A Travel & Lifestyle Blog

NYC Eats

Lunchtime at Lexington Brass
 
Travelling is about immersing yourself into local life.
Travelling on business for example, goes a long way towards experiencing the daily rhythm of a new place because you have to go with it! If you are travelling for pleasure, food is the way to get a glimpse into local life.

New York is all about food. Unlike London, food is a 24-hour affair - thank god for $1 pizza slices, Jewish delis and diners. On a Sunday evening, we managed to get takeaway at 11pm from a Kosher deli (2nd Avenue Deli), who then sent us for a midnight slice of cheesecake to a neighbouring diner (Sarge's Deli & Diner)!

I've put together a guide of some of the delicious stuff we got to try on our trip to NY - it's by no means exhaustive, but I dare say we put a good dent in it!

White pizza at Don Antonio's

Neapolitan Pizza - Don Antonio, Midtown
Look beyond the $1 pizza slice. Don Antonio's is one of the first pizza places in New York to have gained a certification from the town of Napoli, in making traditional Neapolitan pizza.
Sourdough base, thin, light, with a slight crisp right where you need it.
I tried a Bianca (white) pizza, no tomatoes, just gooey mozzarella, rucola, prosciutto di Parma, parmigiano and extra virgin olive oil - heaven!
Go beyond your usual, try burrata filled with black & white truffle cream; pistachio pesto; walnut cream & porcini mushrooms, oh don't worry about the calories, it's NY, you'll walk it off!

Business Lunch - Lexington Brass, Midtown East
A lunchtime people-watching spot more than anything else and a glimpse of the last remaining 90's business characters, in their oversized business suits!

Sit around the bar with a glass of white wine - or scotch, it depends on what kind of business day you are having - or if you are lucky, claim one of the tables next to the windows, perfect spot to absorb the buzzing lunchtime atmosphere, both inside and outside, on Lexington Avenue.
The food is modern, bistro-style, Caesar salads, burgers, the usual fuel.
I had tuna tartar tacos and a side of truffle fries, the ultimate  guilty pleasure!   
   
Bagel tower at Sadelle's

Brunch in SoHo - Sadelle's
You can have "caviar on everything", it says on the menu! But that's not why we visited.
You can also have a bagel tower! That's why we visited!
Our tower was made of : a traditional one, a salt & pepper one and the "everything 2.0", a caraway seed and fennel little bomb.
Favourite bagel: the salt & pepper...with chive cream cheese. Simple and flavoursome!  
 
Sadelle's is a movie-perfect, brunch spot in uber-cool and yet, so easy-going SoHo. 
Exposed brick walls, warm atmosphere, a long wooden table for shared brunch experiences (and little meet-cutes), bistro chairs and a glass room in the middle of the restaurant, where bagels are being hand-rolled and cooked, in a theatrical setting. 
What else can you wish for? 
Oh well, I'll have some grapefruit juice, eggs benedict and coffee, please!

Colourful bao buns just a stone's throw from Macy's & Nordstrom Rack

Korean street food - Broadway Bites, 33d & Broadway
I was on an early pilgrimage to Nordstrom Rack, when I spotted this cute little foodie pop-up, Broadway Bites Market.
On my way back, early lunchtime, the food court was packed - tacos to fresh juices and bao bans to pizza and Greek pitta.
I knew I had to stop and look at these bao beauties closer. Sweet and succulent pork belly. Juicy, slow-cooked, pulled chicken. Delicate flavours coming and going in waves...we were hooked!

Tao - West coast oysters with caviar

Luxe Asian - Tao Downtown, Meatpacking District
You go for the name, you stay for the food!
Tao was suggested to us as one of NY's hot spots. As always, I take this kind of statement with a pinch of salt. It proved to be a grand space, open across various levels, with a theatrical backdrop of an impressive Quan Yin Buddha statue and chatty, hipster waiters.

