Top 10 Wining and Dining Experiences in New York City

In a nod to De Long Wine Moment's recent roster of nominees for the Worst Wine Ever, the following Top 10 is an equal-opportunity listing celebrating both extremes of my trip last week. Can you separate the best from the worst? The wheat from the chaff? The Château d'Yquem from the [yellow tail]? If so, then you've got the chutzpah to consider yourself ready for New Yawk.

    esca best dessert I've ever had in New York or anywhere in the world
  1. Dessert at Esca. I had a flourless chocolate tourte topped with Espresso gelatto and it so puts to shame the French desserts so many Montreal bistros are trading in. Best dessert I can remember eating in a restaurant. David Pasternack has got a good thing going in this Lupa-et-al spinoff designed to honour seafood and fish. We each had a primi dish before diving into dessert and those were promising too. Next visit I will make time to try more.

  2. Market-based corkage fees. Chez Loup had an interesting exchange rate for Canadians who had brought in their own bottles along with a newspaper clipping that said the French restaurant charged $2 for BYO wine. Not sure what currency that $2 was because on the bill it rang up to $8 USD per person.

  3. that diner from Seinfeld upper west side broadway and 112
  4. Tom's Restaurant. AKA that diner from Seinfeld. I believe this real-life restaurant is nestled way up on Broadway near 111th Street. I managed to peer in. Shockingly, one quick glance was all it took for me to solidify the fact that Seinfeld was not actually shot in New York. I'm betting Will & Grace wasn't either!

  5. Transparent restaurant food safety enforcement. Three words: Check this site! Searchable Restaurant Inspection Information from the NY DOHMH

  6. Diverse street food. Another way Manhattan kicks Montreal's food-vendor-less ass. Not only can you find a wiener and a bowl of sorbet at the same intersection, take a stroll down any avenue in summer and you're likely to find a food fair that turns things up an even higher notch: roasted corn on the cob with jalapeno butter, freshly-squeezed lemonade, Transylvanian chimney cakes. You want it, you got it. And surprisingly cheap Häagen-Daz cones, especially considering that this is Manhattan!

  7. Free street food. And not just around the marketing madness that is Madison Avenue. Vegan pushers who swarmed around Colombus Circle really wanted us to try free cello-wrapped vegetable sandwiches that were the size of a Nano. Really! And they didn't want to pay us to do so! Stepping in dogshit also at no charge, so when eating on the street, better watch your feet.

  8. la storia di sant ambroeus biography italian history milano menuResurrection of fat saints. Ultra-swank pastry lounge Sant Ambroeus has made a dazzling return to the Upper East Side since I was last walking down Madison in 2001.

  9. American cheese pride. And overall homogenity of cheeses and other dairy. I couldn't find a tub of cottage cheese anywhere. Lots of Monterey Jack though.

  10. Frozen Margueritas that mean it. These are easy to find in the Village, especially during the dog days, but it's worth a trip to the South Street Seaport. A fivespot gets you one serious Marguerita. Remember to ask how to get back to that subway station stop BEFORE you order.

  11. Reuse of paper and cardboard products. Hmmm. Is this one good or bad? You think you know? Well don't get cocky. The reason this is so prevalent in every wine shop you come across is due to New Yorkers' apathetic approach to those nifty cloth shopping bags that have built-in compartments for all your food and wine needs. Get with the program people!


Anonymous said...

Was in New York 6 years ago. Pity i missed the food fairs. Though nothing beats the Hot Dogs in the street.


Anonymous said...


If you like dairy so much (your comment on Bruni's page) then go to the gelato shop in the back of Chelsea Market (15th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues in New York) where the Bowery Kitchen Supply is and grab a dish of the best gelato this side of the Alps.