I heart NY

Posted on March 15, 2015


I’ve just come back from the whirlwind that is New York. God I love that city. Especially when I was lucky enough to be there for the first couple of days of spring. I landed just after a snowstorm. The city had banks of snow everywhere, it was incredible – although New Yorkers had had enough, it was March after all. And then two days later, as if by magic, winter had gone and beautiful sunny spring had arrived. It was bliss.

As always, I mostly stayed downtown and here are my new discoveries…

Lower East Side

A friend reserved Dirty French well ahead of time as my welcome to NY/get my friends together location and it could not have been more perfect for a bunch of foodies who also like a cocktail or two. We shared starters – carpaccio of lamb, house bread and goats cheese salad. For main I had the duck – cooked to perfection so that it melted in my mouth. Shortrib was also tender and delicious, as were my bites of the seabass and monkfish. We stuck to wine at around $50 bottle – try the Marguerite from Chateau Thivin – and despite warnings that the place was expensive, I thought $100 per person was fairly reasonable, and well worth it.

What I really appreciated about Dirty French that night, other than the food, and the awesome attention to detail in the decor (the giant Marshall speakers in each corner for example), was the lounge bar at the back – perfect for a group to carry on after dinner. They seem to limit intake so it was busy enough for a lively atmosphere but not packed.

After all this I popped into Stanton Social, which I’d loved before but it was dead at 1am on a Friday which didn’t bode well. We should have gone to the Experimental Cocktail Bar where they have a new head barman fresh from Paris who is mixologist extraordinaire.

We popped to Fonda for a (hungover) bite to eat on Saturday which was fine (actually the frozen rosa margaritas were divine and slipped down a little too easily), but Bario Chino is still my favourite Mexican in this area (and they have grapefruit margaritas which are equally divine!).


The same friend bagged a great deal for restaurant week at the David Burke Kitchen in the basement of the James Hotel (which I have a soft spot for after celebrating my 35th birthday at the fabulous rooftop bar Jimmy’s).

West Village

Joseph Leonard was a fabulous brunch. You can always tell as there are people hovering outside. Taking our name and number, we popped to a local coffee shop whilst waiting for our call – timing was perfect.

And slightly less trendy but a good solid favourite is Whitehall. Staff are both fun and attentive. They do a great spicy bloody mary and you brunch dishes are reliably good.

I didn’t get there this time but I’ve been told that one of my personal favourites Aria is still a good bet.


Batard was picked by a work friend who I now understand has impeccable taste when it comes to food. Here we had braised artichokes paired with sesame crisp and hen’s egg, and octopus pastrami to start. Followed by branzino for me, and veal for him – all cooked to perfection. Price was high, but picked up on expense account so all good.


I swear that NYC has picked up it’s game on coffee. maybe it’s always been like that but this visit I particularly noticed a few good places. Check out one of the Irving Farm coffee roasters or City Bakery.



And my other new brilliant discovery was bargain facials at the Dermalogica Academy. Book ahead for $50 tailored facials. Heaven. Especially before the re-eye home….