Lowlife

Psyched to check out Lowlife, a casual fine dining restaurant on the Lower East Side by Chef Alex Leonard (former Chef de Cuisine at Blanca).  It just opened about a month ago and I’ve already heard so many good things.  We got lucky and scored a spot at the chef’s counter, which gave us front row seats to all of the kitchen action. We watched the chefs create each dish from start to finish — so much fun! I absolutely loved every single dish that I ordered, especially the borscht — a simple, elegantly refined version of the traditional Ukrainian beetroot soup. In addition to the food being fantastic, the service was exceptional. Looking forward to seeing how the menu changes with the each upcoming season! 

Borscht, Raw Cream, Trout Roe

Herring & Sardine, Pine Nuts, Chimichurri
  
Chicken Yakitori, Smoked Cabbage, Scallion
  
Neversink Apple Tart, Ginger Ice Cream, Dulce de Leche
 

Lowlife

Freemans

Freemans is awesome. It’s as simple as that. Really glad to be back with a friend of mine who has both dairy and gluten allergies. Luckily, Chef Preston’s menu has so many great options for her. We shared the steak tartare with mustard and pickled egg yolk as an appetizer, and I feasted on the best hot artichoke dip I’ve ever had. Where has it been all my life?! I felt like having something light for my entree, so I chose the warm lentil salad. Now, I never order salads for dinner, but I was so glad I tried this one — it was filling and extremely satisfying! My friend ordered the whole grilled trout and I couldn’t resist stealing a bite. Yum. We shared the roasted carrots, which were incredible. I wish all veggies could taste this good!

Freemans: 191 Chrystie Street (located at the end of Freeman Alley, off of Rivington between Chrystie and Bowery)

Steak Tartare, mustard, pickled egg yolk, and potato chips 

Hot Artichoke Dip with crisp bread 

Warm Lentil Salad, shaved cauliflower, fingerling potatoes, baby spinach, and sherry vinaigrette

Roasted Carrots with orange and thyme 

Whole Grilled Eden Brook Trout, thyme, garlic, and lemon

Freemans

Katz’s Delicatessen

Katz’s Delicatessen is an iconic Jewish deli that has been around for a whopping 126 years. It opened in 1888 and has been serving up hand-carved pastrami and corned beef (and much more) ever since! We were in the mood for a hearty sandwich, so we decided to test out a delivery service called Postmates that will go to a restaurant or store, pick up whatever you want, and deliver to your door. Pretty sweet. In under an hour, we were enjoying pastrami & corned beef sammies along with hot dogs and homemade pickles from Katz’s Deli. To sum it up in one word: DELISH!!! The corned beef and pastrami are incredibly tender and flavorful — my personal fave is the corned beef (extra fatty, of course). Throw in some awesome pickles, the most amazing mustard I’ve ever tried, and a snappy hot dog on the side…  Now that’s a darn good meal. :)

Katz’s Delicatessen: 205 East Houston Street (at Ludlow)

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Katz’s Corned Beef Sandwich (secret “dry cure” pickling formula requires a full month to prepare)

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Katz’s Pastrami Sandwich (smoked to juicy perfection and hand carved)

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Frankfurter (“Best of New York” natural casing all beef dog)

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“Full sours”  (Katz’s favorite mouth-watering pickles for 125 years) and “new” pickles (lighter, fresher pickles that more closely resemble a cucumber)

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Close up of Katz’s Corned Beef Sandwich

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Close up of Katz’s Pastrami Sandwich

Katz’s Delicatessen

Pig & Khao

I have been a fan of Filipino food ever since middle school and I’m curious to see Chef Leah Cohen’s interpretation of it at Pig & Khao (she’s half-Filipina). A good friend joined me for dinner and we shared four dishes: sizzling sisig (pronounced SEE-SIG), shan noodles, mussels in pineapple curry, and green rice crusted dorade. Everything was really good, especially the sisig (which is typically made from parts of a pig’s head and liver) — it was so crispy and greasy! The shan noodles had a nice kick with a savory broth and the mussels were incredible — loved those fried buns dipped in the pineapple curry! My absolute favorite dish of the night was the dorade. The rice crust gave it a nice crunch, the Chinese sausage added a saltiness that complemented the mildness of the fish, and I was crazy about the yuzu dashi. All in all, a satisfying meal. Next time I’m totally going for the pork belly adobo — YUM!

Pig & Khao: 68 Clinton Street (between Rivington and Stanton)

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Love Porkslap and Blue Point Summer Ale

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Sizzling Sisig (pork head) with chili and egg

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Shan Noodles (ground chicken, turmeric, peanuts & fermented mustard greens)

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Mussels in pineapple curry with Thai basil and fried mantao buns

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Close up of the mussels

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Green rice crusted Dorade with Chinese sausage, cockles, and yuzu dashi

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The dining room

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The open kitchen

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Pig & Khao