NYC Food: Day 1

When hubby and I recently planned a last minute trip to New York, I scoured the web to make a food heaven checklist.  When hubby realized that our trip was going to be food stop to food stop, 'we' decided to be a bit more flexible with our musts.

Day 1 saw us checking into our hotel in the morning.  We wanted to check out the High Line which gave us a great excuse to stop by the Doughnut Plant in Chelsea and sample their amazing gourmet doughnuts.

Doughnut Plant on Urbanspoon   

I had to have the crème brulée doughnut and boy, did this little guy not disappoint!  While I was expecting a 'hard candy' exterior it was more sticky than crackling, but the flavours by far made up for it.  The bitterness of the caramel was the perfect foil to a rich vanilla custard filling.  The Valrhona, hubby's choice, was a solid yeast donut completely immersed in an excellent chocolate icing.  The third, Tres Leches, was a winner for anyone like me, who loves sweetened condensed milk.  A cake doughnut with pockets of sweetened condensed milk in a milk icing.  I expected the doughnut to be also dipped in milk like the cake it's named after but really it was delicious as is.

I had a lot of trouble making a reservation for dinner, but I stumbled upon a great tip that Gramercy Tavern, my top pick in NYC, has a front room that does not require reservations.  We therefore had plans to have dinner quite early to avoid any wait times.  So we decided to stop by Aaron Sanchez's, of Food Network fame, Tacombi, in Nolita.  This adorable taqueria serves authentic latin fare in rustic surroundings reminiscent of an outdoor restaurant complete with a VW kitchenette and mood lighting.  Walking from the cold into this little spot really warms your heart; sitting down eating tacos really warms your stomach.

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With our early dinner in mind, we put a very conservative order in for a taco platter, a chef's selection of 5 tacos, and esquites, corn kernels in a cup with a chipotle mayonnaise and queso fresco.  I was really looking forward to trying the latter street food snack and it did not disappoint.  It was warm and filling, and packed a sweet, salty, spicy punch.


The tacos: al pastor with pineapple salsa, chicken with pickled onions, beef, corn and fish were all sensational, I'd have trouble picking my favourite one and would just opt for the platter again!  The manager, Eddy, saw me snapping pictures and sent us a platter of tortilla chips and guacamole and while we were trying to resist we finished it happily.  All of the ingredients were really fresh, the service was excellent and nothing can beat the laid-back vacation atmosphere.


Tacombi at Fonda Nolita on Urbanspoon

Following some shopping and a bit of resting time, we headed to Gramercy Tavern for 5:45 hoping to avoid waiting to eat in the front room.  We were told it was an hour wait and we decided to walk around a bit.  We returned after 30 min to make sure we wouldn't miss our turn and were seated probably within 45 min of giving our name, which was pretty sweet.  The front room serves a four course Tavern Menu for 48$ or a short à la carte menu.  We both chose the Tavern Menu and it was a great value.


The first course of Arctic char tartare was my favourite.  Every component of this dish brought something to the table, pardon the pun, and complemented each other while highlighting the star, the fish.

The scallop course was also delicious: the scallop was cooked to perfection, the broth was flavourful and well seasoned and the mussels were fresh and succulent.

The steak course was very good, though the portion was a bit small, but really we ate plenty and did not need a full portion with the other courses.  We found the fingerling potatoes just slightly underdone and were not sure if that was intended, but the steak and chimichurri were really top shelf.


The little sundae was a great treat, good quality ice cream, cooked apples and little circles of puff pastry.  It was slightly sweet for me but still really good.


I would love to return next time to the dining room.

Gramercy Tavern on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Ahh, yummy photos! Brings back memories...NY has the best food :D