AWESOME ALERT: Free coffee in SoHo from Cafe Bustelo all week!

Need a boost for your week? Café Bustelo is hosting a Pop-Up Café Experience this week and wants to ply you with free coffee :)

Starting today Oct. 20 through Sunday Oct. 25, stop by the SoHo cafe (168 Bowery) for complimentary Café Bustelo ​espresso, ​regular ​and decaf brews, and K-Cup’s served in a lounge with free wifi and phone charging stations. There will also be swag giveaways, live band performances (10/24 @ 2 p.m. Janelle Kroll & 10/25 @ 2 p.m. Jukebox The Ghost), and an i​nteractive photo booth.


  • What: Café Bustelo Pop-Up Café Experience
  • When: Tuesday (10/20) – Friday (10/23) 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday (10/24) & Sunday (10/25) 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Where: 168 Broadway


AWESOME ALERT: Free Fitness Classes This October with Just Salad and DavidBartonGym

Bikini season may be gone, but that doesn't mean you should stop being kind to your body. Just Salad is partnering with DavidBartonGym to help you stay fit on the cheap by offering free fitness classes every Saturday in October! The #JustMove Fitness Series will feature Just Salad samples and swag after each class.

The class, aptly called "Shredded," will feature loud and aggressive music and a full out mix of barbell, dumbbell, and bodyweight exercises. Advance​d​ sign-up ​is ​required here and classes will be offered at all NYC DavidBartonGym locations at 12 and 2pm every Saturday in October--except 10/31, because that's when you're supposed to stuff your face with candy​. The best part is that all classes are FREE!​ 

Limit one class per person and you must be a local NYC resident to participate.


Celebrate Coffee Culture at a Buzz-Worthy Event

I don't know if you've noticed this, but coffee has become a very diverse thing in the past few years. A cuppa joe is no longer just a cuppa joe, if you know what I mean. The flat white has been imported from Australia by Starbucks, Portlanders (from Oregon) encourage roasting your own beans, and San Franciscans have been pushing 500 different ways to brew your coffee. But whether or not you can tell a Chemex from a French Press, there is something for everyone at The New York Coffee Festival.

This inaugural event will be taking place September 25th-27th at the 69th Regiment Armory (Lexington Ave & 26th St) will celebrate the ideology behind the coffee industry--from the farmer to the barista, and all of the steps in between.

The 3-day festival is being launched by Allegra Events Ltd. as part of Coffee Week NYC, and will be highlighting over 70 innovative exhibitors, including Starbucks Reserve, La Marzocco, La Cimbali, Pacific Foods, La Colombe, Steampunk, Joe, Toby's Estate, Irving Farm, and more. It will also feature the Coffee Masters NYC barista championship, sponsored by leading US artisan roaster Counter Culture Coffee.

The Festival will also feature live music as part of the Coffee Music Project, The Coffee Art Project gallery, gourmet street food, and The Espresso Martini Bar. Additionally, The Lab sessions will give attendees the opportunity to participate in in-depth educational workshops and seminars given by some of the industry's most influential leaders..

Half of ticket proceeds will be donated to charity: water via the Allegra Group's Project Waterfall initiative. Through these donations, Project Waterfall will be able to continue bringing clean water to coffee counties such as Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Rwanda.

To purchase tickets, click here. Standard passes start at $20 for a single morning or afternoon session and VIP tickets start at $45 and include fast track entrance, all day access, a free espresso martini and a tote bag.


Get Glammed Up This Weekend for NYFW

It's New York Fashion Week! So you better get your nails did, your cat eye on fleek, and tend to those curls. But who has time for that?

The Glam App

For this week only, beauty on demand service The Glam App, founded by actress/blogger Cara Santana and hair and makeup expert Joey Maalouf, is giving New Yorkers access to beauty on the go with complementary nail, hair and makeup services aboard a custom mobile salon. The mobile salon will be open to the public 9/12-9/14 from 12-5 pm. The custom-fitted bus will offer the apps most requested makeup and hair looks as well as a range of bright polishes for attendees to choose from.

