Two things you should know about me: I love to travel and I love food! I could talk about food for days. So fortunately, on a recent trip to New York City we stayed with a good friend and chef who toured us around some of the best restaurants, bars, coffee shops and bakeries in the city.
And along this mouth-watering tour, we even bumped into several other friends who, again, just happen to be some of New York’s top chefs! What a treat!
I’ve been debating how to post this entry for several weeks now, and I’ve decided the best approach is a simple list of must-eats, as recommended by both city chefs and tourists.
Covo Trattoria Pizzeria (West Harlem): This restaurant reminded me of a small café I ate at in Rome recounting every detail from the low candlelight to the rustic furniture. Truly embracing its Italian roots, the food is both decadent and delicious. I highly recommend the pizza😉
French Roast (Uptown on Broadway): Perfect for date night, this Parisian bistro takes you on a tour de France with everything from drinks, to brunch, to dinner. This was the one place we ate at more than once; the first for an early dinner before the ballet, and the second for a late night snack and cocktails with friends-trust me, it doesn’t disappoint!
(Roasted Asparagus, Tomato & Mushroom Salad with Parmesan)
(Blue Cheese & Bacon Crumbles!!)
(Shrimp, Mussels & Sea Bass)
Levain Bakery (Upper West Side): If you have been to the city or know someone who has, you’ve probably heard of Levain Bakery…or at least their cookies. We’re talking legendary! It’s a tiny, cramped neighborhood bakery with a wide assortment of baked goods including breads, buns, muffins, tarts, pastries, cakes and cookies. Yummy!! The cookies are a must, but I also recommend the Bomboloncini- basically a raspberry puff-ball
(Perfect baked treats for a picnic in Central Park)
Taszo Espresso Bar (Washington Heights): I’m a coffee nut! So when our guide said the words “best espresso,” I practically fell over myself running up the stairs to this small café…well I did actually, fall that is…oops. In addition to the absolutely exceptional espresso, it’s just a really neat place to see. It has a very warm atmosphere, and the owner is very friendly and passionate about his art.
(Picture Perfect Espresso)
Chelsea Market (Chelsea): So obviously, this is not a restaurant; it’s an indoor market with shopping, cafes, bakeries, creameries, coffee spots and gourmet food marts. One thing I love to do when I travel is check out what’s in the local markets to get a feel for the local flavor. The Chelsea Market, in my opinion, is a great reflection of its surroundings as the building and décor itself is a kind of art installation and shows off a neat, sort of compact taste of the city’s local and culturally diverse cuisine.
(Brilliantly colored spices)
(Loose Leaf Tea)
(North Street Espresso Inside the Market-Perfection)
(Loved this! A wall of infused vinegars, oils and salts)
(All delicious! Thankfully you can order these online. My favorite was a pear infused olive oil)
(Our treats from the Market: French Baguette, Velvety Prosciutto and Cheeses! Macaroons already in stomach-not pictured!)
Stay tuned for part II.