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.