I went up to NYC two weeks ago for a wine tasting event (day job) and haven't had the time to write up my thoughts. Before I get to the art, I thought I'd do a quick post on the wine and food aspect of the trip.
First the wine- Best Wine Saxum Syrah (I can see why Wine Spectator has this as their #1 wine last year.) Very close were two Aussie Shiraz- Two Hands Ares and Mollydooker Velvet Glove. The Cheval Blanc was my favorite Bordeaux followed closely by Lafite and Haut-Brion. The Bruno Giacosa Barolo was awesome. I made a point of tasting a number of Pinot Noirs since it is generally not my favorite varietal but the Kosta Brown was fantastic (could this be the wine of the year this year?) as well as the AP Vin, Bergstom and Beaux Freres. For California cab- my pick goes to Staglin. I was very intrigued with the blend that Brian Loring was pouring.
For food, I had a couple of burgers from places that had been suggested. HB Burgers was fine. Its the bar and grill version of Heartland Brewing. Beers were ok, burgers were fine, Nothing special. Tried the Shake Shack burger on Friday. Again, a weaker version of Five Guys with good crinkle cut fries. BTW- when you are going to a tasting expecting to taste 60-80 wines, you need protein before hand. Of course, I spit at the tastings, there is no other way to taste that many. When I organized my notes on Friday morning, I realized that I had tasted 85 wines Thursday night. Anyway, For lunch on Saturday, we met a friend in Chelsea were we had lunch at the Half King- better burger than either of the recommended burger places.
On Friday, we had lunch at a Bobby Flay restaurant, Cafe Americain which was recommended to us by some folks at Food & Wine Magazine. They know what they are talking about- one of the best steaks I've ever had. The spice rub worked perfectly with the house-made steak sauce. Since I believe I make a great steak, I don't usually order them out but since Flay is a grill kind of guy, I figured I'd give it a go- and there was the protein thing too.
On Saturday, we ended up on Mulberry Street at dinner time. We found a place that didn't seem like a tourist trap, Da Nico's. There was no slick guy trying to hustle us to a table. They appeared to have plenty of regulars that the owners were greeting. The food was very good if not great but we had a lovely time. A nice, completely unknown to me, Nero was recommended by the waiter.
Surprise food experience- truly kick ass meatballs in the MoMA cafe!