Entries tagged with: restaurants

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Nicoletto's Pasta Co & Italian Kitchen


Nicoletto’s Pasta Co. is my latest Nashville discovery/obsession/craving. Another reason to add to the list of reasons we love East Nashville and started the NOTCOT Project House! I’m not even sure where to start - the fact that I kept being drawn to the black and white adorableness on our multitude of Home Depot trips… the fresh pasta… the fun packaging… or the MACARONS!

OMG. The macarons. Let’s start there - it is the most delicious/amazing dessert mashup i’ve tried in some time. They are like the jelly donuts of macarons. And the flavors change every few weeks! And Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen is the only spot you can find them! Yes, it’s a pasta company, and yes the pasta is quite delicious, BUT it’s totally worth going by just to get a macaron. The one we had (and then went back the next day for another, but more on that later) - was filled with white chocolate ginger cream around an apricot jam center… and the shells are painted beautifully. Head to the next page for all the macaron/pasta adventures and details.

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Flor de Lis Restaurante - Guatemala City

flor0.jpg The ultimate meal isn’t just about the food. It’s about the flavors, the plating, the ambiance, the decor, the company, the conversation… and it all came together perfectly at Flor de Lis. Though, you know what’s impossible? Taking photos that do it all justice while armed with just an iPhone and bouncing between great conversation and delicious bites you need to taste as soon as they reach the table. So consider this post a teaser of the reality of a meal at Flor de Lis… but honestly, you need to get to Guatemala City to properly experience it for yourself (or if you’re lucky, we can get them to come do a pop up in LA! or NY? or Miami?)

Backing up a moment - i’ve shown you our amazing Guatemala adventures as well as the story of Flor de Lis’ Pingüi and our Puma Penguins… so you’ve seen peeks of Flor de Lis, but a proper post is definitely overdue! The plating is so stunning! And it all tastes… SO GOOD. To be honest, when Harold reached out about the penguins, with our few hours in Guatemala City, I had to find my way to Flor de Lis, so of course we happily accepted when Harold invited us to dinner with his fiancè and Chef Diego Ruben Telles. Chef Diego is originally from Guatemala and after cooking in Spain and training in Denmark at NOMA, he’s returned to experiment with modernized Guatemalan cuisine.

I’m not kidding when I say the meal was one of the best i’ve had in some time. Situated in Guatemala City’s modern Paseo Cayala (think mini city with-in the city complete with private security - it reminds me of a huge Santana Row with luxury shopping, homes, offices and more which will continue expanding the next few years) - Flor de Lis is a delicious modern twist on traditional Guatemalan flavors and ingredients. While Chef Diego often described the plates as ‘simple’ with regards to the minimal ingredients used, the way he transforms a single ingredient (like a carrot!) into multiple textures (think charred, powdered, saucey) on the same plate is a masterful transformation that i’d consider molecular gastronomy. In addition to using local ingredients (as local as the plants growing right next to our table!) their stunning plating includes traditional Guatemalan pottery, wood, ceramics and more in a whole new context. They want you to truly experience and enjoy the food - so while the plates may look too pretty to disrupt at first, the smell will pull you in, and once you grab a piece with your fingers and taste the sauces, the ultimate compliment is for the chef to see you licking up every last drop! Flor de Lis serves up a delicious, relaxed, beautifully modern experience all around that can’t be missed if you’re in Guatemala City. See the iPhone pics of our experience on the next page!

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Summers Juice & Coffee, Brooklyn

summers0.jpg While Shawn was in NY earlier this week, he came home taunting me (and my juice addiction) with pictures of Summers Juice & Coffee that was just opened by one of his closest friends, Alex Kleinberg. So, here’s a peek at the fun design details and deliciousness. Congrats, Alex!!!

On happy places, you can’t help but smile when you arrive at the freshly opened Summers Juice & Coffee in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We’ve enjoyed following their Instagram all summer as Alex Kleinberg and Christopher Taha (and their friend, Steffan Elzinga, of Wood Mgmt.) got their hands dirty and converted the 50 year old bodega space into their adorably refreshing neighborhood juice/coffee/pastry/sandwich spot. They found surprises like exposed brick and a large window under the drywall, which combined with some reclaimed wooden fence planks (which turn into herringbone ceiling and counter facade) and the addition of concrete flooring and counters, projection surf flicks, a stunning red surfboard on the wall, and a fun surf mural on the roll gate… it’s easy to forget there was a bodega there!

