Boston Restaurant Blog -- June, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Only two short weeks ago, I was in Brooklyn, visiting family and enjoying some terrific food; and as it turns out, a few days ago, I found myself back in the New York City area, this time in Manhattan. As was the case two weeks ago, I was visiting family, though this was a shorter trip than the one to Brooklyn. And while I was there, I ended up going to several more restaurants, three of which are worth discussing in greater detail.
After stopping for lunch at a serviceable restaurant in the Upper West Side called Utopia, we spent the afternoon sauntering around Chelsea (where we went to the always-interesting Chelsea Markets) and the West Village. Around dusk, we headed over to the corner of East 10th Street and Greenwich Avenue in the West Village to a bustling Italian restaurant called Grano Trattoria. And while the place was a bit too loud for my taste (the tile floors and low ceiling didn't help), my overall experience at Grano Trattoria was fabulous. The atmosphere was charming, the service was just about perfect, and the food was as fresh as could be. I started with a terrific arugola, carrot, endive and radicchio salad, then moved on to my entree, (casarecci pasta mixed with pesto and green beans). This dish was simply superb; the twisted and rolled pasta was chewy and delicious, and the pesto sauce added more goodness to the dish. The montepulciano wine was wonderful, too, with a mild taste that pleased the senses in a subtle manner.
We were pretty stuffed after our meal at Grano Trattoria, but we were only a few blocks from Pasticceria Bruno, one of my favorite places in New York for pastries and cappuccino, so we walked over to Bleecker Street to grab a table at this always-crowded Italian cafe. And once again, they did not disappoint; the lobster tail was perfect, with the center filled with sinfully good hazelnut cream, and the cappuccino, while not as good as my favorite (Cafe Vittoria in the North End of Boston gets the nod there), it was pretty darn good.
I woke up on Friday still feeling full from our night of overeating, so I decided to take a long walk through the South Street Seaport and the Financial District, then I came back and had a light breakfast, downing a tasty bagel from Fairway on Broadway in the Upper West Side. The rest of the morning was spent relaxing in that neighborhood before taking the subway to Tribeca for what would be our next round of sheer gluttony. Bubby's has the feel of a place that has been around for a long, long time, with ancient-looking hanging lights, attractive hardwood floors, and lots of pictures that look like they were taken decades ago. The food was very good at Bubby's, with both the hamburger and turkey burger being grilled to perfection. The handcut fries were also excellent, and the Spanish rice was a decent side dish. But the macaroni and cheese took the prize, as the sharp cheddar cheese in it really made for quite an amazing dish. And then there were the pies. Bubby's is known throughout New York for their wonderful homemade pies, and they sure were good. Both the chocolate peanut butter pie (creamy without being too heavy) and the sour cherry pie (a favorite at Bubby's) were delicious and fresh.
We had seriously overeaten at Bubby's, so we stayed away from food for several hours, enjoying a boat ride to Staten Island, wandering through Lower Manhattan, and finally ending up back in the Upper West Side, where I got myself ready to head back to Boston. But before I did, I finally tried Gray's Papaya on Broadway for a quick dinner on my way to the Port Authority. I had heard a lot about the all-beef hot dogs at Gray's Papaya, and they were as good as I had expected. They were also incredibly cheap, as two hot dogs and a drink only set me back about $3.50.
After these two trips to New York City, I am feeling pretty weighed down from all the food It looks like it's time to go back to the gym for a spell--at the very least, to get back in shape before I ruin it all once again in New York City. But it was certainly worth it, having gone to three excellent dining spots within a 24-hour period.
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