Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hungry for Neapolitan-style pizza? Porto is the real deal.

As most of you readers may already know, Ryan grew up in New Jersey so we’re often in the North Bergen/Edgewater area (right across the river on the hills), where my in-laws live. The restaurants in these neighborhoods are pretty amazing. My in-laws told us about a new pizza place that just opened up, Porto. A tiny little BYOB spot serving up true Neapolitan-style pizza. I’ve been to Italy several times so my expectations were high. 

The menu is predominately pizza with some great appetizer/salad options and a couple pastas. We decided to stick with apps and then enjoy the pizza as the main event. They had fresh Burrata on the menu which made my life. I naturally added Prosciutto to this dish. Best.combo.ever. Ryan ordered the Kale Salad which was awesome. The Kale was crunchy but not bitter in the least. The dressing creamy, like a ranch or caesar and the salad is topped with tangy grated parmesan and thick pancetta. Heaven. The pizza...ahhhhh the pizza. It’s exactly like what you would have in Italy. A soft, thin crust with just the right amount of cheese and toppings. The flavors are beyond fresh. The chef/owner Antonio has worked in NYC and traveled Italy studying different forms of pizza making...hence his insanely authentic flavors. 

Unfortunately we were too full for dessert but FYI, they have Fried Oreos on the menu. I’ll def be saving room next time...

Anyone for a trip to NJ? ;-) 

My to-die-for Prosciutto De Parma & fresh Burrata with cherry tomatoes. I could eat this every day.

The best Kale Salad, like, ever. 

Real, Neapolitan-Style pizza from Chef Antonio. Welcome to Jersey!

Eat Up!

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Goods at The Gander NYC

Ryan was working late last Friday so I decided to join a few friends of ours for dinner at Chef Jesse Schenker’s, The Gander.  I’ve read several reviews, all of which were pretty good and noted this new American restaurant served a dish called Brisket Tots, like brisket tater tots...say whaaaatt?! I was so down. 

I loved the space. Nice long bar, simple but chic decor, I was feeling the vibe. Although I stuck to wine, the cocktail list looked super fun. My friend ordered the Cider 75 and loved it. The food menu is a la carte or you have the option to order their $65pp prix-fixe menu. You get a choice of appetizer, pasta, main and dessert. Looking at the price points, the prix-fixe seemed link a bargain so we went for it. As expected, the food was fantastic. 

The Brisket Tots were served with a heavenly, horseradish cream sauce. They were nice and crispy and filled with tender shaved brisket. Order them. 

My Calamari Salad was one of the best salads I’ve had recently. The calamari was divine but the stand out ingredients were the sweet grapes and creamy ranch dressing. Ranch. Dressing. The most underrated condiment in the north. Us southerners know all about the awesomeness & importance of a good ranch dressing. I almost asked for extra but refrained.

Chef Schenker’s pastas are delightful. I ordered the Spaghetti and Clams as a friend of mine said it was one of her favorite life. It was pretty amazing. The sauce gave Rao’s a run for it’s money. Delicious. 

We’d heard the fish dishes at The Gander were top notch. I ordered the Potato Crusted Cod. It’s their “lighter” version of Fish & Chips. I would get it again. My friend’s Roasted Branzino looked pretty out of this world as well.

In regards to dessert, I have 3 words for you...Creme Brûlée SemiFreddo. My espresso martini finished off the meal perfectly. Enjoy...

Crispy Calamari Salad with Ranch. Yes. Ranch.

Brisket Tater Tots with Horseradish Cream. So good. So genius.

The Spaghetti & Clams. One if the best pasta dishes I've had in a while. Fantastic. 

Potato Crusted Cod, Pommes Mousseline (like fancy mashed potatoes), Onion Jam. Their version of Fish & Chips. The cod was crusted perfectly. The pommes mousseline was velvety, buttery goodness. The onion jam gave the dish a nice tang and a much needed acidic note. 

Creme Brulee SemiFreddo. Very good idea and also tasted very good...but so full...

Eat Up!