NYC: A Week in Food
Last week I was lucky enough to spend five days in New York City to celebrate my sister’s graduation from NYU. Of course there were a few important events on the schedule including two graduation ceremonies and a Broadway show or two. But anyone who knows my family knows that what the schedule really revolves around is food – where we would eat and when was planned out weeks in advance via many e-mail discussions and plenty of Open Table reservations. As my dad likes to say, “It’s not every day we get to dine out in New York City!” Here’s a look at a few of my dining highlights from the trip:
For Mother’s Day, my sister and I treated our mom and our aunt to brunch at the historic Café des Artistes. Famous since 1917 for both the food and the clientele, our meal did not disappoint. Highlights were my Brioche Croque Madame which included prosciutto, gruyere cheese, tomato and a sunny side up egg on brioche and the French Toast with Strawberry Preserves.
It seemed that every time I was trying to work up my appetite for the next meal, my above-mentioned aunt wanted to venture into a cupcake shop! Not that I was complaining after I tried the amazing cupcakes from three different cupcake bakeries in as many days. Our stops included Crumbs Bake Shop, Magnolia Bakery and Buttercup Bake Shop. I think the overall winner was the Lemon Crème from Magnolia Bakery (pictured above).
For the first of two very special graduation dinners, my sister picked the trendy Stanton Social in the Lower East Village. This is the type of restaurant where you order many small plates to share. I can’t possibly remember everything I tried but the meal included Kobe Beef Sliders, Red Snapper Tacos, Crab Cakes, Lobster Roll, Wild Mushroom Risotto Cakes and one of the best Macaroni and Cheese dishes I’ve ever had (must have been the bacon)! But my favorites (pictured above) were the Hangar Steak n’ Tots, (how can you go wrong with a delicious bite of steak atop a crispy potato cake?), my Pineapple Martini and our dessert – Sugar Donuts with Three Dipping Sauces and an “Espresso Bomb” Ice Cream Dish.
On our last full day in the city, my dad surprised us with a celebratory lunch at Le Bernardin. If you’re a food lover like I am, (or a Top Chef fan), then you’ve probably heard of this highly-acclaimed seafood restaurant and the man behind it all, Chef Eric Ripert. I didn’t work up the courage to take pictures of my food until the dessert course when most of the lunch crowed had emptied out, but I think these desserts are so picturesque that they would have made the cut anyway for photos to feature here. Before my dessert, I had Crab Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms with Black Truffle Sauce as my appetizer and Butter Poached Salmon served very rare as my entrée – this was hands-down the best salmon I’ve ever had – it literally melted in my mouth. At the end of the meal we were pleasantly surprised when an extra dessert was delivered to our table with “Congratulations” written on the plate in my sister’s honor. This was definitely a meal I’ll remember for a long time to come!
Finally, after all the amazing fine dining (and cupcakes) it was truly fitting to cap-off the week in style – yep, I’m talking about a Super Dog at the brand new Yankee Stadium where the NYU graduation was held. After the ceremony and my hot dog breakfast of champions it was time for me to hop in a cab and zip off to the airport – see you next time New York!