misi

Where do I even begin with Misi? This South Williamsburg beauty from celebrated chef Missy Robbins focuses on handmade pasta dishes and vegetable antipasti inspired by simple Italian cooking. That’s truly just it. The menu is very straightforward- ten antipasti and ten pasta- but everything is executed with such finesse, that it feels like a luxury dining experience. You may remember Chef Missy Robbins from Lilia, her in North Williamsburg hotspot in a converted auto body shop. She’s back with a bit simpler concept, but doesn’t skimp on taste or flavor. Misi had been on my husband’s and my must-visit list for some time now, but since we've been spending so much time in Los Angeles, we still hadn’t gotten the chance to stop by. Finally, on a recent trip to New York, we decided to walk in early on a Friday evening (risky with no reservation!), and were lucky enough to be greeted by Missy herself! After a private tour of Misi’s beautiful pasta room (check out my Instagram story highlights for more), we were seated at some of the best seats in the house overlooking the open kitchen, and started to devour the menu while watching the sunset over the Williamsburg bridge.

It was hard to narrow it down- so many dishes sounds appealing- but we ended up with three antipasti and three pasta! A nice, light meal for two people, no?! Scroll through the slideshow above for details on each dish, but honestly I’m not sure I could even choose a favorite. The raw fennel & celery salad with parmigiano & walnuts was the perfect light, crunchy complement to the garlicky, grilled runner beans. And as simple as the fettuccine with buffalo butter, parmigiano extra vecchio & black pepper was- wow- it truly blew us away. There’s sometimes nothing better than fresh, simple ingredients done right. Missy even told us that the fettuccine was the first dish created for the menu at Misi, before the restaurant was even open! Definitely a must-order if you’re lucky enough to go. We were both pretty full by that point, but I’m never one to pass on dessert, and once again Misi keeps things nice and simple. There are six housemade gelati available (plus the current off-menu pistachio!), as well as a nice offering of digestivi like grappa & amaro. We went with the super creamy pistachio gelato (loved the chunks of toasted nuts), as well as mint stracciatella gelato, which was smooth and refreshing, with just the right amount of mint infusion. We had such a delicious and memorable meal thanks to Chef Missy Robbins, I truly cannot thank her enough. The passion and care that goes into her food is evidently clear, and as a #chefswife myself, I respect her so much for that! Cheers to plotting our next visit sooner than later!


republic of booza

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I'm all about a new ice cream shop opening in my neighborhood, especially in the summertime! I'd been excited to try Republic of Booza ever since I first saw the signage go up a block from my apartment (dangerously close??) in Brooklyn. While you may assume Republic of Booza serves good 'ol classic ice cream, the decadent, frozen treat here is technically called booza! What the heck is booza? I had the same question. The 'original' ice cream, known for its elastic texture and resistance to melting, was developed about 500 years ago in the eastern pocket of the Mediterranean, and is super common in Lebanon and Turkey. This denser, slightly chewier cousin to ice cream gets its texture thanks to two key ingredients: sahlab, or ground orchid root, and mastic, a resin found in the bark of a tree exclusive to the Greek isles. The result is a truly creamy, flavor-packed dessert, with zero air pockets to be found. The owners like to think of it as "gelato on steroids", and I couldn't agree more. Republic of Booza offers traditional Middle Eastern flavors, like qashta (candied cream) and tahini mint chip, as well as American classics likes salted oreo and chocolate, and even some globally inspired takes like horchata de chufa and red miso! I highly recommend stopping by the Williamsburg store, and trying it out for yourself. Just look how pumped my husband is in the above photo- like a kid in a candy store ;) You may even get lucky enough to watch the spectacle of the booza being made, which involves the confectioner crushing the booza with a three foot wooden pestle and then stretching it with his or her hands! You don't see that at many other ice cream parlors!


golda kitchen

Okay, y'all- I'm going to go out on a limb and say I have a new favorite restaurant in Brooklyn. Golda Kitchen is an all-day New American café with the perfect touch of Middle Eastern flavors that serves some seriously tasty breakfast and lunch fare. Local, seasonal ingredients truly shine here, but one of major highlights for me is the beautiful case of freshly baked pastries! There are tons on offer each day, and the flavor combinations are equally unique and delicious. I wanted to try one of each on my recent visit, but managed to narrow it down to a pumpkin olive oil cake with labne frosting and a plum-soaked brioche with pistachios. Glory, were they scrumptious! Our savory dishes didn't disappoint either, and I loved my charred broccoli rabe plate with sweet potato, figs & soft-boiled egg. The sandwiches are pretty impressive as well, as you can see from the photos below. Talk about a mouthful!

