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Hi All, Mrs. Tall Guy here! It’s been ages, but I thought I’d check in with you and make your mouth water with food from my recent trip to NYC. I was actually out there to scout NY Now for new products for my business, The Simple Home, but it was a fun opportunity to drag my girlfriends along and make a tasty weekend of it!
We stayed in Manhattan (with one little excursion to Brooklyn) and tried to take in as much as we could in 72 hours. Here’s our timeline, and our take on the food trends we got to sample in the city.
7:30 AM, Saturday
We wanted to squeeze as much in as we could, so we took an early flight out of Milwaukee, and I broke out the drink coupons. It’s 5:00 somewhere, right? Bloody Mary’s on a plane are nothing to write home about, but they do kick off girl’s weekend in style. And our sweet flight attendant brought us a second round with a wink and a “two drink minimum.”
With our bags stashed at the hotel near Central Park, we ventured out and made our way to The High Line, a beautiful and unique park in Chelsea. It was a hot one, so we decided to jump off and find lunch. A quick google search led us to The Red Cat – mostly because it was described as “Med-New American faire with a buzzy front bar.”
They were right about the buzzy bar…we enjoyed fresh, summery cocktails and a delicious lunch.
In an effort to check out things that Tall Guy would dig, I ordered the pulled pork sandwich. It was good, and I appreciate the egg topper, but let’s be honest, it could have used a little bit of Tall Guy Bourbon BBQ Sauce to spice it up!
My girls tried the Tasty Burger (with gruyere, bacon, and pickled onions on an english muffin) and the Schmaltz Fried Eggs (with potato pancake, brisket, spinach, and maple jus) and said they were good.
Somewhere around 4:30 PM, Saturday
We worked our way through the Chelsea Market and over to Eatily, where we basked in the enormity of this Italian market filled with all things olive oil, pasta, meat, fish, sweets and wine. At this point, our feet were killing us, and we felt a little grimy from the day, so we picked up wine and fresh focaccia to take back to the hotel.
Fresh ricotta with zucchini & basil, traditional garlic & herb with olive oil, and sausage, onion and cheese varieties hit the spot for our afternoon rest.
9:00 PM, Saturday
Again, we took to our smartphones to find a great spot for dinner, and were attracted to Cafe Tallulah for it’s promise of French bistro dishes and “the best cocktail program north of 14th Street.” We weren’t disappointed. A short cab ride to the Upper West Side and we were there.
We indulged in some more amazing cocktails – the Pink Panther included Ford’s gin, home made honey syrup, pink peppercorns, fresh ginger root and absinthe bitters – the Le Centennial was Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey shaken with home made hops-honey syrup, fresh lemon, and angostura bitters. Both made us adore the craft cocktail movement just a little bit more!
And then we ordered this feast. Because we were sharing. And we were in the Big Apple.
Parisian gnocchi with braised leeks, white asparagus, shitake mushrooms, and truffle butter. Chickpea fries. Virginia ham cheddar croquettes with mustard sambal sauce. And the chef’s special: breaded scallops with quinoa.
And then this happened.
1:30 PM, Sunday
After our morning at NY Now, we decided we were starving again, and grabbed a cab to hit up Brooklyn. I was eager to introduce the gals to Smorgasburg, the “Brooklyn Flea Food Market” that Tall Guy and I discovered last year. We tried to sample a wide variety of local food, and I couldn’t resist revisiting the Ramen Burger that we loved last year!
In another ode to Tall Guy, we tried the pork belly from Bisska – it was so good! Great seasoning and flavor in their sauces, and a yummy watermelon fresca drink on the side!
We wouldn’t be true Wisconsinites if we didn’t go ahead and judge the east coast cheese curds from Curd’s The Word. We chose the garlic pesto sauce, and laughed at the sign answering the question, “what is a cheese curd?” And we truly liked the creaminess of these curds – well done Brooklyn!
Next stop, El Gato for an order of nachos. These babies are topped with salsa verde, creme fraice, pickled peppers and onions, cilantro and scallions.
3:30 PM, Sunday
Oh…and then we walked over the Brooklyn Bridge…no big deal!
9:00 PM, Sunday
After crossing back into Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge and having yet another shower (it was still 90° in New York) we got ready to go to the restaurant I’d been looking forward to all weekend: The Spotted Pig. I love Greenwich Village, and stopping here gave us a great opportunity to visit the stoop of Carrie Bradshaw while we waited for our table!
We started off with beverages and appetizers – the cask of Spotted Pig Bitter and Nelson’s Folly (rum, grapefruit juice, lime, ginger, bitters) hit the spot, and we loved the Deviled Eggs, Pot of Pickles, and Shoestring Fries.
Once again, we decided to order many plates so we could get a taste of everything! Dinner was divine – we sampled the Burrata with Summer Squash, Basil & Sungold Tomatoes, Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Gnudi with Basil Pesto, Sliced Beef Tongue with Salsa Verde, Farm Egg & Croutons, Sweet Corn Soup with Chantarelles and Chives, and of course, dessert: Creme Caramel.
10:00 AM, Monday
Our last day in the City. We figured we needed to indulge in a proper breakfast before heading home, so we walked over to Sarabeth’s, just south of Central Park. This place was jammed up, on a Monday morning! We enjoyed a cup of coffee, and a delicious breakfast of the Farmer’s Omelette, Garden Omelette, and Salmon Eggs Benedict – and none of us could resist the croissants!
3:00 PM, Monday
Breakfast was enough to keep us going for a good portion of the day, and our last stop was an unexpected favorite of mine – Pod 39. My friend read a couple of blogs that mentioned the rooftop restaurant here, and it was the perfect place to end our time in NYC, rest our feet for a bit, and get some fresh air before getting on a plane.
We sampled the home-made guac & chips, Sangria (oh those boozy grapes!), Margarita and a variation on the Moscow Mule. Everything tasted amazing, and accented the view…oh the view!
As you can see – we took full advantage of our time in the Big Apple, and took a pretty good bite out of the food scene here! I was bummed that Tall Guy couldn’t come with me this time, but it was fun to explore the city with my girlfriends, and document our trip so I could report back. My food take-aways were:
- Pickle all of the things. We saw pickled onions, carrots, beans, potatoes – that vinegar taste is all over the place.
- Pasta isn’t traditional anymore. Gnocchi, Gnudi – you name it, we tried all of the variations on this staple.
- Cocktails are better with bitters. Call it one more layer of complexity, but most of the fancy-schmancy cocktails we tried had bitters, and it really brought out the fresh fruit and spice flavors!
- Farm-to-Table is still where it’s at. So many of the restaurants we ate at let us know where our food was coming from, and often it was local to the state. I knew Tall Guy had hit it on the head when he made a commitment to local food, and I’m still confident it was the right choice, today!