Obicà Mozzarella Bar in Manhattan, NY- The Best Mozzarella Money Can Buy, What a Claim!

OBICÀ is a global mozzarella bar in midtown Manhattan. There is a location on Madison Ave and 56th in the IBM Atrium and one in the Flatiron district. I walked by the Atrium location with a friend on a weekend night and thought the Atrium setting was nice to rest our tired legs. We had no idea what we walked into… “Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP is the best Mozzarella money can buy,” said Obicà.

This is a short clip on how Obicà make their mozzarella. The director went a bit long-winded and arty yet still very enjoyable.

Mozzarelle di Bufala- Burrata: deliciously creamy. Other than the perfect soft cheese that oozed out when the knife cut in, I also found their menu well written. Here is what they said:

“From the fertile plains of Campania comes the unique Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, endowed with a Protected Designation of Origin certificate. We have selected the very best farms, which milk their own herds and ensure a superior product, with the characteristic porcelain white shine, milky texture and distinctive taste.”

They touched upon the origin of the ingredient, the trust from a certificate, and the look and taste of the cheese. Covered all basis. It was not the best burrata I have ever had but it was pretty awesome. It was indeed deliciously creamy. They have lived up to the marketing hype.Accompanied the burrata with cherry tomatoes and basil pesto. Hmm. Thought this would have been a slam dunk. But it was not. The cherry tomatoes were perfect and sweet but the pesto somehow did not go well with the burrata. We ended up doing our own vinaigrette for the cherry tomatoes and adding burrata to the bite. That worked much much better.  Tiramisù Ricetta Tradizionale – Homemade Tiramisù. My friend loved the Tiramisu. It was melt-in-your-mounth sweet and creamy, like the burrata. It was not pretty to look at but it was definitely quality Tiramisu. I could have had the whole bowl by myself.
Torta di Capri – Flourless Chocolate and Almond Cake. Flourless chocolate cake is one of my favorite desserts. Unfortunately, this cake was crumbly and tasted bad. The almond was a miss. Luckily, the same friend also loved this cake so he polished it off for me.

In retrospect, I should have ordered the Selezione di Salumi – Prosciutto Crudo, Salame Felino, Bresaola, Speck to go with the burrata. I saw other tables having it with their mozzarella and I was jealous.

This was good eating. May not be the best money can buy but I will definitely repeat and sample more. Two thumbs up!

This experience took place at

Obicà Mozzarella Bar
590 Madison Avenue (56th Street)
IBM Building, ATRIUM
NY 10022 – New York
Tel. (212) 355 2217

Brickyard Gastropub in NYC – Build Your Own Burger and Complement with a Craft Beer, Things that We Didn’t Try

A friend and I met up in New York City to take our kids to MARVEL’S AVENGERS S.T.A.T.I.O.N. at Discovery Time Square. Before our ticketed entrance time, we walked over to Brickyard Gastropub on 9th Ave for a quick-lunch. It was such a nice walk from Grand Central to the restaurant; we browsed the entire M&M store and bought the multi-colored, multi-flavored chocolate, were accosted by the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, stopped by the aggressive Big Bus tour guides, and got pushed around by the crowds in Time Square. Such a quintessential New York Experience. #NYC #TimeSquare

I picked Brickyard Gastropub to satisfy two diverse palates: one – only wants a burger and very particular about how the burger is done and two – wants more of a worldly cuisine and anything different from the popular norm. Brickyard  offers BYOB, Build Your Own Burger, and ingredients on dishes that you would not expect from a burger joint, such as lamb in chill, Gruyère in cheese steaks, or duck fat fried potatoes. It turned out to be a great option.

Out of our party of four, three of us ordered a burger. Brickyard knows their burger. The meat was done correctly per our order. It was charred but still juicy and tender; it was seasoned well that you don’t need to look for ketchup to enhance the umami. In fact, I was happy to just eat the patty and not eat the buns. The less adventurous eaters of our group also approved the burger. This is definitely a place to bring your family and kids to. It offers both the “plain” and the “fancy” variety of burgers.

