Whew boy! What a trip. It was a busy 4 day trip full of all the best touristy stuff, plus some little gems that I'd like to think are off the beaten path, or at least as off the beaten path as you can get in such a huge city. Honestly, New York is dense. Every building is just smushed right up against it's neighbors. There's very few back alleys or side streets, so that on garbage day, there's huge piles of garbage bags lined up on the sidewalk. There's just nowhere else to put them.
But let me tell you, all those things you hear about New York having amazing food - they're all true, as long as you go to the right places. I did not have a bad meal in New York. Every dinner, I was blown away by the sheer scrumdiddlyumptiousness of it all.
In case you're headed off to New York anytime soon, I thought I'd give you a brief rundown on some of my recommendations for restaurants!
Number one for me was a newly opened Italian restaurant in Lower Manhattan called Angolo Soho. We went there the first night and we incredibly impressed by the food, the price, and the atmosphere. It's small, trendy, and cozy. Even though we were only in New York for 5 nights, we returned on our last night because the food was just that good. Everything on the menu is delicious but one thing you must, and I mean must, have is the brussels sprouts with the pancetta vinaigrette I'm not joking. I don't even know what they did to those brussels sprouts, but man, are they amazing. I ordered them both nights we went to Angolo Soho. For dessert, I had an incredible rich dark chocolate budino with sea salt. It had a perfectly dense texture that was offset by the homemade whipped cream and the sea salt flakes enhanced the chocolate beautifully. If you have room for dessert after dinner, go for this.
The next night was another Italian restaurant called L'Artusi in Greenwich Village. A bit more upscale than Angolo Soho, but not stuffy. The meal was delicious, but the dessert was fantastic. It was a chocolate hazelnut cream on top of a praline crust, served with salted caramel gelato. Woah. It was something. Creamy, crunchy, salty, sweet. Yum.
We broke the cycle and went to a french bistro the night after. The restaurant, Calliope, had a vintage Parisian look to it which was refreshing after the modern decor we had seen a million times before. The chantrelle, taleggio, and leek tart I had to start was unreal. The dessert was as refreshing as the atmosphere - a raspberry crème panisse. It was a simple custard topped with a raspberry puree. Simple, but delightful.
If you're in the Meatpacking District or Greenwich Village for shopping (which I highly recommend), you should stop for lunch at August, a casual restaurant with a charming glass roof. In any season, this place would be great to dine at. I can only image how cute it would look at night with all the lights on the ceiling lit up. The food was good, but the real treat was the feeling of being in a bright, outdoor patio, without the chilliness of actually being outside.
The highlight for me, however, was visiting Baked, a bakery in Brooklyn that has spawned 3 books, all of which I own. Some of their recipes have been featured on this blog, such as the Double Chocolate Loaf, the Whiskey Butterscotch Tartlets, the Sweet and Salty Brownies, and the Mint Chocolate Thumbprints. I had go and see the birthplace of these wonderful creations.
I had a square of their Millionaires Shortbread, a delicious combo of shortbread, caramel, and chocolate ganache. I had thought about making this from their book a few weeks back, but decided I was too lazy and made regular shortbread instead. I wish I had made this instead because it was so good! It was crazy rich, but I guess that's why it's called the Millionaires Shortbread. To be honest, everything in that bakery looked tempting and I bet I wouldn't have been disappointed by anything there.
I hope that my suggestions have been helpful to anyone travelling to New York! I would recommend a brief trip to the Big Apple to everyone, if only to eat delicious food.