Feedback Friday: Sammy’s Noodle Shop & Grill Restaurant Review

Feedback Friday_Please Don't Make Me Eat ThatLand at LaGuardia. Taxi to my Aunt’s apartment on Washington Place. Eat Sammy’s Takeout.

Sammy’s chicken lo mein without vegetables and a side of white rice was my “Welcome to the Big Apple!” Whether it was a quick visit or I was staying with my aunt for a few months during my summer internship, it was our routine.

I was itching to get back to NYC – to eat Sammy’s (among other things) – and was about to explode if I had to wait any longer. Then, Mitch accepted a position on Team Israel for the World Baseball Classic Qualifier in Brooklyn. Another exciting bonus: a few of my best friends from college were around the city that weekend, as well.

Baseball. Friends. Sammy’s. I couldn’t wait.

I took (another) redeye flight from Las Vegas to New York. 10 hours later, I landed at LaGuardia and only had one thing in mind: Sammy’s. By the time I made it to the hotel, unpacked, and took the subway to Manhattan, I thought it was an acceptable hour to eat a Chinese food lunch. The Central Village Noho restaurant was not the small Chinese dive that I expected it to be. In fact, I almost walked past the unexpected façade – small black pillars frame floor-to-ceiling windows that sit under subtle gold text reading “Sammy’s Noodle Shop & Grill”.  To my surprise, the large dining room was practically empty (apparently it wasn’t lunchtime yet) so I asked for a small table next to the window. It was perfect. ff19-sammys-no-filter

I looked at the menu for fun (which is extensive, by the way) and ordered my usual: chicken lo mein without vegetables (even thought I like them now) and a side of white rice. It seemed like it took hours for the food to arrive but it was just like I remembered it. The noodles were thick and flavorful. The chicken was flat and white. The portion sizes were enough for me and a few friends. Sammy’s was everything I wanted it to be and more. I was so happy.

If you want to be happy too, I highly recommend trying Sammy’s. It’s some of the best Chinese food (outside of Chinatown) that I’ve had in the city.

Restaurant: Sammy’s Noodle Shop & Grill / 453-461 6th Avenue / New York, NY 10011 / 212.924.6688 / www.sammysnoodleshop.com

Picky Eater Approval: 5/5

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Feedback Friday: Dahl & DiLuca Restaurant Review

Feedback Friday_Please Don't Make Me Eat ThatMy mom and I booked one dinner before we arrived in Sedona: Cress Restaurant at L’Auberge. The restaurant sits on the bank of Oak Creek and serves a prix fixe menu (that includes picky eater approved selections, I checked before making the reservation). The pictures of the food, atmosphere, and reviews of the experience were unlike others so we booked two months in advance to guarantee our spot. Of course, the only night it rained on our vacation was the night we dedicated to dining on Oak Creek. I was bummed about moving inside until I saw the dining room, one that is everything I want for my future kitchen – clean white walls with colorful paintings, medium-grey toned wood floors, large windows, and industrial-chic chandeliers.

FF17 - Sedona 2 (Ingrid)The menu was simple – three pages listed the selections of each course. Thankfully, the server explained that we could choose three courses from the four that the French restaurant offers: first, second, main, and dessert. A picky eaters dream! Without it, my mom’s three-course meal would have turned into four courses. The menu specifically asked guests to refrain from cell phone use so I’m not able to provide my normal restaurant review. In fact, I believe Cress Restaurant did this for a reason, which is why I am ending the review here. Reviews don’t do Cress restaurant at L’Aubrege justice – it is truly a special place that you need to experience in order to understand.

The food, service, and beautiful setting of Cress Restaurant made it one of my favorite dinners of all-time. I’m still thinking about the pillow of buttery potatoes beneath my filet and that plum and raspberry tart with crème fraiche gelato…

FF17 - Sedona 1 (Ingrid)

On the way home, our driver suggested a few other restaurants in Sedona, one of which was Dahl and DiLuca. His enthusiastic and detailed description inclined us to make a reservation for the next night.

The quaint Italian Restaurant reminded me of an old-school supper club: a gust of fresh marinara greeted us as we entered the small bar area. A brick wall with arched entryways separate the space from the main dining room where intricate chandeliers decorate the ceiling. Large (and comfortable!) leather seats surround small tables covered with white tablecloths. The interior of the room is impressive, something straight from an old Italian storybook; the piano and cello duo only added to the ambiance.

