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Life According to Yuki http://www.yukisuzuki.com Eating, Drinking, & Living in Brooklyn Wed, 16 Sep 2009 01:14:16 +0000 jp hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.1.3 Brooklyn Label – Greenpoint, Brooklyn http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/03/02/brooklyn-label-greenpoint-brooklyn/ http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/03/02/brooklyn-label-greenpoint-brooklyn/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2009 17:00:43 +0000 Yuki Suzuki http://www.yukisuzuki.com/?p=174 This past weekend we had some friends in town so naturally, since we’ve chosen Brooklyn Label as our favorite brunch spot in the area, we took them there. Brooklyn Label has all the right elements which make this my favorite place for brunch: high quality and unique menu options, great coffee, big windows, tall ceilings & comfortable atmosphere, & friendly staff.

Neighborhood: Greenpoint, Brooklyn
180 Franklin St.
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 389-2806

Brooklyn Label, Greenpoint Brooklyn Label, Greenpoint Brooklyn Label, Greenpoint Brooklyn Label, Greenpoint Brooklyn Label, Greenpoint Brooklyn Label, Greenpoint

We’ve been to Brooklyn Label a few times now, once alone and twice with friends. Each time we’ve tried different things and have never been dissatisfied. One thing which is very important to me is the coffee. Maybe I’m a spoiled coffee snob but I just hate thinking “this is probably Maxwell House that’s been burning in the pot for like 3 hours…” I want to know I’m getting good coffee. One other thing I like about this place is that they have the brunch staples like french toast, steak and eggs, eggs Benedict, omelets, etc. but they all have a cool twist to them (ex: green eggs (“greenpoint”), super thick french toast with pecan butter, waffles the size of your head, etc.)

What did we have?

We had a Green-Eggs-No-Ham omelet & Biscuits & Eggs & Gravy w/ Sausage, and our friends had a huge Belgian Waffle & and French Toast. The omelet was much better than the one at the River Barrel – very soft and flavorful. The biscuits were a bit thicker than I would have liked but they did go very well with the sausage and gravy. We’ve had the waffle and french toast before and they’re great as well. The french toast is very very thick and the pecan butter it comes with is delicious. My only complaint about the waffle we had was that there wasn’t enough fruit on it and it ended up being a bit dry.

Will I be coming back?

Yes of course.

What suggestions would I make?

Hire English speaking staff.

One thing which happened that I thought was funny (though it wasn’t actually funny) was that we ordered a couple mugs of house coffee while we were waiting for our seats and (unfortunately) I didn’t realize that the mug I had been drinking out of had some syrup or something with fuzz stuck to it on the rim of the mouth of the cup (yum). So after we sat down when I realized this, I asked our waiter for a different cup because that one had something on the mouth. He kind of looked at me and said “coffee?” (I think) and looked as if he was going to start refilling the cup… ? So I POINTED to the cup and said “look – there’s crap on my mug please bring me a different mug.” And what does he do??? he refills the fricking mug anyways. So I started to get a little pissed and said again “If you don’t give me a different mug I’m not drinking this – IT IS DIRTY” and I pushed the mug to him and looked at him so as if to say “I am clearly pissed right now.”

Apparently, he had “trouble” with speaking/understanding English. It was a bit loud and busy though so I’ll take that into consideration but this was the morning after our English-misunderstanding incident at Rare Bar & Grill so I was a bit more sensitive to it than usual. My theory is that if a restaurant is going to save money by hiring non-English speaking staff then they should be aware of the risk they take of having customers get pissed about it, and then flaming them on some little website :)

Do something about the ceilings.

I like to think of myself as not being too picky about things (I’ll eat anywhere at least once) but I have to agree with the one thing that my guests pointed out here – it looks like pieces of the ceiling were constantly falling. I didn’t personally notice it (though I might just have been trying to NOT notice it) but I agree that it’s the first thing that stands out about this place. The ceiling looks like its has paint or plaster or something that is just seconds away from chipping off, and for a place that serves food, this means that patrons are constantly aware that they may be accidentally ingesting whatever orange and brown stain-ish looking crap is stuck to the ceilings. The place was and has always been packed when we go there so I’m assuming that most people either haven’t noticed or don’t care.


