Food

Where to Eat This Weekend: Raclette

I have a simple question for you: Do you love cheese? If you answered yes to this, then boy do I have the place for you!  Meghan and I agreed to try new restaurants once a month. Monday evening we went to the first restaurant on our list, Raclette. Located at 511 E 12th St NY, NY.

Upon entering the front door your nose is hit with a stinky smell. It threw me by surprise initially and then my brain registered that it was the aroma of various cheeses, duh. Even though it was a Monday night, the place was packed. Just a tip for any one interested in going:  all members of your party have to be present before you can be seated. (I was late (as per usual) and Meghan had to wait a few minutes in the cold, Sorry Meg!)

Raclette’s evening atmosphere seduces the guests. The dim lighting and candle lit tables allow for feelings of intimacy in the setting. The tables are small so you can still hear the person you’re with even as music plays in the background. This restaurant is ideal for a date (whether it’s platonic or romantic). Hint to readers: Valentine’s Day is around the corner.

Prior to going to the restaurant I did a little research on the menu to see what I was working with. To my demise, I still was unprepared when the waitress asked me what I would like to order. For our starter we decided to share the tomato tartine. This dish consists of mozzarella pearls, cherry tomatoes, arugula pesto, and fresh basil on a toasted nan. It looks like this:

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Looks pretty enticing doesn’t it? Trust me, it tastes as good as it looks. Every item in this dish complimented each other.  I’m not big on tomatoes but when paired with the other ingredients, a true masterpiece. Tomato tartine: $14

With the main course we decided to go with the New York for Two. This item is one of the Raclettes which is rack-melted alpine cheese that is scraped table side. YES, this is the place that scrapes the oozing cheese right onto your meal. Talk about mouth watering. This moment is so beautiful you might want to document it so you never forget. To all my Instagram photogs, definitely worthy of being on your ‘feed’. This dish consists of a 12oz. filet mignon, sautéed mushrooms, roasted asparagus, (my personal fave) and potatoes. It looks like this:

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This was taken a few seconds after the cheese was scraped onto the dish. Picture perfect I know. I’ve always been keen on taking pictures of my food even before I started blogging, now my pictures have purpose! Anyway, getting back to the entrée, it was absolutely delicious. The New York for Two is pretty self explanatory in the sense that it feeds two people. If you’re one of those individuals that likes to put each food item on the fork before consumption you’ll enjoy this dish as the pairings are superb. New York for Two: $56

After eating my starter and entree I was just the right amount of full. Sufficed yet not overwhelmed. Quite the opposite of the type full that makes you feel like you could have a heart attack at any second.

All in all, I had a very pleasant experience at Raclette. Try it out and let me know what you think!

P.s. Look how cute my date was:

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Food

Where to Eat This Weekend: Beechwood Cafe

My love for food grows by the day so I know good cuisine when I taste it. Sitting at the corner of Grove and Mercer in downtown Jersey City, you will find Beechwood Cafe. As soon as you walk through the door the staff is very welcoming with warm smiles and offering service.  Warning: this place gets PACKED for brunch.

The first time I went to Beechwood was about two years ago. It was the beginning of the ‘I Spend All My Money on Food’ chapter of my life. The first time around I ordered the  Beechwood waffle for $9 (I highly recommend this dish). The waffle comes with strawberries, bananas, whipped cream, walnuts, and syrup. I always get the berry compote for an extra $2 to give it the cherry on top feel. This is my favorite dish at the cafe so it’s safe to say we know what I ordered the next 6 times I found myself there.

Recently, I’ve decided to be a little more spontaneous and switch up my ordering habits. I tried their bowl of chili and I swear that is what love tastes like. They pack so much flavor in one little bowl. I order tortilla chips on the side as a chip n’ dip situation.

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bowl of chili

I could write about this place all day but that would only get your mouth watering. Wipe up the drool and take a trip for yourself. The atmosphere of the cafe is very trendy and just waiting to be snapped and posted on Instagram. They are located at 290 Grove Street, Jersey City! If my words can’t convince you maybe these photos might help.

Food

Piggin’ Out at Hamiltion Pork

Calling all meat lovers: If you have love for barbecue look no further than restaurant, Hamilton Pork, to suffice all your pork needs.

Brothers, Michael and John Gondevas opened the barbecue spot in February 2016 just celebrating its year anniversary. But before the eatery was even an idea, the duo opened the Jersey City restaurant Hamilton Inn in April 2010.

“Business is great we are very busy. We’re both from here [New Jersey]. We’re very fortunate that it is so good and we wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Gondevas.

The eatery’s exterior greets customers with a neon pig and smiling hostess, followed by an interior setting completely unique to them. To the left of the entrance is the bar, but not just any bar as it is carved out of a shipping container. If you are having a hard time visualizing that think of the Baltimore docks from “The Wire.”

Hanging on the wall to the right is a large American flag that draws the eye to the exposed brick walls to complete the ambiance.

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I have a strong love for barbecue so I was a little overwhelmed when I saw the variety of mouth-watering items on the menu including brisket, pulled pork, pork ribs, pork belly and baby back ribs. I went with the pulled pork ($10) and a side of French fries ($6). As for drinks, I ordered the “Bees Knees,” which is a mix of mezcal, lemon juice, maraschino, and ginger ale a balanced blend of citrus and tequila.

Their dessert menu includes a churro ice cream sandwich, which I need to try the next time I visit. When the table in front of mine ordered it, it really was love at first sight.

The food is brought out to you on a tray with a slab of meat on the left, red pickled onions, and whatever side you choose. They supply a hearty portion size so make sure you visit on an empty stomach.

The array of flavors present in the pulled pork made me eager to try what the rest of the menu has to offer. Hamilton Pork also serves guest brunch Sunday through Monday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m..

They are conveniently located steps away from Hamilton Park at 247 10th St. in Jersey City, so you can walk off the pounds of food you just consumed without feeling too guilty. To conclude, I was very impressed with the restaurant. The combination of quality food with the level exceptional service makes for a wonderful dining experience.

Even if you are not huge of barbecue, I encourage you to try Hamilton Porkthey just might win you over.