I just wanted to give a little report on my chowing during a short conference last week. Free time was limited and we were confined to Midtown West for most of the day, but we did our best to sample as much as possible on a very moderate budget. After attending a conference party with limited food on our late arrival, we dropped into the Kemia Bar for some late assorted tapas and drinks. It was like stepping into a Morrocan hideaway. Their signature Kemia drink was a winner and the tapas were very good. We had various cheeses, hummus, olives, etc. served in a GREAT atmosphere.
Day 2 offered a very short lunch period, so we dropped across the street for lunch at Bolzano's Bar Cucina. Very nice. I had a terrific salad and an excellent crudo of tuna with pancetta and fennel. The rest of the group sampled the frittata, more salads, sandwiches and their spaghetti stuffed meatball. The bread was fabulous and overall it's a lovely space.
Dinner that evening brought us to the Jazz Standard for some much needed entertainment. The club shares the kitchen with Blue Smoke and we had an enormous amount of BBQ. Most of us had the pulled pork and one diner went for the rib sampler. Very large portions! The pork was very good, not dry at all and the beans were great. The coleslaw missed the mark for me, but the hit was hot potato chips with blue cheese and bacon dip. I could live on the dip alone. The service was also top notch. We stopped by the Flatiron Lounge for drinks and really enjoyed the cocktails and atmosphere.
Day 3 was another quickie lunch at Oh Raku nearby. Very small place with good, fresh sushi. Our party was split for the evening so a couple of us hit the Miracle Grill in the East Village for dinner. We had a bit of a wait for a patio table, but the guava margaritas and guacamole made it fly. Sampled the miracle quesadilla, catfish and tilapia tacos and the hit of the night ... the shrimp and goat cheese empanada. This is a great place with very nice, fresh food and a great atmosphere. Again, service was wonderful. Met up with a hungry colleague later at the hotel who needed to eat fast, so we ran up to Uncle Nick's Ouzaria. He enjoyed his grape leaves, garlic shrimp and olives (I stole some of those). Nice little place.
We were all happy with the food on the trip and I can't say enough about the service everywhere. You guys know how to do it right. And the conference was a success too. Thanks for all of your help in planning the trip.