Brooklyn Label is a solid brunch spot and probably the best in the area next to the Greenpoint Coffee House. I’ll keep coming back even if they never fix the ceilings or hire more English-fluent staff.

Price per person: ~$15 (total including tax and tip)

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Rare Bar & Grill – Midtown, NYC http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/02/23/rare-bar-grill/ http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/02/23/rare-bar-grill/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2009 17:00:14 +0000 Yuki Suzuki http://www.yukisuzuki.com/?p=172 This restaurant is why I love trying out new restaurants. Our experience here will really help bring balance to an otherwise positive blog. Again we decided to go out with some friends who were in from out of town, and we had read about this restaurant online which was supposed to be a very good burger place. In fact it did turn out to be a fantastic burger – Kobe Beef sauteed in white wine with three cheeses and thick slabs of bacon. What we found out is that its not always the food quality that matters most.

Neighborhood: Manhattan/Midtown
303 Lexington Ave. @ 37th Street
New York, NY
(212) 481-1999

Rare Bar & Grill, Manhattan Rare Bar & Grill, Manhattan Rare Bar & Grill, Manhattan Rare Bar & Grill, Manhattan Rare Bar & Grill, Manhattan Rare Bar & Grill, Manhattan

My first impression of this place was that it was loud. I mean it is a “Bar & Grill” but Nirvana blasting to a Midtown crowd? I’m not all that picky about that though, if I wanted a quiet night I’d have gone back to Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse. Our feeling going into this place was that we wanted 1) a great burger 2) to try a new restaurant 3) not spend more than $50/person. We did accomplish all three goals but we would have been phenomenally successful if our fourth goal was: 4) experience the worst service fax-paux to date.

What did we eat?

Two of us had the chef’s special Kobe Burger ($21), the others had a garden veggie burger, and a Po Boy Beef Brisket. We also had a french fry tasting basket and a bottle of Estancia 2006 Cab. The Kobe burger was great – the bun didn’t fall apart, the thick bacon was tender not chewy, and they nailed the medium-rare for me. One complaint was the yellow tomato (I guess they’re trying to be really fancy) – it was too thick and mushy, kind of like… well just a thick mushy tomato. Regardless, whatever flavor it may have contributed was buried in the rich cheesey, beefy, bacony flavor.

I have one initial gripe which is probably stupid but we ordered a fairly cheap $39 bottle of wine (which was marked up 2x at least from about $12 retail). Yet the waiter still went through the whole towel-on-arm routine with having me taste it then pouring it around, etc. etc. I know it’s a stupid gripe because they probably would do this at McDonalds if they served wine, it’s just how you serve wine but I can’t help but feel a little douchey about it all. Maybe I should have just given it a more thorough sniffy-sniff I may have appreciated it more.

Oh right, there was one other complaint…

The worst service fax-paux ever…

So at the end of the dinner, there was a substantial amount of veggie burger left so we asked the waiter for a box. Without any affirmation, he grabbed the plate after the others and brought it away. For some reason we watched him walk away with the plates (probably because we didn’t believe he heard/understood our box request) and sure enough about 10 feet away, he puts a fricking dirty napkin right on top of the food.

Unreal. The food was hardly touched – what would possess you to think we wanted to throw it away?? At least have the experience/courtesy/common sense to ask if we wanted a box…? I mean, I don’t go to my job and act like I forgot how to use a computer. We’re talking Restaurant-Shit 101 here. You could probably pick up these rules from a blog somewhere – no formal training required. It’s almost like knowing that you shouldn’t kick someone in the ass as they exit your restaurant which is kind of how we felt.

