Friday, January 11, 2019

Dining in Manhattan

As soon as we arrive in the city, we drop off our luggage at the hotel and head over to Briciola Wine Bar in Hell's Kitchen, on West 51st, near 9th.  They don't take reservations and have two rooms, one with a bar and the other with a long communal table where all the diners sit, eat, and interact.  We share a plate of Mozzarella and prosciutto and an octopus salad, followed by porcini risotto and garganelli with osso bucco and a side of roasted beets.  Wow!

 Entrance and dining room


 Risotto (with porcini), garganelli (with osso bucco), and roasted beets

The next night, we return, but instead of waiting for a table, we are guided to a sister restaurant, Laboratorio, 1/2 block away that has a similar menu with immediate seating.  We select the same starters as the previous night, but follow them with two pastas:  rigatoni with spicy grilled shrimp and pappardelle with slow-braised wild boar.  We add a side of mashed potatoes and share a chocolate fondant to finish..



 Side and desert

We try a new (to us) restaurant, Nizza, on 9th Avenue, between 44th and 45th.  The feast starts with the house bread served with ricotta cheese and grilled octopus (with chick peas, red onions, peppers, and fennel), followed by Sunday pasta (bucatini with meat balls and Italian sausage) and home-made fusilli with broccoli rabe and spicy pork sausage.  We'll be back to Nizza next time we're in New York!

Nizza interior, appetizer

 Octopus, bucatini and fusilli

Our last night, we head over to another new (to us) location, Don Antonio Pizzaria on West 50th between 8th and 9th, specializing in Neapolitan pizza.  We start with arancini (stuffed rice balls coated with bread crumbs and deep fried) and share two pizzas, one white (quatro fromaggi with buffalo mozzarella, gran cru pecorino, caciocavallo ragusano,  parmigiano reggiano, and crescenza BelGioioso ) and one red (diavola with tomato sauce, mozzarella, sopressata, and basil).  Another great meal!


 White and red pizzas

Our first two lunches are at counters in Chelsea Market and Eataly.  At the fish market in Chelsea Market, we have a grilled fish sandwich and fish sliders.  At Eataly, we share a fresh-made mozzarella and a platter of assorted cheeses and charcuterie.  After lunch at Eately, we then go window shopping through all the markets (and buy some stracchino cheese and speck to carry home for one of our favorite risottos).

 Lunch at Chelsea Market

Lunch at Eataly

 Window shopping in the market at Eataly

For our last lunch, we meet a friend from out of town who is passing through New York for holiday visits (and formerly lived in the city).  She guides us to 44 & X (at the corner of 44th and 10th Avenue), another great find.  We share a bottle of Prosecco and dine on a smoked salmon, sour cream, and chive omelet and roasted chicken quesadillas.

 44 & X

We've dined spectacularly in New York and, once again, find small restaurants with spectacular food, tremendous people, fabulous ambiance, great value, and high quality.  This is just another reason to keep coming back.

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