Well, let’s see, it took me quite some time to digest New York, maybe I am still at it. Expectations were high, reeeeally high. Don’t blame me, it’s New York, right? My earlier visits to this city were brief and food had only to be conveniently happening on my way to some sight. This time food was planned well ahead, but still: where to start? We had made a couple of reservations from home but at the same time we wanted to be flexible, having to rush from Williamsburg to the Meatpacking District because of a dinner reservation just does not make a relaxing city break. I think we ended up with a good mix of spontaneity and fixed plans during our one week stay in the Big Apple.
But expectations were not met every time. For the reservations I have to admit that I made some bad choices, so maybe I should have investigated more. But maybe we just actually have very high restaurant standards here back home in Copenhagen?!
First (really!) bad choice
One of the restaurants I booked from home was the Grand Central Oyster Bar. What a dissapointment. Recently I opened a book about oysters which honestly claimed this restaurant being its’ Raison d’être. What did we do wrong? Why didn’t we see it? Maybe we should have gone there for the actual oysters and we should have sat at the bar, Oyster Bar, note to self: “learn to read”. Well, we had oysters. Two to be precise. One each. In a glass. With tomato juice and vodka, a Bloody Mary oyster. It was the strangest feeling to gulp that thing down. But that was the best part of the evening!
This even more sad arrangement almost made me cry: no, these are not Chicken Mc Nuggets. When I read “fried scallops and fries” I imagined scallops fried in a pan and afterwards topped with some lemony infused olive oil and fresh herbs. The fries in my dream were hand cut and stacked on a plate on the side. I think my dream was French/Belgian moules-frites inspired and I woke up to American reality- hmmpf! There should be special punishment for chefs who deep fry the beautiful soft and flavourful meat of scallops.
The Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant
Lower Level, Grand Central Stations, 89 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017
Where I will go instead to console myself: Kødbyens Fiskebar (Meatpacking District Copenhagen)
Second not so special experience
Another place for which I had set my expectations quite high was the Momufuku Noodle Bar after having read so much about David Chang’s empire of Momufuku restaurants. But well, it was noodles… (and pork buns to start with)
Momufuku Noodle Bar
171 1st avenue new york, ny 10003
As we had rented an appartment right across the street, we obviously had to eat at Katz’s Deli at some point but I would have come there anyway. Food is fast (once you get in, the line usually goes all the way around the corner), tasty and filling and also on to the expensive side but you really have to come here for the atmosphere. We prepped ourselves with a Pastrami sandwich for a concert, rock n’ roll! But no orgasms this time.