Agora, a Turkish Delight

Nestled on the Upper East side is Agora.  The first and only Turkish restaurant I have ever had the privilege to try. As a first time experience, I feel I have been robbed from the amazing food I have been missing all these years. (Truthfully, I can’t think of a single Turkish restaurant in Toronto but that maybe my own fault).

Agora covers all the bases. Delivering great food, customer service and atmosphere.An additional nod must be given to the interior design -tastefully modern yet comfortable. Have I mentioned how clean this place is especially the bathroom facilities? I always check that. Very happy to give that a 5 out of 5.

Upon seating, they bring the most delicious bread and dip. Made in house, I loved the fluffy bread but honestly had to hold back from eating the entire thing.

The aroma was as heavenly as the flavours in the Lamb Adana. Ground lamb char grilled in an array of aromatic spices and red peppers. Served with an onion, cabbage slaw, grilled jalapeño and tomato and rice. The lamb itself was sitting on this thin glazed bread. I savoured every bite.

For dessert I had their baked rice pudding. Served in adorable terracota containers. This absolutely hit the spot. Smooth and not too sweet.

One of the best meals I’ve had in new york.

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fluffy bread
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baked rice pudding

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinfuegos: Lower East Side Oasis

The first time and subsequently other times I’ve gone to this place. I’m always taken back by the oasis they’ve created in this space.  Sure, there are other places that provide a nice respit in NYC but it’s always the way it’s done.

Although, they do have small Cuban inspired tapas for you to enjoy, their strength has consistently been with their cocktails. Whether you choose their giant sized punch bowls or single glass cocktails, I have to say, I’ve never had a bad drink here.

One of my favourite beverages is pictured. The Honey Badger is made worse th passionate, fruit, lime, jalapeño, lairds’s bonded appleJack and flor de Cana 4 year extra dry.

Dare of the day: House Zombie. El Dorado 151, Apppleton V/X, 3 year white, Barbancourt 4 year, Angostura, Absinthe, Maraschino, Passionfruit, Grapefruit, Lime, Orgeat and Cinnamon.  

That’s one heck of a drink.  😉

Uptown Roasters …. Unsuspectingly, wonderfully, the best surprise

 You must be wondering why all the hoopla.  I have a story with this roaster. A sweet one.

As a coffee hound of sorts, it was a complete surprise to find this place by the Lexington subway station. (An excellent commuting location, if that was their strategy). This area of the city, lacks good coffee. So it was a nice surprise to walk into this local roaster. (The Bronx ain’t that far).

Now, they literally had just opened. When we ordered all they could do was apologize because they were still learning how to make a proper beverage. They explained the story behind their coffee and I was sold except on their coffee making skills. They said, we’d love to give you this on the house and ask you to come back and try us again.  I did exactly that.

I could taste the beans through the watery concoction they made. There was good flavour hidden in there so in no way was I ever going to review a space without having their best foot forward.

I returned. 8 months later to reading 5 star reviews and accolades as a hidden gem.

It was indeed a great cup of coffee that I was happy to savour to the last drop.  You can taste the freshness of the roast. I remember the owner telling me how they acquired the beans and continued to roast them in such small batches. She said she believed in her product and small roasts were the best way to impart the flavours they created.
No other roaster in New York comes close to this tiny batch roasting love process.

Trust me. You can taste it.

I’m happy I waited. I believed they had something awesome then. Time and new comer after newcomer proves it.