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Restaurants & Bars 45

Yet another NYC report (if you care)....

magic | May 25, 201502:39 PM

Third time in NYC. 5 days this time. Love your city. Here are my latest findings.

THE GREAT:

- Blue Hill. Did an 8-course thing. Fantastic. While there were some misses (seafood related mostly, soft shell crab was blech), most of my meal was outstanding. Service very sweet, capable, although younger than I was expecting. Elegant, inviting atmosphere. Will return.

- Barney Greengrass. Every time I go it never disappoints. Heaven. Chopped liver not as tasty as my last trip there but overall food is superb. Service better on Wednesday than it was on Friday.

- Red Hook Lobster Pound, at Madison Square Eats. Probably the best lobster roll I’ve had. I had it Connecticut style – warm and buttery. No words. Had 3 over the course of my trip. Shrimp roll was forgettable.

- Defonte’s Sandwich Shop, in Red Hook. Amazing food. A$$hole service. Polished off a third veal and a third Italian combo all on my own. Very tasty slaw too.

- Bread Bakery. Love this place. Great reputation and I can see why. A nice little oasis amid Union Square insanity. Cinnamon roll to die for, chocolate rugelach hella delish, fruit tart good not mind-blowing. Very nice coffee. Great staff.

- Zabar’s. What can I say. Everything about it is pretty much perfect in my eyes.

THE GOOD:

- Mamoun’s Falafel on St. Marks. Solid falafel, quite good shawarma. Great staff. Would return.

- 2 Bros Pizza on St. Mark’s. Fresh pepperoni slice. Standard stuff but tasty enough. Got the job done. One of the few fresh slices I saw while on my trip, so I pounced.

- Joe’s Shanghai, on Pell St. Fun place. Prick waiter. Nice staff otherwise. Pretty good food.

- Roberta’s Pizza, at Madison Square Eats. Had a fresh slice of my friend’s Bee Sting. Very nice, but this type of pizza isn’t anything I can’t find here (edit: in Toronto) I guess. My friend noted service was extremely rude.

- Murray’s Bagels. Again, rude service but bagels are nice. Nice, bright spot to hang. Looked like it had renovated and changed its set-up since I was last there in 2013.

THE SO-SO:

- The Redhead. Quite good food. Inattentive (almost non-existant), gruff service. Pretzel was good, though not the best I’ve had. Cavatelli pasta was ridiculous... mmmm!

- Levain’s Bakery. Smell was intoxicating but flavour did not match ethereal aroma of the space. Don’t get me wrong, cookies were fine. But aside from the warm gooey factor I wasn’t in love with them. Chocochip my fave, double chocolate too one-note, and oatmeal raisin was essentially flavourless. Love that they did a nice tall cup of ice cold milk, and the staff was great.

- Eataly. A lot more crowded than I remember it. Had to leave after 10 mins. Nice product but man I just couldn’t take it. Lovely market, too bad.

- Doughnut Plant, Chelsea location. Wasn’t going to stop as I’m so bored by gourmet donuts but I promised someone I’d bring them home and I was nearby. Not as good as LES location, as I’d been warned. Light on the fillings, and taste was not quite there.

- Fire Belly Korean BBQ, at Madison Square Eats. Beef Bulgogi burrito was fine, but not earth shattering. Also, there was no rice inside. I believe they were momentarily out of rice and people who ordered bowls had to wait as a result... but I was surprised to see no rice in my burrito. It would have helped. It was a bit salty, whereas I was hoping for more sweet. Rice would have helped.

THE BAD:

- Locanda Verde. What a disappointment. Bland, uninspired food. Not close to being worth the prices charged. Poor, disinterested service. Won’t go back. Surprised at the love this place gets. Waste of a meal and money.

- Artichoke Basille. Surprise surprise, service was terrible. Margarita slice was crappy. One bite and threw it out. Did not have their signature artichoke slice as someone had just ordered the last one and the Margarita looked good enough. I wish I had waited. Would not rush back, if at all.

- 2nd Avenue Deli (Upper East Side). Worst meal of the trip. Sent my brisket sandwich back. Bone dry and awful. Terrible potato knish. Delish kishka, though identical to Katz’s (do these delis not make their own kishka?? Are they supplied?) Sweet, well-meaning, but sad service. The place was beyond dead, though in fairness I was there at a very off hour.

There were others places, but this is the bulk. Others I wanted to revisit/try but sadly no time for everything.

p.s. I actually dropped by Arcade Bakery. Their very limited offerings did not look interesting so I passed. I hear great things, but visually... man oh man it was not enticing. Cool set-up though.

Blue Hill,
Blue Hill At Stone Barns,
Barney Greengrass,
Red Hook Lobster Pound,
Defonte's Sandwich Shop,
2 Bros Pizza,
2 Bros. Pizza,
Eataly NYC Flatiron,
Locanda Verde,
Arcade Bakery,
Locanda Vini & Olii,
Philly Pretzel Factory,
Doughnut Plant,
Artichoke Pizza
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