Posts tagged East Village
Posts tagged East Village
“I feel cooler for having eaten here,” my friend said as we sat back in our seats, stomachs full, staring at the carcass of our bronzino and remains of mac and cheese. I couldn’t have agreed more. And not only that, I think my palate is grateful for the wonderful dining experience and angry at the same time that no meal for a while will live up to this.
Everything about our meal at the exclusive, hidden Bohemian restaurant was memorable. The service, the food and the other patrons, one in particular spilled invaluable culinary knowledge about dining in New York, D.C., Philly, and Tokyo. He had to be someone in the culinary world, and I will continue to try and figure out who until I see him on the cover of some big magazine. I learned, or attempted to learn, how to cut fish cheeks out of my bronzino and have a new documentary to watch. A meal at Bohemian is not just about the food, it’s being around other foodies, real foodies, and sharing the magical, ritualistic experience that is dining.
Walking down Great Jones Street at 9:45, we searched for street numbers on the dark, but crowded sidewalk. Finally, we saw the little number “57” on a graffitied doorway. A little paper taped sign, that one would not notice unless searching, directed us down the ramp way and through an open doorway. This scenario reminded me of the stories of horrors down hidden door ways, however we were confident and our fears disappeared once we went further down the rabbit hole.
I pressed the buzzer, and a trendy, young Asian women opened the door. Bohemian is an intimate restaurant, with simple decor of signed guitars and little Japanese flare with a simple plants and to in a cutout window at the far end of the restaurant. A sushi bar on the other side seats about four, with masterful chefs creating wonderful, intricate dishes. At the five tables in the restaurant, the seats were low and plush, with pillows attached to each one for added comfort. I immediately regretted wearing heels out, longing for slippers to curl up in a ball in the chair.
Every part of the restaurant, with the simple attention to detail, felt comfortable and special. The napkins were old sheets or rags of some sort. Each one unique from the last. Chopsticks sat on black stone, which reminded me of lava rocks. With this much detail and care put into the decor, I knew the food would blow me away. The waitress placed cold, lemon cloth towels in front of us to wash our hands, ridding us from any dirt from the outside world.
Rainbows, Unicorns, and Ice Cream. Awesome life-changing ice cream. That’s Big Gay Ice Cream Shop for you.
Very few things would drag Upper West Siders down to the heart of the East Village on a Sunday night, with new TV premieres and HBO shows on. But this was not just any type of craving, this was Big Gay.
Formally an ice cream truck, Big Gay parked on 17th and Broadway, with lines down the street and twitter as your only guide for its hours of operations. My sister, Amanda and I waited for at least an hour last summer to taste its unique flavor and deliciousness. We had heard about the Salty Pimp, one of their signature dishes, from Gail Simmons on Best Things I Ever Ate and knew we needed to try. And with one bite, our lives were changed forever. No cone would ever live up to this. We dreamed about its salty-sweet complexity for days to come.
Recently, Big Gay opened a storefront in the East Village, offering extended hours and a permanent location for ice cream lovers far and wide. No longer would twitter dictate our discovery of ice cream or result in sadness when learning they had ventured outside of Manhattan.
We made the hike from 72nd and Broadway on the 2 train to 14th Street, transferred onto the L and resurfaced on 14th and 1st. We walked seven blocks to 7th Street between 1st Ave and Avenue A. With each step, our excitement level rose. Turning the corner onto 7th, we saw tons of people, walking down the street, extreme ice cream cone in hand. We couldn’t wait.
Years ago, my dad and I had gone to hear his old dental school roommate play with a band in the basement of Acme, a New Orleans restaurant, boasting a Cajun-Southern menu and decor to compliment. I had just turned 21, so we shared a beer inside, and then went to go hear the band.
When my friend, Amber, suggested we eat at the hot, new restaurant Acme, I had zero clue that I was going to the same place from years earlier. However, this version of Acme has been completely revamped to the point where the similarities end with the title. Gone were the gold, purple and green beads and Mardi Gras masks lining the walls. Instead, the entire interior was redone, including the bar’s complete relocation and was alive with crowds out the door. For 10:30pm, the only time we could get a reservation in this East Village spot, the place was crowded and full of trendy people. I definitely feel on a whole new level of “cool” when I go out to eat after 10pm, instead of being in PJs watching a rerun of Friends in bed.
We sat down at our table, near the front of the restaurant. The dark lighting and wooden tables gives it a rustic feel. The restaurant now serves dishes inspired by local, seasonal ingredients with a Nordic flare, with the new head chef from Copenhagen. We glanced over the menu, slightly overwhelmed with the unique choices and intriguing dishes listed before us. I ordered the Foxy Brown cocktail to start and continued to glance over the mouthwatering menu.
The combination of the ingredients created an intense flavor of ginger, sweetness and acidity; the perfect drink for a tequila lover like myself.
We decided to be slightly adventurous in our eating endeavors. We started out with the ever so daunting, Duck in a Jar.
Friday night revolved around sister bonding time and a really fabulous meal. My younger sister, Leigh, arrived home from finishing freshman year at USC in the wee hours of the night and after a day of beauty sleep, made her way back into the city. She met me and my work friends for a quick margarita, before heading downtown to the East Village for dinner. I have been attempting to make my way to Northern Spy Food Co after reading about its wonderful farm to table menu and fun atmosphere. At 10:15pm we finally arrived.
The restaurant is gorgeous and rustic. The wooden tables, white brick walls and dim lighting create this atmosphere that gives off the perfect homey country vibe. We both immediately felt right at home in the intimate, beautiful setting right in the heart of the East Village. We sat at the bar quickly while waiting for our table to be ready and started off with a drink. It’s wine and beer only, so it’s fun to see how they can put a spin on limited options.
It was a perfect way to start the meal off, as we glanced over the small, but complex menu. Eventually we sat down and decided to begin our culinary experience with a cheese board.
For the past few years, desserts have been all the trendy rage. From cupcakes to froyo bars, they are on every street corner and appearing for any celebration at work. The newest trend might be my favorite.
My mom heard about Puddin on the radio one afternoon (super vintage) and had been dying to go. It’s hidden on St. Marks, between 1st and A, a place one would not normally stumble upon. Trust me when I say, until you try puddin, you are missing out.
This little shop has no seats and just a simple counter top and exposed kitchen. Each batch of pudding is made fresh every day. You can actually see them mixing the little bowls of heaven in the back. Not only is it just pudding, but there are mix-ins to add and enhance the flavors. They allow for tastes, and according to the woman behind the counter, even if people taste and leave, “they will be thinking about it for days and be sure to come back.” I’m already dreaming of when I can be back.
If you ever ask me what my favorite food is, there are two answers. Raspberries and Lobster. I’m pretty sure my answer hasn’t changed in my 22 years, and I don’t think it ever will. I went to Pearl Oyster Bar last summer and have been dying for the chance to go back. This delicious restaurant is located in the heart of the West Village off a side street you wouldn’t wander to unless you knew what you were looking for. My friend Zac and I always have a competition to one-up each other on finding a better unknown restaurant. So when he discovered Pearl, he definitely won that round.
The restaurant does not take reservations, so when we walked in after work around 6:30pm, it was already crowded. There are seats at the bar and an adjacent counter top and a little side room with no more then 10 tables. Luckily, we just beat the real dinner rush (after all it is Manhattan and people really don’t eat until 8-9pm). We got one of the coveted tables in the side room and sat down. Instead of bread, they start you off with Oyster Crackers. Get it? Oyster Bar.. Oyster Crackers.