Friends are great! Old ones and new ones. If it weren’t for my old friends (well, all of them are actually pretty new as well but I met them before NYC) I wouldn’t be able to come and do my internship here. Im couch surfing at their places and they are showing me around the city.
I met a new Swedish friend here and she came with me to the restaurants I wanted to try in the area where I live right now – Kips Bay, East Mid town.
With the help from Yelp I found out that the best Italian restaurant here is suppose to be Trattoria Belvedera (165 Lexington Ave) so that’s where we headed one night. It was a Saturday around 9pm so I thought the place would be packed but only 2-3 tables were taken. It made me a bit suspicious but with the new friend I didn’t want to hassle and after all, the restaurant had really good reviews so I had to try the food! As a starter we tried their ‘special of today’ which was Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomatoes. The mozzarella was really nice and creamy but the tomatoes can never be as good as in Italy – well, no surprise. I had a hard time choosing main since the menu was filled with many of my favourites but the waiter explained that I could mix and match as I pleased. He told me he was most proud of their pesto so I ordered pesto with penne and shrimps! My friend had Mushroom Ravioli but as always with Ravioli you get so stuffed! My pesto was really nice and fresh as well as the pasta but the shrimps was unfortunately way over cooked. When two people who just met each other go for dinner for the first time there’s a lot to talk about and we sat at the trattoria for a long time. At last the waiter came out with a Tiramisu – on the house. It was like no tiramisu I’ve never had before. Light and airy and even though my pasta filled me up very well the dessert was a perfect ending! All in all the food and the service at Trattoria Belvedera was great but the ambience was a bit boring for two twenty-something on a Saturday night. Bring your family or your date if you’re 50+!
Everyone is talking about it. Even the “real” New Yorkers, not only tourists. Shake Shack! The food editor at Downtown where I intern is crazy about burgers and she said this is a MUST. Lucky me the original Shake Shack is located in Madison Square Park, only 5 min walk from where I stay. Unlucky me, the line is ALWAYS at least 45 min. The place even has a web cam on their website so you can see how long the line is at this very second. Anyways, we decided we needed to try the burgers so we didn’t care about the line. After waiting exactly 45 min I ordered my Shackburger with extra red onions (It comes with american cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and Shacksauce) and a chocolate shake. Another 10 minutes of waiting and the food arrived (or arrived, you pick it up!) The moment of truth – How good was the burger?! By the look it doesn’t look too fancy but I reaaaally liked the burger. I took the onion away as it brought too much flavour. You could actually taste the cheese and sauce was amazing. I’m a bit tired of fat gourmet burgers (always at British pubs) with too much bun (focaccia bun?! huhhh) so this small and gooey piece of happiness was very welcomed. Fries were nice and crispy and the shake was yummy but nothing special really! Would I go back again? Hard question. Maybe if I pass by and see the line is very short. And I will def. bring my boyfriend here one day!
Through my new friend I met yet another 2 friends and yesterday the four of us decided to go for dinner and drinks. The guys were up for greek food (I wasn’t hard to convince) so I did my research and took them to Dafni Taverna (325 West 42nd Street). Unlike London, New York has plenty of tavernas but it was hard to find a place with solid good reviews. Dafni was almost empty when we arrived at 10pm a Friday which was again a bit alarming.. The menu offered all the classics and I ended up having Cheese Saganaki and a Greek Salad and the others had Souvlakis with all types of meat. Cheese Saganaki is a MUST for me but unfortunately this time it made me disappointed. It was swimming in grease and there was no crispiness at all. Flavour was OK though. Greek salad was nice but as with the Italian tomatoes I should know the taste will never be as it is in the Mediterranean. I wouldn’t go back to Dafni Taverna but I was very happy I got to drink a Mythos!
After dinner we went to Mandarin Oriental’s roof top bar (80 Columbus Circle, 60th street) and sipped on cocktails while overlooking the view of Columbus Cirle.