Local Links


Good morning and happy Monday. I spent the weekend in the city and had a blast. Fried chicken dinner at Momofuku Noodle Bar; pizza at Co.; the Kandinksi retrospective at the Guggenheim and a walk along the High Line in Chelsea.

We started with drinks at Mayaheul, the tequila bar (it’s rather more like a tequila den, actually) in the East Village owned by master bartender and mixologist Phil Ward.


Who doesn’t like a little tequila before a platter of fried chicken. For my first round I had The Tequlia Gumption (Mescal and reposada tequila with maraschino, orange and bitters):


Our second round:


Then we walked around the corner to Momofuku Noodle Bar. To order the chicken dinner, you need to reserve online about a month ahead of time. It is the only way to get a reservation. A lot of people have complained about how difficult it is, but I’ve been able to get two reservations (one at Ko, one at Noodle Bar) in the past month by logging on on Saturday morning. I think it’s that people aren’t at work, so they’re not at their computers pressing reload, reload, reload exactly at 10 a.m. I’ve also noticed a few cancellations now and then, so it’s worthwhile to check often.

Anyway, on to dinner.


We started with pork buns. We couldn’t help it.


Pork belly, scallions, radishes, chili sauce. Heaven.

And now, the piece de resistance. Two and a half chickens. One half done Korean style, with chili paste and sesame seeds. The other half done Southern style, fried dark with spices:


You get pancakes (like crepes, actually), four sauces, and an amazing bowl of vegetables to mix and match with: radishes, lettuce, herbs, carrots and peppers:


(Excuse the blur.) Dinner:


Nearly done:


We couldn’t move afterwards. It was delicious. I would recommend going with at least six people. We went with four… and look at all the leftovers!

In the morning, we went to Smorga Chef, the cafe at the Scandinavian House for brunch. I had a perfectly delightful Lingonberry Soda.


I’m growing lingonberries at home, so I’m happy to find another use for them besides jam! This was like bubble tea in a way… the berries were clustered at the bottom and occasionally came up through the straw. It was just the right balance of sweet and tart, too.

My husband, who grew up around surrounded by Scandinavians in Minnesota, got the herring platter:


Many different herrings. It was tasty. He was happy with the lefse. I got the gravalax BLT:


It was disappointing. The bread had been pre-grilled, so it was cold. The bacon was also cold. I finally took the sandwich apart and just ate the salmon on one piece of bread. The potato salad alongside was nice, at least.

On our walk up to the Guggenheim, I came across the Cupcake Stop truck. Its Web site (cupcakestop.com) and Twitter account (twitter.com/cupcakestop) tell you where the truck will be. It’s one in the new breed of “fancy” street food vendors, and it was a finalist in the Vendy Awards this September.


I got a peanut butter and jelly mini cupcake.


It was pretty good, I must say. Not the best cupcake I’ve ever had; not the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich I’ve ever had. But as far as trying to be both at once: not bad.

The Kandinsky retrospective at the Gugenheim was mobbed. But well worth attending. The audio tour is definitely worth the time and effort. (It’s free.)


After a little rest, we headed out again. With some trepidation, we headed for the parade in the Greenwich Village. Crowds, rain, you know… I just wasn’t sure. I’m so glad we bailed when we did, and headed for a drink at Bar Veloce in Chelsea.


We watched from the comfort of our bar stools, enjoying a rose and a wheat beer, while the skies opened up and sent people in costumes scurrying for cover. I mean, it poured.


We got to see enough of the costumes parading on the sidewalk. I’m sure we missed out on the real deal, but hey, I’ve gone this long without seeing it. What’s another year?

We wandered through the brownstones in Chelsea, many of which were decorated with cob webs and pumpkins —



— until we wound up at Co. (pronounced Company), the pizza place owned by Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery:


We shared a special, a lamb’s shoulder that had been roasted for 12 hours. It was amazing on that Sullivan Street Bakery bread:


Then we shared a margherita:


Look how fluffy and crisp the crust:


And a boscaiola, with tomatoes, mushrooms, sausage, onion and chili:


Totally terrific. I am so happy there’s such great pizza everywhere in NYC now. Now can we bring some up north, too? (I know we’ve got a few good places, but …..) For you pizza nerds, here’s a look at the underneath side of the crust:


The next morning, we had a cleansing juice at Josie’s on Third Ave:


Carrot, cabbage, arugula and ginger. It was very tasty. My husband got the eggs benedict.


They were fine, perfectly acceptable. I went for a Greek salad with salmon:


It worked for what I wanted: some greens and some protein. I wouldn’t go out of my way to go to Josie’s, but it’s cute, and if you’re in the area and your dining companions have varying needs, it’s a good place to compromise.


They’re known for organic, dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian, just about any kind of special needs anyone might have.

After that, we went for a walk on the High Line.


So beautiful. I love how urban and natural landscape can play so nicely together.


Have you seen garden writer Bill Cary’s blog post, story and video about the High Line? He did it over the summer… the link, here.

After our walk (and a nice while of people watching), we tried for a coffee or a drink or a snack at two new restaurants people have been talking about lately: Tipsy Parson and The Breslin. Our timing was off. Tipsy Parson is only open for dinner at the moment, and we got there around 2 p.m. The Breslin, on the other hand, is only open for lunch, and we got there as it was closing around 4. Curses, foiled again.

We walked back to the East Side and then caught a a supper-time train home. We spent our evening by the fire with a nice comforting bowl of pasta with sausage from Cerillo Fine Foods in the market at Grand Central Terminal. What a fun weekend we had!

And with that, here’s what people have been talking about while I was out gallivanting around!

Frank Pepe’s is open. (Reports welcome.) (CH)
Emily writes about wing night at Tavern at Croton Landing. (NYT)
New Thai in Sleepy Hollow. (WE)
Fried chicken in Westchester? (CH)
First reports on Limoncello in Mamaroneck. (CH)
Rinku loves the croissant at Chiboust in Tarrytown. (CIW)


About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

1 Comment

  1. Diana Costello on

    wow this post really made my mouth water! i already was hungry, but now i’m ravenous. thanks a lot, liz!

Leave A Reply