NYC eating…

I was lucky enough to be back in NYC recently for a day of eating.  FE and I hadn’t been to Lupa for a while, mostly because we were spending our time at newer places, i.e. ABC Kitchen, Upland.  There’s only so much eating one can do in a day!

Lupa did not disappoint.  We’ve been eating there for about 8 years, and the food and service are consistently great.  We shared the veal saltimbocca, which was delectable as usual.  The irony of this is that I don’t really like veal, nor do I like prosciutto.  Go figure.

I had the cacio e pepe pasta, and FE had the bucatini l’amatriciana.  Both were stellar.  Lupa is a great place for a leisurely weekday lunch, right by the open front on a nice day. We rolled out for a long walk afterwards.

It was back to our favorite restaurant of all time (really), Union Square Cafe.  We were lucky enough to snag a dinner reservation in the dining room on a weekend night.  We started with the complimentary whole wheat sourdough bread with homemade butter and olives, as well as the polenta.  I was skeptical about ordering the polenta because it seems like such an ordinary item to order in a restaurant.  However, this polenta may have been the best thing I ate on this particular day.  It was creamy, and it was obvious that the pesto and roasted tomatoes on top were made with a lot of care.  I could have eaten an entire meal of this.

FE had the burger, which tasted great.  Even the pickles were tasty.  I had the chitarra pasta, which was made with heirloom tomatoes, ricotta, and calabrian chiles.  The flavor of this dish was indescribable, but I’ll give it a try – crunchy, delicate, and subtle, all at the same time.  I can’t see myself ordering anything else next time we return.

Even though I was full, I had to order the black forest tart for dessert.  It didn’t disappoint.  I’ll admit that their chocolate pecan tart is still my favorite, but this was a good summer substitute.  I ordered it sans caramel and with mint chocolate chip ice cream, instead of the fior de latte.

I’m already planning our return.

 

NYC eating…

NYC eating

We made our second visit to the revamped Union Square Cafe in NYC recently.  I’ve now confirmed that it is my favorite restaurant of all time.  The best way to describe it is simple, comfortable elegance.  Even though it’s an expensive, fine dining establishment, I always feel welcome and everyone who works there is dedicated to ensuring that the patrons have a great time.

We were lucky enough to snag a table on the second floor this time.  We started out sharing the beef carpaccio appetizer.  It was served with crostini, and it was delicious.  Sourdough bread was complimentary (also delicious).

FE had the frascatelli, which had guanciale, peas, and black pepper cream.  He enjoyed it.  I had the ricotta gnocchi.  Gnocchi can be tough to get at a restaurant, but here it’s always on point.  This time was no exception.  The gnocchi were light and fluffy, and the sauce was the perfect amount.  Ironically, it was topped with pecorino cheese, which I usually hate, but on this it works.

The finale was of course, dessert.  I can’t go to this restaurant and not get dessert.  This was my last dessert before I embarked on my #nodessert challenge (I’m now on day 15 of 30).  FE had the chocolate espresso cake, and I had the chocolate pecan tart.  Both desserts were phenomenal!  The tart had the edge for me, because of the simplicity of the chocolate mousse paired with the crunch of the crust and pecans.

I can’t wait to return, but not until I finish day 30!

NYC eating

NYC eating…

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.

 

NYC eating…