My favorite thing to eat in New York City might just be warm roasted chestnuts, straight from a cart on the corner. They remind me of my Grandpa, Christmas morning and Bing Crosby on the stereo.
Also: pizza. Pizza in bed at 3 a.m, 4 a.m, 5 a.m. Pizza tastes really good before breakfast.
The other places I went and loved:
My favorite: Cafe Lalo on the West Side. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks met here in You’ve Got Mail, and it is indeed as dear as it seemed on the screen — and delicious, organic, and wonderful in every way. We met friends for Sunday brunch and watched a newly engaged couple smile at each other in a corner. At one point, the boy reached out and ran his finger along the bridge of his fiancee’s nose.
The dessert case was naughty.
Xie Xie, a new, modern Asian sandwich shop in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s bright and fun and fast and they sell those tiny pink cans of Sofia Coppola champagne to sip with the best sandwiches you will ever taste. (You can also walk to the theater after.)
The chef Angelo Sosa is A) good-looking and B) talented, trained by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Alain Ducasse. Xie Xie is pronounced Shay Shay. My friend Cindy is still talking about the pork bun I brought her.
For dessert, I walked over to the Little Pie Company and bought a tiny sour cream apple walnut pie. It was my birthday and I did not share. It is the best pie I’ve ever had. There were even pumpkins in the window and a grumpy customer who lectured the waitress. I loved it. Am highly considering ordering one for Thanksgiving from Dean & Deluca.
Promise me you will not miss the 7th floor of Bergdorf Goodman, home to a chocolate shop, a Christmas shop, wedding dresses, a room filled entirely with vintage silver, a John Derian alcove, the most incredible candle department EVER and the BG Restaurant, designed by Top Design goddess Kelly Wearstler.
It looks like this:
And they serve things like this: Lobster Mac and Cheese.
If you leave New York without sinking your fork into this baby, then I’m sorry. Very sorry, indeed. And have dessert. OK? Just do. They’ll bring you mini macarons either way.
We also went to Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market, in the Meatpacking District. The coconut-chicken soup is one of the best things I’ve eaten. Ever. Spice Market is Vietnamese/Asian — very sceney and cool. Make a reservation.
Prettiest room in town: Buddakan, also known as the restaurant where Carrie and Big had their rehearsal dinner in Sex and the City.
I had roasted carrots and roasted quail at Craft, Tom Colicchio’s adored spot near Gramercy Park. Colicchio, of Top Chef fame, roasts everything and I left wondering why I shouldn’t just do the same. There were also huge, five-foot bouquets of nothing but fall leaves.
When you leave, the hostess hands you a pumpkin spice muffin to eat in the morning. For breakfast.
Magnolia Bakery — of course of course. The vanilla cake with chocolate frosting was my favorite, and note to yourselves: there are three locations now, one near Rockefeller Center and 5th Avenue — tourism central.
Also try: Serendipity 3 for frozen hot chocolate, Dylan’s Candy Bar for varied naughtiness, Dean & Deluca in SoHo for a quick lunch while shopping, Sullivan Street Bakery for Jim Lahey’s potato pizza, pizza at Co., Balthazar in SoHo (warning, the hostesses can be LAME), and of course, tea at The Plaza.