Get your glam on here:

  • Saturday, September 12, 2015: Washington Street (between Clarkson and Houston Streets, near Skylight Clarkson Square)
  • Sunday, September 13, 2015: Eighth Avenue between 30 and 31 Street (near Clarkson Moynihan Station)
  • Monday, September 14, 2015: Meatpacking District

Follow @TheGlamApp on Instagram for more deets throughout the weekend~


AWESOME ALERT: Free Froyo at Bloomingdales This Week

Labor Day may have marked the unofficial end of summer, but this crazy hot weather begs to differ! Good thing Bloomingdales wants to help you beat the heat this week with some free froyo from the forty carrots truck!

Free forty carrots froyo at Bloomingdales

Here are the deets for where and when you can catch some complimentary confections with a topping of your choice:
  • Bloomingdales SoHo: Thursday September 10 from 12-4 pm
  • Bloomingdales 59th Street: Friday September 11 from 12-4 pm
All you have to do is show up! Now that's a treat.


Grazing on Some Great Greek

Living in Astoria, I've tried some excellent Greek food. So I definitely approach any new Hellenic epicurean event with a keen sense of taste. 

Avaton Estiatorio exterior

I was invited to Avaton Estiatorio (1 East 35th Street) recently and was instantly struck by how clean, chic, and welcoming the space was, especially mere steps away from the hell-hole block that is 34th Street right outside the Empire State Building. It's tucked away from the hubbub and features a small but protected sidewalk cafe and 2 separate dining rooms, plus a private upstairs section. 

On the way to our table, we passed by the fresh local and Mediterranean fish display, which makes for quite the appetizing welcome. We sat in the back dining room under an impressive chandelier and across from a wall-sized replica of an olive tree.

Fresh fish display
Fresh fish display
View from my seat
View from my seat
I'm not sure how much pineapple is a part of classic Greek cuisine, but it was a hot day out and a tropical cocktail sounded great to me. I tried the Elpinia (at least it had a Greek name!) with vodka, fresh pineapple, fresh squeezed lime juice, ginger and a cinnamon stick. My friend was a bit weary about the combination of cinnamon and pineapple initially, but the combination totally works! I also appreciated that the drink wasn't too sweet.

Before our "official" food even arrived, we were smitten with the bread. The bread! I know! It had olives in it and was toasted and drizzled with some high class EVOO. It was all gone fairly soon after it arrived.

Olive bread
Olive bread
Our first appetizer was the tuna tartare served with diced yellow fin filet, avocado, soy ginger vinaigrette, and an oregano tortilla. This was good, but nothing special or unique. In fact I've had this dish at restaurants that define themselves as anything from Italian to Mexican to Japanese. And now it's Greek. Don't let this stop you from ordering it, as if you know you like tuna tartare, this one will satisfy you very well.

Tuna tartare
Tuna tartare
Next up we sampled the platter of Avaton dips: Taramosalata, htipiti, skordalia, melitzanosalata, tzatziki. We pretty much finished this crazy amount of dip. My favorite was the skordalia because garlic. Don't eat too much of this on a date.

Avaton dips
Avaton dips
For the main course, we split the special seafood risotto. The chef explained that his tomato sauce has no sugar in it, which was great because fresh tomatoes have plenty of natural sugar. I liked the wide array of seafood in the dish including scallops, mussels, clams, and prawns--two a piece so perfect for sharing (or boarding Noah's ark). It was all topped with feta cheese.

Seafood risotto
Seafood risotto
Dessert may have been my favorite course of this meal. We were treated to three different sweet offerings and all were completely unlike anything I'd ever had before. My favorite, the textured halva, was made from semolina, raisins, nuts, and cinnamon citrus syrup. The chef told us he borrowed from the Turkish tradition and made the halvah with milk as well, which definitely added richness. My friend's favorite was the Karidopita, a moist and surprisingly gluten-free (no flour!) walnut cake, which was served with caramel fudge. We also tried the chocolate pot which is the dessert to order for all chocoholics. It's very apparent that high quality cocoa when into this treat as it's as rich as it is balanced and creamy.

Dessert trio
Dessert trio
Avaton offers a $33 price fix lunch or $38 pre-theater dinner. I would definitely recommend parking yourself in one of their outside tables if the weather is nice, but a seat in the back room under the chandelier is certainly transportive. The waitstaff was very cordial and friendly and will certainly answer any questions regarding the menu and work with you over any food allergies and restrictions. Whatever you do, save room for dessert!

