I made a spontaneous trip back to New York last week, after I scored a ticket to Beth Hart’s show at the Iridium. It was taped for Front and Center which will air on PBS sometime soon. I was excited to explore more of New York’s food scene, because it is an ever changing landscape of culinary excitement. This unexpected 4-day stay brought me to some great Asian restaurants, a Australian coffee spot and a couple of dreamy dessert meccas. Take out your Metro Card and hop the rails to the following tasty locations!
Recently, the East Village added Hanoi House, a Vietnamese joint, to its neighborhood. After reading some great buzz about this place, I made it my very first stop last Sunday evening. I am happy to report this place lives up to the hype. I rolled in at the top of dinner service at this tiny spot and I was greeted by the lovely owners. Since it was freezing that night I dove into a warm and colorful bowl of root vegetable curry which really hit all of the earthy spots on my taste buds.
I also ordered some crispy crab and pork rolls which were accompanied by an array of fresh herbs.
I washed it all down with a beautiful glass of Cava Brut rosé. Put this place on your New York food scene list pronto! (119 St. Marks Place, 5 blocks south and 1/2 block east of the 1st Avenue stop on the L train.)
There is no bad time to have gelato. Yeah, it was freezing in New York last Sunday but the call of Laboratorio del Gelato’s creamy goodness is hard to resist. This spot has over 300 flavors in rotation, so everyone can find a scoop or three to satisfy their craving. The good folks here scour the farmers’ markets and spice purveyors to bring us really unique gelato concoctions. I loved their tarragon pink peppercorn, toasted almond and dark chocolate flavors. Your mind will boggle has you try to choose your flavors. Get the scoops here!
Laboratorio del Gelato is located right next door to Katz’s Deli, so loosen your belt and save your appetite! – (188 Ludlow St., 1 1/2 blocks east of the 2nd Avenue stop on the F train.)
Whether you are looking to get properly caffeinated or chow down on a delicious and healthy breakfast, head to Bluestone Lane Collective Cafe in Greenwich Village. This import from Australia is serving up the most perfect coffee, especially their flat white. It just might ruin you for every other version of this coffee concoction.
Bluestone Lane’s avocado toast is gorgeous and hearty but so is their gluten-free banana bread with berries, pecans and cream. – (55 West Greenwich Ave, 3 blocks south of the 14th St. station on the 1, 2, 3 trains.)
Dominique Ansel Kitchen is a must-do on New York’s food scene because it is the home of the cronut. But, if that door stopper of a pastry is not your jam, get the uber-light matcha beignets. They are a culinary masterpiece! I will back for the dreamy almond croissants!
(137 Seventh Avenue, 5 blocks south of the 14 St. stop on the 1, 2, 3 trains.)
Upper East Side
If you are craving a slice on New York’s food scene and you cannot get down to Joe’s on
Carmine St., head to Delizia on 1st Avenue. Their entrees are cool but the slices here are worth having. I grabbed the regular and basil slices.
(1374 E. 73rd St., 1 block east and 1 block north of the 72nd St. stop on the Q train.)
I miss the great Chinese food that New York’s food scene has over Chicago (and everywhere else). If you find yourself on Manhattan’s upper east side, make a stop at Cafe Evergreen for some great BBQ ribs and more. Even the crunchy noodles and homemade duck sauce here make me nostalgic for New York. Damn!
(1367 1st Avenue, one block east and 2 blocks north of the 72nd St. stop on the Q train.)
Upper West Side
What a complete surprise Legend 72 is! This Chinese food is a breadth of fresh air on New York’s food scene. It’s not a pretty spot but the food totally rocks! There are 1/2 price drinks at Happy Hour from 5-8 pm. You must have the cumin fried fish, shrimp dumplings and sauteed snow pea leaves. This is the best Chinese food I have had outside of the Chinatown!
(127 W. 72nd. St.,1 block east of the 72nd St. stop on the 1,2,3 trains.)
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the local trains and buses to explore New York’s food scene. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, parking and road rage. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!