Cruising for the full dining experience! Join us as we cruise New York’s asphalt in pursuit of restaurants and bars focused on giving their customers more bang for their buck – coupling tasty, well prepared food and drinks with good quality service! You don’t have to be a member of the royal family to be treated like one!

Posts tagged “Manhattan

WELCOME TO ASPHALT CRUISERS!!!

Just in time for the new season, is a blog created and designed to fill you in on places we think will offer you a “full dining experience”.

ASPHALT CRUISERS isn’t just about new restaurants, great food & cheap prices – it’s about “THE FULL DINING EXPERIENCE”. We get tired of spending our money at places where we get waiters with poor attitudes, watered down or overpriced cocktails, and just an overall bad time. We love New York and all the restaurants available to us, but ASPHALT CRUISERS is dedicated to those that miss service with a smile – the places where they treat you like they actually want you to come back again. We find a lot of good food, but few places exceed your expectations with their service quality.

Join the movement!!!

Before venturing out for your next brunch, lunch, dinner or happy hour, be sure to visit us here at WWW.ASPHALTCRUISERS.WORDPRESS.COM to get the latest recommendations for your full dining experience, and be sure to leave a comment.

Don’t forget to subscribe and look for our exciting updates and surprise giveaways coming soon!

Sincerely,

Harv & Kam


Winner of the “Dine On Us, Shop on Us” competition is…

Congratulations to Coretta C, the winner of our “Dine On Us, Shop on Us” competition.  

Be sure to subscribe to the blog, pass the word, and you too can WIN!  ASPHALT CRUISERS has the picks for your next great bar or restaurant experience.

WWW.ASPHALTCRUISERS.COM!


Cafe Espanol – Delicioso courtesy of Spain

 Café Espanol 

172 Bleecker Street, NY, NY

#1 or #2 to Houston St., A, C or E to Spring St 

http://cafeespanol.com

In one word…WOW! That describes the entire experience in a nutshell. From the first time we ever walked in and tasted their food, we have been hooked. We’ve been coming here for years and haven’t been dissatisfied yet. The flavors are unbelievable! This is Spanish food at its finest. Reservations are recommended, though walk-ins are usually accommodated. Café Espanol is a great spot for lunch, dinner, and special occasions or for impressing a date. The wine list is good, and their red sangria is delicious. We have a lot of food favorites here including their paella (1 order is enough for two), sizzling shrimp appetizer and our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE IS THE SURF AND TURF – the fillet mignon and lobster just can’t be beat! YUMMMMY! Considering the portions and care in food preparation, the prices are more than reasonable.

Hours

Mon-Thurs  12pm – 12am,  Fri-Sat 12pm – 1am,  Sun  12pm – 1130pm

Lobster tail & Shrimps

Lobster Tail & Shrimps

Seafood paella

Seafood Paella

IMG_1368

Tres Leches

 

Higher-end (Makes everyone feel comfortable, always pleasant, attentive and efficient)

Price

Good/Higher-end (You’ll probably spend $40 – $70 pp for a really great time)  

Decor

Higher-end (Eye-catching, inspires conversation)



Garage – You won’t believe what’s inside

Garage

9 Seventh Ave So. (near Grove St), New York, NY 10012

(212) 645-0600

#1, #2 train to Christopher St – Sheridan Square station

B, D, M, F train to West 4th Street station

www.garagerest.com

 

Mmm….mmm…..amazing! 

Garage is special for so many reasons. The food is deliciously prepared, the drinks are delectable, the service is pristine and the decor is so artistic and tasteful, it provides great conversation during your meal. Garage is great for lunch or dinner.  They also offer live jazz nightly.  You’ll definitely pay upward for a dining experience at Garage. It’s worth the trip for a wedding anniversary or other special occasion/celebration.

The Maryland Crab Cake & Lobster Cake served with mashed potatoes. Absolutely delicious

Calamari appetizer

The Blood Orange Martini

 

Food

Higher-end (Excellent preparation, creative and delicious).

 

Service

Higher-end (Makes everyone comfortable, always pleasant, attentive and efficient)

 

Price

Higher-end ($61 – $100pp) We found it to be worth every penny. This is what we paid for their fried calamari appetizer, about 2 drinks each, and two seafood main courses.

