Good Eats in NYC v2.0

Last weekend, I spent a few days in New York City with my mom and sister to celebrate my sister’s 30th birthday. We caught a matinee of Wicked (I’m not really a show person, and I thought it was fabulous!), we spent an afternoon at a spa, did some shopping, and of course, did our fair share of eating. As I always like to do when I venture outside of my Pittsburgh bubble, I wanted to share with you the places I hit up, what I ate, and what I thought of it all. I did a similar roundup when we were in New York two years ago; this time you won’t find any bakeries, but a nice mix of restaurants that I really enjoyed. I’d love to hear about some of your favorite spots!

RARE Bar & Grill (152 West 26th Street – Chelsea)
This was our first meal in New York, and it was within walking distance of our hotel, which was a bonus. RARE has a large, casual space with a laid-back atmosphere. We started off dinner with the Spinach & Artichoke Dip and the French Fry Tasting Basket, which consisted of hand-cut fries, waffle fries, and sweet potato fries with a variety of dipping sauces. This is just another example of how I could easily make a meal out of nothing but appetizers! Both the dip and the assortment of fries and dips were outstanding. I ordered a bacon cheeseburger for dinner, which was fabulous. All in all, awesome food and a great atmosphere. Two thumbs up.

Alice’s Tea Cup (156 East 64th Street – Upper East Side)
We headed uptown to Alice’s Tea Cup for brunch on Sunday. You can only make reservations for 8 or more on the weekend, and we ended up waiting about an hour for a table, so I would recommend planning ahead if choose to eat here. They had a nice selection of teas, scones, breakfast and brunch-style meals, as well as sandwiches. I wasn’t terribly hungry when we got there, so I just had a blueberry-lemon scone, which was delicious. My mom ordered a double-chocolate pecan scone, which I tasted and also liked. My sister had a pumpkin scone, which I tasted as well, but didn’t fall in love with. It was a very cute place, but tiny, so make sure you have time to wait! Also, I didn’t realize it while we were there, but they have a cookbook out – I’m looking forward to checking it out!

Co. (230 Ninth Avenue – Chelsea)
I took the advice of Maggy and we headed to Co. for some amazing pizza after catching the matinee of Wicked. This was, hands-down, some of the best pizza that I’ve ever had. After poring over the menu, we ended up ordering three different pizzas – Mushroom & JalapeΓ±o, Popeye (spinach and lots of cheese!), and Margherita. Each bite was better than the one before. I only wish that I could have tasted all of the pizzas on the menu, as well as the desserts, which looked to-die-for. Co. is owned by Jim Lahey. On the way out, I picked up his two cookbooks, My Bread and My Pizza, so I can work on some recreations at home!

La Bella Ferrara (108 Mulberry Street – Little Italy)
On Monday morning, we walked down Canal Street and decided to hit Little Italy for a quick breakfast. When we turned the corner down Mulberry Street, we saw La Bella Ferrara – a cute little pastry shop with outdoor seating that looked perfect. I was a boring foodie and ordered a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast (it was delicious, though). My sister had a chocolate-dipped cannoli, and said it was one of the best she’s ever had (and she loooooves her cannoli). My mom had a prosciutto and mozzarella panini, which she raved about. She said it reminded her of the prosciutto my grandpap used to make when she was growing up. Homemade mozzarella is already on my to-do list; it looks like I might need to add curing my own prosciutto as well! They had a great selection of pastries, cakes, cookies, as well as hot sandwiches and an assortment of other treats; I would have loved to try more!

Corner Shop Cafe (643 Broadway – Greenwich Village)
On our last full day in New York, we booked massages at Great Jones Spa (absolutely amazing place, highly recommend!) and then wanted a little bite of something to hold us over until dinner. We happened upon the Corner Shop Cafe while we were walking, and it was the perfect place for a quick, casual bite to eat. Their lunch menu had a great selection of appetizers, brunch-style dishes, salads and sandwiches. I hit up the brunch section and chose a breakfast burrito, which turned out to be a great selection. Fluffy scrambled eggs with pockets of melted cheddar cheese – delicious!

Da Gennaro Restaurant (129 Mulberry Street – Little Italy)
Our final dinner in New York was an absolute treat. My sister had received multiple recommendations for Da Gennaro’s, and it more than lived up to the hype. The food was outstanding and the service was incredible. The bread and dipping oil alone was worth the trip. We started off the meal with Italian-style grilled cheese and stuffed artichoke as appetizers. I loved the grilled cheese – fresh mozzarella sandwiched between thin slices of bread, in a light batter, and fried. Heaven! For dinner, I chose the tortellini with meat sauce, which melted in my mouth. I ordered profiteroles for dessert – the classic cream puff-style pastries were filled with chocolate ice cream and drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauces. It was a perfect way to cap off the meal. Everything was amazing, and I would absolutely eat there again.

What are some of your favorite places to eat in NYC?