Monday, September 30, 2013

Camaje Bistro and Lounge- Greenwich Village

I like French cuisine and I'm a sucker for restaurants with the name bistro or brasserie in them, especially ones with atmosphere. That said, Teresa, our friend Lisa, and I were headed down to Greenwich Village to attend a play written by a friend and of course I got to decide where to eat. Now that is a rather daunting task given the number of restaurants on MacDougal Street alone so I narrowed it down to three and looked at the menus online, finally deciding on The Camaje Bistro. We made reservations at noon, their opening time, and arrived about twenty minutes early as traffic was light.

We were greeted by a woman who was getting the restaurant ready, she turned out to be Abigail Hitchcock, the chef-owner, who allowed us to wait on the couch in the front of the restaurant until she was ready to open. The restaurant is small, seating maybe fifty or so, and rustic, with a tile floor. Plenty of simple European charm and atmosphere. The tables are close in the style of a French bistro.   
Eggs Benedict

Since it was a Sunday they were serving brunch so I had to miss on the Kobe burger, but after a few minutes I decided on the eggs benedict with Atlantic Char, as did Lisa. Teresa ordered the crepe with wild mushrooms and gruyere. We also ordered two sides, the pommes frites and the smoked mac and cheese. Teresa said the crepe was good and Lisa and I both enjoyed the eggs. The mac and cheese was indeed smokey, perhaps some smoked gouda in it, and the pommes frites were quite nice as well.
Banofee Pie
When it came time for desert we decided to splurge a bit and ordered two to share between the three of us. The one shown above is a banofee pie and the one below a pear dish. Both were quite excellent. 

Our server, Ernest I believe was his name, was amazing. He was attentive, yet gave us space and he had a good sense of humor. All told, three entrees, two sides and two deserts were seventy bucks with tax. Not bad considering we were in NYC. The portions were French sized, read that as a bit small for American tastes, but we did leave full and happy. I would definitely go back again for a visit.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Tavern 483- Brookfield, CT

Fried Oysters

A while back we stopped at a food tasting in Brookfield and discovered a few places we wanted to try. Tavern 483 was one of them and we finally got there on a Saturday afternoon just as the shy opened up and the rain fell. As we went in we saw that inside it is small, seating about sixty or so, and nicely appointed. As the place was nearly empty we were told to choose our own table. After doing so we were given water and menus.

After perusing the menu I ordered the fried oysters appetizer at ten bucks. When they came I looked at them and figured they were hand made at the restaurant as the shapes weren't quite perfect, which was a good sign. Biting into one I saw that the outside was golden brown and crispy while the inside was creamy and cool, the way fried oysters should be. Unfortunately I think the oysters themselves were frozen as there was a slight oily aftertaste. Not terribly bad, but it was a bit of a letdown. The high points were that the remoulade sauce had a very nice smoky chipotle taste and  there was also a very good corn salsa with it. Both were obviously homemade and I saved the remaining remoulade for my upcoming fries.   


Looking over the menu I saw that the burger was char-broiled and I decided to take a pass on it. I don't like meat cooked on a broiler as the fat burns and sits on the meat leaving burnt fat, the direct opposite of grilling where the drippings fall into the fire. I decided on the Rueben at ten bucks (I've been on a Rueben kick of late) and Teresa got the Cobb salad at twelve bucks. Her's looked good and there was plenty of chicken on it, but she did have to add salt and pepper. 

The Rueben was good with a nice, reasonably lean, corned beef. The waitress informed me that they were out of Swiss cheese so I had them use American (Cheddar, the other option, wouldn't have melted well) and it was an okay substitution. The fries were of the frozen variety but they were deep fried to perfection with a crispy, golden exterior and a soft interior. Dipped in the remoulade they were even better.

Overall, not bad, but not great either. The food was good, service good, but the food was very slow coming out, especially since there was only one other table and they were nearly done. Prices seemed a bit high for the portions. Now they've only been open a few months so it is possible there are a few kinks in the system they're working on so I'll stop back again sometime to give them another try. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mediterranean Deli & Grill- Middletown, NY

Regular readers of this blog will notice the conspicuous absence of a photo on this post, and for that I apologize. We sere coming home from a wake when we stopped and I simply did not bring my camera as we weren't planning to eat out. I will certainly return and get a picture as this is a really nice place to eat. 

The restaurant is small, they do a lot of take-out and deliveries, but there are a few tables to eat. The place is decorated with greek pictures, flags and items and Greek music is playing on the stereo. The people are friendly and the prices are cheap. 

They have 20 different Gyro options. I chose the Cretan which had plenty of good gyro meat, lettuce, cabbage, bacon, cucumbers and an interesting onion sauce. With fries it came to $7.25 and it was very good. Teresa got the Achilles sandwich which had eggplant, roasted peppers, fresh mozzarella and mixed greens on a foot-long sub for $6.75. She said it was quite good and fresh tasting.

Stop by sometime and see what I mean. I'm going back to try a few more gyros and maybe a burger, they have about 8 different combos of burgers.