July 20, 2011

So we spent most of our time doing what we love best, eating. It was incredible. So I'm going to take some time here to list out everywhere we visited, because they are all worth going back to! But we ate at so many places, I'm going to divide it up into a couple of posts. So here it is. Our NYC Eating Extravaganza, Part 1.

The first place that we officially sat down to eat at was The Modern, which is the restaurant at MOMA. It featured a great menu of French-American cuisine, and was divided into three courses, and also encouraged sharing. It was very stylish with a glamourous clientele, and looks out to the garden at the museum. Pictured above is the Lamb and Goat Cheese Terrine.

The Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien hotel was really fun. This space is hidden behind a floor to ceiling curtain in the hotel lobby. The only hint that it is there is the smell of sizzling beef on the grill, and the little neon burger sign tucked at the end of a corridor. Inside is a great dive of a burger place, with a very simple menu. The walls are covered in handwritten scrawl from past customers, and the brick wall is lined with names of celebs who dropped by.

One evening we went out for drinks before dinner and chose the Russian Vodka Room. It's dark and moody interior has been around for ages. The menu features several house infused flavoured vodka, including a horseradish vodka that actually turned out to be really good. The menu looked great too, featuring lots of pickled fish and caviar dishes.

Our big splurge meal was at Eleven Madison Park. The entire experience was phenomenal from start to finish. The restaurant was awarded an Outstanding Restaurant Award by the James Beard Foundation this year, and for good reason. The menu features four courses, with a list of only the main ingredient of each dish, so what you eventually get is a complete surprise. The meal was preceded by a parade of incredible amuse bouche's including a Goat Cheese Lollypop. Then after the meal, trays of sweets emerged from the kitchen, which is pictured above. Here you will see the Lemon Shortbread, a Meringue, and an Earl Grey and Blackberry Macaron, each about the size of a quarter.

The end of the meal also meant that this bottle of cognac was left at your table with the encouragement to help yourself. Indeed.

The service at Eleven Madison was absolute top notch. It was like sitting amidst an orchestra as the service unfolded around you. Servers would pop up out of nowhere to replace or remove things, to refill the wine and refold your napkin when you left the table. It was certainly a meal I won't soon forget.

After that extravaganza, we ventured to the West Village to Little Branch. Here's the exterior shot. Sure doesn't look like much.

My husband was a bit obsessed with going to a Speakeasy, and this was the closest we got. Little Branch is known for it's great bar tending staff and delectable cocktails. It's located in a basement with a pair of curious vintage washrooms, and while you sip your drink, you can hear the rumble of the subway as it rolls along nearby.

After we saw the McQueen exhibit at the Met one morning, we went up to their rooftop patio for a quick bite to eat. While the food service was just a couple of cold pre-made sandwiches and drinks, the view of the Manhattan skyline more than made up for it. You should ask at the info booth how to get up there, as only one elevator will take you to the roof.

We went to a concert on a dock one afternoon, which meant we got to try some NY food truck food! We went to the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck for a couple of the best dumplings I have ever had. The Chicken and Thai Basil dumplings had a coconut sauce inside along with other veggies, which made the whole thing taste like a fabulous bowl of Thai Coconut Chicken soup. I will dream about those dumplings.

My husband also insisted on going to ABC Kitchen, which won the Best New Restaurant award at the James Beard awards this year. What I loved most about this restaurant was that the concept flowed through every element of the space. Anything that the guest saw or touched continually reinforced the concept of the restaurant. No surprise it was fitted out with lots of gorgeous pieces from ABC Home, which it's adjacent to. The food was nice, with a focus on local, sustainable, and organic cuisine. But honestly, I don't feel like that was the only restaurant that I could have had that meal at.

That's all for today, but stay tuned for Part 2!


Chelsea said...

I was jealous before but this is too much to handle! What a fantastic trip.

Courtney said...

This really makes me want to go back to NYC. Sounds like you had a great trip!

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