NYC Stores – “As Seen on Kickstarter” Pop-up Shop

312 Bowery – From November 13, 2015 to December 31, 2015

Pop-up shops offer the opportunity to experiment with uncommon and creative store concepts. For a few weeks, the Bowery features a shopping window with the most successful Kickstarter products that are designed to work with Apple products. The idea of having Kickstarter-themed store is interesting and it could be expanded also outside the Apple ecosystem. By the way: I have no clue on whether and how the levitating light bulb featured in the picture could be used with an iPhone or a Mac.

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NYC Stores – Designer’s Truck

Stores and commercial activities are a significant component of the city’s image and lifestyle. In Downtown Manhattan you can find pop up shops, hyper-specialized stores and truck shops that define emerging trends or simply cater to the needs of micro-segments of potential clients.

This a series of notable stores that I found while walking below 23rd street.

Let’s start with the Designers’ Truck. Nowadays, food trucks are everywhere. A truck where you can be clothes and accessories created by local designers is something quite new. The truck is a smart way to further optimize the commercial and parking real estate space in Manhattan. Exploring the interior of the truck has the flavor of a private visit and conversation with the designers. Overall, it is a nice experience!

Designers' Truck

Pasta @ Pepe Rosso

149 Sullivan Street, New York

At the bottom of the Pepe Rosso’s menu sign above the counter there is a statement that perfectly summarizes the value proposition of this restaurant: “No Diet Coke – No Skim Milk – No Decaf Coffee – Only Good Food”. I would complete this sentence by adding “… Especially Good Pasta”.

Every pasta dish is a delicious experience that brings a piece of Italy in Soho. The rigatoni with pink sauce and prosciutto are rich and decadent. The black squid spaghetti were a special – very special, actually – of the day. The tomato sauce was not overwhelming, leaving the main scene to the abundant seafood. The level of spiciness may be too high for the palate not used to southern Italian cuisine.

These two dishes are a representative sample of the menu. Other pasta dishes, the sandwiches and the focaccia are good reasons to visit Pepe Rosse more than once.

 

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Beach Lunch @ Cayenas del Mar

Cayenas del Mar, Dominican Republic

Beach lunch with some tasty and unconventional dishes. A kind of latkes made with plantains and topped with fish, deep fried fish tails, eggplant rolls stuffed with fresh cheese. Rich flavors and multiple textures for a great lunch served directly at the beach.

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Tapas @ Degustation

239 East 5th Street,  New York

Degustation is a unique blend of different styles that well represents the multicultural nature of the East Village. The menu consists of tapas with addition of non-traditional ingredients, mostly from other cuisines. The layout of the restaurant reminds of a sushi bar: the open kitchen surrounded by the bar offers the opportunity to enjoy the preparation of your meal. The exterior design is extremely low-key and it recalls the entrance of a prohibition-era speakeasy.

The tapas are attractive and characterized by a variety of ingredients and preparations that could satisfy different tastes and preferences.

Among the six tapas ordered for the dinner, the perfectly cooked octopus was the star. The charred flavor of its tender meat was counterbalanced by the freshness of zucchini and mint leaves, while the spicy sauce gave a pleasant kick to the tastebuds.

Octopus

The hawaiian blue prawns on top of the paella could have been a separate dish on their own. Their flavor was enriched by a mild spice rub and similarly to the octopus they were masterfully cooked. The paella was well balanced, not overloaded with ingredients, and it provided a good textural and flavor contrast with the prawns.

Paella

Finally, the Brussel sprouts confirmed the great versatility of this underappreciated  vegetable. The deep-fried sprouts were covered by a mix of breadcrumbs and cheddar, with cashews at the bottom. Each bite was a surprising explosion of flavor and textures.

Brussel Sprouts

A few other tapas – croquetas, scallops and cracked potatoes – were less successful. In the next tasting they will be probably replaced by other interesting tapas such as the roasted cauliflower, the wild board bbq and the foie gras.

Hasta luego, Degustation!