As for the food and drinks, Summers isn’t just fun decor, Shawn swears by the egg sandwich. (Here’s a peek at the making-of THE Egg Sandwich!) Part of the secret is definitely the parker roll from Clinton St. Baking Co. and the spiral of sriracha… also the bacon + avocado… oh, and the cheese folded in the fried egg. But i digress, with Alex’s history at his family’s award winning Clinton St. Baking Co., it’s no surprise the food and juice is delicious. (For Clinton St. fans, they also carry their pastries!) And as for coffee, they brew Brooklyn Roasting Company goodness. But, back to the visuals - take a peek inside Summers Juice & Coffee on the next page!

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Lobster West, Encinitas, CA

lobsterwest0a.jpg On delicious surprises, today’s LA to San Diego road trip lead us to the discovery of the new Lobster West in Encinitas. As their site says, “Lobster West is bringing New England’s love affair with lobster to the West Coast! As a family business, we are proud to offer fresh, sustainable and delicious Maine lobster rolls (along with crab rolls, shrimp rolls, seafood chowders, locally-grown organic salads and more).” As for where their lobster comes from, “We source all of our lobster directly from our friends who fish the icy cold waters of Maine and then we ship them overnight to Southern California, ensuring freshness in every bite! Our sweet and delicious Maine lobster is 100% certified and sustainable, and is served up in our favorite form - the lobster roll!” And you can taste the fresh deliciousness while you watch footage on their TV hanging over the door of their fishermen (lobstermen?) in action! We had to try their shrimp and lobster rolls… and couldn’t resist trying their monstrous whoopie pie… Looks like this one may make the list of our usual socal roadtrip pit stops between our usual taco/burrito joints! OH! It’s also worth noting that you can ask for Gluten-Free rolls! They use Udi’s. Take a peek at all the details and their menu on the next page!

p.s. Spontaneous trip = spontaneous pics, so all the pics are from the HTC One (vs giant dslr!)

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*notcot in food+drink - 2 Notes

Black Tea Ice Cubes at The Spence, ATL

spence1.jpg Going through my phone, and due to an unfortunate delay in what was going to be sponsored content, i just rediscovered some Atlanta adventures i’d been saving to share with you guys!

While in Atlanta for the Final Four, we tried a few delicious restaurants… and one noteworthy detail is definitely the Black Tea Ice Cubes in the cocktails at The Spence (from Chef Richard Blais, winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef All-Stars” )! When you’re first sipping on the drink, you know there’s a tea bag like tag and string hanging out of the glass, and some kind of huge ice cube, but it’s unclear how it all connects until you sip through it (and as it melts) only to find the cube on the end of the string! While ice on a string would have amused me already, finding out that their actually freeze black tea in the cube made even more sense… Take a peek at the details and a few more pics (and a video!) on the next page…

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*notcot in food+drink - 4 Notes

Soda & Swine + Polite Provisions

swinesoda00.jpg A spontaneous road trip came up yesterday which landed me at the brand new Soda & Swine is a meatball and soda spot and its alcoholic pharmacy of a sister, Polite Provisions that just popped up in Normal Heights in San Diego… being unexpected, this post is a cell phone peek into our experiences… lots of fun branding and signage… and it’s an interesting set up. You can only order meatballs and soda and soft serve and pie at Soda & Swine, but you can have it brought over to you at Polite Provisions… you can order cocktails, punch bowls, beer cocktails, cocktails on tap, wine, etc at Polite Provisions, but you can’t bring them to Soda & Swine. To go between the two - you go to the hallway of the bathrooms in Polite Provisions and through the doorway to pop out behind the fireplace in Soda & Swine, which is actually in a roofless area that feels like you’re in between buildings (just look up to notice the stars and moon shining brightly down on you amongst the heatlamps)…

