Welcome

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.

For those of you who enjoy highly thorough and traditional restaurant reviews, you may find them located here.  Pressed for time?  Take a peek at The Weekly Eater, where I condense seven days in to one summarized post.

But that's not all!  Additionally, I...

  • ~ For tourists, I can help you create itineraries and answer any questions you may have/offer advice for your upcoming visit to NYC.
  • ~ I can consult and/or advise on all of your small and large events.
  • ~ I will assist you with restaurant recommendations.

 

Just consider me your one-stop NYC-shop!

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Need more streamlined advice?  Shoot me an email with your specific requests:  Lindsay@TheLunchBelle.com.

Entries in News you can actually use (75)

Wednesday
May182011

Momofuku "Crack" Bar's Strawberry-lemon cake truffles

Holy crack.  They've turned me in to a fiend.

I could not not tell y'all about the best thing that I've put in my mouth since my meal at Melt Shop.  On Monday night, I found myself around the perimeter of Madison Square Park, killing time between appointments.  Beyond the tree tops, I observed a blanket of white tents and recalled that, until June 4th, Madison Square Eats was in full-effect.  "Yessssssssssssssssssss," I mumbled, channeling my inner Kip.  

Sure, there were and still are plenty of kiosks that I have yet to try, but it was Momofuku Milk Bar - a Lunch Belle favorite - that beckoned.  The first thing I noticed?  The bakery was selling their famous cookies in single packs instead of in denominations of six or more.  Tempting.  But it was their "cake truffles" that caught my eye, as I'm a die-hard, Southern-style petit four type of girl.  "I've had your 'birthday cake' flavor before," I explained to the helpful Milk Bar employee.  "Do you think I should do that again, or try the strawberry-lemon?"  She suggested that I go with the latter, justifying that it wasn't as cloyingly sweet as its cousin.  Not that "cloyingly" is a bad thing.  At least not in my eye.  

On my walk home, I decided to rip in to the dainty plastic bag stuffed with a trio of plump truffles.  I anxiously reached in, grabbed one, and took a bite.  "Oh!"  I shrieked, "my god!"  I stopped in my tracks and stood, literally frozen, in the middle of the sidewalk - completely overcome by an edible orgasm.  Do I eat all three of these truffles right here, right now?
Do I run back to the Milk Bar kiosk and buy every single package of the strawberry-lemon cake truffles that they have?  What the hell do they put in these things, crack?  I was conflicted.  I mean, god forbid I would want more than three truffles in one sitting.  I can't believe I'm admitting this "out loud." 

If you read my interview with Bobbie Lloyd, President of Magnolia Bakery, then you probably recall the peculiar way in which I eat a cupcake.  Well, Milk Bar's cake truffles have the identical consistency/texture of what becomes of my cupcake - something I now call my "stircake."  It's much more moist and has a better ratio of icing/crunch to cake.  The strawberry-lemon cake truffles are indeed sweet, but they're packed with a tangy punch from the lemon, which counteracts what the employee described as "cloyingly."  If you enjoy lemon-flavored products or lemonade - in fact, if you like strawberry-lemonade - then you will love these voluptuous treats.   

So if you're still unfamiliar with a cake truffle/ball, here's a brief description: imagine a super moist wad of cake - flavor of your choice, of course - packed neatly in to a perfectly-shaped ball (roughly the size of a golfball) and either rolled in to some sort of topping or dipped in to icing.  Here's a good visual - though this is NOT a cake truffle from Momofuku Milk Bar.  It gives you the idea, though - plus, I know that "red velvet cake" is all the rage:

Found on: Big Mama's Home KitchenWhether you visit them, before June 4th, at Madison Square Eats or at either of Momofuku Milk Bar's two "brick and mortar" locations, here's a word of advice: Get. These. Truffles. Now.  

~~~

Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle

Tuesday
May172011

The summer is slowly upon us: are you gellin'?

To gel or not to gel? That is the question.

Despite the grim forecast (the weather is supposed to be cold and wet all week here in NYC), summer really is upon us.  It may not feel like the middle of May but, come June, we'll all be complaining about the heat and humidity.  True story!  Regardless of which coast you reside on or vacation, this upcoming season will, without a doubt, be filled with an abundance of sun, sand, and sea (water)...three of mother nature's ingredients that, especially when combined, can wreak havoc on a mani/pedi.

That was before Shellac / Axxium, the beauty industry's answer to a polish that can last the test of time. 

I was hesitant at first.  Hell, I almost laughed in the face of at least three aestheticians who each quoted me "$70 for a 'Shellac pedicure.'"  After all, this would be quite a big investment for a gal who has always done her own.  But as I began to recall how much of a beating my nails always took when they came in to contact with sunscreen and salt water, I decided that, just maybe, I wasn't above a Shellac-ing.

So what I did next was nothing short of wallet-savvy genius: I headed out of Manhattan and in to Brooklyn - right over the Williamsburg Bridge, in fact - and got my Shellac pedicure done at a fraction of what it would have cost in "the city."  Primp & Polish is the name, $40 is the game: that's right, folks, $25 for the pedicure and $15 for the Shellac-ing.  And the part of this story that's almost as sweet as saving $30 by getting my pedicure done in Brooklyn?  The fact that, with gel manicures/pedicures, there is virtually no polish "drying-time."  I walked out of the salon with socks and sneakers just minutes after my toes were painted.  What could possibly be more fitting for a hurried, impatient New Yorker?  Um, nothing.

Drumroll please.

The test: as you know, I spent a week in Belize, 1-day post Shellac pedicure.  With all of the sand, salt water, and SPF that I came in to contact with, not once did my polish chip or dull.  In fact, it was not until this past week - almost 1-month after the fact - that the gel began to slowly pop off.  So, would I recommend investing in gel Shellac / Axxium mani/pedis this summer?  Absolutely!  Heck, if you play your cards right, you'd only have to visit a salon three times over the the course of the season (considering that each pedicure lasts for virtually 3-4 weeks).  Win win.

The inspiration behind sunburned foot-fetishes everywhere. ~~~

The Lunch Belle       

Thursday
Apr142011

Grub Street's 101 Best Pastas in America

The list of the 101 Best Pastas in America could NOT have gotten started without the best of the best.  Numbers 1-19?  That's right, they belong to New York City! 

Scarpetta's Spaghetti PomodoroHere are The Big Apple's top plates:

So, how did your city fare?  Check out the full list: click here!

