16 Days of [New York City] Eating

INTRO TO TRIP REPORT

We are a couple from Toronto, Canada. We visit New York about every 5-6 years. This time we were partly here for a conference held at the Javits Center, so a few meal choices were out of convenience. For the rest of our eating, we tried to focus on the following priorities:

  1. NYC Classics – food that is emblematic of and/or indigenous to the 5 boroughs. We love everything from the holy to the clichéd.
  2. Food that we don’t see much of in Toronto. While our hometown has great depth and breadth of cuisines, there are some categories that New York covers better. We skipped some types that Toronto has in abundance.
  3. Previous favourites – there are some places that we return to pretty much every time we visit, many of which also fit into the Classics category above. Sadly some of our past favourites have disappeared, leaving room to find new ones.
  4. Recently acclaimed or recommended hotspots, particularly if they offer something a bit different than our usual places at home.

Although we love wine and I also love trying local beers, we mainly focused on cocktails on this trip. We also didn’t make many advance reservations, and thus limited ourselves to the places we could get into (we needed some method of winnowing down the list of possibilities).

We read many threads on this board. We also looked through various other websites (e.g., Michelin), New Yorker reviews over the past few years, and any other info source that seemed reasonable. I’m sure we’ve skipped many of your favourites and can’t-miss options, so your commentary and recommendations will be much appreciated as we will be coming back eventually.

NYC CLASSICS

We love smoked fish and were pleased to discover an outpost of Russ and Daughters near the Javits Center. Heeding recent commentary that the bialys were better than the bagels, we ordered both the Super Heebster (whitefish and baked salmon salad, with wasabi-infused flying fish roe, caramelized onions, and horseradish-dill cream cheese) and the Pastrami Russ (pastrami cured salmon, sauerkraut, mustard) on bialys. Both were immensely satisfying, with a nice balance of richness and acidity.

We also made a return to Barney Greengrass. Having sampled many items previously, including the delicious eggs with fish dishes, we opted this time for appetizer portions of the sturgeon, sable, and whitefish salad/Nova Scotia salmon, along with a variety of bagels. Although all remain superlative, we think our new favourite is the supple and rich sable.

Rounding out our deli experiences was Katz’s. We tackled the three-meat platter (pastrami, corned beef, brisket) and the brisket was particularly impressive - moist, fall-apart, and well-flavoured. We also enjoyed the half and full sours, but skipped ordering their tasty latkes as the platter was pretty massive. My wife has to have at least one egg cream per trip and so tried the vanilla version, which was OK. I reacquainted myself with Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray.

Although we have been coming to New York for decades, the chopped cheese had somehow escaped our awareness. Off we went to the supposed source Blue Sky Deli (Hajji’s). We liked the char on the ground beef, the grilled onions, and the toasted hero bun. It is a fine member of the hot sandwich family.

We are not quite sure why black and white cookies are in the cookie category, since they seem to be more like shallow cakes. We again enjoyed the mammoth versions at William Greenberg Desserts.

We know the current Delmonico’s is several degrees removed from the original restaurant, but we have still had fun trying its signature dishes, which are supposedly still connected to the original recipes. In a past visit we sampled Lobster Newberg, Baked Alaska, and Delmonico Steak. This time around, we went for brunch for the Eggs Benedict and the Chicken à la Keene (pic below). The former was very good, with a huge slab (and I mean slab) of bacon, though not life-changing. The latter was also very good, with a pressed half chicken, fresh peas, asparagus, and maitake mushrooms, served with a uncreamy sherry sauce over pasta.

On our day in the Bronx, we ate in the Arthur Ave. neighbourhood. For lunch, we stopped in at Joe’s Italian Deli. We shared the Bronx Zoo hero (prosciutto, mortadella, capicola, fried eggplant, fresh mozzarella, and vinaigrette), which was enormous and delicious. We saved enough room to have one freshly filled cannolo at Madonia Bakery - lovely crisp shell with creamy ricotta mixture inside. For dinner, we tried Roberto’s. The Antipasto alla Pescatore featured lots of fresh clams and mussels, served in zesty tomato sauce. We tried two pasta specials: 1) Mafalde in Cartoccio (grilled lamb, cherry tomatoes, shishito peppers, spicy sheep ricotta, served in a tin foil packet) and 2) Ravioli with Pistachio (mortadella, ricotta, with butter and sage). Both had vibrant flavours and nicely al dente pasta. We finished with the Pastiera di Grano, a moist and not-too-sweet egg and ricotta torte, speckled with nuts and dried fruit.