Interesting set up - cute spaces - tucked away in a quickly hipsterifying Normal Heights… it’s surrounded by bus stops, liquor store, dollar store and across from the Air Conditioned Lounge. And i can’t help but wonder if meatballs are the new sausage… Soda & Swine lets you pick the meatball style (smashed in a slider, 3 in a sub, on pasta, or 3 a la carte) then the flavor, cheese, and sauce. You must try the Smoked Pork, it’s definitely the best of the lot. Also the brussel sprouts with bacon and broccolini are delicious… apricot soft serve tasted like dried apricots and cream blended together… and the Caribbean Vacation on tap and Scottish Breakfast were lovely. If you’re ready - take a peek at the details on the next page!

p.s. There seems to be a dispute as to what this area counts as - is it Normal Heights? Between Heights? North Park? Regardless - you’ll find these two at 30th and Adams!

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Silver Room Rum-inspired dinner at Hush

hushmain.jpg Here’s the latest from our London based editor, Justine Aw.

Tonight we enjoyed the Silver Room Supper Club dining experience from Pedro Solorzano and executive head chef David Rood of Mayfair’s Hush. The dining experience consists of a new line of ‘spirit-based dishes coupled with daring cocktails’. This evening was all about rum, with a trio of dishes designed to complement rum-based cocktails.

The new menus will be available on Tuesdays starting next week and include evenings based on calvados, rum, gin, vodka and whisky! See more pictures on the next page!

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A Swedish 'Red Cottage' in London


Here’s the latest from our London based editor, Justine Aw.

A little red cottage has sprung up in the middle of Old Truman Brewery in East London. This unexpected iconic little cottage is a portal to Sweden for just three days to celebrate Sweden and offer us a taste of what Sweden has to offer, showcasing the regions of Skåne, West Sweden and Luleå. The use of the space within Old Truman Brewery is fantastic, complete with a moose head and reindeer and transforming the space into a fabulous dining room that manages to be decadent yet cozy and putting a beautiful emphasis on the kitchen too.

Tonight we were lucky enough to enjoy a taste of the Luleå region of Swedish Lapland with chef Richard Karlsson. And if our dinner was anything to go by, Luleå is delicious! Our evening opened with an unusual, but rather tasty birch sap wine, followed by three courses of delicacies including Kalix Löjrom (a delicious caviar collected only for a few short weeks each year), succulent grilled reindeer and a fantastic pie made from the gorgeous subarctic marsh growing cloudberry. More photos of our fantastic dinner on the next page!

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*notcot in food+drink - 3 Notes

Black Hogg

hogg0.jpg Latest culinary adventure from our Tasteologie editor, Jackson Stakeman.

It was stories of their magical popcorn bacon that drew us to Black Hogg. Bacon’s sirens call is powerful, but Black Hogg is more than just this one deep fried delight. This cozy restaurant is located in Silver Lake on Sunset Boulevard near where Silver Lake Blvd sneaks underneath it. The name also includes a subtle slight of hand. Despite the porcine leanings of a place famous for its bacon, a hogg is actually a sort of teenaged sheep. Black Hogg is a black sheep… it’s also an obscurely named, comfort food serving, Silver Lake hotspot that more than lives up to its hype. It surpasses it. Check out some of our delicious adventure on the next page…

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A Dickensian Dinner For Two with Hendrick's Gin and the Young Turks

maintenbell.jpg The latest culinary adventure from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw. I never knew i needed tea cups with wine glass stems until now… see what she has to share about her adventure below!

Last night we were invited to a delectable feast of most unusual nibbles and tipples at the pop-up Dickensian dining room above the Ten Bells pub overlooking Old Spitalfields Market in East London. The feast was brought to us by Hendrick’s and The Young Turks, a culinary collective of James Lowe, Isaac Mchale and Ben Greeno. See more photos of the delightful pop-up dining room and our sumptuous meal and cocktails on the next page.

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Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery Menu

magnolia1.jpg Running around San Francisco this weekend, popped by a few of the old spots ~ and had to go by Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery on Haight. My other old neighborhood fav that we also went to this week, their sister spot up Haight, The Alembic. Food and drinks at both were spectacular as always ~ but what made me grab my camera was the menu redesigns… both the their interior and branding were done by Nothing Somthing: NY. The attention to detail ~ beautiful typography ~ the little type snippets hidden about ~ the images on the flip sides of the pages… also Magnolia had some delicious Devils on Horseback (goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon) and Pulled Pork Poutine. And we couldn’t help but try two cases of the 6 beer samplers to work our way through all of their latest brews. Take a peek at it all on the next page!

p.s. If at The Alembic - Slow Cooked Farm Egg (with quinoa, chorizo, fava beans, maitake mushroom, idiazabal) is a must try. Also the Bone Marrow. Mmmmm.

