Here is a little summary of where we stayed and ate during our 2 weeks in NYC. As with all the places I write about none of these places paid me or gave me free food in return for any kind of reviews
Le Parker Meridian
We stayed here once before and LOVED it, however it is usually one of the more expensive hotels in NYC and so we usually choose the slightly cheaper The Westin at Grand Central.
For whatever reason this trip we were able to get very good rates. Maybe we booked far enough in advance… I have no idea but I was certainly very happy about it.
When we arrived we were upgraded to a junior suite (That Lifetime Platinum Starwood membership has its advantages) which was nice and after a long flight we just completely crashed out, unaware that the room had not been de feathered as per our profile. This wasn't a great start and I woke up on Sunday morning feeling pretty miserable and very congested but everything was rectified quickly and the duvet and pillows were replaced with foam and a wool blanket.
As a platinum member we get a gift which is usually free breakfast. In Le Parker Meridian this is vouchers for a coffee and pastry in Knave their small coffee/lunch/bar spot. This was great for me as I was able to use both my husbands voucher and mine due to them only being usable after 8am. Now this is fine if you are on holiday (me) but makes them pretty useless if you are here for work (husband)
Generally, the rooms are looking a bit tired, the wood in the bathrooms of peeling, and my husband didn’t have a bedside lamp, it had obviously broke and the wires were covered with a plastic square on the wall.
I also noticed that bath robes and slippers aren't automatic here. It was only when I wanted to visit the pool on the 4th day that I realised we didn't have them and had to call housekeeping. Toiletries being replaced is a bit hit and miss, and there are no cotton buds, cotton wool balls or anything beyond shampoo, conditioner, and soap.. not even body lotion.
The gym is excellent and the rooftop pool with floor to ceiling windows is also a rare find in NYC and certainly gives you something to do for a few hours if its raining outside or you are a bit jet lagged and need a bit of a kick start.
The Burger Joint on the ground floor of Le Parker Meridian is a big bonus. The burgers are amazing, some of the best I have eaten. I have written about them before....
We would probably stay again because the location is very good, but it would be a coin toss over here or the Westin Grand Central.
119 West 56TH Street New York City NY 10019
The new restaurant of Chef Dan Kluger ABC Cocina and was on my restaurants to visit list as I had been to ABC and really enjoyed it and so was quite interested to see what Loring Place had to offer.
It was really hard to get a table, even the bar was packed. So we were quite pleased that a friend secured a table for four. Great way to get to sample lots of dishes.
We had drinks in the bar before dinner, and service was very good, the staff were very knowledgable about the gin collection and especially the American Gins and the 'boutique' syrups that were made to go with soda water instead of tonics.
We were seated at our table and ordered a selection of the 'signature' dishes that we could all share.
The hummus and flat bread was very good, nice flavor, spiced cauliflower was also very good. The sprout pizza a big disappointment, it was lacking in flavor but the pork chop with pomegranate was very good, though quite small.
For dessert we had the recommended Hostess cupcake dessert but sadly that was just average at best.
Sadly the meal was really nothing special. ABC was memorable but I don't think Loring Place offers anything new or exciting. It's a nice sized restaurant and the tables are well spaced and you can actually hear your friends speak which is nice but sadly there wasn't a single dish I would return for.
21 West 8th St
New York , NY 10011
Il Bucco Alimentari
I was in the area with a girlfriend visiting Great Jones Street Spa and so I booked this place for late breakfast. We were given our menus but we were a little startled by the size of the plates on the table next to us, However when our food arrived it was more 'normal' portion sized.
I had Eggs al Forno and my friend had Avocado Toast and we ate every last bit. Both dishes were tasty, and a good sized portion. Service was good and we enjoyed a lovely quiet restaurant until the lunch crowd started to appear.
Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria
53 Great Jones St. 10012 New York
+1 (212) 837-2622
Restaurant Marc Forgione
We arrived a little early to meet our friends and were greeted warmly and shown to the bar where we enjoyed gin and tonics before dinner. The bar area is nice, spacious and if you can't get a table then you can eat smaller plates here.
The restaurant is dimly lit and tables are arranged so we were not too close to our neighboring table.
Our waiter was very good, and patient, explaining all the ingredients that we didn't recognise - there were a lot !! The menu was unnecessarily complicated/cryptic. I'm not sure if they are aiming for confusion or superiority, but a little more description would be great. I'm perfectly happy to admit my lack of knowledge and ask questions but if your menu has the potential to intimidate your customers is that something you want to do? There were many things I'd never heard of mangalista lardo, rutabaga, and nduja to name a few and having foods to share like skewers of love, hot little bitches and lunchables was actually just a bit irritating.
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal, we had a few small plates to start, an amuse bouche from the kitchen, chili lobster was delicious (but a little messy), fois gras was beautifully presented and the halibut and the monkfish were both cooked perfectly.
I might go back, but the cryptic menu kinda took something away from the whole experience.
134 Reade Street
New York City 10013
+1 (212) -941-9401
Excellent service once again. The is the second time we have visited and it was just as good as I remembered. We were very lucky to get a Saturday night table through our hotel concierge as the restaurant was very busy.
I had the fixed price 4 course menu which is great value.
Oysters were a bit miserable to be honest. I said I liked meaty and creamy ones but 2 of the ones that arrived were so small they were almost none existent. however that was the only complaint. The risotto was tasty and cooked perfectly, my scallop main course was delicious and quite substantial. Large tasty scallops. Chocolate dessert was the perfect end to a delicious meal.
Everything my friends ate from the amuse bouche to the petit fours - mini tiramisu received great compliments. Service was seamless and we had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. I'll definitely go back again and won't hesitate to recommend mares to friends.
I'll be going back to Marea again and again.....
Marea 240 Central Park South NYC 10019.
La Pizza La Pasta - Eataly
Well first of all I love Italy, I used to come here to buy ingredients when we lived in NY, second it is a great place to eat lunch during the week as there is a lot of choice. (forget the weekends they are crazy busy) We arrived around 1 pm and had no problem getting a table. My friend and I both had the Vongole and it was DELICIOUS. This is my favourite Italian dish and it was coked perfectly with fresh pasts. I would recommend not only the restaurant but also this dish.
Eataly 200 Fifth Avenue NYC 10010
Of course we ate at LOTS more places, but these were the hi-lights.. I hope they are in some way helpful.... I'd love to hear if anyone has been to any of these places and what they thought....
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