We have a soft spot for Shopsin’s, eating there since the days of Kenny. The version in the new Essex Market seems kinda sanitized and the menu appears truncated. However the OG Slutty Stuffed Pancakes (peanut butter, pumpkin, cinnamon, pistachio, ricotta) remains tons of fun. We also tried the Mo’ Better (pic below), with the classic mac and cheese pancakes sandwiching scrambled eggs and maple bacon - perfect with some homemade hot sauce. And now the staff seem perfectly friendly.

We have followed Patsy Grimaldi from pizzeria to pizzeria over the past few decades, enjoying ourselves at Juliana’s on our last visit. Although we had a trip’s worth of other pizzeria’s to try, we ended up going back to Juliana’s for another round of Margherita-based pies, one with meatball slices and the other with fennel-infused sausage (pic below). Still wonderful. And the chocolate egg cream was the best we had this trip.

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PART 2
STUFF WE DON’T HAVE MUCH OF IN TORONTO

Singapore does not have a strong presence in Toronto, so we explored Urban Hawker for a quick dinner before a concert at nearby Carnegie Hall. We have no ability to discern “authentic” Singaporean cuisine, so all we can comment on is tastiness. First up was Hainan Jones for their poached chicken rice (moist chicken, richly flavoured rice, fragrant broth, and a garlicky hot sauce with plenty of kick). We also enjoyed the #1 at Mr. Fried Rice (pic below), with many layers of fermented/preserved flavours and sweet Chinese sausage. The White Bee Hoon at White Restaurant featured supple rice noodles, chicken, shrimp, and egg in another wonderful broth. And dessert came from Lady Wong’s - Musang King Durian Mille Crêpes (delicate crepes infused with that typical garlicky-and-yet-buttersctochy durian flavour) and Pandan Serimuka (smooth pandan egg custard, complemented with lightly salted coconut glutinous rice cake).

NYC seems to excel in intercultural mash-ups. We first tried Hav and Mar, having enjoyed Ethiopian and Swedish cuisines respectively in their home countries. Overall we appreciated the creativity and the food was all enjoyable, but we didn’t find the food as exciting as other places on this trip. Swediopian (berbere-cured salmon, with apple water, avocado, fennel, avocado, and ash oil) was light and fresh, but the berbere was barely detectable. Branzino was served ssam-style with misir wot (lentil stew), which also had very subtle Ethiopian flavouring. Addis York was more of a marriage between Ethiopian doro wot and southern U.S. cooking, with shredded chicken and collards in injera served with a sweet sauce that was more chicken and waffles than berbere. The bread basket was the best thing, with teff biscuits, shiro hummus (the most Ethiopian tasting item), and injera crisps. We do give them respect for serving locally-made tej (Ethiopian honey wine), which was lovely.

KJun was a more satisfying and interesting venture. While the space is cramped, the cooking is vibrant and very overtly mixing Korean with NOLA traditions. Japchae boudin balls (replacing the rice with japchae noodles) were crisp and enhanced with a Korean anchovy aioli. Crawfish beebimbap (pic below) featured sweet tails with egg, collard greens, daikon, napa cabbage, gochujang vinaigrette, and rice was complex, sweet, and spicy. Kimchi provided lovely counterpoint in an otherwise fairly traditional jambalaya. Particularly enjoyable was the gochujang andouille sausage over very cheesy grits. Dalgona bananas foster was the most fun dessert and the Creamsicle (candied kumquat, whipped yoghurt, fermented plum) was a dessert in the guise of a drink.

Our third hybrid experience was Shalom Japan. Cocktails ranged from great (Ume Rosa - joto plum wine, blanc vermouth, ginger liqueur, cocchi rosa, topped with sparkling rosé) to OK (Shiso Fine - tequila, mezcal, cumber-shiso shrub, togarashi, and a spicy orange rim salt). The food was all very good, even with the cultural juxtapositions. An okonomiyaki studded with wagyu pastrami, sauerkraut, and bonito flakes was great (pic below). Lox with capers came over sushi rice and Japanese pickles also worked well. But the real hit was a fine bowl of matzo ball soup (rich chicken broth) with lovely ramen noodles, scallions, and soy-marinated egg (pic below). The less fusion-y dishes were also very enjoyable, including a Scotch egg variant covered in falafel mixture, a Japanese sweet potato cheesecake, and a cherry blossom panna cotta.


