It seems like all the food I ate during my trip was Italian!
I had pizza with Momma and Derek in Toronto one night, and dined with Joe, Yanick and Keiichi at Mercatto over at Eaton Centre another night. It's a chain restaurant, but it was so good!
Once I got to New York, the only place I wanted to be was at Mario Batali's Eataly. When I read about this a few months ago, I knew that I just HAD to visit this place!
(photo taken from phude-nyc.com)
If you've been to Vancouver and London, I'd say it reminded me of Granville Island meets Harrods, all with an Italian spin. I know, it's just an overpriced supermarket, but still, it's pretty frickin' cool. I mean, if I lived in New York, I'd be inviting people over for dinner all the time! "Oh just let me go pick up some fresh pasta from Eataly!" or "Oh let me just go grab a cake from Eataly!" or "Let's order a pizza from Eataly!" Heaven. Also heaven? These cannolis that I treated myself to one night. I bought a couple, went out and sat across the street from Madison Square Park in the glorious New York spring sun, while taxi cabs and cars passed by me and I just savoured these treats. One was candied orange, the other was chocolate chip. Both were delicious.
I went to Eataly more than once. Other times I visited, I had some gelato, ate at their meat-focussed restaurant (as opposed to the pizzeria or the pasta place or the salad bar or the seafood only restaurant), and grabbed a prosciutto di parma sandwich. I didn't try out the espresso/coffee bar or sample anything from the rotisserie kitchen. There just wasn't enough time in the day! Definitely somewhere I have to return to!
But it wasn't all about Italian food, no. We ventured out for some soul food one morning, and ended up at the Pink Teacup, where I had a classic: waffles and fried chicken!
Another morning, we headed up to the Upper West Side to try out the famous Barney Greengrass deli. Known as the "Sturgeon King", the restaurant was also highlighted in an episode of 30 Rock (the one where Tina Fey and Jon Hamm go for a meal and she makes him wait in line and order from the menu). Upon a recent re-watch of that episode, it appears that we sat at the very same table that they filmed at!
As well, while we were waiting to get into the restaurant, who would come out the front door but Oprah's design king himself, Nate Berkus?!
Sadly, I was the only one who recognized him so I had no one to share my excitement with, and no one to comment, "Oh, he's kinda short!" He got in a nice town car with a nice looking man, presumably his partner. I wanted to shout out at him, "Nate, I have your bedsheets at home!" Don't know how well that'd go over.
But celebrity sighting aside, the food at Barney Greengrass was actually pretty tasty! We had these wonderful latkas smothered in sour cream, and I followed that up with one of their house specialties: a fried onion and salmon omelette. Their other specialty is sturgeon, which I'll have to go back and try since they are nicknamed "The Sturgeon King!"
I also hit up some of my favourite spots to eat in New York : The Spotted Pig (deviled eggs and that goat cheese stuffed gnocchi in brown butter omg i'm in love!!) and Shake Shack (and no, Chris and Calvin, I did not order a hot dog). Sadly, the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck wasn't open - I missed their opening by a week! Oh how I am dreaming about their Bea Arthur ice cream cone!