Monday, March 16, 2009

Dinning: NYC

Once I read somewhere that by living in Manhattan and eating out every single day you could spend at least three years without repeating a restaurant! I find that so fascinating and so frustrating at the same time. It’s so wonderful having so many options and, on the other hand, it feels like one can’t ever keep up with the City’s gastronomic expansion. One more thing to love about New York! I get quite anxious and doubly hungry: for the food, of course, and for all the great new places to know. It makes it really hard to write, since it’s difficult to know where to begin. I’ll just start with our last trip.

On our last escape to NYC Luv and I went to some great places. For dinner some of the restaurants we visited were: Eleven Madison Park, Commerce, Corton, Del Posto, Waverly Inn, Daniel and Gilt.

Eleven Madison Park ( ) is a beautiful place on the Flatiron District with an amazingly high ceiling, classy ambience and impeccable service. We sat at a great table by the window overlooking the Madison Square Park. The cuisine is French-American. The suckling pig and the Malted Milkshake are my recommendations.

Commerce ( ) is a cozy, loud and cheerful restaurant on a hidden corner of the West Village with a great cocktail list. It’s housed on a renewed historical NYC space, formerly Grange Hall which used to be a cute neighborhood spot often packed with martini-drinkers. The service is friendly and the spaghetti carbonara comes with a semi-raw egg yolk on top. Delicious! They also serve great homey entrées (I still haven’t figured out why that’s how Americans call the main dishes) to be shared, as well as great apple pie for 2.

Only a few blocks away from Commerce you’ll find the hidden Waverly Inn (16 Bank St, at Waverly Pl). It’s an exclusive, semi-private place where you might need to talk to a friend or two to manage to get yourself a table. Try stopping by a couple of days before and you might be able to make a reservation since there are no public phones or website. The spot is very romantic, quite dark with a fireplace and a welcoming garden on the back of its main room. Very beautiful people, sexy ambience and great cocktails! Depending on the day of the week you’re there try the mac n` cheese with truffles, a dish where comfort meets sophistication: just like the Inn!

Corton ( ) was a wonderful surprise! This TriBeCa, French-accented venue seems very basic and simple at first but it serves some mind-blowing dishes. Their staff is perfect, the wine list is quite fairly priced and the sommelier did a great job with wine paring for us. The black truffle pasta with Gouda cheese and the Lobster are impeccable plates. But what will burned in my "gustative memory" forever is the Caramel Brioche dessert. I will never forget its test and texture. I was so lucky since, in fact, I initially ordered the Honeycrisp apple – I’m on an apple, cinnamon and honey dessert phase – and when our very kind waiter told me they were out of it I went for the Caramel Brioche. Best ever!!!!!

As for Del Posto ( ), it is another one of Mario Batali`s masterpieces. The venue is impressive in basically everyway. The place is big and imposing with a gorgeous mezzanine and busy bar – with perfectly made cocktails - but still friendly. Great service, extensive wine list plus Batali-quality food. I always find tasting menus a great option, since one gets to taste all of the house’s signatures dishes and a few more. If you find it too much try the TRIS, which is basically three tastes of pastas to be shared by the hole table, no matter how many you are. The Garganelli is amazing. As for dessert try the chocolate and ricotta Tortino: very, very good!!!!

Well, Daniel ( ) will always be a classic with perfect haute-cuisine and service. Decoration is now different, a bit more modern, since it has gone through a recent renovation. Daniel is one of NYC’s top restaurant. It must be visited at least once. As I said before I always find testing menus, if possible with wine pairing, a wonderful option, especially in a top quality venue as this one.

Finally Gilt ( ), I absolutely loved it! One of my best experiences in the City! It offers top quality food and service but much hipper and exquisite ambiance then most locations with its level. High ceiling, wooden walls and a sleek, funky bar create a sexy and hip environment. It is located at The New York Palace Hotel, one of the most beautiful and luxury in town, on Madison Ave & 50th St, a Must Go! It opened its door last years and already won 2 Michelin stars. The miso consommé, the waygu beef and the crème brûlée are to die for.

Enjoy dinner out in the City and Boa viagem!

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