Eatin’ in New York

June 2, 2011 at 8:17 PM Leave a comment

For people who love food, food doesn’t get much more exciting than in New York. We are typically in New York City once or twice a year and we always try to eat at new places and we do our best to return to favorites (as hard as that can be sometimes!) This trip was no different.

Jeff spent the morning in the Bowery, checking out the new galleries, shops and boutiques in this emerging neighborhood. After five hours of walking, it was time for some food and time to get off his feet. Just down the block from Bowery Street is Torrisi Italian Specialties. This café-style storefront is an unexpected nominee for the Best New Restaurant in the 2011 James Beard Awards (loosing to fellow New Yorker, ABC Kitchen.) They take no reservations, they have only a few menu items each day and they cannot accommodate restricted diets. Who cares! Jeff had the pork and roasted red pepper sandwich and grilled Brussels Sprouts that, with a soda came to a mere $18! The dinner for the night was a prix-fixe $50. If you enjoy a bit of discovery and enjoy a wide variety of foods, this might just be the place for you!

Michele flew into town on Saturday morning. While Jeff worked at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, she shopped and enjoyed the 6th Avenue Street Fair. Before going to the theatre that night, (Pricilla, Queen of the Desert) we had dinner at Marea on Central Park South. Jeff has been in New York a couple times since this place opened, but wanted to save it for a time when Michele was also there. The menu is primarily seafood, but also contains a beautiful collection of handmade pasta dishes. While the seafood was remarkably engaging, Michele was inexplicably drawn to the pasta and Jeff zeroed-in on the fish! The orecchiette was tossed with shrimp and rosemary and the Alaskan halibut was crusted with herbs and served with broccoli rabe and mushrooms. Both were perfect! To start, Michele had the white asparagus soup that was provided with a bit of spunk via radishes. For dessert, we shared a white chocolate honey mousse finished with pine nuts and grapefruit. Not only was it delicious, it was beautiful. Michael White’s cooking was worth waiting for, now we simply have to wait for the next trip to enjoy it again.

Michele intended on flying back on Sunday. While out running around on Saturday, she found a cute little Belgian bakery steps away from the hotel. Apparently Le Pain Quotidien (Our Daily Bread) is an international chain, but one founded on the concept of locally sources ingredients and handmade products. The hot chocolate came with steamed milk and melted rich chocolate on the side. As much (yes!) or as little as desired could be used to make a luscious morning drink. Michele tried the Belgian waffle, which upon delivery was deceptively small. One bite and she realized the rich, rich flavor would have made anything larger impossible to eat. Jeff had the Spinach Frittata and it was equally tasty. Next time we need breakfast in New York, we know where we are heading, even if it is a chain.

When in New York, Jeff has two “fallback” restaurants. Both are located in the central/theatre district and both have long hours and tables are usually available. Osteria al Doge and La Masseria are Italian and both serve very good food. Not the kind that wins culinary awards, but the kind that is consistently enjoyable and fairly priced. This trip it was La Masseria. Jeff usually starts with the soup of the day, cream of carrot this time. Bread is served with an olive oil and lentil dip (really addictive.) For dinner, the orecchiette served with broccoli rabe and sausage, although this time, it seemed the rabe was supplemented with spinach. It was late and probably one of  the last orders of the day, regardless, still good and no reason not to return when Jeff needs a quick last minute meal in New York.

While we love to eat in Cleveland, it is always good to compare what we have with the benchmark established by New York. Mulberry Street (at Prince)New York,NY 212-965-0955 240 Central Park South New York, NY 10019 212-582-5100 7 East 53rd StreetNew York,NY10022 546-845-0012 142 West 44th Street (Btw 6th & Broadway)New York,NY 212-944-5754 235 West 48th Street (Btw 8th & Broadway)New York,NY10036 212-582-2111

Entry filed under: Eatin' Out of Town. Tags: , , , .

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