Clearly, after spending some time recently with author Fiona Davis, we’ve been in a New York (City) state of mind. Since our presence there at present time is literally in our minds, we figured we’d do a round up of some of the Big Apple’s most legendary foods along with some recipes or cookbooks to bring a taste of Gotham City to kitchens not located in one of the five boroughs. Who’s hungry?
The Egg Cream. A controversial drink with a misleading name as it contains neither eggs nor cream; you either love it or hate it. It’s ingredient list is simple: carbonated water, milk and chocolate (or vanilla) syrup. It’s not quite dessert, it’s also not quite something you might order alongside a meal…I guess it stands on it’s own? I don’t crave them often, but when I do, I go to Eisenberg’s, which has likely been serving them since they opened in 1929. Eisenberg’s itself is worth a visit. I want to try this version by Food52.
The Pizza Slice. I’m not here to debate whether NYC has the best pizza in America (cough, it does) but I am here to tell you where you can find some of the best pizza in New York City. It also comes with a fun story. Years ago, my dad took my sister and me to Coney Island. We decided to explore off the drag and ran into some cops, asking them were we could find the best pizza in the area. Instead of telling us, they told us to hop in. Then, they drove us to Totonno’s, a Brooklyn legend for close to 100 years. They were not kidding, it was the best pizza I’ve had. A trip to Coney Island isn’t in the cards, but luckily, Emily, a newer and also very tasty pizza spot, has a fantastic cookbook to make your own pie at home.
The Oyster Pan Roast. A legendary dish on the menu at the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant at, you guessed it, Grand Central Terminal. This restaurant has been around for well over 100 years with this dish steadfastly on its menu. It’s basically a rich, creamy oyster stew served atop some nice, white toast. In a nutshell. I personally am holding out to eat it until I can again person but if you can’t wait, check out this recipe by Epicurious.
The Black and White Cookie. Also controversial…you either love them or you hate them. I fall into the former category. In case you’re unfamiliar, it’s a vanilla cake like cookie with a one surface iced in a vanilla, fondant icing and the other half of the surface iced in a chocolate, fondant icing. Great explanation, can’t you just taste it? I only get them when I’m going to be walking (weird habit). And then I rip it in half, eating the chocolate half first as I stroll along. And then, I devour the vanilla side as I continue to stroll; I guess it’s my version of twisting the top off an Oreo cookie? I’m partial to the ones from William Greenberg on the Upper East Side where they have been slaying the black and white cookie game since 1945 and luckily…they ship!
The (thickest) Cheesecake. Yes, Junior’s makes a mean cheesecake, but have you ever tried the cheesecake from Veniero’s? Stick-a-fork-in-it-and-watch-it-stick up thick, creamy deliciousness. The same family has owned it since it opened and the magic has remained. It’s been around since the 19th century, it’s located in the East Village and I just discovered, they also ship!
Here’s looking forward to the day when we can all gather around the table for some stew, bicker in person about whether or not black and white cookies are gross, take a sip of a friend’s egg cream and then decide to order one for ourselves. Until then, here’s to keeping our bodies and our souls nourished at home. Have a great weekend, everyone.