So here’s where it gets really good – our main waiter comes back and brings the check so I say to him “We asked to have her meal put in a to-go box…” He looks at me stupidly, and just reiterates “you wanted her’s to go?” …. um …. YES. So he walks away for a few seconds and comes back and says “We threw it away.” Ok, well I mean – we know, we saw it all, so… I tell him “ok well you can either re-make it or take it off the check.” he asks if we can wait for them to re-make it – I say sure.

…30 seconds later the first waiter comes out with the meal boxed and bagged, sticks it on the table and walks away. So now we’re all looking at each other in disbelief that he just boxed up the trash meal – totally speechless – and our main waiter comes out again, looks confused/shocked to see the boxed meal (it had also been made noticeably smaller – maybe they cut off the edges). So he says “ok so.. oh.. um, ok here you go – is this ok?” (pointing to the box)

The 4 of us just stared at him.

I say (laughing in a pissed “don’t-f*%k-with-me” sort of way) “no absolutely not – WE SAW you put it in the trash first are you f’ng kidding???” Everyone else starts laughing at the absurdity of his question – he grabs it and walks like 10 feet away – he starts talking to the waiter who brought us the trash meal to begin with – and THEY BOTH START LAUGHING !?!? Immediately after he comes back, apologizes and says the meal will be right out. 10 minutes later, the meal comes out (we inspected it, it looked fresh) and we left.

Will I be coming back?

The short answer is a definitive NO.

The good thing about NYC is that you can afford to be picky with your restaurants. I choose to be picky because I think it encourages competition. Having said this I can say with certainty that I will not likely come back until I have exhausted all my other restaurant options in New York and all of them turn out to be worse than this one. This restaurant didn’t wow me, in fact the negatives substantially outweigh the positives since the only positive really was that the food tasted like what I would expect it to taste like for the price. So even saying the food quality was a positive attribute of this restaurant is misleading – it’s more accurate to say food quality wasn’t a negative.

What suggestions would I make?

Hire people who speak English.

When you confuse “Can I have a box for this?” with “Can you please throw this away?” – it’s time to call Rosetta Stone. Please stop cutting corners on service.

(This one’s probably the most obvious) Don’t put our take-home food in the trash before you box it up.

There are really only two words to explain this one: f&%k you.


At $21 a burger, you can eat a great burger. That’s if you don’t mind doing it in a pseudo-fancy-restaurant/hotel-bar with shitty service.

Price per person: ~$39 (total including tax and tip)

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River Barrel – Greenpoint, Brooklyn http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/02/16/river-barrel-greenpoint-brooklyn/ http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/02/16/river-barrel-greenpoint-brooklyn/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2009 18:05:05 +0000 Dennis Plucinik http://www.yukisuzuki.com/?p=164 The River Barrel is a new restaurant on Franklin Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I believe it opened up here within the past month since I remember *something* being under construction there during Christmas time. This past weekend, we were heading down to either Brooklyn Label, or Greenpoint Coffee House for brunch and noticed this place was open – so we stepped in…

Neighborhood: Brooklyn/Greenpoint
160 Franklin St
(between Java St & Kent St)
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 389-8881

River Barrel, Greenpoint River Barrel, Greenpoint River Barrel, Greenpoint River Barrel, Greenpoint River Barrel, Greenpoint River Barrel, Greenpoint

My first impression of this place was that it was new. By “new” I mean – there was no charm. There’s potential but it just felt like a blank canvas (opposed to Brooklyn Label which feels like a worn in pair of quality boots.) I liked that there were a bunch of seating options, we chose to sit at the bar since it was fairly wide, clean, and welcoming. Our waitress was (the bartender) very attentive since she was always… right there. I think I spotted the owner hanging around in the back checking everything out and cleaning up a bit here and there. As opposed to some of the other reviews I’ve read of this place, the waitresses didn’t seem to be struggling and everything seemed to be running pretty smoothly. It was rather full around 2pm on Sunday – apparently they’ve come a long way in the past 3 weeks.

What did we have?

