The Foodies went to New York City for five days in July (yes, we are just now getting around to these posts). We had a fantastic time and have so many places to share with you. Each day will be covered in a post.
Sightseeing: Empire State Building
Thursday morning we went to the Empire State Building with K and A. Hubby, A, and I had all been before but not for many years and I had never been all the way to the top. We got express tickets (an extra $20 per person) to skip the lines. Those express tickets were worth every penny. We got waved through at every line and got in every elevator first. The only time we had to wait in line was going from the 86th floor to the 102nd floor. Going up the lines weren’t very long but the line to get back down was at least an hour wait, I’d guess.
To summarize, the views are really awesome and I know it’s touristy but you have to go. But get the express tickets!
A family friend lives on Long Island and he wanted to come see us. He said to meet him at Foley’s across the street from the ESB. I looked at the menu before we left and was pleased by their craft beer selection. There were lots of Irish flags up at the bar and to my delight the people who work there (and own it) are ACTUALLY IRISH! Most of my lineage is Irish and my name is Irish so I felt right at home. Therese was bartending. She checked on us frequently and kept us entertained (very funny and charming woman). I got to try the 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon that I had just read about. It was light and refreshing, and the watermelon was very subtle, but I wouldn’t get another one. Too wheaty for me.
Baohaus serves Taiwanese street food; bao is steamed bread, used for sandwiches or dumplings. The restaurant is about 10 feet wide and maybe 30 feet deep. You squeeze in through the front door by the “kitchen” and order at the end of the counter. There are about 15 seats in the back.
Day of the Week: Thursday, 7/25
Total Bill: $38 (estimated, before tip)*
Breakdown: 6 bao, 2 fries, 2 drinks
Pros: Great food for cheap, super friendly staff.
Cons: None, just be forewarned the place is tiny.
Verdict: A must-visit while in NYC.
We cabbed over to Baohaus in the East Village for lunch. This is one of Hubby’s most favorite restaurants ever. Because we’ve been there so many times I’ve had most of the menu before and wanted to try something new, so I got the Wagyu Haus Bao (topped with Haus relish, crushed peanut, Taiwanese red sugar, and cilantro, $6). I also got an order of taro fries ($3.50) and a chilled green tea (probably $2 – not listed online).
The food here is so good. Taro root makes really good fries. They’re a little bit sweeter than regular potatoes and denser. Baohaus fries them very crispy, tops them with a little seasoning, and serves them with their yummy Haus sauce (it’s light orange and I have no idea what’s in it). The wagyu bao was awesome. The steak was really tender and juicy. But I was still hungry after all that so I ordered an Uncle Jesse (fried tofu topped with crushed peanut, cilantro, Haus sauce, and Taiwanese red sugar, $2.99). The tofu is fried very nicely and stays soft and fluffy in the middle. I also ordered a sweet bao fries with black sesame glaze for everyone to share for dessert (“Steamed then fried, Bao bread, served with your choice of condensed milk glazes: Black Sesame l Pandan,” $3.50). The sweet bao fries are like the best glazed doughnut you’ve ever had: crispy, fluffy, soft, and sweet.
We went back again Saturday for lunch (more on that later). Love this place. You should go!
This is my favorite place to eat, probably in the world…it’s the size of a shoe box, literally, and has maybe 8 seats. The menu has ten things on it. But all of them are fucking delicious!!! It’s steamed bread with different fillings. I had the chicken coffin boa, which is steamed bread that is deep fried and cut open like a coffin. Then it is stuffed with fried chicken, peanuts, some greens, and a sweet sauce. I also had two fried tofu bao and two fried chicken bao… oh and a large order of taro fries! The fries come with the most amazing salty sauce. I love this place. Everything was wonderful, the service is impeccable and the atmosphere is like being in a kitchen.
Lure is a beautiful seafood restaurant in Soho styled to resemble a yacht. Unfortunately, we didn’t save the itemized receipt from dinner, so we have estimated prices based on memory and the menu on Lure’s website.
Day of the Week: Thursday, 7/25
Total Bill: $200 (estimated, before tax and tip)*
Breakdown: 1 Restaurant Week menu, 2 starters, 1 main, 1 dessert, 1 bottle of wine, 2 drinks
Pros: Beautiful décor, fresh seafood, friendly service.
Verdict: Definitely worth a repeat visit.
Lure impressed me when we walked in. They really captured the ambiance of a yacht (or what I imagine a yacht would be like, since I’ve never been on one). The windows are round like portholes. The restaurant is paneled in rich wood and accented with cream-colored upholstery.
We joined our friends at the bar for a drink while we waited for the rest of our party (cocktails range from $13 to $16). We were quickly seated in a semi-circular booth. One of the friends with us, B, is my old college roommate. We haven’t seen each other in a couple of years so we spent basically the whole night talking at light speed and I admit I wasn’t paying much attention to the service. But nothing sticks out in my mind, so service must have been smooth.
Unbeknownst to us prior to arriving, Lure was participating in Restaurant Week and the menu really appealed to me. For $38 I got yellowtail tomato gazpacho soup with crab salad (not on the regular menu), the sushi combo with the spicy big eye tuna roll (6 pieces of sushi and your choice of a roll of spicy big eye tuna, yellowtail and scallion, or salmon and avocado), and the creamsicle custard (also not on the regular menu). Every bit of my dinner was delicious. The gazpacho wasn’t heavy on the garlic (as many are). All of the fish was super fresh. My custard was a very good consistency and flavor.
I also tried a bite of Hubby’s yellowtail carpaccio (“Tangerine, Pickled Jalapeño, Mint, Lemon,” $18), which was a fantastic combination of flavors. We also ended up with a free order of tuna tacos due to some mix-up between the server and the kitchen, which were tasty (I don’t see them on the menu online). Hubby and my friends each got ice cream sandwiches for dessert ($10). I tried part of the gingersnaps with chocolate ice cream and it was awesome. I would definitely get the ice cream sandwiches next time.
B and I split a bottle of delicious red wine (a syrah?) for $60 but I can’t remember the name and their wine list isn’t online. Whatever it was, I thought the price was pretty reasonable, especially for Manhattan.
I would absolutely go back to Lure. Beautiful place, great food, good service.
* One thing we noted at nearly every restaurant on our trip was that they will not split checks. They say they can’t but I don’t think that can be true unless their POS is from last century. So I guess the truth is they won’t. Instead, diners have to try to figure up everyone’s share (which I really, really hate). Maybe the restaurants don’t want to incur the extra merchant fees on credit cards. Maybe the servers don’t want to deal with multiple checks. Maybe they’re trying to be European. Whatever the reason, please note that our bill total shown above is not exactly what we spent.
For dinner we went to Lure Fishbar. This place was really good, too. Looks like I picked all good restaurants so far. For apps, I had the yellowtail and the tuna tartare. Both were great. I was also comped an order of tuna tacos, which were the best of the apps I ordered. For dinner I had the seared tuna (as you can see, I like it raw, like ODB). I ordered it as raw as possible but came a little too cooked for me…but still very tasty. The highlight of this restaurant was the service. The guy was awesome!!! Unfortunately the name of the server was not on the receipt or I would definitely put it in the blog. The only downfall to this place was that it was really really really warm inside.