New York City bound, prepare those lists !
It probably begins about three weeks before my arrival to New York City. The emails start coming in at a more rapid pace, and a recurring theme is unmistakable. What do I want for dinner ?
My parents count down the days to my arrival, as do I. And they want to know… Any special places I want to go to ? Any reservations to be made in advance ? But to their disappointment, each time, I don’t really have a list of the hottest restaurants of the moment that I want to go to, that they would need to call as soon as they wake up one month prior to the day for dinner reservations.
When I go to New York, what I love the most is visiting our old favorites; eating a home-cooked meal by my mom; and going to my grandparents’ house for bagels and lox. Don’t get me wrong, there are lists; there are always lists, and long sweet lists at that. But more on those in a minute.
I love to head to Chinatown and go to the same restaurant that my parents used to go to with friends before my sister and I were born, and to where my mom took my first grade class on a field trip…
I love to go to the same kosher deli my family has been going to since forever, for unlimited pickles and cole slaw, frankfurters with sauerkraut and chocolate lace cookies (my pick) and rainbow marzipan cookies (my sister and cousin’s fave). Or down to Manhattan’s Lower East Side for knishes, hearing stories of my grandmother getting a penny from her grandmother to buy one. And an obligatory stop at Russ & Daughters to ogle the impressive array of smoked fish and herring and mountains of halvah.
And custard at the latter too, of course. Speaking of which, back to those sweet lists… There are cookie runs galore to Momofuku Milk Bar, Jacques Torres (that’s him below), City Bakery and Levain Bakery. And the mandatory cupcake (most likely from Magnolia Bakery and Sprinkles Cupcakes), along with checking out the colorful explosion that is the window of Dylan’s Candy Bar. Not to mention the menu at Corona Ices, across the street from where I could watch the local Italian men play bocce ball all night (while we’re eating those ices of course).
All that said, I of course love checking out new sweet spots too – and come to the Big Apple with a list of those to check off, one by one. What’s on my list for this current trip ? Kouign Amann at Dominique Ansel; chocolate bars and salt at The Meadow; Israeli influenced date pastries and rugelach at Zucker Bakery; German breads at Landbrot (and brezels to compare to those I love here in Switzerland); and the Rainbow Cookie Hot Fudge Sundae (vanilla and almond ice cream, marshmallow fluff and almond brittle) at Kutsher’s Tribeca. Or maybe the Black & White Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich… oh, such delicious decisions to be made.
What would be on YOUR lists ?