Archive for the ‘New York’ Category
Friday, April 5th, 2013
When thinking about small town USA, New York City is not the first place that comes to mind. However, if you go a bit beyond its main grid and squint ever so slightly, the stretch of Hudson Street running through the West Village is more apple pie than Big Apple.
From Leroy to Gaansevort Streets, Hudson Street is a mix of row houses, small commercial buildings and a hodgepodge of apartment houses. There are lots of charms to this setting owing to the low scale of the streetscape set against the city’s all consuming urban skyline on the other.
At THE CHURCH OF ST. LUKE IN THE FIELDS get ready for a you-could-be-in-London moment – the simple Federalist style architecture and adjacent gardens make for quite the quaint local parish church setting. Heading north to where Hudson Street morphs into 8th Avenue ABINGDON SQUARE is another tranquil, albeit small, Anglo-edged reprieve replete with benches, lampposts and, come springtime, beds of well orchestrated tulips. Kids in tow? Just diagonal to the Square is the BLEECKER PLAYGROUND, a monkey bars, slides and jungle gym wonderland.
Need a portrait of Fido or a prescription for Junior? No worries with a pet photography studio and a children’s pharmacy among the quirky retail stores fronting Hudson Street. Add to the list MYER’S OF KESWICK and, Queen’s Jubilee or not, you can satisfy your English groceries list.
Visual engagement gets a jolt with old-school liquor stores and their very cool bygone times neon signs. For the home accessories shopper LEO DESIGN is a pottery treasure trove and THE END OF HISTORY a 20th Century bric-a-brac and furnishings find. The specialty food shop takes an unexpected and welcome turn at THE MEADOW with its salt-meets-chocolates-meets-fresh flowers offerings. The curated lifestyle connoisseur might find retail satisfaction at the high-brow MONOCLE SHOP but if fashion is on your mind it makes sense to skip over the smattering of boutiques on Hudson street and sidle over to the mini-Madison Avenue that is Bleecker Street or the nearby haute-mallness of the Meatpacking District.
Even with the fashion forward hordes of trust fund endowed, media and banking-rich peeps gobbling up the highly treasured West Village real estate, it’s easy to get homey on Hudson Street with a slew of homespun yet often sophisticated restaurants.
American comfort plate places include the rustic-edged ALEXANDRA and HUDSON CLEARWATER. While they’re both good it’s Clearwater’s fine tuned food that stands out along with its speakeasy style come dinner time when you’ll need to furtively enter around the back of the resto. For saloon like style, THE WHITEHORSE TAVERN (no website, 567 Hudson Street) and COWGIRL HALL OF FAME pairs brews with easy-to-satisfy burgers and unassuming and unexceptional comfort food. It’s all waffles, moules and frites at the cutesy Belgian PETIT ABEILLE but if you’ve got a yen for Japanese, better to skip over the smaller restaurants (yikes, a “B” rating does not bode well with raw fish) and head to EN BRASSERIE, a polished tofu-centric sushi house. Lots of carnivores in Japan would appreciate the offal heavy TAKASHI where you’re in charge of handling your own meat at built-in tabletop grills. Dim sum is center stage at REDFARM as creative and culinary collide in an East-meets-West sensibility with the likes of Pac-Man shrimp dumplings and Katz’s pastrami egg rolls – the cholesterol worried need not apply. From there the FATTY CRAB is a staged Southeast Asian dive for spicy plates and cracking crustaceans that are sure to satisfy.
In NYC there’s no shortage of great Italian restaurants. This most certainly holds true along Hudson Street where SPASSO and CORSINO are trattorias with a you-could-be-in-Italy feel. Italian goes American – Ciao, Francesco Rinaldi! – in tavern environs at the Brooklyn import FRANKIE’S 570 SPUNTINO and table-clothed family-style PICCOLO ANGOLO where red-sauce classic feed the waiting crowds as reservations are not an option. Hit the other side of the boot and the Mediterranean continues to play itself out well at MEME in simple, if predictable, food like falafel, hummus and grilled fish. The culinary cross section of Hudson Street gets if South-of-the-Border sating with MEXICANA MAMA’S (no website, 525 Hudson Street) haute tacos, enchilladas and Mexican plates.
