New York City Food Extravaganza

I recently returned from an astounding, once in a lifetime foodie trip to New York City. When we travel, my husband and I love to sample the local cuisine, but I honestly don’t think we’ve ever gone to so many different types of restaurants in such a short time and had such overwhelming successes with food and wine selection.

I ate and drank with fervor and gusto, throwing my weight cautions and my work out regimen to the wind! Our good friends joined us for this…bender (for lack of a better word), and it was so memorable.

Our trip was filled with fun and good times, tons of laughter and bacchanalian pleasures. Even at the most elegant and staid restaurants in Manhattan, we managed to make our time absurdly fun.

Going to new restaurants always motivates me to make fresh creations in my own kitchen. This trip inspired tons of new recipes that I can’t wait to share on the site. In the mean time, here are some of the fantastic restaurants we sampled.

Nougatine

1 Central Park West

(212) 299-3900

Sunday Brunch– a more casual version of Jean George’s restaurant on Columbus Circle. Great people watching and tasty food.  Mr. Georges is usually in-house and lunch is worth it just to get a peek of him (hubba hubba). Let me clarify, living in Southern California, it’s pretty hard for me to still get star-struck, but for some reason Jean George makes me completely weak in the knees.

I loved this flower arrangement at the entrance to the restaurant.  It was so fresh, seasonal, easy and organic (basically everything I love), so I had to photograph it.

Champagne: Pierre Gimonnet & Fils, Non Vintage, blanc de blancs

Marea

240 Central Park South

(212) 582-5100

I didn’t get any photos while I was here, but this one, taken from Marea’s website, shows the feel of the place.

We went to this restaurant for the crudo offerings, but stayed for the pasta and entrée courses. The pastas were absolutely out of this world. Each of us tried a different one so we got to sample four of them:

  • Spaghetti with crab, Santa Barbara Sea Urchin, and basil.
  • Rigatoni with shrimp, seppia, squid ink, and pecorino.
  • Ferratini with manila clams, calamari, and hot chilies.
  • Gramigna with Sicilian preserved tuna, raisins, olives, and tomato.

Then, the turbot came out, it was simply prepared and so delectable. Also, notable was the preparation of simple braised escarole – incredibly tasty.

Benoit

60 West 55th Street

(646) 943-7373

Lunch — The perfect French bistro! The staff was great and food was amazing. On this trip, I ate the gratin of endive wrapped in French ham — delicious!  We drank a super Sancerre with a screw off top.  I also love the whole roasted chicken, and their appetizer menu is fun and fabulous. You can make a selection of 3 or 5 picks from the list.

Wine: Joseph Mellot 09 Sancerre Le Montarlet

Daniel

60 East 65th Street

(212) 288-0033

Elegant Valentine’s dinner like no other. Delectable meal and AMAZING wine. What can I say? The four of us drank 7 bottles. Don’t you judge me! (Ok, judge away. It was incredible).

21 Club

21 West 52nd Street

(212) 582-7200

Burger, Pommes Soufflés and red Burgundy. Need I say more?

An official 21 Club photo.  I love the dark. old-school vibe of this restaurant.

Il Buco

47 Bond St # 1

(212) 533-1932

Fare hailing from Umbria with super fresh, seasonal ingredients. Their kale salad is still on my mind…

Photo of the fabulous dining room, taken from Il Buco’s website.

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