In earlier years, Sylvia’s was our place to go for soul food. This time we thought we’d try a couple of different options. We were very impressed by the honey fried chicken at Amy Ruth’s, with great frying and lots of flavour (pic below). The gargantuan appetizer of fried whiting was a bit salty, but otherwise delicious. Mac ‘n’ cheese and corn bread were also excellent, but the collards seemed a little lackluster.

On our last day, we went to our second Marcus Samuelsson establishment, trying the brunch at Red Rooster. The chicken and waffle appetizer was a fine rendition, as was the crab cake (lots of meat) with charred tomatoes and a collard slaw.

Also Toronto has lots of great Japanese food, including many outposts of Japanese chains, we have a few gaps. Yakitori Totto filled one, with a dizzying array of mainly chicken-based skewers, all smokey from the grill. Our favourites included heart, liver, thigh, smelt, king mushroom, eggplant, and steamed chicken meatballs coated in sticky rice. We also don’t have a place like KazuNori, serving one freshly made handroll at a time. We also appreciated that they appear to be sourcing sustainable seafood for the most part. Favourites included the albacore tuna, sea bream, scallop, and particularly the monkfish liver. And our local Beard Papa closed shop years ago, so we had to hit one here. Chocolate custard-filled remains a favourite, although the new pineapple and whipped cream was also nice.

Lastly, we had some tasty snacks from Dominican Cravings, including the herb-inflected beef empanadas and some kind of hearty breakfast dish with fried salami, fried cheese chunks, fried longaniza sausage, a fried egg, and pickled onions, all over a tasty hash of potato and possibly plantain.

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PART 3
PREVIOUS FAVOURITES

It is always challenging to decide which places to revisit as we want to leave space available to try new places.

We have gone to Eleven Madison Park on our last two trips and really wanted to try it since it changed to a plant-based menu, despite some of the mixed reviews. We thought it was still fabulous, as intricate and interesting as before. And while the wine pairing remained superlative (including a rosé from Chateau Musar), we were particularly impressed by the non-alcoholic pairing, each glass centering on the juice of a wine grape with all kinds of additions (herbs, teas, and other fruit). Some highlights from our menu:

  • Celtuce juiced with green apple, Meyer lemon, shiso, and toasted jasmine rice - like a clarified gazpacho.

  • Tonburi seeds patties with golden beets, citrus vinaigrette, chili pepper, leche de tigre, and pepper aioli - an impressive caviar-like course.

  • Bread roll with croissant texture, with morel mushroom “butter” (sunflower and coconut oils) and a sunflower glaze - I can’t believe it’s not butter!

  • 100% buckwheat soba in mushroom broth with wasabi and shiitake - beautiful umami-rich broth.

  • English snap peas on local brown rice in coconut broth with nepitella herb - great dish with complex, almost curry-ish spicing.

  • Asparagus smoked in cherry wood, basted table side with garlic oil, dehydrated asparagus and coriander powder, accompanied by potato and coriander crema in braised spinach, coriander blooms - sort of the meat course with a jus and accompaniments.

  • Tangy rhubarb sorbet with sakura leaf and pomegranate syrup, wrapped in pillowy mochi.

We also have previously loved the vegetarian menu at Dirt Candy and had another wonderful experience this time. Lots of fun and creative ways to present vegetables:

  • Cucumber cream tart with seaweed caviar, chives, and lemon zest - like a cucumber cream cheese sandwich in a pie.

  • Pea mousse with pickled ginger, dehydrated pea leaf, and wasabi pea; pea bubble tea with pea broth, tendrils, dumplings, and fresh peas - bursting with spring.

  • Caramelized fennel bun, hazelnuts, citrus sprinkles, Thai basil, Castelvetrano olives, cream cheese frosting, citrus purée on top of shaved fennel - visually like a cinnamon bun, with lots of acid to balance the richness.

