I LOVE New York!!
Yes, I’m sure you have heard people say that many times. It’s true. There is no place like it in the world. Every race, ethnicity, religion – all together making the city tick. It’s truly amazing. You can feel the energy. I really wish that every single kid in America in their 20s would go and spend one year living in New York City. They would be worldly, cosmopolitan, and advanced. And I truly think there would be less racism and hate in the world. People in New York City learn to get along because you are living in a true melting pot where no one race wins over all. And no one stands out. It’s a beautiful thing. Anything goes and if you tried to make a big stink, you would soon realize “Who Cares?!” New Yorkers have better things to do than dwell on the stupid and mundane. As a former New Yorker, I know what I’m talking about.
One of my favorite things to do in New York is EAT (I like to do this anywhere really, but especially in New York). Even the most casual, little restaurant is filled with cool people and bustling with activity. It’s a far cry from the vast chain restaurants in the burbs that I am currently surrounded by – Boo hoo!
At the top of my list, believe it or not, was to go to the BIG GAY ICE CREAM Shop in the East Village. I had heard people singing its praises on the Food Network, I had read in foodie magazines about it and I just had to go. My sister and I got there and the atmosphere was quaint and simple. The menu is exciting, with interesting ingredients like ginger, bourbon, olive oil, cayenne pepper, wasabi dust – it goes on and on. I knew I would try a Salty Pimp. It had sounded beyond orgasmic. It was delicious but not as mind-blowing as I expected it to be. I felt it needed more of the dulce de leche flavor, but maybe that’s because I’m a glutton. Or maybe do something a little more with the ice cream flavor – vanilla just wasn’t that interesting. It was still delicious. And, I’m sure that on a summer day, the place is packed. I wish I still lived in New York so that I could try every flavor! (sigh)
On our way back, my sister and I passed THE FRITE SHOP. I know this is a huge trend – Belgian fry places, so I figured Why not? We ordered a small fries and a few sauces. Let me tell you, it’s ALL about the dipping sauces. They have so many to choose from. The Roasted Garlic Mayo was sublime and I would buy extra and take it home and put it on EVERYTHING. We were skeptical about their Sweet Mango Chutney Mayo but tried it because it is their #1 bestseller. It was delicious! The fries themselves are too thick for my taste – steak fry style, but the sauces made up for it. Where were these guys when I was in college??!! It’s the perfect post-drinking food.
I also MUST MUST go to one or two nice restaurants while I’m in the Big Bad City. I have wanted to go to The Waverly Inn for YEARS. And I never went – back when it was Ye Waverly Inn, and then when Graydon Carter of Vanity Fair took it over. The hype on this place was ridiculous. There were stories written about how you could never get a reservation, and how the phone just rang and rang. I told my sister that I wanted to go and had tried to call with no results (the phone just rang and rang – some things never change), so when my sister called me the next day to tell me she got us a reservation on Open Table. I almost fell off my chair! I could not conceal my excitement. The place is still cloaked in mystery – check out their non-informative website: http://www.waverlynyc.com/
The place itself is gorgeous – two townhouses joined together. The original restaurant opened in 1920. We sat on the patio, which is sexy, cozy, and beautiful. I felt like I was in Paris. I LOVE the lighting in New York City restaurants. It’s seductive where everyone looks good and sexy and you can barely see your plate. That’s my kind of dining. I really miss it in California. Sometimes it is so bright at L.A. restaurants that it feels like high noon with the sun in your face. It’s weird. The newer restaurants are learning with more romantic lighting.
The food at Waverly Inn was delicious. We did decide to go crazy and order the $85 TRUFFLE MAC ‘N’ CHEESE. It was pretty darn good but I’m not sure I would order it again. It wasn’t $85 good. But for truffle maniacs, it’s pure bliss – they come over and shave fresh black truffles all over the dish. Decadent indeed!
Another night, we went to The Dutch on Prince and Sullivan. My sister recommended it (she’s so “in the know!”). It’s new and hot and happening – my kind of place! We did not make any reservations and it was Saturday night, so the thought of not eating somewhere cool was going to break my heart. So we decided to go to a fun Piano bar and then take our chances. Marie’s Crisis in the west village, is a total gem and throwback to a speakeasy, neighborhood joint. Thank goodness it was not touristy (funny that I say that now that I am a tourist in NY!). The bar centered around the piano and they had a good mixture of show tunes and other fun stuff. I was hoping for some Broadway talent since some performers will go to these places just to keep their hand in the game, so to speak, but we mostly got novices. They were still good and whole lot better than me! Here’s a review if you want to check it out:
We didn’t get to The Dutch till about 10:30 p.m. which was perfect! Only in New York can you go to eat at 10:30 and it’s packed. We got seated right away and the place was still humming. The food was great – flavorful and well prepared. My scallops were delicious. My mind was not blown, however. I think I am getting pickier and pickier, or maybe I am just eating better food more often! The atmosphere was terrific and I would recommend it.
I hope you all get to New York soon and enjoy the food!