Welcome to The Lunch Belle, a food website/blog that views the New York City dining scene through the lens - and belly - of a highly opinionated, critical, adorably quirky, and culinary-obsessed thirty-something year old.

Just consider me your one-stop NYC and California shop!



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Entries in News you can actually use (100)


Sneak Peak: Rosa Mexicano to introduce delicious new menu items!

Last night, I had the pleasure of being invited to an "Exclusive Blogger Tasting Event" for Rosa Mexicano's new menu rollout!


Not to worry, my fellow die-hard Rosa fans, you can still enjoy all of the staples on the original menu.  It's just that, now, there's even more to love!  And best of all?  The new items are as delicious as they are reasonably priced. 

< Click here to view the new lunch menu / click here to view the new dinner menu! >


Tacos de Hamachi, $15  Mini hard-shell tacos filled with diced yellowtail, bacon, serrano chile, arugula, and truffle oil.


Tiradito de Callo de Hacha, $13  Marinated scallops, burnt orange-chile vinaigrette, grilled pineapple, poblano peppers and hazelnuts.


Vegetales Tacos, $9-$11 (lunch vs. dinner)  Local vegetables from Satur & BloomingHill farms, Burns Farms huitlacoche, silken tofu, pickled cabbage puree and Poc Chuc salsa.


Panza con Callos de Hacha Tacos, $14  Seared diver scallops, crisp Kurobuta pork belly, orange-habanero salsa.


Carnitas de Borrego Tacos, $12-$14 (lunch vs. dinner)  Roasted American lamb, marinated cucumbers, pistachio-habanero puree, mint salsa verde.


Pollo Yucateco Tacos, $10-$12 (lunch vs. dinner)  Spiced organic chicken, plantains, sweet peppers, chile de arbol salsa, crema.


Carne Asada Tacos, $12-$14 (lunch vs. dinner)  Ancho-rubbed Harris Ranch skirt steak, white beans, radish salad and cana de cama crema.


Pescado de Baja Tacos, $10-$12 (lunch vs. dinner)   Line-caught crispy local fish, jalapeno tartar sauce, flour tortilla.


Papas Fritas con Mole, $5-$6 (lunch vs. dinner)  Hand-cut garlic French fries with mole.


Now, as if all of the above wasn't enough to nosh on, Rosa generously provided us bloggers with two of the legendary menu items that originally put them on the map...


Frozen Pomegranate Margarita, $11.50  Silver tequila, pomegranate and lime juices, frozen to perfection.


Guacamole en Molcajete, $14  Famous tableside preparation served with two salsas and tortillas.


Here are some delicious tidbits of information that I learned at the event last night:

  • Now serving...Taco & Tequila Flights! 
  • The bar only uses fresh lime juice and agave nectar in their margaritas.  In *all* of their margaritas!
  • Rosa has a location in Panama City, Panama!
  • ...but NYC is the restaurant's birth place.  In fact, Rosa is headquartered right here in Midtown!
  • For 2012, Chef Jonathan Waxman is Rosa's Culinary Advisor.  Pretty cool, eh?


My favorite item on the new menu is:

  • Pescado de Baja Tacos


Did you know:

  • Rosa has an incredibly delicious and affordable happy hour program!  Click here to check out the menu/details.



Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


Blechtacular: an interactive NY Health Dept. ratings map!

Headed to dinner tonight?  Curious to know whether or not your beau's restaurant of choice got tacked for "evidence of rodents" during its most recent visit from the Health Department?  Me too!  Click here for the blechtacular, interactive map!


Until we puke eat again,

The Lunch Belle


Opening TODAY! The Hummus & Pita Co.

  • Restaurant  The Hummus & Pita Co.
  • Cuisine  Mediterranean/Middle Eastern
  • Location  585 6th Avenue (near 17th St.), Manhattan
  • Phone  212-510-7405
  • Directions  Hopstop
  • Atmosphere  fast casual, spacious, eat-in or take-out, modern
  • Attire  casual
  • Ideal for  small groups, 1x1, foodies, take-out lunch or dinner
  • Price  affordable

There are many perks about being a food blogger.  But, if I had to choose, I'd have to say that getting invited to incredible events, restaurant previews, and tastings would be numero uno. 