  • Baby artichoke, Cajun spices, artichoke ash, filled with diced artichokes, hearts of palm, and pickled artichoke remoulade - how many ways would you like artichoke? Yes.

  • Asparagus lasagna, green asparagus “bolognese”, yellow tomatoes and purple asparagus ribbons, pecorino, ricotta - hearty, bright flavours.

  • Romanesco (smoked, grilled, and fried), piquin peppers, shaved avocado, salsa verde, green radishes, and cotija cheese - fun and playful.

We had a lovely meal at Marea the last time we were in New York. When our lunch plans fell through at Café Sabarsky, Marea had availability and so we enjoyed a wonderful meal on their patio. Although we note they have lost their two Michelin stars, we experienced no change in quality. A Spanish mackerel crudo with basil, eggplant caponata, and pine nuts was vibrant and well-balanced. Chilled asparagus soup with pickled ramps and garlic creme fraiche was soothing and refreshing. Casarecce with lots of fresh crab, sea urchin, basil, and chili was stellar and full of fresh sea flavour. Perfectly seared halibut came over a buttery and chewy farrotto, with almonds and cauliflower sprinkled over (pic below). Seared buttery scallops came with morels, julienned snow peas, sugar snap peas, and pureed peas. Fairly expensive overall, but still pretty sublime.

A return to Chelsea Market was a must. With Dizengoff gone and Miznon now in Toronto, we moved on to try other places. The line-up at Los Tacos No. 1 was ridiculous, so we opted for the pork belly ho’cake with kimchi pear sauce and the bulgogi beef baos with cheese and caramelized kimchi jam (pic below) at Mokbar. Both were flavour-packed. We also tried the chicken gochujang roll at Kimbap Lab. While fine, it was less remarkable. Also underwhelming was the rose oil halwa at Seed + Mill, which was very sweet and the rose flavour was hard to detect.

In a previous trip we only had room to sample one Crazyshake® at Black Tap, so we returned for two this time. The New Yorker was a strawberry shake with a vanilla frosted rim, crushed graham crackers, and topped with a whole slice of strawberry cheesecake, whipped cream, strawberry sauce, and strawberries. Brooklyn Blackout was a chocolate shake with a chocolate frosted rim, mini chocolate chips topped with 2 large brownies, whipped cream, and chocolate drizzle. Although the cheesecake and brownies were actually pretty good, the overall effect of each was not as successful as our first experience years ago. The underlying ice cream in each shake lacked much of the base flavour and the shakes were mainly sweet instead of having other dimensions.

A better encore experience happened at Sugar Sweet Sunshine. This time we had two puddings. Java Coffee Express (layers of coffee cake, coffee pudding, coffee whipped cream, and dark chocolate cookie crumble) had lots of bitter profiles. The Nog (layers of pumpkin cake, eggnog pudding, whipped cream, cinnamon, nutmeg) was the perfect holiday treat out of season.

We quickly stopped by Doughnut Plant and two previous favourites: Brooklyn Blackout (rich chocolate cake, dark chocolate filling, glaze & crumbs) and Creme Brûlée (yeast dough, housemade vanilla bean custard inside, individually torched brûlée outside). We also fit in a return visit to Il Laboratorio del Gelato. Our favourite flavour remains grapefruit-Campari, with the bitter tang of the oils, and the blackcurrant and the rose petals were also lovely.

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PART 4
RECENTLY ACCLAIMED OR RECOMMENDED HOTSPOTS

In addition to some of the new-to-us places we sampled above, we managed to fit in a few other positively reviewed restaurants. The only one we were organized enough to book in advance was Bar Miller, which we were attracted to by the focus on sustainable seafood, still a rarity for a sushi-based menu. The whole experience around the eight-seat chef’s counter was intimate and warm. Our server took note of our interest in local wines, treated us to extra tastes of several NY wines in addition to a NY cider and a NY sake. The chefs provided us with detailed answers to our questions about different ingredients and techniques.

Of the many outstanding dishes (which are all served in custom pottery), here is a sample of the highlights:

  • Steamed and pickled Maine mussels, salsa verde, green strawberries, grapefruit, borage flower, over nori purée.

