The Butcher's Daughter, That Pretty Vegetarian Cafe in Nolita That's Always Mobbed for Brunch, is Now Serving Dinner 

SSPNY Tries Out the New Dinner Menu at the Pretty & Always Mobbed Vegetarian Cafe in Nolita, The Butcher's Daughter

SSPNY checks out the always packed vegetarian and juice bar in Nolita, The Butcher's Daughter, after Manager Heather Tierney and Chef Joya Carlton of West Village's Buvette, introduced dinnertime to the menu in early February with the success of their fresh squeezed juice options and great lunchtime hang-out spot on Kenmare.

It may sound like a match made in carnivore heaven, but don't expect to find any meat on the menu at Nolita's Butcher's Daughter. Despite (because of?) the meat-cleaving ways of her father, the eponymous offspring who runs the place, Heather Tierney (also and by the way the mixologist and co-owner of Apothéke and Pulqueria), is strictly vegetarian. And thus, so is her restaurant. Not that anyone seems to mind: the bright, homey spot has been packing them in for brunch since it first opened last November. Which is great and all, and I also appreciate that The Butcher's Daughter has a nice freshly-squeezed juice bar selection, because there's no question that this is a pleasant, comfortable place to hang out for a bit on a sunny afternoon. But the real test for The Butcher's Daughter--and an indication of whether it has any sticking power down there on Kenmare, which has become a bit of restaurant graveyard of late--is whether Tierney and Chef Joya Carlton (of the excellent West Village bistro Buvette) can deliver the goods at dinnertime, which they finally started serving in early February, and which I finally ate about a week ago.

SSPNY tries out the new dinner menu which offers a blend of fruits and veggies served raw or cooked up with some little preparations. Though The Butcher's Daughter is no huge contender in creative vegetarian cuisine in the city, if you are looking for a quiet and romantic neighborhood spot with good vegetarian food, this spot of heaven in Nolita is perfect for you. First, we tried the smashed avocado with mustard, curry, lemon, and toast.

The Butcher's Daughter dinner menu offers an appealing blend of fruits and veggies served raw and cooked, simply prepared or gussied up a little. But just a little: fans of Amanda Cohen's magical dishes at Dirt Candy--or even the prettily-plated vegan fare at Blossom Cafe--will not find a new contender to the creative vegetarian throne here at the Butcher's Daughter. Anyway, I went to the Butcher's Daughter on a fairly freezing night, ate in a mostly empty but nonetheless warm and cozy-feeling room, and left reasonably satisfied. This is not a destination restaurant by any means, but if you're looking for a neighborhood spot that's quiet, non-scene-y, and even a touch romantic, you can't do much better in Nolita than The Butcher's Daughter.

SSPNY next tried out the Cashew Ricotta with Fig Mostarda as our "charcuterie" which was slightly lackluster, but was paired alongside a much more delicious thick, sweet corn soup concoction with curry and served with a hunk of crusty bread.

My companion and I shared a few items from all over the Butcher's Daughter dinner menu, starting with a bright and lively bowl of smashed avocado, a mix of mustard, curry, and lemon forked in, some decent toast upon which to slather the stuff on the side. Not bad. Our "charcuterie" selection, while not in any way bad, was somewhat lackluster: billed as Cashew Ricotta with Fig Mostarda, it seemed to be little more than a scoop of the fluffy cheese, a spoonful of fig jelly, a few thin slices of apple, done. Better was the soup, a thick, sweet corn concoction redolent with curry and served with a hunk of crusty bread. Order this, add a salad, and you've got a dinner with which you can be proud. Or heck, go for broke a get the meatiest-seeming thing on the menu, the Bangers and Mash, which of course aren't made from anything animal, but instead are a rich, hearty pair of white-bean and fennel sausages, plopped atop a pile of "rustic" hash browns, smothered in fried onions, mushrooms, and spicy mustard, paired with spinach. This, I would get again.

SSPNY lastly tried out the heartiest, meatiest-seeming thing on the menu, the Bangers and Mash, which came without anything animal, but instead with a rich, hearty pair of white-bean and fennel sausages, atop a pile of hash browns and smothered in fried onions, mushrooms and spicy mustard that is absolutely delicious!

The Butcher's Daughter is located on the corner of Elizabeth and Kenmare Streets, and is open daily for breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner, starting at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 10:00 Sunday through Thursday, and at 11:00 on Friday and Saturday. The official restaurant website is still under construction, but you can find the complete Butcher's Daughter menu here.

The Butcher's Daughter is located at the corner of Elizabeth and Kenmare Streets in the heart of Nolita, now available for breakfast, lunch, brunch and DINNER, starting at 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

written on 04/10/2013

Posted in: Nolita

Murray's Cheese Shop on Bleecker Street - They Know Cheese!! 

Can't think of what to cook for dinner?

Got ya covered...Grab your favorite bottle of red or white, and head on over to Murray's Cheese, a West Village staple on Bleecker and Cornelia Streets. It's wall to wall cheeses from all over the world, catering to any palette.  Not only do they sell cheese, but the "cheese-ologists" behind the counter know all there is to know about their products.  Simply show them your bottle and they'll tell you what cheese would go best with it and virtually build your next meal around their cheese choice!

Stroll down to famous Murray's Cheese shop the next time you're stumped in the kitchen...I promise you won't be disappointed. 

