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Taste of 7th Street

5 restaurants on 7th street in the East Village are holding a food event this weekend only.  This Saturday & Sunday you can sample food from Luke’s Lobster, Porchetta, Xoom, Butter Lane & Caracas Arepas.  Scoop Street has 50% off tickets available today only!  $18 gets you $35 worth of food!  I’m going & I suggest you do too!  But if you can’t make it, I’ll be posting a lengthy entry on Monday!

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Singa’s Famous Pizza

Regular readers of my blog (yes, both of you…) will know that I’ve been watching the Singas space (94 Avenue C @ 6th Street) quite closely. Well, finally they’ve opened! I stopped by Singas today (formerly at 2nd Avenue) to try the pie out. Let me start by letting you know that this place is NOT for NYC-style pie purists. Singas have their own thing going on entirely.

Firstly, they don’t sell slices, all they do are 10″ pies (giving you 8 very small slices) & they are made to order. Secondly & most importantly is the style of pizza. It’s not quite deep dish, but along those lines. The dough is more like bread (think a french baguette).  Basically, imagine if a NY & a Deep Dish pie had a bastard child…

I really wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but I really enjoyed the sausage pie I got. The sauce is kind of sweet & my only real gripe was that there wasn’t enough cheese on it. The cheese & the sauce really didn’t ‘mesh well’ together & tended to slide around on the slice a lot, I spent a lot of time stacking the cheese back onto my pie.  I did, however, really like the faint olive oil taste that was present on the bottom of the crust, a really nice touch.

You can tell that they are just getting things going, the beverage cabinet was pretty much empty (one of their employees came waddling in later carrying 3 cases of Coke, etc from the nearby Associated Supermarket) & the owners were there sampling the pies (they too agreed that they needed more cheese) & ordering promotional supplies.  There are a few tables (which are insanely cramped), so I recommend take out or delivery.  All in all, a nice departure from your typical NY slice; not groundbreaking, but I’ll be going back to Singas.
Singas Famous Pizza on Urbanspoon

Brunch at Yuca Bar

Yuca Bar & Restaurant (111 Avenue A @ 11th street) is quickly becoming one of my go to spots in the neighborhood.  A few Saturdays ago, I went there with some friends for Brunch.  It being the weekend & all, I had called ahead to ask if it was busy.  What we were hoping was going to be a really nice meal started off horribly, when the maître d’ was really rude when we asked about the wait.  Luckily when we were finally seated, our waitress was awesome (I wish I could remember her name because she totally saved the day).  The brunch is moderately priced & comes with a free drink (I opted for my personal favorite; a caipirinha).

We decided to share the empanadas which were presented beautifully.  The colorful trio consisted of 1 seafood, 1 chicken & 1 spinach & Cheese.  Trus me when I say that they tasted even better than they look!

Most of us opted for eggs (except my brother who got the steak & eggs (I ate his eggs!)).  I had the Arepas Benedictos which had smoked salmon & came with rice & beans.  One of our group opted for potatoes which I think was a real mistake since the beans really made the dish (no accounting for taste I guess!)

I  really enjoyed the brunch there & will be going back.  On a side note, they have half price Tapas on Tuesday nights & the same maître d’ that nearly ruined our brunch was completely charming…
Yuca Bar on Urbanspoon

Desnuda

I recently went to Desnuda (122 East 7th Street btwn A & 1st Avenue) yesterday with a bunch of friends.  We had seen the gigantic $1 Oysters sign outside so were very excited (obviously). The place is pretty nice, it used to be the old Bourgeois Pig & you can tell that they put a lot of work into the renovation.  A long wooden bar with plenty of seats & the delicious aroma of truffles & popcorn in the air (we were initially bewildered by this).  We took up seats at the end of the bar & prepared for some serious bivalve decimation.  We received complimentary truffle butter popcorn, which was totally amazing & totally explained what we had been smelling since our entrance.

Once we got the menu, we saw that Blue Points were $1, then there were 2 other varieties that were $2 & $3 respectively.  BUT at the top of the menu, in larger than life text was $1 OYSTERS on Sundays & Mondays, so we assumed that they were all $1 (since it was a Monday, you can probably see where this is going).  They have a pretty awesome bottled beer selection, so this added even more to our excitement. I ended up with the Tona Lager from Nicaragua which was excellent.  The Royal Extra Stout was popular with the rest of the group.

We ended up ordering 20 of each with various sauces & having a few beers, really good oysters & a great time.  BUT when the bill came, we were charged $120 for the oysters in stead of $60.  The guy that was shucking our oysters (he seems to be the head honcho there) was totally aware of the fact that we thought all 3 varieties were $1 a piece & was extremely rude when we questioned the bill.

We ended up licking our wounds & leaving a modest tip.  To make things worse, the same guy ran down the street after us & claimed that we had shortchanged him! WTF! Is this just a case of the old ‘bait & switch’?  Has anyone else had that problem?  The menu is very obviously confusing & the dude’s attitude totally sucked.  Which is kinda sad because we had a great time up till then.  Obviously, none of us will be going back there again.
Desnuda on Urbanspoon
Desnuda in New York