Good Eats in NYC

NYC Rain

Well, this pretty much sums up what the weather was like over the weekend in New York. Talk about a monsoon! Drenched clothes, sopping wet hair, and three umbrellas destroyed by 60+mph winds later, I am back in Pittsburgh and staring at sunshine. Ahhh. My mom and sister took me to New York City this past weekend as an early birthday gift (my actual birthday is next week, and I will have a fabulous dessert for you to commemorate the occasion!). I was looking forward to hitting up some bakeries and eating some good food (as well as going to the NHL Live store/studios, which was a close #2 on my list), all of which I accomplished. As I did after my trip to South Florida in September, I’ve put together a run-down of all of the restaurants, bakeries and food shops that I managed to eat my way through over the course of two days. Enjoy!

Otto Enoteca Pizzeria
Location: One 5th Avenue {Greenwich Village}
Review: Otto, one of Mario Batali’s restaurants, serves pizza and pasta dishes in a quaint, cozy atmosphere. I thought that the food was fabulous, but the service left a lot to be desired. While we were perusing the menu I could hear a waitress being not-so-accommodating to the table next to us. Once it was our turn to order, my mom ordered a pizza and asked for no asparagus and the waitress replied, “I can’t do that”. Hmm, really? You can’t leave off asparagus? I got a pepperoni pizza which was fantastic, and I had a taste of my mom’s artichoke salad appetizer which was also phenomenal. I think the food was great, but I would check out the menu beforehand to make sure you are down with what’s being served since it seems like they aren’t willing to make many concessions should you want to alter anything at all.

NYC Otto

Location: West 45th St. between Broadway & 8th Ave. {Times Square}
Review: I first heard of Junior’s during an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay when he challenged the owners to a cheesecake throwdown. It was a few years ago and I don’t remember who won, but I do remember the cheesecake! As many of you know, I am a huge cheesecake fan, so come hell or high water, I was going to make Junior’s one of my stops. I was actually surprised that there weren’t more varieties of cheesecake on the menu (I guess I was expecting something similar to The Cheesecake Factory), but the quality surely made up for any lack of options! I knew I wanted a chocolate cheesecake and decided to go with the the Devil’s Food Cheesecake. A substantial piece of cheesecake, layered with devil’s food chocolate cake and fudge frosting. It’s so rich you’d think that they would serve this in small pieces. Um, not so much.

Exhibit A: Cheesecake the size of my head

NYC Juniors Cheesecake

But I’ve never backed down from a cheesecake…

NYC Juniors

However, there was no way I could finish the entire piece. I went down fighting though!


Katz’s Delicatessen
Location: 205 East Houston St. {Lower East Side}
Review: The deli where the famous “sandwich” scene in When Harry Met Sally was filmed, this is as New York as you can get. On top of wanting cheesecake on my trip, I also wanted to make it a point to eat a corned beef on rye. So off to Katz’s we went, and it was like herding cattle! So many people, ordering at the counter, then off to get fries somewhere else, and a drink somewhere else. Finally sat down and it was some of the best corned beef I’ve ever had, sliced fresh off the bone. Again though with the massive quantities! Do you see that sandwich? I only finished half, and I took half of the meat off the half that I ate. I hate feeling wasteful, but there’s no way I could have finished all of that!

NYC Katz Deli

Max Brenner
Location: 841 Broadway {14th St./Union Square}
Review: Any store/restaurant that has chocolate running through pipes and blocks of chocolate all over the place is bound to be a-ok in my book. It was like a sophisticated Willy Wonka. A chocolatier shop that has a retail section and a sit-down restaurant area where you can enjoy chocolate pastries and/or hot chocolate, the smell as soon as you opened the door was intoxicating. Pure chocolate. I wanted to lick the walls. But seeing Willy Wonka too many times, I was a bit leery of turning into a giant blueberry like Violet. I managed to restrain myself and gladly accepted a sample piece of chocolate (to-die-for).

NYC Max Brenner

Chelsea Market
Location: 75 9th Avenue {Chelsea}
Review: Chelsea Market is home to almost three dozen bakeries, wineries, restaurants, and food shops. It is located on the ground floor of the building that houses the Food Network offices, test kitchens and studios (no FN celeb sightings while I was there!). I made quite a few stops inside Chelsea Market, some of which were:

Eleni’s – A cute bakery with tons of cupcakes, awesome cookies, and other candies.

Ruthy’s – Another bakery with a wedding cake display, tons of cupcakes, and lots of pastries.

Amy’s Bread – Gorgeous loaves of bread! I also sampled a prosciutto and black pepper twist.

Buon Italia – An Italian grocery store where my sister found a “bottle” of Nutella for $70

NYC Amy's Bread

Bar Americain
Location: 152 West 52nd St. {Midtown}
Review: This is one of Bobby Flay’s restaurants, and since I am a big fan I was excited to check out one of his places. It was a great meal and the service was superb. For an appetizer I had a bacon and caramelized onion pizza that was drizzled with pesto sauce. For my main course I had a filet mignon which was fantastic, along with “Brooklyn hash browns” – essentially cheesy mashed potatoes baked to get a crust on top. Delish! My mom and sister both ordered a sweet potato gratin as a side dish and neither one of them cared for it, but other than that all of the food was delicious.

NYC Bar Americain

Location: 10 Columbus Circle {Time Warner Center}
Review: This was our lunch spot before departing for home. It is located in the Time Warner Center, has a fun, upbeat and casual atmosphere and overlooks Trump Tower and the entrance to Central Park. The menu was great and I had trouble deciding what to order. I ended up going with a pressed prosciutto and mozzarella baguette, which was insane. I could eat one of those every day. Easily. It was served with mixed baby greens in a light vinaigrette, which was a perfect accompaniment. Something like French fries or chips would have been too heavy. Great dining experience.

Bouchon Bakery
Location: 10 Columbus Circle {Time Warner Center}
Review: The final stop before heading back to the ‘Burgh was Bouchon Bakery, where I got a sampling of cookies, one better than the next. I had a madeline, TKO (which is essentially an imitation Oreo, but much, MUCH better), a chocolate-chocolate chunk cookie, and a nutter butter cookie (two peanut butter cookies full of chopped peanuts sandwiched a peanut butter cream). I think the peanut butter cookie was my favorite, but you’d never know I had a favorite given how quickly all four were devoured :-)

NYC Bouchon Bakery

I know you’re going to ask… Did you go the whole way to New York City and NOT go to Magnolia Bakery? Yes, it’s true. I never got there. The weather was ridiculous and we stuck to places that were right outside our subway stops or near where we took a cab. We tried to only hit areas where there was more than one thing to see/do. Unfortunately Magnolia was never quite in the right place at the right time!

And lastly, when you’re from Pittsburgh you’re never far from home…

Lo and behold, look who I ran into outside of the NHL store… Why, hello there, Sid!

NYC Sidney Crosby Ad