 

Décor

Higher-end (Eye-catching, inspires conversation, cool)


1849 – Old school with some buffalo wings thrown in

1849

183 Bleeker St (between MacDougal St & Sullivan St), New York, NY 10012

(212) 505-3200

A, B, C, D, E, F, M to West 4th St station; #1, #2 train to Houston St. station

www.1849nyc.com

1849 is a cool, fun venue offering lounge seating downstairs and table seating upstairs. The weekend wing specials are great.  This place is great for a lot including enjoying sports in the afternoon.  1849 is also a great place to hit for happy hour and evening – dinner, dancing and DJ on the weekends. The vibe here is great, and it’s just a lot of fun anytime you’re in. The wait staff is consistently attentive and even remembers a lot of the regular patrons, which we think is a nice touch.  Our favorites are the wings, but their other menu items are prepared to just about anyone’s liking.

 

Food

Cheap (Not unique or outstanding, but definitely tasty!)

 

Service Quality

Higher-end (Makes everyone feel comfortable, always pleasant, attentive and efficient)

 

Price

Good ($30 – $60 pp). This should take good care of you here

 

Decor

Good (Comfortable, creative)


Randazzo’s – Seafood and sauce beyond delicious!

Randazzo’s Clam Bar

2017 Emmons Avenue (Between Ocean Ave & E. 19th Streets), Brooklyn, NY 11235

(718) 615-0010

B or Q train to Sheepshead Bay station; B44 or B49 bus to Emmons Ave

www.randazzosclambar.com

Cutting through the chase, our absolute favorites here are their fried calamari, the crab cake sandwich with fries (it’s just sooo good!), and the steamed seafood with pasta entrée.  However, we just can’t enjoy either of these without their signature sliced Italian bread, which is served a little stale and enjoyed while dipping in your choice of mild, medium or hot marinara sauce.  It’s unexplainably yummy, and gives this place a unique, “at home” feel.  Randazzo’s is really festive and is a staple in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood.  Its bright lighting and the festively loud conversation among the staff and patrons make it great for families, groups of friends and a really casual date.  Good for lunch or dinner.  Randazzo’s offers bottled beers and personal sized bottle wines.  We can’t say enough good things about this place.  The prices are comparable to the menu selections (which means that since you’re getting a great seafood selection, the food is greatly prepared and the service is hassle free, warm and friendly – you’re paying the best price for all of that).  Your visit is almost sure to be a great casual dining experience.  Do check it out.

Food

Good! (This place is sure to offer a dish you’ll find special enough to come back for).  If you love seafood, this is a promise!


Service Quality

Higher-end (Makes everyone feel comfortable, always pleasant, attentive and efficient)


Price

Good ($30 – $60 pp)


Decor

Good (Comfortable)


Graziella’s – Pizza you won’t forget

Graziella’s

232 Vanderbilt Ave (between Willoughby Ave & Dekalb Ave), Brooklyn, NY 11205

(718) 789-5663

G train to Clinton-Washington Ave station

www.graziellasmenu.com

This Italian eatery is very popular among the locals. With amazing food, and pizza that rivals old Grimaldi’s, you are sure to leave with your taste buds and tummy completely satisfied.  Our favorites are many including the shrimp oreganata appetizer, pizza vito, pizza pescatore and chicken parm. The quality of table service could use some overall improvement (more smiles from the waitstaff and bartender would be nice; they could stand to provide a clearer explanation of side dishes available with your entree, and a printed list of the specials in their menu be helpful – they seem to think patrons should memorize the chalk board from outside the restaurant). That said, you’re still likely to enjoy your dining experience. Graziella’s is the only place we visit for dinner and just can’t leave without a cup of coffee to finish off the evening.

Graziella’s offers a good venue for lunch or dinner with your family, friends or a romantic evening.

Pizza Pescatore (mussels, clams, shrimp, calamari)

Pizza Vito (delicious sausage pizza!)

Food

Higher-end (Excellent preparation, creative and delicious). This place offers dishes you want to come back for. We love the pizza pescatore. The flavors are like we’ve never had anywhere else.

Service Quality

Good (You’ll come back again.)

Price

Good/Moderate ($30 – $60pp) This is what you’ll pay for a really good time including appetizers, wine and main course.