All these eats – not bad for a ten block strip that starts where Hudson Street transitions from a business-minded district at Houston Street and disappears completely at 14th Street. It’s almost a mirage, an oasis of homeyness in the otherwise frenetic environs of New York City.
Tags: Bar, BELGIAN, BURGERS, Chinese, CHOCOLATE, GRILL, HUDSON, italian, JAPANESE, MEDITERRANEAN, MEXICAN, SALT, SUSHI, VINTAGE
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Friday, February 22nd, 2013
At OTTO, the restaurant
at One Fifth Avenue, a 1927 Art Deco apartment house at the corner of 8th Street in Greenwich Village, you’re in for some rustic Italian eats courtesy of the media-meal-man of Food Network fame, Mario Batali. He’s often in residence and easy to spot – there’s no mistaking the signature trademarks of thinning ginger frocks and fulsome girth atop the Crocs of this chef and restauranteur extradordinaire.
Years ago we’d stop for a drink at the bar of One Fifth, the longtime restaurant that was all about clubby 20th century dining style. Now, however, instead of a martini and steak you’re likely to be pairing vino to pasta, pizza and antipasti. It’s a good thing that Mr. Batali aims to please your palate as well as your pocket – you’ll be hard pressed to find another restaurant in NYC, or for that fact, America, where an exceptional bowl of fusilli con escarole and sausage comes in at $10. Ditto for tasty thin-crusted pizzas like a Margherita with buffalo mozzarella ($11) and flavor-packed antipasti plates. At OTTO,Get ready for lots of soddisfacente delizioso-ness at this trattoria that is as much neighborhood hangout as it is destination dine.
About that dine, skip over the dining room – gone are its prewar charms, replaced with a middlebrow hotel sensibility of bad light fixtures and budget-issue furnishings that are all tied together with sensory dulling maroon colored carpeting. Thankfully the front-of-house barroom has a design of its own.
Reminiscent of a train station by way of Italy, stand-at-only counters populate a polished space anchored by a long wide white marble bar. Shelves stocked with wine are a backdrop of the bar packed with regulars and attended by barmen that guard the seats by the kitchen door should Mr. Batali pop-in to hold court. These keepers-of-Mario can be a bit gruff – almost as if they were protective childhood pals – in these otherwise welcoming environs. Even still, they know they’re stuff and are easy to ignore with all the comforts of this bar – the day’s New York Times and Daily News strewn about, the paper-wrapped crusty bread and, of course, the simple yet immensely satisfying arrives-in-no-time-flat you’re-in-Italy fare.
No doubts about it, the bar is the star at OTTO, NYC.
Thursday, February 14th, 2013
This year for Valentine’s Day I skipped over the chocolates and passed on the flowers. Was a time these would be top items in the romance offerings but alas they seem pointless while my love remains unrequited.
Nope, this year I will have to make do with a tart. Make that a yuzu tart from the Parisian ERIC KAYSER, a recent import that is nestled in the very un-Parisian environs of New York City’s Upper East Side. Yes, there was the woman with the Hermes Birkin bag and young ladies with French manicures, but alas this was all on the lacking-in-glam Third Avenue – a bit too far away from the haute-ness of Madison Avenue. These ladies, disinclined to use knifes, wrestled their salads with forks only, every now and then assisting entry with their index fingers. Such unladylike manners, they were all fur coat and no knickers.
With all this going on, it made sense to go with the tart, no?! At MAISON ERIC KAYSER it may veer towards Le Pain Quotidien – the ubiquitous chain found throughout the world – but here the restaurant design and the bakes take on a more polished edge. With Kayser’s Viennoiserie,
boulangerie and patisserie, we’re talking about serious tres bien yum!!! The salads, croques and quiches may satisfy – perfect for those who excel in fingering food into their mouths -but who wants a mediocre and tepid quiche when you can have a bang from a voluptuous tart?
