Tag Archives: manhattan with a twist

Holy Manon!

21 Oct

Manon

Here at Manhattan with a Twist, we are no stranger to amazing food, which is why we were insanely impressed with recently opened Manon, located in the heart of the Meatpacking District. Head inside and prepare to be blown away by the awe-inspiring three story venue.The first floor hosts the bar and lounge while the second floor contains the main dining room — both of which incorporate baroque style with brick walls, chandelier lighting, and an overall royal feeling of grandeur.

Fruit Cruditebread

As if the interior isn’t impressive enough, the menu, prepared by executive chef Tae Strain and pastry chef Beth Bosmeny, will surely make you drool by just reading it. The modern American menu focuses on locally sourced seasonal fare. We recommend starting with the Fruit Crudite ($9), which is a refreshing, unusual dish, topped with lime chili, mint, and Kaffir lime syrup. Their bread is to die for, and comes out nice and warm and tastes super buttery.

Scallopsgarganelli

Next up were their appetizers, which were hard to choose from. We opted for the Viking Village Scallops ($18), which came with caramelized fennel, cauliflower and grapefruit. These scallops were to die for and literally melted in your mouth. We also tried the Saffron Black Pepper Garganelli ($18), which was equally divine. This pasta dish came with Little Neck clams, cockles, sea urchin butter and red chili flakes. It had a great amount of flavor and wasn’t too creamy and was just the right portion. Definitely worth trying. We were also fortunate to try their famous Lobster Rolls ($38), with Santa Barbara sea urchin and American caviar. These are outstanding. Unlike most lobster rolls, which are heavy with sauce, these are more lobster meat than anything, and taste like heaven. They come with a side of homemade potato chips.

lobster roll

Now, while we were enjoying our appetizers, our drinks were not empty. Manon has a great cocktail menu, catering to both men and women. I started with the Rock God ($14), which was comprised of Fighting Cock, King’s Ginger, mint water and Decanter bitters. It was a nice, strong cocktail and very enjoyable. Next, our amazing waiter made up a special rum drink just for me, and it was delicious and refreshing. After the cocktails, it was time to move on to some wine to pair with our entrees.

rock godcocktail

For our entrees, we decided on the Herb Grilled Whole Branzino ($29), made with coriander, jicama, fennel, shallots, and palm sugar vinaigrette. With this fish, I ordered a glass of Sancerre, which paired perfectly together. The branzino was cooked to perfection — not undercooked and not overcooked! If you are a fish lover, then you will certainly enjoy this dish. Additionally, we enjoyed one of their evening specials, short ribs. These were absolutely phenomenal, fell right off the bone, and hard to stop eating! Along with our main course, we had some of their outstanding side dishes, including the Brussels Sprouts ($9) with honey butter and pecans and the Cauliflower Gratin, both of which were to die for. Although our stomachs were fit to explode, it was hard to stop and put our forks down!

short ribsbranzino

cauliflower gratinbrussels sprouts

If you think we didn’t have dessert, think again. Somehow we managed to expand our stomachs for just a little longer and were able to take pleasure in their sweet offerings. We had the Caramel Poached Pears ($11), made with a lemon puree, cinnamon-bay leaf ice cream and crispy phyllo, which was paired with a sweet Moscato wine — an incredible combination. Additionally, we tried the Chocolate Cake & Creameux ($12), which comes with brown ale caramel and malted ice cream. This was a true winner and paired very well with the Sauternes. For those of you afraid of ordering chocolate cake at a restaurant for fear of it being too heavy or dark, don’t worry because this was not the case at Manon.

poached pearschocolate cake

With an exceptional cocktail menu, phenomenal food, and a luxurious atmosphere, it is no wonder that we have dubbed Manon as the BEST new restaurant in New York City. We cannot wait to come back — whether for some after work cocktails, a delicious meal, or late night revelry, we are sure to frequent this new spot on the regular.

manon

Manon is located at 407 West 14th Street. 

