I didn’t intend to take a full 3 week vacation from writing…but alas, here I am. Major fail!
I would apologize, but being home for the first time in 8 months was too much fun to feel sorry about. Between catching up with friends, quality time with the family, shopping, going for nostalgic walks in old neighborhoods and eating through all of my favorites, I didn’t leave myself much time for cooking or writing about cooking.
But I’m back! And before I go back to the usual I thought I would share my New York favorites for eating and drinking. These are the things I crave most when I’m gone and are completely essential to any visit when I’m back.
Boozy Brunch: This has become some what of a New York tradition. On Saturday and Sunday many restaurants offer unlimited breakfast cocktails (mimosas, bloody marys, bellinis) either free with the purchase of your meal or for a small fee (usually around $15 for 2 hours of drinking.) It’s a slightly naughty way to spend an afternoon with your girlfriends and it’s always a boisterous good time.
Essex – The menu is a cut above.
Sunburnt Cow (or Sunburnt Calf or Bondi Road) – A NY-Aussie classic.
Yerba Buena – Fantastic South American/Mexican food and killer cocktails.
Tapeo 29 – Flamenco eggs cannot be overlooked.
Poco – Unlimited sangria AND lobster mac and cheese? Whaaat?
Coffee: I don’t know why I feel so endeared to these iconic little Greek coffee cups, but I know I’m not alone because they keep making them. You absolutely can’t drink fancy coffee from these cups, it’s just not done. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t taste awesome. One of my favorite places to get a drip coffee or espresso is:
Juicy Lucy – My drink is cafe con leche. Cafe Bustelo espresso with warmed milk and one sugar. Perfection.
New York Classic: For the love of God, forget street hot dogs and big pretzels. Pastrami on toasted rye is where it’s at.
Katz’s is a total institution.
A Quality Margarita/Margarita Deal: I am always on the lookout for a good margarita. My criteria are simple: decent tequila, fresh lime juice, easy on the triple sec, on the rocks, lots of salt.
Benny’s Burritos – Always underrated and a personal favorite. Fresh lime juice margaritas are available in sizes ranging from modest to a large beer mug-full. Get them half-priced at one of the two daily happy hours (6-7pm and 10-11pm)
Lobster Roll: Technically a sandwich from Maine, but New York has a few good ones in the running.
Luke’s Lobster – For something that is usually sold for around $25 in New York, Luke’s Lobster has them for a steal ($14) and makes them my favorite way: a tiny bit of mayo on the toasted split bun, with big, generous chunks of sweet lobster drizzled with butter and topped with a celery salt-speckled spice blend.
Date Night Spot: Must have a romantic but fun ambiance, with good food for sharing and great wines. Big life decisions have been made at these locales.
Best 24 Hour Diner: One of the joys of living in New York is that you can get pretty much whatever you want at any time of day.
7A – Breakfast all day. Shouldn’t that be enough? They also have great salads, veggie dishes, sweet potato fries and burgers.
Fresh Seafood/Dad’s Cooking: My dad is the captain of a fishing boat. He has been catching his own fish to eat since he was a boy and takes the quality and preparation very seriously. Because the man is so particular about his seafood, over the years he has made himself into one of the best seafood cooks I know.
Some favorites include: clam sauce, grilled lobster tails, beer battered fish, fish tacos and his newest dish: flounder fillets rolled with spinach and feta.Whatever he cooks, he hits it out of the park. Besides spending time with they guy, this is one of my favorite parts about being home.
Food Lovers Paradise(s): New York has quite a few venues and events where you have free reign to geek out over tons of amazing eating and buying options in one place.
Hester Street Fair