At the request of my esteemed colleague, Amazing Eats, I decided I would blog today about all the food I've had to eat in NYC this week. Much to his chagrin, I took no pictures of any of it. New York is a weird city...it has a little of something for everybody. I interpret that to mean, it has a lot of crap everywhere. But through all the crap, I did find 3 good restaurants over the last 3 nights.
I actually have no idea if that's even the right name, but it's a small ramen restaurant in Midtown. Named for some guy's hand, their specialty is the Spicy Black Ramen. A few points about this restaurant. It kind of smells. Not necessarily in a bad way....just...different. Otherwise, the ramen was pretty awesome. When I walked in, everybody screamed something Japanese...like every single person who worked there screamed it. It was like, I walk in, and people scream, "Tamagachi Nemosurrruuu!", which means, "Welcome to Moe's!" The ramen I had was a tonkotsu ramen, which means pork broth based ramen. I once watched a movie about ramen, called Ramen Girl. it starred Brittanny Murphy, who is that chick from that one movie where she creepily said, "I'll never tellllll....." You know what I'm talking about. This ramen was nothing like that movie.
Amazing Eats told me I had to go to Perla in the West Village, which just sounds cool. He said it was some of the best food he ever had. But if you read any of his comprehensive blog posts, then you know that he says that about everything. Since I was by myself, I was seated at the bar. This is usually where people who sit by themselves are forced to sit in a busy restaurant, which sucks because then you have to have interaction with other people who are basically sitting on top of you, or with an overacting bartender who is basically annoyed that you don't want him to mixologize something for you using his favorite liqueur of the week. I ordered a diet coke. If I wanted a drink with 5000 ingredients like basil, happy thoughts, and kinetic energy, I could get that in Denver for a fraction of the price! The bartender did also go into great detail about some off menu item where he explained where all the ingredients came from and how it was prepared, and something about the tomatoes blooming in the pan. I didn't pay attention. Prior to my dinner arriving, I was given some bread and some of the best olive oil I think I've ever had. I can't remember what it's called but the bartender did say you could buy it at whole foods. It comes in a red and yellow can and starts with a "P." I also was given a snack before my entree, of a crostini with honey, black pepper and some fancy cheese, as well as a hazelnut macaron with foie gras. NYC be cray. They were good though! After having watched America's Next Top Baker or whatever it was called, I'm way more impressed with macarons than I ever have been before. Anyways, my main course was a linguini with mussels and sea urchins, with some breadcrumbs. It was pretty fantastic. The restaurant looked a lot like what you would think a NYC restaurant in the west village would look like. Almost hipster, except you were too poor to actually be in there. Also, that's all of NYC.
Finally, last night I had a craving for cuban food, so I went to a cuban restaurant in the East Village. Or maybe it was also the West Village. I'm not sure if it was even in a village if I'm being totally honest. Anyways, somewhere in the South Hamlet, there's this cuban restaurant that's really small and nice. The music is loud, the drinks are fruity, and the bartenders are so inept at their jobs, you feel like you're transported back to Miami! Then you look at the food prices and realize you're definately in NYC. After seeing several cocktails involving Pisco on the menu, I decided asking for a Pisco Sour would not be too out of the ordinary. This was a wrong assumption. After having to ask me 3 different times what I wanted, the bartender finally asked, "so...do you know how to make that?" I drank water. I ordered some tostones rellenos, which are fried green plantains, stuffed with shrimp. They were pretty good. I also ordered the lechon asado con yucca, which is roast pork served with boiled yucca, smothered in a garlic sauce. This was amazing. It was so amazing, and I ate way too much of it, that I decided not to take the subway back to the hotel, and walked the 40 some odd blocks back. Anyways, I definately recommend the restaurant if you're here...it's small, in a cool neighborhood, down a small street in the heart of the hipsters, which is pretty much everything you want from a NYC dining experience.
Tonight I was supposed to meet up with some people I haven't seen since high school or college for dinner in Brooklyn at 9 PM. But then I decided, wait...9 PM....in Brooklyn....with people I'm not really friends with....and their strangers they're bringing with them....I'm not cool enough for any of that. Instead, on this beautiful day we're having, I think I might take a stroll through Central Park, and find myself at some Trattatoria, or Risottoria, or Mobsteroni, or maybe even a Meatball Emporium or something, and take in my last evening here in New York. And maybe count how much money I have left in my bank account. Seriously, food shouldn't cost this much!
PS - I also ate a hot dog from a guy on the street. I don't remember when, and that concerns me.