Tuesday, December 11, 2007

eating in new york city: was it Prometheous....gluttony or the Greek template that set mundane taste buds free?

@ Rockefeller Center a tad touristy but had to see it.....

It was just a four day jaunt to one of my favorite cities. Alongside NYC is San Francisco my home base, but Manhattan will do just fine as my east coast stomping ground to revive my senses again.

I still haven't grown to the taste of 'sweet tea' since living in Florida. Something about syrup over ice: it just doesn't settle well. It's suppose to go well with anything fried. Been there, did that and it still doesn't make the mark for me.

Sort of like uni.

Before we left to New York, I had to map out exactly where, when and what I was going to eat. With the little time I had; I did a few Google searches, made a few phone calls and we were well on our way to extending our palate limitations. When traveling; especially short trips - I prefer to have some sort of general itinerary so I am not idling in confusion about my whereabouts. I have tried letting go and arriving with no destination in hand with more time wasted than enjoyed. Now don't get me wrong - I love spontaneity but I think any well managed traveler will tell you it doesn't hurt to have a few destinations in mind before setting foot. The thought of any organized tour in large hordes absolutely makes me shudder. I would be completely embarrassed to be in an organized tour of any sort. What I do prefer is meeting up with the locals or even a solo tour guide would do just fine.

We had been to Manhattan previously and I was abhorred with all the tourist traps. So this time around I did my darnedest to avoid places and especially dining destinations that housed tourists gratuitously.

This was a last minute trip and I frantically searched for a bed and breakfast or a short stay flat of sorts in the Union Square - Flat Iron district for our stay. Unfortunately to make a long story short we ended up in Times Square which is in the heart of tourist central. Eventually everything worked out and thank God for the subway that was literally next door to our hotel.

My first quest was to dine at one of Mario Batali's more than seeping handfuls of restaurants. I didn't realize how many restaurants he had in New York. I was ultimately grateful that they were not cookie cutter chains (oh so of course not!) and that each one had an intensely soulful identity of it's own. I am just saying this since I reside in chain restaurant haven. Actually, I heard Orlando Florida is the chain restaurant haven in the states, so Jacksonville may be second runner up.

As tried and trued as I could - and I even called a whole month in advanced....they were booked. Both BABBO and LUPA, my top honored choices to revel in his mastery were both: BOOKED.

By chance, and by sheer luck I was having one of those moments when everything just fell into place: I was able to getting dinner reservations at 7:00 o'clock in the evening at Bobby Flay's ever so smokey BOLO. There's more to read on that as I am slightly.....well more than slightly impressed with BOLO.

Farmer's Market @ Union Square Park

Also on my primary list was the Greenmarket at Union Square Park. I had anticipated going to this for so long since I missed the timely and abundant farmer's markets of California this was on top of my wish list during our short visit.

It was the first morning of our stay and I gladly took the subway leaving Times Square for Union Square Park.

I walked up from the subway and found the sun greeting me at the top of the stairs. I had arrived right in the middle of the Greenmarket as anticipated.....

There were rows of gallant apples and pears greeting me.

There were bakers and a glorious bread stalls with freshly baked loaves. More vegetables, hot apple cider, pastries and a rows of more stalls to follow.

Everything from hand sewn bags, to knock off designer duds, leather, gemstones, jewelry, toys, it was an infinite souk of delight.

There were fine artists and musicians.

It saddened me that very little of this is supported in the Jacksonville area that I live.

I was glad to be back in the city.

the sweetest carrots ever....

I bought a bunch that survived the trip home....my kids looked at me like; where are the souvenirs?

Another destination was Whole Foods Market. It was located right across the street from the park. I made my way through the bazaar and enjoyed an awesome lunch there. The endless buffet was welcoming as hardly anything was fried. What a relief I thought to myself.

chicken and rice soup at Whole Foods Market

Pre-made soups always tend to be too salty. This chicken and rice soup was perfectly seasoned. An added plus were the shitake mushrooms.

greetings from the Whole Foods salad buffet o'rama.....

Sprouts, baby peas, sliced fennel bulb, red beets, chinese dumplings, hearts of palm, itty-baby octopus and calamari to name a few.

My *love just had to see Rockefeller Center. It was a perfect stroll at least to knock off some calories.

Prometheus greeted us at the Rock

Okay, I have to take a breath now. I wasn't expecting to be coiled in too deep by BOLO.....but it happened.

Bummer news.....since this post, I recently found out that BOLO served it's last meal December 31, 2007 and has since closed it's doors after something like 15 years of service :( !!!

Yours truly,
Girl About Town

BOLO: oven baked flatbread with lamb sausage & kalamata olives was a plus....

We had dined at MESA GRILL a couple of summers ago and left slightly perplexed.

So I thought to give it a second try at BOLO, since I have been seeking tapas with that untimely twist anyways.....

Tapas that are eventful and something to 'walk about' for.

I was seeking tapas that were hot.

Tapas to write about.

Tapas that would delight into another incarnation of tastes perhaps.....

Well this was quite a becoming surprise.

BOLO: Charcoal grilled octopus with grilled lemons, fresh oregano & garlic oil

More words to follow about BOLO and about outrageous eating in New York in sucha short time.....

23 East 22nd Street
New York, New York 10010

Tel. 212.228.2200

No comments: