Onken Family Dinners

Graffiti NYC

Drop in LunchboxNew York, NY
http://www.graffitinyc.com/


Graffiti has been one of my favorite finds since I moved to the city. The creator and head chef, Jehangir Mehta was on the Next Iron Chef, and creates French American style dishes infused with hints of Indian spices and flavors. The space is small and intimate with community tables. You can sit next to and meet new friends, or fall engaged in conversation with your own fellow dinner compadres. Upon dish delivery, the servers describe the dishes, and the ingredients used. Each dish has ingredients you would never expect to be put together on a plate, but make for a tastebud fiesta. When you see the size of the kitchen you’ll be amazed that they can create such magic in such a tiny space.

My fave dishes on the menu. All Amazingness:
•Three Cheeses
•Watermelon Feta Salad, Mint Sorbet
•Chili Pork Dumplings with Grapefruit Confit
•Pickled Ginger Scallops, Candied Red Chili(Top Fave)
•Graffiti Burger, Fingerling Potatoes(Staple dish)
•Duck Portobello Gratinee, Mustard Onion Confit
•Warm Truffle Almond Strawberries in with Vanilla Pepper Ice Cream

Chef Jehangir:

Warm Truffle Strawberry Desert:

Rating ★★★★★★★★★☆ 

Price ★★☆☆ 

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St. Anselm

Drop in LunchboxBrooklyn, NY

One word. #PORKRAGE. That’s what you’ll be doing after this sinful yet ridiculously amazing meal. From the same owners of Fette Sau, the pork chop here will change your life. When out of town meat lovers come to town, I bring them here and Fette Sau, but lets talk about St. Anselm. Everything I’ve had here is pretty much awesome, but the one thing that is epic is their Bourbon Brined Pork Chop. The prep, and the way it’s medium-rareness is grilled is to die for. Add their side of thick quarter inch thick bacon(from Fette Sau) and you’ll have a heart attack, feel like you’ve sinned and gone to heaven all at the same time.

Some other great dishes I’ve had:
•Market Clams
•Shishito Peppers
•Fingerlings
•Cauliflower
•Butchers Steak with Garlic Butter
•Spinach Gratin
•Pan-Fried Mashed Potatoes & Truffle Oil
•Grilled Berkshire Bacon(To be ordered with the Pork Chop)

Rating ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Price ★★☆☆ 

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Hotel Montefiore

Drop in LunchboxTel Aviv, Israel,
http://www.hotelmontefiore.co.il

Yet another must eat if you’re in Tel Aviv, Israel. Hotel Montefiore is another one of the top restaurants in the country. What I really love about this place is the asian influenced dishes. The food here is top-notch as well. The atmosphere here is nice and chill, especially on a sunlit afternoon at dusk. The service is quite pleasant, and the food is exquisite.

Dishes we had that are must eats:
•Raw Tuna, Yuzo- wonderful sashimi style dish with turnip cabbage tuna, Yuzo and Correander.
•Small Nams, “Cha-Gio”- delightful spring style rolls. Chopped Pork, shrimp, Shallot onions, and vegetables wrapped in rice paper. Wrap them in the lettuce and mint, then dip them in the homemade soy/chillies/palm sugar sauce. Great flavors.
•Pork Chop, Bacon, Manchego- This dish was rediculious. Bacon wrapped porkchop stuffed with Manchego cheese served over peaches cooked in whiskey. Yes please!
•Seafood Casserole- Another lovely dish. Seafood cooked in a green curry. It’s got some spice which kicks the flavors into high gear.


Raw Tuna, Yuzo

Small Nams, “Cha-Gio”

Pork Chop, Bacon, Manchego

Seafood Casserole

Rating ★★★★★★★★★☆ 

Price ★★★☆ 

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Machneyuda

Drop in LunchboxJerusalem, Israel,


This restaurant is one of the top  restaurants in Israel, and rightfully so. Everyone my local friends talked to gave this place rave reviews. All the ingredients are from the local Machne-Yehuda market in Jerusalem. The food here is top notch, and the atmosphere is very hometown kitchen feeling. People were singing with the music which gave it a unique element. The food is gourmet middle eastern with some great experimental flavors infused into the dishes. If you find yourself in Jerusalem, this little gem is a must visit.

Here are my fave dishes we had:
•Gazpacho of Summer Tomatoes with Calamari- I’d go on record of saying this is the best gazpacho I’ve ever had. It was so fresh and the flavors were punchy
•Fish Tartar with Watermelon Wasabi & Labane cheese- The combo of watermelon and white fish tartar is delightful.
•Carpaccio with Parmesan, Balsamic vinegar reduction- This beef carpaccio dish was exquisite. Had to order it again the second day we went.
•Sea Bream, Arisa Mash, Swiss chard and Feta Cheese- Yet another amazing dish.
•Black Risotto with Cauliflower & Parmig-iano & Muscles- So good with a little punch of spice.
•Polenta & Mushrooms- Tasty treat from day too.

 

Fish Tartar
Beef Carpaccio
Polenta & Mushrooms
One of the three main chefs

Rating ★★★★★★★★★☆ 

Price ★★★☆ 

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Kin Shop

Drop in LunchboxNew York, NY
http://www.kinshopnyc.com/

A genre of restaurant that is a little tough to find. My only other go-to restaurant in this Asian category, is Monsoon in Seattle, but that is Vietnamese and I have to go to Seattle to eat there. Kin Shop is Thai and in New York, but a higher level than your ma & pa restaurants. More exquisite ingredients and presentation with an American twist. The cocktails are also flavorful and deluxe.

A few lovely dishes we’ve had:
•Miang of Montauk Fluke lychees, shiso, chili jam & fried garlic
•Fried Pork & Crispy Oyster Salad: One of their staples. Definitey a must try.
•Spicy Duck Laab Salad: Probably the best Laab I’ve had in the states. It’s got a kick but it’s bursting with flavor.
•Red Snapper Green Curry-mussels, bok choy, pigeon peas, cashews, & siamese green curry: Great flavors.
•Steamed Sticky Rice-fish sauce, coconut milk & pandanus: A unique twist on such a simple dish.

Rating ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Price ★★★☆ 

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