I've just returned from a trip to Manhattan and wanted to say THANK YOU to all you NY Chows and give a little follow up to our trip.
We arrived late last Friday night and, not knowing our neighborhood too well, ended up grabbing a bite of fast food at 3 in the morning. Saturday we wandered over to Amy's Bread for coffee and pastries and immediately fell in love. We were regulars there by the end of our trip! I'm going to crave those oat scones forever! Saturday night we didn't have res. anywhere so we strolled around Hell's Kitchen for a bit and ended up at L'Allegria on 9th and 44th (I think) for a late dinner. The food was exceptional. I had the lobster ravioli, which was a tad salty, but delish. My BF had the lamb shank and it was amazing. The prices were very reasonable.
Sunday we had resv. at Norma's for breakfast. The menu was interesting, but we thought the food was just mediocre for the price. Mine was cold. It was okay, but we wouldn't go there again. Sunday night we had resv. at Artisinal. I was really looking forward to a lovely french meal, but was a bit disappointed. We ordered the steak tartare as a starter. The steak was fantastic, but they only gave us 2 little bread crisps to put it on. There was a whole jar of steak and some went to waste. Sad. We split the beet salad, which was good, and ordered the Grand Fondue with crudites, apples and fingerling potatoes for dippers. The wine our waitress recommended was ok, not great. I honestly think we would have been happier with the prix fixe dishes as i hear they are famous for the steak. I'm going to give Artisinal a 7 out of 10. Wish I would have went with my gut instinct and gone to La Bonne Soupe or another small french restaurant. Next time!
Monday was our LES day and we had lunch at Katz's. What a fun experience! We followed RGR's advice and got counter service. Our sandwich maker was a riot and the food was out of this world. We also stopped by Russ & Daughters and Il Laboratorio del Gelato (sp?). Absolutely the best gelato I have ever had. Yummmm! That night we went to the Yankee game and had a couple of dogs and a pretzel. We were still hungry when we got back to the hotel so we went next door and had a slice of pizza at this little place called Patzeria Pizza. Joe, the owner, was our good friend by the time we left. I can't really compare their pizza with any other NY pie, but I can tell you it was fantastic. I'm not a pizza fan, but I could eat that every day! Californian's DO NOT know how to make pizza.
Tuesday we took our Amy's pastries to the Cloisters and had coffee in the garden with our breakfast. It was so peaceful and beautiful. Thanks to whoever suggested that. We had a show and Babbo that night so we just picked up a little nosh at the Amish Market on 9th before our show. That market is AMAZING!!! I wish we had something like that here in LA. I love to cook and ended up standing in front of the wall of olive oils for 20 minutes in awe. You guys are so lucky!!
Tuesday night, after seeing Wicked, we went to Babbo. I am soooo happy we were able to get resv. there. Absolutely the best food experience of my life. Everything was perfect. It is fabulous without being pretentious. We felt so comfortable, the service was impeccable and the food... do I even need to say more? Bonus points for seating us next to a big celeb. Sweet. I usually blog my restaurant experiences with photos, but I am glad I didn't take my camera. It would have been awkward..... I'll just leave it to my memory.
Wednesday we had some time to wander around before our flight so we ended up at Roxy's deli for lunch. The pastrami was good, but not as good as Katz's. The pickles, however, were better. I also had a frozen hot chocolate there. Yummmm.... My advice is to sit down and eat there, but don't order any of the pastries they tempt you with in the window. We had picked up a couple earlier and they were disgusting. Totally inedible. Oh well, that was the only bad food we had in NY!!
Thanks again to everyone for your suggestions. We'll be back again and will look to the experts for advice!!