By: Deanna Linder
It started way back, even before we were in Preschool. I obviously don’t recall the actual meeting, but it’s been told to us that we met when our brothers, two years our senior, started Preschool. We had Israeli parents (me one, them two), which can be an automatic friendship maker over in Suburbia, LA.
The twins (Donna and Shelly) and I shared the wonderful years of Preschool until 2nd grade together as BFF’s. I don’t remember the feelings of me, the six year old who lost her two best friends to the other side of the country, but I can assume it wasn’t easy.
Years went by without contact, and then one summer when I was twelve, on our family trip back East, we met up again and after so many years it was like not even a mere second had gone by.
And since that summer back in 93’, that’s exactly how our friendship is defined. No matter how much time has gone by, usually months or years at a time, we somehow still love the same things, from fashion to travel to food.
Food. Lucky for me, Shelly is (a successful lawyer) a walking guide of NYC eateries. Even more lucky is that this year for my birthday, I was given the present of flying to NYC, by myself, to enjoy my friends and the city for five whole days.
Enjoy is by far an understatement. Everything about those five days was completely gluttonous, in the best way possible. We ate, drank and shopped until we literally couldn’t stand. I know what you are thinking right now, Danya told me each time I tried to tell her about my trip- “I’m too jealous to even hear about it”. Well I consider it my mission to report back to you, our readers, with five food stops places you should not miss while in NYC.
*Disclaimer: There are probably more than a thousand of amazing places to eat at in the city. This list is by no way definitive, but a way for me to share with you my amazing experiences of my last trip.
NYC: Five Food Stops You Shouldn’t Miss
1. ABC Kitchen-35 E 18th St. (212) 475 5829
Named Best New Restaurant of 2011 by the James Beard Foundation, this major hotspot is the brainchild of the beautiful home décor brand ABC Carpet and Home and famed chef Jean Georges. This market fresh pricy restaurant, committed to organic, local produce showcases intense seasonal (and seasoned) food. We shared a bunch of smaller plates like the crab toast with lemon aioli, mushrooms, parmesan, and farm egg pizza and the cheeseburger with pickled jalapeños. The beautiful décor and the place settings themselves were an extra benefit for a lover of aesthetic such as myself.
2. Bohemian-57 Great Jones Street
This underground, rather secretive, members only supper-club is highly exclusive. There is no telephone listed, and you can either get a reservation by knowing someone who is a member (member=someone who has dined there before) or try to get a hold of them by email: email@example.com. Lucky for me, Jared, Shelly’s husband is a member, and got us a coveted Friday night reservation at this tiny spot, which was once the home to a loft formerly owned Andy Warhol’s studio. The vibe is somewhat vintage, a little Japanese and veryNew York, but somehow at the same time very universal. The food crosses borders, from the Wagyu Beef Burgers, to the Mac and Cheese, the fried sweet potatoes and the Sashimi. I know it sounds a bit usual, but nothing about this meal was usual, from the outstanding taste to the eccentricity of the place.
3. Shake Shack– 366 Columbus Avenue (646)747 8770 (With several other locations in the city)
The hamburger joint with lines around the corner at all times, is the East Coast’s answer to the West Coasts’ In’N’Out. Using 100% all natural Angus beef with no hormones or antibiotics, this is simply a great place to eat a burger. And a shake.
4. Ippudo-65 4th Avenue (212) 388 0088
I’ve been dying to go to the famed Momofuku for years now, and when we couldn’t get in at Ippudo (no reservations accepted), Shelly hesitantly took me there. It was good. But when we finally got into Ippudo the next day after a 45 minute wait, I was blown away. Hands down this Japanese ramen import is the best bowl of ramen in the city. Even better is their pork bun, which is I think the best thing I have ever tasted. The sauce sweet and spicy, the bun soft, the pork tender, and lettuce crispy- this is what I believe the Japanese mean when they use the term ‘Umami’.
5. Ballaboosta-214 Mulberry Street (212)966 7366
Anyone who has been with me abroad knows that when outside the borders of Israel, the last thing I want to do is eat Israeli food. We went here with a group, and needed a place to fit everyone’s style. It more than fit my style, and that came as a pleasant surprise to me. I have to give major compliments to chef Einat Admony, who has taken “Israeli,Mediterranean” food to a whole other level. Her “mortar and pestle” hummus is as tasty as it is beautifully presented. The crispy cauliflower with currants, pine nuts and lemon and the grilled eggplant bruschetta are two other appetizers not to be missed. Admony makes me proud of being A. a woman B. an Israeli and C. and a Ballaboosta (mistress of the house).
A huge thank’s to my long-lost sisters, Donna and Shelly, who make me feel like they are on vacation with me when I come to the city. And to their boys, Jared, the only man I’ve ever enjoyed sharing a kitchen with and Tal, for being the spitting image of the man I dreamed Donna would marry one day.
And to my man, for allowing me to have this incredible adventure. And to my parents. Much much love.