Posts Tagged ‘russ & daughters’

thompson les eats

December 30th, 2011

We are usually those overnight suburban visitors who just settle for a hotel in midtown because it’s convenient to Grand Central Terminal. With an unusual 3 nights in Manhattan, we wanted to explore a new neighborhood and set our sights on the Lower East Side. We found the perfect match on Jetsetter, a 500 sq [...]

 


We are usually those overnight suburban visitors who just settle for a hotel in midtown because it’s convenient to Grand Central Terminal. With an unusual 3 nights in Manhattan, we wanted to explore a new neighborhood and set our sights on the Lower East Side. We found the perfect match on Jetsetter, a 500 sq ft room at the Thompson LES (190 Allen St). I was attracted to the Lower East Side because it is home to so many great restaurants (we also ate at wd~50 and Frankies), but I had no idea how many eateries would be within 2 block radius of our hotel.

First stop after check-in: Meatball Shop (85 Stanton Street)

It’s a cozy spot with a simple menu, but it features some incredibly appealing comfort food. We walked in on a weekday at 2pm and were able to immediately get a seat at the bar. Even mid-afternoon, the entire restaurant remained full. The Meatball Shop is open until 4 am, so if you’re also in business if you happen to get a late night craving!

My surprise favorite of the sliders: chicken with Parmesan cream sauce

Classic beef meatballs with tomato sauce and provolone on an Il Forno baguette

No trip to NYC in your future? There’s a cookbook and right now the copies in the shop are signed.

It is a rare day that I will eat ice cream, but this was worth it. D initially announced he had no room for dessert, but I dare anyone to turn down caramel ice cream, sandwiched between 2 chocolate chip cookies.

I had no idea Prune (54 East 1st St) was so close! After reading Gabrielle Hamilton’s memoir earlier this year, we took a chance as walk-ins for a weekday lunch. There are no reservations for weekend brunch and I heard you need to be prepared to wait in line. This Rock Shrimp Roll was so delicious I would take it over a lobster roll (hot or cold) any day! I cannot stop thinking about it. PS: Old Bay French Fries. Why have I never had this before?

Grilled Hamburger with Sharp Cabot Cheddar on an English Muffin. Our lunch looked deceptively simple, but the food at Prune was so perfectly balanced I was won over and have dropped my grudge about being squished like a sardine at our table. It was quite easy to overhear neighbors raving about the shaved kale salad.

If you’re staying overnight, of course you’ll need breakfast. I wanted to return to Russ & Daughters (179 East Houston St) for more Scottish smoked salmon. There’s no indoor seatting, just a bench out on the sidewalk, so having a hotel room around the corner really comes in handy.


What do you eat before a 15-course lunch at Ko? Nothing! Just stick to a macchiato at Bluebird (72 East 1st St).

breaker

lower east side breakfast

August 16th, 2011

In order to impart how completely un-hip we can be: I will now admit we stayed in a Comfort Inn in the Lower East Side. My cousin Alan didn’t believe that one exists, but it does… right on Ludlow, only a few blocks from where Pony Express was performing. Our hotel room was small, but [...]

 

In order to impart how completely un-hip we can be: I will now admit we stayed in a Comfort Inn in the Lower East Side. My cousin Alan didn’t believe that one exists, but it does… right on Ludlow, only a few blocks from where Pony Express was performing. Our hotel room was small, but clean and quiet with functioning A/C. On a summer night, with sky high NYC prices, that’s about all I need. A convenient, decent place to crash. This was my first overnight in LES and of course, there were a few food stops on my morning agenda.

I asked Michele about the Lower East Side and the first mandatory spot was Russ & Daughters. She’s been trying to get me to go to their herring pairing for the past 2 years! This store was impeccably clean and cool. Of course the food is high quality, but the service behind the counter is also remarkable. Friendly, knowledgeable, extremely patient (when dealing with first-timers who dish out complicated orders and waiver while asking for advice). In contrast to the somewhat grungy streets of the Lower East Side, this long-time NYC institution earns every bit of its impeccable reputation in my book!

We came home with the herring and onions in cream sauce.

A class act. Behind this counter: truly great service.

Scallion cream cheese on a plain bagel with tomato and New Zealand salmon.

I’ve been hearing about the Doughnut Plant for years. You don’t go there and forget to mention it to via FB/Twitter/Foursquare. Basically you work every social media channel you’ve got. Your goal? To make everyone you know *immediately* jealous.  On Saturday at 10 AM there was barely a line. I was already a bit disappointed to see Kossar’s Bialys and Pickle Guys weren’t open ( it was Saturday in this historically Jewish neighborhood).  My initial plan was to try the creme brulee doughnut, but after second thoughts, I finally settled on a PB &J donut.  It was the delicate, yet chunky exterior glaze that held the peanut butter flavor and the jelly ran through the sides of the square donut, instead of the usual gelatinous glop in the middle. That is some brilliant doughnut engineering!! I was in love.
On the right, you’ll see the doughnut-shaped ceramic tiles from inside the shop window.

It’s a fact. Doughnuts make people happy.
Take my Aunt Grace Anne, with her 2 glazed beauties. She did share with my uncle. Though I don’t think anyone would blame her if she ate both.

The “next time” list for LES:

Cocoron for soba
Prosperity Dumpling for sesame pancakes and dumplings
Kossar’s for bialys
Meatball Shop

The other day Nathan asked if I still use my point and shoot camera. And the answer is yes, but barely. I always have it in my bag, but if I have any inkling I might want to take photographs, I also carry my dSLR. Here’s a day when I was saddled with both, but when you’re busy eating, you only have one free hand to operate the camera. For those one-handed days: the G10 is the best! All of the photos in this post were taken with my point and shoot camera.