How to Order [FOOD]

Shiki Brookline

Usually, kaiseki ("leave it to us") is an expensive tasting menu for some cooked and raw Japanese food. The multiple courses comes all at once, as per Asian tradition. However, the kaiseki meals (3 different sizes) are priced fantastically. The service is also decent, while the set up is traditionally neat. The restaurant is actually owned by a Japanese chef. The food itself is very flavorful, though everything is bite sized and beautiful as fitting for a bento box type food. Since the flavors are strong, some green tea is a fantastic way to wrap up the meal. Besides the kaiseki, this restaurant...

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Juliana’s Pizza

Follow Patsy & Carol Grimaldi from Grimaldi's (previously considered the second best or best pizza in NYC), who sold the branding, to the restaurant in the old location. The new branding went to the restaurant next door which is grander. However, the old location is where the new joint, Juliani's, lives and remains to be the pizza people remember. This does not happen a lot, but the new brand owner's lawyer forgot to add in a no competition clause. This is your brick oven fancy pizza place, where you must buy by the pie. There is limited seating, but smaller lines, with everyone going next...

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Mermaid Oyster Bar

Immediately walking into the Mermaid Oyster Bar, I was distracted by the lively bar, and dimly lit setting with high chairs and booths (my favorite type of furniture). The busboys made up for the busy, though accommodating waitresses. This restaurant is a good dinner place. Though I couldn't bring myself to order any of the seafood plates (small or big) because while I was not necessarily craving lobster rolls or crudo, the items did not seem to be interesting enough to justify their prices either. The crackers provided as a starter came with chilled butter and tasted nice topped with its poppy...

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Felidia NYC

Felidia is one of many restaurants that are not clearly branded to be owned by Lidia Bastianich, but yes, it is her Manhattan East Side flagship. The restaurant overall is classy and utilizes computerized reservations (meaning you should make one!). The menu constantly changes with different specials. Unless you're ready to dish out some cash for the prix fixe meal (the chef is impressive enough to make it worth your while), I recommend the pastas (I love all types of noodles). There is a gluten-free option. Remember to reserve a table. Felidia NYC: 243 East 58th Street, New York, NY 10022 +...

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Sake Bar Hagi

Recently, my twin wanted to come here with a bunch of people, and I was supposed to publish this so she can order without me. However, I ended up going with her, so that was easy. This post is going to be reflective of that particular night, since the menu has so many items. Simply put, Sake Bar Hagi is a great location in the Theater District for typical sake bar appetizers and booze. Get a cheap snack here or go all out with the variety of raw and cooked seafood. Note that the entrance is somewhat hidden because this place is in the basement. This is what we ordered (and watch out for cool...

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New Shanghai Boston

New Shanghai Boston is fantastic for Sichuan/Szechuan food, rather than Shanghai-nese food. This is probably also one of the best Chinese food in the Chinatown area. New Shanghai is satisfying in its use of spicy chili oil iconic to the region. The beautiful red oil is a condiment made from the vegetable oil that has been infused with chili peppers. Therefore, it is meant to flavor and color, rather than to be eaten like a soup, as it sometimes may seem. The restaurant's levels of spicy-ness are already slightly reduced compared to other authentic Sichuan restaurants. Do try the typically famous...

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Thai @ Lex

The consistent decor (with origami and wine panels) and white and squarish dishes allowed for a relatively clean look. The lunch specials almost work as a tasting menu. Overall, this is one of those places that use some key ingredients (cheaply bought in bulk) for every dish. The noodles were not especially authentic or delicious. In fact, my Pad Thai was sadly somewhat broken in term of noodles. The nice part about this in expectations for Thai food is a decent selection of fresh broccoli and bean sprouts. However, no chopsticks lowered my appeal a bit for the food. I definitely regret getting...

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Lombardi’s Pizza

This is considered the first pizzeria in America, officially registered in 1905. Their menus emphasized the deliciousness of their margarita pizzas--which make the base of all their pizzas. The mozzarella is fresh, and the crust is thin and well-cooked enough to be classified as delicious New York City pizza. I found the crust a little too hard, but overall, steaming hot pizza felt wonderful to eat. As the usual fancy pizza place, Lombardi's only allows diners to order whole pizza pies (small 14" or big 18") so be ready for that. The toppings are decent and nice, so order as you fancy. At a place...

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Flex Mussels East Village

Seafood joints are always a fun place for friends and cocktails. Flex Mussels, a place that specializes in Prince Edward Island (Canada) mussels, is definitely a fun time for friends to sit down and share some well-cooked mussels in delicious and interesting broths. Generally, the place should offer more butter for the nicely seasoned bread basket, but diners can use their broth eventually. Definitely try the truffle fries and charred octopus with potatoes (which I cannot find on the online menu for some reason). The prices were good, and you always end up more full than you think. If you don't...

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Ramen Setagaya

The fact that Ippudo is maybe just a block away just screams that you should head to Ramen Setagaya instead: the line here is rarely long, yet their ramen satisfies comfort food cravings. Ramen Setagaya has some cozy seating place decor and is famous for wavy ramen noodles and cha siu. I would also argue that they have a delicious selection of sides and sake bar appetizers. Try some tako/taco wasabi (raw baby octopus in wasabi sauce), buta-don (pork over rice perpetuated by tasty onions), and/or some onigiri (which is available for lunch in a set menu of $3.50 for two and a soda). Recently, they...

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