Seriously Seeking Good Eats: NYC Edition

NYC Resto Week

My love affair with New York City cannot be overstated.  As often as I can, but definitely no less than once a year, I make the trek to take in the sights, sounds, people, energy–and tastes–of this world renowned food and travel destination.  During each visit, I endeavor to satisfy my unquenchable thirst for the seemingly limitless options for exploring cuisine, culture, entertainment, fashion and art at their best.  And my latest jaunt was no different.

Enjoying a beautiful NYC evening

Enjoying a beautiful NYC evening

With a primary strategy of indulging in some of Manhattan’s finest restaurants for a fraction of the normal expense (more on that in a moment), as well as finally making my way over to Brooklyn to explore its vibrant food scene, I was primed for another scrumptious visit. And although I had a plan in place, I also left room for going-with-the-flow spontaneity and impromptu connections.

Regarding the fine dining scene, I had marked my calendar for the dates of NYC Restaurant Week, Summer 2013, and flagged a reminder to revisit once the participating restaurants were announced.  When I saw the list, I can only say that I was giddy in anticipation of experiencing some of NYC’s legendary fine dining spots, without breaking the bank.  After previewing the selected menus, I immediately went for my top two (Le Cirque and Mr. Chow) and scheduled my reservations. Before I knew it, the time had arrived and I was enjoying back-to-back evenings of tasteful pleasures.

NYC Restaurant Week Eats

NYC Restaurant Week Eats

Le Cirque, New York’s most legendary restaurant, served up decadent fare, and a personal greeting by Marco Maccioni, son of the founder, Sirio Maccioni.  My menu selections included the Farfalle first course, Duck Confit main course and Strawberry Composition dessert.  It was a delightful meal in an enchanting setting and made for a memorable evening.

Le Cirque

Le Cirque

The next evening served up Chinese fare at the chic and classic Mr. Chow in Tribeca.  The menu indulgences consisted of a variety of tastes, including Chicken Satay, Shrimp Rolls, Green Prawns, Beef with Oyster Sauce, Fried Rice and Vegetables and a Sorbet/Ice Cream dessert finish.  With a polished, yet comfortable, ambiance and decor, it was an all-around delectable experience.

Mr. Chow

Mr. Chow

If you love taking in exquisite dining experiences on a budget (who doesn’t?), then you’ll want to consider planning your future visits to NYC, or other foodie destinations, around local Restaurant Weeks.  NYC typically hosts a Winter and Summer edition and the current Restaurant Week will go until August 16th, so if you’re in the area, there’s still a little time left to enjoy good eats for less.  Visit here for details on participating restaurants, featured menus, neighborhood locations, and more!

Beyond Restaurant Week, I was elated to discover what I refer to as a foodie mecca in Brooklyn.  Smorgasburg, a Brooklyn Flea Food Market, boasts purveyors across the culinary spectrum, leaving no room for disappointment–or empty stomachs.  Upon arrival, I could only smile and wish that every person I know could experience what I was experiencing.

Smorgasburg!

Smorgasburg!

A beautifully sunny and mild afternoon served as the perfect backdrop for tent after tent of amazing food, ranging from Schnitzel to Fish and Chips to Smoked BBQ to Nachos to Ice Cream Sandwiches and So. Much. More.  And if that wasn’t enough, it’s set on the Williamsburg waterfront for the ultimate in chill-mode relaxation.  Not a bad way to pass a Saturday afternoon.  I was truly in my element as I sauntered from tent to tent, pausing often to chat with others about what they were eating and exchanging recommendations.  What else can I say about it?  I’ll be back–and you have to go!

Smorgasburg occurs every Saturday and Sunday through November 24, 2013.

Intermixed with the highlights above were great lunches, brunch, coffee and dessert dates, outdoor concerts, shopping and museum visits, as I rounded out my stay and spent time connecting with old and new friends, alike.  From the Upper East Side to Tribeca, Midtown, Brooklyn, Harlem, along the Hudson River, and beyond, NYC was as infectious as ever.

Brunch at Cafe Luxembourg followed by an afternoon of art

Brunch at Cafe Luxembourg followed by an afternoon of art

And with a little advance planning and research, it made seeking out–and discovering–good eats worth every moment.

 

Leave a Reply