I wasn’t going to blog about my trip to New York City since this is a Bay Area blog, but I’ve decided to live dangerously. I don’t get the chance to go to my second favorite city in the USA very often and we had such a great time that I thought I would share it with you, so here goes…
Dinner with the Divine Ms. Em.
For our first night in town, we had the absolute pleasure of spending some time with Paul’s niece Emily on the eve of her graduation from law school. We were so happy to see her and we couldn’t have asked for better company. Spontaneity turned out to be the theme of the week, and when Em arrived at the hotel we still hadn’t decided where to eat. Bobby Flay’s “Bar Americain” popped up on “Open Table”, and it was just a few blocks away from our hotel. To quote from their website, Bar Americain is “An American brasserie” that “celebrates the foods of America with a healthy dose of the bold flavors that Bobby Flay is most known for.” How right they are! Upon arriving my first impression was love at first sight. The large room is warm, inviting, stylish, and boisterous. For dinner we all decided on steak. They were delicious, perfectly prepared and served with Bobby’s signature steak sauce. We had mashed potatoes and spinach for our sides. As good as the steaks were, the high-light for me was the “Spicy Tuna Tartar” we started out with. When I got home I tried to google a recipe for it because I wanted to learn how to make it. I was so happy to find a video on YouTube with Mr. Flay himself taking us through the recipe. You can find it here. We also had some “Deviled Eggs with Smoked Shrimp and Spicy Remoulade… another hit. All of us enjoyed the “Boston Lettuce Salad” that came with a poached egg, bacon, and a creamy buttermilk blue cheese dressing. It was like a contemporary twist on a salad Lyonaise, which has always been a favorite of mine. We had such a great dinner here! It was the perfect start of the week.
The following night we had a family get together at a very charming spot in the East Village called “Apiary”. This contemporary gem is located on 3rd Avenue and 11th. The setting is sleek and elegant while still remaining inviting and comfortable. Since there were eight of us and not a shy one in the bunch, I nearly managed to taste just about everything on the menu. The high-lights of this great meal included the “Tuscan White Bean Soup” and the “Roasted Organic Chicken” with a perfectly seasoned crispy skin. The deserts were also very good here and the wine list was made up of over 300 selections with 20 of them available by the glass. They also have an “artisanal cocktail list” which, like the menu, is focused on local, fresh and seasonal ingredients. You can check out their website and menu here.
What trip to New York is complete without a stop to a New York City Deli? We had lunch at one of my favorites, “Stage Deli”, on 7th Avenue in Midtown. This place has been in business for over 70 years! They boast of the many famous stars, politicians and celebrities that have often frequented the place over the years, but the day we went the only famous people there were us. I wish I can tell you more about the menu, but I didn’t really look at it. I came for one thing and one thing only…half a pastrami sandwich on rye and a bowl of matzo ball soup. Believe me, a half is all you need, plus you will probably want to save room for the cheesecake (which they are pretty proud of as well). And all this is served by some of the best servers in the Big Apple. If you want to check out their web site you can check it it out here.
For a quick dinner before a show, we popped into “Room Service”, our favorite Hells Kitchen Thai spot. You can often get in without a reservation before curtain, but they take reservations and it is probably a good idea. Our favorite pre-show dinner is appetizers and noodles, but the menu is FULL of great entrees. The Spicy Basil Noodles (Pad Kee Mao) are popular (and a favorite of mine) as is the Pad Thai. Some of you may remember that I began this blog with a recipe for Pad Kee Mao, which I can now confess was inspired by the version they make at “Room Service”. Another great appetizer we really enjoy here is the “Honey Glazed Ribs”. If you are in a hurry, a quick bite at the bar is a great option.
“Eataly” is a 50,000 square foot artisanal Italian marketplace in the Flatiron District. Born in Torino Italy in 2007, they now have various locations in Italy, Japan and now, gratefully, one in New York City. We can only hope and pray that they will open one in San Francisco someday. I am seriously thinking about a letter writing campaign! Who’s in? It is hard to convey the many wonders of this fine emporium of all things Italian. I think you should just head over to their website and explore. One of my many favorites is the prime rib sandwich from the “Rosticceria”. The tender sliced prime rib on a fresh baguette with olive oil and some coarse salt is simple perfection. You can spend a day here eating, drinking, shopping, learning, discovering, and being inspired. If you get tired at any point you can refuel with a plate of food and a glass of wine at one of their many eateries before continuing on. If you consider yourself a “foodie” or if you just want something good to eat, put “Eataly” on your list of places to go when you are in New York City.
I can’t believe the week has gone by so fast. What a great time! We’ve had some great meals, saw a Broadway show, paid our respects at the World Trade Center Memorial, squeezed in a cocktail or two, got lost in the subway, found our way to Newark and back, bonded with our loved ones, and saw Emily graduate. It is now time for one last memorable meal… “Open Table” to the rescue (again). For our last dinner we reserved a table at a place called “Lattanzi” on 46th street between 8th and 9th. This block has so many great restaurants that it is referred to as “Restaurant Row”! They even operate their own website which you can check out here. It is the perfect spot for a before or after-show dinner. We were looking to have a very quiet meal so we made a reservation after eight (when most everyone else had gone on to their shows). As we walked down 46th street every place we passed was more charming than the next. We were hoping “Lattanzi” would be just as charming and we were happy to see that it was. “Lattanzi” has a Roman-style menu that also features “Cucina Ebraico Romanesco”, the classic cuisine of Roman Jews. We had a great dinner! If you eat here be sure to try the “Artichokes Cooked Jewish Style” also known as “Carciofi alla Guidia”. This recipe most likely dates back to Roman Imperial days when the Roman Jewish community numbered around 50,000. It is basically an artichoke deep fried with garlic until it is crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. It is a must try! Their website is here.
Thank you for a great week New York City. We hope to see you again soon!