NYC, The Food

This will be a somewhat brief review of all food and drink consumed in New Amsterdam during our weekend there. I suppose we’ll start at the beginning….

Saturday Lunch: EJ’s Luncheonette (on Amsterdam, I think). More than adequate diner food. We wandered around for about an hour trying to pick a place. Brunch is apparently a Big Deal in the Upper West Side, so it was hard to find a place where we could get a sandwich. I had a tuna melt (after being asked if I wanted the bread toasted, which still boggles the mind a bit–how do you, umm, make a hot sandwich without toasting the bread?), Jen had a caprese-esque sandwich with fresh mozarella, basil and tomato. We split a tasty plate of sweet potato fries. The coffee was mostly disappointing though. Very affordable, though (sandwiches hovered around $7 each), and the wait staff was quite nice (albeit slightly hung over).

Saturday Dinner: Bettola, on Amsterdam. Our first choice was Gennaro, further up Amsterdam, but after walking around a bit too much after lunch, the 13 block hike up Amsterdam wasn’t very appealing. We managed to get a table right next to the windows, though we would have liked to sit on the sidewalk. I had read some favorable reviews of Bettola online before we left, and one thing everyone noted was how dark it was. Indeed it was. Hard to read the menu, but hardly a deal breaker. We split some sort of asparagus appetizer. Jen had roasted chicken stuffed with spinach and cheese, and I had salmon. Both were very tasty, and again, very affordable. We had a bottle of San Giovese wine, and split crepes with Nutella and bananas for dessert. The wait staff was very reasonable, and despite the crowd, we were in no way rushed (in fact, we had to ask for our check).

Sunday Breakfast: Nice Matin (connected with the Lucerne). Probably the most expensive eatery of the trip, but we had discounts thanks to staying at the Lucerne. I had their house-made granola with yogurt, and Jen had some sort of crazy French Toast. Both were tasty, and the coffee was quite good. Service was quite fast, and then the usual pokiness in getting our check.

Sunday Lunch: Planet Sushi, on Amsterdam. We were too lazy to walk to Vincent’s Pizza after the Guggenheim, so we ate here, relaxing in the shade on the sidewalk. I had a roll entree (tuna, California, salmon), and Jen had a spicy tuna roll and a few pieces of salmon and yellowtail sashimi. Inexpensive, and tasty. Friendly service, too.

Sunday Dinner: Bocca Lupo, Henry Street in Brooklyn. We went an old friend of mine and his wife. This is a relatively new tapas bar. Very cozy, with friendly, helpful service. The size of the portions was perfect, and we shared, oh, six or seven dishes, every one of which was very good. This place was immensely affordable, too. The tally on the bill was shocking, really.

Monday Breakfast: Nice Matin, again. Jen had a bagel, and I had an omelette with goat cheese. Again, good, though, oddly, when we actually had to be timely, the service was really slow.

A few general notes on the eateries. Nearly everyone did what they could to cater to families. Bocca Lupa went so far as to have a kids’ menu. Nearly every little Italian place in the Upper West Side had parents with kids in them. This was somewhat shocking–I can’t imagine a place like Enrico’s (in Shadyside), or any of the little eateries in Squirell Hill, or Cafe Du Jour tolerating families (I suppose an exception to this would be Pino’s cafe in Point Breeze). And, as noted above, we were pleasantly surprised by how reasonable the prices were.