Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Restaurant Review: SUD Vino & Cucina

It is not easy to find an Italian restaurant that doesn't make me wish I had just invited myself over to my grandmother's house for dinner, but Sud makes the shortlist. 

I just recently moved to Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, and Alycia and I thought it would be nice to explore my new neighborhood. We wandered Bedford Ave. on a recent Friday night after a long work week, and the warmth and relaxed vibe emanating from Sud won us over. 

The restaurant itself was so cute and cozy. The fireplace and kitchen hutches in the that back made us feel like we were sitting in someone's home, and the service was incredibly familiar and friendly. 

We started with yummy (heavily poured) Pinot Grigio, and some complementary bread with olive oil. Despite the bread basket, we went ahead and ordered more bread to start - the crostini with taleggio cheese and house-made black olive tapenade. We were so pleased to find that the order came with four pieces of crostini - generous for $8 compared to the Manhattan prices we are used to! The crostini were savory with a little bit of sweet, just perfect to hold us over for our main dishes (warning - more carbs to come).

The Sud menu is small, which I love. I subscribe to the philosophy that it's better to do a few things very well then to do many things in a mediocre way. The menu has a pesce section, but it kind of just screams "order pasta!", so we did. 

I had the Rigatoni Alla Norma - fresh eggplant, ricotta salata and tomato sauce. The ricotta salata is salty and a little creamy, making the overall simple dish a little bit more complex and interesting. It was perfect. 

Alycia ordered a pasta with veggies (I think spinach, mushrooms, etc.), garlic and olive oil. It was so simple and good. 

We finished with a decadent chocolate cake and were on our way. 

I expect this to become one of my neighborhood go-tos - the ambiance is perfect for conversation over dinner. 

  • 1102 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn
  • b/t Lexington Ave & Quincy St in Bedford-Stuyvesant
  • Important to note: Sud is cash only, seemingly a trend in this neighborhood.

Monday, May 5, 2014

90 Miles from Cuba: Foodie Trip to Key West

So this past month has been a busy one with both work and play -- it all feels a bit like a blur with what has felt like one massively long Winter here in NYC, up until maybe a week ago! it's finally beginning to feel a bit more like Spring now, but that was definitely not the case as recent as mid-April.

There is just one reason...and one reason only that my sanity has been saved amid such a long, cold, brutal Winter...Key West.

Ahhhh the Keys!  I knew it would be warm, sunny, laid-back and perfect -- but what I didn't know was how many "at-home" foodie experiences we would enjoy, which was awesome!  We were a house full of 8 girls (for my girlfriend's bachelorette bash), which means that cooking was not only a blast, but a team effort (and might have included a cocktail or two!).  We also had some pretty great foodie (and cocktail) fun out of the house too!

The photos really speak for themselves though --

Night 1 started at the house with mussels in a white wine-lemon sauce,
followed by peppers stuffed with ground turkey.

The next morning, we used pepper, ground turkey and veggie leftovers
for a massive, delicious frittata!  One of the girls shared that it's an Italian tradition
in her family to cook breakfast with last night's leftovers = genius! (and delicious!)

On one of our morning walks, we discovered a local who sold cold, fresh coconuts!
Absolutely delicious -- Vita Coco has nothing on this guy! ; )

We also stumbled upon this gem.  I am now addicted to Cuban coffee.
If you've ever had it, you know exactly what I mean <3

Before heading back to the house before the night, we HAD to pick up some local fish for dinner!
Steamed over veggies in the oven = perfection.

One of my absolute favorite things (other than Cuban coffee!) from Key West =
The Key Lime Margarita.
You cannot imagine how amazing this is until you've had one.

Another sweet treat was a smorgasbord (and special surprise for the Bride!)
at this INCREDIBLE dessert restaurant,
appropriately-named, "Better Than Sex".
We all literally had sugar hangovers after this one -- but so worth it.

Champagne, chocolate-rimmed coffee glass, and Irish Cream.
'Nuff said.

Back at the house, we had an easy cooking night towards the end
of the trip to use up what we had and got creative with different versions
of flatbread pizza's on the grill.  So easy, and so deliciously fun and creative too!

One of our 'last suppers'.  Burgers & corn on the grill,
lots of laughs & love around the table, food for the soul.

A meal? Or a Bloody Mary?  Both!  This was one of our last stops
just before Seven Mile Bridge, as we road-tripped the 3-hour drive back
for our flight home from Fort Lauderdale.

Not only was the food amazing, but the sunsets were to die for.
Everyone from all over Key West gathers at sunset to celebrate
watching the sunset go down together at the end of Duval Street. 

Food & friends = The perfect foodie trip!

Here's to more foodie field trips this year -- Feel Good!


P.S. Missing fellow foodie blogger Christina in this trip, but trust us -- there are more foodie field trips to come, stay tuned! ; )