Over spring break, I was fortunate enough to take a trip to New York City for the first time. Originally, I wanted to taste all of the dishes the city was known for—the tourist foods. However, my plans changed throughout the trip, and while I tried some of those traditional dishes, I also experimented with new foods that New York had to offer.
1. Swedish Meatballs, Red Rooster
We started off the trip by dining at Red Rooster, which is Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant (also known as the guy that judges “Chopped” sometimes). Most of his childhood was spent in Sweden, so his adoptive grandmother would make Swedish meatballs. This is his interpretation of that dish, with cottage cheese, pickles and sauerkraut.
2. Fried Green Tomato, Red Rooster
This appetizer at Red Rooster was even better than the entrée. The lightly fried tomato was sprinkled with greens with a tomato chutney on top. There was a hint of Mexican spices along with a Chipotle cream sauce, which tied the entire dish together.
3. New York Bagel
After looking for an authentic New York bagel for two days, I was beginning to give up on my search. Luckily, when I visited Spoon Headquarters, the (sweet and generous) staff had bagels delivered that day. I munched on my bagel with chive and onion cream cheese while Andrea told me all the Spoon secrets.
4. Cappuccino, Eataly
The Spoon staff recommended we go to Eataly down the street, which is Mario Batali’s restaurant (also known as a former Iron Chef). The cappuccino was the most expensive ($4 for 8 ounces… yikes) but also the best I’ve ever had. It was smooth and velvety, and I can only hope that I have another one like it soon.
5. Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Pizza, Eataly
While we were at Eataly, we went to Mario Batali’s Italian restaurant. The special of the day was a pizza topped with goat cheese, prosciutto and tomatoes, which were some of the freshest ingredients I’ve ever tasted. Just exploring the corridors of Eataly was a great experience, but eating at the Italian restaurant was even better.
6. Crab Cake, The Loeb Boathouse
After strolling through Central Park, we stopped at The Loeb Boathouse for lunch. For an appetizer, we ordered a crab cake for the table, which was golden and crispy, decorated with a cucumber salad. We enjoyed this almost as much as we enjoyed the view, shown below (shout out to the couple in love).
7. Cornish Game Hen, The Loeb Boathouse
For the entrée, I chose a cornish game hen, which was drenched in its own juice. The skin was crispy, and it laid on a bed of mushroom risotto.
8. New York Style Cheesecake, Sardi’s Restaurant
For an after-Broadway show dessert, we stopped at Sardi’s restaurant. Following my schedule of traditional New York dishes, I ordered the cheesecake that came with a strawberry sauce. As expected, it was rich and creamy, a perfect way to end a night.
I’m already planning my next trip back to NYC, so hopefully the next time I vacation there I can continue exploring the capital of food. Recommendations are welcome.