A New You, Every Day

21 Oct
One Dress a Day

 

What if every day for a year you got to wear a different dress, varying in style and shape, without ever having to roam across different websites in search of your fashion fix? Sounds like a bit of a stretch right? With One Dress a Day that thought can easily become a reality.

Newly launched, this site’s url is self explanatory and straight to the point. One Dress a Day truly sticks to its guns and debuts a new dress averaging at about $169 EVERY DAY. Although sourcing its lavish materials from other countries such as Italy and France, each dress is made here in the red, white, and blue.

Another great thing about the site is it’s diversity; here you’ll see dresses tailored for events ranging Work Friendly to Girls Night Out Chic. Also it’d be a good thing to act fast, as each dress is debuted each morning, the number available vary based upon how much of the fabric could be obtained, so there could be 50 or 500 available. My suggestion? Don’t risk losing out on a fashion find, go for it!

One Dress a Day

One Dress a Day

One Dress a Day

 

Zengo’s ‘Test Kitchen’ Offers Diners Peru-Malaysian Cuisine

18 Oct

Every few months, Richard Sandoval’s Zengo, develops a seasonal menu that pays homage to one Latin and one Asian country around the world. The popular restaurant creates this ‘Test Kitchen’ menu by bringing together the teams of chefs from all Zengo locations to work on fusing together Latin-Asian cuisine and creating delicious recipes.

Zengo of course has a year round menu full of all your favorite dishes, but four times a year, switches out the ‘Test Kitchen’ dishes. Now through December, Zengo will be offering some amazing Peru and Malaysian fare as part of their ‘Test Kitchen’ menu. The menu includes cocktails, appetizers, entrees and even a dessert. Let’s walk you through it.

Shiso MojitoPisco Elevation

Start off with your choice of two new hand-crafted cocktails, including the Shiso Mojito ($14), made with rum, shiso, citrus and fuji apples, or the Pisco Elevation ($13), made with pisco, elderflower liquor and lychee. Between the two, I definitely favored the mojito, which had the perfect blend of ingredients. I thought the Pisco Elevation was a little too sweet for my taste, but I know others loved it.

Crab Potato SushiChicken satay

There are three new appetizers that come as part of this season’s ‘Test Kitchen’ menu and they are all winners. The Spicy Crab Potato Sushi ($10), which includes avocado, malay curry, crispy corn cancha and soft yukon potato, was a real stand out. This small dish packed a punch with all of its flavors commingling perfectly together. The Chichen ‘A La Brasa’ Satay ($13), comes with a black bean glaze, cucumber rocoto salsa, toasted peanuts and potatoes huancaina. The chicken could not be more tender and juicy, making it very enjoyable to eat, and the potatoes underneath the chicken were crispy and delicious. Last of the appetizers was the Arroz con Mariscos ($14), comprised of mussels, scallops, calamari, shrimp over Malay rice with yellow curry and thai basil. This dish was like a Latin-Asian version of paella, with powerful spices and plenty of seafood. This dish is the perfect accompaniment to the entree.

arroz con mariscoschar roasted skate

Although there is only one new entree added to the menu, we guarantee it’s the only one you need. The Char Roasted Skate ($28) comes in a ginger marinade served with crispy lentil rice cake and sambal butter sauce. The skate was cooked to perfect, moist and delicate, and tasted like butter. We had to have seconds! The lentil cake was also tasty; yum!

profiteroles

We finished the evening with Profiteroles ($9), which are cream puffs filled with coconut ice cream, manjar blanco and covered in chocolate sauce. These really topped off the evening and left everyone very happy.

The great thing about Zengo is that you can continually come back and try new things, thanks to their seasonal menu. However, if you’re a creature of habit, the rest of the menu is the way to go. Come and check out this season’s ‘Test Kitchen’ menu while you can!

Zengo is located at 622 Third Avenue. 

