NYC Trip - The Food

22 November 2019

When we started talking about taking a trip, we both decided that we wanted a more chill trip where we could go to some really nice restaurants, eat good food and not feel like we were "tourists." So naturally, we landed on New York City! And Brian immediately started planning where we would eat. Since food was such a large part of this trip, Brian and I decided it would be best to divide up my posts by food and non-food :) So here... eat your heart out!! 

I shared this picture first, even though there is no food involved, to show just how beautiful our first stop was. I still can remember how awesome those fresh flowers smelled. And they were everywhere. That large arrangement in the corner-- there were at least five. The amazingly creative table arrangement to the right, every single table had one. And no two were the same, they were so impressive and so interesting. The whole ambiance of this place was so perfect. So romantic and so beautiful. I actually read a list put out by Zagat that listed La Grenouille top 10 in service, top 5 in decor and top 12 most popular in NYC. Brian found THIS ARTICLE about La Grenouille that was written 10 years ago and we agree that the review rings true today. 

We ate the pre-theater menu since we were headed to the Opera after dinner. They brought out an amuse-bouche of split pea soup first, followed by a bread basket, gougeres (cheese puffs) and olive palmier cookies. 

We started with the duo of foie gras, county style pate with baguette crisps and string bean salad. It was amazing. I never cared that much for either in the past but I guess I never really had any at this caliber. I didn't want it to end, it was just so perfect... every single bite. 

Brian ordered the filet mignon steak tartare with homemade chips for his meal. We kept recapping our trip after each meal and would ask each other "favorite bite." I keep coming back to this one. This was so good. It was light but packed with flavor. I was 100% jealous that I didn't order it for my meal. 

I ordered the lobster tarragon ravioli with chive and beuree blanc sauce and I didn't want it to end. So much flavor-- the tarragon was delicious. I wanted to order a second bowl and then drag my bread all through the remaining sauce... but I ended up keeping it classy. It didn't disappoint. At all!!! We had the most fabulous red wine with dinner and now I can't even remember what kind it was.  It paired perfectly with the whole meal. 

We finished out the night with dessert-- they actually brought us a tray full of petit fours, chocolate truffles and something else but we decided to go all out! We ordered the creme brulee and oh. my. gosh. This meal was so amazing. Terrific. Superb. All the words that describe good food... they were in this meal! 

The next morning we hit up Russ and Daughters. I was excited about this stop from the time Brian mentioned it to me. I'm a huge fan of smoked salmon and bagels. This place was so neat. It reminded me of my Godparents old pharmacy in El Dorado. 

We ended up sitting at the bar and I loved it. There was so much going on and our view was neat. It was so new and modern yet held all of the vintage charm from the past. Our food came quick, which was good because I was hungry.

Brian ordered the potato latkes with wild salmon roe and creme fraiche and for a solid 12+ hours, they were his favorite bite! And they were so good, I can still remember how they taste and I've craved them a couple times since we got back. I really need to find out if they ship to Arkansas......??? If you end up trying these-- please, don't let the salmon roe scare you, use it all! A bite of the latke covered in creme and roe is PERFECTION!!!

I ordered the classic lox board with gaspe nova smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomato, onion and capers with a bagel. You can see a picture of mine above. And every bite was so good. It's just, like the title suggests, classic. The smoked salmon was fresh and the capers added the perfect bit of saltiness to each bite. I still feel a little guilty that I didn't leave Brian very many capers. I actually told Brian that I would go back here for every single breakfast left on our trip. I would try the whole menu but I'd also order the salmon and potatoes probably every single time. Go hungry, leave SO happy.

For our next dinner, we traveled over to Brooklyn to Oxomoco. Which was the hardest reservation to make. Mainly because they didn't open reservations up until 14 days prior. I was a nervous wreck trying to make sure we didn't miss out on this one and go the time we wanted. 

