Dinner & Drinks! (Max and Bar 89)

Ivy (aka Princess FiFi’s mamma) had made plans to go to Lucky Strike for some drinks last week.  Next thing you know after reading some reviews and comments from Pear, our plans were quickly changed to dinner and drinks starting at Max then onto our favorite watering hole Bar 89.

Luckily I was working in the field that day so I was able to head out to the city at a normal time instead of making the trek in from Long Island!

The plans were to head out to the city earlier with the boy and Pear for some pre dinner drinks and then Ivy would meet us in the city around 8:30.  Pear arrived promptly at 7pm in his shiny new car and we headed out!

I had been given a gift card by NinjaCyn for one of our favorite restaurants – so off we went!

*Note all pictures are from my phone…and my new spiffy Instagram app!  (bout time it came to Android!…now I just have to get a new phone with a better camera…October cannot come fast enough!)

 We took a seat at the bar and decided on our drinks…Can you guess what we got?

I’ve had both the Bellini and Max Mix in the past….and they are both TOO SWEET!  The Max Palmer immediately (obviously) caught my eye.  The drink was good…but not great.  I found it a little bitter either from the tea or the muddled lemons…it could have used more lemon juice in my opinion.  Pear got one too.

The boys deserted me…Pear in the bathroom and the boy went outside to get Ivy…I need to change my foursquare profile pic ASAP…thanks to creeper guy at Max…I told the boy not to leave me alone at the bar but did he listen?….nooOoOOoOoOOo…
When Ivy arrived we were quickly seated at the last available 4 top!  Perfect timing!
A bottle of wine was ordered while we made our dinner decisions…
I am new to drinking red wine.  But after my personal one on one lesson back in December, its been discovered that like white wine and other boozy drinks…I DON’T like it sweet!  The waitress assured me that the bottle Pear had chosen wasn’t too sweet and it was a good wine.  Obviously my attempt at a picture of the name is a complete fail!  You can see a glimpse of the boy’s iced tea in the picture too…I had it for the first time last year…and it was good!

CHEESE! :) <3

 

Max always has daily specials posted on the boards in the restaurant.  Can I say how ecstatic I was when we saw burrata on the menu?! :)  One order of burrata and one order of calamari to start.  The calamari comes with a spicy marinara sauce that is delish!   No pictures of the food because…well I dunno…just because, ok?!  Bad blogger I know…
For entrees Pear and Ivy got the same dish – squid ink pasta with shrimp in spicy marinara…good as always!  And yes, squid ink makes your poop black.  Like JET BLACK!  And for that single superficial reason is why I no longer order squid ink pasta anywhere.  Ivy texted me the next day to confirm her findings!  She’s a nurse.  And a mom.  She is used to gross stuff like that.  Your ears would probably bleed if you heard some of our conversations!  Wow look at that tangent!  See I guess thats what happens when I don’t have any pictures to show you!  The boy and I both got specials from the board.  For him – lobster ravioli with spicy marinara and for me fettuccine with mushrooms and TRUFFLE OIL.   Thumbs up all the way around!

Waiting for our noms….Ivy and Fifi have matching bangs…LOVE IT!  I should tell her dad that I want to join in on the party the next time I go see him for a haircut too!  lol

After dinner we headed over to Bar 89 for some more drinks.  Ivy and I were chatting in the car and wound up driving uptown!  The boys beat us there by a long shot!
Whenever I say that we’re going to Bar 89 most people give me a look and say “again?!”….Pear and I have been going there for over 10 years now.  It’s our spot!  (Don’t get jealous boy! 😉 )  Until I find another bar that has table service, good drinks and a well stocked bar, this will be my go to spot!

CHEERS!  <The boy was here too…just hiding from our antics…I can embarrass him sometimes when I have a few in me 😉 >

We ended up somewhere else after this….but for the life of me I can’t remember where or what the name was…I am thinking it was somewhere on the LES.

It was a LONG night…O.o

The next morning:

Yeah I totally drank tap water from the bathroom.  Yes it is gross.  But you know what is even more gross?  Throwing up because you are hungover.

Till next time…
The end.

Max
181 Duane Street
NY, NY 10013
212.966.5939
www.max-ny.com

Bar 89
89 Mercer Street
NY, NY 10012
212.274-0989
www.bar89.com

 

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Osteria Il Paiolo {Restaurant Review}

Have you ever strolled around looking for a restaurant and after checking out the menu decide it looks good and go in blindly?  Sometimes you can really find a hidden gem this way!  Well…this is not going to be one of those reviews.

After a long day…taxes in the AM…shopping at Woodbury in the afternoon…we decided to have dinner in Williamsburg with Rach since we had to drop her off at home anyway.  It was a Saturday night and it had just finished raining.  We wanted to go out somewhere for dinner and after seeing that the local Thai places all had at least a 30 minute wait, we decided to walk around checking out the posted menus at some other places before making our decision.

I wanted to love this place.  I really did.  We all did.  It looked so promising.  Quaint.  Nice ambiance.  Fancy…but still low key. The first sign that caught our eyes was the specials board that was posted outside.  THEY HAD BURRATA!!  Not just any burrata…but they served it with truffles too!  We were sold!!  For those of you that don’t know…burrata is a type of cheese that’s basically fresh mozzarella on the outside and inside is a cream.  So light…so creamy…delish!  I’ve never really been able to find it on the menus at restaurants in the city so we were ecstatic when we saw this!  With only my camera phone in hand…off we went.