We had a River Barrel Burger, and a Greenpoint Omlet with coffee. I have to say the River Barrel burger was the best burger I’ve had in a long time. The key is that they put on pickled carrots and cucumbers (?!) I also added smoked Gouda cheese and bacon and I swear it was the most satisfying combination of flavors. The Greenpoint Omlet was alright though not spectacular. One thing they didn’t mention was that it had sausage on it – they might have said so on the menu but it wasn’t explicit. I would think with the high vegetarian/young-Greenpoint-resident ratio would insight them to indicate which meals are vegetarian. Seems kind of old school to me not to anyhow.

Whatever side dish came with the meals I cannot remember. I believe they came with fries though nothing stood out to me as spectacular about them.

Will I be coming back?

If I’m feeling like getting out of the house one night without going far, I might come in for dinner. I usually don’t go out around here for dinner (except for Paloma) but since this place is new, I may be more apt to check out the menu. I’m really happy to see these new places coming up in this area and since we’ll likely be here for a while, I’d like to continue supporting them.

What suggestions would I make?

Make better coffee.

If River Barrel really wants my business, put together a respectable coffee offering. I don’t even need espresso drinks but please don’t serve me Maxwell House that’s been sitting there all morning.

Put salt on the tables.

I would think this was rule numero uno in the restaurant biz ….apparently not. What’s funny here is that I remember that I couldn’t find any salt, and that whatever I was eating needed it – but I can’t remember what I was eating. Is that bad that the food (except the burger) was so unmemorable??


The River Barrel is still understandably settling in and looks like it could eventually be a strong asset to the area’s restaurant community. I’m curious to see which angle it develops into considering having the combination of Brooklyn Label and not having Paloma as competition. Also I think there was some other restaurant around here but I have only been there once and I hope it’s since closed… that’s another review.

Price per person: ~$20 (total including tax and tip)

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Surf Bar – Williamsburg, Brooklyn http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/02/09/surf-bar-williamsburg-brooklyn/ http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/02/09/surf-bar-williamsburg-brooklyn/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2009 12:13:14 +0000 Dennis Plucinik http://www.yukisuzuki.com/?p=149 This place was another one of those times where we were just looking for a place to sit down and relax after walking around in Williamsburg on a hot weekend afternoon. Fortunately, we got a really cool waiter, got to sit outside, and had a couple sangrias. Overall it was a great experience.


Surf Bar, Williamsburg Surf Bar, Williamsburg Surf Bar, Williamsburg Surf Bar, Williamsburg Surf Bar, Williamsburg Surf Bar, Williamsburg

Thinking back to our first time here I think I realize how important a first impression is.

Price per person: ~$32

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【レストランレヴュー】シー(Sea) http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/02/01/sea-williamsburg-brooklyn/ http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/02/01/sea-williamsburg-brooklyn/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2009 01:28:26 +0000 Dennis Plucinik http://www.yukisuzuki.com/?p=124 【レストランレヴュー】シー (タイ料理)





Sea, Williamsburg Sea, Williamsburg Sea, Williamsburg Sea, Williamsburg Sea, Williamsburg Sea, Williamsburg







私は、King Ramaというレッドカレーとピーナッツソースのコンビネーションが絶妙なカレーがオススメ!
Pad Thaiもおいしいし。
それから、アペタイザーなら、Roasted Tofu with Salad(Mixed Green: Bean sprout, onion, taro chip, peanut dressing)が断然オススメ!ドレッシングは、いろいろ選べるけれど、ミソドレッシングが一番おいしいです。甘いミソドレッシング。さすがです。豆腐にあいます。




114 N 6th St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 384-8850

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【レストランレヴュー】マイケルジョーダンステーキハウス http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/01/25/michael-jordan-steakhouse-grand-central/ http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/01/25/michael-jordan-steakhouse-grand-central/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2009 03:14:06 +0000 Yuki Suzuki http://www.yukisuzuki.com/?p=122 【レストランレヴュー】マイケルジョーダンステーキハウス


[Michael Jordan's Steakhouse]

Michael Jordan's Steakhouse Michael Jordan's Steakhouse Michael Jordan's Steakhouse Michael Jordan's Steakhouse Michael Jordan's Steakhouse