Martha Stewart’s American Made Awards

17 Oct

American Made

Earlier this week, Manhattan with a Twist was honored to attend the second annual American Made Awards hosted by Martha Stewart and Andy Cohen at Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall. American Made is a movement for individuals and communities that have turned their passion for handcrafted, well-designed goods into small businesses! Martha Stewart created the American Made initiative to celebrate this new generation of great American entrepreneurs. The exciting evening honored nine innovators selected by Martha and the editors of Martha Stewart Living.

The evening kicked off with a surprise video recording from NASA Astronaut Karen Nyberg, who is commonly known as the ‘crafternaut.’ The program continued with fun banter between the hosts, and more surprise presenters such as Christie Brinkley, Bobby Flay, Colin Cowie, Sean Avery, Sam Talbot, Carla Hall and Joy Bauer.

 

American Made

The honorees of the evening were Spike & Amy Gjerde, owners of Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, Maryland; Lindsey Adelman, owner of Lindsey Adelman Design StudioHeath Carr, Chief Executive Officer of ShinolaColin & Karen Archipley, founders of Archi’s Acres, Inc.; Alejandro Velez & Nikhil Arora of Back to the Roots; Maura Grace Ambrose of Folk FibersCamas Davis, Founder of Portland Meat CollectiveGart Davis and Stephen Fraser of Spoonflower; and Charles Pinnell, founder of Pinnell Custom LeathersSVGCuts.com of St. Louis, Illinois was also honored as the 2013 Audience Choice winner.

Christie Brinkley

Before the award ceremony began, we were able to catch up with Christie Brinkley, who we chatted with about the American Made Awards. “I think it’s fabulous because it’s Martha Stewart highlighting all these businesses and giving them that ‘Martha’ seal of approval. It’s wonderful for them to be recognized. Martha’s all about creativity and ingenuity and that’s what these companies are all about,” said Brinkley.

When speaking with Martha about her vision for the future of American Made, she stated, “I think it’s a growing and vibrant movement in America. 57% of Americans are makers and I think  we will just keep seeing more and more of that and we will celebrate it. Don’t forget that it’s happening elsewhere, too, in other countries around the world.”

That it is! As mentioned earlier this week, Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall played home to an artisanal fair featuring over 100 purveyors and crafters handpicked by Martha and today is the last day to check it out! After the awards ceremony wrapped up, attendees were able to sample food and drinks, as well as shop at the fair. But before the night was over, Martha Stewart made an exciting announcement, along with Richelle Parham. Starting his week, Martha Stewart’s American Made Market will be available exclusively on eBay, with makers who sell their products in categories such as crafts, food, garden and more! Cheers to American makers!

 

 

Superb Seafood In Midtown Manhattan

17 Oct

Sea Fire Grill

The Sea Fire Grill is a fine dining seafood spot that will win your heart, and your stomach, upon your first visit. The ambiance is warm and welcoming, with a modern flare that’s also uniquely elegant. The service staff greets you with a house made Focaccia basket and a creamy white fish spread that is out of this world, and seriously addicting.

Scallops

The Sea Fire Grill has an award winning wine list and a very inventive cocktail selection. The array of wines by the glass will have you wanting to try every one as they all pair with delicious menu items. The Sea Scallop appetizer is absolutely to die for, and consists of Pan Seared Sea Scallops over thinly sliced Prosciutto and a bed of Arugula, Melon, and Apple Salad. The shrimp on the Shrimp Scampi are gigantic, making it easy to have some with every bite of pasta. For those of you lobster fans, they offer you a choice of broiled, or stuffed lobster, which, when described by the service staff, is a must try as a menu item.

Shrimp Scampi

The Sea Fire Grill is quite busy any given night of the week, but the staff and service create a very relaxed setting, almost making you forget your in busy, bustling, Midtown. With a mouthwatering selection of appetizers and entrée’s, it’s no surprise that The Sea Fire Grill is easily becoming a seafood-dining destination!