With yuzu think grapefruit meets the mandarin orange for a uniquely aromatic East Asian edge. In this tart the sturdy pate sablée crust supports a tangy curd that has a bitter-sweet edge from a sprinkling of citrusy zest. No lemons here, not when your valentine is a yuzu tart.
ERIC KAYSER, 1294 Third Avenue, at 74th Street, Upper East Side, New York City, and soon to a neighborhood near you.
Friday, January 11th, 2013
The hostess, dwarfed by mural-sized art and double-height ceilings, asked if I had a reservation for a table. I happily smiled and said no as I eyed my friend with the seat next to him occupied by his briefcase at the soon-to-be-packed bar at the Union Square Cafe.
This defining culinary counter for contemporary-minded American cuisine has been going strong for more than a quarter century. Except for a few slight changes – the shelves of booze on the mirrored wall and the barrista station at its far end – the bar at the Union Square Cafe has remained a constant in New York City. Luckily certain things don’t change.
The food, with its signature direct-from-the-farmer’s market fare (the restaurant is steps away from Union Square and the farm stalls that fill its perimeter Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays) is as seasonal and locavore as any restaurant can get. Need proof? Just stop by on a summer day for a
slice of your dream blueberry pie.
Regulars or first-time visitors are welcomed as if they’ve been part of the Union Square family for years. Starts off with the ramekin of olives, the basket of artisanal breads and herb garnished butter, all appearing seamlessly
as you settle in with the menu. Among the handful of signature dishes that remain steadfast and true are iced oysters on the half shell, fritto misto and the USC hamburger. Any of these followed by the USC banana tart adorned with macadamia brittle and honey-vanilla ice cream and you’re talking about capital YUM.
Service is key to the flagship restaurant of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality group that includes the high brow Modern at MoMA and the soon-to-be-in-a neighborhood near you SHAKE SHACK.
Let’s use the USC hamburger as an example – it’s a New York gem of custom blended beef ground in house and escorted to your plate with cheese, bacon, pickles and fries. Feel like a bit of broccoli rabe “Mama Romano Style” with your fries? No worries as the wait staff is always happy to have the kitchen make a substitution or split. It also helps that this is done without an additional charge (at $16 this is a heifer of a deal). Ponder all you may but you’ll be hard pressed to find another restaurant that goes out of its way to please regardless of whether you’re proletariat or of Downton Abbey born.
And, about that bar: it takes a life on of it’s own, separate from the restaurant which can feel a bit dated in its contemporary style and claustrophobic low ceilings. At the Union Square Cafe the bar is its own little world within the restaurant – as it curves outward from the host station a massive vase of flowers, grouping of shrubs and blooming branches that often rocket skyward as if still a tree, creates an enclave that is intimate and inviting even with expectant diners mulling about behind the long row of seats.
No doubts about it, this bar is a star.
Sunday, December 23rd, 2012
Ah, Fifth Avenue in December: all the beautiful decorations, the shopping, the holiday cheer. Oh, and, don’t forget the tourist crowds – lots and lots of them. Welcome to Christmastime in New York City.
No doubts about it, with so much hustle-bustle you’ll work up a Santa-sized appetite. Here’s a bit of elven magic to satisfy your What-to-See and Where-to-Eat hunger along the Christmas-resplendent Fifth Avenue retail strip.
With the holidays in full force a stroll down Fifth Avenue is a sight to see in and of itself, a show bursting with color and light. At ROCKEFELLER CENTER travel the CHANNEL GARDENS – the stretch of planters that runs from the Avenue to
the central plaza, the ice skating rink and of course the tree – at over 65 feet high and decked with miles of lights it’s one heck of a breathtaking sight. The same goes for the UNICEF SNOWFLAKE, the colossal mass of individually inscribed Baccarat crystals that form the dripless wonder floating atop the intersection of 5th Avenue and 57th Street.
If it’s art’s that’s on your mind, forget Christmas pasts with the installations at the MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (aka MoMA) and on a mild winter day take it outdoors to the museum’s SCULPTURE GARDEN. (Think about joining up as an individual member – the $85 fee and $5 guest passes will be worth the cost if you’ve got four or more folks on your holiday outing.) For cinephiles, take in a movie at THE PARIS, one of New York’s old school theaters just steps away from THE PLAZA, the grand dame of all city hotels now a much-moneyed condominium residence.