まず、アペタイザーに、toasted bread with spinach and Gorgonzola dip (左から:写真1)をオーダーしました。かりかりに焼けた香ばしいパンにゴルゴンゾーラの味があう!合いすぎる!ゴルゴンゾーラの匂いは強いんだけれども、これが赤ワイン(私たちがオーダーしたのは、オーストラリア産ピノノワール)とよく合いました。すごいおいしかった。

それから、デニスとユヤは、特大ステーキ:filet mignons(フィレミニヨン)。
お味  ☆☆☆☆
ジューシーさ ☆☆☆☆
見た目 ☆☆☆☆

更に、私は、seared tuna(グリルしたマグロ)を頼んだのですが、オレンジソースがかかっていて、非常にオリエンタルを演出する感じでした。マグロの周りにはコショウがシーズンされていて、ぴりりと辛いコショウの味にオレンジの甘みが加わっておいしかったです。
お味  ☆☆1/2
ジューシーさ ☆☆☆☆
見た目 ☆☆☆☆



あとは、ユヤの誕生日という事もあり、チョコレートケーキをもってきてもらったんだけど(左から:写真2)、そのときにろうそくは立っているわ「HAPPY BIRTHDAY!」ってデコレーションしてくれているわで、非常に感動的でした。



では、次回もおたのしみにー♪ Cheers!!

Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse
23 Vanderbilt Ave
New York, NY 10017
(212) 655-2300




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【レストランレヴュー】Naples 45 http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/01/21/naples-45-ristorante-e-pizzeria/ http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/01/21/naples-45-ristorante-e-pizzeria/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2009 06:36:18 +0000 Dennis Plucinik http://www.yukisuzuki.com/?p=97 私たちの住んでいるブルックリンというところは、うまいビザショップがどこにもあって、はっきりいってハズレがありません。小さいデリのようなピザ屋から、本格釜戸焼きピザ屋まで、さまざま。でも、ハズレがありません。



デニスも私も、一度訪れた事があったのだけれど、私は、ここのピザはうまい!と思っていて、デニスは、フィッシュメモリー(魚のように覚えが悪いという私の造語)で、味も覚えていなかったので、今回はお互いのオフィスからも近いグランドセントラル駅構内から繋がっているビルに入っている(はあはあ、長過ぎて息切れた)【Naples 45】(ネープルズ45)に行ったわけです。


[ www.naples45.com ]

Naples 45 Naples 45 Naples 45 Naples 45 Naples 45


* 外がすごく寒かったのにも関わらず、店内も寒かった!寒すぎ!エアコンの下の席に案内しないで欲しい。








Naples 45

Naples 45

Naples 45
Quarto Formaggi/4種のチーズのピザ









- Yuki



【Naples 45】
MetLife Building
200 Park Ave. at E. 45th St.
New York, NY 10166
(212) 972-7000

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【レシピ】ホワイトチョコレートベリーマフィン http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/01/19/white_very_berry_muffin_recipe/ http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/01/19/white_very_berry_muffin_recipe/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2009 00:31:06 +0000 Yuki Suzuki http://www.yukisuzuki.com/?p=80 【レシピ】ホワイトチョコレートベリーマフィン





でね、今回は、とてもおいしい、その名もBetter-than-basic Muffins(普通のマフィンよりおいしいマフィン)の作り方を紹介します。

White Very Berry Muffin White Very Berry Muffin White Very Berry Muffin

* 無塩バター –1カップ(大さじ12) 溶かしておく
* 小麦粉 −2+2/3カップ
* 卵 –2個
* 牛乳 −2/3カップ
* バニラエッセンス −小さじ1/2
* グラニュー糖(砂糖) −1カップ
* ベーキングパウダー −小さじ2
* 塩 −小さじ1/2

1. オーブンを200℃に暖めておく。マフィン型(12個用)にバターを塗って、その上に小麦粉を振っておく。(私は、いつも紙のマフィンカップをしいて、スプレータイプのオイルをかけています。)

