My good friend Shannon came to visit from Boston this past weekend, and to say “we indulged” would be an understatement. From pizza to ice cream, we covered nearly every essential food group in two days. Our only redeeming factor to a weekend of pure gluttony was the fact that we walked nearly 12 miles over the course of two days. Thank goodness for that!
Here’s a recap of our delicious adventure across Manhattan.
Brunch at Le Jardin Bistro
115 Ave C, Alphabet City
An adorable off-the-beaten path French bistro in the heart of Alphabet City. We sat on the first floor’s small backyard patio. The second floor includes the namesake “jardin” or garden seating, open year-round, but there was an event happening there during our visit. The menu was decadent and included standard brunch fare like Eggs Benedict and French favorites like Croque Madame. The hollandaise sauce was one of the best (and richest!) I’ve ever had. There’s also a pre-fixe option that includes a meal and three alcoholic drinks for $25—a great deal!
It was surprisingly quiet for mid-morning on a Sunday but the food was excellent so I’ll chalk it up to being on Ave C. If Le Jardin was on 1st or 2nd Ave there would be a line out the door, I’m sure!
Candy at The Sweet Life
63 Hester St, Lower East Side
We couldn’t resist stopping in to this adorable old-school candy shop on our walk from brunch to Battery Park. Open since 1982, the shop includes all of the classic favorites plus homemade concoctions. The Red Velvet caramels were out of this world… so good in fact, Heather and I decided to add them to our wedding dessert table!
Cocktails at Pier A
22 Battery Pl, Lower Manhattan
The newly renovated Pier A has been around since 1886, when it opened as the headquarters for the NY Harbor Police and Department of Docks. It’s now a beautiful 28,000 square foot space that houses a Beer Hall and Oyster Bar on the first floor and fine dining space on the second floor. The best part of course is outdoor seating with a perfect view of Lady Liberty.
Dinner at La Palapa
77 St. Marks Pl, East Village
La Palapa is a lively, spacious Mexican food restaurant conveniently located on St Mark’s (8th Street). It’s been around since 2000, which is be a testament to its quality since restaurants come and go all too frequently in this area. The chef and owner grew up in Mexico City, so house specialties include street-style food from Mexico City. The Mexican street corn (elotes) was outstanding.
Coffee at La Colombe
400 Lafayette St., Soho
La Colombe is a chain coffee house with gourmet coffee. When we first popped in the line seemed never-ending but it moved quickly, and we ended up with delicious drip coffee over ice—well worth the wait. There’s also a vintage vending machine with Pure Black cold-pressed bottles but we couldn’t figure out how to use it!
Lunch at Lil’ Frankies
19 1st Ave, East Village
This is one of my standard sit-down pizza places. It’s part of the Frank restaurant family which includes Frank, Sauce and Supper, all notoriously delicious and busy. The brick-oven pizza at Frankie’s is made to order with special that rotate frequently. We started with a fresh Arugula salad and then a classic mushroom and cheese pizza… doesn’t get any better than that!
Dessert at Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
125 E 7th St, East Village
What can I say about Big Gay that hasn’t been said already? I can never resist the Salty Pimp even if I tell myself I’m going to order something else. The sweet, salty, caramel-y goodness is simply the best. And extremely dangerous being a block from my apartment.
Needless to say, I am still detoxing from this amazing weekend of delicious food. Can’t wait for Shannon to visit again so I have another excuse for a weekend-long food adventure!