If all this holiday spirit has you ready for a respite from saturated streets then sidle into the quietude of the FIFTH AVENUE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH from 1875 and the ST. THOMAS CHURCH from 1914. These houses of worship may have you covered but for that truly inspired ecclesiastical architectural moment take time for a visit to ST. PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL. Pious or not, this Roman Catholic behemoth makes for a storybook setting in defining American Gothic Revival style.
From 59th to 49th Streets, 5th Avenue makes checking off your gift list a breeze at century old department stores, branded boutiques and big box retailers. With the winter wonderland of SAK’S main floor and Christmas window displays, HENRI BENDEL’S Lalique glass panels and BERGDORF GOODMAN’S haute couture mannequins, shopping is as much art as it is serious retail. There’s also the ginormous glass cube fronting the General Motors building that marks the descent into APPLE’S subterranean flagship store. For kids too young to ogle or envy the taut greeters of HOLLISTER and ABERCOMBIE & FITCH make a visit to the Toyland settings of FAO SCHWARTZ and the LEGO STORE. And of course, you can pretend you’re Holly Golightly at TIFFANY’S but don’t expect breakfast…..
Eloise would be quite the fatty if she was around today to roam the stellar PLAZA FOOD HALL. Yes, you could play the tourist and pluck yourself down under the fronds of THE PALM COURT, but with the Plaza Hotel’s redo this feels a bit too formula for even Eloise to endure, let alone enjoy. Without a doubt, that young scamp would be playing with TODD ENGLISH who takes a very, well, English approach with his thematic food hall. It’s all a-okay eating at the themed counters that include THE GRILL, TAQUERIA and OYSTER BAR. If there’s too much of a wait or if you’re just not up for this multi-meal Disney dining adventure, not to worry with the lineup of purveyors recently added to this food hall’s mix.
Mark your MAPPETITE along the outer perimeter where bakes, sweet and savory, come your way from outposts of some of New York’s best shops: GREENBERG’S, THREE TARTS, PAIN DAVIGNON, FRANCOIS PAYARD and LADY M BOUTIQUE. In the interior grab a bento box from SUSHI OF GARI, a hero from NO. 7 SUB or a roll from LUKE’S LOBSTER. Wow, talk about smorgasboards!
From the Plaza head to HARRY CIPRIANI’S or a slew of other Euro-leaning eats houses populating Madison Avenue but then you’re drifting away from the holiday magic that is Fifth Avenue. Instead, head south to BERGDORF GOODMAN and it’s 7th floor BG RESTAURANT where you can take a break from haute couture with an exceptional dine accompanied by Central Park views – it’s pricey but worth the splurge whether or not you’re one of the ladies who lunch. Another in-department store dine awaits you on the 8th Floor of SAKS at its CAFE SFA – not as posh as BG but you’re still in for a great meal with views of Rockefeller Center.
of Rockefeller Center, there’s the fish focused menu at the SEA GRILL and the French fare at BRASSERIE RUHLMAN. If more informal eats moments are what you’re after than you can choose from the slew of restaurants populating the Center, though choose wisely as many make for sub-par mall meals. Taste-satisfying standouts include BILL’S BAR & BURGER, TRI TIP GRILL, HARRY’S ITALIAN PIZZA PARLOR and BOUCHON BAKERY all of which, whether you’re in for a slice, sandwich and salad or burger with fries, are priced right so no need to break your holiday piggy bank.
This is all the better if you’ve got children along for a trip to the Top of the Rock or NBC Studios – arghhh, the sacrifices we make when our young’ins in tow! About those kids, naughty or nice, there are sweets to entice from the likes of JACQUES TORRES, TEUSCHER and LA MAISON DU CHOCOLAT.
Have a more adventurous palate? If so, go for an Asian-edged dinner in the basement of the Chambers Hotel at MA PECHE, David Chang’s Midtown Momofuku outpost. Take the sophistication up a notch and you’re in THE MODERN for restauranteur Danny Meyer’s Austrian-edged plates, that is, as long as you’ve reserved ahead and, if so, you’ve also got the MoMA’s Sculpture Garden views.
