Sunday, July 17, 2011

Eating our Way Across NYC

Let's just say I married the right man who shares my love for great food. I'm going to go ahead and officially call us "foodies". We scour the web, Travel Channel, and Food Network to find the best restaurants - then we go, eat, enjoy, and talk about food and flavor like a bunch of nerds! I'm really here to go to school, and don't worry... I'm always on time, do all my homework, write my papers diligently, and participate in class. However, when school's out... it's time for fun and eating!! This week we have literally eaten our way across NYC.

On Monday, we went to Mario Batali's Eataly in Gramercy Park. Oh, Mario... you had me at hello on this one. Eataly is a GIANT Italian market. You can buy anything - produce, cheese, chocolate, gelato, bread, fish, meat, pasta... just like a fancy grocery store.

In addition to the market, however, are about six restaurants tucked in every corner of the place. Near the fish area is "Pesce" - the quaint little fish bar. Near the pasta is "pizza" and "pasta"... two restaurants with separate menus... one just pizza and one just pasta. Near the veggies, there is "Verdure" - the veggie restaurant. I mean... it's nothing short of genius. Here are the "street signs" within Eataly to help you navigate. We made about two full laps around the place before we settled on "pasta". Try to contain your surprise.

The pasta restaurant was right here, tucked in between the pasta aisles! I'm not going to lie, it was some of the best pasta I've had in my life. I had this big wide pasta with seafood, and Brent had Penne with fresh marinara, fresh mozzarella, and basil. It was incredible. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go back and get what Brent got. You could eat here every day for months and still not try all that they have. It was kind of like Disney World for foodies. It was PACKED on a Monday night. I would seriously come here once a week if I lived here. It was that cool.

On Wednesday, we headed down to the Lower East Side to Prune. Brent heard about Prune from Anthony Bourdain. (I love how we talk about Anthony Bordain like we know him.) We had reservations a week and a half in advance and still had to eat at 6pm. It's hip. ...But mostly hip for older people and chefs. In fact, we were sitting next to this older couple and he was a chef - owned a restaurant in fact. He was like, "How do young people like you know to come to a place like this?" We said, "OH...we watch Food Network and Travel Channel like crazy." They laughed.

It was really cute and vintage inside. This is a picture off the website... it was packed to the gills when we were there.

This is the real reason why Brent wanted to go here.... bone marrow. I am a foodie, and I will eat almost anything... except something scraped out of a bone. I'm sorry, but it gives me the shivers. Anyway, Brent ate it up and LOVED it. I tried one bite like a good girl, but it wasn't my thing. I got a seafood stew that was to die for!!!

Friday night we stopped by Magnolia Bakery. Duh.

Excuse my tired appearance. Apparently I forgot to put on makeup? In my defense... this was after ten straight days of class without a day off. I seriously deserved a cupcake. Or two.

Last week when we were prowling around the West Village, we discovered our own personal heaven... Murray's Artisan Cheese Shop. Oh.My.Yes. It is a pantheon of cheese. A store full of nothing but cheese... every kind of cheese you could ever possibly imagine. They are world famous, and they actually have five cheese caves under the store. If they don't have it, it doesn't exist. We discovered that they have cheese CLASSES at this place in a wonderful glass classroom overlooking the cheese shop. We immediately made a reservation for a "cheese 101" class this Saturday. So, so fun.

For $50, you get a 2 hour class that teaches you how cheese is made, the difference between all the different kinds of cheese, how to taste cheese, and how to pair cheese with food & wine. Plus, you get to taste a ridiculous amount of cheese and drink unlimited wine and champagne plus bread and dried fruit & nuts. Heaven. It was one of the best things I've ever done in NYC - it was a blast!!!

After Murray's, we walked a long way to make ourselves feel better. After the cheese and wine coma wore off with the help of a nap, we were hungry again. Shocking. However, we were tired and didn't want to go far. We had seen this adorable little gem on one of our walks through the neighborhood. It's a cute little French place, La Boite en Bois. It's like a little underground cave that only seats about 20 customers.

Look how precious! Again, this is from their website since we got their last open table last night. It was one of those places where we got there at 8:30 and didn't leave till after 10:00. We lingered over wine, onion soup, french bread, bouef borginion, roasted lamb, and ricotta cheesecake. It was quiet, quaint, and the owner himself took our orders and served us. Utterly wonderful. We'll be back.

You'd think we'd had enough... but no. Sunday morning, after a cup of coffee and some Cheerios at home, we set off for Brooklyn. We've both been to NYC quite a bit, but neither of us had ever walked the Brooklyn Bridge. Today was the day. I really, really loved walking the bridge. I don't care if it was tourist-y. I'm glad I got to do it. It was HOT but beautiful.

Upon arrival in Brooklyn, we had a plan. We ate lunch at Motorino, a favorite haunt of Rachael Ray. Apparently she was not hungry for pizza today, but I still held out hope. They just make pizza, and they do it right... thin crust in a ridiculously hot wood burning oven.

We feasted on prosciutto di Parma pizza and cremini mushroom & spicy sausage pizza.
And we didn't regret it.

After re-feuling with pizza, we needed a brownie to wash it down, naturally. (Remember, we walked FORTY minutes across the bridge. Just a friendly reminder.) So we hit up another place featured on "Best Thing I Ever Ate" AND the Oprah Show: Baked.

We were after the sweet and salty brownie: Success.

I meant to show you a picture of the brownie on our plate in all its glory, but alas, we devoured it and all that was left was this:

... and that pretty much sums it up, folks. We've left behind us a wake of empty dishes, crumbs, and most of our vacation money. But to us, money spent on good food is money well spent.

P.S. After the brownie, we did start to feel a little guilty, so we walked 40 MORE minutes through Brooklyn Heights which was delightful. Class starts up again tomorrow, and Brent has to leave me on Wednesday to go back to Durham :-( but we are still enjoying every moment!



Liz said...

AMEN AND AMEN. I wish Kate wasn't leaving in 3 days, I would tell her about the Murray's cheese shop. And Eataly is, in fact, amazing. Loved it.

Elicia said...

You guys are so cute! Looks like you are having a blast!

Tiffany said...

OH my gosh...I about died when I saw that picture of La Boite en Bois...haha. My sister's apartment was right above that. She would DIE to hear you say you love it...simply because she smelled it every.waking.moment. for 2 years. :) The cute little green door with the gold kick plate to the left of the restaurant...those were her steps. It's so funny to think she could have been looking out her window at you two. I'm glad you could take a tour of her old stomping grounds. Have some more fun for me! XOXO

Dana said...

Katie, I have really enjoyed reading about all of your experiences (food and non) in NYC. Whaat a fun time for you!

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