Eating Our Way Through New York
While in New York attending the Summer Fancy Food Show in July (that report is forthcoming), we spent our evenings eating our way through the city. There are so many kosher choices – but we had only three nights, so we chose restaurants that were new and that we had not visited on prior trips.
Night one: Solo Dairy Italian Kitchen
Solo Dairy Italian Kitchen was one of them, and quite an exceptional one at that! Solo Dairy, part of the Prime Hospitality Group, is located in the Sony Building in the prior location of the Solo meat restaurant.
How much can you possibly eat at a tasting? General Manager Valentino-Puiu Lulea and Chef Guillermo Quiroz certainly put us to the test, a challenging one at that... memorable, delicious but challenging! Why? There was so much food, and we couldn't resist any of it. The words, "pace yourself" seemed to be inoperative in our vocabulary that evening. Get ready – here is our menu as selected by Valentino:
Kumquat-passion fruit martinis (Solo's signature drink)
Starters: White bean- garlic hummus, Gnocchi with garlic and pepper, Kale Caesar salad, Assorted fritto misto - fried cheese, rice cake with cheese, fried zucchini, platter of cheeses including
Kale Caesar salad
homemade mozzarella with grilled lavash, eggplant parmesan
Entrees: Tuna grilled with green peppercorns over potatoes with baby carrots, Dover sole, pumpkin filled ravioli.
We said ABSOLUTELY NO DESSERT – but, we are so glad that they paid no attention to us, and we each ate part of a mouthwatering authentic tiramisu.
Following this meal – yes, this sounds like a believe it or not (Believe It!), we headed right next door and were presented with 4 takeout pizzas to sample later on our trip. They were fabulous. Pizza daSolo is another eatery created by The Prime Hospitality Group. This too is a do-not-miss on your next trip to NYC. The pizzas are made to order and baked in a special, 800-degree oven. Each pie takes only 1-½ minutes to bake. For the full menu - http://www.pizzadasolo.com/pizza.pdf. We particularly enjoyed the Al Tartufa Olio pizza (homemade mozzarella, arugula and truffle oil) and the classic Margherita pizza (San Marzano tomato sauce, homemade mozzarella, parmesan and basil). If you don't want to take these with you, there are tables and chairs available in the adjacent atrium. You will truly feel like a New Yorker!
Joey Allaham, founder of Prime Hospitality Group, was born and raised in Damascus, Syria, and moved to New York in 1993. In addition to Solo Dairy Italian Kitchen and Pizza DaSolo, his restaurants include The Prime Grill, Prime KO, Prime at the Bentley, and Prime Butcher Baker. He has just announced Prime Experience, a kosher luxury travel company. The first travel experience will be at The St. Regis, Monarch Beach, in Laguna Beach, California. The entire 400-room resort hotel will be Kosher for Passover during the week of April 14-22, 2014.(http://www.theprimeexperience.com).
Night Two: JSoho
For the 2nd night's dining, we headed to JSoho on the A train for another tasting (hey, Mayor Bloomberg takes the subway, so we did too!). This very "hip" restaurant is downtown, not far from the Freedom Tower and Wall Street. It is housed in a converted 100 year old carriage house and is located in the bustling Soho neighborhood. Owner Henry Stimler rolled out the red carpet for us and presented a sumptuous meal. Starters: pita with hummus; kale salad, and extraordinary chicken spring rolls with pomegranate mustard. Each spring roll was lightly fried, served steaming hot and filled with large, juicy pieces of chicken. Yumm! We could have just stopped there... but of course, we didn't. Next came. . .
JSoho Chicken Spring Rolls
- Entrees and sides: including – a petit beef filet, Chilean sea bass sweet potato puree, creamed spinach, – and then. . .
- Desserts...strawberry shortcake and crème brûlée
The entrepreneurial Stimler, a former Yeshiva student and British ex-pat, has just announced that he is opening a new bar – The Raven in the West Village. As he says, it is "set to soar". We hope it does! http://www.thejsoho.com
Night Three: Amsterdam Burger Company
And on our final night of feasting in NYC, we headed to the Upper West Side for dinner at the much-acclaimed Amsterdam Burger Company. Our New York friends just rave about these burgers. The restaurant is tiny; the ambience - no frills contemporary – but oh, the burgers. They are freshly hand made from Grow and Behold natural pastured beef. Each burger is thick, thick, thick, and grilled to order. Mine was topped with caramelized onions and mushrooms. We savored every bite, including the fries. By the time we left at about 8:30, the lines were out the door. Scrumptious!
So dear readers, we think it is quite obvious why we say we ate our way through New York! We did.