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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Phone(646) 590-3900

Click Here to Visit Kaikagetsu’s Website

New York: Review of Un Dex Trois

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When asked recently about restaurant suggestion for New York.  This restaurant fondly came to mind.  This review take some strong recollection but this restaurant made a favorable lasting impression.  You can never account for how much a restaurant will change of the course of time.  My first and only trip thus far was 10 years ago.  Un dex trois has been featured in movies.  At the time my beau and I simply stumbled upon because it was close to Broadway, after catching the play Chicago.

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It primarily boasts of  French cuisine but a modest amount American and Italian dishes are they please tourists. We dined on duck confit and escargo and we love it all. It is an elegant and convenient choice for theatre and dinner night. Cafe Un Deux Trois has been located in the heart of Times Square since 1977.   They offer brunch, breakfast, lunch and dinnner.  Sometime you can find a great pre-fix dinner menu like we did.

East Village, NY: Quantum Leap Restaurant

Citizen Report from Nataki H-If you are someone who enjoys meat but is interested in the Vegetarian diet every now and again, try Quantum LeapQuantum leap located at 203 First Ave., New York, NY 10003 near 12th St. I was convinced to try out this spot by a group of my vegetarian friends and to my surprise, I not only enjoyed it, I willingly went back a few more times. We started out with the Blue Corn Nachos which were to die for. If you think Nachos with a meat substitute sounds unpleasant, you have to try these. We shared those down to the last tortilla crumb. Fortunately if you are a seafood lover, they have several items on the menu that are must-haves such as Malaysian Spiced Red Snapper. If you are visiting NYC, it’s worth it to be adventurous and go over to the Eastside for some flavorful Vegetarian and Seafood dishes that will leave you feeling satisfied and feeling good about what you ate. The atmosphere aint bad either!

See Website

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.

Closed: New York’s eXo Greek Mediterranean

In the mood for some good, no some great Greek Mediterranean food? Then look no further than eXo Greek Mediterranean Restaurant nestled in a quaint Whitestone New York neighborhood. eXo is a very young restaurant, they first opened their doors in August of 2010 and they have been busy ever since. I first experienced a small sampling of what eXo had to offer at the Queens A Taste of the World back in May. The restaurant boasts of traditional Greek recipes but with a flare.

In my correspondence with Chef Constantine Kalandranis, affectionately known as Chef Costa, I was instructed to come hungry, my response? I promised to wear my eating pants. With all the food we were treated to I should have worn my eating overalls. men from exo

We kicked off the tasting with fresh pita (which they make themselves) and all five spreads which included spicy feta, eggplant, skordalia, hummus, and tsatziki. From the mild to the spicy this appetizer was a gateway to the other flavors we were about to experience. Soon to follow was a traditional horitatiki tomato salad, kefalotiri cheese stuffed meatballs, hand cut potato chips, and a souvlakia trio of chicken, steak, and pork skewers. Told you I needed to put on my eating overalls.

Not much of a carnivore? don’t worry eXo has a meal for that.sauteed tiger shrimp With ingredients such as capers, white wine, and fresh cut herbs the Sautéed Tiger Shrimp, the Pan Seared King Salmon, and the Steamed mussels Kaliopi are all to die for.

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Although I was stuffed I had to experience eXo’s dessert, if the meal was that good I had to push towards the dessert (don’t judge me.) I indulged on warm rizogalo (rice pudding), my favorite yogurt and greek honey syrup, and galaktoboureko. seafood from exo
I definitely plan on revisiting eXo restaurant many times in the future and you should too. My only warning to you…wear your eating pants. Don’t forget to mention that you read it on the Multi Cultural Cooking Network.

 

eXo Greek Mediterranean Restaurant

Where: 15-16 149th St.

Whitestone, NY 11357

718-767-4-EXO (718-767-4396)

Info@exorestaurant.com

 

 

Que Pasa? Week Ending July 24th-Food, Culture & Celebrity


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Belgium: Pomme Frites (French Fries)

Think you know about french fries? Maybe you do, but then maybe you don’t. Yes, it’s called french fries, but that only refers to the julienne cut, not the origin of the fast food. Believe it or not, the french fry or more appropriately named the “pomme frite” has its origins in Belgium where it’s twice-fried  and served  in a paper cone with a variety of toppings including mayo. Watch this clip from the Food Network about a little place in New York City that is home to this well-beloved Belgian snack.