Happy Thanksgiving – a post about FOOD!

I’m way too much of a “glass half-empty” type to tell you about the things I’m thankful for today (my Facebook feed is seriously grossing me out this week), and because the whole idea of the Pilgrims and the Indians makes me desperately sad (just read the first chapter of this, which will haunt your dreams and turn your stomach), I decided the best way to commemorate this day would be to talk about one of my favorite things:  FOOD.

Having recently been to New York City for the very first time, my hosts took me to some of their favorite spots, and I definitely had some fantastic meals.  Here’s some of what I ate (Oh yeah, I take pics of food):

  • Clover Club – My first meal in town, and a decadent one at that.  This place was classy, comfortable, and had a really impressive menu.  I felt like we were in a small castle, with the candles, dark wood, and brick.  It was intimate, but also fairly busy.  My friend and tour guide for my trip made me get his favorite item – the lamb burger with goat cheese.  We also had a side of their mac & cheese and steak tartare.  The burger was rich, greasy (in an awesome way), and creamy.  The mac & cheese was fancy, with huge chunks of bacon and breadcrumbs.  I love when traditional fare like this is given a twist; white cheddar and Gruyère are used instead of the same old shitty Velveeta.  I was a steak tartare virgin, and I’ll pretty much eat anything, but I was a tad hesitant, given that this is a raw item.  However, it’s served to you with these fabulous rippled chips – it was like, the best chip dip ever.  A bit pricey, but get over it.
  • New York bagel – Numerous friends and co-workers told me I’d die for a bagel in this town, and they were quite right.  See, I love me a bagel.  And this one was the best one I’ve ever eaten.  Crispy on the outside, SO SOFT inside (nooks and crannies unlike anything I’ve ever seen), and salty as all hell.  Sigh.
  • Building on Bond – A lovely, funky cafe/restaurant, that had a homey vibe – there were people there with friends, and also some alone, on their laptops.  The decor was whack, but in a good way – totally random stuff everywhere – file cabinets, records, a disco ball, yet it all kind of works.  My buddy lives in Brooklyn, and this is one of his favorite places.  He’s really fond of their chicken sandwich, and it didn’t disappoint.   It came with some wonderfully seasoned fries, and I had a really awesome Pinot Noir.  They had a nice list of interesting-sounding cocktails, but as Annie gets older, she finds that straight liquor tastes like nail polish remover, and usually passes on things that aren’t beer or wine.
  • Jacques Torres Chocolate –  My maternal unit saw this guy on “The Chew” and when she discovered I’d be staying in Brooklyn (where he has a store), she begged me to go try the chocolate chip cookie.  We made our way over to DUMBO (a lovely area) and did just that.  I have to say, meh.  It was a perfectly good cookie, but the shop was packed, the employees slight idiots, and the food was a bit stale.  I did not try any of his actual chocolate (which was all beautiful), so I can’t comment on that, however, if the cookie had been fresh and warm, I probably would have enjoyed it more.
  • 5 Napkin Burger – A fun, hopping place (we visited the Upper West Side location), that was like a fancy diner.  I will say I was slightly drunk the whole time we were there, but the service was good, the food was tasty, and their bathroom was super gorgeous and awesome.  Oh yeah, and the “Original 5 Napkin Burger” was pretty damn excellent.  Not the best burger I’ve ever had, but a quite delicious one.  The fries were AWESOME (I love perfectly seasoned fries), and they give you a pickle.  🙂  Looking at the menu whilst not inebriated, it seems to be pretty diverse.
  • Rothschilds – Another Brooklyn eatery.  We stopped here for brunch one morning, and ohmydearlord – the BEST. FRENCH. TOAST. EVER. EVER!!!!!!  I’ve provided a photo for your viewing pleasure (and to make you way jealous).  With each bite, I could have started weeping.  For some reason it’s not listed on their online menu, but if memory serves, it was made with challah bread, and my knife cut through it like butter – it was THAT creamy.  Not raw, just magically soft.  The perfect level of sweetness, covered in berries and the most enthralling maple syrup I’ve ever poured.  The place was a tad pretentious, but with food like this, who gives a shit.
  • Natori –  Billed as some of the best sushi in town, we had to give it a try.  A tiny, closet of a restaurant, completely adorable, with a miniature outdoor patio.  The sushi overall wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but it was quite close.  Our waiter was very friendly, and I can say it was the best Philadelphia roll I’ve ever consumed.

New York City has so many food offerings, it’s like the universe – it defies the confines of your brain’s understanding.  I realize I barely scratched the surface, but I felt like I got to try a varied mix of cuisine.  I can’t wait to visit again, and delve even deeper.