New York City – A Culinary Experience

My mother and I embarked on our most recent trip to New York this past weekend. Each visit usually has a theme and this trip was all about FOOD! We stayed at 49th and Lexington so we were within walking distance of most of the places we wanted to visit except for the restaurants we chose which were about a 20 minute train ride.

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When we arrived on Friday we happened upon Geoffrey Zakarian’s restaurant, The National. We were able to walk in at lunch without reservations and get seated right away (which never happens). We enjoyed our lunch so much that we made reservations for breakfast our last day. I recommend the Steak Tartar; it was fabulous! Friday night we made reservations at L’Ecole, at The International Culinary Center.

The restaurant is located in Lower Manhattan on Broadway and Grand.  We each had the tasting menu which in my opinion is the best bang for your buck in the city. We try to only eat at restaurants that have that option.

The pictures are of the seared octopus with fava beans,

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a canape of scallop ceviche,

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and Hazelnut-Gianduja Cake with Earl Grey Tea ice cream.

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Yes, everything was as wonderful as it sounds! I did not photograph everything as I was trying not to be completely tacky with my flash in the restaurant 🙂

Our second tasting menu experience and by far the most impressive was Bouley. The restaurant decor evokes a french countryside. Each dish was a culinary masterpiece. I did not feel completely comfortable bringing my camera out since the table are close quarters and it is a higher-end establishment. I suppose I could have claimed I was a food critic which isn’t entirely untrue… I was able to snap a quick photo of the New England Big Eye Tuna which was mouth-watering.

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An added bonus at Bouley is the bread cart. A very nice man rolls a bread cart up to your table with a choice of 8 different fresh-baked breads which are sliced right at the table. Normally, I pass up bread when I eat out, but this weekend I indulged! Who can pass up saffron walnut bread? I need a larger vocabulary to describe how delightful this dining experience was for both of us!

Another great restaurant we visited was in the Upper East Side called Orsay. A friend of the family runs this restaurant and he told us to come on by so we headed there for brunch on Sunday. This was also a culinary treat!  If you make it over there, try the goat cheese salad pictured below. So good!

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It is always a good idea to make reservations when dining in the city; especially on the weekend! Try Open Table as they have access to reservations for thousands of restaurants accompanied by reviews. You can also earn points toward gift certificates! Many restaurants offer a tasting menu (Prix Fix) which is usually a better option than a la cart.

Bon appetite!

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