November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving in NYC

We spent this Thanksgiving in NYC and our appetites were more than satisfied during this trip. While most of you were feasting on turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, we were slurping up soup dumplings and folding over large slices of pizza.

We spent a glorious Thanksgiving lunch at Joe Shanghai's in Chinatown, which is known all over the city for their soup dumplings. As a soup dumpling virgin, I had no idea these things were so good. They were truly awesome - warm, incredibly savory and actually fun to eat. They are steamed dumplings with a little pork meatball and savory broth in the center. You have to poke a small hole in the dumpling, pour in a teaspoonful of flavored soy-ginger sauce, slurp out the soup and proceed to eat the rest of the dumpling without burning your mouth. We also had amazing Orange Beef, Homemade Fried Shanghai noodles, and Kung Pao Chicken, all of which were incredibly good.

It was just a few short hours of walking around the city and seeing a movie before we could eat again. After striking out on a few of our favorite places in the West Village, we stumbled across a cute cafe called the Bus Stop. They had homey food that was perfect for the chilly evening and our tired feet. I got my roast turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and wilted spinach. While not as good as our usual family feast, it hit the spot. Some earthy red wine and a slice of dark syrupy pecan pie rounded out the meal perfectly!

The next day we sought out one of the best coffee bars in NYC. Cafe Grumpy was reviewed in the New York Times and being the coffee lovers that we are, we had to make the trek. I had an amazing cappucino, and my other half said the espresso "changed his life." Their set up was incredible and it's hard to describe the care they took when pulling the shots of espresso and the precision with which they executed each step in the process. Definitely recommended if you're a coffee geek in any stretch of the imagination.

We waited in the cold outside Jon's Pizzeria for what has to be the best pizza in town. Then it was across the street to the Blind Tiger for some cask ale in front of a warm fireplace. Shopping ensued for much of the afternoon and then when more eating was in store, we had a marvelous dinner at Pastis in the meatpacking district.

I actually don't think there is anywhere I'd rather eat than a French bistro or brasserie. Just reading the menu and seeing things like Tripes or Carre d'Agneau melts my heart. I don't even eat tripe or skate or boar pate, but when I see it on a menu, it's like I'm back in France. I know that I will find good inexpensive red wine, good bread, braised meats that melt in your mouth and warm chocolate cakes or creme brulee. I feel nourished, fulfilled and jovial in a way that just going down the local burrito joint will never ever do for me. At Pastis, I had a warm goat cheese salad, braised beef with carrots (in the richest meaty sauce you can imagine) with french fries to soak up that sauce. Between our party of 4, we shared a warm chocolate cake, an Île flottante, and a creme brulee. Does life get any better?!

Well, that was my two days of fabulous eating in NYC this Thanksgiving. Hope your Thanksgiving was just as fulfilling!


rumblekid. said...

mmm, sounds like a delicious holiday. so sorry i couldn't be there for all the good food & company! (and happy belated birthday! i'm hoping the triple-strike will at least alleviate 30% of my guilt for forgetting yesterday.)

Genie said...

Megan, I was there the weekend before Thanksgiving -- I agree that it's one of the best places in the world to eat! My parents and I are spending Christmas there...I may have to drag them to the soup dumpling place. You should know...the soup dumplings are available in D.C. at Chinatown Express right around the corner from the MCI Center -- they also have really fabulous homemade noodles that you can watch the guy make in the front window! The place kind of looks like nothing much, but the food is really, really good.

Glad you had a fun Thanksgiving. Have a great holiday season!