little paths so startled

living, decorating, and eating in hattiesburg, mississippi

new york: a culinary tour

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I spent last weekend in New York with dear friends, and even though the purpose of the trip was shopping (for a very special item!), we managed a culinary tour of the city that left me breathless.  Literally, in my skinny jeans.  Here’s the day-by-day tour.  It’s OK to be jealous.

Friday

The posh interiors of Blue Fin were the perfect backdrop for enjoying a spot-on sweet potato soup.

We arrived in New York to a soaking rain that lasted all day, and a creamy sweet potato soup couldn’t have been more perfect for our late lunch at Blue Fin in the W Hotel in Times Square.  Not a trace of touristy madness.

The white cheddar cornbread at Dovetail is to die for. Seriously. And I’m still dreaming about the vegetarian gnudi.

That evening, we had dinner at Dovetail, in the Upper West Side.  Best dinner of my life.  You know it’s good when vegetarians and vegans get their own incredible menu: I had the gnudi with asparagus, chanterelles, spring onion, and winter truffles, and it was all I could do to refrain from licking my plate.  Everything was perfect: from the falafel amuse bouche, to the melt-in-your-mouth white cheddar cornbread, to the dainty milk chocolate gianduja bar for dessert.  Heaven help me.

Saturday

Gorgeous bread at Le Pain Quotidien, where guests are encouraged to sit at a communal table. C'est super cool.

The next morning, we ate breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien near Central Park.  I love that the main seating area is a communal table, and I had a perfectly moist, not-too-sweet cherry scone to energize me for a day of shopping.  Plenty of delightful vegetarian and vegan options on the brunch menu.

I had a fabulous vegetarian empanada at the charming Green Table in Chelsea Market. Their locally-sourced food is simply heavenly.

That afternoon, we visited Chelsea Market and had a late lunch at the Green Table: organic, farm-to-table deliciousness.  I had the seasonal vegetarian farm plate with a blue corn empanada, summer vegetables, black beans, cheese, and fruit salsa.  Out of this world.

As if the magical ice cream sandwiches at Milk & Cookies aren't tantalizing enough - and I can vouch for the PB&J (top) and Grasshopper (third down) - the milk, which comes from a local dairy, is pure happiness.

Our walk from Chelsea Market to Soho took us through West Village, where we visited Milk & Cookies to pay homage to that eponymous duo.  I rarely drink milk, preferring almond milk instead, but the locally-sourced milk there was worth the departure.  It all just feels right – a charming side street off Bleecker, a cozy store front, royal blue tile table tops, and a smell I hope I never forget.

Scrumptious flatbread pizza from the Plaza Food Hall.

That evening, we met up with my friends’ family at the Plaza Hotel’s Food Hall.  A far cry from the typical food court (not surprisingly), the Plaza Food Hall has stations – seafood, sushi, grill, etc. – with seating areas, many of which overlook the chefs’ workspaces, and a delightful array of food choices and ample vegetarian options.  I had a tasty portabella-spinach flatbread pizza topped with just the right amount of chili flakes; I also hear the English pea ravioli is molto bene.

Crazy-good cheesecake from the legendary Magnolia Bakery.

The last thing any of us needed at that point was dessert, but our evening walk took us by the Magnolia Bakery on Columbus, and, well, who can resist?  I had the de rigueur vanilla bean cheesecake, but that pumpkin cheesecake (above) was oh-so tempting.

Sunday

The incredible vegan veggie burger with red chili aioli from Greensquare Tavern in Flatiron. Best. ever.

Everything about Greensquare Tavern, where we had Sunday brunch, makes me happy.  Every item on the menu is local and organic; as Chef John Marsh writes, “Returning to the agricultural practices of our American Melting Pot heritage, that are in harmony with nature, we can look forward to a healthy future sustained by delicious nutrition.”  Suffice it to say I will never be satisfied with veggie burgers again.

Dark chocolate mix + perfect whisk + clever cup and saucer from L.A. Burdick. What's not to love?

Our last stop was the nearby L.A. Burdick, where the smell of gourmet hot chocolate was as intoxicating as the mimosa I had at brunch.  A chocolate lover’s paradise.  And they ship their haute mixes – with a whisk for the perfect consistency – to places like Mississippi.  Just sayin’.

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Written by Ann

September 29, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Posted in eating

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