On a recent weekend trip to NYC we tried a variety of places, some of which were recommended, some of which were Chowhound finds and more than a few were just happy circumstance.
We ate in neighbourhoods away from our hotel (Distrikt; 40th/8th) most nights, but our best dinner in the area was at Riposo 46 after seeing a play. It was jammed, and the only table available was a tiny one near the back (by which I mean the kitchen and bathroom) but it was actually fine. The hostess was quite nice, assuring us we’d be well looked-after, and we were. Our wine glasses were never empty long, and our food (grilled asparagus with prosciutto, parmigiano & truffle oil to start; shared grilled flatbread with proscuitto, rapini and mozzarella main) was excellent.
The only other places near our hotel where we ate were craft beer places like Shorty’s and The Pony Bar, which I’ve reviewed over at BeerAdvocate.
Our first full day in the city took us up toward the upper east side, so we ate at The Wright in the basement of the Guggenheim. We didn’t expect much as it was more out of desperation than anything (we were STARVING!) but it turned out pretty well. We sat at the bar (not out of necessity; there were empty seats but we often prefer the bar) and had the prix fixe lunch menu. There was nothing spectacular about my cauliflower soup or organic chicken breast, nor my wife’s mushroom risotto, but they were more than enjoyable. And, most importantly, they gave us some energy to go tromping around museums the rest of the afternoon.
After lunch had settled and we’d burned a few calories walking up and down the Guggenheim, we stopped in at Cafe Sabarsky for dessert. Klimttorte for me, Apfelstrudel for her, both mit schlag (with cream), and Kleiner Mokka all around. The gentleman next to us was eating a wurst the size of a Louisville Slugger, which I would have ordered for sure had we not just eaten lunch.
Our most substantial dinner of the trip came at the Strip House. I liked this place. I find many NY steak places to be old-man caves, but Strip House felt like more like a late-night lounge. After some pre-game stretching (read: glasses of wine at the bar) we took our table and proceeded to make pigs of ourselves. My scallops disappeared quickly; my ginormous ribeye not so much. My wife liked her crab cakes (her first time trying them) and her filet mignon. Her steak was perfect; mine was done a little more than the medium rare I asked for. I would have liked a little more tenderness with our bottle of Frog’s Leap cab sauv, but it certainly wasn’t off by enough to be sent back. I think it was about 14 hours before we ate again.
Our final two stops bookended a visit to Greenwich Village, NoLita and SoHo. Gottino, a recommendation from the excellent little eat.shop NYC guide, was a tiny, quiet Gastroteca where we ate a small, simple, tasty breakfast at the bar. Prosciutto (ye gods...I didn’t realize until writing this up how much prosciutto we ate on this trip), eggs, chocolate crepe, toast and, of course, wine. Our day ended at Sweet Revenge, which we found by shaking my wife's iPhone and seeing what fell out of Google Maps. Sweet Revenge bills itself as 'NYC’s only cupcake, beer & wine bar', so personally I think the universe was calling us home. Our cupcakes were fantastic, the wine was ok, and I didn’t try the beer but it seemed pretty decent (Weihenstephaner!) for a fancy cupcake joint. What a great, random NYC find.
We ate ridiculously well this trip, and have paid penance in the gym ever since. But...SO worth it.
1048 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028
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