So four days (and about four stone) later, this is a quick round up of some of the mind bogglingly brilliant places my two sisters and I ate and drank at in New York last week. Whilst it’s impossible to take in everything this city has to offer in just a few days, it’s worth breaking up the different districts and tackling them on foot. We did Flatiron, West Village and Meatpacking on the first day, here the High Line is a MUST. Some bright spark decided to renovate an elevated 1930s railway track running through from Gansevoort St to West 34th Street on Manhattan’s West Side and it now serves as a beautiful verdant public park 1.45 miles long. We meandered along it after brunch at the Pastis (if you’re going make sure you book, the queues when we left were out of control). It was good but there are possibly a few more exciting places to try these days like Diner in Williamsburg, Momofuku Ssam Bar and The Breslin…so read on!
For cocktail magic of the highest order in this part of town, head to Employees Only (510 Hudson St), a small but perfectly formed speakeasy created to evoke the frivolous spirit of the 1920′s and 30′s. Needless to say the Hemingway Daiquiri, Pimms Cup (in honour of our Her Majesty of course) and the Pisco Sour all went down a treat… Thank you Steve and here’s a picture of Steve doing his thang…
The Breslin Bar and Dining Room
We enjoyed a stonkingly good dinner at April Bloomfield’s latest gastro-grub outlet, The Breslin, an English style pub from the forces behind popular West Village gastropub The Spotted Pig and housed within The Ace Hotel which opened late last year on West 29th St. The staff wear t shirts and tattoos, the booths are dark and leathery, the tables covered in butcher paper. There’s plenty to drink (a seven page wine list) but it’s the meat which meat is the main event here. The protein heavy menu includes heart stoppingly unctuous terrines, crispy sweetbreads, ham, pig’s foot and steak. We snacked on curly salty fried pork scratching served in little paper bags, then a Scotch Egg, followed by a small but perfectly formed intensely flavoured beef and stilton pie and the hit char-grilled lamb burger served with tangy feta and sweet potato triple fried chips and a pot of cumin spiked mayonnaise ($17). We failed to make room for puddings and judging by a quick snoop at some of our neighbouring tables this was an error. Next time…
The Breslin Bar and Dining Room
20 W. 29th St.
New York, NY 10001
On our last day a short subway ride brought us to South Williamsburg and thankfully to Diner, an unassuming restaurant housed in a rather dilapidated 1926 dining car located just down the street from the esteemed Peter Luger. Given it’s scruffy appearance and hipster-ish staff, it would be easy to overlook this place but don’t: Diner is anything but typical and over the last year has quietly become a major hit in the area. Once seated in a little booth, the day’s specials were explained then scribbled on our paper table cloth included French Toast with braised pork belly, chilli maple syrup and coriander. Surprising and quite rich but good. There was also grilled asparagus with smoked duck breast, a fried egg and bone marrow breadcrumbs: a nice touch.
The burger here is also worth trying: grass-fed, topped with proper molten Cheddar and served with a rather gargantuan side of chips – thick cut, fluffy little fellows with nice crunchy coats, only improved when dipped in the slightly smoky homemade tomato ketchup. Cooked perfectly medium-rare, the burger was bursting with flavour and meaty juices. This is really solid cooking by chef Sean Rembold. Well worth a visit next time you’re in NY. Don’t let the crowds of hipsters scare you away, instead, go early, and most importantly, go hungry.
85 Broadway at Berry St
Brooklyn, NY 11211