Disclosure: Avaton provided us with a comp'd meal but all opinions in this review are my own.

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Chicken (and More!) in Hell's Kitchen

I've always loved snarky restaurant names. Hell's Chicken (641 10th Avenue) has to be one of my favorites. Their food was pretty darn good also.

I was invited to visit the Hell's Kitchen Korean eatery last week and sample some traditional dishes as well as their highly-rated fried chicken. I visited South Korea about 2 years ago and love finding menu items that remind me of my trip. Instantly, I saw makgeolli ($14)--an unfiltered rice drink similar to nigori sake--and knew how we had to start our meal. It may look weird, but makgeolli is cold and refreshing with a crispy finish. Perfect for a summer evening.


The friendly owner Sung Jin Min walked us through the menu and advised that we start with the Kimchi Jeon ($10), a Korean-style kimchi fried pancake, and the Mussam Mari ($7), pickled radish wraps with vegetables. The pancake was one of my favorite items of the meal. It reminded me of the scallion pancakes I've ordered from many a Chinese dumpling restaurant, but the kimchi made it a bit heartier. It was served on a sizzling hot platter with a soy-based dipping sauce. The Mussam Mari was cooling yet tart and was a great palate cleanser between the Kimchi Jeon and what was to come.

Kimchi Jeon
Kimchi Jeon
Mussam Mari
Mussam Mari

Then came the chicken from Hell! Just kidding. Well, kind of. We ordered drums (you can order wings or a combination of both) because I find they are easier to eat ($12-$50). Then we had a wide array of sauces to choose from arranged on the menu from mild to spicy. We went with soy ginger (a take on the traditional soy garlic) and spicy Hell's (the house sauce).

I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to spice but the spicy Hell's was totally manageable. If you like ginger, the soy ginger will be your best friend. The chicken itself was cooked to a perfect crisp and each piece beckons you before you even finish the last.

What's interesting about the fried chicken is that it's gluten free. It's made with an all-rice flour batter and fried in canola instead of soybean oil. Celiac's rejoice!

Soy ginger (left) and spicy Hell's (right) fried chicken drumsticks
Soy ginger (left) and spicy Hell's (right) fried chicken drumsticks

Lest we forget the rest of the very authentic Korean menu, we finished up with the Dolsot Bibimbap ($16). A classic hot stone bowl mix of vegetables, rice, beef, hot sauce and an egg, this bibimbap cooks as you mix it up (don't worry, I'm not into eating raw egg!). I apologize for not taking an after pic, but I highly advise you go to Hell's Chicken and get this dish yourself. You'll find the rice puffs and crunches a bit more than it would in a regular bowl and that makes this bibimbap that much more incredible.

Dolsot Bibimbap
Dolsot Bibimbap

You may have to walk a couple blocks further west to get to Hell's Chicken than you would normally, but it's worth the extra steps (your FitBit will thank you). Try the chicken that matches your tastes, share a steaming bowl of bibimbap, and wash it all down with some makgeolli or soju. Oh and tell Sung I said hi!

Disclosure: Hell's Chicken provided a comp'd meal in exchange for this review but all opinions are my own.

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What Book Does Your Neighborhood Say You Should Read?

New York City has been the backdrop of many a famous novel. But from the Upper East Side of The Goldfinch to the Ditmas Park of Sophie's Choice, it's hard to keep track of the street corners from our favorite pages to the ones in real life. That's why I was really intrigued when the New York Public Library posted their "Best NYC Novels By Neighborhood" list.

As an Astorian, I was a bit disappointed in the lack of Queens books, but this is a great start (check out Awesome Reads for some additional suggestions!). What is your favorite NYC book and how many of these have you read?

TEDucate Yourself This September

Lately I've been obsessed with TED talks. You may have heard of the free lecture series before--the organization has been around for 30 years--where famous and not famous thinkers, researchers, business owners, and leaders give short, punchy talks that make you go huh. I listen to NPR's weekly TED Radio Hour show where host Guy Raz brings back several of the organization's most memorable speakers to recap their talks on central themes. These speakers are so inspiring that I have been known to rent their books from the library because I want to hear more.

