Devour & Melt: Eight Days in New York City

Despite the disturbingly high temperatures of NYC this past week, it still captured a special place in my heart (and stomach). It truly is “the city that never sleeps”, “the city where dreams are made of”, etc etc. As I went beyond the limits of standard NYC tourist attractions, a world of beautiful and delicious excess unveiled itself.

Good food is one thing but good food in an aesthetically pleasing environment is a whole different story. NYC is really a mecca of restaurants with breathtaking design in food+space. I was fortunate enough to try a handful of these beauties, but with only eight days to do so, I barely scraped the surface of what NYC has to offer.

(Top -> Bottom: Veselka, Mile End, L’Ecole @ FCI, Fette Sau)

Egg (Williamsburg) – Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, serving local fare along with produce grown from their own farm. I recommend the Eggs Rothko with Ham.

Momofuku Milk Bar (Williamsburg) – Entirely sweets. I was unable to try their infamous Crack Pie but was able to snag an Arnie P Ice Milk from their street vendor. A little on the sweet side but nonetheless refreshing in 40+ d Celsius weather.

Dutch Kills (Queens) – Inconspicuous with no signage other than a neon “bar”. An offshoot of Milk & Honey with more affordable cocktails. Favourites include their version of a Bee Sting (gingery) and something called the Revolver (contains chocolate bitters). A few blocks from MoMa’s PS1.

Five Leaves (Greenpoint) – Funded by the estate of Heath Ledger, this restaurant stands in memory of his life. Really great mussels and known for their oysters.

Soccarat (Nolita) – The word “soccarat” is defined as “the delectable crust that forms on the bottom of the paella pan when the liquid is rendered and the rice reaches its peak of succulence”. All their flavours of paella are delicious. I also recommend their serrano ham croquettes.

Veselka (East Village) – Admittedly, I first heard of this Ukranian restaurant via Gossip Girl. As much as I dislike Lonely Boy‘s character, he is right, their perogies are top notch and even better is their borscht.

L’Ecole at the French Culinary Institute (SoHo) – The prix-fixe three course lunch is an excellent deal. Not the greatest decor but worth the $30. Recommendations: the asparagus salad, green tea opera cake with red current sorbet, and the Earl Grey soda.

The Raines Law Room (Flatiron) – Named after an 1896 New York liquor law that was supposed to curb liquor consumption, this bar requires a ring of the doorbell to enter. Upon entrance, you are quickly transported to what feels like a 1920’s private parlor. Jazz plays on the background.

Fette Sau (Williamsburg) – BBQ, long-table style, beers served by the pint, quart, and gallon in pretty mason jars. The brisket was great. Pair it with a spicy broccoli and a half-sour (full) pickle.

Milk & Honey (SoHo) – “Members only” bar, older sister of Dutch Kills. You can pay upwards of 400 Pounds for a membership or you could email the unadvertised email address for a reservation. I had one of my favourite cocktails of this trip: Gordon’s Breakfast (savoury & spicy).

Mile End (Brooklyn) – Solidifies that New York truly has everything, including Montreal St. Viateur bagels and a bathroom filled with Habs photography. Their yellow beat salad is amazing (but not vegetarian-friendly due to the presence of fried chicken skin).

Momofuku Noodle Bar (East Village) – Simply designed ramen: a smoky, sweet broth in which to bathe chewy al-dente noodles. Their lychee soju slush is also a treat.

Tipsy Parsons (Chelsea) – Adorably feminine space with Southern fare. High notes: Grafton Cheddar Grits and Fried Pickles.

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