First sign something was wrong…we walked into a half empty restaurant and I asked if they had room for a table of 4.  The hostess says “do you have a reservation?”  Umm…no dipshit…if I had a reservation I would have given my name and stated that I had a reservation.  I asked you if you could accommodate our party of 4.  We were brought over to a table and handed menus.

After our orders were placed a runner brought over bread and plates for our appetizers.  But he only brought three.  And then he forgot to bring the fourth.  How do we know he forgot? Because we saw him doing things at other tables!  Crisis averted…someone finally brought us the elusive plate…

Don’t let the bread fool you.  It was pretty bad.  Probably the worst focaccia I’ve ever had.  So dry…so bland…so yuck.  But bread baskets are really iffy sometimes.   Underneath the focaccia was some of the crustiest bread I’ve ever had.  Terrible.  But we ate it anyway because we were starving and needed something to spread the burrata on!

The burrata ($28) came to the table and the waiter presented the whole truffle to us and began shaving…and shaving…and shaving…it was snowing truffles!  

The burrata was perfect.  Creamy…soft…mild…they also drizzled it lightly with olive oil which made it even more decadent!  If you ever see burrata on the menu I highly suggest you give it a try especially if you are a fan of fresh mozz!

Next to arrive at the table was the cheese platter…odd…because we ordered the meat and cheese platter ($24.50).


This was a little…uhh..sad looking.  There were 4 cheese selections.  How are three of them versions of pecorino?!  One was plain…one was flavored with white wine and the third was flavored with mushrooms…The fourth cheese on the platter was a gorgonzola.  Pear said that the accompaniments for the cheeses were really good but I had to pass on all of them.  After about 10 minutes we asked the waitress where the meat half of the platter was.  She looked at us and said that she thought we only ordered the cheese platter.  Not sure how this happened because she REPEATED our order for us after taking it and all four of us heard her repeat the correct order.  *sigh…
After being acquainted with the cheese platter we weren’t expecting much from its meaty half ($14.50).
It was so unmemorable.  They didn’t even tell us what the three meats were.  Whatever.  I was soooo over this place by now.

When we were done ordering the boy decided that he also wanted to add another appetizer to the list and told the waitress before she collected the menus.  We added the polenta and sausage.  It never came.  We asked about it and she thought that he wanted that as his entree.  We cancelled it and told her that he actually ordered the same entree as Rach.  Maybe she was having an off night??   Save your off nights for the weekdays!  Saturday should be your biggest/busiest night of the week!  The restaurant wasn’t packed so its not like she’s overwhelmed by having to wait on a lot of tables…and she wasn’t even the one bringing out the food – she only took the orders!  Anyway….

Pear got the fettuccine alla amatriciana ($16.50) – pasta with cured pork cheeks, onions and San Marzano tomatoes.  He liked the dish.  I tried it and thought it was ok.  I was glad to see that the pasta was homemade.  I was not so glad to see that it was slightly undercooked.  I like my pasta al dente…I usually take my pasta out before I drain the rest because everyone hates how undercooked I like my pasta.  This pasta was bordering on raw.

When I see gnocchi on the menu I have to get it.  HAVE TO.  Unless its made with butternut squash.  Or has nuts/raisins in the sauce.
This dish sounded PERFECT for me!  I was so excited.  Gnocchi all’aragosta ($21.50) – Potato gnocchi with lobster in a light tomato sauce.

Oh. My. Goodness. I have never had gnocchi this terrible before!  (And the boy tried to make me gnocchi for my birthday last year!)   The texture was so strange….gummy and slimy on the outside.  Dry and dense on the inside.   And I didn’t appreciate how they were not rolled on a gnocchi board or the tines of a fork.  They were just sloppily cut and unevenly sized too!!  The lobster was…can you guess???  Overcooked!  And the sauce was so bland.  I shouldn’t have turned down the fresh pepper when they came by with it.  :(   Major fail.

The boy and Rach ordered the same dish.  I don’t have a detailed description or price because it was a special of the day.  Pappardelle  with lamb ragout, arugula and goat cheese.  Promising?  Yes!  I tried some and this pasta was cooked much better than Pear’s was.  The sauce was a light cream based one.  It was good enough.  Passable but by no means delish.

 

Normally I wouldn’t have even posted about this.  But this place was so terrible.  I couldn’t let it slip.  We all really wanted to like this place.  But in the end we just couldn’t.  And to make matters worse….we ordered the meat and cheese platter which should have been $24.50.  Instead we were charged separately at $14.50 each.  Even if the portions were different for the combo, they should have charged us for the dish we ordered.  Not the one we were given.

I don’t like to give bad reviews or to talk badly about poor service at restaurants.  Everyone has their off nights.  Waitstaff…cooks…dumbass hostesses.  But to have it all in one place.  And  for it to be demonstrated dish after dish and to have so many errors in service and with our orders is just unacceptable.

This further confirms my distaste for Williamsburg.  I don’t blame Rach for wanting to get out of the neighborhood ASAP!

THUMBS DOWN

Osteria il Paiolo
106 North 6th Street
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
718-218-7080

 

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