I don't know where Brian found this place. I'm thinking he told me in the New Yorker but I can't be positive. It took the prize of "favorites bite(s)" for the rest of the trip. Something as, from the outside, simple as a chicken taco won Brian's heart forever. After me.. of course. 

I think my favorite bite of the whole trip was our appetizer here. We ordered the soya marinated tuna tostada with avocado, salsa macha and radish. I will never forget how this tasted. It was so good. I wanted to yank it away from Brian and never let him have another bite. Okay.. I'm halfway kidding. I knew after eating this that we were in for a real treat for the rest of the night. Every flavor just hit my taste buds in the best way possible. 

We ordered tacos for our meal and ended up splitting so we could try everything. We picked the chicken al pastor with grilled pineapple, crispy skin and salsa morita-- which, let's just stop here. I'm still shocked Brian ordered something with fruit on it AND THIS ONE was his favorite bite. Hello Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza!! Too soon?? We also got the lamb barbacoa tacos with salsa de pipicha, upland cress and squash blossom. These were my choice. 

HOLY avocado these were so complex, so flavorful and so freaking amazing. We ate both with cruda verde salsa and the salsa really set the tacos off!!  Where are we? Who cooks like this? This experience is amazing! The ambiance in the restaurant was awesome, the food was top notch, and the company was 100. This is seriously one of the best meals, best experiences. The whole meal left me wanting more. To try everything on their menu and to come back ASAP. 

We finished the meal with the oaxaca chocolate cake which was AMAZING. I wish I could explain it to you but my mouth just waters. And I honestly don't know what was in it or accompanied it or anything, I just know it was the best dessert of my life. 

After Oxomoco, we tried going to the jazz club. We missed out on getting tickets so we went ahead and bought tickets for the next showing and walked around the corner to grab a drink. We stumbled on the place pictured above. We actually ordered another dessert (it was not good) and had a few drinks here before going back to the jazz club. I can't speak to the food but we ended up taking a picture because the restaurant was cool. And we loved the windows. We sat in one of the window booths and enjoyed our 2 hour wait :) 

The final meal that I'm highlighting is from Cote which is a Korean Steakhouse. Did I mention in any of my previous notes that I love coat check. Places with coat check are amazing. 

So Cote-- we went with the Butcher's Fest. Which is basically four different cuts of meat, chef's choice, cooked in front of you with alllll sorts of Korean accompaniments. We had ribeye, hanger, wagu flatiron and short rib. And then they brought out a lot of things that we had no idea what they were. We ate cactus, I do remember that one and it was really good. There was an egg souffle that was crazy huge and pretty yummy, rice, lots of things soaked in kimchi, a scallion salad that I loved and some type of "sauce," two different stews- one kimchi and one vegetable. And we finished it alllll off with a delish soft serve ice cream. All food pictured below! It was quite the spread. 

The meal was really good but got a little overwhelming by the amount of food that came out. The most asked question I get from people who browsed my instragram is.... "did you have to cook your own meat?" No. We would not have gone if that was the case! It was kind of interesting how everyone there watched all of the tables. The sommelier actually turned the meat a few times. And do you see the big chunk of fat? Nothing but fat! Before each piece when on they seasoned the grill with the fat. They offered suggestions on how to eat each thing-- and the mushrooms, they suggested drinking the broth before eating... super solid advice! 

We left full. And I think we both agree that the best bite during this meal was the ribeye. Hanger is a super close second for me. 

I actually asked Brian to rank his top 3 bites so I could share them in this post. 
1. Chicken al Pastor taco from Oxomoco
2. Potato Latkes from Russ and Daughters
3. Filet Tartare from La Grenouille

We ate so much good food. I didn't even hit some of the places we went-- lots of coffee shops, a few breakfast stops, Eataly, street hot dogs. We did not go hungry but found lots of happiness in the food that NYC offered us. It was an excellent trip-- food included-- and I'll be back soon with more highlights from our trip. 

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