Last weekend, we stayed at the Sheraton Tribeca on Canal Street, located blocks from historic Little Italy, Chinatown and Soho. The possibilities for things to do see and eat were endless. Ok, that applies to anywhere in NYC, really – just plop down somewhere and go crazy with options, but this locale was still pretty stellar.
First on the agenda was meandering through the West Village in search of boutique hotels. The mission? Locate. Drink beverage. Eat appetizer. Move on. Why? Well, think about it…if you’ve ever wanted to get a feel for a hotel in NYC but not commit to spending hundreds in room rates, that’s the next best thing. Our first stop was the Soho Grand Hotel. Super swank with lush decor, yet not stuffy. Starved, we ordered the large cheese plate, which had a nice selection of blue, cheddar, goat, parmigiana and brie, along with some sliced apples, honey and nuts. Totally full, we vowed no more snacks until dinner. Yes, even I have my limits, but we weren’t quite done with our boutique hotel trolling…
Next stop was 60 Thompson also in Soho. The Thom Bar had a low lit cool, youthful vibe with hip décor, Victorian style couches and funky chandeliers. It wasn’t crowded, so late afternoon is an ideal time to hotel hop. I picked the bartender’s brain for our next stop, but he was new in town, so I made the executive decision to shift gears and head to The Spotted Pig, a gastropub in the West Village. I had gnudi (the “g” is silent) on the brain – and no, I’m not getting fresh. The Pig’s sheep’s milk gnudi are light and airy ricotta creation prepared in brown butter and sage and floored me the first time I had them. But I called ahead and there was an hour and a half wait for a table. Not uncommon for a Gnudi-needy New York. Yes, they are that good! I must go back. And soon.
Now pretty famished, we again changed course and took a short cab ride to Eataly in the Flatiron district, a bustling Italian marketplace with restaurants. A cornucopia of high quality gourmet delights, it’s total organized chaos. Counters are sectioned off in meat, fish, cheese, bread, pasta, vegetables, baked goods, gelato and more, all freshly prepared. We decided to dine at Dave Pasternack’s (of Esca fame) Il Pesce, which turned out to be an excellent call. Protected from marketplace madness, we passed up counter seats and were tucked safely in a corner. My Boo enjoyed a lightly fried seafood platter (almost as good as my grandmothers) and Italian light beer. I opted for an amazing a seafood salad and peach-flavored brew, a perfect accompaniment to my light dish. I did seagull his plate every now and again, but you have to understand…the fried fish was so light, crispy and flavorful I couldn’t help myself.
The next day’s menu? A rooftop continental breakfast at our hotel while playfully arguing over bridge names, followed by New York pizza and organic coconut popsicles for dessert while strolling the new section of High Line Park, a former food “railroad” in the meatpacking district. How apropos.I ate New York. And I’d do it again. Stay tuned for Gnudi, the sequel.