When In Rome: New York City

First of all, I feel completely inadequate even beginning to try to write an article about where to eat in Manhattan, aka the food capital of the world.  So a disclaimer:  I am not an expert on dining in this amazing culinary city.  I am however a lover of food, and that love has led me to some pretty great places around an even more amazing city.  I will be back to NYC in the Spring and I hope that some of you will recommend some places for me to eat so that I can add to this article a second entry.  I have also enlisted an entertainment writer/blogger from New York to help me in this endeavor.  K over at Pure Complex has so generously sent me some great dessert recommendations for when you have a sweet tooth in the city that never sleeps.  Make sure to go and check our her blog and get the latest scoop on new movies, pop culture and other entertainment news.  So thanks K at PureComplex.com for the local insider information!

A Salt and Battery- A Salt and Battery is a great little fish and chips place in the heart of Greenwich village.  It has been featured on Food Network several times.  Awesome authentic fish and chips, no frills, just good food!

Room Service- Room Service is another great restaurant in the Chelsea/Village area. When you enter Room Service you feel like you are in some sort of retro 70’s techno club that took up shop in a hotel decor warehouse.  Do not go to Room Service if you want anything about your dining experience to be bland.  Everything about Room Service is bursting with life at Room Service with its music and bright Bangkok flavors pumping, not to mention its location in the amazing Chelsea neighborhood.  With a full Thai menu and a very cool decor, Room Service is a great Chelsea dinner destination.
Les Halles– I have to admit, I know about Les Halles because of Anthony Bourdain.  I love his books and his television shows!  I hoped his food would be an extension of his writing and personality; shocking, interesting and full of depth and flavor… I was not disappointed.  We went for lunch on a Friday and the entire place was packed!  Les Halles has two locations; we ate at the financial district location off of John Street.  When you walk in you are automatically invited by the warm wood, low lighting and dozens of tables filled with good conversations and even better food.    Our entire dining experience was exceptional.  I was happy that we went during lunch because it gave me license to try a sandwich rather than a traditional dinner entrée.  I decided, on our waitress’ recommendation, to go with the French Dip. At first I was a little nervous.  I mean come on, it is just a French Dip. Oh, how wrong I was.  It was incredible!!!  The homemade baguette was chewy and crisp on the outside, the meat was perfectly cooked and the au jus was the most amazing combination of sweet and savory that I had ever had on a sandwich.  Not only did I have an amazing sandwich, but I was also able to try their world famous french fries.  No kidding, I could have eaten 10lbs of these fries, so goooood.  Some other dishes that are well worth your time to try at Les Halles are their Coq au Vin, Les Halles Mac and Cheese (Gruyere) and their whole roasted chicken.  The dress is causal and the no frills atmosphere makes Les Halles a great dining location in New York City!
Coffee and a Tart at Dean and DeLucas– Whenever I am in New York I always end up around Rockefeller Plaza.  It is one of those exciting epicenters of New York where it seems the world is coming together.  When I am there I love to just sit on one of the benches outside of the main entrance and people watch.  I always stop into Dean and DeLuca’s and grab a cup of their wonderful coffee and one of their amazing fruit tarts or chocolates.  It is a great place to pick up a couple of snacks and coffee to give you a little more energy to take on one of the greatest cities on earth, not to mention possibly see someone famous!
Gotham Bar and Grill– Beautiful food, great location and an unbeatable dining experience.  My wife and I went to Gotham for our anniversary and was it ever worth it!  At Gotham you get nothing but the best ingredients, freshest food and beautifully intricate flavor combinations.  Every bite is pure joy!  Gotham is without a doubt a fine-dining experience, without being pretentious or unapproachable.  I highly recommend making sure Gotham is on your culinary check list the next time you visit the New York.

K’s Desert Recommendations

Café Lalo-Café Lalo isn’t your traditional dessert spot. Their menu is crazy, with over one hundred cakes and pies, nine types of brownies, cookies, tarts, fondue, mousse, shakes and smoothies, ice cream, Italian ice cream, biscotti, and a wide variety of traditional pastries and specialty dessert dishes. The small tables, exposed brick walls and light jazz create a delightful atmosphere.
Max BrennerMax Brenner has sweet treat at any hour. For breakfast, Mom’s Bagel, a rich pastry oozing with melted chocolate and peanut butter praline. On your lunch hour, try Warm Chocolate Soup? For Dinner, order Max’s Chocolate Pizza. For dessert, if you’re brave (and still conscious), tackle the Chocolate Mess, a dish so sloppy it’s eaten with spatulas. The prices here are a little high but from what I hear.. worth it.
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory-This unique ice cream store features strong, exotic flavors such as black sesame, durian (a fruit native to southeast Asia), and taro, as well as an assortment of more traditional flavors, non-dairy sorbets, and homemade toppings. With friendly service and affordable prices, this place beats Tasti-D-Lite in NYC any day.


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