New York City must be THE food capital of the world. I'm drooling over my keyboard just remembering everything I ate in NYC (and oh yes, this is no lie - I normally have a dodgy memory, but there's always room for food).
I can still smell the chestnuts roasting on an open fire (okay not so much roasting, and not so much an open fire, more of a heating in a street cart, but let's not ruin the picture here), and I can still taste that very first bite of a genuine New York City pizza...
Speaking of Pizza - my very first, very freezing, night in New York was spent at Joe's Pizza on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. Ohmygod I didn't know pizza could taste that good! The guy who served us was a little horrified when my boyfriend and I ordered two pizzas for just the two of us, and I think we were even more horrifed when we saw the size of these monsters upon arrival at our table, but you know what? We ate the whole lot. We had come off an evening flight from Sydney, via a horrible transfer in LA, and we were hungry! We were also cold, and excited to finally be in good old NY. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!
This pizza was so good that we went there three times in three weeks, and it will be my first stop on my next trip back. The meatballs on the pizza, the pizza sauce, cheese, everything - wow! Is it obvious I like pizza?
For steaks - Peter Luger's Steak House in Brooklyn is a carnivore's dream!! The steaks are huge, and aged, with an amazing steak sauce. I'm planning to order some of it, but don't know if my sad, little steaks cooked at home could possibly do it justice.
Churrascaria Plataforma in Times Square is a Brazilian style grill restaurant that has a great little system that works with a little disc sitting on your table. When you want them to bring meat to your table, flip to green, and when you're stuffing your face and your mouth is so full of food you can't speak to a waiter, flip to red. There's also little yummies like fried plaintains and cheese bread constantly on the way to your table, and a few self-serve bars with salad and seafood, all sorts really. A word of warning - those Brazilian drinks can pack a mean punch. We saw tables of four getting into the jugs of these fabulous drinks and figured the two of us could manage it. Oh wow, where did my legs go?!? The service here was fab, despite some reviews I had read that stated otherwise.
Balthazars in SoHo is great for a big winter breakfast before braving the city. We got to see Ben Lee walking out just after us. Typical, I go all the way to New York, hoping for a bit of American celeb spotting, and all I get is an Aussie!!
Being a fan of the movie Serendipity, I had to visit Serendipity and it's famous Frozen Hot Chocolate. Hours of lining up, and we finally made it in. It's a fun and quirky looking place and the food and frozen choccy were good,but I don't know if it was worth the extreme lines, the whole experience left me a little too exhausted to enjoy it properly. But hey, we did get to sit in the same seats, at the same table they sat at in the movie. I am so sad!!
Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes, yes I know everyone raves over them, and I expected to do the same, however I thought they were such a let down! So disappointed. The staff were rude, the cupcakes pretty dry, the icing was nothing to write home about, and the range was pretty uninspiring. Cupcakes on Pitt here in Sydney is much better!
To get in touch with the inner-child, a trip to Peanut Butter & Co is in order. Peanut Butter Sandwiches come in many guises here, and are best washed down with a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff milkshake. All sandwiches come with a side of potato crisps too - fun!!
Saving the best for last (I couldn't mention every place I liked), the best restaurant I have ever been to is The River Cafe in Brooklyn.
It wasn't cheap, but we had a Boxing Day dinner here (our anniversary) and will never forget it. Pear and parmesan salad, lamb rack with merguez sausages, and a chocolate Brooklyn Bridge dessert (with a chocolate plaque emblazoned with 'Happy Anniversary'), not to mention a wonderful wine list,and we were in heaven. We also had a window seat, and got to spend our dinner looking over at the Manhattan skyline.
This place is so special, and if I could only ever have one more dinner in a restaurant for the rest of my life, it would be here. I'm getting teary just thinking about it.
So between eating my way around New York, and shopping for more food at the fabulous Dean & Deluca, I became a bit of a blimp, but it was worth it.
The foodie bug had hit...