Noteworthy Eats in NYC and Beyond
August 25, 2010 § Leave a comment
The past month has been a whirlwind of travel, work functions and spending time with good friends. Naturally, some incredible food has been involved along the way. Here are a few notable bites from recent meals in New York and beyond.
Last weekend we headed to Chicago for our friends Mark & Sheryl’s wedding, and were graciously hosted by my good friends Rose & Trevor (and their terrier Ernie) who live in Lincoln Park. I fall more in love with Chicago after each visit and this was no exception, while the focus of the weekend was not food (for once!) we still fit in some great meals & snacks.
Gelato @ Black Dog Gelato
After several miles of wandering/exploring on foot after an afternoon Cubs game, Rupert & I were in need of refreshment, particularly the frozen variety. Black Dog Gelato in Wicker Park came across my ice cream radar a few months ago, and I took the opportunity to check it out. I tried two of their signature flavors, Sesame Fig Chocolate Chip and Goat Cheese Cashew Caramel. Both were delicious and I was surprised at how well the fig and sesame flavors completed each other. Rupert took a tried and true approach with Strawberry and Café Au Lait, which both proved solid as well. (As a complete aside, it should be noted a cab driver who delivered us to Black Dog not only took a comb to his bald spot and peripheral hair at a stop light but also touched up his arm hair during our ride. Amazing.)
Pomegranate Ginger Ale @ Wow Bao
After an 90 minute architecture boat cruise with the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Trevor recommended a stop at Wow Bao for ginger ale. Their homemade ginger ale is available in plain, green tea and pomegranate flavors. It packed some major ginger and the large cylindrical ice cubes were icing on the cake (for anyone else who is a notorious ice-chewer). The buns and dumplings also looked delicious – I would love to see one open to NYC in the future (hint hint, Lettuce Entertain You!)
Fat Tire @ Pequod’s Pizza
Ah, my favorite from New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, CO. Slowly but surely these guys have begun distributing east of the Mississippi so thankfully I can get my fix when I visit home in Georgia. New York, however, is still deprived of this boozy delicacy, so I make sure to enjoy every drop. The deep dish at Pequod’s was also fantastic, particularly their homemade sausage!
Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes @ Toast
On Saturday morning, Rose recommended Toast, a cute brunch spot in Lincoln Park. While this combination now seems obvious, I don’t recall having ever stumbled across them in the past. Due to a recent poppy seed obsession, I was quick to give them a try. They were stellar and will certainly inspire some recipe tinkering of my own in the future. The rest of our meal at Toast was equally delicious and their collection of vintage toasters is not to be missed!
This summer I was luckily enough to join friends at their rental house in East Hampton not one but two weekends this month. We had an incredible time relaxing, playing bocce, beaching and applying copious amounts of sun block (luckily I am not the only fair skinned one in the bunch, so SPF 45 was at the ready at all times). Most meals were spent cooking and grilling at home, and we surprised ourselves with some perfectly grilled swordfish & corn on the cob as well as White Peach Sangria, which my friend Alex spearheaded. We did squeeze in donuts on more than one occasion morning and these donuts reminded me of what donuts should be!
Donuts @ Dresssen’s
You can watch these small fried rounds of doughy goodness float through the fryer in the window and have them glazed to order. The outside is perfectly crispy and the inside still warm and pillowly like a cake donut should be. After a thorough sampling, I’d recommend the cinnamon sugar for it’s simplicity.
Manhattan & Brooklyn
The major perk of my job is to constantly try and stay abreast of new restaurants. Here are several notable dishes & drinks I’ve had in during recent exploring.
The ‘Cue @ Fatty Cue
While the food at Fatty Cue proved meaty, quirky and delicious as expected, what wowed me the most was their incredible cocktail menu. Of the drinks I tried, this rum-based cocktail was the most unusual and addictive due to the smokiness of the smoked pineapple and the spicy of the Tobasco sauce.
Flourless Chocolate Cake @ Diner
Made with Mast Brothers Chocolate this was the lighest, most airy flourless chocolate cake I’ve ever had. While most prove so rich and dense for my taste, I could easily consume an entire cake slice of Diner’s version (and would kill for the recipe).
Iced Coffee & Olive Oil Muffin @ Maialino
Working two blocks from Maialino makes it a dangerously easy spot for me to grab a decadent breakfast. Anyone who hasn’t been for breakfast or brunch is seriously missing out. In my opinion, it’s what they do best. The Four Barrel iced coffee is some of the most potent and delicious that I’ve had in New York (and in cold months the latte is a formidable substitute). The Budino di Olio d’Oliva is as decadant as breakfast should get. I venture to guess based on how moist it is that you could actually squeeze olive oil out if you were foolish enough to waste one for the sake of experimenting. A recent encounter has inspired me to procure ingredients for a yogurt olive oil cake, the results of which I will share once the weekend rolls around and I find a few hours to bake.
House Smoked Brisket Sandwich @ Char No. 4
As a Southerner, I take barbeque very seriously, and this sandwich is hands down the best I’ve had in New York (or above the Mason-Dixon for that matter). Also of note is the homemade hot sauce served with the pork nuggets. Some of the spiciest and best I’ve ever had!