It's been approximately a week since we returned from the USA, and I want to go back. We gorged ourselves in New York before heading south like swallows to the sunnier climate of Florida. The sun shone every day, temperatures remained firmly in the balmy region and I even got some colour. I'm still examining my head to figure out why we returned to a cold, dark and wet Ireland.
Last week, I presented you with Part One of our eating in New York. Now it's time for Part Two. We stayed mainly in the vicinity of our hotel, somewhere in the midst of SoHo, NoHo and the Lower East Side. The area around Essex Street and Rivington Street is heaving with coolness and great venues and we didn't have a hard time finding places to eat.
The time difference kicked in hard on the Saturday morning and we were up early looking for our breakfast. I came across Shopsins while browsing and their frankly bonkers menu hooked me in. Shopsins is located in a tiny space in a little corner of the Essex Street Market (a wonderful market, which makes me want to live nearby). Apparently chef-owner Kenny Shopsin has a reputation for eccentricity, but all I know is that the food was good. My plate of crisp hash, eggs and bbq duck was colossal ($18), but matched equally by his heuvos racheros made with brisket ($18).
|Shopsins - heuvos rancheros with brisket and crisp hash with eggs and bbq duck|
We headed south from Essex Street, heading towards Century 21 at the bottom of Manhattan. The thought of hours in this bargain heaven department store was too much for Himself, so we split up for a few hours before regrouping and heading back to our hotel. Later we headed out for drinks, finding ourselves at The Noho Star where himself ordered the grilled shrimp BLT ($16.50). I don't know how he does it, as I was still stuffed from breakfast. The BLT came with a creative side serving of potato crisps mixed with fried sage and rosemary, and himself was delighted with the juicy shrimp.
|The Noho Star - Grilled shrimp BLT with that amazing side dish and some tasty cocktails|
Later in the night, my appetite resurfaced so we called to Cocktail Bodega, which himself had spotted earlier. I can only describe the concept as juice bar meets cocktail bar meets diner. Spiked smoothies and fruit juices are served alongside a short selection of street snacks. Despite the informal, counter-order surroundings, the drinks aren't cheap with my coconut smoothie mojito costing $13. However, just like a juice bar, there is a loyalty card offering every seventh drink free, so perhaps the long term economics are a little easier on the pocket. We ordered tasty glazed coconut curried shrimp ($11) and spicy jerked chicken satays ($7), before crossing the street back to our comfortable hotel bed.
|Jerked chicken satays and coconut curried shrimp at Cocktail Bodega|
Sunday morning, and it was time to pack up before grabbing brunch and heading to the airport for our flight to Fort Lauderdale. We strolled back to Rivington Street watching the neighbourhood wake up, this time to Spitzer's Corner, which describes itself as an American gastropub. The walls are covered with dark wood planks, giving this venue an immediate feeling of intimacy. With over 80 beers on offer, this could easily be an ideal pub. However, we were here for brunch with me ordering the chorizo hash ($11) and himself having the pork belly and eggs ($12). The pork belly was the clear winner with its succulent fatty softness and sweet asian marinade of soy, garlic and ginger.
|Spitzer's Corner - chorizo hash on top, with asian pork belly below|
Thus New York November 2012 came to an end - but there's more to come when I round up our eating in Miami.
Shopsin's General Store, 120 Essex Street, New York 10002
NoHo Star, 330 Lafayette Street, New York 10012
Tel: +1 (212) 925-0070
Cocktail Bodega, 205 Chrystie Street, New York 10002
Spitzer's Corner, 101 Rivington Street, New York 10002
Tel: +1 (212) 228-0027