Décor

Good/Moderate (comfortable, creative)


Alma 33 – You’re gonna love it

Alma 33

33 West 8th St. (between 5th and 6th Ave) New York, NY 10011

(212) 380-8794

A, B, C, D, E, F or M train to West 4th Street station

www.almanyc33.com



Love love love this place!  Alma 33 is a stylish, dark and sexy venue. Great music plays all the time.  Alma’s menu is Argentinean and Spanish, serves tapas, entrees, great drinks, wine, brunch, lunch and dinner.  We enjoy this place immensely and highly recommend it as a great place for appetizers and/or drinks before dinner.  You’ll also find it great for after dinner drinks and dessert. The Pionono is not to be missed!!! A huge plus is the service!  The owner, Rich, always takes a personal interest in the customers and really wants everyone to have a great experience. We like sitting at the bar.

We love their drink menu and our favorite appetizers include the variety of skewers and empanadas.  When you add the menu selection, exclusive drink menu, wine list, sexy décor, music, festive atmosphere and the top notch services and the prices, you’ll find yourself enjoying an ultimate dining experience without breaking the bank.  Stop in anytime. We like after work/late evening best.

Steak skewers & fried polenta lollipop tapas

Pionono (sponge cake, seasonal berries and cream). It's slammin' and simple every time!

Argentinian flan

 

Food

Higher-end (Excellent preparation, creative and delicious)

 

Service Quality

Higher-end (makes everyone feel comfortable, always pleasant, attentive and efficient)


Price

Good ($30 – $60 pp) This will take good care of you here. An appetizer with a drink or two


Decor

Higher-end (Eye-catching, inspires conversation)



Empire Szechuan Village – A little Chinese food, a little Japanese food, and a lot of good times…

Empire Szechuan Village

173 Seventh Avenue South (near Perry St.), New York, NY  10014

(212) 243-6046

#1, 2, 3 train to 14th Street station

www.empireszechuanvillagenyc.com

 

Offers a wide selection of Chinese and Japanese delicacies. All of the dishes we’ve tried have been delicious; makes it difficult to choose favorites. In addition to their wide menu selection, they also offer a wide selection of alcohol and beer and at really good prices! Their decor is quiet and mostly comfortable.  The staff is super friendly (we’ve found we’re not the only ones to get a big “Hey! How have you been? Or, “So nice to see you again!”) The management at Szechuan Empire definitely understands the value of return customers. It’s highly likely that your first visit won’t be your last.

Our only critique on the downside is that it often gets a little too warm in there, especially after a few cocktails.  As far as drinks, while they serve really good cocktails at a really good price, they’re not exactly on par with pairing the cocktail with the right glassware.  I can’t tell you how many times they’ve served me a whisky sour inside of a champagne flute. Lol.  It’s a little funny. We love this place.

 

My favorite is the Seafood Teriyaki dinner. It comes with fish, shrimp and scallops. Because I don’t like scallops, I ask them to swap out scallops for extra shrimp.  YUM!!!!!  Harv really likes the Beef & Scallops dinner.

Food

Good (This place is sure to offer a dish you’ll find special enough to come back for)

 

Service Quality

Good (You’ll definitely come back again)

 

Price

Cheap ($10 – $30pp) $30 will secure an appetizer, drink and main course for sure!

 

Décor

Good (Comfortable, a little creative) 


La Traviata – Delicious Italian food in Brooklyn Heights

La Traviata

139 Montague Street (between Henry St. & Clinton St.)

(718) 858-5592

N, R train to Court St. station; #2, 3, 4, 5 to Borough Hall station

www.latraviatabrooklyn.com


Italian food that’s tasty and popular in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood. For over 10 years, my favorite dish is the shrimp parmigiana.  I’d call it their signature because I’ve been to several Italian restaurants (Italian food might be our favorite) and, from regular to high-end restaurants, I like La Traviata’s shrimp parm the best!  Of course, they do offer other delicious traditional Italian delicacies.  There’s pizza shop seating at the front that’s darkly lit for a touch of class.  As for the overall atmosphere, it’s tasteful.  With regard to service the waiters here are good, not great, but you’ll be pleased overall. This is a nice place for festive family dining or to bring a date.  No dress code – you’ll feel equally as comfortable in business attire or a pair of jeans.  Mangia!

Food:

Good (This place is sure to offer a dish you’ll find special enough to come back for)


Service Quality

Good (You’ll come back again)


Price

Good ($30 – $60 pp)


Decor

Good (Comfortable, creative)