July 26, 2011

Most days in New York we started with a quick coffee and a muffin, either from Whole Foods or Dean and Deluca. The Bouchon Bakery is deserving of a mention here, as it is operated by Thomas Keller and served some really beautiful French pastries and great coffee. I especially loved the graphics.

During our shopping excursion to Soho, we couldn't help but stop at Balthazar, a great New York institution. I'd been trying to have a cucumber martini for three days, and I finally got one here. It was blissfully refreshing on such a hot day.

We of course had to order the oysters. Delightful.

La Esquina was the place I had the most recommendations for. Everyone raved about their corn and taco's. There was no room inside when we went, so we ordered at the window and sat outside. We had a cob of their infamous corn, which was really interesting with a chili powder rub and grated cheese. I'd like to actually dine inside if I ever go back.

My husband would have eaten pizza for every meal if I didn't restrain him, but I did let him visit Artichoke twice. Their namesake pizza was incredible, with a creamy artichoke sauce, and big chunks of melted mozzarella. We ordered it both times.

Another thing about my husband, he didn't want to eat anywhere that he hadn't researched and ensured that it was worth eating at. But one day his stomach trumped his head, and we stopped into Peels. It turned out to be great spot for lunch, and we really enjoyed the modern take on some American classics.

I was determined to eat and black and white cookie while in NY, so we stopped in at Crumbs one day. It was great, although I don't have anything to really compare it to. It was thick and cakey with a nice, smooth icing.

I'm always interested to see spaces that I have seen published, to see how accurate the photography and story was. Our hotel was quite close to Quality Meats, which is published in Best Ugly, a book that profiles a few of the restaurants by Avroko. Overall I was pretty impressed. The space did feel smaller, but cameras do tend to make things feel larger as they manipulate their viewpoints. Like ABC Kitchen, this restaurant had a really strong concept that flowed through every element of the brand and interior. Being a meat focused space, all the waiters even wore butcher coats as their uniform. So we felt that the best thing to order would be the Tartar. We loved it. It came deconstructed and the presentation was great. Once we stirred it all together, we realized it also tasted great.

Quality Meats also has an ice cream bar which we couldn't resist. You can see why.

One of my favourite places was Bill's Gay 90's, which is one of the original NY Speakeasy's. It was a fantastic piano bar that was full of enthusiastic patrons. We had such an awesome time sipping Manhattan's and Cosmo's and enjoying such a unique part of of the city. This was the one place I wish I could have transplanted back to Calgary.

The one place we actually had a sit down breakfast was The Breslin, which is located in the Ace Hotel. Brunch was good, but made me happy that we didn't spend a lot eating out for breakfast. I never really find that meal to be special enough to justify the extra expense sometimes.

The interior was interesting with lots of interesting art and accessories cluttering the shelves. The millwork and furniture had an old English pup/cafe feel.

On our last day, we stopped over at the Frying Pan, which a bar that sits on one of the docks overlooking the Hudson River. It was a really interesting place, and it was great to sit somewhere in the cool breeze. Unfortunately for me, I tend to get a bit seasick at those types of places. A moving boat in one thing, but a slightly moving dock is another. It was all I could do to drink one ginger ale before bailing.

Our very last stop was for a quick taste of the ubiquitos Pinkberry. I have always wanted to taste their special frozen yogurt and I finally got my chance. Any boy was it good. The yogurt was perfectly tart and sweet. And now I will spend my time trying to recreate it's perfectly balanced flavors. Or, you can now get it in Vancouver!

So that was our food adventure. I've kept one under wraps for a post later this week, and more great details of our trip to come.


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