My dad is turning 70 this weekend and he wanted to go somewhere with damn good food. NYC is an obvious choice and I like coming back, except when the Snowpocalypse hits like during my last trip here, as I spent the first three years after undergrad living here. As much as I hated it in the end due to the noise, price and lack of easy access to outdoor activities, it somehow feels like home when I come back. The energy is great and the diversity of people is better than almost anywhere else in the world. For our first evening did a little tour that was close to home, Mario Batali is from Washington and his parents have a well regarded salami/lunch spot in Seattle.
First up with Eataly, we almost had to skip since we were two hours late arriving to the hotel due to traffic, both in the air on the ground.85 minutes to get from JFK to midtown West is nuts. A glass of wine and some fried seafood cured all. K fell in love with Eataly when we went in Milan two years ago and insisted we go, I had to restrain her from buying everything in the store to take home.
From there we walked down to Casa Mono, Batali’s tapas restaurant just off Union Square. I have been eating here since the first days when it was more casual and didn’t have its sister Bar Jamon next door.
After getting 90% full walked a few blocks to Baohaus, Eddie Huangs bao joint. I’ve read Fresh of the Boat and watch the tv adaptation and wanted to try a bao he says is better than Chang’s. It was very good and braising the pork belly is way different from Chang’s roasted version.
To cap off our first night in the city went to Veniero’s for some amazing cheesecake and a very light chocolate cake.