Top ten lists are somewhat cliche. But in my desire to capture dining experiences during a recent annual girls trip to New York City, I decide it is the best way to honor the tenth anniversary of my ritual getaway with friends.
This year we are 14 women, 2 days, 2 Broadway shows, and 3 significant meals. My role, since the very first year, is to select all of the restaurants. Obviously, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Of course the food matters more to me than anyone else, but still I drive myself crazy trying to come up with the best possible options. This year, I rely heavily on two “research assistants” in the group who turn to some in-the-know locals for assistance. This helps relieve some of the self-induced pressure. So without further adieu, here’s to the power of ten: the top 10 food highlights from my 2012 Annual Girls Theater Trip to NYC.
1. Epic bread at Michael White’s Osteria Moroni in Soho, baked fresh in a brick oven. Fourteen hungry women, having just walked from 31st Street and Seventh Ave. to Soho in extreme heat tear into this toasted, salty, olive oil topped bread in a manner that may have terrified our lone server. We’re hungry but discriminating. This is good bread.
2. Rich and rustic raviolo filled with ricotta and topped with an egg and mushroom ragu at Osteria Moroni. In keeping with the plethora of R’s in the previous sentence, this dish is ridiculous. And I mean this in a good way.
3. Scottish salmon tartare with puffed barley and cilantro gelee at the hopping Bar Room at the Modern. We may be feeling a little droopy while eating dinner well after 10:00 pm, but the food here is an excellent pick-me-up.
4. There is nothing like completing a jam-packed day and then indulging in delicate beignets served with maple ice cream and dipping sauces of caramel and mango marmalade at the Bar Room at the Modern. Really….nothing.
5. During a lower east side walking tour, our guide gives us a break at Economy Candy. Sugar Babies, Lemonheads, candy buttons, Necco wafers, candy cigarettes, dozens of flavors of licorice and so much more. A morning sugar high for the group isn’t a bad thing.
6. Is 10:00 am too early for pickles? Maybe, but I can’t resist pickled pineapples from The Pickle Guys. It tastes way better than it sounds.
7. Our visit happily coincides with Restaurant Week in NYC. Three course lunches for $24.07. We descend on Daniel Bouloud’s DBGB Kitchen & Bar on the lower east side, where most of us feast on a velvety chilled carrot soup with puffed quinoa. Kudos to the restaurant for getting us out in record time, although we still have to make a mad dash to the theater.
8. The tantalizing apricot-honey dessert at DBGB is made with cookie crumble, candied pine nuts, honey roasted apricot, thyme sauce, and whipped cream. I can’t finish the ample portion, but find myself sneaking back to the table for a couple more spoonfuls as we’re trying to depart the restaurant. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that.
9. It’s a long ride home on the Vamoose bus, and a quick trip to Chelsea Market is in order to pick up food for the trip. A cinnamon bun from Amy’s Bread is just the thing to make the ride a little sweeter.
10. One of my favorite things to eat at Chelsea Market is a grilled cheese sandwich from Lucy’s Whey. A wonderfully fresh Artisan cheese is complimented by a sweet chutney, pressed lovingly between two pieces of beautifully crusty bread. I’m actually eating a tuna salad from The Lobster Place, but secretly coveting my friend’s cheese sandwich. Next time.
Thinking back over ten years of NYC theater and dining with this group, there are countless happy memories. Which is why I’m already counting the days until next year. Happy Anniversary, girls!
Osteria Morini 218 Lafayette Street New York, NY
Bar Room at the Modern, 9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY
Economy Candy, 108 Rivington Street, New York, NY
The Pickle Guys, 49 Essex Street, New York, NY
DBGB Kitchen & Bar, 299 Bowery, New York, NY
Amy’s Bread, Chelsea Market, 75 9th Avenue, New York, NY