Eating my way through NYC
by Irina Vishnevskaya, Tastemaker in Residence
New York City- a city that belongs to the world, a city that literally defines melting pot, opportunity and 24/7 excitement. Famous for broadway, the financial district, the art, the fashion and the food, to name just a few. To each their own, but I'm always interested in the food.
There's no food scene like the one in NYC; it's quite literally the world's main stage for restauranteurs. Here, it's possible to sample food from every corner of the world, food that is on the cutting edge of culinary technology, trends and just flat out oozing with trendiness and deliciousness.
As such, I'm very meticulous about planning my meals in NYC. To me, it's the most important part of my time there. So here are my recommendations from a recent trip, places I highly recommend you add to your next visit's itinerary. If fact, these places are so good, that I would even tell you to book a flight just to eat here. Yes, I mean it.
One of the most brilliantly named eateries I've ever come across (traif = anything unacceptable or non-kosher in the Jewish faith) and this place is known for a hyper-seasonal menu where pork, as well as meats mingling with dairy play a main role- not quite kosher, to say the least. The kitchen is one of the smallest I've ever seen, and open to see, which makes the creations of the chefs here even more respectable. The menu is filled with tapas style small plates meant to be shared, or if you want to leave it to the pros I recommend going with a 10 course tasting menu. It will blow your socks off. From the outside you'll think you've come to the wrong place (or that I'm out of my mind sending you here) but once inside you'll feel the incredibly warm and down to earth attitude of a tiny place packed with people who love good food. Make sure to make reservations at least a week in advance, especially for weekend nights. More information. TRAIF NY
An enclosed urban food court, shopping mall and office building, Chelsea Market has loads of real estate developers from all over the world scrambling copy the concept- it's that great. It is located in the former Nabisco factory complex (where the Oreo cookie was invented and produced) in the trendy Meatpacking district. This place is my definition of heaven- small street food type stalls, stores and other vendors packed into one turn of the century warehouse. My top picks of where to eat are Mokbar- Korean style ramen and Los Tacos No.1- really good tacos. Make sure to bring a friend and order food to share so you leave enough space in your stomach to continue to sample. More information. Chelsea Market
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Russ & Daughters
A true New York City staple, Russ & Daughters has been a high-end smoked fish, caviar and other specialty foods store since 1914- in fact, interestingly enough, the original owner, Joel Russ, a Polish- Jewish immigrant added the & Daughters to the name in the 1930s as he was the father of three daughters and had no sons. A whole 100 years after the original store's opening, the 4th generation of the Russ family opened Russ & Daughters Cafe just a few blocks away from the original store. The cozy deli meets cafe environment serves up classics like matzoh ball soup, melt-in-your-mouth-lox, potato latkes and babka. The cocktails here are also great, the prices reasonable and the atmosphere comfortable. Russ & Daughters accepts dinner reservations through the Reserve app. Reserve. More information. Russ & Daughters Cafe.
Hungarian Pastry Shop
Just two blocks away from the upper west side edge of Central Park, this pastry shop is unassuming, constantly packed and incredibly worth the visit. The pastries are in fact mostly Hungarian, or eastern european in origin and they really are as good as the original- the hamantash and the strudel are sure to impress. Makes for a nice pit stop from a stroll in Central Park before continuing along with your packed, NYC-style day. More information. Hungarian Pastry Shop NYC-Facebook.