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Worship St Whistling Shop + New Features!

worship.jpg We’ve been busy here at NOTCOT tweaking and building and designing secret things we’re rolling out as they become ready ~ live testing and debugging ~ silly things like that… one of them you may have noticed over at Tasteologie - special featured* posts (which used to only link here to NOTCOT.com) may sometimes lead you to special posts within the various grid sites (Tasteologie is the first i’m experimenting with this on!)… so far you can see things like the heart shaped eggfruit, Top Chef Tiffany Derry’s dinner in St Croix, and even a video of drinking coconut water with a papaya straw! More to come, constant work in progress as always!

The latest? Justine went and checked out the adorable, hidden, Victorian Worship St Whistling Shop - tasting all kinds of delights, playing with the jasmine mist poured on oysters, exploded vodka martinis, jenga like stacks of hand cut chips, and more! The decor and settings are gorgeous as well! Love the lamp post INSIDE even!

See the full Tasteologie feature on “The Worship St Whistling Shop”! ——->

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*notcot in food+drink - 0 Notes

Smitten (Liquid Nitrogen) Ice Cream

smitten.jpg Smitten Ice Cream. Made on the spot with liquid nitrogen! That used to be made on a Radio Flyer. Now out of a double shipping container. In bio-degradable cups… with spade like spoons. And the cash register is an iPad. And the interiors are wood paneled… Only in SF? Certainly a different take on the Nitro-Ice Cream trend than Chin Chin Labs that Justine checked out for us in London ~ that was a bit more mad scientist with lab coats and kitchen-aid mixers…

Father/Daughter team Chas Edwards and Roma Edwards, indulged my curiosity and took a bunch of awesome cell phone pics when trying out Smitten Ice Cream in Hayes Valley. My fascination began when i saw @Poisson’s tweet about it, which lead to my Tasteologie post… Food’s just more fun with a bit of dramatic looking crazy science, right? Especially in a shipping container? Though apparently the made-to-order process does take some time… and it melts a bit quickly, but it does look fun! Ready to see it all up close? Check out Chas and Roma’s pics on the next page!

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Absolut + Cotton Candy Foie Gras Pops

foie1.jpg First things first, sorry i’ve been quiet. Bottom line, ferverish for a few days that ends up being strep - sucks. Combined with a bit of travel craziness, and right into Grammy parties in LA, i might have overextended a little this month… BUT loading up on antibiotics, chicken soup, coconut water, pudding, etc… and hopefully back to normal by tomorrow?

That being said ~ Cotton Candy Foie Gras Lollipops at The Bazaar at the SLS in Beverly Hills are always awesome. Especially when you have the guy there making them non stop, its mesmerizing. Popped by Primary Wave’s annual Pre-Grammy Party, this year celebrating their 5 Year Anniversary. On fun stuff to share, it was a great chance to try out the new Absolut Wild Tea (black tea + elderflower!) in some of their new cocktails… and being The Bazaar the food was of course molecular gastronomy goodness… and my favorites have always been their Cotton Candy Foie Gras Lollies and the dark chocolate covered pop rocks… so i couldn’t help taking lots of pics of the Lollipop guy set up outside at the party doing his thing! Check it all out on the next page!

