Friday, July 10, 2015

New York Day Two: Greenwich Village, Food Tastings, and a Turkish Dinner

Hello! Like I said in the last post, this post will be about the second half of our day. After exiting the High Line, we walked to Li-Lac Chocolates in Greenwich Village on 8th St. We were given the 72% chocolate, which was delicious. I generally prefer dark chocolate and this was the perfect mix of sweet.

After tasting the chocolate (and saving some for later) we headed towards our next food stop: Hamilton's Luncheonette for some egg creams. The restaurant itself is adorable and classic. I imagine that it would not look out of place if it were open 50 years ago.

Before going to Hamilton's I had heard of a New York Egg Cream but didn't know what was in it. One of our favorite restaurants back in Florida, Lenny's, had egg cream on the menu but it didn't have a description!! Now after knowing what makes an egg cream (and no I am not telling you, you'll have to try it and find out) and drinking it, I can safely say that it is surprisingly delicious!

The menu at Hamilton's looks delicious and I want to go back to try their turkey dinner (and another egg cream!).

Before heading towards pizza, we walked through the Village and Gary told us about how filthy and crowded New York was in the 19th and 20th century. We talked about the origins of "piss poor" (which is quite disgusting) and why the Ralph Lauren store in the Village has its own exclusive collection.

We ate pizza at Bleecker Street Pizza on 7th Ave, which has been voted the best pizza in New York by the Food Network for three years in a row. We had a slice of the Nonna Marie that has fresh mozzarella, homemade marinara sauce, Parmesan and basil. While I really liked the toppings, Mom, Dad and I weren't crazy about the crust. We agreed that we have had better pizza before (sorry Food Network).

By this point we were feeling pretty full, but we had two more stops to go! So we had to KBO (as Churchill said). The next stop was Murray's Cheese on Bleecker St for some grilled cheese. They have a secret blend of cheeses for their melts. And let me tell you, that was one great grilled cheese. All I needed was some tomato soup do dip in!

The last stop of the day was Pasticceria Rocco for some coffee and cannoli. My favorite cannoli are from Mike's Pastries in Boston, but these were darn delicious. One side was dipped in pistachios and the other side in chocolate chips. I also had a cappuccino to go with the pastry.

And that was the end of our tour! Mom, Dad and I agreed that it was one of the best tours that we have ever done. They have other food tours and the Hell's Kitchen one sounds like a lot of fun. Gary was a great tour guide and recommended the Turkish restaurant that we ended up going to for dinner, ABA Istanbul Restaurant.  

Even though it was fourth of July we decided that wanted to try something new for dinner and ABA was perfect! Our waiter was super helpful in recommending more traditional plates and he even gave us a traditional dessert on the house!

For the starter we had some hummus and an eggplant in tomato sauce dip. The eggplant dip reminded me of ratatouille, another cold dish made up by roasted or grilled vegetables.

For my entrée I went for the Sultan's Delight, which is what Gary gets when goes there so I had to try it! It was a lamb and vegetable stew on top of eggplant purée. I didn't think that I would really like the eggplant purée, but it was amazing! I want to try and recreate it!

Both Mom and Dad got grilled whole fish with pickled vegetables. Dad got the dorado and Mom got the branzino. They both thought that the fish was a bit overcooked, but it was still yummy.

We split three desserts: a custard with a caramelized base (kazandibi), sweet potatoes in a syrupy sauce and pistachio baklava. All of them were delicious!

ABA was such a good choice for that night and it made me want to find a Turkish restaurant near us in Massachusetts. After that we wandered around before getting a cab back to the hotel to watch the fireworks.

The next post will be about our last morning in Manhattan with Central Park and brunch. At the end of this post will be other photos of the day of things that we walked by.

See you soon!

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