It may be hard to see beyond all the storefronts in this dense retail quadrant of New York City, especially during Christmastime but unwrap the elaborately decorated present that is 5th Avenue and there’s food that is more yum than plain old bah humbug.
Monday, October 1st, 2012
Broadway: bright lights, big box retailers and don’t forget the tourists, and plenty of them. Not your ideal for a city stroll? Then skip over Broadway’s crowded sidewalks in Midtown and Soho and head to NoMAD, the quadrant of blocks North of MADison Square Park.
Herald Square may be a “crossroads of the world” intersection but best to just pass through the flocks of aimless tourists, Penn Station commuters and the less-than-chic elements settled into updated yet worn and sullied pedestrian malls. Starting at 33rd Street it’s a very east meets west dynamic of NoMAD where traditional African dress and Hasidic garb are as likely to be seen as au courant pret-a-porter. Architecturally, it’s a hodgepodge with lots of low scale buildings adding to its gritty character. In NoMAD get ready for iconic New York with the Flatiron (the onetime geographic catchall for this area), Empire State and New York Life buildings along with a slew of significant 20th century building designs. As far as parks go, skip over the grimy-appearing Greely Square for the greens of Madison Square.
Once you’ve managed to escape from the anxiety inducing labyrinth of Macy’s and sidestep the uninspiring Herald Center and Manhattan Mall, get ready for an interesting and engaging “retail split personality” of sorts along Broadway as you head downtown from 32nd street. From here the west side of Broadway is a Third World-feeling bonanza of import shops selling perfumes and colognes, all kinds of accessories and clothing. Kitschy mannequins front emporiums of budget retail fantasy but better get here soon - with the tech companies taking root in NoMAD all this retail will be gone in the blink of a New York real estate eye. And, so it goes on the east side of Broadway where newly minted shops lure in guests from the ACE and NOMAD HOTELS . For now you’ve got the design know how of PROJECT NO. 8, the couture leaning retail mix at OPENING CEREMONY and the hip-meets-chic men’s and women’s clothing at the tres French MAISON KITSUNE.
No eating in Herald Square, not even if you’re super hungry! Mediocre restaurants, fast food and, even a branch of ‘WICHCRAFT (in a kiosk that is easy to confuse with a public bathroom) do not make for worthy meal moments. Yes, it might make sense for a turn off 32nd Street aka Korea Way – gosh knows we love Paris Baguette and a bit barbecue – but there’s some great eating awaiting you on NoMAD’s Broadway.
Even with your inner hipster at full throttle you might not feel cool at the Ace Hotel with its Williamsburg meets San Francisco “hi, I’m in tech” vibe. But, you’ve got to eat and you’ll get better than just a square meal at the BRESLIN. Yes, there’s a Disney theme to this English-minded gastropub from the folks at The Spotted Pig but it’s well worth the staging as these are tasty and filling eats. If a lamb burger is too gamy for your palate then cross the lobby and take to the seas at THE JOHN DORY. It may be another Disney setting but topnotch briny fresh shellfish rule these plates. For takeaway to your room or office there’s terrific sandwiches of creative combinations at NO. 7 SUB. Wow, you’ve got a bit of food coma from all this eating so take time to grab an exceptional brew from STUMPTOWN COFFEE.
In style-meets-fashion circles there’s also a lot of chatter at the NoMad Hotel where period Victorian is very much at quirky play. At the THE NOMAD the talented chef Daniel Humm prepares some pretty rich vittles but beware as your wallet will be overwhelmed from truffle and foie gras. And, if you do go, reserve ahead for the light filled Atrium over the gloomy Marriott-esque Parlour (what were they thinking of with those overdone chairs, drapes and carpet) and The Bar which is just too darn dark for a dine.