Now that you have all the background, I'm excited to tell you about the second annual TEDxFultonStreet taking place on Sunday September 20th at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center.


The x in TEDx means the program was independently organized (TED only hosts 2 official conferences a year if you can believe it), but don't let that fool you as they have an incredible lineup of speakers. The current agenda so far includes:

  • Brad Baker (Deep-Sea Treasure Hunter – Chairman of Odyssey Marine Exploration [NASDAQ:OMEX])
  • Brian Cohen (First investor in Pinterest — Chairman of New York Angels)
  • Richard Stratton (Former Drug Smuggler Turned Publisher/Author/TV Executive)
  • Christian Boer (Developed a typeface to aid those challenged by dyslexia)
  • Rishon Blumberg (‎Agent for A-list Technology Talent – Founder of 10x Management)
  • Debi Silber (The Mojo Coach – Leadership Expert)
  • Jen Rozenbaum (Shamelessly Feminine Boudoir Photographer)
  • Bruce Rosenbaum (Steampunk Designer – Co-founder of ModVic)
  • Christie Marchese (Advocate for films that change the world – Founder of Picture Motion)
  • Laura Klahre (Beekeeper and Proponent of the Pollinators)
  • IMPACT Repertory Theatre (Urban non-profit program cultivating youth leaders)

In addition to the extraordinary TED Talks, there will be videos, lobby exhibits, and ample opportunities for attendees to network with presenters throughout the day. Tickets are now available for $100.00 via the TEDxFultonStreet website under “attend.” In the educational spirt of TED, any faculty or full-time student from an accredited public or private university or college is eligible for a special 20% discount.

Here's the 2014 TEDxFultonStreet recap:


  • What: TEDxFultonStreet 2015
  • When: 9 am to 6 pm on Sunday September 20th, 2015
  • Where: BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center in Lower Manhattan
  • Cost: $100 with 20% discount for faculty or full-time students


AWESOME GIVEAWAY: 2 Pairs of Tickets to 9/11 Remembrance Concert at Lincoln Center

Any concert at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center is special, but on Friday, September 11, 2015 at 7:00pm, True Concord Voices and Orchestra will perform a special commemorative concert featuring Mozart’s Requiem along with the New York premiere of Stephen Paulus’ Prayers and Remembrances, originally commissioned for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

True Concord Voices and Orchestra logo

True Concord Voices and Orchestra on stage

True Concord Voices & Orchestra draws upon the first rank of professional choral and instrumental musicians from around the United States in service of its artistic mission: to enrich lives through the transformational power of classical music. True Concord seeks to bring together hearts from Tucson with those from New York and around the world through the power of music by two towering and beloved composers.

Tickets start at just $20, but you can use the code DCINY20 to save 20% online, over the phone (212.721.6500) or in person at Lincoln Center (Box Office: 1941 Broadway at 65th Street).

A portion of all ticket proceeds will benefit the FDNY Foundation, a charity which directly supports the men and women of the Fire Department of New York.

All Awesome in New York readers have a special opportunity to win one of 2 pairs of tickets to this concert event. Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below and make sure to follow all instructions (only those who comment below telling me about their favorite NYC concert venue will be eligible to win!). The contest runs through Friday 8/21. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Where Does All the Garbage Go?

To any out-of-towner, the way NYC deals with its garbage can be deemed anything from disgusting to stinky to unsanitary. But if you've lived here long enough, you become immune to the sidewalks piled high with plastic trash bags. And if you're anything like me, you make up stories about the people behind the mounds of refuse you pass on your morning commute.

The trash collection process in any sprawling metropolis is a coordinated effort, but in NYC, the current system is built upon decades of learning what has worked, and what hasn't (anyone ever hear about the 1981 sanitation workers strike?). If you want to learn more about why the streets don't fill with garbage or who cleans your streets, join the Museum of the City of New York and the New York Academy of Medicine for the final talk in a series called Garbage and the City this Monday 8/17 at 6:30pm.

