New York is THE eating city. There are restaurants, cafes, food carts, and food trucks of every type everywhere you look. It’s basically a food paradise and I wish I could have eaten everything I saw. Even though I was only there for 4 days and know that I only barely scratched the surface of NYC cuisine, I was able to get a good taste of it thanks to some awesome new friends. Here are some of my highlights.
While out and about on my own I was too intimidated to try some of the authentic looking delicatessens. I even had a hard time identifying which places were the deli’s since many are often located within local grocery stores. So when I stumbled upon Lenny’s Gourmet I was estatic. This New York Deli style sandwich shop was bright, friendly, and obviously a deli. Even though it’s a chain, it isn’t at all drab like many chain food shops. The menu selection is also huge with many delicious sounding sandwich combinations and salads of all kinds. My turkey, corned beef, coleslaw, and swiss on sourdough was as amazing as it sounds. I will definitely have to come back and have another sandwich next time I visit. Probably something with pastrami.
The streets are alive at all hours in New York. To not have open food shops would be a huge loss of an opportunity. Thankfully this isn’t the case. After a long night of wedding celebration, dancing, and late night speak-easy drinking we ventured out into the Lower Eastside with pizza on our minds. With fearless Yuna leading the way, we navigated the densely populated streets and deceivingly cheap $1 pizza shops to get to Artichoke Pizza. At about $5 a slice you can get more than just the standard pepperoni pizza. At Artichoke’s they offer their signature artichoke pizza with white sauce, vodka sauce pizza, a classic margarita pizza, and even crab pizza. With very limited seating, we ate our piping hot pizzas on the street in the cold crisp night air. A perfect ending to a wonderful evening with great people.
ROOF GARDEN at the Metropolitan
You can’t beat the view at the Rooftop Garden at the Metropolitan Museum and I was very surprised at how delicious their chicken cobb salad was. In my opinion, museum’s don’t need to (and often don’t) provide delicious or interesting food but this is New York City after all. The chicken in the salad was well seasoned and tender. The corn kernels cut straight off the cob and the salad fresh and crisp. The blue cheese dressing was also mild, creamy, and didn’t punch me in the mouth as blue cheese usually does. Washed down with a prossecco, it made the perfect second lunch.
il laboratorio del gelato (ILDG)
After an amazing dinner at Momofuku Saam (blog coming soon!), I thought I was too stuffed for dessert. However I am so glad that we did not pass on the incredible gelato at Il laboratorio del gelato. ILDG has taken gelato making to a whole new level. Starkly white and bright inside, the “store” resembles a laboratory where the tastiest and most unusual gelato flavors are concocted. With so many unique flavors, it can be hard to decide which flavors to try. Thankfully they have thought of the solution. At ILDG they serve between 2-4 small golf-ball sized scoops in little white rectangular cups. Between the three of us we tried 5 flavors for about $12 including earl grey, acacia honey, black fig, prune armagnac, and tarragon and pink peppercorn which was definitely the favorite. And don’t expect to see the same flavors when you come back, the majority of the flavors change daily. While 48 flavors are available daily, I am told there is a total of 200+ rotating flavors.
Jacob’s Pickles is more than just a trendy spot that serves pickles and beer. It also has an excellent brunch on the weekends. Serving southern inspired brunch dishes, the menu had the potential to be heavy in nature. My boyfriend’s meal of biscuits, sausage gravy, cheesy gritz, and crispy fried chicken could have been a greasy and salty nightmare but that wasn’t the case at all. Everything was balanced and surprisingly light. There was not a trace of grease to be found. Especially delicious was the sausage gravy of which I was never a fan of. Either this gravy is exceptionally good, or I have only had terrible sausage gravy in the past. My own meal of biscuits, homemade sweet breakfast sausage, local New York eggs, and a heaping handful of shredded mild cheddar cheese was also delicious and not at all as greasy as it sounds.
The biscuits itself were something to behold. Instead of dense and heavy like most biscuits, these were incredibly light and airy. I have no idea how they made this biscuit masterpiece but I must find out. Another must try dish, their matzo ball soup with the lightest matzo balls served as a portion large enough to be a meal.