3 NYC Restaurants
This summer I tried to branch out and try new restaurants in the city. It’s super easy to try new places all the time when you’re in a new city, interning, living in a dorm and have no other options, but since I was living at home it was a lot harder for me to justify paying for a NYC dinner out with friends when I had free food at home (and was on a minimum wage budget). That being said, there were still a few highlights I wanted to share with you today!
One // Beauty and Essex
This was hands down the best restaurant I went to this summer. It’s a hidden gem (literally) on the Lower East Side, located behind a pawn shop. Find a group to go with, make reservations and go hungry. I went with four friends on a Saturday night and the only time we could get in was 5:30 p.m. A little early for dinner, but we started out with some drinks and decided to order 5 plates to share. The plates are tapas style so the more people you have the more you’ll get to try. We started with soup dumplings (a miniature grilled cheese bite in a tomato soup spoon) and ricotta meatballs. Both were amazing, I probably could’ve eaten them all on my own. When we finished (or should I say, after we devoured) our first course, we got lobster mac and cheese, ravioli, and baby back ribs. None of them disappointed and they were gone almost as quickly as the first course. We were surprised by how filling they were and didn’t end up ordering more than the five dishes even though there was more we wanted to try. A trip to Beauty and Essex wouldn’t be complete without stopping in the bathroom for free pink champagne. (Note: the champagne isn’t served before 7 p.m. so if you have an early reservation, drag it out to get the full experience.) We had an incredible dinner and for a NYC dinner with drinks it ended up being really reasonably priced for the five of us. I would definitely recommend it and can’t wait to go again.
P.S. Sorry we ate too quickly for me to snap any pics of the food!
Two // La Pizza & La Pasta – Eataly
One day my mom and I went downtown to shoot some pictures for the blog and stumbled upon Eataly. We had never been but I’d heard of it before so we decided to check it out. When we got inside they told us they had four different restaurants and we opted for La Pizza & La Pasta for a quick lunch. It was some of the best Italian food I’ve had in the city. I got ravioli with ricotta, spinach, lemon butter, and pistachio. I can’t remember exactly what was in my mom’s pasta but hopefully the picture gives you an idea! Normally ravioli leaves me feeling bloated because it’s so heavy but the lemon sauce made the dish so light and airy, it was so tasty and I didn’t feel stuffed or gross afterwards. We had such good food we went back a week later for dinner with my dad and brother. I know this sounds a little crazy but I actually think the food was better when I went with lunch for my mom, but regardless it was still good. My brother’s only complaint was that they serve Italian-made beverages and didn’t have regular Coca-Cola!
Three // Joe’s Shanghai
I actually haven’t made it to Joe’s Shanghai this summer but it remains a favorite of mine. Ever since I tried soup dumplings for the first time I’ve been obsessed. If you’ve never had them before it’s like they combined wonton soup and dumplings into one delicious dish! The best way to eat them is to put them on your spoon, bite a teeny tiny little hole in the side and then suck the soup out. Once it’s dry inside you can bite into the dumpling! Joe’s Shanghai is a NY classic when it comes to soup dumplings. I would go more often, but we live right down the block from another Chinese place that has equally (if not better) soup dumplings. (Land of Plenty on 58th between 2nd and 3rd if you ever find yourself in Midtown East.) I’ve only been to the Joe’s in Chinatown and it is definitely a different dining experience. They have large round tables that seat 8-10 people and they’ll put your group with other diners. You’ll still have your own waiter though and operate on your own schedule. The rest of the food is good too, but there’s no shame in going solely for the soup dumplings! (And while you’re in Chinatown you can get some incredible desserts, like the fish-shaped ice cream cone I shared here!)