Village Prime

Village Prime; Fine Meats & Seafood

Village Prime; Fine Meats & Seafood

Village Prime is located at 302 Bleecker St. in West Greenwich Village.  It is a bit pricier than my usual fare. But I decided that every once in a while it wouldn’t hurt to splurge a bit. I came across a review of this restaurant in the dining section of a free paper, EPOCH Weekend, and was immediately taken by the elegant style and mouth-watering depictions of several dishes, most notably the terrine molded Tuna Tartare, and the Creme Brûlée which came in a long slender boat shaped dish no wider that the width of a petite dessert spoon. I immediately ran over to the cubicle of my friend Joanna, who has always been a willing accomplice in my culinary excursions, and I in hers. “I have to have this,” I said, pointing out the picture if the Tuna Tartare. “It’s a new restaurant in the west Village, and we have to go there.”
And so, yesterday, not much more than a week later, we walked into Village Prime and shortly met with Annmarie, another friend of Joanna’s who joined us.
V.P. opened in the space that had previously been Surya, an Indian restaurant which I had never been to. The interior design was very tastefully done in various wood textures, with uniquely crafted light fixtures of wrought iron, brass and golden-hued glass. The chairs were wooden with leather-upholstered burgundy-colored seats.

Breads

Breads

Whoever had put this together definitely had a a well-tempered aesthetic sensibility. Even the color of the reed mats on the dark wood-stained tables were a perfect fit. We had gotten there about 5:30, and there was a small group of young ladies chatting over drinks at the bar and perhaps one or two other tables dining. It just so happened to be the second month anniversary of Village Prime that night, and so there was a photographer and a reporter engaging the staff for a story on the newly opened venue.

Cocktails. Joanna and I had the Lychee Martini and Annmarie had the Strawberry Bliss.

Cocktails. Joanna and I had the Lychee Martini and Annmarie had the Strawberry Bliss.

Tuna Tartare

Tuna Tartare

The service was exceptional, our waiters being well-spoken and well-mannered in their matching light yellow/gold-colored jackets with ties. They were very attentive to our needs; at times lining-up to serve us, but this may have been due in part to the fact that it was early and hardly anyone else was dining at the time. We started with cocktails; Joanna and I choosing the Lychee Martini, and Annmarie, the Strawberry Bliss. The Martinis were perfect; not too sweet or over-flavored, with just enough alcohol to give it the right kick.

Lobster Bisque

Lobster Bisque

Tomato Basil Burratta (with beefsteak tomatoes, basil, and aged balsamic vinaigrette)

Tomato Basil Burratta (with beefsteak tomatoes, basil, and aged balsamic vinaigrette)

For the appetizer, I of course, had the Tuna Tartare, which had a green caviar on top, a bed of seaweed on the bottom, and was capped with a proud feathering of yucca chips. The plate was dotted with a yellow mayonnaise based sauce which complemented the dish. It tasted as delicious as it looked.  Joanna had a lobster bisque soup, which she absolutely adored and made short work of. I had a taste of it; and while it was good, it did have a sweetness to it that I thought was a bit too much for a Lobster Bisque.  Annmarie had the Tomato Basil Burratta appetizer, which I did not taste, but she liked it very much. The appetizers were accompanied by a basket of assorted breads – the best of which, we unanimously decided, were the olive and Rosemary long-rolls. We further ‘wet our whistles’ with a well-presented platter of 24 oysters adorned with various sauces including two miniature bottles if Tabasco sauce stuck in the ice!

For my entree, I chose the Skirt steak (medium well) with a side of steak fries (which were actually wedges). While my steak, which came with a Bearnaise sauce, was quite tasty, it was – to my disappointment – rather chewy. I left more than a third if it on the plate once I’d deemed I had a good enough jaw work-out. But my second Lychee Martini made it a little less hard to swallow.

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Blue Point Oysters

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Yellow Fin Tuna (wasabi nori crusted tuna steak, sweet soy ginger soba noodles, and baby bok choy)

Both my companions had the Tuna for an entree. And they both ordered it medium-rare. Joanna’s came out perfect, but Annmarie’s was too pink inside. After giving it due consideration, she sent it back to the kitchen and they fired it a bit more. In the end, they were both pleased with the entree.  Joanna and I converted our companion over to the Lychee Martini for the second round of drinks. She liked it even better than her first cocktail.
We had originally planed to have dessert with our meal, but after the first three courses, we were already pretty full. So we ended up sharing one Desert between the three of us; the Chocolate Lava cake – a scrumptious warm chocolate cake with chocolate sauce oozing from the center. This was topped with a scoop of Vanilla ice cream and centered in square of chocolate drizzle garnished with raspberries. It was a perfect end to the meal.
Although I was a bit disappointed with my entree, I was impressed with the rest of the meal and the over-all service. I think Village Prime has a lot of potential, and I would definitely give it another try in the future.  If you check out this restaurant, I’d love to hear what you think.
By the way, the pictures for this review were taken for the most part by my friend Joanna, who has developed quite the passion for food photography.

