October 11, 2015

Food Diary: New York City

Food, Travel
NoMad Hotel Brunch NYC

New York really knew how to represent its food culture.

The food is indulgent and full of flavours that dance around in your mouth with every bite.
Although I must admit, I felt like the food was a bit heavy on the butter at times, but all in all, they sure knew how to deliver on flavour.

Like true foodies, we hit up our share of restaurants but we quickly gravitated back to some of our favourites. In no particular order, we loved:

Bagels – Ess a Bagel on 3rd Ave, NY

Although we were originally confused as to why the menu read ‘sandwiches’, we quickly figured that they referred to their bagels as ‘sandwiches’.

This place really set the bar for our trip; it was our first proper meal in NY and it definitely became one of our favourites.

Between the both of us, we had an onion bagel with avocado and a plain with jalapeno cream. Let’s just say we were easily back the next day for breakfast. For quality bagels in NY, this place sure knows how to serve it up.

TIP: Get in before the morning rush! This place is queued up pretty much after 8AM and then throughout the rest of the day.

They also like to lather the cream like a thick coating of icing on a cake so if you’re after a regular ‘Australian’ portion – ask for smear of cream instead.

Ess A Bagel NYC

French – Cocotte, SoHo

This cute little french restaurant in the heart of SoHo has such amazing hospitality, and more importantly, a fantastic selection of wines. With wonderfully rich flavours and variety of produces, this place is a must if you’re after some french delights.

We tucked in on a selection of seafood that was full of rustic flavours and accompanied it with a few side dishes. Some of our favourites were:

  • Champignons Francis – wonderfully stuffed cremini mushrooms with chorizo and garlic cream with just a hint of spices
  • Moules Gratinees – roasted mussels with parsley, garlic and focaccia crumbs served almost like a seafood chowder. Not recommended for those who don’t really like “fishy” flavours.
  • Boeuf – tender and perfectly cooked thin cut hanger steak with fingerling potatoes, shittake, shallows and a red wine reduction sauce. Such perfection in our meals.

For such a small restaurant we were really pleasantly surprised by its output.

Cocotte, NYC
Cocotte, NYC

Bathtub Gin, NYC

Speakeasy – Bathtub Gin, Chelsea

Speakeasy is located within Chelsea’s central hub and is this 1920’s style bar that oozes mystery with its dark vibes and faint lighting.

Don’t let the coffee store front fool you! They actually have really great food and one of the best gin and whisky cocktail selections.

To go with the one too many drinks we had, we ordered the pork belly, quail egg sliders, garlic fries and a tuna tartare that was served like a taco. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our experience here and it will definitely go down as one of our go-to’s if we’re ever in town again.

Fancy – Eleven at Madison

I don’t want to get too much into it because they’ll be a whole post dedicated it but easily a favourite on the food diary for this whole New York Trip. They weren’t fifth best restaurant in the world for nothing!

Burger – The Burger Joint

You have to work find this place, but it’s totally worth it. Hidden behind a red curtain wayback past the lobby hotel, you’ll find a little shack-like store with old 90s movie posters and graffiti walls.

The menu and the aim of the game is simple – order from their limited section and do it quick or you’ll be forced to go to the end of the line.
We opted for the classic cheeseburger and there was really just no frills about it. It was classic, hearty and most of all, tasty. Would recommend this place for an all round classic burger.

The Burger Joint, NYC

Boqueria NYC

Photo courtesy of http://instagram.com/boqueria

Spanish – Boqueria

We’ve had tapas in Melbourne, but nothing like Boqueria. Amongst a quiet dreary neighbourhood tucked in a small corner, you’ll find this vibrant place that’s full of energy and life. A favourite among locals, this place serves phenomenal spanish tapas.
Favourites on the menu included:

  • Fried quail eggs with chorizo on toast – little bit of luxury with every mouthful
  • Patatas Bravas – crispy potatoes, salsa brava and roasted garlic aoili. This will honestly blow your mind! It’s essentially a unique twist on the humble potato with an explosion of tangy flavours
  • Gambas al Ajillo – shrimp garlic and guindilla pepper in olive oil; a rich and luxurious tasting prawn dish with fresh flavours and a buttery hit

Exclusive – Parlor New York

Secret is a members only restaurant which we were very lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to.

We real suckers for the good ‘old fashioned’ when prompted at the cocktail bar, however, we were pleasantly introduced to new fashions; a new twist and take on ye old faithful that took away the displeasing sweetness and aromas. The food was fresh and light, while well balanced on the palate – not super rich like the dishes at most restaurants.

This place was one of the rare few that spearheads all the elements a quality restaurant should have; excellent service, atmosphere, food and drinks. Overall, it was a great night full of great experiences and amazing company.

Brunch – NoMad

Baffled by the fact that unlike Melbourne, brunch is only offered on Saturdays and Sundays in New York, we were slightly taken aback when we casually decided to hunt for a brunch spot. Understandably, things are little more hectic in the summer time since everyone is on break, but we didn’t account for the mind blowing fact that brunch is essentially a weekend activity in NY – hence the struggle of locating a spot without lines. Unfortunately, we succumbed and had to do the sure thing; eat brunch at the only venue that would take reservations.

Nomad is the sister restaurant of Eleven at Madison and is located within the Nomad hotel restaurant. The place had a real art deco vibe and decor to it which I really enjoyed.

  • Items on the menu sounded a bit ordinary, but when delivered, they were far from it. We ordered:
    Chicken sandwich – a sweet and super buttery braided brioche bun filled with a lightly poached chicken served waldorf style. It was a wonderful dish but the bread was overly rich that I only managed several bites before I quit eating it
  • Crab eggs Benedict – just like a regular eggs benny but with crab meat instead of the traditional ham. Like the sandwich, this dish was rich but was pleasantly balanced with a light hollandaise sauce

NoMad Hotel Brunch NYC

For those of you that have travelled to the glorious city, what was your favourite place to eat?


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