Trip report and thanks.
Apologies for the delay. Thanks to everyone who chimed in on this thread. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/806889
We ate at some great places due to all the advice from that thread. I'm not going to do a comprehensive every meal report since we did do a lot of our standby favorites such as Katz's, Prune or Russ and Daughter's much has been written about those kinds of places already and I won't really have anything revelatory to add. Just going to touch upon the new to us places and hopefully give some insight to any future visitors.
We had to hustle here after a show ended. But they were very gracious and worked with us. We ordered several items in two waves and told them that it was no problem to bring it out as fast as they deemed since we only had an hour before they closed. They told us we could easily stay for another half hour after closing and we never felt rushed. We of course left a good tip and left on time. Overall, just great service.
We loved all the dishes we had here. Some of the more memorable dishes were the croquettes, the jowl terrine and the trotters. A cheesy baked thing I can't remember what it was called. Also really liked the squid prepared like pasta strands. A pleasant meal after a good show. Exactly the kind of thing that makes our NY visits so fun.
We headed for this place specifically for the cassoulet. My wife loves this dish and it's hard to find good versions in Los Angeles. We were warned that this was a dish for two and decided to get a few appetizers to go with it. We started with the foie, grilled octopus salad and the pate. I love good grilled octopus and was very happy with this dish. The pate was more rustic than I expected but that wasn't a detriment to enjoying it.
The concierge at our hotel had gifted us a bottle of Chilean Aresti Gewürztraminer. We've never had a chilean one before and we brought it here since it was byob. We're not big drinkers and very naïve when it comes to wines. We only know the basics of what we like. So glad we brought the wine as it paired really well with the starters. The waitress was intrigued by it also and we offered her a taste. Don't know if that made a difference but it seemed like the service went up an extra notch after that. It was good before that but she seemed extra attentive after that.
The cassoulet lived up to our expectations, just a great hearty execution, loved how all the flavors mingled together. We've never had it before with the diced tomatoes on top. It was a rainy night when we came in here and the dish was perfect for having that.
We just had enough room for dessert and split the profiteroles. We prefer dark chocolate with a high cocoa content so this dish was right up our alley. But we can see how some people wouldn't care for it given the dark chocolate and some of the bitterness that comes with that.
This was probably our favorite meal of the whole trip. Loved the food, got lucky with the wine pairing, attentive friendly service but not cloying and every dish hit the tastes that we like.
We dropped into this place for a mid afternoon snack when wandering around. No wait since it was off hours. Split a pizza between the two of us. Had the one with basil, mozzarella and sopressata. We liked the balance of the sauce and ingredients. I really liked the crust. Nice chew, seasoned to my preference. Liked the char on it. A great break for a day of walking around. Thought it very reasonably priced for the high quality of ingredients and the amount we got. I'd highly recommend to people looking for good pizza. I think only people who are spoiled by an abundance of great pizza would find this lacking. Frankly I envy you people.
Another mid day drop in during yet another rainy day. We split the infamous burger and the chicken liver toast. Even though it was off hours, with the rain and popularity we had about a 20 minute wait. I like organ meats and was delighted with the liver toast. Livery, not funky and importantly the bread held up to it. Very generous portion spread on it. Very reasonable for the price.
I'm always worried about this new wave of gourmet burgers with strong cheeses. I love strong cheeses but I eat a burger because I want the beefiness. I thought Spotted Pig did a good job of having the Roquefort support and enhance the meat instead of fighting it. The meatiness was there, the bun held up, saltiness of the cheese didn't overwhelm. A well executed burger. What also made it better for us was how good the fries were done. Hot crispy and fried just right. A great side. We were happy we fought the rain and the wait to come in here.
Blue Ribbon Brasserie
Our two previous visits a few years back they were out of the bone marrow marmalade and we've been anxious to try this dish. Finally we managed to order and we each got our own so we didn't have to fight over it. Part of me was concerned that after waiting all this time, we'd be disappointed. Happily we weren't. It was as rich and flavorful as expected, seasoned to bring out the richness and flavor. Really glad we got our own and didn't have to split.
Our mains were the sweetbread and the duck club. Very disappointed in the duck club. Found the meat very bland, not that rich duck flavor I love. The bread was kind of boring, the side of sweet potato chips was also not very good. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who likes duck. Thankfully the sweetbread was better. Creamy, cooked right and liked the sauce that came with it.
Assorted Village wanderings
We had a late flight so decided to wander around the village snacking and picking up things to nibble on the flight and at the airport. Picked up a couple of sandwiches at Faicco's pork store and also a 3 different salamis. The people at the counter were very helpful in packing things tightly once we told them about our plan.
A few pastries and cookies at Amy's Bread and some coffee. We enjoyed everything we got there and packed a few cookies and brownies for the plane. Tried the banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery. We liked the pudding but wouldn't consider it a destination item. But if walking around, definitely worth a stop. Grabbed some gelato at Grom before heading back to our hotel to pick up bags and head to the airport. Our hotel was close to Katz's and we decided we had just enough time and room for one last sandwich. It was a wonderful last day of wandering the city. It really worked out to pack the extra sandwiches and pastries as our flight was delayed for over two hours. Wifi, Faicco's sandwiches and Amy's pastries for dessert made the time fly.
Thanks again to everyone for all their help and suggestions. We love visiting New York. Always have a great time enjoying the food, shows, museums and galleries. We always run into friendly and interesting people and the chowhound community has yet to lead me wrong. This trip just like all the others we found some great new eats.