Click through the photos to read more about our meal, as I honestly cannot say enough good things about Golda. Really dying to try some of their other goodies as well- how good does hot chocolate with malted tahini marshmallows sound?! Or romanesco & kale moussaka with egg & flax-pinenut streusel?? Or finally, how about persimmon & gingerbread cake with rye flour, whey caramel & labne?! I'm literally obsessed with all these flavor combinations, and cannot wait to go back to Golda again soon!


coolhaus

I love funky sweets, so I was super pumped to try Coolhaus Ice Cream from the moment I discovered them on social media. They started as an ice cream truck, but have gotten so popular that they now have scoop shops in LA and Dallas, as well as several mobile trucks in LA, NYC, and Dallas ! The idea is simple, but delicious: build your own ice cream sandwich from a scrumptious list of freshly baked cookies and housemade ice creams. Mix and match if you want, and there are even vegan and gluten free options available as well! Ice creams come in tasty and unique flavors like campfire s'mores, balsamic fig & mascarpone, and fried chicken & waffles, while the cookie options range from classic double chocolate to peanut butter Captain Crunch to confetti whoopie pie! The sandwiches are named after architects and architectural movements that inspired the design-minded owners (hence the "cool houses" created from ice cream & cookies). Plus, they're served in an edible wrapper, so don't be afraid to get messy as you dig in! I guess you could say I'm a big fan, as I've visited the truck in both NYC and Texas- I guess now I just need to find them in LA :) But good news for me and everyone else: Coolhaus is now sold in many retail stores, as well as available for purchase online! Trust me on this one, get you some Coolhaus ice cream, stat!


lighthouse

I'm all about a seasonal menu with tons of healthy, fresh food- even better if it's got a slightly Mediterranean vibe! Lighthouse is all those things and more, with a focus on sustainability and local produce! I was excited to stop in for brunch with some girlfriends recently, and I love the laid back feeling of home you get from the moment you walk in. The whole place gets tons of light from the huge windows, and there's plenty of outdoor seating as well, which I'm sure makes the perfect spot for brunch or happy hour come summer. We started with their signature freshly baked challah bread with housemade tahini and pickles. There's not much better than fresh baked bread, except when it's slathered in rich and creamy tahini. We chose an assortment of entrees, and I loved all the bright colors involved! From vegetable salads to grilled chicken bowls to chilaquiles to ceviche, there's certainly something for everyone! I really want to try the charred eggplant bowl with green coconut rice and tahini as it sounds totally up my alley, and I think my husband would be all about the duck pita with calabrian chili! Guess we will just have to head back soon :) Make sure to click through the photos for more details on our delish meal!


abcV

The latest restaurant in the abc line up from Jean Georges is abcV, a plant-based eatery with a focus on sustainable and organic ingredients. Everything on the menu is vegetarian, and most of it is vegan, or can easily be made so. I got the chance to dine at abcV with my vegan bestie, and we ordered a bunch of dishes to share so as to try as much as possible! Highlights for me included the pine nut and lemon dip with harissa and dried apricots- such a unique and flavorful take on hummus! The stone ground nut and seed butter layered underneath roasted carrots created the perfect sweet and savory dish, and its richness was cut nicely by chilies and lime. As I'm obsessed with all things tahini, it was no surprise I loved the roasted cauliflower drizzled in turmeric tahini and topped with crunchy pistachios! Yum!

Plenty of other dishes tempted our tastebuds as well, however, we were getting full! If you can believe it, we didn't even have room for dessert, so reluctantly skipped this part of the meal. I know- who even am I? Next time for sure though, as I recall absolutely loving the salted caramel ice cream sundae with candied peanuts and popcorn from abc kitchen!  I'm also looking forward to returning for brunch soon, as the creative brunch bowls and dosas sound super delish. Be sure to click through the photos to see descriptions of each dish, and definitely make a reservation at abcV stat!