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Memorial Day Weekend in NY

Memorial Day Weekend in NY
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  • Memorial Day Weekend in NY

    Post #1 - June 3rd, 2004, 9:35 am
    Post #1 - June 3rd, 2004, 9:35 am Post #1 - June 3rd, 2004, 9:35 am
    Ms. EatChicago and I spent 2.5 days eating our way through Lower Manhattan, and I thought I'd share our experience. We prepared our plan in advance, and nothing went wrong at all. Here's a summary:

    Saturday Lunch: Balthazar, on Vital Info's rec. we stopped in for a quick bite since it was on our way to a gallery in SoHo we were visiting. We split a smoked salmon plate and a grilled ham & gruyere on toasted brioche. A delicious quick lunch/brunch in the cafe. Very high quality ingredients served here. Definitely need to go back for a bigger meal.

    Saturday Snack: Black & White cookie on 7th Ave. in Park Slope, Brooklyn after a trip to the Brooklyn Museum. I don't really care for these cookies but Ms. EatChicago can't get enough. I find that they generally taste like a bad piece of cake.

    Saturday Dinner: Artisanal I had French onion soup with a three-cheese topping (perfect), sea bass served over a potato/leek stew (very flavorful), and a cheese plate from their vast cheese list. The cheese list is daunting (must be at least 200) but the descriptions are great and helpful. I could have spent an hour reading it. Ms. EatChicago had the hanger steak which was good (but not as good as Le Buchon in her opinion). Excellent frites. Not too impressed with the service, but that's a Sat. night in NY, I guess.

    Sunday Breakfast: Street Shao Mai in Chinatownt I don't know the name of the place, but we were wandering the streets of Chinatown early Sunday morning, hungry for dumplings. We didn't want to sit in a restaurant since the day was so nice (and we had a big lunch planned). We ducked into the first open dumpling shop we found and had some awesome shrimp and pork shao mai on the street. (Side note: I asked for 6 of them which they took to mean 6 orders. Luckily I stopped them before I had 24 shao mai on my hands.)

    Sunday Lunch: Katz's Pastrami sandwiches, big plate of pickles, chopped liver & onions, knish, chocolate egg cream, and a cel-ray soda. This is heaven. (Remember to pre-tip the pastrami slicer for a few extra slices at the counter).

    Sunday Snack: Russ & Daughters We picked up some beautiful dried fruit for a walk through the village and had a chat with the proprietors at Russ & Daughters, quite possibly the greatest smoked fish purveyor in the world. I wish I lived next door.

    Sunday Dinner: Blue Ribbon Bakery I love this place. I had a braised short rib & polenta appetizer, the Ms. had a crab cake in chilled asparagus & cucumber soup. Both were excellent. I had the duck confit which was succulent inside and crispy outside (I still hold West Town Tavern as the best ever). The Ms. had a redfish entree which I don't remember because I was gnawing a duck bone. She liked it, though. Desserts were ridiculous. Non-traditional profiterols (large scoops of ice cream, small pate-a-choux) and the most amazing chocolate-chip bread pudding I've ever tasted. Whoever made this dessert should be arrested. It's that good.

    Monday Brunch: Deli at 94th & Lexington (Can't remember the name of the place) Delicious whitefish salad on a toasted bialy on the Upper East Side. Perfect way to end the trip.
  • Post #2 - June 3rd, 2004, 9:41 am
    Post #2 - June 3rd, 2004, 9:41 am Post #2 - June 3rd, 2004, 9:41 am
    At the risk of turning this into a Shopping & Cooking thread I recommend checking out the Balthazar cookbook. I'm a bit down on trendy restaurant cookbooks generally, but this one is pretty practical bistro stuff you could actually make yourself, and it's also a really handsomely designed book, a pleasure to leaf through.
  • Post #3 - June 9th, 2004, 12:39 pm
    Post #3 - June 9th, 2004, 12:39 pm Post #3 - June 9th, 2004, 12:39 pm
    As a fomer resident of the Big Apple, the only Black and White that I can recommend is that of Rocco's pastry shop on Bleecker Street in the West Village. The thin layer of apricot Jam that rests between the "cookie" and the icing makes all of the difference in the world.
  • Post #4 - June 12th, 2004, 3:03 pm
    Post #4 - June 12th, 2004, 3:03 pm Post #4 - June 12th, 2004, 3:03 pm
    Of course I need to chime in here...Just got back from New York actually.

    Rocco's. I've been there a few times. The cookies ARE good. But not the best. The apricot thing is nice but not unique to Rocco's. Maybe everybody copies from them, I don't know.

    Anyway, for b&w's Brooklyn is the place. Every bakery I've tried has been outstanding. Over the my last 4 or 5 visits I'm sure I've tried around 10 places. The absolute best is Isaac's in Midwood, which just so
    happens to be across the street from DiFara's which sets the standard for pizza (actually it sets the bar so high it would unfair to compare any other place to it). Ostrovisky's just down the street also makes great b&w's.
    Isaac's also has strawberry and white cookies made the same way. Very very good as well.