NYC Garbage Truck circa 1929; image credit: The New York Academy of Medicine Committee on Public Health archive

Robin Nagle, author of Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City, is the anthropologist-in-residence with New York's Department of Sanitation. She will be giving a talk entitled Life Along the Curb: Inside the Department of Sanitation of New York at the Museum of the City of New York (1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street) covering what it takes for the city to deal with the 40,000 tons of garbage produced here every day.

At 8:00 pm, the 2015 short documentary film, "One Man's Trash" (17 mins), will be screened. NYU student Kelly Adams filmed NYC Department of Sanitation employee Nelson Molina, who develops a unique relationship to the objects that fill the garbage bags lining the streets. He has created a collection of found objects in a sanitation garage in East Harlem, which he refers to as a museum of “Treasures in the Trash.”

  • What: Life Along the Curb: Inside the Department of Sanitation of New York lecture
  • Where: Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
  • When: Monday 8/17 6:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Cost: FREE, but register here


Bringing the Potato Back into the Cool Zone at Burlap Sack

Potatoes have gotten a bad rep' with the rise of the healthy food craze. But the thing is, spuds--while very tasty fried--can very easily be integrated into a well-balanced meal. At least that's what the folks at the new Murray Hill potato eatery Burlap Sack (507 Third Avenue @ 34th Street) hope to prove.

Burlap Sack Outside

I visited Burlap Sack earlier in the week and was wowed by all of the changes in the neighborhood since I moved away almost 3 years ago. Onwards and upwards I suppose!

The fast-casual restaurant is the brainchild of Miguel Franco, former executive chef of Dos Toros (an Awesome in New York go-to!), and a slew of other restaurateurs. He took me through the menu, explaining that the concept is similar to Chipotle (or Eons or Chutney Kitchen), but for your base you can choose from several potato options: baked potato (whole or cut into medallions for easier forking), traditional or sweet potato fries, tater tots, or rice (for the potato noninclined). Because of this setup, all dishes are gluten-free. 

Next you choose your meat (all locally sourced), either grilled chicken, spiced ground turkey, grilled steak, or slow-cooked pork. Then there's an assortment of 4 different cheeses, hot mushrooms and onions and a variety of cold, fresh veggies that remind me of a the baked potato bar I used to visit as a kid in the food court of my mall. The best part of this station was all the house-made sauces to finish your bowl off (Miguel loves the Dad's marinara sauce as it's a family recipe, but I went with the truffle aioli).

All bowls will run you under $10 and, in my opinion, give you more than enough food for a single meal. I used my leftovers as a side dish for lunch the next day. Needless to say, I made everyone in my office super jelly.

My creation: Spiced ground turkey over baked potato medallions with broccoli, mushrooms, cheddar, scallions and truffle aioli
My creation: Spiced ground turkey over baked potato medallions with broccoli, mushrooms, cheddar, scallions and truffle aioli
Burlap Sack is open Mon-Thurs 11:30am-10pm, Fri 11:30am-11pm, and Sat-Sun 12:30pm-8pm. Check them out and let us know what you think!

Note: Burlap Sack gave me a comp'd dinner but all opinions on this review are my own.

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A Business (Fancy) Lunch at Betony

"Fancy Lunch" is something my colleagues and I plan twice a year as a way to reward ourselves for all of our hard work, and, let's be honest, stuff our faces with some of NYC's finest cuisine. This time around we opted for the price fixe lunch at Betony (41 W. 57th Street), which is 2 courses for $38 plus a dessert for an additional $10. Boy was I excited as I'd been wanting to visit Betony since it opened and it made one of NY Mag's Best of lists.

Photo cred: Celebritychef.tv

The dining room is decorated in a manner I'd call simply opulent. I realize that could be contradictory, but the carved ceiling and walls were balanced by subtle (yet tall) flower arrangements and hues of browns, brick, and gold. The techie in me appreciated the touch-on lanterns that were brought to our table I'm assuming for conducting business transactions--this is definitely a great place for a business lunch.

Our amuse bouche was a gazpacho with goat cheese snow. Goat cheese snow? Whaaaaaat?! But it was awesome and literally tasted as though goat cheese fell out of the clouds. There is definitely some molecular gastronomy going on in that kitchen.

