Restaurants & Bars 4

Trip Report

itryalot | Sep 1, 2009 03:59 PM

1. Cyber Cafe - Madeleine the Crepe Lady made us delicious crepes, a perfect blend between chewy, crispy and great fillings (nutella and bananas for one, ham and cheese for another). Very reasonable and great quality.

2. Otto - Loved it; made reservations for later (10pm) after a show. Were starved since we hadn't eaten since 5am. Had the five cheese sampling with preserved apricots, cherries amarene and truffle honey. Drank four half carafes of wine, three red and one white. All were great. Had white bean bruschetta (sublime bean topping on delicious old world bread), margherita pizza ( a little too oversauced for us, but still great), broccoli rabe with ricotta salata (great side dish), Spaghetti siciliana (with summer squashes and cheese, tomato sauce, very fresh tasting). Shared the gelato (oliv eoil and pishachio) which held up to its reputation. Heavenly. Closed the place down; would definitely go back.

3. Yankees game - Had the best Prime Rib au jus sandwich from Lobel's. Bun was dense enough to hold the jus, but light enough to not feel like a brick. We shared one, then DH went back to get one more each. Before we left, we had the zeppole from Arthur Ave Market in the food court. They were a warm, yeasty bundle of goodness.

4. Lupa - Had another great meal here. Had the prosciutto Gran Riserva, octopus with ceci and sorel, and artichoke to start. Also shared the escarole salad which was fabulous. I had the dandelion and tuscan kale salad with warm guanciale dressing. Could have eaten double orders of the salad for supper and wish we would have. The prosciutto was buttery and delicate, octopus was so tender it was unbelievable and artichoke was very tasty. Followed with the Pork Arrista (basically one large pork chop) - which was OK; half of it was fat, which I skipped and it was too underdone for me. Dh had the Pollo alla Diavola which was spicy but even that was overpowered by the salt. It was very crispy but dry. The chicken liver crostini though was to die for. We saw the pasta portions of the people beside us and they were VERY tiny. We prefered Otto, but would go to Babbo next time instead (if we could get in).

5. Prosperity Dumplings - Had the pork and chive steamed for $1 (5); wonderful and tasty. Great for a quick snack.

6. Balthazar - We had an 8:30 reservation and the place was hopping by then. Loved the vibe and atmosphere; very Francais! Started with a plate of oysters. Salty, sweet and briney. Asked for two of three kinds and they delivered. I had the Balthazar salad and hubby had the mixed field greens salad. Latter was nothing special but enjoyed the former one immensely. Had three half carafes of wine, and four libations and all were delectable. Hubby had the steak frites; forgot the bernaise or the beurre and I had the moules, but a whopping 12 of them were closed. What we ate though, was good. Hubby had warm banana ricotta tart with banana ice cream and I had the pavlova with warm berry compote. Both were delicate and delicious.

7. Zabar's Cafe - Had lunch here twice. First time ended up sitting beside a group of people who were dissecting the pizzas (sullivan st pizza) and taking a million photos of them and writing notes. Struck up a conversation with them and found out they worked for Dr. Oetker and were their research and marketing team on a two week US trip to eat as much pizza as possible. They had just returned from Chicago. Some were from Birmingham, EN and others from Germany. We LOVED the Sullivan St tomato pizza so much so that we had it again the second day and got a box of 6 pieces to take home. This was after our $250 shopping of Sullivan St and Zabar bread and assorted cheeses to take home. One luggage full of food, and I had packed a small collapsable bag cooler that we zipped with ice and put in a plastic bag in our luggage. The potato pizza was excellent and a third would be the zucchini, wild mushroom was not a favorite. Running out of meals and determined to try matzoh ball soup, had theirs. Not bad, even though I don't know what excellent tastes like. Hubby had a grilled panini, which was also amazing.

8. Grom - Gelato in Greenwich Village: We needed a pit stop and stumbled upon this place which looked like it might be interesting. Not a soul in it, but it was raining out. We had the lemon gelato and the pistachio and both were of the highest quality, perfect density and very natural tasting.

9. Doughnut Plant - Walked an extra block for this one. Holy smokes! Sugar and yeast nirvana. Had the chocolate blackout donut, could have had 4. Had the vanilla yeast with blueberry filling, banana cream and carrot cake and those became our lunch. These are worth the trip and good beyond belief and I don't even like donuts.

10. Il Laboratorio del Gelato - Another great gelato place in the LES. Had limone again and hubby had standby pistachio and some banana. All were excellent again and just a hair better than Grom, but not by much.

11. Rocco's in Greenwich Village - Had to stop here on the way to Murray's Cheese Shop. Had some freshly filled cannoli (expensive, sold by weight, but good) and desserts were also very good. Had a couple only. Was mid afternoon and didn't want to ruin our supper.

Note:
We found the market at Grand Central to be very good quality, great selection and not bad prices for the location. We would shop there in a minute. In fact, we did make some purchases. We noticed, too, that Zabar's is set to open there.
Not bad for our first trip, but have several must trys for next one.
Next trip:
Shake Shack
Bar Breton
Babbo
Levain
Doughnut Plant (yes, again)
Pastis or other French
Shopsins

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