Best Meals That I Ate In NYC This Time

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Best Meals That I Ate in NYC This Time

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” J. R. R. Tolkien

Incredible food is one of the best parts about visiting NYC. It is funny being a tourist in a city that you grew up in which is now completely different. I feel it most with restaurants. I do not know where the best places to eat are and have to research. Here is what we did this time.

Flora Bar

Flora Bar is located in the former home of the Whitney Museum. It is now the Met Breuer and is the Metropolitan Museum Of Art’s space dedicated to modern and contemporary art. The room is attractive with a modern, industrial feel. The floor to ceilings windows bring in lots of natural light and let you look out into the outdoor garden seating area. I thought that it was the best meal we had in NY. The food feels simple but it is inventive and complex. The shrimp cocktail is sweet and flavorful with homemade cocktail sauce. It is Sunday night and the waiter suggests the Sunday night roast chicken dinner which turns out to be the best roast chicken I have ever eaten. it is accompanied by potatoes au gratin, roasted squash, chicory salad and Parker House rolls.

Little Spain

Mercado Little Spain is the Spanish Food Mall created by Jose Andres and Ferran and Albert Adria at the new Chelsea Mall, Hudson Yards. Think Eataly but Spanish. We ate at the Spanish Diner where I had an egg dish direct from Bar Pinxto at La Boqueria Market in Barcelona. The BF had the perfect Barcelona sandwich of Iberian ham, olive oil and tomato on a flauta The market part has many crowded stalls, selling gazpacho, Iberian ham, octopus, churros dipped in chocolate, paella, patatas brava, bread, olive oil, and of course tapas.

Momofuku Saam Bar

For a few years, whenever someone went to NYC, the question was, did you eat at Momofuku Saam Bar? It was interesting food, a lot of pork belly and no reservations. This new version of the restaurant takes reservations (which didnt seem hard to get) and the food was inventive and delicious. We had pork buns, fried brussel sprouts and a whole roasted fish. It was an amazing meal and though there are now many Momofukus and imitations, it lived up to the hype.

Momofuku Nishi

Clearly we were on the David Chang NY tour. We had to cancel our reservations at Noodle Bar but we made it to Nishi. The restaurant is small but we had a great corner table and the service was friendly and efficient. The smoked tomato fusilli, roast chicken, beef carpaccio and bread were all delicious. The picky four year old ate as much as we did. It was the largest amount of food I had seen her eat all week.

Joe’s Pizza

New York had such a large Italian immigrant population that pizza places were everywhere. Everyone had their favorite but they were all good. High gluten flour and NY water are credited with giving the crust its unique taste. It is made with tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese and traditionally cut into eight slices. The New York way to eat a slice of pizza is to pick it up and eat it flat to get the full flavor. You can fold it when it gets messy but a knife and fork will immediately peg you as an out of towner. We got Joe’s Pizza delivered to the hotel. Joe’s Pizza has been in the village since the seventies. There are other locations now but it is an independent business and Joe still personally supervises the Greenwich Village location. I immediately eat three pieces and another one later on for dessert. It is the taste of home.

Butter

Butter is owned by the sometimes thin and sometimes fat celebrity chef Alex Guarnaschelli. She is one of those celebrity food judges who’s appearance changes drastically from season to season. The menu is seasonal as well. It’s a great space with intimate booths and high ceilings. Butter is in the theatre district so its a delicious option on a night that you have tickets for a show. It was an odd choice for someone like me who isn’t eating dairy at the moment but the BF loved it. They were totally willing to accommodate us with a perfectly cooked pan seared branzino on wilted spinach and side of grilled broccoli The Bf enjoyed the home made rolls with butter (Get it?)

Nomad Hotel

Chef Daniel Humm from Eleven Madison Park left to open the Nomad Hotel. We stayed there for a week and had the opportunity to taste many delicious meals. We were told to get the fried chicken, the roast chicken, the weekend brunch and the hot dog. We did (on different days) and it was all great. We ate and drank in the restaurant, the room, the bar and the library. We loved everything about the hotel including the food.

