HungryBecs in New York: part 6
This is the last blog from my six weeks in New York, and boy did I go out with a bang. It was my 30th birthday and I had two friends staying with me – needless to say it was a veritable feast of eating, drinking and hangovers.
I’ll be so sad to leave the Big Apple, but also happy to return to the Big Smoke and, hopefully, my regular size jeans.
Ready for a celebratory week in New York? Let’s go…
A buzzy place that seems to be busy no matter what the time. There’s a restaurant at the back but for the best atmosphere, and easy access to the huge variety of beer, sit at the front in the bar. It feels like everywhere in New York is serving pickle chips but these were some of the best – maybe because we ate them while drinking a terrific toasted lager from Bluepoint Brewing Company in Long Island.
A trendy Italian restaurant in NoHo that has scooped many a ‘critic’s choice’ plaudit in the New York press. The bright and airy restaurant is supposed to be super in the summer, but it was also excellent in the chilliest of winters. The enticing snacks, sides and salads are so good it’s hard to resist ordering more of the same and relegating main courses to another day. Sorry about the terrible picture but the burrata with charred onion toast (seen in the background) was a messy, creamy plate of phenomenal.
Voted the second best bar in the world in the World’s 50 Best Bar awards 2014, The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog is a creative cocktail bar split over two levels. Downstairs is a laid-back tap room with beer and whisky and upstairs there is a parlour with a cocktail menu so vast (there are EIGHT chapters) you’ll definitely need help deciding. The debonair – a gin cocktail laced with absinthe – packs a punch… look how happy I am after just a few sips.
Ah, nothing like a good brunch to help recover from the Dead Rabbit debonairs of the night before. You can expect snake-like queues into the Mediterranean and Moroccan restaurant but it’s huge inside so thankfully you don’t have to wait long for brilliant brunches such as huevos rancheros and eggs with labneh, pitta and chopped salad.
Marlow & Sons
This Williamsburg hipster hang out was somewhere special to celebrate my birthday with friends. Shop and café by day, oyster bar and restaurant by night – Marlow & Sons has a small menu that changes daily. The brick chicken main is a firm favourite, as is the short-rib on toast starter, but it was the fry bread (literally deep-fried flattened dough – AMAZING) and the chocolate and salted caramel tart (even more AMAZING) that were highlights on our visit.
Another morning-after-the-night-before brunch, Katz Deli is famous for huge pastrami/salt beef/brisket sandwiches and that scene from When Harry met Sally. Word of warning: you DO NOT need a whole sandwich to yourself.
The Randolph at Broome
So many places in New York have happy hours around 4-8pm every weekday with cocktails, wine and beer all heavily discounted. The happy hour at The Randolph is more like a happy day with 50% off cocktails from 12-8pm. It would be rude not to get involved but be careful – these cocktails aren’t watered down versions of the full-priced ones.
Jack’s Wife Freda
I think I can crown this place my favourite in New York after visiting three times in six weeks… and I could have gone many more. It’s popular for brunch but dinner is great too. Succulent sirloin steak comes with a generous knob of garlic butter and home-cut fries, you can get tipsy on the bloody Mary mussels, and the courgette fries are a must to share.
Great for juices and smoothies but also good for lunch.Everything is dairy-free, and mostly vegan, so this spicy merguez ‘sausage’ is made with white beans and served in a baguette with fig jam and harissa mayo. You sit down on large tables and gaze in awe (hunger) at other people’s plates before ordering and quickly receiving your own – great for a speedy sit-down lunch.