Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Brilliantly Good Pub Grub at The Spotted Dog

By: Finance Foodie

The Lenox Hill section of Manhattan is probably more known for its namesake hospital than the selection of restaurant options. However, the Mister and I happened to be in the area last weekend checking out the new Second Avenue Subway line when the hunger bells struck, so we decided to have dinner in the area. We walked around perusing some of the neighborhood joints down 1st Avenue and finally decided on The Spotted Dog, a newly opened Irish/British/American gastro pub.
Entrance
The interior of The Spotted Dog is warm and inviting, with dark leather booths and exposed brick with candle-lit nooks. We started off with the Chicken Parm Sticks ($10), basically a dish where chicken fingers had a baby with mozzarella sticks. These five large fingers were well fried and the tomato sauce it was served with was divine (only wish there was more of the sauce!)
Chicken Parm Sticks
For my entrée, I went with the Eggplant Casserole ($18). This monster of a dish (feeds three) was chock full of vegetables but still tasted like comfort food. I also liked that despite the eggplant not being fried, it still had great flavor - but minus half the fat!
Eggplant Casserole
The Mister, who is trying to watch his diet, went with the Half Roasted Chicken ($19) served with mashed potatoes and asparagus. While probably the healthiest and most simple thing on the menu, it certainly wasn’t boring. The chicken was really well seasoned and cooked to tender perfection. The asparagus was drizzled with a fragrant olive oil and the mashed potatoes were soft and fluffy – nothing wrong at all with simple dish done well!
Half  Roasted Chicken
For dessert, we splurged and got the Ice Cream Sundae ($8), a sinful but wonderful gulp of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, Nilla wafers and Nutella served in wine goblet.
Ice Cream Sundae
The Spotted Dog is a welcome addition the area - when I was there, I saw all occasions being celebrated - from romantic dates (ask for a spot in the back room) to gatherings with friends (ask for a patio table). I can’t wait to return to this spot that is doing a great job of putting Lenox Hill on the map for excellent food and drink.

Finance Foodie Money $avvy Tip – The entrée prices here are extremely reasonable (most are less than $20) and the portions are big enough for a meal the next day.

The Spotted Dog
1154 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10065
(646) 649-5331
www.thespotteddognyc.com
Cuisine: British / American / Irish

Monday, April 24, 2017

3 Easy Ways to Make Dinner for your Family During the Workweek

By: Finance Foodie, in collaboration with Slow Cookers Success

Cooking dinner during the week is just the worst, right? You’ve spent all day working and just want to come home, pop something in the microwave and go to sleep. Especially if you’re cooking for more than just yourself!

But this doesn’t have to be the case. Here’s three easy ways to make your next midweek family dinner a great one. These three quick and easy ways of feeding your family will be sure to put the pleasure back into the ominous after work chore that dinnertime too often becomes.


Monday, April 17, 2017

C'est Magnifique at Brasserie 8 1/2

By: Finance Foodie

When I first moved to New York City over a decade ago, Brasserie 8 1/2 was the first "finer" restaurant I dined at. I still remember it felt so chic and sophisticated walking down the swooping circular staircase into the dining room - in that moment, it was like I had made it and Manhattan was mine (then I went back to my box apartment that I shared with 2 other roommates and quickly came back down to earth...)

Fast forward to present day - I still live in a box apartment (sans roommates, at least) and Brasserie 8 1/2 is still very much alive and grand (no small feat considering the ultra competitive NYC dining arena). Given its prime Midtown location, this French brasserie is usually packed during the weekdays for business lunches but tends to quiet down for dinner service. The Mister and I, looking to unwind after a stressful workday and escape the hustle and bustle of the area, decided to have dinner here a few nights ago.
Octopus
When looking over the menu, my eyes immediately saw the $42 three course prix fixe menu (as a value minded Finance Foodie, I also like a good deal). The server informed me the portions are quite generous so the Mister and I start off sharing the Grilled Octopus from my prix fixe meal. The portion size was indeed enough to share and the char on the octopus was nicely smokey. I didn't really care for the butter beans that came with the dish but the tender octopus legs were the star of the show anyways. Also, it was nice to see this exact dish was on the a la carte menu as well ($16).
Poitrine de Canard
For my main, I went with the Poitrine de Canard, two slices of duck breast on top of red cabbage and a flavorful black currant gastrique with a side of flan. The duck was cooked a perfect medium rare and didn't taste overly greasy (as duck can get, especially if served with the skin). I also like how the lightness of the flan served as a well executed contrast with richer flavors of the duck and the red cabbage.
Steak Frites
The Mister, who has been on diet and was looking forward to this "cheat meal of the week", went with the old French Bisto standby meal of Steak Fries ($47), a large hunk of dry aged sirloin with fries. The meat was massive but still perfectly cooked and had nice flavor from the herb butter sauce.

For dessert, we split the Apple Tarte Tatin with a scoop of caramel ice cream from my prix fixe meal. The ice cream was creamy and sweet and melded really well with the flakiness of the tarte. An excellente way to end a magnifique meal!

Finance Foodie Money $avvy Tip - While the a la carte menu can get a bit pricey, the dinner prix fixe menu (both the $42 three course menu served daily and the Soft Shell Crab menu on Sunday and Monday) are a real best bang for your buck. Portions are generous and the only thing they skimp on is the price (not the quality of the food).

Brasserie 8 1/2
9 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 829-0812
www.brasserie812.com
Cuisine: French

Brasserie 8 1/2 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Photos: GhostMediaInc.com

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Financier Feasts: Midtown Italian Edition

By: Finance Foodie

It might be no surprise that one of the things I look forward to most each day is lunch, especially during the work week (sometimes, Foodie by Night seeps into Foodie by Midday). Working in Midtown Manhattan, I feel blessed that I can walk to a myriad of food options each day.
Midtown Manhattan
But where to go? Well I generally go for my favorite cuisine Italian. And as a Finance Foodie, naturally the financial markets dictate exactly which Italian destination - when I'm having a good day (read: making $$$), I get the urge to splurge. But when I'm on the wrong side of the trade, I go for the value orientated option (as they say: good food can be found at every price point). Below are my top go-to Italian spots for whatever the work day is throwing at me.

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