Gazpacho with Goat Cheese Snow
Gazpacho with Goat Cheese Snow

For my first course, I opted for the corn veloute with aleppo pepper and creme fraiche. This was one of the prettiest soups I've ever had, and it took all my sophisticated will power not to lick the bottom of the bowl when I was done.

Corn Veloute
Corn Veloute

For my main, I went with the masses on Yelp and ordered the roasted beef tenderloin with young garlic and potato. That description honestly meant nothing to me compared to when the dish was brought to the table. There were strokes of lime green, an "egg roll" filled with meet, and sprigs of fresh herbs twirling throughout the plate. And the two medallions of perfection cooked beef were the perfect portion size for lunch, yet just enough for me to feel like I'd had a substantial meal.

Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Roasted Beef Tenderloin

For dessert, I had the Pandan. What's Pandan you ask? Well I didn't know either, but it's a grass that grows in Asia that flavored a paper-thin piece of cake served with pistachio ice cream and toasted pistachios. This is seriously one of the most unique and delicious desserts I've ever had in my life and I would come back to Betony just for this.


Betony lived up to the hype and I'm so glad we chose this venue for our Summer 2015 Fancy Lunch. They do an extravagant (but comparatively affordable) 4-course tasting dinner for $95, which I may just have to check out in the future. I've also heard Betony's cocktail program is off-the-charts inventive. Until next time, TBD...

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AWESOME ALERT: Free Food Tomorrow 8/6 from the Stonefire Food Truck tour

There is not a single person on this planet that does not like free food. And Awesome's got your back with this hook up tomorrow at the Flatiron Pedestrian Plaza (right outside Eataly).

Join celebrity Chef Marcel Vigneron of Top Chef and the Stonefire Food Truck tour for some gratis samples of delicious, easy-to-make, plant-based recipes featuring Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads and Naan Crisps. The event will run tomorrow, Thursday 8/6 from noon to 6 pm and will also feature live entertainment. For updates on what is happening throughout the day, you can follow Stonefire on Facebook or Twitter.

I Tried a Sundae the Size of My Head at Bagatelle

I'll admit it. I was a bit of a glutton last week, and this post only reinforces that. Trust me, I'm still full. Now on with it...

I was invited back to Bagatelle (1 Little West 12th Street) in the Meatpacking District a year and a half after my first visit there to check out some of their newer (or new-to-me) dishes as well as sample some old favorites. Truffle was still the predominant flavor among all the courses, yet the summer setting led me to favor lighter, more refreshing dishes compared with some of the richer items.

Jocelyn from Chic & Sweaty and I opted to start with some Bootie Calls ($17) from the bar (get your head out of the gutter!) because watermelon. Elderflower helped that decision also.

Bootie Calls
Bootie Calls
We got started with Bagatelle's famous truffle theme with the Pizza a la Truffe Noire ($26). You might say, who goes to a French place and orders a pizza?, but trust me, you want to order this pizza. The crust has gotten thicker since my last visit, but I like the change. I wish you could at least smell the super-satisfying. earthy truffle scent through this blog. It's heavenly.

Pizza a la Truffe Noire
Pizza a la Truffe Noire 
We tried the Salade Bagatelle ($14) with hearts of lettuce, parmesan cheese, fresh garden herbs, and a mustard vinaigrette. There were also two tartares--Tartare de Thon Bagatelle ($19/$29) with ahi tuna, avocado, and taro chips and Tartare aux Deux Saumons ($19) with fresh and smoked Scottish salmon, shallot, and dill creme fraiche. These were all very similar to the last time we came, however the presentation is different. I loved that the salmon tartare was served in a shell dish.

Salade Bagatelle
Salade Bagatelle
Tartare de Thon Bagatelle
Tartare de Thon Bagatelle 
Tartare aux Deux Saumons
Tartare aux Deux Saumons
Then, lest we forgot about the truffles, we were presented with a giant heaping bowl of Gnocchi Truffes a la Parisienne de Nicolas ($25/$36), AKA: truffle gnocchi. I tend not to order gnocchi from restaurants unless I know the dish is spectacular because often they can be made so dense that they just fall like giant bricks down your esophagus and land with a thunk in your belly. To make a light and fluffy gnocchi is a skill that I admire, and Bagatelle has it DOWN. These are truffle pillows and you should order them.

