10 Things to Eat and Drink in Manhattan
This time of year, conversations at Chow Bella meetings tend to turn to who's eaten what -- where. With the summer travel season in full swing, we bring you Food Tours, our writers' suggestions of what to eat and drink out of town.
Amy Silverman A slice of cheese at Joe's.
We will freely admit that we get so weak-kneed at the sight of the Empire State Building that our typical picky-eater status goes out the cab window as soon as we arrive in New York City and we're content -- for the most part -- with a stale pretzel on the street. But on a recent visit, we found a lot to write home about, and even without venturing to Brooklyn. (Next time, Roberta's.)
Slice of Cheese Pizza at Joe's
After a New York bagel or perhaps Buddy the Elf's best cup of coffee, a slice of cheese is the most basic NYC staple, and a must-eat. On Carmine Street in the West Village, Joe's is as basic as it gets -- tiny storefront, long line, loud help, great (big, Sicilian, greasy) slice that dwarfs its standard-issue white paper plate.
Sizzling Cumin Lamb Breast at Mission Chinese Food
Amy Silverman Mission Chinese is worth the wait.
Speaking of lines, the lines really do get unreasonable at this trendy little Chinese spot on the Lower East Side; we got there five minutes after the restaurant opened and had to wait 45 minutes. It was worth it for the sizzling cumin lamb breast alone. Served with watercress, charred dates, and chili-pickled long beans, we were sorry we'd agreed to share this dish family-style.
Onion Tart at Balthazar
Amy Silverman Balthazar.
Ah, Balthazar. Make a reservation well in advance and hope that your celebrity sighting is of someone more exciting than David Spade. This Soho French bistro is well-known for its oyster bar, but from the basket of pastries to the profiteroles, it's a decadent bruncher's dream. Don't skip the onion tart. Our server promised that even people who hate goat cheese love this one -- and she was right. A favorite moment of our trip was asking Balthazar's manager if he'd tried a cronut yet. (Dominique Ansel, the bakery making them infamous, is a block and a half away.) "What's a cronut?" he asked, in all sincerity. Classic.
Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam Filled Doughnut at Doughnut Plant
A food-centric friend promised this would be the "best thing you've ever put in your mouth" and she was damn close. Doughnut Plant is a current cult favorite, with flavors like matcha and coconut lime and locations on both the east and west sides of town. We fell hard for the peanut butter and strawberry jam.