Lisa’s NYC List: February 2015
Whenever I visit New York (which is never as often or for as long as is needed) I can’t wait to share my experiences with friends. “You MUST see this play…”, “You must eat dinner at…” etc.
Sometimes it’s only about the restaurants.
Other times, it’s all about the Theatre.
More recently, it’s been about the art.
This time? The list is simply all the things I want to do again. I’d love to hear what you think!
Theatre – there’s nothing like the theatre in NYC. Broadway, off-Broadway, off-off-Broadway, whatever tickles your fancy. This year (with my family) we all loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time – one of the best stage productions I’ve seen. If you’re a Carole King fan, you need to see Beautiful.
Art – in NYC you have a seemingly endless array of museums, galleries and everything in between. MOMA is a must, and then there are extraordinary museums (the Met, Whitney, PS1 and Guggenheim are favourites) and you could spend days visiting different galleries and never get through them all! Some of Danny G’s favourite galleries are Petzel, Andrew Kreps, Hauser & Wirth and if you can get to Brooklyn, The Journal. We were lucky enough to see ‘The Forever Now’ exhibition at MOMA which celebrated many of our favourite American mid career artists.
Culture – The 9/11 Memorial and Museum – set aside at least 3 hours for this beautifully put together and really amazing museum. It’s comprehensive and emotive, and REALLY worth a visit.
Shake Shack – I know it’s fast food, but it is GOOD. Solid chargrilled beef burger, a potato bun (Martin’s potato roll to be precise), lettuce, tomato, cheese, pickles and the super delish shack sauce. It’s worth swinging by and picking up a shackburger and some fries. Just once. And then at least you can tell me if you agree….
Ground Support – 399 W Broadway (near Spring)- as an Aussie, I’m always craving a great coffee. Look no further. You’ll find one here, along with a very good bran muffin. If you want a piccolo, order a cortado.
Russ and Daughters, 179 E Houston (original shop) – an absolutely essential part of a NYC visit: a takeaway ‘everything’ bagel with Novia Scotia salmon and scallion cream cheese. It will be the best salmon bagel you’ve ever had.
Katz’s Deli, 205 E Houston (cnr Ludlow) – skip the Reuben and head straight for the pastrami on rye, with coleslaw and Russian dressing. Take cash, and don’t lose your entry ticket!
Oatmeals, 120 West Third Street (Between MacDougal & Sixth Avenue) – brilliant concept this, a porridge (oatmeal) bar. It all begins with a bowl of steel cut oats (and your choice of water or milk) and then you start adding. It can be a bit overwhelming with the number of toppings but they have a few safe suggestions for first timers. Delicious breakfast, but be prepared for cardboard bowls and disposable spoons.
Eileen’s Special Cheesecake , 17 Cleveland Place (near Spring & Lafayette) – work a quick stop into your busy schedule and just pick up a plain original cheesecake. You won’t regret it. If you’re feeling adventurous, the salted caramel is pretty good too.
City Bakery, 3 West 18th – the pretzel croissant (also at other locations). Sounds ordinary enough but it really is not! We found ourselves here when our taxi driver fell asleep on the job and I sensed the need to URGENTLY exit the vehicle. He was conveniently snoozing just outside City Bakery. This pretzel is EXTRAORDINARY. Flaky, buttery, salty, sesame. Yum.
Soul Cycle – as they say, just do it. All this eating, you gotta move that F.A. If you’ve ever tried a spin class anywhere and liked it just a little bit, then you must have a go at Soul Cycle. It’s dark, it’s loud, it’s FULL ON but it is nothing like you have done before. Great fun and really great exercise! You need to book your spot ahead online (first visit f.o.c) and get there in time to put on the soul cycle special cleats.
Milk Truck NYC – Look online for the location (web, twitter, insta) and run, I say RUN, straight there to grab one of the BEST grilled cheese sandwiches EVER.
Dominique Ansel, 189 Spring St – Yes I know there is SUCH a hype around the bloody cronut. I mean, how good can it be? We’ve all tasted the copies. And now you MUST taste the original. If you’re lucky to be there in winter (and it’s -10C!) like we were, the line will be short. Otherwise you’ll just need to wait. And while you’re there buying your cronut, you need to try a DKA (Dominique’s Kouign Amann), a super delicious sugar crusted flaky caramelised croissant pastry.
Jacques Torres (various locations) – I might even say this is the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had. Bought for us by Famous Fat Dave (see below), we could not get enough. Perfect chocolate to milk balance, and just a hint of allspice, cinnamon, ancho and chipotle chilli. Divine!
Famous Fat Dave’s NYC Food Tour. DEFINITELY worth doing if you like to be entertained and fed. And fed some more. You’ll see places and eat things you just wouldn’t find on your own. The most delicious Italian sandwich at Defonte’s of Brooklyn, the iconic Nathan’s Coney hot dog, superb authentic pizza at New Park Pizza in Queens. And much much more!! Tell Dave we sent you.
Egg Shop NYC – 151 Elizabeth St – (I need to preface this by saying my family do not agree with me putting this in). All I will say is the buttermilk biscuit and cheddar scrambled eggs that I had for breakfast were absolutely TOP notch!
Lupa Osteria, 170 Thompson St – Always been a favourite and this time we thought we’d skip it. Luckily we found ourselves with a spare hour on the way to the airport. We sat at the bar, enjoyed a couple of perfect Aperol Spritzs and equally perfect bowls of pasta. A linguini cacio e pepe for me, and a bucatini amatriciana for Danny G. Love this place.
Eleven Madison Park, 11 Madison Ave – It’s very ‘special occasion’ and you will not be disappointed. A complete gastronomic experience – fun, delicious and delightful. Set aside a good 5 hours, and wear loose trousers.
Momofuku Ssam Bar, 207 second avenue at 13th street – a must do! But if you go for the rotisserie duck, don’t order anything else! The portions are huge and you will be consumed with overeating regret (as we were!) Delicious delicious delicious. The whole fish ssam is a great alternative if you prefer no pork as the duck has pork sausage under the skin. Wrap up your duck/fish in chive pancakes or lettuce, add sauces and other bits and you will be in heaven! The kimchi and pickles are also fabulous.
Buvette, 42 Grove St, West Village – gorgeous little French cafe/bistro. Rumour has it, the hot chocolate is to die for. We settled for an excellent coffee and really good toast and eggs.
Carbone, 181 Thompson Street (between Bleecker & Houston) – I missed this one but the rest of the crew RAVED about the Veal Parmesan and the Eggplant Torrisi (tomato and mozzarella).