I’m going to summarize the details of our New York trip as concisely as humanly possible here, starting today with the food.
Oh. my. god. The food.
We had a ridiculous number of fantastic meals. The very first dinner we had in Brooklyn stands out the most, quite possibly due to the heady sensation of NOT BEING AT HOME or maybe ALL THAT WINE, but I’d go back to any and all of these places.
Without further ado, in the order in which they were enjoyed, I present:
Sette enoteca e cucina in Park Slope, Brooklyn – home of the world’s best Italian comfort food and the full bottle of wine. As an added bonus, it was a short walk from our B & B. And rustic. Did I mention rustic? Butternut squash soup, sun-dried tomato gnocchi. Heaven.
Lunch: Cafe Steinhof, in Park Slope, Brooklyn – A favorite restaurant of some local friends, this beautiful place serves Austrian fare and lots of great beers on tap. Matt went completely authentic, ordering all of his favorite German-style foods, while I thoroughly enjoyed the avocado and tomato sandwich. Again, comfort food. Their words this time, not mine.
Dinner: Li hua Korean Cuisine, between Little Italy and Chinatown – absolutely fantastic Korean food. I loved every tasty morsel of Bibimbap that came out of that hot ceramic bowl. We heard about Li hua because it was one of the 100 featured restaurants in Time Out New York last week.
Lunch: The New Amity Restaurant. This was a classic New York diner on the Upper East Side, and – in spite of its name – had remained apparently unchanged for decades. It was populated by tony older neighborhood types who all knew the owner. Matt nearly choked on his reuben when the owner let out a completely authentic “Aw, fuhgettaboutit!” when asked if his grandchildren were having a good time. That one word was almost as awe inspiring as the three hours in the Metropolitan Museum of Art that followed the meal, and that’s saying something.
Dinner: Cafe Enduro in the Prospect-Leffert Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn – yummalicious Tex-Mex food. The cook obviously knew we were missing our big, San Francisco-style burritos. The Margarita wasn’t all bad, either. Mmmm-mmmm. This one was recommended by our friend who lives close by and the fact that he joined us for the deliciousness made it all the better.
Lunch: Blue Ribbon Bakery & Cafe in the West Village, Manhattan – The food at Blue Ribbon would have to be especially fabulous for me to even recall what I ate while talking with Kristen and Kyra for a couple hours. (More on that lunch date later!) Yet I do recall what I ate. So it had to be fabulous! Again: rustic. Comfort food. (I sense a trend here.) Incredible breads baked on the spot (you can watch the bakers on the lower level). Mushroom ravioli and a green bean dish were delectable appetizers, and the eggplant sandwich with a side salad – wow. All I remember about the dessert was that it was large and chocolatey and there was bread pudding involved. The flashes of our three forks digging into this dish was memorable if fuzzy. Perhaps this is because of the gin and tonic I had at the bar before we were seated?
Dinner: Sakura Cafe on 5th Ave. in Park Slope, Brooklyn – whoooee, that was some great sushi! For a place with only about 5 tables, the service was extremely slow. However, that gave us more time to drink wine and talk with some old friends, so in this case it was okay. But, seriously, what could hold up an order of sushi by 45 minutes?
Dessert: Cocoa Bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Earlier in the day, I actually stopped to take a photo of the window of Cocoa Bar. I needed to capture the Holy Trinity of “coffee – chocolate – wine” on their sign. Our friends suggested we try it out after dinner and I was so excited that I started to put on my coat immediately, despite the fact that we hadn’t paid and one friend was in the restroom. And this is because – say it with me now – I am SUCH a dork. But once we got there (clearly not fast enough for my taste, but whatever) I had the most wonderful chocolate and coffee. The menu featured various wines and liquors and recommended specific chocolate concoctions that should be paired with them. Given my performance at the dinner table, I opted out of additional alcohol, but I was happy that one of our friends (mother of two very young children) did not, because she was extremely funny. I think a mother with a 3-year old and an 8-month old at home gets huge credit for heading home in such high spririts at 1 am. Kudos!
It was well past midnight by the time we left Cocoa Bar; we were completely full and ready to walk the few blocks back to our B & B.
A perfect last night to top off a perfect four days of dining out in New York.