  • Smoked trout in a chilled ramp green curry sauce, Thai basil leaves, basil oil, crisp onion, tomatillo.

  • Silken tofu, chrysanthemum greens, pickled ginger dressing, and cucumber pickles - like a pickly chawanmushi.

  • Nettle soup, geoduck clam, sunchoke dashi, sunchoke chip, green strawberries.

  • Nigiri sushi (local rice and local soy), including Arctic char with yuzukosho, torched Spanish mackerel with yuzu, shrimp with shellfish chili reduction and chives, smoked Maine uni, lightly smoked in applewood, shellfish ragu with XO

  • Striped bass belly fish taco, with morita chile, avocado mousse, red salsa, radish slices, herb oil and shrimp oil.

  • Chawanmushi with seaweed butter-braised cod, wilted greens, dashi turnip, trout roe, and nasturtium.

  • A dessert of maple ice cream, tamago in brown butter, sturgeon caviar, and fresh wasabi was an odd combination, but it worked well.

We booked a last-minute early dinner reservation at Dhamaka. They have some fun cocktails, including the Aam Sutra (mango chutney, Sombra mezcal, cinnamon syrup, and a fabulous curry-chili red salt rim), Saada Paan (paan, Darjeeling Jin Jiji gin, fresh ginger, milk clarification), and Ghee Whiz (ghee washed Old Monk rum, infused with saffron, spiced jaggery). The food was full of vibrant and many-layered flavours. Achaari grilled lamb ribs were fatty and covered with a dried mango and fennel seed rub. Butter Pepper Garlic Crab (pic below) was decadent and packed a spicy punch. Rara Gosht featured tender goat meat in a yoghurt and garam masala sauce. And the roasted cauliflower with smoked yogourt and garlic was gorgeous.

After an hour of waiting in line, we entered the Okiboru House of Udon. Faced with 3 menu options and only 2 of us, we ordered all 3, eventually taking up more than our share of the counter space. The wide noodles with the warm yuzu dipping broth (pic below) were the most amazing, although the wide noodles in broth and the cold matcha zaru udon were also excellent. All came with a tempura side that included bacon(!).

Having been foiled at getting a reservation at Tatiana, we followed online tips and showed up for a walk-in seating half an hour before opening. Despite 20 people already ahead of us, we were seated in 50 minutes and had a fabulous meal. The surprising hit was the Honeynut Piri Piri Salad (honeynut squash, Persian cucumber, physalis, crispy quinoa, grapes, radishes, avocado, with a beautiful orange spicy sauce) (pic below). Egusi Dumplings were stuffed with Jonah crab and came with Nigerian red stew and pickled pearl onions. Also yummy was the Oxtail & Crab Rangoon, with green onion, pimento, and Peking jus. The only main we had was the fabulous Short Rib Pastrami Suya, with, caraway coco bread, melted red cabbage, mustard jus - an ultra elevated deli delight. For dessert, the Bodega Special featured a “cosmic” brownie, powdered donut ice cream (shaped into donuts), and sorrel. The Golden Rum Cake came with honey sweet cream and blistered physalis - light, with lots of rum.

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Superb report, @DrJohn

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Thanks for sharing – great reports, and diverse eats!

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What a feast! Unlikely to hit the fancier places, but bookmarking this for the fall :slight_smile:

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In your Dominican breakfast dish, that tasty hash was almost certainly mangú, which is made from boiled green plantain and commonly garnished with onion. In the company of salami, cheese, and egg, all of them fried, the dish is known as “tres golpes,” or “three strikes.” Add the longaniza or something else that will strike at your cholesterol levels equally hard, and you’ve got cuatro golpes.

Here’s mangú con tres golpes, with its component ingredients better separated, from El Nuevo Bohio Restaurant in Morrisania, Bronx, after which I was done for the better part of the day. You did some heroic and inspiring eating on your trip; thanks for the great report!

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A great write-up, thank you for posting.

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Such an enjoyable report, thank you!

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Great reporting!! Where did you find the time for such detailed write-ups?! :thinking: :joy:
Whenever I visit NYC, Tapas at ‘Casa Mono’ is always a must!
One thing I find Toronto is sadly missing is a good Tempura place. So, if possible, I try to find time for a meal at ’ Secchu Yokota '.