Sea fire grill

The Sea Fire Grill is located at 158 East 48th Street. 

Healthy Eating with Cascadian Farm

16 Oct

Cascadian Farm

If you’re a fan of Manhattan with a Twist then you see that we aren’t always eating healthy. But in preparation for going out to delicious meals, we try and make sure that the rest of our day is spent eating all the nutrients our bodies need. I have long been a fan of Cascadian Farms healthy, organic granola bars and frozen vegetables so I jumped at the chance to sit down with Cascadian Farm and celebrity chef Candice Kumai last week.

Cascadian Farm

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the brand, Cascadian Farm produces a number of organic products, from frozen fruits and vegetables to relish and jams to granola bars and cereals. Located in Skagit Valley in Washington, Cascadian Farm is dedicated to bringing its consumers fresh, organic produce that you will enjoy, while protecting the local ecosystem.

Cascadian Farm

During our sit down last week, we learned of some amazing new products that Cascadian Farm will be launching in early 2014, sampled amazing dishes using Cascadian Farm products, and took home some fabulous recipes. First and foremost, it was amazing to hear of the passion and dedication put into these Cascadian Farm products. Not only are they super tasty, but the company recently introduced its first ever cereal box liner made from renewable plant sources. Their Cinnamon Crunch cereal is now packaged in an inner bag made from up to 57% certified plant-based material. Not only is this a huge commitment to sustainability, but it also reiterates the company’s passion for helping our planet.

Additionally, we are thrilled about the impending launch of Cascadian Farm’s latest product, Protein Chewy Bars, made with organic pea protein! Those looking for a protein bar alternative to those made with dairy and soy protein can enjoy these bars, which pack 9 grams of protein per bar. The protein bars will come in two flavors — Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Honey Roasted Nut. We were able to sample them and can attest that they are probably the tastiest protein bars ever! Unlike most bars, which have a chalky texture and unpleasant taste, these seem like your typical granola bar, but packed with protein. We can’t wait until they are on the market.

Candice Kumai

Last but not least, we were honored to be joined by Candice Kumai, another fan of Cascadian Farm! Candice partnered with Cascadian Farm and developed some delectable recipes using their products. We were lucky enough to try them at the event, but lucky for YOU, we got to take home the recipes so we can now share them with you! Below, check out the recipe for the Pumpkin Peach Smoothie, created by Candice Kumai. Be sure to be on the lookout for more posts containing her Cascadian Farm recipes in the coming weeks!

pumpkin peach smoothies

Pumpkin Peach Smoothie
Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 frozen banana
3/4 cup sweet potato puree, or steamed sweet potatoes (or pumpkin)
3 cups frozen Cascadian Farm ogranic peaches
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immedietley.

Trick or Treat: Your Guide to Halloween in NYC

16 Oct

Halloween

When you live in New York City, things that go bump in the night are the least of your worries. In a city that has it all it’s no surprise that there are more than plenty of activities to get you in the Halloween spirit. From plays to haunted houses and everything in between, we are bringing you the best frights, tricks, treats and more!

Photo credit: Jason Russo

Photo credit: Jason Russo

Blood Manor: This haunted house has been around for a number of years, but it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Wind your way through 5,000 square feet of terror, through a room of killer clowns, zombie strippers, 3D madness, and other horrors you can scarcely imagine. Blood Manor’s big strength is their amazing props, costumes, makeup and set design. It is truly a sight to see (we won’t blame you if you close your eyes though). This haunted house does not stick to one theme, but includes tons of rooms filled with blood, gore and screaming. You never know what you will encounter next.

Photo credit: Patrick Alberty

Photo credit: Patrick Alberty

Dracula: Horse Trade Theater Group presents RadioTheatre’s original rendition of Dracula. The show is a live storytelling audio-theater adaptation by Orson Welles and Dan Dianchi of Bram Stoker’s original classic. You won’t find elaborate costumes or scenery, but you will encounter a fabulous cast of storytellers, an original orchestral score and fun sound effects. Imagine a live reading of your favorite ‘books on tape’…that is RadioTheater. The actors provide amazing voicework that will keep you captivated and get you in the mood for All Hallow’s Eve.

