Munching Around New York

January 9, 2017

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I’ve been skidding across the frigid streets of the city, snow blowing in my face, dropping in here and there to have a bite.

Even if you don’t plan on eating there, you should stop in at Augustine, surely the most beautiful (and comfortable) restaurant to open in New York in some time. Downtown, in the new Beekman Hotel (which occupies what was at one time the tallest building in the world), Keith McNally has invented a belle epoque space that makes you long for more leisurely and saner times. Here’s a tour of the space.

The food is what you’d expect from the people who run Balthazar: luxuriously old-fashioned French fare, beautifully executed. You might want to start with those oysters, baked in salt with Pernod butter and little bits of smoked roe.  Or this lovely cheese souffle

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Or perhaps some foie gras, topped with a scattering of artichokes and beans.

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If you’re a crowd, you might want to try the latest incarnation of the seafood plateau, here rendered as a grand aioli replete with mussels, lobster, shrimp and vegetables.

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A “whiskey hamburger” is a fine fat burger, with fries and a glass of single malt on the side. Steak tartar is lovely, the halibut in cocotte comes, of course, with truffles.

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But should I really admit that what most won my heart was the spinach, with its herbed crumbs and gruyere?

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During the heart of the storm – great flurries of sturm und drang – I managed to slip slide my way to White Gold Butcher for the famous chopped cheese

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and a kimchi hot dog.  Great fun sitting there, watching people struggle in the door.

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Then over to the Met Breuer to the fabulous Kerry James Marshall show – don’t miss it – and lunch at Flora –  my favorite new restaurant.  The food is so beautifully elegant and original; I always want to order everything on the menu. But I managed to restrain myself to these dishes.

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Purple endive. Pecans. Bayley Hazen blue cheese.

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The most amazing tuna tartar, all crunch and salt and flavor.

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Spicy shrimp roll on brioche.

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Lemon scented potato tart with truffled egg and frisee.  An exciting little lunch.  Made even more so by the presence of Steven Spielberg at a nearby table.

And finally dinner at Charlie Bird, among the most amiable and likable restaurants in the city.  The room is warm, the service gentle, the menu filled with food I always want to eat.

We started with razor clam ceviche, which we inhaled so quickly I had no time to shoot it.

Then gorgeous little agnolotti

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and sea bass in a flurry of vegetables.

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Lovely wine list, too.

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