Gnocchi Truffes a la Parisienne de Nicolas
Gnocchi Truffes a la Parisienne de Nicolas
Now for the main course. (I know, right?) First I have to point out that going to a blogger dinner is unlike any other outing. Tons of food is brought out, it smells delicious, you can see the steam wafting off of each dish, and then we all break out our iPhones, Androids, and for some fancy pants bloggers, giant cameras. If lighting is low, iPhone flashlights come out to create makeshift studio spotlights. You just have to see it.

Dinner with Bloggers
Dinner with bloggers
But I digress. We sampled the catch of the day filleted at the table ($MP) which was served with pea and corn risotto. This was a perfect summer dish as it was light and gently flavored with lemon and salt. The other seafood dish we tried was the Calamars Snackes a l'Encre de Seiche ($19) with sauteed calamari, saffron risotto cake, and squid ink vinaigrette. This was an unusual dish, but I enjoyed it.

Catch of the Day
Catch of the Day
Corn and Pea Risotto
Corn and Pea Risotto
Calamars Snackes a l'Encre de Seiche
Calamars Snackes a l'Encre de Seiche
For the meat, we fulfilled our iron quotient for the month with the Steak au Poivre ($45), a 12 oz. NY Strip from Thunder Ridge Farm served with pommes frites and cognac peppercorn sauce, and the Poulet Fermier Roti et Truffe ($35), roasted chicken with truffles and country style potatoes. Presentation is everything with the chicken as it comes in a sautee pan. I remember this dish because the chicken goes against the "dry restaurant chicken" assumption. Rather, it's juicy, flavorful, and maintains a rustic vibe even in this trendy setting.

Steak au Poivre
Steak au Poivre
Poulet Fermier Roti et Truffe
Poulet Fermier Roti et Truffe
Then after we finished all of that, they brought out the Chateaubriand for two ($125)--a 24 oz center cut beef tenderloin, truffle potato puree, and red wine and peppercorn sauce. The waitstaff needed the whole table just to put down this giant plate of meat. I was pretty stuffed by this point, but sampled a piece of it and was very, very satisfied. I know the menu says this dish is for two, but I'm sure glad there were 6 of us to finish it off (I hate wasting food!).

All of us knew we weren't escaping this marathon dinner without dessert, but the folks at Bagatelle literally made me utter "Oh my God" when they brought out their "Mauboussin Mega Sundae."

Mauboussin Mega Sundae
Mauboussin Mega Sundae
Just LOOK at that thing!

For perspective, of course, I had to pose with the behemoth.

Me with the Mauboussin Mega Sundae
Me with the Mauboussin Mega Sundae
Normally when ordered, this sundae comes with jewelry to make it worth the $1,000 price tag. It also features countless scoops of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, granola, strawberries, an avalanche of whipped cream, brownies, cookies, and a Jackson Pollock of caramel and fudge sauce. Oh, and a sparkler. I don't know who Mauboussin is (was?), but he must've been a hell of a dude to have a sundae like this named after him. (Editor's Note: Mauboussin is a French jeweler who I'm assuming must make the baubles that go in the sundae).

To round things out, we also tried the Apple Tarte Tatin, Dark Chocolate Mousse, and Creme Brulee (each $12). While the sundae was sensational, the Creme Brulee was probably my favorite taste-wise. You can't beat a candied shell in my book.

Apple Tarte Tatin
Apple Tarte Tatin
Dark Chocolate Mousse
Dark Chocolate Mousse
Creme Brulee
Creme Brulee

Another epic one bites the dust in my gastronomy book. Bagatelle knows how to deliver solid food for all tastes (but especially for those who like truffle). With a DJ spinning beats, sexy art flocking the walls, and a killer mixology program, this is the place to be if you want to impress. As long as the weather stays nice, request a table right by the patio--the doors stay open until the sun falls and you'll get the best of both indoor vibes and outdoor warmth (and people watching!). Just prepare your wallet however, because this is not a meal for the frugal.

Disclosure: Bagatelle provided me with a comp meal in exchange for this review. However, all opinions are my own.

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