Recently returned from a few days in NYC - as always, our tastebuds and tummies were smiling througout. Here were the highlights:
*Tides* - What a perfect little (and I mean "little") restaurant - 400-odd square feet of cool and efficient design. We shared some Washington State oysters and this amazing salad of watercress with beets, spiced pecans, blue cheese and dried cherries in a very light citrus dressing. For mains, we had to have the lobster roll (seasoned with thyme and lemon zest, served with sweet potato fries) - tangy, delicious, we inhaled it - and seared scallops with a fava bean and tomato hash (pretty good but not quite as "wow" as the other dishes). Service was very friendly. By the way, make sure you check out the cool sink in the bathroom.
*Prune* - We had braced ourselves for a long line-up but managed to arrive at a good time - just a 15 minute wait. We squished into our table and perused the tantalizing brunch menu, enjoying the breeze that came in from the open street windows. Really good eggs benny with rosti - very lemony, nice. We also had the pancake with banana, sour cream, maple syrup and Canadian bacon (as a Canadian, I must say I've seen way better Canadian bacon) - anyway, the pancake was a bit on the heavy side but great flavours. Coffee was just so-so, however. Next time, I'm going to try the Russ & Daughters LES fish platter - that looked great. Fab music, very friendly service - exactly the kind of spot I love for brunch.
*Cafe Gitane* - I don't think I've ever seen Cafe Gitane mentioned on this board but we stop in at this little NoLita gem on every visit, usually for a late lunch. The place is always buzzing with people - we love the vibe. I had a scrumptious salad - arugula, chevre, beets, apples, chopped olives and walnuts - what a combo. My husband had the chicken satay with a totally addictive peanut sauce. Finished with a great cappuccino - served with a square of dark chocolate - yes! We love this place.
*Sripraphai* - Hopped on the 7 train for our little Thai chow-adventure in Queens. The place was packed - we waited about 40 minutes for a table. But oh...was it worth it. After scouring the Outer Boroughs board, we came armed with a list of recommendations from the vast menu - the fried watercress salad with calamari, shrimp and cashews was killer, same with the softshell crab with coriander and chilis. The drunken noodles were pretty good. We were pretty stuffed but had heard so many good things about dessert that we took the sticky rice with banana (wrapped in banana leaf) back to our hotel room. Mmmm.
*Shake Shack* - we got there at 11:45 so the wait was less than 15 minutes. We each had a Shack Burger, split an order of fries and a vanilla shake. I was pleasantly surprised by the burger - it was quite tasty (though so small, I could have easily eaten another - I think I'll go for the double next time). The wavy-cut fries were pretty good and the shake was super-thick and nicely flavoured. But the highlight was enjoying it all in the park, even though the sun tucked in just as we sat down and it was a bit chilly.
We also grabbed a breakfast on the fly from the 'wichcraft stand at Bryant Park (truly one of the prettiest spots in the city) one morning - I had the granola with yoghurt and honey while my husband had the steel-cut oatmeal - both were very tasty and quite reasonable at $4 each. Beyond the dizzying array of chow options, it's things like these places serving treats in the parks that make New York so special.
We'll be back in a few months - can't wait!