Tuesday, December 21, 2010

been a while!

Wow, sorry for the lack of new posts for the 3 readers we possibly have. Haven't been able to update this site, although i really want to! This new years I am going to devote a little more time to sharing our experiences with all those who are interested! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Friday, May 14, 2010

Lugo Caffe NYC

Lugo Caffe
One Penn Plaza, NYC

Waiting on the platform at Valley Stream station we couldn't help but notice this young girl wearing a white see through shirt accompanied by some barely there booty shorts. I realized that we had something in common. We were both starving. She was starved for attention, and we were starving for some delicious NYC cuisine.

Our mission for the day was finding a quick bite to eat around Madison Square Garden. Midtown Manhattan is not really known for its culinary aspects; instead it is mostly filled with quick food joints that fill you up, cost more than they should, and leave you wishing you'd gone somewhere else. With all the flow of people and the hustle and bustle of tourists in this area, you'd think there'd be more quick and delicious restaurants. There very well may be, but finding a place with the right balance of taste, affordability, and atmosphere are shadowed by stores and souvenir shops. Since Mcdonalds and Chipotle don't fit in my pallet, we were determined to find all of you a delicious meal in an area of great convenience.

After a quick walk around, we noticed a place across MSG with tables and red umbrellas called Lugo. It didn't seem that busy (it was about 730 on a saturday), so with a quick look at the menu we decided that this was the place. Greeted and seated immediately, the first thing that stood out was that this was a very big restaurant. Huge windows lined the walls and the natural lighting added a warm feeling to this place. There was a neat wine wall in the center, and random spaces filled with bottles of olive oil, bouques of fresh pasta and artichokes.

Ah yes, the menu. It was also used as our placemats.

Lugo's menu had a wide selection of wine and the food choices were laid out in a standard Italian Restaurant format. They offer classic cheeses and cured meats in the Salumeria section, an Assaggini section which you can pick from a few small portioned appetizers, pizza, a hot and cold assortment of appetizers, pasta, basic side dishes and numerous main courses.

I started with a spiked pink lemonade special, which was a perfect balance of sweetness and sour with a nice kick. Dino decided to try a spice blended Italian Lager called Nuova Mattina. Nice and thick, you can really taste the coriander.

After devouring the bread basket, we were on to our appetizer special. Italian style edamame. Cooked with parmesan, garlic and olive oil, this classic East Asian pod of baby soybeans was transformed into a delicious italian snack! If you see this on the specials menu, get it! This not too filling starter was delicious and bursting with flavor.

As soon as we licked off the last of the edamame's, our food came. Now, we didn't go for a main course or anything too filling because we had a long night of partying ahead of us in the City. So we opted for the meatball pizza and the caesar salad, which we both split. We also got a side of Zucchini Fritti. The pizza was a thin crust, just perfect enough to support the meatballs, ricotta, mozzarella, roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions. The pizza could serve as an appetizer for a larger group, but it was perfect for the two of us. The meatballs were seasoned wonderfully, and the addition of the onions added tons of flavor. Highly recommended, whether as an appetizer or a course. Our side of Caesar salad had layers of uncut romaine lettuce, with parmigiano and anchovy-lemon dressing tucked in between, with croutons dressing the outskirts of the plate. So for you Caesar salad fans, this is one for the tasting! The side of Zucchini Fritti was a perfect addition. While it was breaded and fried to a golden crisp, it did not taste oily and the integrity of the zucchini was still in tact. It came with a parmesan based sauce, which Dino dipped everything in.

So all in all, Lugo was a great find in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. If you don't want to splurge on any mixed drinks or beers, this is a very affordable location for a quick delicious bite to eat. The staff was very friendly, and our waiter was very attentive. It looks like this place would get busy during happy hour and the after work crowd (since it is right across from Penn Station), but there is plenty of space and also accommodates outside dining. If you are in the area looking for a good sit-down place, check it out!


