Posts Tagged ‘urban daddy’

Planning Your Next Date

September 14, 2010

Urban Daddy’s post last week on “Better Dating Through Sonar,” featured a new app that may be the future of online dating.

According to Urban Daddy:  Introducing StreetSpark, a brand-new dating app that scans your immediate surroundings for… romantic opportunities—and sets off a vibration every time one enters striking distance… Should someone resembling Your Perfect Match (even just semi-pro volleyball players) appear nearby, your phone will engage DEFCON 1 protocols and arm the warheads of love. You’ll casually peruse their profile and pic (and see their Facebook “likes”) and then choose whether to “ignite” this particular spark and send a message to the person, or to “extinguish” it and nip the bloom of romance in mid-blossom. Of course, the other person also has the option to ignite or extinguish you. Luckily you are highly flammable.

But what happened to good old-fashioned dating?!  Remember the days when you went on a date with someone that you didn’t know much about and had not seen a picture of yet, but your friend thought you two would be “perfect” together?  Do you really want to know everything about a person before you meet them?   

Instead, plan a perfect date at a cozy restaurant without preconceived notions and enjoy the company and the food –- no checking out his/her Facebook/Twitter/Google search page or scanning the menu first.  Just take a chance.


 9 Jones St. nr. W. 4th St. NYC

Grab a quiet corner table in the back and order the duck meatballs.  Sitting near the kitchen, you may get a chance to see/meet the owner/chef, Harold Dieterle, Top Chef‘s inaugural winner.


Blue Ribbon Brasserie

97 Sullivan St nr. Spring St. NYC

Go early, sit at the bar, share a dozen oysters and try the martinis while you wait for a table (no reservations). Start with the platter of honey BBQ-glazed ribs and chicken wings.  The lobster and fried chicken for dinner will not disappoint. Take your time and enjoy a bottle of wine.  Don’t want to wait for a table?  Then head over to Blue Ribbon Sushi a few doors down. 



88 Second Ave. nr. 5th St. NYC

Are you on a budget or not sure if you want to spend dough on your date?  Check out this budget-friendly Italian joint in the East Village and order Grandma Carmela’s slow-cooked ragu.



117 Perry St. at Greenwich St. NYC

This restaurant reminds me of Nantucket meets a Vermont ski lodge.  The menu items are seasonal and fresh and the ambiance is cozy but not crowded.  Ask about the daily specials.  On Sunday, they feature a roasted chicken dinner for two.  You can also use this as your fallback plan if the wait at the Spotted Pig is too long.



228 E. 10th St. nr. First Ave. 

This tiny 25-seat subterranean restaurant features Japanese Italian tapas. Yes, you read that correctly. The Japanese chef creates some amazing combinations of flavors and presents them in small portions so they are perfect for dates. Order a bunch of plates and share. You won’t want to miss the Spicy Yellowtail Tartar Crostini, Homemade Meatball, Saikyo Miso Marinated Black Cod and the duck. The menu changes so go back again.



Bon Appétit!


How Do I Love Ramen? Let Me Count the Ways…

June 8, 2010

I’ve blogged about my love for ramen before but it seems like lately my inbox has been aflutter with news of  cool new locations to try. Of course, all of these restaurants are in New York… sigh.

Of the “must try” places in Manhattan, so far I’ve only been to Momofuku (snapshot review: it was nice and salty, loved the egg and pork belly, would definitely go back but would next time share with a friend).

Here’s the rest of my list:

Totto Ramen
366 W 52nd Street (between 8th & 9th)

UrbanDaddy is one of my favorite random thing guides. This was one of their posts last week and I had to admit, it was enough to intrigue me. Totto, located in Hell’s Kitchen, is a teeny (12 seats) shrine to all things ramen. I like when the entire focus of a place is on perfecting a certain food group. Count me in.

Rai Rai Ken Ramen. Image from

Rai Rai Ken
214 E 10th St

Martha Stewart named this one of her favorite places to eat in 2009. I really shouldn’t have to say anything else 🙂 This tiny restaurant in the East Village is famous for it’s Tokyo-style ramen and gyoza. Again, it’s a first come, first served location – with 14 seats. Be prepared to wait.

65 Fourth Avenue

Ippudo's Ramen. Image from Serious Eats, who borrowed it from Flickr.

New York Magazine is in LOVE with Ippudo. I think Adam Platt has given it some kind of honor every year (Best Noodles, Where to Eat, Cheap Eats).  Ippudo is the first state-side location of the well known Japanese chain. They are very, very serious about their ramen – it is, after all, “Japan’s Soul Food” (source: Ippudo website).  I like their flashy website, I like the reviews (from Yelp to NYT, everyone hearts Ippudo) and I like their belief that they do it best. Definitely worth a visit.

Of  course, I am always interested in hearing about new places to try – in NYC or closer to home. Definitely send them my way!