Tag Archives: Breakfast

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

This year was another crazy ride. And while politics and breaking news stories often drifted into my anxious psyche, food still played an important role. And this year was full of surprising dishes that were nourishing, pleasurable, and a much-needed distraction. Here now are the top 10 dishes – the list includes an exciting mix of hearty classics like burgers and lasagna, along with some brilliant vegetable concoctions.

NUMBER 10: SPICY FISH STEW at HAO NOODLE AND TEA BY MADAM ZHU

When a dish comes out of the kitchen glowing red and spiked with peppercorns, I’m expecting some heat. The only thing that hinted at the spice level for this clear green fish soup was the name “spicy” and the two pepper symbols on the menu. This fish stew had a unique floral, numbing spice and was one of the most exciting dishes I’ve tasted at a Chinese restaurant – ever. Price: $25

HAO NOODLE AND TEA BY MADAM ZHU
401 Sixth Avenue (between Waverly Place and Greenwich Avenue)
Greenwich Village
(212) 633-8900
madamzhu.com

NUMBER 9: SURPRISE TRIP at THE UP & UP

I float toward cocktails that are unusual and surprising and the Surprise Trip is certainly that. It’s a gin based tipple with a syrup made from black trumpet mushrooms and a slew of “corns”. Szechuan peppercorn, pink peppercorn, black peppercorn, and unicorn (an herbal plum liqueur). It had a rich earthy flavor from the mushroom with a bracing spice throughout The gin was incredibly smooth as it played with all the other flavors (earthy, sweet, bracing, complex). It doesn’t get more (pleasantly) surprising. Price: $15

THE UP & UP
116 Macdougal Street (between Bleecker Street and Minetta Lane),
Greenwich Village
(212) 260-3000
upandupnyc.com

NUMBER 8: THE EDITH at ORCHARD GROCER

It’s pretty ballsy to hawk a bagel with vegan cream cheese and carrot lox in the Lower East Side. Despite the changing demographics of the neighborhood, the breakfast sandwich is still associated with the historic Jewish immigrants that once lived here. Yet the familiar combination works beautifully even when no seafood or dairy is involved. A soft chewy bagel is the vessel for cream cheese made out of cashew and smoked salmon made out of thinly sliced, cured, and smoked carrots. The masterminds behind this vegan deli would have made bubbe and zayde proud.  Price: $8

ORCHARD GROCER
78 Orchard Street (between Broome and Grand Street)
Lower East Side
(646) 757-9910
orchardgrocer.com

NUMBER 7: MAITAKE MUSHROOMS at FIFTY

Mushrooms don’t need much and Chef Luis Jaramillo from the somewhat under-the-radar modern American restaurant Fifty seems to know that. The meaty earth candy was nestled under some watercress and above a rich aromatic celery root-truffle puree. The only other addition was sweet sliced grapes that acted as a foil to all the earthy richness on the plate. But it was the chef’s deft hand with the mushrooms themselves that left a lasting impression. Each bite was crisp and tender leaving a lasting woodsy buttery flavor on my lips. Price: $16

FIFTY
50 Commerce Street (between Barrow and Bedford Street),
West Village
(212) 524-4104
fiftyrestaurantnyc.com

NUMBER 6: BANANA & WALNUT BREAD at TWO HANDS

This Banana & Walnut Bread was a bit of a sensation when Two Hands first opened and I totally see why. The bread itself was both impossibly moist and nicely crisped around the edges. On its own, it would have been perfect. But they go even further by schmearing a frosted espresso-laced mascarpone, garnishing it with toasted bits of buckwheat, and drizzling honey on top. This went from being perfect to off the charts. Price $8

TWO HANDS RESTAURANT & BAR
251 Church Street (between Leonard and Franklin Street),
Tribeca
twohandsnyc.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

There’s a lot to choose from at Caffe Marchio, one of the new Danny Meyer concepts inside the  The Redbury Hotel. It’s modeled after casual Roman coffee shops where you can get pastries, sandwiches, and some serious coffee. I stopped by for a quick bite and found one of the types of pizza bianca to be pretty delicious. The chewy pizza dough is transformed into a small sandwich with slices of sweet butternut squash, fresh arugula, creamy stracciatella cheese, and tangy pesto. Seems I chose right.  Price: $7

CAFFE MARCHIO
30 East 30th Street (between Madison and Park Avenue South),
Inside the Redbury Hotel
Nomad
caffemarchio.com

Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

I’ve always found it amusing that breakfast and dessert are often interchangeable. What you eat as the final bite of the night is also acceptable as the first thing you eat in the morning.

So even though we were at Two Hands for brunch one Sunday afternoon and the banana walnut bread was at the top of the menu, we decided to order it after our eggs and smoked salmon.

This shockingly gluten-free pastry (not sure what they make this out of, but it’s sinful) was so good, next time we’ll order it both before and after the meal.

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Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

There’s not much I’ll wait in line for. Even for the hottest new spots in the city. I’ll let the over-eager Instagram crowd wait in line and I know that once the hype dies down, I’ll be able to sneak my way into the hottest spot and see what all the fuss is about.

That’s what happened with Tim Ho Wan, the Michelin-starred dim sum chain. When they opened earlier this year, reports suggested three hour waits for dim sum. That’s crazy – who has that time?

As I suspected, if I stopped by at 4pm on a random weekday afternoon months after they had opened, I’d be able to eat without a wait. And it’s true. I was in and out in less than an hour.

So now I see what the fuss is about.  (more…)


Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

As much as I’d like to eat four donuts, the reality is I would hurt myself. We have to know our limitations. At Rider, they were kind enough to let me order just one donut. It was sprinkled with lemon and fennel sugar with a side of creme fraiche. It turned out to be so good I wanted three more.

Price: $12

RIDER
80 North 6th Street (at Wythe Avenue),
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(718) 210-3152
riderbklyn.com

Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

 

I love when local neighborhood businesses work together. It’s the story of the Brownstone Brooklyn tour that I lead in the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill. On the tour we visit cheese shops, coffee roasters, and bakeries. And they sell each other’s products. It’s a food eco-system and I love it!

Tekoå definitely practices that ethic. Last year, the bright all-day café moved into the former home of neighborhood favorite Ted & Honey. The latter closed for personal reasons but their neighbor, Alex Raij (who owns the adjacent La Vara) picked up where they left off.

The pastries and sandwiches are a bit more experimental than you would think. Chef Raij is inspired by ingredients from all over the world. And more immediately, from her neighbors.

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