Shopaholics report to Designer Resale on East 81st Street! 

If you love shopping for one of a kind finds, designer resale is for sure your one stop shop. Everything in the store is thoroughly selected to ensure only top of the line designer labels that look brand new- that is if it doesn't still have tags attached.  Snag a pair of Jimmy Choos, a Prada satchel, or a gorgeous Badgley Mischka gown will for sure leave you feeling like a million bucks at your next soirée.  Guys don't feel left out there's a Men's Shop too! Live in one of Stone Streets Upper East Side buildings? Designer Resale is located at 324 East 81st Street right next to the Lily.

Stone Street checks out Juice Generation on West 4th Street! 

Check out Juice Generation located at 171 West 4th Street, right in between The Charlotte on Christopher Street and The Seville and The Cooper on Cornelia Street.  You can find fresh squeezed juices just about anywhere these days, but I love Juice Generation because all their ingredients are local and organic. One of my favorite drinks is the Lemon Lozenge, served hot, a healthy energizing alternative to coffee or tea.  Make sure to check out the food as well, all choices that leaves you feeling both light and satisfied. Oh and one more thing, there’s a gluten free bakery!

Checking in with Nolita Neighborhood Gem Bianca: Is this the Best Cheap Italian Spot in Town? 

SSPNY Eats at the Best Cheap Italian Spot in Town: Nolita Neighborhood's Bianca

SSPNY checks out the always packed Bianca in Nolita which opened up in 2005 by Chef Giancarlo Quadalti and Roberta Riccioli after success of Upper West Side sister, Celeste, and located on Bleecker right around the corner from Bowery and first-rate restaurants such as DBGB, The Wren, Peels and Hecho en Dumbo.

From the outside, Bianca looks like any one of a thousand mediocre New York City restaurants, with its semi-dingy curtains, peeling paint, silly typography. And once you poke your head in the door? More of the same. Scratched up wooden floors, generic, crammed-together tables and chairs, grandmotherly collection of plates providing the only decor. But you think: wait, why is this place so crowded? And then you realize that Bianca's pretty much ALWAYS packed, even with the lure of all of those hip-and-happening (and, often, legitimately first-rate) restaurants right around the corner on Bowery, like DBGB and The Wren, Peels and Hecho en Dumbo. So what gives?

 SSPNY looks over the whole Bianca menu filled with appealing and generously portioned choices, including the Fegatini con Aceto Balsamico. This time, we started off with the Carciofi Fritti, or salty crunch baby artichokes served with crispy fried parsley. Besides delicious food, most appetizers and pastas will also only ring you up in single-digit territory, with most fish and meat dishes only hitting the mid-teen price point.

I've been to Bianca many times over the years--the place opened in 2005--and have also enjoyed several great meals courtesy of its Upper West Side sister, Celeste. The prices, of course, are one reason Bianca is so popular, with most appetizers and pastas solidly in single-digit territory, and even the meat and fish dishes hitting only the mid-teens. How Chef Giancarlo Quadalti and his partner Roberta Riccioli pull this off, especially considering the generous portions at Bianca, and the many interesting dishes from Northern Italy's Emilia-Romagna region, is anyone's guess... but night after night, over the course of eight years, pull it off they do. I'm always vaguely concerned when first sitting down at one of their rickety tables (was this really as good as I'm remembering?), and every time, Bianca delivers. You could eat here once a week and not be disappointed.

 SSPNY next tried out one of the pasta options, with the plump Ravioli di Ricotta, served in a lake of butter sauce and topped with sage, chewy strands of Gramigna, a tomatoey sauce with crumbled sausage and bell peppers. If you had all three of these meals together, the bill would still only run you at about $43 after tip!

Anyway, the Bianca menu is filled with appealing choices, but I tend to get the same things again and again. The Fegatini con Aceto Balsamico, or balsamic-glazed chicken livers on toast, are unbelievably tender, a wonderful balance of earthy and sweet, with an acid bite to finish things off. Also always at my table is the Carciofi Fritti, salty, crunchy baby artichokes, served with a mound of crispy, hopelessly addictive fried parsley. Next up at Bianca is pasta, and there are plenty of good options. The plump Ravioli di Ricotta are served in a lake of butter sauce, topped with enough sage leaves to make a difference. And the thick, chewy strands of Gramigna are always well served by their tomatoey sauce of crumbled sausage and bell peppers. And if you ordered all of the above, which is a hefty dinner for two? You're looking at a check of about $43. With tip. Remarkable.

 Bianca is easily one of the most delicious and inexpensive Italian meals you'll have anywhere in the city. Technically located in NoHo, Bianca can be found on Bleecker Street between Bowery and Elizabeth Street, and is open every day at 5pm for dinner, with kitchen open until 11pm on Monday through Thursday, until midnight on Friday and Saturday, and until 10:30pm on Sunday.

Bianca is located on Bleecker Street between Bowery and Elizabeth, which I realize is technically NoHo, but is also close enough to Nolita not to make a difference. Bianca is open every day at 5:00 p.m. for dinner, with the kitchen open until 11:00 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, until 12:00 midnight on Friday and Saturday, and until 10:30 on Sunday. More info and the complete Bianca menu can be found here.

written on 04/10/2013

Posted in: Nolita


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