The Excess Express Zooms into New York
June 27, 2015
It's been a wonderful couple of days in America. Obamacare is safe. People can marry the partners of their choice. And our president can sing! It seemed like a great time to celebrate. And how better to do that than with food?
My odyssey started with a drink at the Library at the NoMad hotel – surely one of the city’s most civilized spots. This wine was totally unknown to me – Rondinella Bianco from Zyme. It's clean, refreshing – perfect for a warm summer evening. I'll be looking for it again.
On to Lupalo. The highlights at this raucous Portuguese gastropub were these incredible shrimp ($13 each!)
and percebes – gooseneck barnacles. I've had these often in Europe, but the last time I tasted the strange little creatures in the United States was when the much-missed Jean-Louis Palladin served them at a special dinner he was cooking with Joachim Splichal. I hope their appearance here means we'll start seeing gooseneck barnacles more frequently on American menus.
Spent a wonderful few hours at Brookfield Place – a total madhouse, but great fun. Highlights there were the bagels from Black Seed
and the spectacular brisket from Mighty Quinn. We asked for meat that was not lean – and then asked them to scrape the board after cutting the meat. The result was totally delicious decadence. If you love barbecued brisket, this will make you very happy.
Downstairs, we roamed through the vast Le District marketplace – a francophile version of Eataly. It's a wonderland of food, with a fragrant rotisserie, a lovely bakery, an enormous restaurant, local produce….. What intrigued me most were the beautiful little sandwiches on true ficelles – and the butcher shop with cases filled with such gorgeously aged and marbled beef I wished I could take some home. But we still had hours of eating ahead of us.
On to Dominique Ansel Kitchen for the irresistible burata soft serve ice cream – and a few of these warm, barely sweet and absolutely fantastic chocolate madeleines.
And then, because it was thrilling to be so close to Stonewall on this historic Friday, we went to Via Carotta for a celebratory glass of wine and a few radishes dipped into the most delicious bagna cauda. The secret? I think it’s excellent anchovies and butter.
Dinner at Batard, which produces some of the city' prettiest dishes, like these delicate pea-filled tortellini:
and this intense octopus terrine:
And then – just because it was not yet midnight, and we wanted to squeeze in one more meal, we ended the evening at Aldo Sohm, the wonderful Le Bernardin wine bar. And after a bottle of wine we discovered that yes, we could manage a few tiny boudin blancs, some spicy chicharrones and an entire baked camembert.
The eating finally ended, we had a long walk home through almost-quiet early morning streets. I love New York.
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Oh my, everything looks fabulous. Very intrigued with percebes. I can’t imagine what the texture would be like. Looks hard and soft in different places. I think I’ve seen them on the California coast near Big Sur but did not know they were edible. I love shrimp head – the best part of shrimp.