Surprise, surprise, the food was inventive and delicious.
The oysters - west coast, native oysters, much smaller than the European ones and milder in flavour. They were served with a little vinaigrette, which was unfortunately overpowered by soy sauce and a dash of caviar.
The dim sum - wild mushroom, snap pea and asparagus, a gorgeous, juicy start.
The rolls - Crunchy quinoa crab; loved the quinoa on the outside, unexpected flavour for a roll.
Angry Dragon - eel and kabayaki sauce roll, be brave, it's soft and delicious.
The main  - Miso roasted Black Cod and a side of Seafood Black Rice, with lobster, crab and crispy squid. The squid-ink blackened rice alongside some fresh, steamed bok choy was my absolute favourite, so many flavour layers.  
 
Piccolo Osteria - Cavatelli with Lamb Ragu and Porcini mushrooms 
Picollo Osteria - Tagliatelle verde with Wild Boar Ragu & Truffle paste
 
Sicilian dinner - Picollo Osteria, SoHo
Probably one of the best Italian meals I've had outside of Italy!
And it's the perfect, little candlelit place for date nights too, in the heart of SoHo.
Rich, big portions, cooked right at the back of this tiny hole in the wall.
 
We started with creamy burrata; honestly, I could have stopped at that, the flavour is something I never want to forget! 
But then, I got my tagliatelle verde with wild boar ragu and a hint of truffle paste sitting right on top. Mamma mia!  
Locals were queuing up by the time we left, trying to sweet-talk the waiters for a table...it's funny that even in a metropolis like NY, people still crave for that "neighbourhood" feeling, I love it!
 
Dominique Ansel Bakery - October cronuts
 
Cronuts - Dominique Ansel Bakery, SoHo
The craze goes beyond the pastry - a different flavour is released every month, since it's inception in 2013!
October NY flavour: Cranberry Pistachio cronut with cranberry jam and pistachio ganache.

They are so fancy, they come with eating instructions: don't refrigerate or heat; if cut, use a serrated knife!

Red Rooster - Fried Chicken and Waffles!
Red Rooster-style brunch - Grits, Fried Chicken with Biscuits and Mac & Greens, covered in cheese off course!

Soul Brunch - Red Rooster, Harlem
Gritts!
Come again?
Oats darling, cooked down to a smooth cream covered in cheese! Good stuff!

The Red Rooster is the happiest restaurant we visited in NY! It's right by the 125th St station, very easy to get to and the food really does hug your soul.
Crunchy, slightly spicy - just to tickle your tongue - fried chicken, on a fluffy waffle with a hint of maple syrup, perfectly balanced dish and somehow very cheery-looking!
Then more fried chicken, this time alongside southern biscuits and gravy. Oh my! Wow!  I tried making biscuits once...didn't go very well, so I did appreciate being able to try the real ones, fluffy and light, as they are meant to be.

Sides were the revelation for us. Marcus Cornbread, Grits and Mac & Greens. They do something to cheddar here, it's not the same as the UK, it holds better and has a distinct flavour when grilled and thankfully it was on everything! Yum! 

Lulu's Hawaiian Poke
A glorious Corndog

Hawaiian Poke, Korean Spicy Wings & Corndogs - Gansevoort Market, Meatpacking District
Just around the corner from Chelsea food market, we spotted Gansevoort market. It's a smaller, less busy, UN court of foods! 
After days and days of restaurant food, I really just wanted something fresh.
Once I spotted the juicy and perfect-looking pieces of raw tuna at Lulu Poke & Bimibap I knew what I was having for lunch. To my delight, I then realised that poke is a Hawaiian dish, layered with wild brown rice and an array of lovely fresh and pickled veggies, soft seaweed and off course the lovely, fresh tuna chunks.

My husband, has a soft spot for Korean street food at the moment and rejoiced at the sight of spicy wings from Wing Club paired nicely with some ginger root beer and...corndogs! We had to try the epitome of fried food...a Wiener dipped in batter, deep fried to a soft and doughy, golden puff!

A strong double macchiato from Chip NY on the way out and off we went to explore the Highline and walk off this meal that would make the UN proud.
 
© Life Love London

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