~~~

Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle

Thursday
Apr142011

TLB Restaurant Consulting: help me help you

Help me help you see the obese, hot-pink elephant in the room.  After all, isn't the eminent death of a restaurant/lounge almost too obvious?  Apparently not. 

But to me, it is. 

Picture it: gorgeous space - awkward location - impossibly difficult menu, both in terms of price and ingredient comprehension - aloof staff, who care more about staring at their own reflection in the decorative mirror located behind their guest's heads, while explaining the evening's specials, than they do about earning a sense of rapport or that highly coveted return visit especially in NYC, when most people don't eat at the same place twice. 

It's a shame how many of these tainted venues and menus I've seen come and go.  What's worse, at least in my opinion, is being me, the outsider, vs. you, the insider, who can see exactly what went wrong.  My point?  I'd like to offer my services - free, for the time being - to any chefs, restaurateurs, bakeries, food trucks, etc. who are looking for some good, old-fashioned, honest feedback on their product, menu, or venue. 

Are you ready to "hear it?"  Because I'm ready to share it.  Email me and let's schedule something: Lindsay@TheLunchBelle.com

~~~

Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle

Tuesday
Apr122011

Tom Colicchio has this season's hautest "Toast." Want a bite?

**Tickets on sale now for this season's MOST FABULOUS "Toast!"

x, The Lunch Belle

WHAT

WHERE        

  • Riverpark, 450 E. 29th Street at First Avenue

WHEN         

  • Tuesday, May 10 from 7:30 – 10:00 PM

TICKET INFORMATION

A portion of the ticket price is tax-deductible; all proceeds go directly to the pediatric programs that serve the children and families at Bellevue Hospital Center.           

  • $250 - General
  • $450 - Patron: admission to VIP reception and special area, showcasing exclusive restaurants and wineries.

Honorees for this year’s event:

  • Gail Simmons: Food & Wine’s Editor-at-Large, host of Bravo’s Top Chef: Just Desserts, and judge on Bravo’s Emmy Award-winning Top Chef
  • David Wiesner: Caldecott Award-winning author and illustrator, and The Phoenix Foundation.

Details: At this festive evening with more than 400 people in attendance, guests will sample signature dishes from some of New York’s finest restaurants, taste wines from around the world, and enjoy the opulence of Riverpark as they mingle with celebrity chefs and fellow foodies. 

This year’s list of participating restaurants includes: Barbuto, Blue Smoke, Colicchio & Sons, craftbar, Frankies, Hearth, Henry’s, Jacques Torres, Lincoln Ristorante, Pearl Oyster Bar, Park Avenue, Perilla, Porterhouse New York, Public, Riverpark, and Yerba Buena.

Wines will be chosen by sommelier and James Beard Award nominee, Paul Greico (co-owner and sommelier of Hearth and Terroir).  Children of Bellevue is also very pleased to announce that The Andra Group, Bravo!, Champion, Food & Wine, La Cucina Italiana, MetroPlus, The Phoenix Partners Foundation, Royalty Pharma, TastingTable.com, and Torreya Partners are official sponsors of this year’s “Toast to the Children."  An added treat? Special appearances by former Top Chef and Top Chef: Just Desserts “cheftestants,” Ash Fulk, Ashley Merriman, Zac Young, and Eric Wolitzky.

~~~

Thursday
Mar032011

Jimmy Fallon is...

...the newest face and inspiration behind Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream's latest & greatest pint

Ben & Jerry's "Late Night Snack" - Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Salty Caramel Swirl & Fudge Covered Potato Chip ClustersLast night - at NBC's Rockefeller Center Studio 6B (a.k.a where Jimmy Fallon tapes his show!!!) - I was one of the few media outlets invited to attend a very exclusive press event, where Mr. Fallon and Ben & Jerry's co-founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, announced their sweet partnership which, coincidentally, also happened to be Late Night with Jimmy Fallon's 2nd anniversary! 

~

Check out the video, below, to view last night's press event + question & answer session!


~

~~~

Read it & eat...and go getcha' some of this ice cream before everyone else does!  Trust me, it's worth EVERY LAST CALORIE!

The Lunch Belle

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