Back on Broadway skip over roasted candied nuts from street vendors – ouch my stomach hurts – and head to the retro-styled HILL COUNTRY CHICKEN. From the smoke boys of Hill Country Barbecue it’s fried chicken time with all the fixings: this is finger licking yum especially with a mini-sized banana cream pie finish. For an alfresco dine you’re in Madison Square Park with high quality takes on classic Americana
roadside eats – burgers, fries, hotdogs, custard cones and shakes – at the original SHAKE SHACK. It’s become an institution so, rain or shine, make sure you’ve got a lot of time to wait in line. Speaking of lines, brace yourself for the food hall extravaganza that is EATALY. Here tourists and locals squeeze into shops (bakery, butcher, pasta, produce, etc.) and vie for seats in themed restaurant “areas’” that serve up delicious meals in high Italian style with Mario Batali flare.
Your NoMAD wandering might take you to Madison or 5th Avenues but when you come down to it there’s nothing much to these thoroughfares. Broadway is the oasis and it is by all means no mirage.
Friday, September 14th, 2012
I kneaded to meet Jim Lahey.
The owner of Sullivan Street Bakery (oddly no longer on Sullivan Street after a split with his partner many moons ago and a move to Hell’s Kitchen and a newly minted outpost in Chelsea), proprietor of the pizza-centric restaurant and cookbook author, Mr. Lahey has made a defining mark on bread. He is gracious about his art and so self assured that he offers up his recipes in formats that are achievable for even the most awkward of home bakers.
You know his “pane” – the filone, di comune and pugliese – if you eat out in New York City since the bread on your table or in your shopping bag came by way of Sullivan Street Bakery’s wholesale business. So, even if you’ve never been to the bakery chances are one its crusty loaves have made it from his oven to your palate. Though, if you do have the chance it’s definitely worth the trip.
From the minimal-comforts of the small retail counter at the wholesale minded operation on West 47th Street to the sleekly industrial styled bakery-as-cafe on 9th Avenue, you’re in for some seriously great bakes. Thankfully, you’ll find no cupcakes here. His craft, honed in Italy,
started with a bit of wild yeast and small-batch artisanal baking that has spread to Roman-style pizze, rustic Italian dolci (the bombolini is what all donut makers aspire to but rarely achieve) and cookies. Oh, and the panini: seasonal and organic ingredients are specifically paired to breads for outstandingly delicious and nuanced sandwich creations.
Bread is not dead at Sullivan Street Bakery.
Sunday, August 26th, 2012
“It is a beautiful ocean today, isn’t it? What would you say that is, sort of sapphire? I’ve never seen anything like that ocean!” The Late Edie Beale, the former mistress of Grey Gardens and cousin to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.
Ah, Long Island beaches. In East Hampton lots of dough gets you a house south-of-the-highway (that is Montauk Highway, a.k.a. Route 27) and, if you’re lucky, access to the beaches.
About those beaches, bicycle down beautiful lanes to the seashore but don’t even think about bringing your car because without a parking permit your beach blanket is not a consideration.
It doesn’t take much to keep the noise down at Town Pond – even with the traffic piling into East Hampton from Montauk Highway the residents of South End Cemetery have been at peace for the past couple of hundred years. Swans glide by and nest around the weathered gravestones and tombstones making for a charmed if noir welcome to this seaside town.
Pay your respects and then take the stroll down Main Street to Newtown Lane. From the masculine stone behemoth of ST. LUKES CHURCH architectural history hits you big time with many buildings dating back to the early 1700s. The English colonial MULFORD FARM and clad period furnished HOME SWEET HOME MUSEUM with the GARDINER MILL in the background make for quite the picturesque view. Have an arts moment at GUILD HALL and then continue past charmed homes and inns – it’s all very very Americana. Once the retail starts, buckle your seat belts – you’re in for a dose of super charged shopping on summer weekend days with Escalades and Denalis emptying out hordes of shoppers and tourists on congested Village streets.
While buff bodies hit the surf in Montauk, here in East Hampton, the overly taught skinned middle-aged peeps with children in tow vie to buy – it’s a shopping abbondanza for the haute brand-minded shopper. Yes, you’re by the beach – just a half mile or so – but just in case you forgot a bathing suit or a wrap, lucky you there’s Hermes, Ralph Lauren and J. Crew. The list of heavy hitting retailers goes on and on – think Madison Avenue meets Bleecker Street with the clientele to match on a Disney stage-set circa colonial period small town U.S.A.
