I had a chance to spend some time in NYC with fellow eater recently. Now that I’m a few pounds heavier and it’s harder to get up from my couch, I wanted to share with you what we ate.
We returned to an old favorite, ABC Kitchen, for “brunch”. For the record, I don’t love brunch because I’m an early riser and I can’t wait until 11 or even 10 am to feed. On this particular day, I had a proper breakfast at home around 7, and our “brunch” reservation was for noon, so it worked out perfectly.
As usual, the restaurant looked great. It’s probably the prettiest restaurant I’ve ever eaten at, just because of the unusual decor. I ordered my usual roasted carrot and avocado salad, and the mushroom and parmesan pizza with farm egg. FE ordered the akaushi cheeseburger with a side salad instead of fries. Unfortunately, the kitchen had a fire that morning and the fryer was out of order. Regardless, the food was terrific.
We then stopped at Eataly so that FE could pick up some supplies. Fortunately, we remembered to bring an empty suitcase so we could haul all of his pasta purchases back home.
Dinner was at a new place for us recommended by a co-worker called Upland. It’s a newer Stephen Starr restaurant located on 26th just east of Park. The space is beautiful – both classy and casual at the same time. The food was spectacular but we did have a service snafu. The manager remedied the situation and it appeared to be an unusual occurrence. I thoroughly enjoyed the octopus with pesto, bucatini cacio e pepe, and hazelnut budino.
Our best meal of the trip was probably brunch the next day. Due to my hunger concerns, FE and I had a pre-brunch breakfast sandwich at Treehaus (51st and 3rd). It seems to be a place with healthier options, and I really enjoyed my whole wheat toast with egg, fontina, and avocado.
Of course, I was still hungry for brunch at 11:15. We returned to an old favorite that has relocated and remodeled. I’ve been stalking its return for over a year, and finally it’s open. It is Danny Meyer’s Union Square Cafe. FE and I ate at the old location several times, on recommendation of my same co-worker mentioned above. Apparently, the restaurant lost its lease at the old location and had to relocate a few blocks away to 19th and Park.
The new space is similar to the old one, but more modern. It’s a beautiful, open, two story loft room. Our server was delightful and seemed truly happy to be there. This restaurant was reopened as a no-tipping establishment. The prices are a bit higher but Mr. Meyers provides a decent wage and benefits to all of the employees. The prices are not for the faint of heart but hey, this is NYC and the restaurant is worth it.
I had the tortellini in brodo, which is chicken tortellini in broth. The pasta is homemade and you can tell. This was a little bowl of heaven. FE had the pappardelle with rabbit ragu and he was very pleased. I ended the meal with a piece of the chocolate espresso pie, which was delicious.