I was in New York City the other weekend for a friend’s wedding and as always, it’s odd to be back. This time around, I had more than few Americans ask me if I was British, which I found exceedingly odd because as any British person will tell you, I sound very American.
It must be my use of “quite.”
I felt like I accomplished a lot, food-wise, so let me give you the lowdown.
Salt: 58 Macdougal Street. This was a big group dinner with all my friends from business school. The restaurant is small, hot, loud, and dark. It was a pretty hot weekend in New York, but come on…a little AC wouldn’t kill you. I have nearly completely forgotten my food here because it was so forgettable, but I do barely remember it. I started with the asparagus and pea risotto and it was okay, but my main of cod was served with a spoon and I don’t think cod should ever be served with a spoon. It was salty salty salty (but this might just be because I’ve lived in the UK for a while) and I left nearly all of it behind. You know this never happens. Verdict: Skip it. Fun location though. And very good, friendly service.
The Union Square Cafe: 21 East 16th Street. Wandered in here and was immediately accosted by staff who could tell I didn’t have a booking. (Dressed very casually, loaded down with Anthropologie bags.) That being said, I knew the drill and they put me at the bar where I had a very enjoyable seared tuna on a bed of quinoa. I also had a lovely time talking to the older woman on my right, who was one of the most well-traveled people I’ve ever met. She’s a regular at Union Square and when she’s not there, she’s at Otto, Mario Batali’s place. Verdict: I definitely would recommend the bar for lunch. Great food, great service.
Union Square Market: Union Square. Maybe not as good as Borough but still an excellent little market to wander around. There were a lot of people selling mint iced tea for $1, which was the perfect way to beat the heat. Verdict: Go.
Ess-a-bagel: 359 1st Avenue. Basic little bagel joint (like they should be). Everything made on premises. I got there too late for the salt bagels, unfortunately. But the Everything bagels were very good. I felt like maybe the bagels were a bit too big and in my mind’s eye, I prefer H&H. But still good. Verdict: Good.
Ippudo: 65 Fourth Avenue. I just don’t think I’m a ramen person. I loved loved loved the pork buns (pictured), but did not go crazy over my ramen. Also, the place was a bit worn around the edges and not in a charming way. A fun stop though. Verdict: Good if you like ramen.
Eventi: I don’t think I’ve ever written up a hotel before but I’m really going to start doing this. I stayed at the brand-spanking new Eventi on 6th avenue, between 29th and 30th. It’s a Kimpton hotel, and Kimpton is seriously my favorite American hotel brand. Free wifi and FREE DRINKS between 5 and 6. (Usually just wine.) My bedroom was small, but the bathroom was HUGE. (Although I’m sure Brits will complain about the lack of a proper bath and tea-making facilities in the room.) Great little gym on premises. And a free gift if you knew the secret password from Twitter. The hotel’s location is a bit dire, but it’s very close to Madison Square Garden, Penn Station, and Macy’s on 34th Street so you’re really not hurting for amenities. I LOVED this property. The Verdict: Highly recommended.