Killers 2

Killers 2: Nightmare NYC celebrates its tenth year in operation, with its second year using the theme Killers. Each year, Nightmare haunted house hosts a different frightening theme — last year’s successful run played host to some of the world’s most horrific serial killers and this year is round two. Journey your way (if you dare) through the worlds of Charles Manson, Aileen Wournos, and Patrick Bateman, along with other notorious killers, and prepare to be in awe of the amazing theatrical performances in each room. For a more frightening experience, opt to have a bloody ‘X’ painted on your forehead, which gives the actors permission to touch you and use you in their performance. Unlike other haunted houses that you can leave rest assured it was all make-believe, this one is based on real life serial killers, so you will leave with the knowledge that these events actually took place, making for a bone-chilling, one-of-a-kind experience!

ghost murder walking tour

Walking Tour Ghosts, Murder, MayhemThis two hour walking tour highlights the historic and haunted past of our beloved New York City. Tours are offered in different neighborhoods and feature haunting tales of ghosts, murder and mysteries, both past and present. These tours are so jam packed with stories you won’t even notice you are walking. Follow your animated, lantern-holding tour guide through dark alleyways, past graveyards and right by some of the city’s oldest buildings, while you hear interesting and terrifying stories, supported with photos and old letters.

Photo credit: KL Thomas

Photo credit: KL Thomas

Pumpkin Pie Show: Boogedy BooThis show is a Halloween inspired performance, bringing real life scenarios into a creepy, but funny, story telling setting. The name itself does the performance no justice as the tales they tell make you rethink a lot of real life situations. Located at Under St. Marks Theater, this small, very “New York” space, makes for the perfect setting for this fun campfire like performance. The three actors are raw, passionate, and quite comedic. The stories they tell are curiously creepy, but they manage to somehow make the audience crack up with laughter throughout the performance. The Hair Extensions tale will have you second guessing just where those gorgeous “real” locks come from, while the mother suffering from Post Partum Depression, will put images in your head that will be hard to forget without a happy movie afterwards. This show is a must see and will put you in that Halloween mood, with tailored songs that fit the stories and keep the fun, creepy, vibe going. -Sara Lehman

halloween harvest

Halloween Harvest: For something that will really take you back to your childhood days, Coney Island’s Luna Park is celebrating the holiday with family friendly weekends, complete with spectacular decorations, costumed characters and pumpkin painting. Additionally, upon entering the park you will be greeted by a giant pumpkin — guess its weight correctly and you could win $1000! They also have fun events each weekend, such as trick or treating, pie eating, and more!

We Are Peace Love World: Heys USA Bringing Positivity One Bag At a Time

16 Oct

PLW I Am Complete Set Font largeles glare (2)

You stand at baggage claim, dully watching the sea of plain black suitcases and occasional designer luggage, idly trying to determine just which boring bag is yours, or looking for the most obnoxiously printed bag you chose as to not lose your items; sound familiar? What if your luggage stood for something?  With the Heys USA Peace Love World Collection, you can promote peace, love and happiness wherever the travel bug takes you.

With a mission to “change the world,” the bags debut this fall and range from $200-$500. The line comes with sweet slogans such as “I am Complete,” “I am Travel,” and “I am Peace Love World.”

Heys USA is no rookie to the travel goods industry. Being at the head of its class for more than 27 years, and licensing major brand names such as Disney, Fazzino, and Hello Kitty. Heys USA knows their stuff, especially when it comes to portability and durability. The bags are made using polycarbonate composite technology (super light weight!) and come with a seven-year warranty.

The world could use just a little more positivity going around.

PLW Black Set Front Large