Monday, September 22, 2008

New York restaurant roundup

The star of the NYC restaurant scene. (According to Shawn.)

I planned our recent trip to New York with food in mind, and, as such, we had some very memorable dining experiences. Among them:

Le Bernardin, which has been touted as the best restaurant in NYC, and even made it onto lists of the 50 best restaurants in the world. (And, it almost destroyed me financially.) I was very impressed with our meals. Their desert selection is truly innovative; I had the chocolate—sweet potato. (It cannot be linked, but the desert menu is on their website.) Unfortunately, I always feel out-of-place in restaurants of that caliber. (Especially with Shawn in tow; he likes to eat off my plate.)

The Spotted Pig in the West Village. In the gastropub tradition, it features fine food in an ultra casual setting. In atmosphere, it is the anti-Bernardin; not surprising since Mario Batali is a partner in the business. (He's so casual he's now endorsed his own line of crocs). And despite its enormous popularity (always packed and they don't take reservations) our meal was not rushed.

I loved this restaurant. It made me want to open a restaurant just like it. And, give up everything I have to move into a tiny apartment in the Meatpacking District. I'd also add that I cannot stop thinking about this burger:

For those of you who don't know: Mario is the one on the right.

(Though I did not order it, I saw several crossing the restaurant.)

The Olive Garden, Times Square, was not on my itinerary, but Shawn insisted we go ever since he first spotted it. He swears there were once Olive Gardens in Canada. I remain doubtful. We arived for dinner around 9:00 pm, and ended up having to wait 20 minutes for a seat, but it was sooo worth it according to Shawn. He couldn't get enough of the bottomless salad and breadsticks. His mushroom ravioli: divine. Me? I had a good time. That's all I have to say about that.

Other notable New York food

Pinkberry. I bought into all the hype. As we approached 82nd and 5th (from 50th), I knew we should be fairly close to one, and I was determined to get to it even though it was out of our way. I had the plain topped with raspberries and white chocolate chips. It was very good, quite low-cal, and apparently very popular with the Upper East Side tween set.

Saratoga water. I am a huge fan of sparkling water, and this one is special. I hear they sell it in Ottawa, and I'm on the hunt.

Let me know if you see any of these bottles.




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