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*notcot in food+drink - 4 Notes

Roll n' Pour Jiggers + Macallan + Mooo

jigger1.jpg Leave it to The Macallan Ambassador, Graeme Russell, to always find me the fascinating design details in the world of Macallan. After yesterday’s Masters of Photography Albert Watson launch in NYC, we hopped a train up to Boston for a scotch tasting dinner at Mooo in the XV Beacon (where i’m currently curled up in the four poster bed with the toasty fireplace at my toes). Design discovery of the dinner? Vintage Roll n’ Pour Jigger… this particular design makes me think of a unicorn! Also, take a peek at the vintage Macallan’s (awesome labels and bottles) and photographs from the Watson limited edition series that adorn our table in their wine cellar on the next page…

p.s. Any Boston shopping tips? I have some free time tomorrow to wander Boston for the first time in years and years before hopping a train back to NYC on sunday…

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Vu: Southern-ish Molecular Gastronomy?

vu0.jpg Is molecular gastronomy ready to go main stream? Tucked in the rear of the new Marina del Rey Jamaica Bay Inn on Mother’s Beach (where we were quickly warned not to go in the water!) ~ there is a newly opened restaurant, Vu. With the look of an all-american restaurant in a business hotel perched on the marina, it is so well lit, we felt no shame in grabbing a camera for a few food snap shots! My friend kept joking that if we were going to do the molecular gastronomy thing, we may need to go for burgers after… but the dishes here were far more filling than we expected! With deep fried grits, pork belly, bacon powder, collard green fluid gel, goat cheese hush puppies, micro cilantro/arugula/basil, aerated cream cheese, apple roe, sweet tea poached lamb, chicken fried watermelon, coffee-glazed cous cous, and more… it’s a fascinating experiment to taste! Chef Kyle Schutte has crafted quite the mix of comfort foods and local socal deliciousness! See some of the dishes we tried on the next page… and here are the Vu menus.

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*notcot in food+drink - 3 Notes

Kahlúa at Zarela

zarela0.jpg Kahlúa hosted an incredible dinner at Zarela in NYC to announce the launch of their new campaign celebrating its Veracruz heritage, and Sean from Sub-Studio went to experience it for us! He came back with some amazing photos of the event, and it sounds like some serious wanderlust for Veracruz! Which is in turn making me crave mexican food and a Veracruz adventure as well! The cocktails, decor, and new Kahlúa adverts look so beautiful and delicious! Take a peek on the next page to see (and read!) more of Sean’s adventures with Kahlúa!

P.s. the new Delicioso ads are pretty hilarious… they’re embedded on the next page for you!

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*notcot in food+drink - 5 Notes

Favorite Places: 3 Square

3sq0.jpg NOTCOT’s Favorite Places ~ here’s a new series of posts sharing some of my favorite places in (and around!) Los Angeles! This content series is brought to you by the All-New 2011 Kia Sportage. Welcome to the Next Level.

AVOCADO FRIES! and PRETZEL BURGERS! Did that get your attention? Because they really are quite a fascinating treat. SO, this is the final installment of my Favorite Places in LA ~ as sponsored by the All-New 2011 Kia Sportage (Thank you, Kia!)… which is kind of sad, since there are so many more i could share with you, but the weather and timing have been a bit against us the last few weeks! So i’ve been showing you things i really end up doing (even with the raininess we’ve been having on and off) ~ but maybe i’ll keep it going… it’s made me far more conscious of the things i take for granted near home that i seldom write about!

3 Square Café + Bakery
1121 Abbot Kinney
Venice, CA 90291
310-399-6504 (P)

So for today’s installment ~ take a peek inside the deliciousness of 3 Square Café + Bakery ~ i strongly suggest the avocado fries, mint lemonade (its like a super minty non-alcoholic mojito), and the sampler… the presentation is just adorable and perfectly matching the 3 Square logo as you’ll see! Nothing like sitting outside on the patio enjoying the woody decor, adorable dogs walking by, and a mini Shrimp Grilled Cheese, Pretzel bread burger, and Ceviche in a shot sized bread bowl! Take a peek at it all on the next page!

SHARE! Feel free to comment some of your favorite spots near home that are worth checking out if in your town/city!

