July 10, 2011

Eating in Manhattan After Work...

Whenever I travel to New York City - whether for business or leisure - food is always a highlight of the trip. New York is such a diverse city it has a plethora of good restaurants, cafes, and shops serving food from all over the world.

This year I spent nine days in New York City between the beginning of June and the beginning of July. The majority of that time was for fun - visiting friends and vacation - however a portion of it was to attend a conference for my day job (marketing and social media). During those few days I spent my days inside an auditorium and then enthusiastically hit the streets in the evenings.

On this particular trip I stayed at the Pod Hotel. Converted from a former hostel, this hotel has very small rooms (some with shared bathrooms and some ensuite) and a cool vibe. I loved my little room (or pad as the hotel referred to it); but I was relieved to be traveling alone on this trip. (Of course I missed having Jonathan - my husband and travel companion - with me but my pod was so small I cannot imagine how fit two people and two suitcases could fit in the space.)

Croissant and hot chocolate
at the Pod Hotel Cafe

So, where did I go when I was not working or sleeping in my pod? Most of the mornings I began my day at the Pod Hotel Cafe with a pastry and hot chocolate. (Another plus of this hotel is their cafe serves pastries from Balthazar and other popular New York City bakeries.) In addition to the wonderful pastries the cafe serves Guittard hot chocolate, which is one of my favorite pre-mixed hot chocolate blends. One morning I did venture out onto the street for breakfast. My conference was on the Upper West Side at the 92nd Street Y, so I decided to look for a cafe in that neighborhood. I ended up at a small bakery on Lexington Avenue called Corrado Bread and Pastry Cafe. The cute shop has a few tables along East 90th Street where I sat and enjoyed my breakfast. I have to admit - the croissant and hot chocolate where not as good as at the Pod Hotel Cafe, but I enjoyed watching the morning street scene.

After spending the whole day inside listening, learning, and speaking it was exhilarating to be out on the street in the evenings. One evening I stayed close to my hotel and wandered around the Midtown East neighborhood. While this area is within a short walk of Midtown, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square it has a very different vibe. 3rd Avenue is lined with small local restaurants where people meet after work, not the neon of large chains filled with hungry tourists. I decided to have a glass of wine and some cheese at La Cava. It was crowded, but I found a seat near the back and placed my order. The first thing I noticed when I sat down was that the atmosphere in this wine bar was very different than what I would expect in Washington DC. It was abuzz with energy and excitement - an instant reminder that I was in Manhattan. My Cote du Rhone and cheese plate arrived promptly and I enjoyed my dinner while taking in the scene.

One evening later in the week I had enough time to venture further from my hotel. So, I took the subway downtown to the Lower East Side. First I wandered up and down the streets checking out the restaurants, cafes, and shops. This neighborhood is home to new fashionable cafes and establishments that have withstood the test of time, like Katz Deli.

After exploring the neighborhood for a while I decided to have dinner at Bruschetteria on Rivington Street. This tiny cafe has only eight tables inside and a small bench outside. I ordered a glass of Nero de Avola, bruschetta with ricotta, black pepper, and truffle, and a green salad. The bruschetta was served make-your-own style with the topping in a bowl and the bread on the side. The food was very good - a perfect relaxing dinner!

Salad and bruschetta
at Bruschetteria

To end the evening I stopped by Cocoa Bar for a chocolate treat to reward myself after a long work week...

Chocolate marzipan cake
at Cocoa Bar

1 comment:

Rambling Tart said...

What a perfect start to each day - croissant and hot chocolate. :-) Mmm. I did that in Paris and it still makes me happy to think of it. I love that you make your business trips special this way. :-)