whispering in your ear to get comfortable and enjoy what Japan has to offer.   Menu items are influenced by cuisine in Japan’s Hida Region.


The superb service began with my guest and I given a choice from a wonderful set of sake glasses to drink from.  What I enjoyed the most was a particular sake. I asked the server to choose for me. He chose the Tenryo Hidahomare.  It is a junmai ginjyo sake crafted from Hidahomare rice local to the Hida District as previously mentioned the menu reflects cuisine from the region as well.   I found it to be divinely light and crisp just like I like it.


hot pot.jpg

Let’s get down to the food which included no shortage of scrumptious surprises.   The restaurant graciously provided a five course meal.   Lotus root chip showed up in my appetizer and entrée , adding incredible texture to my dish.  Honestly, I’d devour the chips with everything.   Quietly, I wrapped my brain around eating sashimi, usually I am no fan of sashimi when it comes to  Japanese fare; however, this selection was very fresh and really paired well with their homemade soy sauce. The tuna topped my list out of the three types of fish offered to me.  I sampled whitefish and salmon too.

sashimi retouch

Japanese curry is one of the most popular dishes in Japan.  Never have I had a curry at a Japanese restaurant so I didn’t know what to expect. The rich bold flavors and the different textures from the vegetables didn’t disappoint, pleasing to my tongue more and more with each mouthful.   My guest ordered the beef rice pot, a dish more on the sweet side and lacking contrasting flavors.  The artist in me, appreciated the artful and exquisite presentation of our dishes.   All and all, even down to the coffee tiramisu  drizzled with pear sauce, we enjoyed our experience at the Lower East Side’s Kaikagetsu.  I’d go back and I’d definitely order the beef curry again with extra lotus root chips please!

*Reservations placed at least 48 hour ahead, strongly suggested.

Written by Nataki Alexander-Hewling


Phone(646) 590-3900

Click Here to Visit Kaikagetsu’s Website

The Iconc Rainbow Room in New York City Reopens Oct. 5


Credit Brian Harkin for The New York Times

The Rainbow Room was born with good bones, but that was 80 years ago. So when Tishman Speyer, the company that owns and manages Rockefeller Center, decided to reopen it after five years, the goal was to restore the glitter to one of New York’s most romantic settings.

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Buffalo, NY: Review of Spots Coffee

Spots Coffee has a few locations around town but since I was in the Elmwood area, that’s the one I visited. Here’s what you get.

A large interior with a distinctly rugged urban feel. Brick walls surround the coffee bar and kitchen area while the exterior of this corner building is framed in large glass windows, making you feel like you are right in the middle of the action.

With local art and fantastic coffee, this place oozes coffee house charm. We took up a seat in an old church pew that had been repurposed and became a nice local addition to the interior design. Surveying the crowd, there was definitely a mixtureCoffee spots of the local population. Moms with kids, students from nearby Buffalo State studying and businessmen in suits were all sharing space in the large dining area.

But as nice as the facility was, the coffee was why we were there and we were not disappointed. I had a wonderful cafe breve, my friends had a caramel machiatto and a double espresso. My breve came with great art on top and the machiatto was also well displayed, a Spots tradition.

Where: Elmwood
765 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222

Phone: (716) 332-4564

Written by Dave Miller

Serendipity 3 Restaurants in NYC and Vegas

It’s been around since the 50’s.  The location in New York is known for the famous frozen hot chocolate made even more famous by movie Serendipity starring Jon Cusak.

Other menu items include hamburgers, casseroles, crepes, omlettes, desserts, salads and more.  The menu is full of comfort foods with different cultural influences which have become a part of the American culinary landscape.

Serendipity 3 is located in Manhattan.

Click Here to See Website Menu

Las Vegas, Nevada

Expect the pleasantly unexpected at Serendipity 3 Las Vegas, a casual dining experience worth biting into. Fun and funky is the name of the game at this Caesars Palace Las Vegas restaurant that serves up everything but the ordinary. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and then some – this all-in-one Las Vegas casual dining and drinking destination is known for unique takes on familiar dishes like the colossal dinosaur-sized BBQ Ribs, Monster Meatballs and Spaghetti, Triple Decker Grilled Cheese Sandwich and hundreds of other items, made fresh in their open kitchen daily.

New York: Review of Melt Bakery

With flavors like Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie with Vanilla Ice Cream and Snicker Doodles with Peach Ice Cream and Red Velvet Meltcake with Cream Cheese Ice Cream, how can you go wrong?  MELT Bakery does not go wrong.  The red velvet ice cream sandwich with cream cheese ice cream was delicious!!!  READ MORE

Downtown Brooklyn: Junior’s Restaurant


What I know of the dining out experience probably began as a child in Brooklyn, New York, being dragged by my relatives to Junior’s restaurant, whether by my Aunt Harriet or my mother. The big treat experience, as I envisioned it as a kid, was their oversized meals. Junior’s did oversized before the trend of oversizing began.  However, the crowning glory of Junior’s is their dessert.  Milkshakes, strawberry shortcake and the legendary classic cheesecake.juniors

Junior’s is an old fashion restaurant.  The decor transports one to the 50’s, if not earlier, but people don’t go there just for nostalgia. Okay, maybe sometimes they do go there for nostalgia, but they also go for classic food such as rueben sandwiches, cheeseburgers and fries. Oh yes, and did I mention the cheesecake? Just checking.

Junior's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Chocolate World Expo~New York City, Dec. 16, 2012 at the Lexington Armory

Chocolate World Expo

Chocolate World Expo, the New York area’s largest chocolate-themed event, comes to Manhattan for the first time on Sunday, December 16th, 10am-7pm, at the 69th Regiment Armory (aka Lexington Armory), bringing its own unique blend of chocolate, food and fun to the city… just in time for the holidays! Admission $20/Adults & $10/Children (5-11.)

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Manhattan Dining Out: Pastis French Bistro

No, this not a review but Pastis is a French bistro located in Manhattan’s meatpacking district opened by Keith McNally.  It caught our attention because celebrites Kelly Ripa and husband Mark Consuelos were spotted dining there.
The Executive Chefs Riad Nasr  and Lee Hanson and Chef de Cuisine Pascal Le Seac’h prepare a menu that combines hearty Provençal dishes with moderately-priced bistro fare. The bar serves a range of house cocktails, wines by the glass, carafe or bottle, and several varieties of pastis, an anise-flavored aperitif from the south of France.

Cafe Lalo Patisserie

Photo Credit: BradKellyPhoto


After a night at the movies or a nice refreshing walk in the city Café Lalo Patisserie is the perfect place to stop and slow down.  Located on W. 83rd st. in New York City, this quaint café has been featured in the hit romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail, and for 23 years has been an inviting place for patrons to come and partake of its European interior and mouth watering yet healthy menu.  The breads, whip cream, and sauces are all made in house.

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