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The Food: New York

April 22, 2010

I’ll be honest, I’m not super-fussy.  I’m happy to eat a turkey sandwich for lunch every day of the week.  That being said, every now and then I do enjoy dressing up and heading out to share a nice meal and a few cocktails with loved ones.  I’ve got to tell you, the food, like everything else in New York City, did not disappoint.  Every dinner was an experience in and of itself, as if it didn’t realize it was just a warm-up for the evenings real event at the theater.  

On Friday night, we ate at Etcetera Etcetera (352 West 44th street) a Mediterranean/Italian restaurant,on the recommendation of one of Tom’s friends.  Etcetera Etcetera is all chrome and clean lines and beautiful presentation.  The dirty martini was the best I’ve ever had (extra olives!) and the lobster risotto was out-of-this-world.  I do believe that risotto was the best thing I put in my mouth all weekend.  The first thing the waitress asked us was whether or not we had theater tickets and when our show was.  We were a little tight on time, and she did a wonderful job of steering us through our meal (without rushing things) to make sure we got out on time.  Clearly, the folks at Etcetera Etcetera are used to working around the theater schedules.   When in NYC, dine at Etcetera Etcetera, order a dirty martini and savor the lobster risotto.  You can thank me later. 

I couldn’t help capturing a shot of Tom’s dessert.  Lovely, no?

Saturday night we ate at Visa Versa (325 West 51st Street), which is actually a sister restaurant to Friday night’s Etcetera Etcetera.  Now bear with me, because I’m no expert, but I’d describe Visa Versa as “upscale contemporary.”  (Okay, I totally stole that description off their website).  Anyway.  We didn’t have reservations, but the wonderfully nice staff found a lovely quiet table for us.   I went with the salmon which was served with an exceptional spinach dish(heavenly) but if I went back I’d go with what Christy ordered which was a ravioli with goat’s cheese that was unbelievable.  Seriously.  So, so good.  Before dessert, they surprise you with a lovely plate of cookies.  Had I known, I would have probably skipped the decadent tiramisu I ordered.  Who am I kidding?!?  I would have still ordered the tiramisu.  I loved the whole Visa Versa experience.  Lovely, lovely and lovely.

On Sunday night, we went Greek and headed to Molyvos (871 7th Avenue).  All I know about Greek food I learned waitressing for Greeks at Jonathan’s, which is to say, pretty much nothing.  Oh, I do enjoy a good Greek salad (feta!), and the one I had at Molyvos was divine.  I would have left happy if all I had eaten was the salad.  I take that back;  I’d have been happy with just the salad and the delicious (and beautifully presented) baklava.

I am a big-time fan of  baklava and Molyvos serves a beautiful and delicious one.  I’d go back to Molyvos, skip the entrée, order two of the tart cherry drinks Tom ordered and eat a Greek salad and baklava.  Bliss.

And last, but not least, I’ve got to discuss Benash (857 7th Avenue).  On  the complete opposite end of the fancy spectrum from the dinner restaurants lies Benash, a NY Deli where we ate at, not once, not twice, but three times during our weekend.  What can I say about Benash?  Well, for one, it was close to our hotel.  And two, it’s good  if you don’t want to wait in a ridiculously long line for breakfast or lunch.   If you are looking for a huge meal to fill you up until dinner, Benash is your place.  The portion sizes were hilarious.  As in, a side of bacon served four.  Seriously.  The prices were huge, but so were the portions.

The most ridiculous order of the weekend had to be my tuna club.  I ordered the tuna thinking I’d get something “light and sensible.”  What I got was like something straight out of a freak show.  It contained about a pound of tuna and an entire head of lettuce, hollowed out and stuffed with 2 pounds of bacon.  I kid you not.  It was as big as Tommy’s head (and you can only see half of it in this picture!  It came with two of what you see!!!)

See that stuff wrapped in lettuce?  That’s the bacon.  The tuna was at the bottom.  Needless-to-say, I’m pretty sure that sandwich could have fed my kids for a week.  “What? The tuna sandwich leftovers again?”  Alas, we did not have a fridge in our hotel room, so I had to leave what I couldn’t possibly have finished.  So.  To sum it up:  go to Benash if you’re starving, have a lot of extra cash in your wallet and tons of space in your fridge for the leftovers.

And now, I must head to the gym.  Because I just remembered everything I ate in New York.  Oy!



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