Downtown Random Bites

Once again, a vacation day takes us 18 miles from our front door to the Lower East Side of Manhattan. A "staycation", get it?

There are too many new restaurants to try and not enough time to taste everything.

This neighborhood is so interesting. You like Chinese food? (and I'm not talking about beef & broccoli), Deli? Dominican? Italian? Kosher? It's all down here in this wonderful melting pot of working class immigrants and hipsters. (I am no longer hip, nor an immigrant, but I fit right in).

We started with lunch at a brand new place called FISK.

A strange little Swedish takeout counter offering herring sandwiches, caviar, gravlax and this delicious cardamom cake.

I loved the owner and the decor was really cool. I am glad I stumbled upon this place during their first week of business.

We had a terrific dinner at Frankie's 17. Remember I mentioned the Frankies Spuntino Handbook? Some of the tourists eating here were toting the cookbook with them, maybe seeking an autograph from one of the Franks?

A tiny place in a old tenemant building with tin ceilings and old tile floors.
Not a lot of elbow room, so go early.

The crostini was off the charts good.

We tried the ceci w/ guanciale (chickpeas w/ pork jowl), fresh ricotta w/ honey, and cannellini beans w/ parsley. Each piece was $3. and what a bargain.

We loved them so much, we had a double order.

We had Frankie's famous homemade cavatelli w/ locally made sausage and sage butter.
2 can share this, it was huge and RICH, along w/ a beet and avocado salad and great wines to match.

For dessert we walked over to Laboratorio del Gelato. This place used to be an actual "lab" for creating crazy ice cream flavors, wholesale only, sold only to NYC's best restaurants. But the public demand became too popular, people were begging for a scoop when passing this tiny hole in the wall, so the owner finally opened a retail window for takeout, and it is now opened past 6 pm.
And that's that story.

This guy was deciding whether to get mascarpone or ricotta gelato.
and he was taking it on the train back to Brooklyn in 90 degrees!
Good luck with that.

I had dark chocolate, the perfect ending to the perfect day in my favorite city.


mil said…
What pictures, what narrative,
what a pair!!! Love it and love you.
The JR said…
You 2 are a cute couple.

Sounds like a wonderful place to go and experiment with foods I've never tasted before.

That pasta looks crazy good!
SarahB said…
What a great day, completely Stacey Style! To echo Mil, love it, love you!!
That cavatteli looks out of this world good, and so does the crostini. You two could be on a poster for NYC's hip and beautiful people!
StaceyEsq said…
Hipsters? I definitely think so! Cutting edge and very happening! Enjoy your holiday weekend - I'll be making your fruit crisp (yet again)!
Dewi said…
Sta ..... cey ......... You are so beautiful. The two of you are such a nice couple. Thanks for sharing and hope both you have a wonderful long weekend.
Dana said…
Hipper than most! And better looking too! Once again I'm jealous that you get to try all those wonderful places - less than an hour from your house. I have to say, Seattle has had some amazing new restaurants open recently. Time for you and your hunk to come visit.
Mary Bergfeld said…
The food you featured today is almost as beautiful as you are. It must be wonderful to have such delights so close to home. Have a fabulous weekend. Blessings...Mary
Jen_from_NJ said…
You are so hip Stacey! I love your staycations!
Lori Lynn said…
Love the photo of you guys. Sounds like a great time. I'm jealous, oh to be dining in NYC!!

I just posted a crostini too, I like the sound of that ceci with guanciale!

Happy Labor Day weekend Stace!
Either I'm really hungry or this food looks REALLY amazing. Probably both. You guys are so cute! And there's a difference between "hipsters" and "hip.'

tasteofbeirut said…
since I don't really know what hipsters is supposed to mean I can just say that you make a handsome couple; very New York City too. That place looks interesting and I would love to explore the crazy gelato flavors too!
you two are such a dashing couple. I love the LES, my brother lived there over the summer. such a happenin' place ;) [Chels]
jp in FL said…
Hi, Stacey,
You are such a cute couple. Thanks for giving an old lady a trip down memory lane. I lived in BPC, now retired in FL. I miss all those neat places in the city esp the Italian, China Town, Pizza and Bagels.I go in search of here in FL but it's fruitless some come close but not the same.Do not miss the cold weather. Anyway thanks again.Keep it coming, great job.
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Eileen said…
Oh I miss NYC. It's been a long, long time.