Last night, I was sent to a restaurant preview party in my own neck of the woods:  The Hummus & Pita Co.  This isn't your typical "fast casual" Mediterranean, folks.  Think an "assembly line," of sorts, a-la-Chipotle, where you build your own dish from the following delectable ingredients:  handmade regular/whole wheat pita and laffa breads (laffa is a flatbread) baked fresh in the tandoori oven, in-house taboon-roasted meats, falafel, original and flavored hummus varieties, bourekas (my personal favorite), gyro, shawarma, schnitzel, 23 different salads, soups, and handmade desserts!  Additionally, there are 6 types of domestic and international (think Morocco, Greece, and Israel) beers available.  Whew! 

With all of these decisions, there's still one more that guests need to make:  dine-in or take-out?  Should one choose to stay put, they will certainly enjoy viewing the culinary acrobatics behind the glass enclosed open kitchen.  Natural stone walls and eco-conscious design elements create a warm and inviting atmosphere.  Oh, and did I mention that there's *free* Wifi?

And, now...the fun part!  Please enjoy my captioned photo collage, below:

Tandoori ovenSpit-roasted gyro and shawarma

Seasoned pita crisps!Warm, freshly-baked pita breadHalf and half: (left) pita bread, (right) laffa flatbreadHummus love!Assorted hummus varietiesAssorted veggiesHerbed carrotsChopped Israeli saladI had a fantastically delicious evening at The Hummus & Pita Co.  From the lovely space to the incredibly fresh, handmade food, I am confident that this single operation on 6th Avenue will soon become a multi-location franchise.  As far as fast-casual Mediterranean goes, there's nothing on the landscape quite like it in terms of space, variety, ingredients, and a commitment to making and baking and roasting everything in-house/from scratch.  I'm so thrilled to be able to tell you all, with enthusiasm, to get over to The Hummus & Pita Co. and experience this delicious concept for yourselves!


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle     


I'm back! Plus, my arsenal of NYCentric Thanksgiving websites

Can you all believe that Thanksgiving is almost one week away?  Seriously, where has the time gone?  This year will be the first time, since 2006, that I will be "home" (with my family in Texas) for my favorite holiday.  And you know what?  I can hardly wait to board that south-bound plane and escape the rat race for a handful of days.  God knows how badly I need this break. 

And speaking of the rat race/being crazed:  For those of you who read The Lunch Belle on a regular basis, I want to apologize for my dramatic lag in posting.  Since the beginning of the fall, I have had my hands completely tied, due mostly in part to accepting an amazing leadership position where I plan events for an "extracurricular" volunteer organization.  This role is in addition to my 'day-job' at an investment bank - The Lunch Belle - and volunteering for yet another non-profit.  My life is happy and full - I'm *not* complaining or whining - but I do realize that I've been molasses-slow to post, and I'm sorry about that.  Additionally, I owe you my iPhone/iPad application, which I hope will be completed very soon.   

So, on that note - and with the impending arrival of Thanksgiving - I'd like to know, what do you have planned? 

  • How do you and your family celebrate my favorite holiday of the calendar year? 
  • Do you have any wacky/quirky food traditions?
  • Is watching football a big deal at your house/celebration? 
  • What time do you eat Thanksgiving "supper," during lunch or dinner?

*And, last but certainly not least, I wanted to share some of my favorite informational websites with those of you who are staying in/coming to the NYC area next week:

  • Looking for a restaurant that serves Thanksgiving supper?  Click here for a full list and to make a free table reservation!
  • Looking to stay-in and have someone else do all of the 'dirty work?'  Click here for a list of Thanksgiving take-out options/prepared meals.
  • Click here for pertinent information regarding Macy's Thanksgiving Parade 2011
  • Too busy to bake that pie yourself?  Then order one from critically acclaimed M. Wells Diner's pastry chef, Brenna!  You know it'll taste way better than your version, anyway.  My dear friend, "Flywheel Christine," highly recommends the Coconut-Cream.  Click here to view the menu and place your order today!  But hurry, because after November 20th, prices will rise dramatically.  


