***This is part 5 of my “Plane-cation” trip report detailing a recent trip from San Francisco to New York, via Hong Kong***
2. Singapore Airlines First Class San Francisco to Hong Kong
3. Cathay Pacific First Class Lounges: The Pier and The Wing
4. Cathay Pacific First Class Hong Kong to New York
5. Eating NYC – Bouley, Donuts, and Pizza
6. JetBlue Mint Class New York to San Francisco
7. First Class Showdown: Singapore Airlines vs. Cathay Pacific
As much as I enjoyed all the food on the plane and at the airport during my 40-hour journey to New York City, the real eating began after I landed in the Big Apple.
To kick things off, we headed over to Bouley, where we were fortunate to snag a last-minute lunch reservation. New York City is well-known for having great lunch deals at many of its fine dining establishments around town, and that includes Bouley, where they offer a very reasonably priced five course tasting menu for just $55 per person. Looking back, that’s an even better deal than I initially realized based on the quality and quantity of food that we received – you’d be lucky to spend twice that amount in San Francisco for an equivalent meal.
The experience started as soon as we opened the front door and entered into a man-made apple orchard that probably had over a thousand apples in here. As you can guess, the smell was intoxicating.
The restaurant’s dining room was beautiful and the vibe was great – classy, upscale and fancy, but not in a pretentious or snobby way. Everything on the menu looked good, and there were about 3 or 4 options for every course. After making some tough choices, we placed our orders, and the feast began.
First up, I ordered the Hawaiian hiramasa and blue tin tuna sashimi, which was topped with caviar. I remember thinking how ridiculous it was that this was the third time I was eating caviar in the past two days.
My wife opted for the Malibu sea urchin which was topped with sour cream and caviar, and served in the shell. The dramatic presentation was really cool, and the sea urchin was incredibly fresh.
For my second course, I had with the poached farm egg which was served with Serrano ham and polenta. The creamy polenta covered in runny egg yolk and paired with the salty ham made for the perfect bite. This dish was really spectacular.
Between each course the bread cart came through, and there were at least 10 different types to choose from. Suffice to say, I pretty much sampled them over the course of our three hour lunch.
For my main course I ordered the braised Kobe beef cheeks which were incredibly tender and flavorful, and were paired with gnocchi.
At this point in the meal I was stuffed, but knew that I had to mentally rally for dessert. And of course, they couldn’t let you out the door after just one dessert course – luckily both desserts were relatively light, otherwise I would’ve literally burst at the seams at this point.
This was a truly fantastic lunch, and once again, one of the best deals that you can get at a fine dining restaurant.
After lunch we jumped on the ferry to head back to our friend’s home in Jersey City and soaked in the fresh air and sea breeze along the way.
The next day we were back to Manhattan for a mini eating tour, which started at Donut Plant. Apparently there is a “Shake Shack vs. In-n-Out” type of rivalry between Donut Plant and Dough, with people having very strong opinions both ways. While we didn’t have a chance to try Dough, the donuts at Donut Plant were amazing. The texture was pillowy soft, and the flavors were great, with our favorites being creme brulee and peanut butter and jelly.
We were on a bit of a sugar bender, and headed over to the Theater District to Bibble & Sipp to try their famous cream puffs. We ordered the matcha green tea and earl grey cream flavors, with the edge going to early grey.
Afterwards we drove over to Brooklyn for dinner, and after we parked, had a chance to check out some of the cool street art as we walked to the restaurant.
Have I mentioned that I LOVE pizza? I’d heard that Roberta’s in Brooklyn had great pizza, and I was about to find out for myself.
We ordered up a small feast, and even as a card-carrying carnivore, I’ll admit that the vegetable dishes here were surprisingly good. But I was mostly here for the pizza, and it did not disappoint. The Cheesus Christ pizza was my favorite.
And the bee-sting was pretty good too.
I slept like a baby that night, as all the eating that day put me in a donut and pizza-induced coma. We had time for one final meal the next day before it was time to head home, and that ended up being at Cosme for brunch.
I’m a huge fan of Mexican breakfast and brunch food, and we ended up ordering a few dishes to share family style, including my go-to choice, chilaquiles.
The duck enmoladas were great too.
And you can never go wrong with huevos rancheros.
But the highlight came at the end with churros that were served with Mexican hot chocolate sauce.