We had 19 hours and no restaurant reservations during winter in New York City – just enough time for another New York quickie. That could be a recipe for a culinary disaster, but, with a little creativity, we ate well without breaking the bank.
During our weekend in New York City, we got around from downtown to uptown and east side to west side. Even without reservations, we ate some of the best NYC food at restaurants helmed by the likes of David Chang and Thomas Keller.
We also enjoyed great burgers from one the nation’s hottest burger chains. The weekend was a lot of things but it wasn’t definitely a disaster.
Momofuku Ssäm Bar
Our first meal of this New York quickie of a weekend was a late dinner at Momofuku Ssäm Bar in the East Village. We bellied up to the bar at 11 pm without a reservation or a wait.
After ordering our libations (a penicillin cocktail for Mindi and a glass of red wine for Daryl), we ordered some food to share. Of course, we had to start with the pork belly steamed buns. The simple yet succulent buns are a classic that must be ordered with every meal, at least by us.
We loved the perfectly rendered duck with crispy skin and colorful, seasonal flavors like dried cherries and barley.
Our favorite dish of the night had to be the spicy pork sausage and rice cakes served with broccoli and Sichuan peppercorn. The intense heat level was not a problem for us, and our taste buds tingled with a pleasant burn as we finished the meal.
We almost left without dessert, but the lovely manager surprised us with the Concord grape sorbet with black sesame, miso and Thai basil. Despite the busy description, we loved every bite of this modern take on PB&J. Thank you Kate!
Momofuku Ssäm Bar is located at 207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003.
For our one night in the city, we stayed at the Hudson Hotel due to its close proximity to both the Time Warner Center and Central Park. The location of this hotel can’t be beat, and we dug the hotel’s trendy vibe inside.
The Hudson Hotel is located at 358 W 58th Street, New York, NY 10019, United States.
After a great night’s sleep in our upgraded room (thank you broken heater!), we moseyed over to Time Warner Center for coffee and a light bite at Bouchon Bakery. If we closed our eyes, it was like we were back in Napa Valley.
Despite the polar vortex (brrrrr), we had to take a walk in Central Park – partly to burn off some of the yummy breakfast and partly to revisit the scene of the crime. You see, it was just over seven years ago that we got engaged on a nearby bench in Central Park. Ah, memories.
After our stroll down memory lane and with the help of the A train, we were quickly in the West Village for lunch at Umami Burger. We had been wanting to try this LA burger joint that has made its way east and an invitation from our sister/sister-in-law Amy sealed the deal.
The burgers didn’t disappoint, especially when paired with truffle fries and sophisticated glasses of red wine. It’s not every day that you can get drink 2011 Heidenboden Rot with your Burger Royale, but maybe it should be.
Discover the world’s best burgers.
Umami Burger has multiple locations including one at NYC’s Brookfield’s Place.
After lunch, we walked up to Eataly to join the hordes of Saturday shoppers. We couldn’t leave empty-handed, so we left the Italy-based food emporium with a bottle of wine to enjoy later.
Eataly is located at 200 5th Ave New York, NY 10010.
As our short time in New York came to an end, we had just enough time to stop at Joe Coffee to grab cappuccinos for the road.
Joe Coffee has multiple locations. We drank our ‘joe’ at the one located at 405 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011.
Everywhere we ate in New York during this weekend has locations in other cities. Joe Coffee even has locations in Philadelphia. Globalization isn’t always a good thing, but this time we made it work for us. That’s our kind of a New York quickie.
About The Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on their website 2foodtrippers. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers a unique taste of the world.
Original Publication Date: March 5, 2014