Let Me Feed You New York, Part III

August 7, 2012

Flatiron District


200 5th Avenue
Eataly is a gourmet indoor market that sells organic food and cooking accessories. They also, unusually, have several small eateries or restaurants scattered throughout the building, so you can stop and have a glass of Italian red (they only sell Italian wines in their wine shop) and nibble on some prosciutto (all in-store produce) while doing your food shopping.

I had a freaking delicious dish at Le Verdure, their vegetarian bar, of wild hive polenta with maitake mushrooms (fascinating, see picture), corn and parmigiano reggiano.

The whole place is a great idea – I didn’t buy much while there but I did get some beautiful (albeit extortionately expensive) fruit to eat later in the day. Everything is so beautifully set out too – I enjoyed finding varieties of fruit and veg I’d never heard about before, like donut peaches and white eggplant. They also had a brilliant cheese section which made me jump with excitement. So. Much. Cheese.

Here are the blackberries that I bought for about $9. Pricy, I know, but really they were the best and the biggest blackberries I’ve ever had.

This picture is an attempt to show how giant these blackberries were – almost the length of my thumb!


Shake Shack

Madison Square Park
Yet another well-known New York take away joint in Madison Square Park, the original of many locations. This place is so popular you really need to time your visit well – to help, they’ve set up The Shack Cam, which gives a live image of the queue!


Annoyingly, my food is out of focus in this photo. Burger was delicious, especially with the mysterious ‘Shack Sauce’, curly fries were a little dry, but the standout was that vanilla custard shake. You can feel it clogging your arteries with every sip but good grief was it delicious! The love child of soft serve and creme brulee, how the heck could you go wrong?

Upper West Side


Luke’s Lobster

426 Amsterdam Avenue
Stumbled across this place in a delirium of hunger and thirst one hot New York afternoon while on my way to the Natural History Museum (cool place, but be alert – lots of prams and small children running amok!)
Being the lobster addict that I am, how could I turn down the offer of a Maine-style lobster roll, salt + vinegar chips and a ginger beer for $17? The lobster roll, which was actually a piece of hot, buttery bread stuffed full of meaty pieces of lobster, was ridiculously good. My enjoyment of it was only augmented by the occasional dollop of Sriracha hot sauce.

Le Monde

2885 Broadway
Met up with the cheerful E, A and B for dinner one night on the Upper West Side. They suggested their favourite French place in town, Le Monde, which was a large but cosy French bistro-style restaurant. Having been caught out in the rain (and I mean serious, torrential rain), with both my clothes and my hair wet, I enjoyed sitting and warming up with a homely bowl of Bouillabaisse, which was delicious.I wanted to take some more photos of the other dishes and the interior of the place, but alas my camera ran out of battery just as I’d finished taking this picture! Merde!

Upper East Side

Flex Mussels

174 E 82nd St
Pictured above is the Frick Collection, my favourite museum in New York, just above MoMA. It is such an incredible collection, even more so because it was mostly held privately by one individual until his death, when it was transformed into a museum as per his will.

Had dinner with some family friends of ours who live on the Upper East Side – the lucky things have a permanent Sunday night booking at Flex Mussels on 82nd St, which serves up (as you may have guessed) mussels, mussels, MUSSELS.

The staff were extremely friendly, jovial and informative, and made the evening very pleasant. The restaurant has a beachy-feel to it and is casual although diners are, on the whole, dressed in smart casual attire. We began with some brilliant salads (in the questionable American tradition of having salads as a separate course).

The first salad was an iceberg wedge with crispy bacon pieces, radish, grapes and a blue cheese dressing. It was wonderful, a beautiful confluence of sweet and salty along with that almost peppery blue cheese.

Also great was the ‘simple salad’ of bibb lettuce, watercress, marcona almonds and a sherry vinaigrette.

This dish was some sort of spicy thai-style cold prawn salad on crisps, also tasty.

Now – on to the real deal, les moulles. K had the Copenhagen mussels with danish blue cheese, cream, scallions and bacon. They were greatly enjoyed.

I went for an Eastern bend on my pot of mussels: thai flavours of lemongrass, kaffir lime, coriander, ginger and garlic in a coconut broth. After picking out all the mussels I enjoyed slurping up the remaining curry.

Also eaten were some brilliantly executed plates of fish and chips (with pickles, of course), plus the fish of the day, pan roasted and expertly filleted.

Dessert was a long line of doughnuts filled with various flavours – I had salted caramel which I claim is the best, though there was strong argument round the table on the comparative merits of meyer lemon and raspberry!

As a final treat, the staff tossed us a handful of Swedish fish – my new favourite chewy lolly to come out of the States! Thanks again for a great night to the team at Flex!



Flea Market

I really, really loved Williamsburg, and wish I’d seen more of Brooklyn during my time there. It has this great neighbourly feel to it and reminded me very much of Fitzroy, but infinitely cooler. Every Sunday they have a fantastic flea market by the water, which affords a glorious view of Manhattan. We enjoyed strolling around and chatting to stall owners, mainly young local artists or residents.

Requisite vintage cameras – a staple in all flea markets.

Foodie rings.

So many boxes! How exciting!!

Tennis, anyone?

What a cutie-pie.

Vintage clothes, or props from The Boy in the Striped Pajamas?

Drawers chock-full of, let’s face it, mainly trash, but they sure looked enticing glinting in the sunlight!

I have a funny feeling this is a prop from the movie The Music Man.

Liked the look of these vintage Dooney & Bourke bags.

Requisite designer bikes.

Inevitably, the scent of food wafting over from the many food trucks on one side of the market drew us closer. SO many delicious options! In the end I couldn’t go past the wood-fired oven on wheels that crisped up this pizza so perfectly. Spinach, mozzarella, artichokes, field mushrooms and pesto – vegetarian bliss!

Complimenting our pizza was a pair of spicy pork tacos which cost about $4 each and were bloody brilliant. Frankly, they put all pork tacos I’ve had in Melbourne to shame. We washed all this down with some sour organic ginger lemonades.

Van Leeuwen Ice-Cream

Had some fantastic earl grey ice-cream from this food truck, definitely seek them out if you’re in the mood for good ice-cream!

Farewell New York, till we (m)eet again!

Filed under: New York, United States