The beauty of living in New York City is having endless choices of top-notch cuisines at my fingertips (literally). My weekends are spent brunching and crossing off restaurants in my book of must-try places to eat in the city. I have decided to share my dining experiences with those of you who are looking for a place to eat in NYC or just enjoy Instagrams of food as much as I do.
Root & Bone: East Village 200 E 3rd St
On a brisk Saturday in November, my roommates and I headed downtown to check out a restaurant called Root & Bone known for their fried chicken and waffles. We ordered the Grandma Daisy’s Angel Biscuits with honey roasted chicken jus to start. They were fluffy and oh-so savory even without with the jus.
Waffle Benedict, Grandma Daisy’s Angel Biscuits
We then split the Bucket of Bird and buckwheat waffles. I cannot even begin to describe how heavenly this was. The chicken had a perfectly crispy outside and the meat, which was tender and moist, just fell off the bone. The buckwheat waffles with cheddar were soft and paired perfectly with the chicken to my surprise. The waitress brought over whisky maple syrup and spiked Tabasco honey. I could not get enough of either. I doused my chicken and waffles with the two and left completely satisfied.
For a New Englander who never understood the whole fried chicken and waffles trend, I am now officially a fan.
*Heads up, Root & Bone is a small venue so prepare to stop by a bar while you wait for your table!
Levain Bakery: Upper West Side 167 W 74th St
The smell of bakery air is one of my favorite things and Levain Bakery has its drifting down the streets of the Upper West Side. After walking through Central Park, my friends and I stopped by to find a line going down the street. That can only mean one thing—the cookies are worth the wait and dear Lord were they ever. The tiny bakery is down a few steps from street level and the trays of cookie dough are sitting there waiting to be baked. (The balls of cookie dough are the size of your fist.) I ordered a chocolate chip walnut cookie and it was out of this world—soft, sweet and a barely baked center. The people who live on this street must have the highest level of self-control known to man. I’m counting down the days until it is warm enough to make the trek back to Levain.
Tompkins Square Bagels: East Village 165 Avenue A.
New York City has perfected the bagel. Honestly once you have eaten a real bagel and lox, you never consider having a bagel from Dunkin Donuts or the grocery store ever again. While there are still many places I want to try (Brooklyn Bagel I’m coming for you), my favorite thus far has been Tompkins Square Bagels (no they are not square). I stopped here on my birthday to try their birthday cake cream cheese, which taste like a less sweet version of birthday cake-flavored cream cheese frosting. But I was also there for the bagels—“hand-rolled, kettle-boiled and oven-baked daily on premises.” They are doing everything right. The bagels have a crusty outside with a doughy, chewy inside. And you don’t have to go for breakfast, TSB has quite the selection of bagel sandwiches like the Grav Deluxe: gravlax, sundried tomato, capers, onions, avocado on a pumpernickel bagel.
Jeffrey’s Grocery: West Village 172 Waverly Pl
Another birthday treat was my brunch at Jeffrey’s Grocery where my roommates and I enjoyed a smorgasbord of seafood entrees. Many go for the oyster bar and Bloody Mary’s and we were no exception. We shared a plate of four different types of oysters, which change with the season/market. If you’re feeling really adventurous (and can spare a few $$) the Plateau de la Mer offers up a variety of raw and cooked seafood such as shrimp cocktail, crab legs and marinated mussels. For the main course I ordered the Crab Cake BLT. Not only was it a good portion of crabmeat, it was unbelievably fresh and it was January.
*Jeffrey’s Grocery is another small venue where you will have to wait for your table.
Chavelas: Brooklyn 736 Franklin Ave
Yes, I ventured off the island to Brooklyn (I can hardly believe it either). But hey, this borough offers a lot of “good eats.” Chavellas has an extensive menu and is also a hot spot for happy hour with its impressive selection of tequilas and mean margaritas. I asked the waiter for a suggestion on what to eat. His response? “I have written down Huevos Ahogados more times than my own name.” So I figured it must be good and ordered. Out came two poached eggs with chorizo, guacamole and jalapeno hollandaise (cue drool). If you are ever bored of the traditional Eggs Benedict, hit up Chavellas and they will put your mind and taste buds at ease.