What do you do when you arrive in NYC in the cold rain?
That’s precisely what I did when I arrived in New York a day before Thanksgiving. My pastry-lover friend and I arrived way too late at Dominque Ansel to get a Cronut or a DKA, so I ordered the Paris-NY, which was a choux dough with a chocolate, caramel and peanut butter filling. I wasn’t a huge fan of the pastry, but luckily I found a “fake” Cronut at Paris Baguette to put an end to my curiosity. It was as good as the hype made it to be. The Cronut is everything I want in a pastry. The outer layer was buttery, crispy, flaky, and crystalized with sugar. The Crossant-like layers were delicate, until I bit into a mouthful of creamy vanilla filling. I’m definitely going to wait in line at 6:00am for Dominique Ansel’s Cronut the next time I’m in the city.
Coming to New York for Thanksgiving has become a tradition for me. It promises good food and also a good time with friends. One of my favorite restaurants from this trip is Union Square Cafe, a restaurant that a close foodie friend recommended. The intimate restaurant served some of the most delicious pasta dishes that I’ve had this year. My favorite was the Mezzi Paccheri, which had crispy Brussels Sprouts, Guanciale (cured pork cheeks), Sage and a lot of Parmesan.
Another stand out at Union Square Cafe was the dessert, which was a Spiced Chocolate Fudge Cake paired with a Toffee Sauce, Salted Pecans, Poached Pears and Espresso Ice Cream.
Another place I enjoyed was The Mark Restaurant by Jean Georges; a great place to meet up with friends for lunch. I ordered the Crab Cake, which came with slices of Blood Oranges and a light Ginger broth- a flavor combination that I loved. I was also surprised when I tried my friend’s Thai coconut and galangal soup, which tasted pretty close to the real deal. You can also order the Truffle Pizza here, which is the same one that The Mercer Kitchen is known for. We also spotted Olivia Palermo dining with her beau a few tables away from us!
The Mercer Kitchen is mostly underground, which creates an intimate and cozy atmosphere. We ordered the famous Truffle Pizza, which we could smell before it even arrived at the table.
Then a mandatory visit to Laduree…
Dinner at Picholine was one of the meals that I’d been excited for for a while. Because of the many expectations I had for the restaurant, I ended up not being impressed with the food. The service, however, was one of the best that I’ve experienced. Our waiters were very knowledgeable and seemed to know just as much as the Sommeliers.
Even though the food didn’t wow me, I was very impressed with my dessert. I always order the dessert with the strangest flavor combinations, so I ordered the Gorgonzola “Semifreddo”. The Gorgonzola came in the form of flurries that had the consistency of ice cream. Slices of pears were put on the plate, along with three Walnut Sponge Cakes, served around a tart, red berry soup, which was poured over the center of the dessert. On the side was a Blue Cheese Powder, which I thought could have been omitted from busy dessert.
My last standout restaurant of the trip was Cipriani Downtown. A perfect place to go after shopping in SoHo. These guys were brave to sit outside on the terrace when it was 2 degrees celsius out…
Cipriani’s had great classic Italian dishes that came in surprisingly big portions (one dish can be easily shared by two people), but the large portions did not effect the perfectly cooked pasta and the rich and tasty sauces that came with them.
Lastly, a visit to one of my favorite coffee shops in NYC, Cafe Grumpy 🙂