My friend ordered the Brickyard Poutine: wedge cut duck fat fried potatoes, melted Gruyère & cremey Monterey Jack cheese topped with Breakfast stout gravy. This was a complete hit for my friend; she immediately posted the dish on her Facebook page. I, on the other hand, was not into poutine, any kind of poutine. Always felt that french fries needs to be crispy otherwise it is like eating potatoes. I wanted more than a potato experience in french fries. However, the duck fat did make the potato taste much better; it coated the carbohydrate thickness and made the potato more palatable to swallow.

Brick Salad: arugula, watermelon radish, shaved parmesan and lemon vinaigrette. Did not try this one so really can’t say for myself. My friend was satisfied with this salad and found the combination of the duck fat fried potatoes with lemon vinaigrette and watermelon radish a balanced option for lunch.

We went for an early lunch on a Monday and the place was deserted when we arrived. By the time we were leaving, it was packed with business people. The restaurant had a very long bar and 24 craft beers that they are known for. If only we were smart enough to not bring the kids… Go with your friends and go for happy hours, I am sure it’s a happening place. And the food ain’t too bad, either.

This experience took place at

Brickyard Gastropub
785 9th Ave
Between 52nd & 53rd
New York, NY 10019
P: 212 – 767 – 0077
F: 212 – 767 – 0015

La Sirène in NYC – As Sweet As Lollipops Can Be

La Sirène French Restaurant is a sweet and cute little #FrenchBistro on Broome Street in downtown Manhattan. My friend and I found ourselves there after a long walk from midtown. It is considered as French semi gastronomy according to their website. Their signature is the good-bye gift of a lollipop for each customer at the end of the meal. Mine was a sweetie lemony one. 🙂

Moules Marinières: steamed mussels in white wine and fresh herbs.  This is the classic preparation. I apologize for the out of focus picture; I did not have my regular camera with me and had to make do with a borrowed one. Despite the photo, the mussels were excellent. Very clean, fresh and the sauce was perfect. The bread that we used to dip the sauce was also very authentically French.

The side dish that came with our entrée to be shared, from left to right: pureed carrot, cauliflower, Mexican chayote, and caramalized eggplants. These are the best veggies I have ever tasted. I kept on wondering how much sugar and butter were put in.

Tournedos Rossini: Seared filet mignon topped with foie gras (pate style), shallots, port and red wine truffles sauce. The sauce was strong and oozing with umami. I kept on stealing the sauce for my hanger steak.

Onglet Poêlée, à la Luchonaise: butter only seared hanger steak, roasted garlic, parsley. They had me at “butter only!”

Fondant au Chocolat Noir: dark lava chocolate cake and home-made coconut sherbet. This was very delicious. Enjoyed every spoon of it. The dark lava chocolate did the French proud and made me smile. 🙂 Add to the chocolate glory, the coconut sherbet brought the uniqueness and completed the profile. I was very happy with this dessert. Quite a close for our meal.

Although my friend and I were very satisfied with our entrée, we have come to learn that La Sirène’s signature dish is Cassoulet Toulouse’s Style: cannellini beans, carrots, tomato, garlic duck confit, slab bacon and pork sausage all braised with noble duck fat, white stock and foie gras jus. Sounds very heavy. They claims that this dish was served to warriors going to war to defend their village. Slight exaggeration. Nonetheless, we saw many tables around us had the Cassoulet.

For Cassoulet Fans – go try it. Cannot go wrong if majority of their customers ordered it.

This wonderful experience was booked using Open Table and took place at

La Sirène
558 Broome St
New York, NY 10013
Between Avenue Of The Americas & Varick St in South Village
Tel: (212) 925-3061

P.S.  They only accept American Express and of course cash!