The Revival of Murray Hill?

One of the neighborhoods Below 14th Street that often does not warrant much attention – apart from its easily forgettable nature – is Murray Hill. But Japanese-born chef Takafumi Hayashi might be able to revolutionize that perception or at least alter it on some level.

Hayashi is the chef at Tenho Ramen that opened its doors earlier this summer in Murray Hill.  at first glance, it doesn’t seem any different to many of the other local ramen-serving eateries but delving a bit deeper one finds quite the interesting tale…

For a start, Hayashi is the real deal.  not only is he Japanese but he hails from Kurume which is where the porkbone broth noodles Tonkotsu Ramen first originated in 1937 where the yobimodoshi method is used (the soup pot is never emptied, hence a much richer flavor is developed).

Locals: check out this spot.  Others: check out this spot too!

Creative Cupcakes

Visit the Little Cupcake Bakeshop in Soho for a taste of childhood.

The bakery, which is known for celebrity sightings, offers several unique cupcakes. Remember enjoying the Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake ice cream bars? Try the Good Humor Cake—it’s just like the ice cream, only in cake form.

If you’re craving chocolate, the Brooklyn Blackout’s for you. Named one of the best chocolate cakes in America by Food and Wine Magazine, this moist cake is frosted with two different kinds of chocolate icing.

Of course, what’s cake without coffee? Coffee lovers can enjoy espresso and other caffeinated drinks at the bakery.

Foot High Milkshakes in SoHo

You’ve probably never seen a milkshake like this before. Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer is offering some of the best milkshakes you’ll ever see – and for only $15. They launched the milkshake idea in November, as head chef and owner Joe Isidori  made one for his wife. As he explained, “One day my wife wanted me to make her a cotton candy milkshake, so I whipped something up, put it on Instagram and the rest is history.” Now, Black Tap is offering three main specialty milkshakes for only $15 at its two Manhattan locations. The milkshakes are a foot tall and divine.

Check out the pictures, and run to enjoy! The three choices here below are: Cotton Candy, Sweet and Salty and Cookie milkshakes.

Here are Black Tap's Cotton Candy, Sweet and Salty and Cookie milkshakes.

Charlie Bird Opens in Soho

Charlie BirdCharlie Bird, the new Soho restaurant, from Robert Bohr and chef Ryan Hardy is ready to impress. It just opened a few days ago and shows an amazing food section that is split into five categories. These include Raw, Pasta, Small Plates, Vegetables and Large Plates. They focus on Italian flavors as they describe on their website, they have an “Italian influenced, American executed, and entirely New York.”

They are a very inexpensive place to enjoy, with only one dish over $30. Their win list includes a section called “Shameless Plug” which features wines made by sommeliers who are friends of the house. These include Aldo Sohm of Le Bernardin and Bobby Stuckey of Frasca Food & Wine, in Colorado.

As they describe on their own website,

“The menu comes from New York’s farmers markets, Long Island fishing boats, country fields and the wondrous meanderings of spirited travelers with passionate palates. We’ll be crushing seafood, roasted meats, crazy good wine and creamy espresso. We’ll present a wine list broad enough for you to come by and enjoy wine with us every night or, you can be a baller and order something you can’t get anywhere else in the world. We’re Italian influenced, American executed and entirely New York.”

Zarsha Leo Comes to Soho

Soho has many great restaurants, but up until now they really haven’t been a hot spot for sports bars. Enter Zarsha Leo. Located right in the heart of the district, Zarsha Leo has already shown itself to be quite popular in downtown Manhattan. Now, they are venturing well below that comfort zone.

As CEO Evan Burschkopf explained, “We figured that Soho residents like sports just like residents in any other area, and we wanted to bring a bit of our flavor to the Soho experience. We are eager to see the locals coming out and enjoying what we have to offer.”

And offer they do. They includes 10 enormous, flat screen television sets blaring the latest sports news and activities. They have great food from their ribs and chicken wings to their sweet potato fries. And they even have a dart board and pin ball machine for enjoyment!

Capsouto Freres : A Souffle Sanctuary

If you haven’t been to Capsouto Freres yet in TriBeCa – it’s time to get there. This French bistro that has been dubbed the “souffle sanctuary” of New York City offers amazing made-to-order soufflés.

The restaurant was founded in 1980 by three brothers including Jacques Capsouto. He won’t give away much of his secret recipe, but Capsouto will reveal that he starts his soufflés with crème patisserie, not with the bachamel sauce that many use.

The menu is filled with so many soufflés that you’ll never be bored on a return trip. There are five savory and four sweet soufflés that are hand delivered to your table by Jacques. He actually pours the hazelnut cream sauce into the middle of the crust right at the table, and tops it off with whipped cream for the drooling customers.

Capsouto Freres is well worth the experience. It’s located at 451 Washington Street between Watts and Desbrosses Street in Manhattan.

Chipotle Replacing McDonalds on Sixth Avenue

If you’ve been dying for a burrito, you’ll soon have a new place to get one. A new Chipotle is opening at 405 Sixth Avenue, replacing the McDonald’s that closed in that location in August.

Chipotle founder, chairman and CEO Steve Ells said, in a statement about the new store, “There aren’t a lot of moving parts to our menu, so we can focus on grilling the perfect chicken, steaming the perfect rice, slow-cooking the best beans and finding the freshest avocados to mash into guacamole.”

Called a “quick-gourmet” restaurant, Chipotle will include an assembly line of tacos, burritos, blows and salads. In addition, they have a liquor license pending, according to the State Liquor Authority records.

Certainly sounds like a bit of a step-up from the health standards of McDonalds!

(Picture taken from by Andrea Swalec)

Pera Mediterranean Brasserie Coming to SoHo

If you love the Pera Mediterranean Brasserie in midtown but hate having to get there from SoHo – good news is coming your way!  They are opening a sister site next month at 54 Thompson Street, serving the same delicious Eastern Mediterranean food.

Pera SoHo will occupy the location of a former hedge fund firm and is adjacent to the 60 Thompson hotel. It took owner Burak Karacam three years to finally get the location approved with the community board clearance and rezoning issues he faced.  Now, the new eatery will have a 50-seat outdoor garden (on space that was once a basketball court!)

The new location will offer a clientele that is more casual, rather than the corporate feel at the midtown location.  As Mr. Karacam explained, they will also have acess to a rooftop location for special events.

Obviously, this is great news for those of us in SoHo who love Eastern Mediterranean food, but can do without the commute to midtown!

Anytime at the Anyway Café

Anyway Cafe Audrey RyaboyFor anyone who hasn’t been to the, it’s time to check it out. Located at the Corner of 2nd Avenue, this little bistro is a jewel.  With seats for only about 35, it’s as quaint as they come and as homey as you’ll find in the big city.  The Anyway Café has been around for over a decade now, serving delicious Russian/French food at amazing prices. The menu includes great and inexpensive salads, delicious crepes like the wild mushroom and ricotta cheese crepe, pastas and entrees.

Topping off the food menu is a great assortment of alcoholic beverages for those who want to sit back and relax a bit.  Anyway Café serves its own organic vodka infusion that is made with a traditional Russian recipe and natural ingredients.  They also have martinis, beer, wines and seasonal drinks.

On top of the divine meals and snacks, they have live music almost every night.  Sundays features experimental jazz and poetry while Mondays are open microphone nights.  On Tuesday, you’ll find the Jazz guitar master Andrey Ryaboy there and Wednesdays are reserved for Bossa Nova and rock from Eric Nicholas. The list goes on and on, and each night is filled with another type of music with even a bit of country thrown in.  It’s highly worth the trip to 2nd Avenue for this great experience.