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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

3BM Eats : NYC Delish Dinner Dining Spots

The NYC food scene really is as good as they say and us Mice were lucky enough to taste it first hand a couple of weeks ago. You might remember I reported back on some super NYC foodie spots a while back, and due to popular demand we're sharing the food love with you all again! Here are this trip's top foodie finds...

Toro
15th Street & 11th Avenue, Chelsea, NY10011
212-691-2360

After a late afternoon flight we landed feeling pretty weary and ready to close our little mouse peepers... but there was no way the Mice were giving in that easily - we were in NYC after all! We decided there was only one thing for it - a few drinks to wake us up, followed by an easy, laid back dinner somewhere cosy and not too pretentious!

So after one too many cocktails at PH-D rooftop lounge in the Meat Packing Dream Hotel, we tottered across for dinner at 
Toro. This Chelsea haunt has floor to ceiling windows overlooking The Hudson – at 10pm we couldn’t appreciate the view, however sittings start at 5:30pm so this could be the perfect option for an early dinner with views followed by drinks from their Spanish cocktail menu.

The space is simple and effortlessly cool - made of up of an incredibly high ceiling, bare brickwork, stripped back wood, an ivy-clad feature wall, soft lighting and of course a fighting bull's head!
Thankfully the interior doesn't try to hide the factory origins of the building; instead it merges industrial features with sleek and modern twists, creating an authentic yet chic canvas perfect for Toro! The atmosphere was bustling when we arrived for our late evening reservation, no sign of anything winding down though -there were also whispers that Bruno Mars was in the house – seemingly loved by both celebrities and us mere mortals alike!
The menu is a mix of both traditional and modern tapas dishes, fear not this isn’t your bog standard La Tasca tapas, order bravely and you will be rewarded – I guarantee! We were lucky enough to be under the wing of two fabulous NYC residents who are HK Mouse's friends, one of whom is a complete foodie and amazing chef, so he took the bull by the horns (see what I did there) and ordered up a storm for us all! Some dishes he wouldn’t divulge until we had devoured, as he knew we would screw our little whiskers up at the thought of them (one being sea urchin), but I can safely say everything was simply divine!
Favs included: 

Grass-fed mini burgers with smoked tomato, aioli and pickled red onion...


Brussel sprout  & vegetable Pealla (sprouts were a recurring theme during our stay, let's just say our tip for the next big thing in food is everyone's favourite Christmas Day fare...)


Crispy pork belly with roxbury russet apples, rutabagas and berbere...


Mushrooms with farm egg, olive oil and parsley...

 
Smoked beef heart with romesco on toast...

Corn on the cob but not any corn...it comes served with alioli, lime, espellette pepper and aged cheese – seriously a-m-a-z-i-n-g...

We finished off with to die for churros and chocolate which left us practically having to be rolled out of the restaurant! Lipsmackingly amazing food, beyond buzzy atmosphere - this is a great spot for a girls' night out or a catch-up with a big group of friends - just ensure you come hungry and ready to have a bull (not even sure that pun works, have a ball / have a bull... if you have to explain it...).  

The Lion

62 W. 9th Street, New York, NY 10011
212-353-8400
Saturday night rolled around and we were all super excited to check out the much-hyped West Village restaurant, The Lion. The same friends of HK Mouse had highly recommended it so we were pretty confident that we were in for a treat. With high hopes we glamed ourselves up and heading out flagging down a passing yellow cab. We pulled up and were greeted by a suited and booted doorman who whisked us from cab to door in one swift movement. 

The outside of the restaurant is very discreet and not in the least bit attention seeking but the inside is swish, expensive looking and has a classic but cosy feel to it. First things first, a glass of Champagne to start the evening! Wild flowers lined the bar, candlelight flickered all around and texture met your every gaze from floor to ceiling. 

We savoured every last drop of Veuve and then made our way down past the open kitchen and into the grand, sense of occasion dining room. Distressed walls, low seating with art hanging all around you in that higgledy piggledy/ oh so carefully calculated fashion. Lovely... 


A small and perfectly formed menu arrived and we greedily scanned it whittling down the options! After much discussion we settled for hand pulled burrata and foie gras to start...



For main course, HK Mouse opted for the risotto with fresh burgundy truffle and porcini wild mushrooms. Mini and myself both choose the ricotta gnudi pasta laced with fresh black truffle, pecorino romano and sweet butter. Both dishes can only be described as seriously wow. Every mouthful was met with a lip smacking / out of body experience sound!


We really can't recommend the Lion enough - from the setting to the service to the truffle-laden deliciousness that we practically inhaled, each and every detail was perfect. This is the sort of restaurant we'll be sure to visit again whenever we're back in New York (and we're hoping our return is not in the too distant future).

NoMad
1170 Broadway & 28th Street, NY 10001
212-796-1500

The NoMad was in fact our hotel and what a fine specimen it was (more to come on that very soon)! The delights didn't just stop at the oh so comfy beds and the achingly cool library bar, the dining experience and food was some of the best we tasted during our stay (and actually ever in our lives)! Heaven comes with a hefty price tag though and the NoMad restaurant was certainly pricey but worth ever penny in my opinion. A cool and relaxed atmosphere, traditional interior and low lighting which is always a must... 



So what did we gobble up for starters? 

Beef Tartare and horseradish served up in a sweet little jar...


Tasty and succulent king crab tagliatelle with lemon and black pepper...


Beautifully presented tuna Tartare with lemon, black olive and tomato - a work of art almost too good to eat...


A feast fit for three ravenous little Mice that's for sure! Expectations for our main dish were sky high after that superb start but things were about to get even better with our order of roasted chicken lifted to spectacular heights with foie gras, black truffle and brioche stuffed under the skin... 



You would think we'd have been bursting at the seams after that little lot but oh no, we were hungry to see if the puds tasted as good as they sounded! They did. Out of this world moreish. We ordered up the milk & honey shortbread, brittle and ice-cream... 


And the brioche caramelised with pineapple, coconut and cilantro...


So much more than a hotel restaurant, the Nomad is a complete gastronomic treat. Although the bill may make your eyes water, you're absolutely guaranteed a spectacular meal. We're craving that awesome chicken of chickens right now, in fact, it may just be reason enough to look into arranging the Mice in New York Part II... 


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