Hi there! I can’t believe how much time has passed since my last post. Time has really gotten away from me! As I mentioned, we were away on a family vacation and then I came home and started with a summer bug (which I’m still dealing with!). Who get’s sick in August? The joy of working with children..
Unfortunately I’ve been away or sick for both recent Saturday farmers market’s. I have been missing the fresh, local produce! Instead of a Farmers Market Friday post today I wanted to recap the amazing food we had while in NYC this month.
As a disclaimer; I was not paid or influenced in any way to promote these businesses. This is simply my honest opinion of the tour in hopes that you can benefit from a similar experience.
On our recent trip to NYC we stayed in Chelsea. “We” being my parents, brother, sister and boyfriend, Dan, and I. It was a great location, within walking distance of the village and midtown. We made a subway trip up to central park, and one down to ground zero and battery park, but mostly were able to explore right in the immediate area.
While at ground zero we were able to see the freedom tower and did the 9/11 museum. We have all been there since 9/11, but we hadn’t gone to the museum yet. It was very sad and at times disturbing, but a necessary experience. I was 14 when it happened, so I remember the day pretty vividly, but it never stops being shocking and incredibly sad.
We also got to see Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden while we were there, which was a great show!
On Monday we decided to do a food tour since no one was really familiar with Greenwich village, and it’s always fun to try food! We chose the Foods of NY tour of “The Original Greenwich Village.” I will tell you right away that this was an excellent choice! We met at Murray’s Cheese Shop on Bleecker St. and shortly after started the tour. Our tour guide, Jordan, was fantastic. He gave a great history of each location, along with a detailed description of the food item (how it was made, ingredients, etc.). Part-way through the tour we came to find out that he is a pastry chef himself at a bakery called Baked NYC with locations in Tribeca and Brooklyn. If you live in the area, be sure to check it out! We didn’t make it to Tribeca, but the website makes everything look amazing! Jordan was very knowledgeable about all aspects of cooking and baking, so I would only expect the most delicious food from his bakery.
Unfortunately I didn’t photograph each stop, but I have a handful to share with you. Everything we tried on the tour was outstanding, there was not one thing that Dan or I didn’t like. I don’t consider myself especially picky, but I also don’t rave about all food.
Stop #1: JOE’S PIZZA– NY Style (Neapolitan) Thin Crust Pizza
This pizza was probably the best pizza I’ve had in NY. I am a NY girl so I love thin crust pizza. It’s not a pizza unless you have to bend it in half to eat it! The combination of authentic flavors and thin crust made this pizza a huge winner. I probably could have eaten half a pie right there. We also found out that the secret to the pizza is the NYC tap water, which contrary to your first instinct, is very safe and healthy!
Stop #2: O & CO OLIVE OIL SHOP–Olive Oil & spreads on Tuscan Bread
At this stop we had basil infused olive oil, truffle popcorn with fleur de sel, and did a tasting of balsamic vinegar. Everything was amazing, but the basil infused olive oil was the best olive oil I’ve ever had. I actually just got a giftcard to their store for my birthday (thanks mom and dad!) and I can’t WAIT to get my hands on it.
Stop #3: FAICCO’S ITALIAN SPECIALTIES– A Rice Ball (creamy and delectable)
I’m not a fan of rice balls, but this one was well received by everyone else in the group! They looked delicious!
Stop #4: PALMA RISTORANTE– PESCE PASTA: Homemade Meatballs & Sauce
As you know I don’t eat red meat just because of personal taste preference, but Dan said this was the best meatball he’s ever had. He ate both mine and his with no hesitation! You can tell this was real authentic Italian, because from what I could tell the staff barely spoke English.
Stop #5: RAFELE RISTORANTE– Classic Eggplant Rollatini
A cool fact about this restaurant was that the chef, Chef Raffaele Ronca, won Chopped on the Food Network! I am an eggplant fan, but even if you’re not, the eggplant is pounded SO thin, you can barely even tell it’s eggplant. The sauce was amazing too. It was cooked absolutely perfectly.
Stop #6: Bonus Stop! We had a surprise stop at THE DOUGHNUT PROJECT– Lemon Love Letter Doughnut
[photo courtesy of The Doughnut Project]
This place was really cool. They make all kinds of really funky doughnut flavors; such as the bacon maple doughnut, an everything doughnut, and a beet doughnut! The lemon doughnut we tried was SO good. Even after all the tastings we already had, I have no problem eating the whole thing. The lemon flavor was so fresh because they use actual fresh squeezed lemons in the glaze. YUM! A secret about me is that deep down I really do love doughnuts. ;-)
Stop #7: MILK AND COOKIES BAKERY– Chocolate Chip Cookie (warm out of the oven)
Yum! This was a HUGE cookie, and the texture of the oats in the cookie made for a chewy and unexpected texture in a chocolate chip cookie. At this point we were starting to get pretty darn full, but it was worth making room!
Stop #8: MURRAY’S CHEESE SHOP– Cow, Sheep, and Goat Cheese
I don’t even think this needs an explanation. Seriously who does NOT love cheese?
Stop #9: ROCCO’S PASTICCERIA– Fresh Filled Cannoli
It seems that they saved the best for last. This cannoli was BY FAR the best cannoli I have ever had in my life. I can’t even explain to you in words how good this cannoli was. I will be thinking about this dessert until I go to the grave. If you are in the area, you absolutely MUST get a cannoli here. I’m seriously contemplating shipping the cannoli cream and shells to Buffalo.
Although the tour was a major highlight of the trip, the best food prepared for me were the kale chips made by my best friend after a long and slightly stressful drive down to the city. Accompanied by cheese and crackers, guacamole, and a comfy bed, it is clear why she is my best friend. :)
Have a great weekend!