Summer crowds may make a wait inevitable or making a reservation impossible, especially on a weekend day, but heck, you’re in East Hampton and you’ve got to eat.
The days of Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa are long gone. Boo f#&*ing hoo. Anyone lucky enough to have been around in the 1990s remembers the slam of its screen doors and the brilliance of that shop – the prepared foods, the bakes, the
produce and groceries; it was a gem. Ina may be seen around town (her home and studio
kitchen are nearby) but sadly for the hungry, that storefront is now a clothing shop. Ces’t la vie – you’ll have to make do with a stop at the EAST HAMPTON GOURMET where tasty salads and comfort mains to-go come your way at a hefty price.
This eats shop too once shined with its great bakes but its cookies and a best-in-bakeoff Gateau Basque are now just a memory. Talking about bakes, you’ve got a taste of old East Hampton from DRESSEN’S donut fryer – the only remnant remaining of the onetime butcher and grocer and the lone star player among the otherwise unappetizing offerings of mediocre cupcakes and ice cream at SCOOP DU JOUR. If you’ve got wheels, venture to the outskirts of town and ROUND SWAMP FARM where a generations old East Hampton family have rolled out a Mildred Pierce like operation of prepared foods, produce, fish and bakes. Not cheap but the ladies running this stand have the best food-to-go ride in the East Hampton theme park.
In a hunger pinch you’re safe at THE GOLDEN PEAR CAFE, a luncheonette-like basic eats house but better to make it to the more endearing and tastier BABETTE’S which ups the ante with table service and a splash of outdoor seating. For a hefty sandwich to tow to the beach or grab for the trip back to NYC you safe at VILLA SPECIALTIES by the LIRR train station. Better yet, satisfy your inner Italian American at SAM’S where great old school retro resto cool comes with yeasty pizza pies and classic comfort plates. By comparison, the polished CITTANUOVA may be a bit glitterati but they get the Milanese thing right. If a burger and a club sandwich will calm those hunger pangs then slip off Main Street into the courtyard that hosts ROWDY HALL.
The 1770 HOUSE has all the makings of a great restaurant the problem is that even with the fine plates this New American feels stiff, more special occasion than country inn dine. Not so at the MAIDSTONE where the LIVING ROOM RESTAURANT has a great menu with quirky posh relaxed style. Ditto at THE PALM where you’re guaranteed a satisfying grill room surf and turf moment in the centuries old HUNTTING INN. Head to North Main Street past the Pantiago windmill and you’re in for a great take on up-to-date American plates at the EAST HAMPTON GRILL. Even if it’s a bit formula (from the folks who’ve brought us a slew of popular restaurants that includes the Houstons chain) you’re talking great eatery style with locally sourced fish and produce in their menu mix. On the edge of town there’s the celebrity encrusted NICK & TONI’S where East Hampton’s celebrity class holds court and getting a reservation can be as difficult as getting a village beach pass.
Sunday, July 8th, 2012
Professional pugilist (a veteran of the ultimate fighting circuit) turned artisan baker, Kamel Saci has quite the basket at Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria.
Rise to the occasion without any yeast for flavorful and crusty breads that follow time honored traditions along with knockout ingredient twists. Beyond the deliciously strong and sturdy staples like focaccia, ciabatta and country bread go down for the count with the daily changing and seasonal varying blackboard specials like fig hazelnut, Parmesan baguette
and for the lover of all things cocoa, a chocolate laced loaf.
Get their by early afternoon as this dough goes quick.
At Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, Bread Is Not Dead.
Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, 53 Great Jones Street, between the Bowery and Lafayetee Street, NYC, tel. (212) 837-2622
Tuesday, May 31st, 2011
THE DUTCH is SUPER. Style, food and service come together in a restaurant and restaurant meal to remember. 131 Sullivan Street, Corner of Prince Street,www.thedutchnyc.com. CAPITAL YUM!!!!