New York

New York is easily one of the greatest cities in the world. I often joke that if you want to eat the best food from any country in the world, then go to America, and specifically go to New York (the theory being that any chef who becomes famous for anything is either going to open a shop in NYC, or one of their employees will).

I actually lived in New York when I was younger and had mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it offered every single thing a person could ever want to try, on the other hand people honked all the time and looked at me like I was a psycho killer when I said hello while walking down the street. By the way, you should try this sometime; it doesn’t ever happen so at first people think they know you (cause who says hello to a stranger! That only happens in movies right), and then they realize that you might be a nut bag. The expressions can be priceless.

New York offers some of the best hotels in the world. It offers some of the best restaurants in the world. It offers Broadway, which is actually pretty amazing. It offers breathtaking views and pizza at 4am. It’s one of my favorite places to visit, and it’s a place I have zero desire to ever live in again.

Notes to self:

-I have never had a bad time at Balthazar. It’s one of my favorite restaurants on the planet. Just feels good being in there.
-The pizza from Pizza Suprema was fantastic. Easy midtown location, no beer, but really really good, highly recommended pizza.
-John’s of Bleecker Street is a rad place to go for pizza (off hours only as I wouldn’t really wait). Great pizza and old school style. Only whole pies here… Joe’s Pizza on Bleecker right near there is awesome for slices.
-The chicken sandwich from Fuku was the jam! If we didn’t have to listen to that whiny little baby who thought the bartender was rude to him the whole time we would’ve really had a great time. The sandwiches are so simple, potato roll, fried chicken, butter, served in a foil pouch like you would get at a ski resort. It’s either perfection, or a total scam, haha. (the ssam sauce is the jam also)
-The Per Se bar area is the jam. You don’t have to do the bullshit hours long tasting menus…my god when can we end that relic from the past, and you can enjoy dishes from that same menu. NOw you will still pay out the ass, perhaps even more (125 for a single portion of black truffle pasta), but I like options, and doing it this way is far better.
-Outdoor pools are at a premium in NYC…getting a hotel with one while the weather is nice is like gold
-Most recently we did Monkey bar to try their supposedly rock star burger. The service, food, and decor were kind of meh. Decoy was bad ass, sat at the bar and killed some duck. Right across the street was Employees Only which we liked, but our drinks tasted like sweet anus. And like candy sweet, rather than awesome sweet anus. The bar at the Nomad hotel was perfect for us (I liked both public bars and the guests only area seemed cool too, very old school parlor style). Betony for dinner (they just got a Michelin star) was fine but not great. Service was really good.
-My strip club search continues. This time we went to Vivid Cabaret. We got placed right next to one of the two stages downstairs but that also meant we were right next to an extraordinarily loud speaker. Blew our fucking eardrums out. The bar area on both floors is tight. The second floor feels less cramped and you can sort of see downstairs if you are right on the railing, but there is a lot less going on up there.
-Bagels remain outstanding. At the Park Hyatt we had Zuckers bagels (apparently Murray’s son) and the cream cheese was unstoppable. We also made a visit up to 107th for Absolute Bagels (whose bagels are better but I thought the cream cheese was worse). Russ and Daughters was great but the time we got them it was snowing, and freezing, and the shop has no place to eat anything, so we stood in a stoop and stuffed our faces. Murrays bagels are strong as well.
There was this disgusting bagel place I went to right after I got back from Vancouver. It had supposedly the cities best bacon egg and cheese bagel sandwich. Man, I can’t believe I do not remember the name. It was on a major list, at the top of the list in fact, but for the life of me I can’t remember the name. The shop itself is more like a bodega than a bagel place…
-Katz deli is quite underwhelming. I think most old Jewish delis are pretty boring in fact. The meat is great, don’t get me wrong, but in this day and age you need more than great meat to make a great sandwich…and these sandwiches are just plain boring. And…the places smells. Good ideas
-Carnegie Hall does not allow drinks in the actual theater. So PREPARE son!
-Pearl and Ash was super good on my most recent trip to New York. Really impressed, but they didn’t have a full bar (no real liquor) so that bumps them down a few notches. We got like 6 dishes on a menu that really wasn’t that big, and I only disliked one, a scrambled egg dish that was way underdone, and I love runny eggs. This was like soup 🙁 Great service and food overall though.
-Wilfie and Nell’s had a cool tavern style (we loved the banquet idea). Distilled in Tribeca had a great bar style. Good ideas.
-Daniel was an amazing experience. Too long, with a wine menu that was too expensive even for the most seasoned traveler, but the food was fantastic and the service was excellent. Great dinner.


Hotels

Refinery Hotel NYC (Dec. 2015)

Roxy Hotel NYC (Oct. 2016)

W Downtown NYC (Jan. 2016)

Park Hyatt NYC (Nov. 2014)

Trump SoHo (Mar. 2013)

Gansevoort Meatpacking (Mar. 2012, Jul. 2014)

W Union Square (Dec. 2012, Jul. 2014)

W Times Square (Jun. 2007, Jun. 2011, Sep. 2015)

Thompson LES (Jun. 2009)

Westin Times Square (May 2012)

Grand Hyatt (Mar. 2005)

Setai NYC (Mar. 2013)