With Extra Love
Amanda and Dino

Sunday, May 2, 2010

GrillFire in Long Beach, New York

It started out as your typical Saturday, working wishing you were sleeping in, and just counting down the minutes until it was time to head home. On this particular day, neither one of us thought that GrillFire in Long Beach would be the first stop on our DnA journey. We arrived at the restaurant and were seated promptly at a table towards the back. Being a professional people watcher, I couldn’t help but notice the couple next to us starring throughout our meal. Who do they think they are? Not to mention they both ordered the exact same food.


half the fun is eating off each other’s plates!

While waiting for our waiter/waitress to arrive my favorite(Amanda) part of the meal arrived: the bread basket! I was easily impressed when instead of bread I saw two warm soft pretzels with mustard. The meal had started on a high note for sure. While looking through the American style menu of burgers, sandwiches, and entrees of fish, beef, and chicken we were satisfied with the selection. While both of us were famished, it was clear an appetizer was needed. My brother Andrew insisted that if we went there, we had to try the Japanese peanuts (edamame with chili oil & garlic) However, I saw Ginger-Vegetable Pot Stickers and Dino was like a deer in headlights for the Buttermilk Dipped Onion Rings with a blue cheese fondue a.k.a onion rings. I gave him the final decisions, and shortly after our basket of onion rings arrived. Or did they? At first glance, they looked like doughnuts and upon first bite I was unsure whether to add powdered sugar or salt. This is a typical case of the dish not being able to live up to the name. The onions were quite raw, and 4 large rings were taken away by the waiter instead of being eaten by us.

Next, the entree, meatloaf wellington with cheddar mashed potatoes & mushrooms wrapped in a thin crust for Dino & the veggie burger for me. While Dino’s meatloaf looked like a giant eggroll over a bed of mashed potatoes topped with crispy onion rings, mine was simple a big burger and an adorable basket with fries. Dino thought the meatloaf was savory, and kept warm by the thin crust however the crust was hard, and impractical taking away from the main event: the meatloaf. I saw nor tasted cheddar in these mashed potatoes, but let’s be honest, it’s pretty difficult to mess up that side. The onion rings, unlike the appetizer tasted as they should. My veggie burger satisfying, but the bun was definitely too large. I debunned it, and ate the patty on it’s own. The fries had little seasoning, and great crunch! All worked for me =) The service was confusing to say the least, we were unsure who our waiter was and there was little interaction.

Our meal ended with a complementary serving of pink cotton candy! This did earn some points pink being my favorite color, and both of us having a sweet tooth. We skipped dessert, which was a good idea according to one of our field correspondents Meghan who said she wasn’t impressed by the s’more or the brownie sundae. Overall we’d say Grillfire is a step up from Friday’s, nothing special but a quite reasonably priced bite.

With extra love,


Share the food n love!

Hello, cyberspace and welcome to DnA! I for one can say I am excited about this new journey that Dino and I have decided to embark on. We are going to fill you in on the best of the best, and the worst of the worst, to help you join in on the deliciousness that we have experienced while avoiding the disasters. In order to expand the restaurant locations discussed, while avoiding expanding our pant size, we are welcoming various field correspondents to share their dining experiences as well. Feel free to share your opinions with us and comment people! The more the merrier, there is always room at our dinner table for you =) One last note, while we will be primarily discussing food, we are also going to share the love. This will include the many adventures that we take, filling you in on the fun that we have, in hopes that you will share the love with someone you know! Till then, spread the love & go eat something.

As Dino said, stay tuned for our first official blog!

With extra love,


First Entry!

So, while eating at Grillfire last night in Long Beach, we just had the silliest idea of starting a blog. A place where everyone could read about our adventures of traveling, eating delicious foods, and just having plain ol' fun.

There's still a lot of work to do on this blog, places to go, and things to eat. I hope this takes off haha. I'd be completely satisfied if everyone left here feeling a little happier and a little hungrier!

SPANO get me my graphics!

Stay Tuned!