Eating My Way Through Manhattan

April 17, 2014 by Bailee Roberts

Hi friends,
 
Two weeks ago I was happily munching my way through Manhattan. We jumped across the pond for a little break to see the family, to celebrate an engagement and our fourth wedding anniversary. We packed a lot in but it was worth the flight.
 

We ate really well while in New York and I thought I’d share some of my edible highlights with you. 

Friedman’s at the Chelsea Market for Breakfast:

First of all, Chelsea Market is any foodie’s heaven, whether you want rare spices or proper Italian pasta, grain free sushi or entire raw eateries and of course, bakeries producing cupcakes too beautiful to eat. If let loose, I could spend hours and probably all my money in there.

Friedman’s was a perfect place to start our Saturday. Cosy and sweet, it offers a easy break from the market madness. The gluten free blueberry pancakes are incredible. The fact we ordered them for the table to share was my first mistake. Yum. Their egg white scramble packed full of veggies and crispy hashbrowns on the side feels like a cheat meal. The inhouse raseberry jam and bottomless coffee finishes off a perfect breakfast for me. The Husband had their B.E.L.T. sandwhich, which is now firmly his favourite breakfast… move over Full English, the boy prefers American breakfasts. 

The Standard was beautiful way to kick off our New York nightlife. A simply stunning restaurant. As my sister put it, ‘it’s a place to be seen,’ but not in a wanky kind of way. In the bar, we sipped espresso martinis to keep the jet lag at bay. Vanilla vodka and espresso is a beautiful combination.  Their ‘west side’ Penny Drop of vodka, house made ginger cordial, lime juice and ginger beer, is also very good. We had the rib eye… obviously, medium rare with skinny fries. For me, it was perfection though the husband complained it was a little salty. Just ask to be put in the main dinning room when you make your reservation.

It’s beer garden with Ping-Pong tables, foosball, and proper steins seems like the perfect place for a decent session with mates.

Babycakes:

Our Sunday started late. My sister, Megs, our host and tour guilde extraordinaire, ensured us that on the weekends, New Yorkers don’t start anything before noon. So, after cracking the curtains and clearing our eyes, we headed to the Lower East Side just to check out Babycakes before meeting friends for brunch. Babycakes is one of the first all natural, gluten, dairy and sugar free vegan bakeries to open their doors and make waves…. They do donuts. Despite being on our way to brunch, I had to try one. Dominique Ansel can keep their Cronut. I’ll have one of Babycakes’ creations instead and there is no need to queue. The agave brownies are devine, just try not to eat the box in one sitting. Oppsie. 
 

Beauty & Essex:

With a heavy nod to the prohibition era, Beauty & Essex’s pawnshop front holds very glamorous secret.  By far, the most decadent place I’ve ever been for breakfast and it’s not just the décor, the food matches. Granted not the best name for the English types, but the mimosas flow and even at 12pm on a Sunday, it somehow all seems accpectable to order a bottle and throw on your heels. Chef Chris Santos’ creations will have you turning your nose up at any ordinary eggs benedict going forward. Try the Mini Pressed Cubanos or the Reuben Toast. This place is not to be missed. 

Food aside, the highlight for me was definitely sitting courtside watching my youngest sister dance for the Nets. The girl hooked us up! I’m not sure we’ll every get floor seats again, but we loved being so close to the action and watching the girls perform was spectacular. No offence to the basketball players, but these professional dancers are so underrated. The Brooklynettes are amazing and stole the show (for me)!

Prior to the game we met the family at Madiba in Brooklyn for some classic South African cuisine. My mother, who is a tough foodie judge, loved her Bobotie and we were all surprised to see a chicken curry in a Bunny Chow on the menu. You can also pick up Ouma Rusks, chutney, NikNaks, and some pretty good South African wine. 

Next has to be the The Park and Rosemary in the West Village:

While the boys, snuck out to The Spotted Pig for a few testosterone fueled beverages and celebrated blue cheese burgers. My sisters and I had a very rare night out together. We first went to The Park for drinks to celebrate Lindsay’s engagement. Sitting in The Park’s beautiful atrium sipping champagne and catching up was very special indeed. I’m a sucker for trees and sparkly fairy lights. The bar is a beauty and the high ceilings give the place a sense of grandeur you wouldn’t expect from the street. The food is supposed to match the ambiance, but we didn’t eat there so I can’t report back.

However, after we finished the champagne, the three of us hopped into a cab and headed to the West Village to Rosemary’s for a late dinner. Guys, this place is fabulous. It’s New York does country kitchen décor and had me a soon as I walked through the door. Relaxed, welcoming and very cool. Their Costolette Pork Ribs are not to be missed. The meat is so succulent that the bones are left clean with just of fork. We paired it with Eggplant Caponata, Radish in ThymeRosemary Focaccia, and Warm Olive, which sounds weird but after trying them, I don’t really know why olives would be served another way. With a herb garden on the roof, this place is worth the trip alone and is the kind of place I fantasise running one day. 

David Burke Kitchen:

David Burke Kitchen was recommended to us by friends of ours that used to live in New York as a fabulous date place. So, we booked it for our anniversary dinner, but to be honest, we were both so zonked from the holiday antics that we didn’t really appreciate it. The setting is very sleek and modern and the menu really pushes the gourmet boundaries. I could have ordered anything on the menu. I can highly recommend thefried oystersandtuna and salmon tartare.Both are extraordinary and I look forward to going back one day to get the proper indulgent experience. 

La Lanterna di Vittorio:

I had been craving pizza all week. So, on our final night, Megs found La Lanterna di Vittorio in Greenwich Village and what a funky find. This is how Italian is supposed to be. Tightly packed, thick accents, mafia looking types huddled around corner tables in pinstripe three price suits. Lots of red wine and the heavenly smell of baking bread. It has a jazz bar in the basement and is probably the only place in New York that doesn’t offer gluten free, but the food is so good, no one cares. Megs and I split a tomatoes and goats cheese salad and their Formaggi pizza. Mike had a massive calzone with Canadian bacon, caramelised onions and capriono. No one mention the obvious healthy eating breach. Some nights the rules have to go out the window to enjoy the moment! 

I loved trying all these wonderful restaurants. It’s absolute brilliant and I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to enjoy what was on offer. Trying a new wonderful place is an absolute joy for me. So, this many insuch a short period mays seem a glutinous amount of fun, but hey, it was a holiday and there was a lot to celebrate.

If you are planning a trip to the Big Apple, a few no foodie related bits we got up to while we’re over there and would highly recommend; Comedy Cellar, walked The HighlineTrapeze School16 Handles for a load of fro-yo, 9/11 memorial is open and peacefully profound; rent bikes and cycle around Central Park, walk theBrooklyn Bridge, and of course, a bit of shopping… I mean, it’s New York, it would almost be criminal not too!

                            Aww, back to reality and off to castings for me.


Tags: bars, Blog, model hotspots, new york, restaurants, USA

Bailee Roberts California Girl living in London, working model, practicing wife to a Pie Loving Husband, trying not eat myself out of the day job. 

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