FE and I had an opportunity to revisit some old favorites in NYC recently. We started with a weekday lunch at Lupa, which we’ve been frequenting since 2009. There’s nothing better than a leisurely weekday lunch on a hot summer day when I’d normally be working. I went with my usual spaghetti with pomodoro and FE had his usual bucatini all’matriciana (guanciale, red onions, and spicy tomato sauce). We then split the veal saltimbocca, which is ironic, because I typically avoid veal. However, this dish at Lupa is so thin and so tender I make an exception for it. We saved room for dessert so we could check out a new bakery.
Mah-Ze-Dahr is located at 28 Greenwich Avenue. We stopped at this adorable little shop for a caffeine and sugar refuel. FE had a cappuccino and a brownie, while I had a green tea, a chocolate chip cookie, and a snickerdoodle. The second cookie was totally unnecessary but I wanted to try it. Everything was delicious. It’s a nice spot to have a snack and escape the city for a bit. When we return, I’d like to try the chocolate cake and the cheesecake.
We had dinner at ABC Kitchen, which is located at 35 E. 18th Street. As always, the food was superb. However, the service and ambience was sorely lacking (more on this later). I had the squash and arugula salad, with parmesan, lemon, and pepper. It was a beautiful presentation and a tasty, unique flavor. FE had the burger, which had a nice kick to it with jalapeños and spicy mayo. I had the mushroom and farm egg pizza, which has a gooey cracked egg in the middle. The food was totally on point.
Unfortunately, the tables were situated on top of each other on this particular night. The servers had to hover over my back constantly to talk to us, fill water, serve, and remove plates. It was very disconcerting in a dark restaurant to have someone appear over your shoulder without warning, especially mid-bite or mid-conversation. In addition, the service was rushed and we didn’t even look at a dessert menu because we just wanted to leave. We won’t be returning to ABC, except maybe for lunch. There are too many other excellent restaurants to settle for what we experienced there recently.
For dessert, we stopped at Dylan’s Candy Bar (33 Union Square West). Talk about a sugar rush! The kids we saw in there were in a sugar frenzy. I chose a small bag of loose Swedish Fish, while FE had chocolate malt balls (most of which I ate). The candy was fresh and delicious, if a tad expensive ($6.45 for 2 tiny bags). But hey it is Manhattan!