There are so many restaurants to choose from in NYC, its often hard to know where to start.
Its always hard relying on someone else taste and especially if you read reviews in places such as Trip Advisor and Yelp. One mans Olive Garden is another mans fancy Italian. I only pay attention to reviews from people with a review history who sound like they know the difference between Espresso and 'Expresso'. I completely ignore those with only one review to their name. Its usually a rant.....
I've read the NYTimes good food guides, the Michelin Guides and Time Out Restaurant recommendations and we've had some amazing food on our visits to NYC.
This year we were there in time for Restaurant week so we decided to visit some places that weren't on our radar before. I thought I would do a quick summery of the five places we visited. Any that stand out will also find themselves on my Restaurant Blog too.
Capital Grille - 120W 51st.
Excellent quality, service and choice. We rolled out after a substantial lunch. I wouldn't normally of tried this 'chain' restaurant but I'm glad we did and we will go back.
Read more here.
DB Bistro Moderne - 54W 44th.
We have been to a couple of Daniel Boulud’s other restaurants and always had great food so thought we would give this one a try... its was sadly disappointing. The service was excellent, but the food was just OK. Veal stew had no flavour and the rice was a step away from being soup. Dessert was good, but I'd go back to DBGB ten times before going back here.
The Russian Tea Room - 150W 57th.
This is one of the oldest restaurants in NYC and was opened by the Russian Ballet. They only served Tea during prohibition but now of course have a list of Vodka from around the world available.
Foor was tasty, and substantial, although quite 'basic'.
It was an 'interesting' restaurant to visit.
Not sure I'll be rushing back though.
Petrossian - 182W 58th.
This felt a little like going back to the 70's.
The restaurant week menu included their speciality - caviar alongside some old classics such as smoked salmon served with toast and roasted chicken breast with puree potatoes .
The other guests were a strange mix, old guys in suits and women in fur who are from an era where people dressed for dinner out. Overall the atmosphere was a bit stuffy..... you won't find us in here again anytime soon....
L'Ecole - 462 Broadway.
This is the restaurant for the International Culinary Centre. All the guys in the kitchen are students being watched and trained by their teachers and they are marked on their work.
We stayed quite safe but food was amazing quality. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for somewhere new in NYC.
Read more Here
In January when I booked my flights for this trip to NYC I was expecting cold, maybe snow, but certainly not the -27 with wind chill factor that we got when we landed in JFK in the middle of February.
As with most of my travel my husband was working and having business dinners and lunches so I was mostly alone. My initial plan was to use the hotel gym to get back to being able to run for 5k and take advantage of the Mon-Wed Mani & Pedi for $25 that is the norm of all the nail salons in town. I also thought it would be nice to spend a few afternoons wandering around a few exhibitions and maybe a little time shopping for some new summer clothes........ well I did some of that, in-between bouts of being frozen, having a numb face and ducking in and out of stores to take advantage of their heating..... The temperatures in NYC were brutally cold. I managed to do some of the things I wanted to do but there was no desire to stroll around the city.
Instead, I spend my time catching up on some reading. I have a HUGE backlog of books on my iPad and I managed to read 2 in the first week alone. I also spent quite some time working on German Grammar. I am having SKYPE German lessons twice a week and so thought I would also take the holiday time to consolidate my learning and my old grammar work into one German 'Bible'.
Despite the cold there was one definite upside to the timing of our trip.
We were in NYC for restaurant week.
This was a bonus and completely unintentional. Lots of restaurants give special fixed price menus for lunch and/or dinner. We booked quite a few and it was also a great opportunity to try some restaurants that we would not normally visit.
On our list were, Capital Grille, DB Bistro Moderne, Russian Tea Room, Petrossian and L'cole Restaurant of the International Culinary Centre. Some of my reviews will be posted in The Restaurant Blog section of the site.
There were some successes and a couple of disappointments, but at least the disappointments were not expensive ones. The set lunches are $25 and the dinners $38. If you are planning to trip to NYC next year I'd definitely look out for when restaurant week is. If you can't avoid the cold in February then you can at least eat some scrummy food.
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