Good Eats: So a man walks into a Vbar...

The man sitting at the end of the bar was air drumming and drinking alone. Wearing sunglasses and running his fingers through the glam rock hair down his back, he was drinking margaritas and riding high.
It was his birthday and he decided to start the celebrations early.

"Maaan, the first time I came here, I liked it. But the people--the people keep me coming back," he said.

The "here" in question is Vbar. The location is New York's East Village, specifically at St. Mark's and 1st Avenue...where the aforementioned dubious hair and amazing food collide. This gentleman may have been enjoying multiple cocktails while flying solo, but one thing was certain: I trusted his endorsement.

When we first moved to the neighborhood, we were on the lookout for what would become our regular watering hole. Given its close proximity to our apartment and cozy ambiance, Vbar easily nudged out the competition. The drinks are good. The pours are generous...loving even. Almost as if the adorable bartender in suspenders knows the kind of day you've trudged through to get there.

I had certain expectations from the Italian bar that also serves as a cafe-style restaurant.

Wine, for one. I expected good wine. Their list is exceptionally diverse.

A delicious cappuccino wasn't surprising either. Any self-respecting Italian proprietor would pride himself in a sturdy, frothy foam that stays around for the long haul.

The people--as this 80s-lovin' man will tell any bystander--the people, surprised me.

To start with, I didn't expect them to be so...nice. Nice is usually reserved for less cool neighborhoods where strollers and clean parks and shirts with crocodile logos abound.

But they do 'nice' really well here. Smiling happens. They remember your name and your favorite place to sit. They tell you about what's been happening and you tell them about the big project you're working on late which is why you're eating alone at the bar. They're nice. The candlelit bar is nice. The whole thing is just nice. In my book, good service moves mountains, and it seems like the team here really gets that.

Now onto the reason you're really here. The food. In the best way possible, the food is downright shocking.

You kind of expect pub grub when you're going out for a Guinness, but with a decidedly Italian slant to their menu, Vbar elevates the entire experience. At one point you wonder, 'Am I drinking at a restaurant or eating at a bar?' A bit of both, actually.  During a recent brunch that was kicked off with spicy, briny bloody Marys, I was delighted to learn that they've mastered granola. You know how I feel about granola.

Their is a not-too-sweet mix of walnuts, oats, almonds and raisins. Served over tangy, thick yogurt and fresh fruit, I was practically fighting with my husband over who got the last bite.

At our server's suggestion, I went ahead and got a little crazy with my entree order. Apparently mozzarella in carrozza is the dish you must experience before leaving. I have to say, they were totally right.

While yes, I'm more of a green-juice girl, but come on--toasted brioche layered with ham, fresh mozzarella and fried eggs? It's everything you are imagining it to be. Salty ham, sweet bread, a little gooey from the cheese and a little crispy from the edges of the eggs. Go there and get this.

And yes, the sausage, slightly obscene-looking while sitting naked on their plate, were perfectly browned and flavorful. I can't say we did them any justice, as we were ready to be rolled out the door at this point, but we took note to save room for next time.

And by next time, I mean this weekend. I have big plans for their lemon ricotta pancakes. As should you.

To view the Vbar menus, click here.

To view their address and location information, click here.


A Recipe Redux

Pssst. Hey.

Yes, you.

You're pretty great. And smart. You know things. Like...real, important things.

You know that sea salt is the holy grail of flavor.
And that eating vegetables, while not always your first impulse, is a must.

You remember that it's okay for dessert to come first...

...and it's more than okay to prefer springtime crostini instead of a fancy dinner out.

You make cheese, for goodness sake.

It's no secret to you that your parties will always revolve around the kitchen table/butcher block/summertime grill. 

You know that she who brings the chocolate has the power.

And more than that, you know you

Ask yourself for advice first. 
Listen to your gut. 
Acknowledge your aspirations. 
Respect your own opinion. 
Take control of the next step. 

You know more than you think you do. 


The Curry Cure

I like curry. Really like it.

But, I have to be honest right away and tell you that I did not make this recipe. Not even a little.

As tempted as I am, my husband doesn't eat it. I know, right?? Crazy talk.

That fact, combined with a pot of amazing curry and my tendency to not. stop. eating. it....is a recipe for a New Delhi Belly.

However, when a PC-reader let me know that she is on strict orders to completely omit wheat, dairy, yeast, nuts and sugar from her diet, I had to get a decent meal to her before she died of boredom over her plate of steamed vegetables. No one wants that.

Enter the mighty curry. Flavorful, rich, silky and spicy--a sumptuous curry dinner is exactly what said reader needs to perk up her plate. Plus it kind of goes with almost everything: Vegetables, Fish, Chicken, Tofu.

Even chocolate and cookies are invited to the party. It's the little black dress in your recipe repertoire. Peanut butter just lost that title.

So let's get down to business. Here's a delightful (and easy!) sauce that pairs well with whatever you choose to curry...

Coconut Curry Tomato Sauce
Adapted from Food & Wine


  1. 2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
  1. 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  1. 1 garlic clove, minced
  1. 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  1. 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  1. 1 1/2 tablespoons mild curry powder
  1. One 28-ounce can peeled tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
  1. One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  1. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


In a large saucepan, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño and ginger; cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the coconut milk and sugar; bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 20 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and transfer to a bowl.

The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. 


Use as a poaching liquid for chicken, shrimp, lamb, pork and vegetables. Add to a sautéat the last minute. Toss with boiled potatoes or serve over rice. Mix with chicken stock and vegetables or seafood for a quick soup.


Crazy Sexy Recipes. They'll make you look good.

By now my affinity for health and wellness is no surprise. I just loooove feeling good and vibrant and keeping you in-the-know on how to live your healthiest life. 

One of my riveting role models, wellness gurus and all-around life-lovin' rock stars, Kris Carr, featured a recipe blog post by yours truly on her web site: CrazySexyLife!

The Crazy, Sexy, Life message is all about getting into your best physical, mental and emotional shape. But what I love most is that it helps provide tools for change without asking you to abandon everything you love and become someone different. You can be YOU. Only YOU...2.0 version. 

Check out my article here, test some recipes, let me know how your feeling. 

And come back later for a special requested recipe from a reader who can't eat anything!*

*Okay, she can eat. But no yeast/gluten/dairy/nuts/fruit allowed. So this upcoming dinner idea is extra creative (and delicious!). 



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Keep cookin',
Xx P