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PART 5
COCKTAIL BARS

As mentioned above, we focused on cocktails this trip, trying many places and revisiting a previous favourite. Nothing Really Matters was a bit hard to find and the She Drives Me Crazy (vodka, Combier watermelon, Amaro, basil oil, watermelon, lime) was a bit too sweet. That and the fact that the bartender was much more attentive to the glamorous young women adjacent to us was enough for us.

Daintree Rooftop had great midtown views. The best drink was the Belafonte (400 Conejos mezcal, Probitas rum blend, banana, lemon, mole bitters). However the Blood Orange Mule (Albany NY vodka, Don Q Naranja, blood orange, ginger, lime) was a bit too heavy on the orange juice. They also forgot about the non-alcoholic drinks for our friends.

More spectacular views can be had at Overstory, located on the 74th floor. The Umeboshi Milk Punch (vodka, soju, plum, shiso, toasted rice, clarified milk) was phenomenal, with the toasted rice tones mixing nicely with the herbal shiso and the salty-sour of the plums. Obrigado (Japanese whisky, apple, amaro, peach, sesame, smoked soy) was smooth and gently smoky, with some bitter and fruit.


We revisited Angel’s Share, which moved to a cosy basement space since we last tried it. The cocktails remain fun and creative. The most straightforward was Midnight at the Oasis (Hendrick’s, St-Germain, orange, pistachio milk, honey, lemon, orange blossom water, soda, and a pistachio paprika rim), which was still delightful. Fever (Kastra, strawberry, apple, maple, balsamic, lemon, soda, parmigiano & olive brine foam, black pepper) was an interesting combination of flavours and worked really well. Raisin the Roof (raisin & brown butter-fat washed Pierre Ferrand, pineapple, cookie orgeat, cream cheese) was basically a dessert of raisin toast and cream cheese.

A friend had given us Cocktail Codex awhile back, so naturally we had to visit Death & Co. After perusing their tome of a menu, we tried 4:

  • Raft of Rio: Mezcal Legendario Domingo Espadin, Wray & Nephew, tamarind, mango, lime, jerk bitters, dried spiced mango - lovely, with plenty of kick.

  • Cornicello: Moletto tomato gin, basil eau de vie, coconut cream, passionfruit, lime - like a happy collision between a V8 and a tiki drink.

  • Moonshooter: Doctor Bird Jamaican rum, Avuá Amburana cachaça, Creole shrub, lime, guanabana, grated nutmeg - complex and sour, without being too vinegary from the shrubb.

  • Final Act: Lalo Blanco tequila, Condesa gin, Lemon Hart 151, celery, macadamia, lime - nice tartness and not that sweet.

Sugar Monk was just a few blocks from where we were staying in Harlem, so we gave them a try. Their cocktails were great and we would definitely return to explore more options. We tried Ma Mandelbaum (Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin, grapefruit, lemon, cherry, Seville orange, violet, lavender, ash wood, vanilla), which was a beautiful green and had bitter and citrus notes. Over the Volcano (D’Ussé VSOP cognac, passionfruit, bitter orange, vanilla, cocoa, hibiscus, rosehip, spicy rhubarb, crémant d’Alsace) was also very pleasing, with layers of flavours.

We liked Patent Pending so much the first time, we managed to return to it on another evening. The cocktails are full of interesting ingredients, all in balance when blended together. The second time we were peckish and were impressed by the very fine Korean fried chicken sandwich. The cocktails we tried included:

  • Electrostatic Evening: local apple moonshine, overproof Jamaican rum, aged port, woodruff, baking spices, lemon, apple, peachwood smoked and served warm - like a fancy hot toddy.

  • Nobel Slight: mezcal, Jamaican rum, yuzukosho, yellow bell pepper, pineapple, cilantro, lime, and pineapple leaf - very impressive how the bell pepper worked well in the mix.

  • Impossible Idea: single village mezcal, blend of aged rums, banana (blackened and brûléed at the table), Luxardo maraschino, oloroso sherry, nardini amaro - a silky, velvety dessert.



  • Stepping Out In Style: gin, aquavit, Greek mastiha, cherry tomato brine, clarified cucumber juice, dill - fresh as a summer garden.

