Halloween Trip: Del Posto, Babbo, Bohemian, Jean Georges, Locanda Verde, Totto, Bouchon, Doughnut Plant
Visited NYC for Halloween weekend.
Del Posto Lunch - Welcomed by several protesters handing out fliers regarding wage dispute. Nice room with a old school grandeur feel. Noticed that every single male patron was wearing a button down shirt. Most wore jacket & tie. I was the only one wearing a sweater (figured it was only lunch). However they did not make me feel uncomfortable. Prix fixe menu is $29 for 3 courses (antipasti, pasta OR secondi and dessert). Additional course is $10. Wine pairing is $15 (extra $5 for each additional pairing).
Ordered the autumn veggies, cotechino, orecchiette w/ lamb ragu, seared duck breast, striped bass, chocolate tortino & butterscotch semifreddo with wine pairings.
Highlights included the trio of amuse bouche (aracini, gazpacho & crab pastry), freshly baked breads with whipped lardo, cotechino, orecchiette and duck breasts. Desserts were the most dissapointing. Pours were fine, but they did give an extra pour with our mains. The petit fours were ok with the exception of the lollipop one that tasted like a nestle crunch bar. That was really good.
Service was pleasant, but a bit awkward at times. Our waiter approached our table on several ocassions and stood there in silence as not to interrupt, but he stood there staring a bit too long. When the pianist stopped playing, I did feel as if I was eating in a funeral home. It was eerily quiet. The lunch value is excellent though and I will definitely return.
Bohemian Dinner - Did not get lost and was much easier to find than expected. A long hallway leading to the back of a butcher shop is where this restaurant is located. You will be buzzed in. Arrived after 10pm which meant the tasting menu was not available. Atmosphere is much more relaxed. The space is small, but efficient.
Ordered fried japanese sweet potatoes, wagyu sliders, roasted branzino, sashimi of day (amberjack & sea bream), mushroom risotto croquette topped with uni and sake panna cotta.
Everything was delicious. Fried sweet potatoes were thick slices and tasty, but ordinary. Only item I wouldn't won't order again. The croquette was amazing and one of the best things I've ever tasted. The whole roasted branzino was an amazing value. It was accompanied by a ton of roasted veggies. You could order this alone and be full. The order of sliders come in a pair. They came out last and we were already overly stuffed but forged ahead and shared one between us. The panna cotta was light and refreshing. Great ending to an excellent meal. Tried a few cocktails as well which were all very good. Will definitely be returning with friends.
Jean Georges lunch - Beautiful and busy modern room. Service appeared hectic as we entered, but soon realized that the servers were just quick and efficient. Atmosphere is total opposite of Del Posto. It was very lively and the dress was much more relaxed here. Prix fix is $32 for ANY 2 courses and $16 for each additional. Desserts are all $8.
Tried the crispy crab, red snapper, salmon, cod, beef dish and a few others. Quite honestly I don't remember because none were memorable. The technique and presentation were all nice, but nothing wowed me or my dining companions. All of us were underwhelmed beginning with the amuse all the way to the mignardises. Although we were glad we tried Jean Georges, we will probably not be returning. I am a huge fan of fusion cuisine and Alan Wong's is probably my favorite restaurant, but Jean Georges didn't resonate with me at all.
Babbo dinner - Been here several times before. Bustling, busy, loud and crowded. Upstairs is quieter though. We usually order several pastas and 2 mains. They always accomodate by splitting the pastas between us so its like a course.
Meal always starts with a chickpea toast amuse which is fine. We went ravioli crazy and ordered the goose liver ravioli, gnocchi with braised oxtail, beef cheek ravioli, lamb sausage ravioli & sweetbreads. This is definitely an exorbitant amount of food, but we don't visit often so we took advantage. Least favorite was the minty lamb ravioli. Nothing wrong with it in particular, but it was definitely overshadowed by everything else. It was very minty. If you love mint, get it. I didn't like the goose liver ravioli because of the balsamic reduction. I felt there was too much, but my dc loved it. Sweetbreads were excellent as usual. Wine prices are pretty reasonable. I looked at the wine menu online beforehand and found the prices were actually lower at the restaurant. Have never tried dessert because we always order too much food. One day though, we'll try to refrain ourselves and order more sensibly. Will return.
Locanda Verde brunch - First time in Tribeca. Area was very quiet that day. Everyone was probably recovering from all the Halloween parties the night before. Restaurant was definitely busy though. Glad we had reservations. My first celebrity sighting in NYC. David Schwimmer was with his friends at the table next to ours.
Ordered the hazelnut crusted french toast, lemon pancakes, pork hash with eggs, shrimp grits and sheeps milk ricotta toast. I'm not a cheese person, especially soft cheeses, but the ricotta toast was amazing. Everything was good, but we did feel prices were a tad high. Pancakes, pork hash & the ricotta toast were the standout dishes. Eggs were perfectly cooked. Only dissapointment was the coffee. Tasted water down. Not on my return ASAP list, but Will be back for the ricotta toast.
Dinner Yakitoro Totto - Staff is definitely festive. All were in costumes. Restaurant is smallish in size on the 2nd floor. Arrived for an early dinner @ 5:30pm. Seated immediately. We felt like we ordered a bunch of stuff, but everything came quickly. The 4 of us were in and out in less than 1.5 hours. All the skewers were cooked properly and very tasty. I especially enjoyed the kalbi and chicken oyster skewers. We ordered 2 chicken rice dishes (one in claypot and one regular). We were dissapointed that we weren't given the crunchy rice that was in the claypot. Thats the best part! Overall a fun experience but will not be rushing back. Better suited for an after party spot where you can relax, drink some sake and enjoy yakitori.
Other places visited was bouchon bakery(twice..only cause it was close by). The line this wkend was ridiculous. Took 15-20 to order a coffee. Their fall macaroon varieties are not as good as the summer ones. Wheres the lemon macaroon??!! Good place to swing by, get a coffee and relax.
Doughnut Plant - Friends loved it. Tried pretty much every variety of doughnuts. My favorites are the cake doughnuts. I'm not in love with this place. While the doughnuts tasted good, I don't think they deserve all the praise they receive. Friends favorites are the pb&j, tres leches and creme brulee. Worth a visit.
Overall a great visit to NYC and will be back soon. Highlights were the croquette with uni, duck breast, sweetbreads, the nestle crunch lollipop thingy and ricotta toast! We usually try to fit Levain and milk bar into our trips, but missed out on both this time. Wish I got a chocolate chip cookie to go though. Drooling thinking about it.
Overall a fun visit to NYC. Will be back soon!
110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011
1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023
85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
379 Grand St, New York, NY 10002
377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013