Before I set off to France I checked one of my all-time favorite blogs for food and French life, Chocolate & Zucchini. If Clotilde Dusoulier isn’t in your life, she should be. I came across an intriguing Paris post she wrote entitled, 12 Hours in Paris, which answers the question: If you had only twelve hours left to spend in your home city/town/village/oasis, what would you do with them? She carefully crafted her own list, which I blindly trusted and Kate and I followed our first day in Paris. We set out with our 12 Hour Guide, Rick Steves book and Paris maps, making our way to Rose Bakery. Kate enjoyed a fig foccacia of some kind and I had smoked salmon and eggs, beautifully prepared. We also followed Clotide’s 12 Hour Guide to Carmella for gelato and I tasted fig gelato for the first time. (Euro travel rule: if there is a new gelato flavor at a gelateria you MUST try it.) Later in the trip I also went to the Galleries Lafayette to look at the various gourmet food treats on my buy list—Edmond Fallot mustard, Sel de Guerande, Christine Ferber jams, etc.
Since Clotide’s list was so helpful and did not lead us astray, I thought I should follow suit for NYC. A few weeks ago my buddy Lauren and I embarked on an epic NYC Saturday. We finally scored discounted tickets to a play we had been pining to see and ended up exploring nooks of the city we typically neglect. As the day came to a close we kept reiterating how insanely fun our NYC Saturday was. Though this isn’t a typical Saturday for me, it was one I would love to re-live again. Since Amateur Gourmet has already done an impressive 12 Hours in NYC, here is a recount of our fabulous 12 hours in NYC from that September Saturday:
12:00- Brunch at Marseille. This French eatery is a staple in Hell’s Kitchen and the brunch offers the tradition egg fare. I had the Moroccan Omelette with tomatoes, feta, peppers, olives and some roasted potatoes on the side. Garnish with a perfectly spicy bloody mary and sitting outside on Ninth Avenue.
1:15- Walk over to the Hudson River to kill time before the show and bask in the sunlight. Easy to forget we live on an island.
2:00- Live production of Trust at Second Stage Theatre. Zach Braff is as hilarious in person as he is on screen. The four person cast flawlessly carried this witty play and left us laughing and appreciating that we understood all the NYC references in the script.
4:00- Walk over to Bryant Park and down Fifth Avenue, window shopping and discussing the brilliance of the play. Take in the general splendor of the city on a sunny afternoon. Contemplate buying new dishes from Fishs Eddy and decorate an imaginary penthouse with ABC Home furniture.
5:00- Decide to see Mario Batali’s new culinary powerhouse, Eataly. Quickly decide to ditch this plan when the line to enter the store wraps around the block. Instead, end up at Gramercy Tavern and indulge in crafty cocktail called the Orange Blossom (sparkling wine, St. Germain and orange bitters) and a couple oysters.
6:00- Check out the last of the summer street fairs on Third Avenue. Buy some lemonade and laugh at the woman behind us that asks, “Is this lemonade organic?” Whole Foods is on 14th, sister.
7:00- Take the L Train to Williamsburg and watch some college football over a couple Hoegaardens at Mugs Ale House.
8:30- Dinner at Pies ‘N’ Thighs with friends and visiting parents. I haven’t eaten fried chicken in probably eight years, but I’m delighted to break that streak. The fried chicken at this place falls off the bone, and it is aptly accompanied by cornbread, biscuts, mac n’ cheese, beans, greens and cheap beers to make you fall off the diet wagon.
10:30- Head over to Larry Lawrence for a few more cocktails. Chalk the day up to one of utter gluttony and promise myself I’ll take an extra long scenic run on the East River tomorrow to make up for it. (Which I later did, in the rain no less!)
A few of my favorite NYC places didn’t make it on the list this day, but I will be sure to bring them up in a later post. Here is a compilation of our food destinations should you feel inspired to visit:
Marseille: Theatre District, Manhattan. 630 9th Ave (212) 333-2323
Gramercy Tavern: Gramercy, Manhattan. 42 E 20th St (212) 477-0777
Mugs Ale House: Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 125 Bedford Ave. (718) 486-8232
Pies ‘N’ Thighs: Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 166 S 4th St. (347) 529-6090
Larry Lawrence: Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 295 Grand St. (718) 218-7866