  • El Paso Electric Co.: blanco tequila, mezcal, pineapple rum, green Chartreuse, Velvet falernum, chili oil, zombie syrup (lychee, cinnamon, grapefruit, coconut) - beautifully fruity and spicy

  • Mr. Muir: gin, Calvados, Douglas fir, ginger, gentian, lemon - nicely balanced, though the fir could have been stronger.

On our last night, we waited in the rain for an hour and then got into the front room of Double Chicken Please. The drinks there are on tap and are very good. Drink #2 was like a Paloma (Tequila, cocchi americano, bergamot, grapefruit) and was dangerously easy to gulp down. Drink #7 was like a floral gin and tonic (gin, seaweed, kaffir lime, elderflower). We also enjoyed their food, particularly the fried chicken sandwiches. The version with salted egg yolk, dried shrimp, pickles, and mayo on brioche had lots of umami from the preserved ingredients. A bit more silly, but equally enjoyable was the version on a mochi doughnut, with pickled pineapple, habanero, cilantro, and strawberry. Koji cucumbers (shio kombu, sesame, Thai chile) were spicy and they came in an adorable glass container that looks like a ziploc bag. Baby gem lettuce leaves were topped with green goddess, toasted almonds, and Parmesan.


We had been given a timeline of 2.5 hours to get into the Coop (the back room), but they invited us in just an hour after being in the front room. The cocktails here riff off of food dishes. So we first ordered an appetizer Waldorf Salad (Dewar’s 15 yr Whiskey, Laphroaig 10 yr whiskey, apple, celery. ginger ale, walnut bitters) - very pleasant and somewhat reminiscent of the salad. For a main, we had Cold Pizza (Don Fulano Blanco tequila, parmigiano reggiano, burnt toast, tomato, basil, honey, egg white) - very tomato-y and fun. We then had two desserts. Key Lime Pie (Bombay Sapphire Gin, “The Plum, I Suppose”, winter melon, sweet cream, lime, egg white, lime, soda) was really special, with lots lime tang and intriguingly a pronounced graham cracker flavour despite the lack of that ingredient in the drink. French Toast (Grey Goose vodka roasted barley, brioche, coconut, milk, maple syrup, egg, and a beautiful stamped, espresso-flavoured chocolate cookie) was not very reminiscent of the dish, but was a delicious dessert in its own right.


LEFTOVERS

We needed a place for a large group at lunch and Zou Zou’s ending up fitting the bill. The food was excellent all around, very pleasing to the more discerning and enjoyable for those who were less adventurous. A quintet of excellent dips came with crudités and bazlama bread - the smoked carrot with hazelnut and pomegranate and the green tahini with aquafaba and cilantro were particularly exceptional. Whole lobster kebab presented beautifully charred tail chunks with blistered tomatoes in fennel cups. Grilled branzino came slathered with shiso chermoula and what appeared to be a whole head of grilled escarole. Vegetable side dishes were also delicious, including grilled artichokes with urfa garlic butter, golden beets with feta and chicory, and charred broccoli with cashew harissa.

And that’s about it. Hope this is useful for someone and thanks to everyone for responses and suggestions.

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Thanks for the info! The person I was ordering from had very limited English, so it was difficult to clarify details about what I was ordering.

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We take a lot of notes on what we eat (mainly because our memories are like sieves). So a lot of this reporting is from our notes from the trip.

Noted about Casa Mono and Secchu Yokota! We went to Yakitori Totto partly based on your post about it.

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@DrJohn I loved the format of your trip report—categoric rather than chronologic, which is the format I use…along the lines of “Dear Diary, today we ate pizza after going to Museum X. Until tomorrow.” :laughing:

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Wow. I know this was over 16 days, but I would have been comatose after the first week. Bravo.

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We had only two meals per day on many days of the trip to accommodate the largesse. After returning home, we have been eating mainly vegetables to help shed the accumulated “baggage”.

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Hee! Hee! I experienced and did the opposite to you!!
After the bout of food-poisoning from tainted Spanish oysters in Barcelona. All the throwing ups and diarrhea caused me to lose 5 pounds and an inch off my waist line!
After returning, I resumed my normal eating binge, eating out more than usual. But SO-FAR, I have not put any of those lost weight back??!! Interesting?! :thinking: :ok_hand: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Great report, thank you!

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