EAT NYC: Take A Bite Out Of The Big Apple

We were recently in New York for the New York International Gift Fair and New York Restaurant Week. Seven of our foodie family members joined us and Pepper and I were of course in charge of sustenance, deliciousness and moments of, OMG that’s the best thing I’ve ever eaten! With so many choices we picked just a few of our favorite New York eateries! If you find yourself in this beautiful city give these a try. Our suggestions range from fine dining to small bites to dives, we hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Available cookbooks for the restaurants mentioned below can be purchased in our SHOP

Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake with Sweet Cream Ice Cream

42 E. 20th St (btw. Park Avenue & Broadway)
Neighborhood: Gramercy-Flatiron
Style: Fine Dining
Food: American

One of America’s most popular restaurants, Gramercy Tavern’s, Chef Michael Anthony serves rustic and incredibly creative American fare in an elegant setting. The staff is friendly, the wine list extraordinary and the food delicious.

The Main Dining Room, offers 3 & 5 course prix-fixe menus and an a la carte menu for lunch and at The Tavern/bar. If you can’t get a reservation sit at the bar where the a la carte menu is prepared on a wood burning stove. Desserts are also amazing, we had the Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake with Sweet Cream Ice Cream. Part of the Danny Meyer, Union Square Hospitality Group.

Cipriani-Cotoletta Alla Milanese

781 5th Avenue (btw. 59th St & 5th Ave)
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
Style: Fine Dining
Food: Italian

What can we say…we love Harry Cipriani and so do many of our fellow Aspenites.  Located at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City, Cipriani is an institution in the city’s social circles. It is extremely fashionable and almost an exact duplicate of the original Harry’s Bar located in Venice, Italy. It attracts an extremely chic array of socialites and business people from around the world. The menu is classic Harry’s Bar, unique Cipriani specialties and classic Italian favorites. Service is fantastic; and whether you are a regular with your “own table” (many customers have lunch or dinner at Harry Cipriani every day!) or a first time guest, you well be well received by the maître d’ Sergio Vacca and his staff. We love, the Bellini, Baby Artichoke Salad, Any Pasta, Cotoletta Alla Milanese and the Meringata Alla Creme!

Waverly Inn Steamed Sea Bass with Leek Fondue and Saffron Broth

16 Bank Street (corner of Waverly Place)
Neighborhood: West Village
Style: Fine Dining
Food: American

Originally established in 1920, The Waverly Inn was reopened in 2006 by Vanity Fair Editor-in-Chief Graydon Carter along with Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode, of the Maritime and Bowery Hotels and Emil Varda. Located on the main floor of adjoining town homes, the dining room has cozy booths, fireplaces, low lighting and is very comfortable. The Waverly attracts New York’s finest. Chef Eric Korsh is known for classic and contemporary dishes using seasonal, organic and local ingredients. This is one of our absolute favorites! The Yellowtail Crudo charred scallion vinaigrette and blood orange is amazing as is the Grilled Vegetable Salad and the Steamed Sea Bass with leek fondue and saffron broth.

Photo: Hannah Whitaker-Re-Posted from

85 10th Ave. (btw. 15th & 16th Sts.)
Neighborhood: Meat Packing District
Style: Fine Dining
Food: Italian

Batali & the Bastianich’s do it again at Del Posto. The restaurant concept is self described as, “trans-generational: an expression of the evolution of cuisines, menus, service and ambiance”. Dinner is an experience and a production for all your senses in a first class beautifully appointed dining room. We enjoyed the five-course tasting menu. The flavors transported us to Italy and the service made us feel like royalty. The 100 layer Lasagne, it’s AMAZING!

