Monday, May 06, 2024

Dining In NY - April 2024

On my most recent trip to New York, food wasn't the first thing on my mind. Strange, I know. But it was Sniffapalooza Spring Fling weekend, so eating took a back seat to perfume sniffing. That's not to say I didn't have some delicious noms, too.

nutella earl grey swirl and coffee with oatmilk at Dominique Ansel Workshop
Of course I had to stroll over to Dominique Ansel Workshop to pick up a quick breakfast of pastry and coffee before I met with my BFF Andree. I ate half of this gorgeous laminated swirly pastry filled with Nutella/Earl Grey cream, saving the rest for an evening snack. I offered it to Andree, but she's apparently not that crazy about Nutella. Honestly, I've never heard such a thing. 

eggplant parm with arugula salad at Cecconi's at The Ned Hotel in NoMad
When Andree finally got her butt into town, she was hungry, so we went to Cecconi's--only a block from our NoMad hotel--for eggplant parm. I had eaten a horrible version not too many days earlier and found this one to be a welcome contrast. We also had a giant salad (in addition to the one that came with the eggplant) and doggie bagged about half our lunch. Our room at the Ace had a full-sized SMEG refrigerator so we took advantage of a cool spot to keep our leftovers. 

lemon meringue and nutella tarts at Masseria Cafe & Bakery
After a trip to Bergdorfs to do a little sniffing and to drop off a custom scarf for my friend Donna, we hiked to the theater district. We had tickets for the 7pm showing of Lempicka and an hour or so before it was time to queue up in front of the theater, so we grabbed an outside table at Masseria Cafe & Bakery across the street for coffee and pastries and people watching. There seemed to be a Vogue magazine photoshoot going on in the street, with models in pastel tulle frocks that gave sad 80s prom dress vibes but probably cost 10K each and a photographer in a Vogue sweatshirt. I'm tempted to pick up some late summer issues of the mag to see if these images show up.

After the show, we walked the nineteen blocks back to the Ace through the mayhem of Times Square and ate the leftovers from lunch for dinner.

The next morning, we had coffee and pastries at the Stumptown Coffee in the hotel before heading downtown for hours of perfume heaven. 

the hot antipasti course at La Mela
We broke for lunch at 1:30 for a five course family-style feast at La Mela. Their Cinque Corsi is $60 pp and gets you a salad, hot antipasti, (roasted red peppers and olives, asparagus parmigiana, spedini alla romano, stuffed mushrooms), a pasta course (rigatoni marinara, tortellini alfredo, gnocchi sorentina), a combined meat and fish course (veal francaise, chicken Scarpariello, shrimp marinara), and a wide selection of desserts (Italian cheesecake, tiramisu, cannoli, tartufo, zabaglione with fresh fruit)

the pasta course

It all looks a confusing mess, but everything was quite good. The pasta course in particular was impressively al dente--hard to achieve when made in mass quantities. I sampled all of the desserts except the cheesecake and cannoli and found them to be uniformly tasty, if messy.

Later that evening, back at the hotel, Andree determined she was hungry again but didn't want to walk anywhere (I had exhausted her the day before) so we went down to the The Ace Hotel Lobby Bar and sat for a while with this pathetic cheese plate.

this sad cheese and charcuterie plate cost $25 at the lobby bar at the Ace
I wasn't in the mood for savory food, so ordered the baked lubeck marzipan, which was two long, rather hard, and fairly uninteresting almond cookies that cost a steep $12.

brunch at The Harold: shakshuka and the smoked salmon platter with potatoes on the side
The next morning, we had our usual brunch at The Harold. Andree always gets the smoked salmon, while I try new things. The shakshuka was too brothy for me, but otherwise tasted fine. I think my favorite thing on their morning menu is the rosemary potatoes that accompany most egg dishes. Andree likes them too, so we ordered them on the side. While I like the Harold quite a bit, I do wish they'd use oatmilk instead of/in addition to the sweetened almond milk they offer for coffee.

best deal all weekend: yakitori bento at Kushi Kushi Yaki $17
My last meal of the weekend, after Andree left early and I spent some time in Saks' fragrance department, was at Kushi Kushi Yaki. I've eaten there many times and have never been disappointed by their yakitori. The little pork sausages are especially tasty, and I appreciate the wide variety of pickled items that come with the bento box.

This weekend didn't involve nearly as much food as my usual excursions to NYC, and honestly, my stomach was happier for it. The next trip, however, will be for Fancy Food, so it's likely to be a gut buster. Stay tuned!

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

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