New York food porn: the vegetarian restaurants

Welcome to part two of my 2011 New York food porn. I got too hungry working on the first post, so I had to divide it up. Here are the vegetarian restaurants we sampled in the city in May, with my favorites marked with asterisks.

Mushrooms at Dirt Candy

*Dirt Candy is a tiny little restaurant celebrating vegetables in all their glory. Each dish features variations on a single vegetable (even the desserts), and so many of them sounded good that we had trouble choosing. Continue reading

New York food porn 2011

New York food

Scott and I get back to New York to visit friends and family about once a year. Well, we pretend we’re there to visit, but mostly we are there to eat. Here are some of the culinary highlights from our most recent visit (those marked * were my absolute favorites from this trip). Continue reading

The New York food post 2010

Our last trip to New York City was a whirlwind of friends, family, and food, topped off with a little bit of art and some volcano drama. Here were some of the culinary highlights from this time around (if you don’t feel like reading the whole post, scroll to the bottom for the best restaurant of the trip).

We arrived in New York exhausted and much later than scheduled, but dammit we weren’t going to miss a single NYC meal opportunity. Continue reading

Eating New York

Every visit it’s the same… not enough meals in the day to eat everything I want to in New York. After briefly considering adding a 4th and 5th meal to my days, I resign myself to the fact that I can’t go to all my old favorites and try lots of new places all in the same trip. Alas, some food must go uneaten. At least we squeezed in most of the essential food groups this trip: the Mexican group, the sushi group, the cannoli group, the martini group. And we also made it out to my aunt’s house for a feast that, as usual, rivaled the fare of the yummiest of Manhattan’s eateries. Speaking of which, these are the ones we visited this time around:

Amber* – tragically hip, colorful sushi bar. Good martinis. I wish Munich had places like this.

L’Annam – basic Vietnamese food. Our re-introduction to American portion sizes.

El Parador* – yummy, elegant Mexican. As I am not particularly elegant when it comes to Mexican food, I found my dish a little lacking in the copious-amounts-of-melted-cheese category, but otherwise everything was delicious. Margaritas!

Cho Dang Gol - a Korean restaurant specializing in homemade tofu. Happy vegetarian.

2nd Ave Deli – Jewish deli food at its most famous. No longer located on 2nd Ave. Fresh pickles. Gigantic portions.

The Smith – brunchy. Decent cocktails.

Obika* – I was thrilled to come across this familiar sign in NYC. Obika is a fresh mozzarella bar started in Rome which opened a branch in Milan while we lived there (best happy hour snacks ever). While the NYC location is much less fancy than its chic Italian counterparts, the mozzarella is just as heavenly.

Noodletown* – Chinatown at its noodliest. Loved the veggie dumplings. And the noodles.

The Porter House (Columbus Circle) – fancy NYC steakhouses offer surprisingly good eats for vegetarians, since they tend to take their vegetable side dishes (and cocktails) very seriously. The Porter House’s dirty martinis were not as fab as I had hoped, but the food was pretty good. The steak house we ate at last year was better, but I can’t remember its name.

And on to dessert…

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory – black sesame ice cream = yummy!

La Bella Ferrara – standard Little Italy bakery for all my cannoli needs.

Grom* – another favorite from Italy which has been recently exported to New York. The prices at the NYC location were kind of ridiculous, but it was worth it for a little taste of their heavenly gelato. I was too busy eating to take pictures, but you can get an idea from the last photo in this post.

Puck Fair – OK, so beer isn’t really a dessert, but I wanted to mention this cozy, fun bar we visited for a couple pints of ale. Mmmmm… ale. (Don’t go getting all upset now, Germany – I like your beer, too.)

What are your favorite places to eat and drink in NYC?

* denotes my favorite eats of this trip.

Where did my New Year’s go?

I lost it somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, in one of those unimportant time zones where nobody lives.

As consolation prize, we happened to catch the test release of confetti at Times Square a few days ago.

Speaking of Times Square, you couldn’t pay me to spend New Year’s there, but it was a nice place to play around with our new grown-up (ie, SLR) camera. Hooray for wide angle!

Here’s wishing you a fabulous 2009 in which all your wildest dreams come true.

Christmas in New York

Hi there. This week I’m in New York City, one of my favorite places to spend Christmas. I’m a couple trips behind on my blogging, but here are a few New York Christmas photos to keep you entertained until I have a chance to catch up.

Merry Christmas, if you’re into that kind of thing. More photos at my Flickr.

The cannolis of NYC

First off, for those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure, allow me to introduce you to the wonderful pastry delight that is the cannoli. These Sicilian delicacies consist of a deep-fried pastry shell filled with ricotta-based creamy deliciousness. Traditionally there are little pieces of candied citron involved, and a dusting of powdered sugar, and that’s about it. But purists be damned, I like my cannoli shells coated in chocolate. And given the prevalence of this practice in New York, I’m obviously not the only one.

Before we go any further, I’d like to address those of you out there reading this and thinking, “Idiota! it’s one cannolo, two cannoli.” Look, I can speak Italian, too, but right now I’m speaking English, and in English, it’s one cannoli, two cannolis. As in, “Leave the gun. Take the cannolis.” Capeeeeesh?

For the longest time, the chocolate-covered cannolis at La Bella Ferrara on Mulberry Street have been my favorite. Whenever I find myself in the general vicinity of Little Italy, I head straight to this bakery, ignoring all the others along the way. I usually sit in the adjoining cafe and have an espresso and a cannoli or two, and then head over to the bakery part to pick up some more to go. One of the benefits of the chocolate-covered shells is that they don’t get soggy as fast as the regular shells do, so they can be kept for a day or two in the fridge after they have already been filled. Plain-shelled cannolis should be eaten immediately after filling, if possible. But I digress.

On my last trip to New York, I was sitting in La Bella Ferrara, eating my delicious chocolate-covered cannoli, and wondering what made me think this was the best place to get them. The truth was, I didn’t. And it bothered me. I needed to find out if there were other, better cannolis to be had on Mulberry Street. Luckily for me, I had a rainy afternoon full of time and two willing companions, so we set out to investigate. To be continued…

Times Square from above and below

The steaming cup o’ soup is gone, but otherwise Times Square looks pretty much the same as it did the last time I was here.

One of those cheesy touristy things I love to do in New York is have a drink at The View, a revolving bar and restaurant on the 48th floor of the Marriott Marquis at Times Square (not to be confused with the Rosie O’Donnell talk show of the same name). The view at The View is fabulous day or night, and even the elevator ride up and down is fun.

Sure the drinks are pricey, but not outrageous by New York standards. A beer costs around $6-7 (plus tip). Sip it slowly to ensure you get to make the full circle – a revolution takes one hour. Early evening seems to be the best time to go, and I’ve luckily never had to wait to be seated. There’s a cover charge for the lounge after 9PM. I’ve never been tempted to try the food at the lounge or the restaurant… there are just too many other delicious places to eat in NYC.

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