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


Fall 'nom nom noms' at Num Pang Sandwich Shop

...because it's about time that someone incorporated the Fall season in to their everyday 'fast casual' menu.  Props to you, Num Pang Sandwich Shop!

Beverage: Hot ginger-apple cider with bourbon-infused Roma apple chunks

Platter: Maple BBQ turkey wings with spicy papaya slaw


  • Oven-roasted turkey breast with ginger-cranberry jam
  • Spicy boneless pork spare rib with tamarind glaze
  • Roasted kadota figs with bacon and chilis


  • Lemongrass beef stew w/ pickled soy sprouts
  • Roasted pumpkin with coconut cream and basil croutons


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


'Falling' for Fall: celeb-signed cookbook contest + Marc Forgione's cobbler recipe

From pumpkin lattes on the menu at your local Starbuck's, to the visibly crisp chill in the air, Fall has officially made her debut.  The 3-week countdown to Halloween begins on Monday and, just beyond that, Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the entire year, follows just a short 3.5 weeks later. 

So, in anticipation of 'the annual day of gluttony,' I wanted to spotlight the brand new cookbook from Macy’s Culinary Council, aptly titled, "The Macy’s Culinary Council Thanksgiving and Holiday Cookbook."  Comprised of more than 80 holiday recipes written by the Council's thirteen highly esteemed, all-star chefs (think Marcus Samuelsson, Emeril Lagasse, Cat Cora, to name a few), the cookbook also includes the history of Macy's legendary Thanksgiving Day Parade, which will celebrate its 85th anniversary this year!

**CONTEST**  Being that the cookbook will not be released to the public until mid-October, I wanted to host a contest for you, my dear readers: the winner will receive a SIGNED copy of The Macy’s Culinary Council Thanksgiving and Holiday Cookbook!  To enter, please send me an email (Lindsay@TheLunchBelle.com) with the subject, "Macy's Thanksgiving."  The winner will be lucky email #6.


Just to whet your appetite and give you a little tease, I wanted to include this mouth-watering recipe from Council member, Marc Forgione.  By the way, if you think this dessert sounds amazing, check out some of the cocktail recipes (courtesy of Marcus Samuelsson, Emeril, and Marc Forgione) leaked from the cookbook over at Betty Confidential!  Score.

Honeycrisp Apple and Dried Fruit Cobbler

“This is a lighter take on the traditional cobbler. Instead of baking the fruit for a half hour to crisp the topping, I bake the topping separately, and then gently sauté the fruit for just a few minutes to make a warm compote.”  Marc Forgione

Serves 6 to 8


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon


  • 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 Honeycrisp apples, peeled, halved, cored, and sliced or chopped
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1⁄2 cup dried cherries
  • 1⁄2 cup dried figs, stemmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh mint leaves, cut into thin strips

Vanilla ice cream for serving

Freshly cracked black pepper for serving (optional)


For the topping: Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor, combine the flour, both sugars, and the oats and pulse a few times to mix. Scatter the butter cubes over the flour mixture and pulse just until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Sprinkle the mixture in a thin, even layer onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir in the cinnamon, and then return to the oven. Bake until the mixture holds together in clumps and is beginning to brown, about 4 minutes longer. Remove from the oven. (The topping may be prepared up to 24 hours in advance; let cool completely, and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Just before serving, return the topping to the baking sheet and place in a preheated 350°F oven until warm, 6 to 8 minutes.)

For the fruit: While the topping is baking, in a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and cook just until it begins to brown and smells nutty, about 2 minutes. Add the apples and brown sugar and toss to combine. Add the water and all of the dried fruits and stir well. Bring to a gentle boil, adjust the heat to maintain a steady simmer, and cook until the apples begin to soften and the liquid in the pan is reduced to a syrup, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and fold in the mint.

Transfer the fruit mixture to a large gratin dish and sprinkle the topping evenly over the surface. Alternatively, divide the fruit mixture evenly among 6 to 8 compote dishes and sprinkle an equal amount of the topping over each serving.

Serve immediately with the ice cream. If you like, offer black pepper at the table to sprinkle on top.


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle

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