Skirt Steak (16 oz)

Skirt Steak (16 oz)

Chocolate Lava

Chocolate Lava

 

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La Cerveceria – New York, NY

Peruvian Ceviche (Fluke, choclo, sweet potato, lemon juice, onions) - Tapas

Peruvian Ceviche (Fluke, choclo, sweet potato, lemon juice, onions) – Tapas

Tuna Tartare (Sushi style tuna, plaintain & corn chips, avocado) - Tapas

Tuna Tartare (Sushi style tuna, plaintain & corn chips, avocado) – Tapas

Calamari (Fried calamari , marinara, panca & amarillo sauces) - Tapas

Calamari (Fried calamari , marinara, panca & amarillo sauces) – Tapas

Quinoa Fritters (f.) (Quinoa, vegetables, tomato sauce) - Tapas Midas touch (l.) (Ale with ingredients from the tomb of King Midas) - Beer

Quinoa Fritters (f.) (Quinoa, vegetables, tomato sauce) – Tapas
Midas Touch (l.) (Ale with ingredients from the tomb of King Midas) – Beer

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Our bartender, Austin,  was friendly, and very knowledgeable about the vast array of beer selections available at La Cerveceria.

Our bartender, Austin, was friendly, and very knowledgeable about the vast array of beer selections available at La Cerveceria.

La Cerveceria is located at 65 Second Ave (@ 4th St).  It serves tapas with a heavy Peruvian influence, and it has an amazingly wide selection of beers from the U.S.and all over the world.  I had the Midas Touch ale which purportedly has ingredients found in the “2,700-year-old drinking vessels from the tomb of King Midas.”  I was dubious at first, but our pleasant and quite knowledgeable bartender, Austin, assured us that he had done the research, and it’s apparently true.  My companion had the Blue Point “Blueberry Ale” which I thought might be too sweet or overpowering, but it was actually a well balanced beer.  Our tapas selections were all very good! I particularly liked the Tuna Tartare, and the Quinoa Fritters, and the Peruvian Ceviche – Lol! The Calamari was average, but good also.  I will definitely be stopping by this place again.  They also do a brunch that looks quite interesting.

Mamajuana Cafe

Salmon A La Parrilla (grilled salmon steak in a creole sauce with eggplant & garlic spinach over mashed potatoes) - main course

Salmon A La Parrilla (grilled salmon steak in a creole sauce with eggplant & garlic spinach over mashed potatoes) – Main course

Pargo Rojo "El Original" (crispy red snapper stuffed with crabmeat mofongo, criollo lobster sauce) - main course

Pargo Rojo “El Original” (crispy red snapper stuffed with crabmeat mofongo, criollo lobster sauce) – Main course

Parrillada Mamajuana (mixed grill special: Shrimp, Salmon, Skirt steak, Sausage, Chicken, empanadas & plantain)

Parrillada Mamajuana (mixed grill special: shrimp, salmon, skirt steak, sausage, chicken, ribs, empanadas & plantain)

A pitcher of Red Sangria (No, I didn't drink it all by myself! :O)

A pitcher of Red Sangria (No, I didn’t drink it all by myself! :O)

Mamajuana Cafe has three different locations in New York; Inwood, Upper West Side and Woodside.  I went to the one in Woodside at 3315 56 St.  It’s very spacious if you want to go with a large group.  The food is really delicious (Latin-American cuisine) and it’s not too pricey.  I had the Salmon, and my friend had the Red Snapper.  The Sangria was very good also; it comes in both red and white, and is part of the 2 for 1 happy hour!

 

Emporium Brasil Restaurant – New York, NY

Cappuccino

Cappuccino

Coconut Brigadiero - Dessert (note: this item is not on the menu)

Coconut Brigadiero (coconut cream, shredded coconut, sweetened condensed milk) – Dessert

Picanha Na Grellha (grilled 14oz. top sirloin, with rice, beans, Batata Frita (fried potato), Farofa (toasted manioc flour) and brazilian vinaigrette sauce

Picanha Na Grellha (grilled 14oz. top sirloin, with rice, beans, Batata Frita (fried potato), Farofa (toasted manioc flour) and brazilian vinaigrette sauce) – Grilled Specialty

Passion Fruit Caipirinha (Cachaca, Passion fruit, sugar, lime)

Passion Fruit Caipirinha (Cachaca, Passion fruit, sugar, lime)

Pão de Queijo (cheese balls/bread)

Pão de Queijo (cheese balls/bread)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Emporium Brasil restaurant is located at 15 W 46th St (between 5th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas).  The Coconut Brigadiero is not a regular item on the menu, so you will have to ask if they have it.  But you can always have the traditional chocolate version.

Ipanema Restaurant – New York, NY

Coxinha De Galinha (Chicken Croquette), Bolinho De Bacalhau (Codfish Croquette) - Appetizers.

Coxinha De Galinha (Chicken Croquette), Bolinho De Bacalhau (Codfish Croquette) – Appetizers.

Peixe Nantua - Monkfish, shrimp and mushrooms in a special bahian sauce and au gratin (House Specialty)

Peixe Nantua (monkfish, shrimp and mushrooms in a special bahian sauce and au gratin) – House Specialty

Caldo Verde (Green broth with sausage and collard greens) - Soup

Caldo Verde (Green broth with sausage and collard greens) – Soup

test post #1: Negra Modelo

This is my new favorite Beer.  I first discovered it at a Chipotle Grill on 6th Ave in Manhattan between 13th and 14th Streets.  I love eating at this particular Chipotle because the restaurant front is a large window where a line of people can sit facing the street and overlooking the pedestrians as they walk by.  Once you try Negra Modelo, you will be hooked! Negra Modelo comes to us from Mexico.