2. ボールにバター、卵、牛乳、バニラエッセンスを入れて混ぜ、よく混ざったら、残りの粉系の材料をその中にいれて、更に良く混ぜます。














-Yuki <3



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【レストランレヴュー】Heartland Brewery, Union Square http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/01/18/heartland_brewery_union_square/ http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/01/18/heartland_brewery_union_square/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2009 03:33:55 +0000 Yuki Suzuki http://www.yukisuzuki.com/?p=53 【レストランレヴュー】Heartland Brewery, Union Square



[ www.heartlandbrewery.com - Heartland Brewery Dinner Menu ]

Heartland Brewery Heartland Brewery Heartland Brewery Heartland Brewery







でも、私は、過去にウエイトパーソンを大きい声で呼んでしまって、デニスに「みっともないからやめなさい」と怒られました。でも、今回のように、待っても待ってもこないときは、「Excuse me?」といって構わないのですよ。


1、デニスがオーダーした The O’Ren’s porter(スペシャルブレンドされたビールにコロンビアコーヒーをくわえたビール)は、ほんとうにおいしかった!コーヒーの苦みと香りと、ビールのまろやかな苦みが何とも言えない。ギネスのような黒ビールよりさっぱりとして、コーヒーの味が広がる。コーヒー好きの人にはたまらないと思います。






味 ☆☆☆
サービス ☆☆
雰囲気 ☆☆☆☆


- Yuki <3

【Heartland Brewery Union Square】
35 Union Square
New York, NY 10003
(212) 582-2057



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Dinner Recipes – 1/3/09 http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/01/17/dinner-recipes-1309/ http://www.yukisuzuki.com/2009/01/17/dinner-recipes-1309/#comments Sat, 17 Jan 2009 06:13:24 +0000 Yuki Suzuki http://localhost/clients/yukisuzuki/blog/?p=31 今日は、レシピのご紹介。日本はお正月だし、お餅三昧かなー。毎日お餅かよーと思っているあなた。こっちは無い物ねだりのアイウォンチューだぜー!!お餅、食べたいぜー。御節、食べたいぜー。私、チョロきゅうっていう、赤いマキマキの酸っぱいやつと伊達巻きと栗キントンがちょーすきっす。デニスは、ちっちゃいエビが楊枝に刺さってるやつと、ちっちゃい鮒が楊枝に刺さってるやつが好きです。佃煮フェチだな。ニホンノココロ。

気を取り直して。レシピね。今日は、Everyday Food Magazineという雑誌から、Easiest Indian Stew(超簡単!インドシチュー)というお料理を作りました。超簡単もいいとこだよ。15分でできるよ。

* 植物油—大さじ2
* タマネギ—中1個(みじん切り)
* ニンニク—2片(みじん切り)
* 塩&こしょう—少々
* カレーパウダー—大さじ1 tablespoon
* ショウガ(すりおろした物)—小さじ1
* 市販のトマトソース(なかったらトマトピューレに自分で味付けしたもの)
* 水—2カップ
* ひよこ豆缶—2缶(洗って水を切っておく)
* ライム絞り汁(なければレモン汁でOK)—大さじ1 tablespoon
* プレーンヨーグルト—1カップ

1. 大きめのフライパン(か、お鍋)に油をしいて、タマネギとニンニク、塩こしょうで味付けして炒める。炒めている間(4〜6分)、よくかき回してタマネギが柔らかく(しんなり)なってきたら、カレーパウダーとショウガを加えて約1分間、いい匂いがしてくるまで炒める。

2. トマトソースとひよこ豆、水を加える。ソースが煮立ってきたら、火を弱めて8〜10分煮る。(焦げ付くのを避ける為、たまにかき混ぜて!)水気が少なくなってきたら、ライムの絞り汁、塩こしょうを加え出来上がり。

3. 御飯にかけて、ヨーグルトをのせて、(あれば、ライムを切った物ものせて(食べるときに絞って、味にアクセントがつきます。))、頂きまーす。


-Yuki <3



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