Archive for the ‘City Snapshot – NYC’ Category
OK, this wouldn’t be a food blog unless I threw a post on the big city up here.
I know the type of New Englander with a gut full of Fenway Franks, a habit of dropping their “R’s”, and a closet full of Northeast pro sport team memorabilia will shun these words – but I really like NYC.
A true Foodie could not ask for more – I swear I’ve eaten at hundreds of restaurants in Manhattan and the Burroughs over the years and always leave with a different perspective on the food scene here.
This time I’m zoning in on the strong “Farm to Table” and “House-Made” trends that continue to bring great things to my belly. Though these are big movements that have been transforming the American dining world for years – it can be especially challenging to find fresh, local, and house-made gastro-ware in a place with so much edible noise.
So here’s a few tips on doing Farm to Table during one day in NYC this summer:
Bomb lattes, crumpets, and brekkie. | Ace Hotel
This Midtown, Chelsea-area Hotel is one of those places that hands you a few cool points just for walking in the door. They also serve bomb lattes from Stumptown Coffee Roasters, a pretty decent scone, and “cute” house-made granola. Start your day chilling in the lobby here for breakfast.
The best of New York state and beyond. |Union Square Farmers Market
Wind your way down 5th Avenue to Union Square Green Market (open from 8AM to 6PM on Saturdays) to experience what has got to be one of the largest farmers markets in the land. Our heads were spinning at all the amazing produce, cheeses, breads, and funky new stuff we encountered here including samples of the following:
- Finnish yeast-free rye breads (Nordic Breads)
- Chilled exotic tea mixtures (very refreshing on a 95 degree day)
- Home-made liverwurst (NOT as refreshing on a 95 degree day)
- Solar-powered-grill-cooked zucchini latkes
Late Lunch, cheese, and a few brewskies | Beecher’s Handmade Cheeses
Head uptown a block or two once you’ve enjoyed all that the Green Market has to offer to witness a home-grown cheese operation. Beecher’s is a huge shop that sells cheeses from all over and actually makes a few of their own in-house using a huge contraption displayed in plain sight of customers. Oh, and they also feature breakfast, a selection of melty, gooey, cheesy sandwiches, mac ‘n cheese, and a downstairs cellar where you can water down your cheese with it’s natural bedpartners – wine and beer.
Golden beets, arugula, rabbit, fresh pasta, and peas. Bliss. | Calliope
Once you’ve taken a couple hours to digest all the aforementioned goodness, hit Calliope for a late dinner. This intimate farmhouse bistro in the East Village serves up a small and very well executed menu of Contemporary American dishes with a nod or two to Europe. The whole meal here was amazing from start to finish and featured:
- Salad of arugula, thin shaved rounds of golden beet, and goat cheese. Our server emphatically claimed these items had literally come in from a NY-state farm that day.
- What had to be house-made delicate wide pappardelle with generous rabbit meat and sweet English Shelling Peas.
- Steamed halibut over romesco toast swimming in a small pond of beautiful saffron mussel broth.
- Dessert special of the evening that was a twist on fresh berry clafoutis (tastes as cool as it sounds)
Where beer snobs go when they die.| Top Hops Beer Shop
If you have any room left in the organic section of your stomach – make a final stop at this beer-lovers paradise to enjoy a selection of 20 taps of mouth watering craft brews and 700 (700!) bottles. Far less crowded than the average Lower East Side bar on a Saturday night and guaranteed to have a better beer selection.
Location: New York, NY
The Foodie: Recommends
Kids – In one of our previous installments from the foodie, we talked about visions of a glorious afterlife lush with lobster rolls. But if I go down below dear friends, I’m going for gluttony.
…and if there’s one place that may have just put me over the edge from a severe epicure to an outright glutton, it was probably Eataly. I’ll now proceed to tell you why this devilish enterprise created by celebrity chefs with last names like Batali and Bastianich pushed me into the fiery depths (of a brick oven).
- WARNING: Ingenious Store Layout Meant to Trap Foodies. Enter at your own risk and prepare for the prospect of never leaving. Be assaulted by a diverse range of fresh fruits and veggies, some of which you may have never seen before (can you say witch finger grapes?). Hit a huge circular room where you’ll be encircled by bread, antipasti and wine. Just try to resist at this point. Explore a little further and you’ll see Il Pesce restaurant serving amazing fruit of the sea, a selection of rare Italian and imported bottled beers for purchase, a butcher shop, pizza and pasta eateries, and a breath-taking selection of dried pastas, jarred goods, and, yes, more wines.
- DANGER: Rooftop Biergarterrini Called Birreria Will Be Your Last Glimpse of Heaven. If you ever leave the first floor, make it to level 15 to sample the excellent beer and wine selection and hearty fare on the rooftop restaurant Birreria. Prepare to eat Italian-style sausages you may not have heard of before in German fashion complete with fresh bread and ‘kraute. Sip on amazing local beers like Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold. Holy shit that brew was good. But wait, there are also cask beers brewed in-house by a collab-o of brewers including meisters from Dogfish Head. Sample from an impressive selection of salumi, formaggi and more. Your head will be spinning.
- ATTENTION: They Have Every Meal Covered So Don’t Think You Can Weasel Out After Dinner. As if all that wasn’t enough people, there’s also a coffee bar and gelateria back down on floor uno that will keep you caffeinated enough to stick around and continue your gluttonous ways. You may be enticed to combine these two elements into the ultimate Italian treat: Affogato.
That concludes my final communication from my (donut) ring of hell…my “phone call” so to speak…with the rest of the gluttons down here. I see Yelpers, Homer Simpson, and Julia Child down here people. Don’t think you’re safe too.
Enter Eataly if you’re the kind of person who thinks that limbo isn’t living dangerously enough.