Rambling NYC weekend report
Had some things not come thru in various ways during my 3 nites in NYC but still managed to eat too much. It's harder when bopping around town on your own not able to split things (a girl can only eat so much). Dropped off my stuff at the downtown Marriott (more activity there than I thought with the 9/11 Museum, W Hotel, a decent 24 hour deli, etc) and went to the Union Sq. market for a cider donut (this trip was a bit of a donut quest). I don't know if it was from Treehouse Farms but I should have known to pass, it had been sitting for a while and wasn't too exciting. Then went over to Nam Pung where someone recommended the pork belly sandwich over the mackerel. It was good but WAY more meat than I had planned on, I managed to stuff it all in (pic below). Hoped to hit a happy hour but even tho Merc Bar advertised one somewhere in my research, they weren't doing it and I was too thirsty anyway so grabbed a soda and got ready for dinner at Bistro Cassis (Columbus @70th). Just had a nice frisee aux lardons salad w/ a poached egg (and lots of great baguette w/ both butter and paté) plus a crème brulee for dessert. Friends enjoyed their trout, coquille St. Jacques and burger (entrees $24-33). Pretty authentic bistro feel including kind of brusque service and a cursory "We have chardonnay, merlot" etc. with no other info, not so helpful since there was no menu for wines by the glass. Ended the nite at Mercury Bar and a little tapas place on 1st Ave.
Sat. I first went to the East Village because Wonder City on E. 10th was supposed to have great donuts but now they're a juice bar, sigh. So I headed out to Greenpoint and Peter Pan Bakery. The only bummer was that I didn't want to hold up the line so I didn't get a great look at everything they had but that was an impressive bunch of donuts. Chose glazed sour cream and red velvet. Loved the sour cream but red velvet wasn't my favorite, gave half of it to some crusty punk spare changing in a nice way ("Is this red velvet? Right on!"). I wish I could have taken advantage of more Polish stuff in the area but went across the street to Baker's Dozen where I got a transcendent egg bagel w/ lite scallion cream cheese (see pic). This was so good but what do I do? Leave half of it on the subway bench (I almost got off at the next stop to retrieve it). That misstep tho allowed me to stuff in an Asia Dog at the Brooklyn Flea at Hanson Place. Got the Vietnamese style one cuz I couldn't take more pork belly and it was fine but somehow I expected more, $4.50 (see photo).
After hitting the Hell's Kitchen flea and wading thru St. Patty's dorks, I stopped in the jammed Eataly to take a look. It wasn't as crowded in the back so I continued my carbo load w/ half of a large onion foccacia at the bread place but again, something seemed missing. I asked a guy going thru the trash if he wanted the other half and he goes "No thanks I just ate", haha. I left it with some passed out guy on Broadway. Night time food was more successful with a nice grapefruit gin martini and red wine at Temple Bar on Lafayette (decided to go there rather than Thom Bar) and for $12 a pop, a relative deal. We had a great dinner at Lupa splitting an app of octopus with Swiss chard that was really yummy as was the Bavette cacio & pepe. Friend also wanted to try the charred mackerel app which was surprisingly bland but her chicken was great (sitting all lonely on the plate tho), about $110 w/ two wines, coffee, tax & tip. Besides the waiter recommending the most expensive glass of white, we had good service and a fun time, capped off at my favorite rock bar, Motor City on Ludlow.
Sun. I went to Abraco's on E. 7th for the ricotta fritters but another disappointment, they don't make them anymore. She said it's been 2 years so wherever I read that info is outdated. Tried the olive oil cake which was fine. Then over to Xi'an Famous Foods on St. Mark's where I thought I'd go for noodles rather than the lamb burger. Got a spicy pork noodle dish and the noodles were nice (and crazy long) but the pork was all ground and not in overly huge quantities. I didn't bother trying to give the rest of that meal away. I did get one more sweet, a raspberry rugelach at Pinisi Bakery on E. 4th which I thought was quite good. Wandered down to the LES and went to the Essex St Market but alas, Shopsin's was closing up and no donuts for me. Just wasn't my weekend. Walked thru Chinatown and got an iced tea in the Seaport on my way back downtown. Then the ride out to Forest Hills for dinner at Danny Brown's which is a nice space and my friend tells me not typical for Forest Hills. Unfortunately the bread basket wasn't so fresh. My duck was tasty ($27), friends had mixed greens & carbonara and roast skate. Split buttermilk pannacotta and a red wine poached pear. It was all fine but again, I expected more.
My last morning in town I made my way to Odessa on Ave A which I hadn't been to in about 5 years. I couldn't do the combo plate so got 5 various pierogi which hit the spot. I went over to Baohaus on E. 14th hoping they'd be open early to take a home a bun w/ beef cheek but no such luck. Got a good choc chip cookie from Birdbath Bakery on 1st Ave instead and packed up my stuff to head to the bus. But not before hitting at least one Halal cart on 7th Ave and 49th St. for a lamb gyro which made for a good Tues. lunch. I also hit 9th St. for an orange butter cookie at Amy's Bread and City Sandwich for their roast beef w/ broccoli rabe sandwich. The bread was great but the meat wasn't so flavorful, and not much more exciting w/ wasabi mayo the next day. I was sad not to get a soufflé at Capsouto Freres or even one burger. I was even sadder when the Megabus pulled over on the Mass Pike about 55 miles from Boston where we sat for 2.5 hrs til I was lucky enough to catch a ride with someone. So a few things didn't work out but overall, a good time. Thanks for the cocktail info, lots more places to get to next time.