NEW YORK: EATING OUT GUIDE
We muscle our way through heedless pedestrians and flag down sullen cabbies in our favorite, manic Manhattan. Here, my son Dhruv and I are setting out on an event which rivals going to the theatre or opera and even more to a blood sport. The coffee and adrenalin fuelled denizens of this dagger shaped island are as fixated about having the right brand of ipod, mobile, gym membership and most importantly, the right restaurant reservations, made months ahead (like we did.) Eating out in New York city is serious stuff. It didn’t start that way when Delmonicos, the very first restaurant was set up over 180 years ago, Immigrants in the melting pot,the World fair of 1939 accelerated the globalisation of food here. Come join us on a gourmet safari in NYC’s frenetic jungle where buildings needle the sky and flavors implode on the palate.
DELIS, PIZZAS AND DOGS
You just gotta do it like the Noo Yawkers do it. Eat the steaming, paper thin heaps of pastrami overflowing from a sandwich (I prefer Katz Deli in East Houston, over Carnegie) glugged with Dr Browns cream soda. Though miles away from Italy, Manhattan is pizza lovers haven. Lombardis (Spring street) is my choice though you can pick up a slice most anywhere and munch on it as you hoof your way down the street. As for those hot-dog street vendors (most of them are crappy, except for Papaya King, East 86th street) but you gotta chomp on it. Atleast once.
THE SUBLIME TO THE SIMPLY DIVINE
Multi course meals (I checked out vegetarian courses too), languorously spread over hours, touching gastronomic peaks with prices to match (average 200 US d per head)
ELEVEN MADISON PARK
The best of the best. Its not about gimmickry, (even though fresh carrots are ground on the table, and the cheese course is served in a picnic basket) but about teasing and revealing as the 16 course meal progress, be it the outstandingly creative vegetarian courses, crispy crackling duck and even a flirtation with molecular gastronomy. There are card tricks at the table, but the real magic is in the food, in the fun and fascinating meal which Chef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara deliver and ace in the grandiose, large room.
11 Madison Avenue (24th Street)
I tripped out on the vegetables tasting menu at legendary chef owner Thomas Keller’s Napa valley “French Laundry” . In NYCs plush but unshowy dining space, there is constant evolution and precise execution, artistic plating, potatoes, cilantro, avocado and more are so flavorful that they seemed to have been cultivated in a more verdant universe. Foie gras with just that perfect touch of chocolate and a symphony of salts and what seems like endless gems of sweet wizardry. A choice of 5, 7 and 9 courses in this opulent room with a view of the park.
(10 Columbus Circle)
Also our favorites are Le Bernardin
(155 West, 51 street) This seafood “near perfect” restaurant continues to dominate the fickle, trend conscious arena of New York. Chef Eric Ripert’s three types of seafood dishes ( almost raw, barely touched and lightly cooked) thrill. Ate at the perfection itself Daniel Bouluds Daniel (60 E, 65th st) on our last trip. Oustanding French grounded creations.
At Le Atelier du Robuchon ( 57th st, 57 st) Loved the burger been endowed with pedigree ( foie gras et al) “pommes purees” (mashed potato) with it’s near cult status.
Michelin starred Junoon (means passion in Hindi) serves up an authentic, yet elegantly modern take on Indian cuisine in a handsome, high ceilinged packed and noisy restaurant. Here, The Dynamic New York Restaurateur Rajesh Bhardwaj the Founder & CEO of. Junoon and a brilliant chef himself is behind the hot sexy chef Vikas Khanna”.
Handi, Sigri , Pathar , Tawa and Tandoor conjure up spicy, robust dishes and flirt with plated modern versions too (Spiced Paneer Gnocchi with medley of Spinach Trio). Tonight, I dine with global culinary icons, Emmy and James Beard Award winning producer and director of culinary shows Geoffrey Drummond ( producer of the legendary shows of Julia Child and other culinary legends)currently producing and directing Three Michelin starred chef Eric Riperts shows. His wife, painter and art professor Barbara Thomas, spent her childhood in India, loves to cook and invent dishes along side her husband.New York’s “first couple of food” Michael Whiteman, (worlds most eminent food, restaurant and international hotel consultant who created the Rainbow Room and Windows on the World) along with award-winning chef, cookbook author, and journalist Rozanne Gold are here.
They loved Junoon and we’ll be back.
27 W, 24th St
ASTOR COURT ST REGIS
It comes as a super surprise that the century old NYC landmark and legendary hotel St Regis known for its
unique luxury dimension is headed up by the brilliant Indian executive chef Baasim Zafar. He is all set to sparkle the once favorite hotel of Marlene Dietrich, Salvador Dali, and famed for the creation of the Bloody Mary cocktail since 1934 (still served here) Equally perfected are the timeless classics, the French Onion soup, the King Cole burger and more.
55th and 5th Avenue
OUR CASUAL FAVORITES
Crazily addictive is David Changs Momofuku Ssam bar (East village), it’s Glossy, raucous and glamorous. You cant go back without eating the worlds best fatty pork-belly steamed bun with hoisin sauce.
Tertulia (359 Sixth Ave between Washington Pl and W 4th St,) is another must visit. Chef Seamus Mullen’s charming , snug, Spanish rustic nostalgic dining room, with its arched wine-cellar ceiling, scuffed white brick walls, careful cooking and top-notch ingredients.
For Innovative, inspired supercharged dimsum conjured (no other word) by master chef Joe Ng and Chinese food expert Ed Schoenfeld go to Red Farm (207 Second Ave East Village)
Pac Man dumplings; yuzu wasabi shrimp and more. Im unable to fit in all the restaurants, should you need more info please email: email@example.com, twitter @rashmiudaysingh