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*notcot in food+drink - 0 Notes


foodparc0.jpg FoodParc just opened in NYC at 6th Ave and 29th Street ~ it’s like a high tech foodcourt of sorts, and Anna and Sean of Sub-Studio popped by to take a look for us! Of course they also tasted a bunch of food for us too.. and it sounds like quite the unique bacon-fest! From Bacon Snack and Hash browns with bacon and cheddar and onions inside to Benton’s Smoked Bacon Egg Rolls and Steamed Shrimp, Bacon & Watercress Dumplings… luckily there were also beautiful juices and flatbread sandwiches to even it out as well! “FoodParc is a serious, yet fun, accessible culinary destination. It has 4 distinctly different food and beverage concepts and a full-service bar that includes: The Press, RedFarm Stand, Fornetti, and 3Bs (Burgers, Bacon, and Beer)” The Press is you go to cafe, RedFarm Stand is an asian concept with a twist by Joe Ng of Chinatown Brasserie, Fornetti has italian salads, sandwiches, pastas and more, and 3Bs is exactly as it sounds! All housed in a 20,000 square foot indoor/outdoor, modern space ~ futurist and conceptual designer, Syd Mead (of Blade Runner, Aliens, and TRON) created the environment… and it’s no surprise that in addition to old school ordering, you can also order from all 4 restaurants at once at the self serve monitors! Take a peek at it all on the next page…

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*notcot in travel - 2 Notes

Light Bulbs of Gramercy Park Hotel

gramcerybulb1.jpg Wow. There is a definitely love of light bulb clusters at the Gramercy Park Hotel ~ particularly in this room that opens up to the Roof Club… but also in my bathroom! While it does feel a littler overwhelming, it is also completely mesmerizing, and makes for some fun pics! See more on the next page!

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Gramercy Park Hotel's Magical Roof Club

gramercyroof0.jpg I must admit i was skeptical when one of the most common words that came up regarding the Gramercy Park Hotel Roof Club… was “Magical”. Sure some of the women who uttered the word seemed like the type that may use it in daily conversation, but some of the men who did, most certainly didn’t seem like the type.

Sure enough ~ as i stumble off my redeye, and at 7am find myself at the Gramercy Park Hotel, which was kind enough to invite me to visit their world while here for NY Design Week, my room wouldn’t be ready till 10. With the limited amount of energy, my options were minimal ~ but breakfast with wifi on the roof sounded like a good place to start. Take the elevator to the top, step out, and get lead to a ridiculously adorable and comfy couch to curl up on while breakfast comes up… and as i order and process where i am… i can’t help but notice the beautiful lights, the ivy hanging and intertwined above me, how much greenery and the variety of pots i’m surrounded by… and as my eyes focus, suddenly i realize what a stunning view i’m waking up to. No joke. It’s pretty magical. Everything seemed to sparkle in that early morning glow! It felt as if you were in a large intimate garden/deck at home… and i hear its even more stunning at night, so, i’ll have to find a night to see it glisten as you overlook all of manhattan… So take a peek on the next page of how pretty the Gramercy Park Hotel Roof Club looked bright and early!

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*notcot in food+drink - 1 Notes

Grodan, Stockholm

grodan.jpg Sometimes you desperately run around the city all evening, desperately hunting for an open restaurant after having two drinks at the ice bar for "breakfast", almost genuinely considering buying 7-11 food, tweet for help, call for suggestions, and almost everything that comes up is closed... then you stumble upon the adorable red cozy outdoor section of Grodan, and peek into a stunningly ornate dining room that smells delicious... and there it is. Froggies! Everywhere! On the menu... embroidered on the napkins, on the door - a simple red silhouette of a frog! (Yes, i now know Groda means Frog in swedish)... but the most intriguing instance of this little red frog i encountered was as i sipped my water... there it was on the bottom of my glass! And it looked so fun with its reflection and prismatic colors projected on the table... I had to share... and i'm so tempted to make mini vinyl stickers to apply to the bottom of my glasses to surprise people when i get home... see more of the pics on the next page!

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Floor of Pennies - The Standard Grill

pennies.jpg A floor literally tiled with thousands of copper pennies... it's pretty surprising to look down and see them when you walk into The Standard Grill in the Standard Hotel New York, below the Highline. The design was selected by the restaurant's designers,
Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of New York-based design firm Roman
and Williams. See some more peeks of it on the next page!

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*notcot in food+drink - 0 Notes

Ford's Filling Station

fordsfilling1.jpgAnd to finish off my triple feature from the FORDBRADY Dwell party, i loved the typography and use of wood for Ford's Filling Station's menu board's and branding. This Culver City restaurant, which turns two on Valentine's Day, catered the event, and after the jump you can see more images of the incredible kitchen island at FORDBRADY, as well as some of the drool worthy food served!

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