Zucchini, tomato lasagna, basil pistachio pesto, sun-dried tomato marinara, macadamia nut pumpkin seed ricotta

54 Irving Pl. (btw. 17th & 18th Sts.)
Neighborhood: Gramercy-Flatiron
Style: Casual Elegant
Food: Vegetarian, Vegan, Organic

Opened in 2004 in the Gramercy Park neighborhood of Manhattan, the restaurant specializes in a vegan menu that is entirely plant based and does not use any processed ingredients. Nothing is heated over approximately 118 degrees in order to preserve vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. In addition to the amazing food, they offer a beautiful selection of juiced concoctions and sweet, delicious desserts and wonderful wines. Sarma Melngailis the co-founder has also written two wonderful books, Raw Food Real World and Living Raw Food. Try the Vegetable Lasagna, available in our shop.

80 Spring St. (btw. Crosby & Broadway)
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
Style: Fine Dining
Food: Italian

We love Keith McNally’s french bistro, it’s one of our favorite NYC eateries. It’s buzzing all day long, serving delicious french classics. You will feel as if you have been transported to the Parisian Left Bank. Plan on a long leisurely lunch, although also great for breakfast, brunch and dinner. We love the Steak Tartare & Grilled Chicken Paillard and any dessert!

Ladurée Macarons

864 Madison Avenue
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
Style: Walk In-Take Out
Food: Sweets


Yes…finally, Ladurée opens in New York, and there is always a line! There is nothing as delicious as a Macaron from Ladurée. The colors of these beautiful sweet bites will have you dreaming of rainbows. They are displayed in the most beautiful gift boxes, next to collections of chocolates, ice cream macarons, candies, teas, perfumed candles and fragrances. Go ahead, self-indulge, it’s worth it….The sight of a gift package from Ladurée will have anyone smiling, even before the first bite!

Madison Square Park (near Madison Ave & East 23rd St.)
Neighborhood: Flatiron District
Many additional locations
Style: Walk Up-Take Out
Food: Burger Shack


You will always see a line at every Shake Shack location; you will notice everyone in line is smiling in anticipation of that first juicy bite. It looks like a modern roadside burger stand, serving mouth watering burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard, beer, wine and many other delicious items including dog treats, in case man’s best friend is keeping you company in line. If you have time constraints check out the Shack Cam on their website to get a peek at the line and minimize your wait.

Pommes Frites-Menu Board

123 2nd Ave. (btw. E. 7th & St. Marks Pl.)
Neighborhood: East Village
Style: Walk Up-Take Out
Food: French Fries

Pommes Frites is a fry joint, serving authentic Belgian fries aka “pommes frites.” There are few seats and plan on smelling like a fry kitchen when you leave, but the premium fresh twice fried potatoes, crunchy on the outside, and soft inside are well worth it. As with any good place there is always a line. Waiting is no big deal as it will give you time to decide on a sauce or a few. They have a variety of exotic mustard’s and mayonnaise, vinegar, curry sauce, and even a peanut satay sauce, there are almost 30 different sauces available or be adventuresome and mix them to create your own!

Pepper enjoying Doughnut Plant!

379 Grand Ave. (between Suffolk St & Norfolk St)
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
Style: Walk Up-Take Out
Food: Doughnuts

Frymaster Mark Isreal creates flavors and combinations of the most delicious doughnuts we have ever had. I must admit that I inherited my indifference to doughnuts from my Dad. Well…let me say we were both converted into “Doughnut Plant” groupies! Pepper, a doughnut connoisseur, quickly gave them the “YUMMY STAMP”! They are light, big, puffy and addictive. Dunkin, who? Krispy, why? The Crème Brûlée, Tres Leches and Toasted Coconut were some of our favorites!

Rice to Riches

37 Spring St (btw. Mott St & Mulberry St)
Neighborhood: Nolita
Style: Walk Up-Take Out
Food: Rice Pudding

OK it is a strange concept but it is pretty tasty. I guarantee even if your grandmother use to make the best rice pudding in the world, as mine did, you have never tried these flavors. Coconut Coma, Fluent in French Toast, Sex-Drugs & Rocky Road are just a few, don’t forget the plethora of toppings to add texture and crunch. Each order is served in a keep sake, colorful plastic tub with a snap on lid and matching spoon. If you love what you taste, the store has a mail order, self help kiosk, where you can have a SUMO size tub (40oz/serves 5) shipped right to your home.