Needless to say, I always look forward to the good food in New York. I half-jokingly said “How do I gain weight? Let me count the ways.” I went back to a few familiar favourite places and tried out some new ones as well. So let’s start the (calorie) counting…
Just opened a few weeks ago is the Nordic-accented Great Northern Food Hall in the majestic Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal. Opened by Claus Meyer, a partner in Noma, the food hall offers pastries, smorrebord open rye sandwiches, salads, smoothies, and more.
As I mentioned previously, it seems inevitable that I always drop by Eataly when I am in New York. Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali’s wonderful food emporium is consistently good. I was fortunate to be able to visit their location in Rome last year.
One trend in many major museums is the elevation of the quality of the food they offer. One of the restaurants at MoMA is Cafe 2 offering casual Italian food. At The Met, the Petrie Court Cafe offers full service dining for lunch and dinner.
During my school days, I remember the occasional visit to Serendipity 3. Although they pride themselves of offering “Serious Food” – I go there for some Serious Sundaes!
It must be a sign when Shake Shack, born and originally at Madison Square Park, opened a location a block from my hotel on East 40th Street and Third Avenue. It was calling me for a late night eating.
One of the restaurants that I have not been to and tried during his visit is DBGB Kitchen and Bar. One of Daniel Boulud’s eateries, they feature Lyonnais-inspired menu of bistro cuisine.
Another spot I tried for the first time is mokbar in Chelsea Market. A casual ramen shop that combines traditional Korean soups with Japanese ramen noodles, with various other delicious street food in their menu.
A stroll in Soho typically includes a stop at Balthazar – even for a cafe americain and the calorie-inducing profiteroles.
Estela is one of my favourites in this city. The fried arroz negro with squid and romesco remains topnotch.
Post-Estela, we hobbled along to Mr. Purple, a roof top bar. This is one of the spots where young people line up to get in. My companions were asked for their I.D.s by the doormen while they skipped me. Ouch.
Maison Kayser across Bryant Park is always a good spot for breakfast. Eric Kayser’s boulangerie from Paris has several locations in the city.
There is yoga at Bryant Park on Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings should you need some grounding (and calorie burning). I was with them in spirit.
Another new hotel popped up in the city — The Renwick, which opened 8 months ago. Well located on East 40th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues, the hotel is a renovated apartment building that used to have a few famous artist residents. I appreciated the location as it is in a less busy and non-touristy street, yet two blocks from the convenience of the many subway lines at Grand Central Station and walking distance to many midtown sights. Service is friendly, though not consistent. The rooms are comfortable, modern and stylishly designed – but not much else to write home about.