Taking a Bite out of the Big Apple

8 11 2009

On our most recent trip to New York City Nathan and I decided to be real tourists.  We felt like it was time to take that Grey Line tourbus, sit on the upper deck and listen to the rehearsed stories of the tourbus operator, take photos of all of the New York sights, bond with other tourists and talk about how much trash there is in the city! 

This was the plan, that is until we realized that it would cost us $90 a person to see many of the same sights that we had already seen and listen to the tour operator tell us stories of the city that may or may not be true (we know that Jay Z doesn’t really live in that building….)

So, instead we decided to take an “EATING TOUR OF NYC”.  And if you think about it, is there any better tour to be taking?? 

We unofficially started our tour at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse (www.wolfgangssteakhouse.com) in Tribeca having dinner with friends.  The best appetizer that I’ve ever had is their specialty of thick-sliced Canadian Bacon.  It’s like a bacon steak!  After this savoury appetizer we also indulged in a tomato and fresh mozzarella salad (Caprese Salad), Rib Eye steaks to share with German Potatoes and Creamed Spinach as sides.  And, to make this an authentic New York local dinner, in the city that never sleeps, this ‘dinner’ took place at about 9:00 at night and was accompanied with glass after glass of complimentary red wine.

The next day we decided to get really serious about our eating tour.  After listening to a live version of Frank Sinatra’s My Way, we knew we had found our first stop – Patsy’s Pizzeria (www.patsyspizzeriany.com)Frank Sinatra mentioned this pizzeria in his song, and after some research we found out that this place was the founder of the New York Style thin crust pizza.  After walking from the Port Authority to 60th St & 3rd Ave, our stomachs were growling and we were not disappointed when we walked into the rustic, family-style pizzeria with the coal-burning oven.  One large original Margherita pizza coming up!  When it arrived, the crust was thin and crispy, but chewy at the same time; the sauce was hot and the fresh mozzarella was melting off of the pie.  The flavours were infused with a few basil leaves.  Possibly THE best pizza I’ve ever had. 

After taking a walk through Central Park to walk off the pizza and prepare for our next eating destination, we went back to 60th street to try out the famous Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity (www.serendipity3.com), a restaurant that was featured in the movie Serendipity with Kate Beckinsale and John Kusack, and a beverage that has been featured on Oprah Winfrey’s Favourite Things list.   As New York City’s first coffee house boutique, with Tiffany lamps,  pink walls, old fashioned chandeliers, cake top decorations, etc, the interior of this place is the definition of “kitsch”.  The infamous Frozen Hot Chocolate is created with a mixture of 7 different chocolates and blended with ice, cream and topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. 

frozen hot chocolate

As we made our way back through the city streets, we took a detour to Crumbs (www.crumbs.com), a bakery specializing in designer cupcakes.  Of course we had to pick up a couple of cupcakes to go.  You just can’t leave red velvet cupcakes behind!

Our final stop for the day was our local sushi restaurant in Times Square, Aoki (www.aokinyc.com) that, despite the constant traffic of tourists and locals, knows us when we stop by. 

sushi dinner

The next few days of our visit we were in Brooklyn, but this didn’t stop us from continuing on our eating tour.  Lenny’s Clam Bar (www.lennysclambar.com)A small, family-owned restaurant, specializing in all things shellfish and pasta, among other things.  We loved it so much that we went there 2 days in a row and enjoyed the house specialty of Baked Littleneck Clams, Seafood Salad, which was chock-full of scungilli (conch), calamari, and shrimp and traditional pastas.  

We also had the opportunity to explore downtown Brooklyn with an old friend and went to a quaint French Bistro called Le Petit March (www.bkbistro.com) where we met the owner and enjoyed fresh mussles and crunchy oysters.   And for dessert, we were taken to Cake Man Raven (www.cakemanraven.com), a place famous for its Red Velvet Cake. 

For our last day in the city we had an opportunity to meet up with a friend for brunch and a broadway musical, In the Heights.  For brunch we continued our eating tour and enjoyed pumpkin bread and lobster eggs benedict at Blue Fin (www.brguestrestaurants.com), a restaurant located at the W Hotel in Times Square.  After brunch and the musical, we decided to bookend our eating tour by returning to Patsy’s Pizzeria and Crumbs Bakery to repeat our initial visits.

Finally, after 6 days and 9 restaurants, our eating tour is DONE!

 

 

 

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