We have some catching up to do! And since, in case you haven’t gotten the message yet, one of my favorite things is food, what better way to breeze through the last week than a similarly breezy, over-the-shoulder retrospective of my big apple meals? When your trip begins with a 4am email from Delta that (for NO REASON) your 6am flight out been canceled, and you erm, your lovely boyfriend, haggles with airline agents for thirty minutes until they stick you on a flight out of Waterloo which, by the way, is exactly this big:
and has only two gates — well then, you know it’s going to be a fantastic trip. There’s nowhere to go but up! And though, yes, the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down without stop until our second to last day, the trip kept going up, up, up. Meal-enthusiasts that we are, it was largely structured as a hop-scotch from one restaurant to the next. I wouldn’t have it any other way. So listen up.
A ten-people brunch at Tapeo 29 on the Lower East Side, where the (literal) floodgates of precipitation hell and unlimited mimosas kept us huddled inside for three hours.
The most lusciously sauced, charred/thin/bubbly crust Margherita and Brussel Sprouts (!) pizzas at Motorino, which the NYT recently crowned “the city’s best pizza” — an eminently correct decision that will have me singing Sam Sifton‘s wisdom to the stars, at least once I get over the bone-crushing realization that (sorry) there is nothing half as good in IC. To prospective visitors: go, and wait as long as you must.
An umbrella-sheltered walk to Penelope, a restaurant/cafe that manages to be trendy and homey at the same time, and serves a knock-out arugula and pecorino salad with two enormous, inimitable chicken meatballs, whose memory makes me weak.
The namesake breakfast at Gray Dog Cafe, which features chocolate-studded pancakes, any style eggs, a sinful sausage patty and addictive, crispy home fries. Thanks to this place, and more precisely this meal, I remain puzzled and peeved to no end when other breakfast places plate pancakes or waffles alone, without a hearty pile of eggs or bacon to ride along. Oh, it’s supposed to be healthier that way? Oh, most people can’t eat that much?
A pre-dinner and at last on the terrace happy hour nosh at Sushi Samba which may be an uncool corporation in an age when we’re all supposed to be eating in wee mom-and-pop organic restaurants — but serves the tastiest cocktails and appetizers. (Better than their sushi, even.) The Samba Juice is a muddy-looking, richly refreshing mix of raspberry and watermelon infused rum, acai, passionfruit, creme de banana, and guava. We paired these with some crispy yellow tail taquitos and tuna tataki, and wondered what would happen if a passer-by stole a taco from the table. (Don’t tell me I’m the only one who’s ever fantasized about taking a fry from an outdoor table’s plate.) Probably bloodshed.
Dinner at one of those wee mom-and-pop restaurants, Westville, where I always want to eschew the main course and try all their lovely incarnate “market” offerings, like cauliflower dijonaise, lemon asparagus with parmesan, and roasted zucchini with cherry tomatoes.
And of course, there were sweets. We’ll talk about that tomorrow.