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New York Eats

My Christmas gift from Steve was a weekend in NY, including dinner at the restaurant of my choice and tickets to Wicked! I took this opportunity to introduce Steve to my favorite steakhouse in the whole wide world – Peter Luger in Brooklyn. I also dragged him all over the city hunting down different foods.

I arrived in NYC at noon on Friday and I had two hours before I was picking him up at Port Authority. Where to go? That was easy - Barney Greengrass for a toasted everything bagel and smoked rainbow trout. Steve is not a fan of smoked fish, so I didn’t feel bad indulging before he got there. It was delicious as always; I never visit NYC without a stop there.

After a walk through high line park, we stopped at Maison de Macaron and I got a small assortment including: lemon, pistachio, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, caramel with fleur de sel. French macarons are my new obsession; I love the delicate texture of the cookie contrasting with the creamy filling. I also love the variety of flavors and beautiful rainbow of colors. We later stopped at Macaron Café, but theirs wasn’t as good. The texture was thicker and chewier. I can’t wait till Boston abandons the cupcake trend and gets on the macaron bandwagon. I wanted to visit Laduree; many tout theirs are the best in NY. Steve called me a Macar-loon at one point, given my new obsession with them.

Dinner was at Luger’s. It was amazing, as always. I was relived that Steve felt the way same, otherwise I would have had to end it – some differences are too much to overcome. He especially loved the bacon appetizer and the German fried potatoes.

The next day we went to Eataly, a 60,000 sq ft Italian food emporium, backed by Mario Batali. The place was a mob scene, packed to the gills with tourists. Eataly has every Italian specialty one could ask for – I mean there is an aisle just for arborio rice for risotto.

There are difference eateries; one devoted to pizza, pasta, fish, fresh mozzarella, vegetables, a wine bar, bakery, gelato, just to name a few. We tried the fish restaurant for a pre-dinner snack and enjoyed marinated sardines and another dish with squid, shrimp and lemon. All were delicious and impeccably fresh, but the prices are steep. We dined right next to Ric Ocasek of the Cars.

http://eatalyny.com/

Dinner was at Motorino, a pizzeria that NYT restaurant critic Sam Sifton listed in his 50 favorite NYC restaurants for best pizza. They are known for a Brussels sprout and pancetta pizza. Before you go “ewww,” understand that it was delicious. The crust was excellent, with amazing texture and flavor. The Brussels has a little crispy char and the bitterness with the pancetta was superb. The mushroom and sausage pizza was also delicious. You just can’t beat New York pizza. We shared an order of meatballs to start and they were huge, but tender and with good meaty flavor.

After Wicked, Steve and I went to Kyotofu, an avant-garde Japanese café, known for their desserts. The space is neat; it was like sitting in the interior of a dimly lit eggshell. Some reviews called it romantic, but the space it small and it is a fine line between cozy and being able to eardrop on the first date at the table adjacent. I had a black sesame sweet tofu panna cotta. The texture was correct (jiggle, jiggle) but the flavor was off and a little gritty. Steve had the soymilk ice cream sundae and he thought it was okay. He remarked that it was the first time he has ever paid $6 for a cup of tea.

Sunday morning means bagels. We took a long walk to Ess-a-bagel in midtown east. They were New York perfect: big, beautiful with a perfect chew. I enjoyed mine with an order of whitefish salad. It might be enough to convince me to move back to NY.

Every time I’m in NY I think to myself, why don’t I visit more often? So much to eat, so little time.

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