Fly safe,

JAZ

A Perfect Travel Day In LA

A Travel Day in LA

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Henry Miller

There are days that I miss traveling so I  decided to have a travel day in Los Angeles.  This would be my perfect travel day.

It is always a traveling day in my car.  I listen to a Canadian radio station that only plays French music.   I am usually driving on the streets of Paris. There are cds in my car from my trips – most recently Turkey, Argentina and of course Grouplove (LA band who met in Crete).  I am always going somewhere much more exotic than the market or yoga in my head.

For breakfast I have Greek yogurt (the not nonfat kind) with fresh honey and either a latte or cappuccino with whole milk (not soy or almond). Another option is  a croissant from Tavern and a Spanish Latte from Urth Café. Truthfully I drink this several times a week.  Carnation condensed milk in coffee always reminds me of being in my early twenties in Greece.  This was all they used until they became weight conscious and got Starbucks.

I go to a museum on a weekday morning.  There are mostly tourists and schools there.  It is just like exploring a foreign city.   I love modern art so LACMA and MOCA are good choices for me.

For lunch, there is sushi. I pick a place where the clientele is mostly Japanese and I feel like I am in Japan. Some good places are Mori Sushi, Hama Sushi and Sushi Gen. Or you can have a real travel experience and take an interesting guess .  Walk into a place on the street in Little Tokyo or Sawtelle Blvd. They both have Japanese markets , bakeries, stores and restaurants.

I stop off at Travelers Bookcase  to get books for my next trip.  There is always some fabulous conversation going on about somewhere in the world that I never heard of or want to go to.  Natalie has a ton of book recommendations, interesting friends and customers and loves talking about everywhere!!  Isnt that what books are for anyway? To travel without packing? Here are some of the books they love -me too.. https://travelwellflysafe.com/2012/12/18/byob-bring-your-own-books/

In the afternoon I see a foreign film. Now we have many in LA to choose from. They play at the Llaemmle theatres or the Landmark. I have pop-corn (French for popcorn).  I love going to the movies in the afternoon anyway.  The theatre is empty and it feels like sneaking out of school to go to the movies.  I think it is ok to admit that now.  There are two blogs on foreign films if you want to see some of my favorites. (https://travelwellflysafe.com/2012/12/05/favorite-foreign-documentary-films/ and https://travelwellflysafe.com/2012/09/23/favorite-foreign-films/)

I have some Thai iced coffee at Chan Dara and  head out to Venice, Santa Monica or Malibu for a beach walk at sunset. If I am anywhere in the world and there is a beach, I am walking on it. This is followed by Tapas and Sangria at Bar Pinxto.

Dinner is somewhere like  Angelini Osteria  or Osteria Mozza for fresh pasta and traditional  Italian dishes.  Bar Ama is great for Mexican food – not so traditional but so delicious.  My favorite restaurant is Hinoki and the Bird for Asian ambiance, amazing food and green tea donuts.

I am dating someone from Mexico City so we spend the whole day speaking Spanish.   I pretend I understand just like I do on a real trip or with men in general.

At home I start reading the books I have bought and plan my next trip – one where you take a plane. Tomorrow I will have a diet day.

What are your favorite  places in LA?

Fly Safe,

JAZ

www.grouplovemusic.com/

www.tavernla.com/

www.urthcaffe.com/

www.lacma.org/

www.moca.org/

morisushi.net/‎

hama sushi 347 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, (213) 680-3454

sushigen.org/‎

http://www.travelbooks.com/‎

www.laemmle.com

http://www.landmarktheatres.com

chandararestaurants.com/‎

www.barpintxo.com/

www.angeliniosteria.com/

www.osteriamozza.com

www.bar-ama.com/

hinokiandthebird.com/‎