FF17 - Dinner (Lumina)

Although tempting, my mom and I went straight for the main course. I had my favorite Bolognese (with house-made linguine pasta!) whereas mom had the Pollo alla Rustica – house-made fettuccine with grilled lemon chicken, baby spinach and sautéed mushrooms in a white truffle cream sauce.

My. Meal. Was. Delicious.

The meat sauce was rich and flavorful and the pasta cooked to perfection. The best part was the complementary extra side of sauce, a concept that I have not experienced outside of my grandma’s house, but should be adopted by more Italian-American restaurants. This way, there is never too much or too little sauce – it can be any way you want it, which is exactly what my picky taste buds like to see. My mom agreed that her dish was delicious but wished that there was more chicken. Instead of a chicken breast, which she was expecting, the chicken was crumbled into the dish. I settled my stomach with a few scoops of chocolate gelato and my mom had the Panna Cotta.

FF17 - Dessert (Lumina)

Aside from my Las Vegas favorite, Panevino, Dahl & DiLuca was one of the best Italian Restaurants I have been to in years. The food is authentic, service is spectacular, and subtle ambiance makes for a special and delicious night out.

Restaurant: Cress Restaurant / L’Auberge de Sedona / 301 L’Auberge Lane / Sedona, AZ 86336 / 855.905.5745 / www.lauberge.com/cress/

Picky Eater Approved: 6/5

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Restaurant: Dahl and DiLuca Ristorante Italiano / 2321 Arizona 89A / Sedona, AZ 86336 / 952.282.5219 / dahlanddiluca.com

Picky Eater Approved: 5/5

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Feedback Friday: Honey Salt Restaurant Review

Feedback Friday_Please Don't Make Me Eat ThatI can’t believe it’s been two months since my last post. This summer was crazy! I didn’t have much time to blog between work, travel, a sprained ankle, and family visits.

A few weeks ago, my mom and aunts were in town for the MGM Women’s Leadership Conference. We usually eat on the Strip when they visit but I wanted to explore a restaurant the was suggested to me on multiple occasions: Honey Salt.

Honey Salt is a chic farm-to-table eatery tucked away in an upscale Summerlin Strip Mall. A husband and wife duo opened the restaurant for their family, friends, and community and their dedication and passion for their work is embedded throughout the restaurant.

The atmosphere was cozy and welcoming from the moment we walked in.  Farm chairs surround rustic tables and an assortment of eclectic mirrors and frames decorate the walls. If restaurant decor is any indication of how the food tastes, Honey Salt does a great job.

We skipped appetizers, not because our options were limited, but because we wanted to save room for dessert. We started with three glasses of Pinot Grigio and a complementary metal pail of crackers. I normally don’t go for  crackers, as I prefer a bread basket myself, but decided to live on the wild side after my mom’s rave reviews of the unexpectedly delicious and glorified Cheez-it.

FF16 - Dinner (Sanna)My mom and aunt had difficulties deciding what to eat, but I knew from the get-go. I wanted fish and selected the Pan Roasted Halibut, without the carrot ginger sauce, right away. My mom went with the Seared Ahi Tuna served with a wasabi pea and ginger crust and asian pear, sea beans, and tofu soy vinaigrette while my Aunt chose the Caramelized Sea Scallops with cauliflower, vanilla bean, truffle sauce. All of our meals were absolutely spectacular. What made them so good was the absence of oils and butters. The food was fresh, simple, and the flavors were out of this world. It is not often that I leave a restaurant feeling as if I had a healthy meal but I did at Honey Salt.

FF16 - Dessert (Sanna)During the meal, we learned that Chef Kim is in charge of the food (or the salt) and his wife, Elizabeth, is the mastermind pastry chef (honey). I read the dessert menu in great detail as my mouth watered uncontrollably. The Brookie was as good as it gets – described as chocolate chip cookie meets chocolate fudge brownie with salted caramel chunk ice cream. As if the cookie-brownie combo wasn’t heavenly enough, the salted caramel ice cream was out of this world. It was one of the best desserts I’ve had in years. My mom and aunt split the Key Lime Pie (no sharing for me) and wished there would have been more key lime than meringue.

Don’t wait to visit Honey Salt like I did – make a reservation NOW! You’ll be happy to have it on the top of your list of favorites in Las Vegas. I’ll definitely be back for more!

Restaurant: Honey Salt / Rampart Commons / 1031 S. Rampart Boulevard / Las Vegas, NV 89145 / 702.445.6100 / www.honeysalt.com

Picky Eater Approved: 5/5

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