Sze and the City
I had such a whirlwind month of happenings in NYC that I can barely remember all the places I passed or stopped at. So here's a list of highlights:
The Stanton Social - Brunch as tapas, the most memorable being doughnuts with a caramelish dip. The service was impeccable; the waitress made every decision we made seem like an achievement to be proud of.
Nyonya - Absolutely packed Malaysian place in Chinatown. I expected it to be just okay, but it was actually alright, especially the fish head curry and kangkung belacan.
Momofuku Ssam - The menu was almost indecipherable at first, and it's loud and hectic, but the pork buns were pretty impressive.
Dinosaur BBQ - From the ribs to the wings to the mac and cheese, this place was pretty much perfect. In the middle of nowhere, but perfect.
No. 7 - "New American" cuisine, which seems to be a popular label around the city. Kim chi pierogis, satisfying fried chicken and interesting cocktails.
Chinatown Brasserie - We had a their Restaurant Week set dinner, which included some decent (though unspectacular) dim sum, and very respectable Peking duck.
Inoteca - A trendy Italian place with food that lived up to its buzz.
Sweet Melissa - Great dessert tea room; the day we were day there was an elderly gentlemen in a linen suit reading and eating cake, blending into the wallpaper.
Whole Foods - a supermarket rather than a restaurant, but I ate there so much I need to include it. My favourite thing was the cod and corn chowder, oddly.
Other things I'd recommend:
- A game at the Yankees stadium in the Bronx (get tickets on ebay).
- McJ - an interesting bookshop in Soho with detailed staff recommendations.
- The clubhouse barge of the Manhattan Sailing School for a fantastic view of downtown Manhattan. We brought a picnic, drank $7 cocktails and enjoyed the sunset with the red reflected on the buildings which then turned into scattered lights at night.
- Next to Normal - an intense and moving musical on Broadway about a bipolar suburban housewife and her family unravelling.
- The High Line - a park on old elevated train tracks with gorgeous landscaping.
- Friday nights on the top of the Met for drinks (I never did this and wish I had).
- DSW - Designer Shoe Warehouse at Union Square. You won't regret it.
- Bryant Park - lots of chairs around a huge lawn to loll about when it's warm.
- A walk across Brooklyn Bridge - it's longer than you think.
What else will I remember about this trip? Learning the route of the A train in Manhattan. Vietnamese meat sandwiches for lunch. Amazing and amazingly bad subway performers. The Dominican community of Innwood. Free water filled with ice, everywhere. Walking till my legs tingled. Realising the huge space to my left used to be the World Trade Centre. Always going to the Lower East Side to meet up with people. How pretty and expensive Brooklyn is. How much less American I sound than before. That I didn't go and see The Roots. 3 times. That downtown performances are rather extreme (rubbing granola in coochie and peeing in a cup before pouring it over oneself). And you can soothe your nerves with properly brothy ramen across the street. That you can do anything you want, pretty much, in NYC.