Thursday, August 27, 2009

In a New York State of Mind: Part 2

As promised, here is part 2 of my culinary adventures in New York City! I could have eaten three meals a day at different places for months and I would never finish finding new things. I guess I'll just have to move there someday! Haha! Enjoy :) P.S. The photo above was taking in front of Carrie Bradshaw's front steps from Sex and the City!! Just so you know...

Food Discovery #5: Classic NY

Sometimes the classics are just best. How does one go to NY and not visit the famous Katz's Delicatessen? It's where the famous orgasm-faking scene in When Harry Met Sally took place. It also has the best pastrami in the city! I'm not hugely experienced in the world of pastrami, but I figured I'd try it out! Note that there are certain rules in place at this establishment which you must follow in order to not be labeled a leper. First, they hand you a green ticket. You stand in a line for a carver (any line will do) and then place your order with them and hand them your ticket. They write down what you owe and hand back the ticket. You hang onto your ticket while you take your food and find a place to sit. After you've finished you return the ticket to the cashier and pay on your way out. Phew. Good luck. It's worth it.

Matzo Ball Soup and Half Pastrami and Mustard on Rye $13.95

The Wall of Fame!

"I'll have what she's having..."

A newer classic New York staple is the Shake Shack burger. There are several locations around the city, the most famous being the one in Madison Square Park. I've been there before, and this time opted to enjoy a burger after a long day at the Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side. Shake Shack is right across the street! It's like these two were made for each other! Spend a day looking at fossils and rocks, emerge starving and exhausted, head over to the Shake Shake for a juicy burger and some fries! I'd like to note that I generally think that crinkle cut fries are the most stupidly shaped fries in the world. When faced with the choice of a frozen fry type to purchase at the grocery store, I boo and hiss in the general direction of the crinkle cut fries. Maybe it's the fact that in my life a crinkle cut fry has always either been soggy or dry and tasteless, but at Shake Shack they almost make me a believer! These fries were crisp on the outside and fluffy inside, served right out of the fryer, nice and hot. Thank you Shake Shack for teaching me that prejudice is wrong!

Double Shack Burger with Fries $10

Food Discovery #6: Random is Good

In a city like New York, sometimes the greatest finds are the unexpected ones. You fall in love when you least expect it. The same can be said for food! I came to New York with a pretty clear idea of places I wanted to try, and I left a little room for some surprises. Aren't I glad I did!

First on the list is the Petrossian Boutique & Cafe. I literally stumbled across this place by accident after I got out of the 57th Street subway station and couldn't resist stopping in for a pain au chocolat and iced latte to enjoy in nearby Central Park! The pain au chocolat was almost as good as those I enjoyed in Paris. The prices for the pastries are comparable to those at Starbuck's so you're not exactly denting your wallet too much by trying this place instead. I decided immediately that I would return at a later time to eat breakfast or lunch here another day during my visit. A few days later, I did. My waitress was a lovely French woman who was very helpful and friendly. I had already dined at the formal Petrossian restaurant a few days earlier and had some caviar, but not smoked salmon, so it was at the top of my list to try at the cafe. My bagel with smoked salmon was delicious. They served a generous piece of smoked salmon along with all the fixings one would want when assembling this classic. They also sell their famous caviar, smoked salmon, foie gras, chocolates, and more at their boutique. Petrossian Boutique and Cafe is now officially one of my favorite places in the city. I can't wait to come back!

Yummy Pastries

The Holy Trinity: Caviar...

Foie Gras...

And Smoked Salmon

Bagel with Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, Red Onion, Tomato, and Capers $11

My next "random" restaurant is Schiller's Liquor Bar. I had never heard of this place before, but apparently they have the same executive chefs as Balthazar. My friend Sydney suggested we go here, she'd been there before and I LOVE French bistro cuisine so there we went! We split the Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon (I think if the bacon was cut smaller it would have increased my enjoyment, but otherwise it was very tasty) and then I had the Seared Tuna Salad. It was exactly what I needed after the rich Mac and Cheese! Overall, I enjoyed my meal here very much. The decor was really cool, and even the bathrooms were interesting! Check it out next time you are craving some Steak Frites!

Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon $14.50

Seared Tuna Salad with Arugula, vegetables, Nicoise Olives and Anchovies $17

The Bar at Schiller's Liquor Bar

The Old School Communal Sink in the Bathroom :)

After our lovely bistro meal, I suggested we head up to Payard Patisserie & Bistro for some dessert. Little did I know until we arrived (and I later Googled) that Payard had recently closed due to a huge hike in their rent from the oh so greedy landlord. So we headed all the way uptown for nothing? Not true! A block north of Payard's former location we discovered a French eatery called Orsay, completely out of the blue. Although it doesn't appear to have the greatest reviews on Yelp, it hit the spot for dessert! My profiteroles tasted like Cocoa Puffs in the awesomest way! This just goes to show that even when you're looking for something particular, and you don't find it, sometimes you can find a pretty good alternative right up the street!

Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce $10

Floating Island: Meringue, Creme Anglaise, Caramel Sauce, and Toasted Almond $10
Even if you wander aimlessly through the city as I've done, there are some places you may never find on your own. The following is an example. While tagging along with some friends to a stranger's birthday party at Pier 66 Maritime, I discovered a pier/bar/restaurant in one. There appear to be a couple of docked ships here (one of which is the Frying Pan) where people can dine as well as a Bar + Grill area that serves way more than just bar food. My friend and I were starving when we arrived and were pleasantly surprised to find such an extensive selection. We both ordered the crab cake, which was delicious and spicy, although the avocado on my plate was incredibly under-ripe, I will forgive them this one time, as my friend's was not and she shared some of her avocado with me. It was plated beautifully, not at all what I'd expect from a "bar." There was music and pitchers of beer and a pretty awesome view. They're open all day long (not just nights) so you can enjoy lunch out on the pier if you'd like, and only during the warmer seasons, but I'm so glad that I found this place as I'll be sure to return another time.

View of the West Side of Manhattan from Pier 66

Crab Cake with Avocado, Golden Gazpacho Vinaigrette and Chipotle Peppernade $11.99

Food Discovery #7: Bakeries

There are thousands of bakeries in New York, all specializing in various things. Just because they're famous doesn't make them the best. I've been told by more than one person to avoid Magnolia Bakery as it's completely overrated. The bakery at Petrossian was a great find, as was Baked By Melissa! My friend Sydney suggested we meet up here as she'd been here before and thought I'd enjoy it. I certainly did! These cupcakes are adorable and fun! They are the tiniest I've seen, almost like the tapas of cupcakes... you can try them all in one sitting! I love being able to enjoy a variety of things and not have to commit to just one (do I sound like a man? lol). I'll be honest, they aren't cheap. I got a dozen for $10 and split them with Syd. Each one is literally a bite. They were great for a snack, didn't fill me up before dinner (yeah I know, desserts usually come AFTER dinner) and were moist, delicious, and came in a bunch of great flavors. I pretty much inhaled them, but I'd say peanut butter cup, cookie dough, and s'more were maybe my favorites. Baked By Melissa is literally a hole in the wall off Broadway in SoHo, but if you're in the area check it out!

The Adorable Menu!

One dozen mini-cupcakes $10

Food Discovery #8: Avoid Eating in Times Square

I think this is pretty much a no-brainer, but I learned it the hard way. I had half an hour before I attempted one final time to fail at the Broadway ticket lottery, so I wanted a quick little bite before I headed to my doom (failure is worse on an empty stomach). TGI Friday's was less than a block from the West Side Story box office so I popped in, and to my dismay the prices were completely outrageous. A sandwich for $20?! I had a really amazing sandwich at the freaking Four Seasons in Beverly Hills for far less than $20! I told the waiter exactly what I thought of their prices, but didn't really have time to go searching for an alternative, so I ordered a side Caesar salad (for $9!) and decided then and there that I would spread the word and avoid this place like the plague. Don't make the same mistake I did!

1 comment :

Jessie said...

Oh eating at Times Square is HUGE NO NO they love ripping people off! I love all of your delicious finds. I must check out Baked By Melissa!

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