The morning of the third day started with a visit to Lincoln Center, the arts and culture hub I missed seeing on my last trip. It’s certainly a beautiful space – lucky New Yorkers!
Mmm…now I’ve heard great things about the doughnuts at Doughnut Plant, and especially about this particular doughnut, but it was just too much. The dough itself was overshadowed by too much peanut butter, too much jelly. Perhaps I chose badly.
Onwards we went to 5th Avenue, down to Rockefeller Center where the Easter decorations were still up…
… and then down to Bryant Park and the New York Public Library where my favourite reading room was closed that day! A shame, I love that place.
Lunchtime! We caught the subway from there to somewhere in East Manhattan to visit Momofuku Ssam Bar for lunch. I’d visited on my last trip to NYC and I wanted to return to try their lunch menu; ok, I was mainly there for their rotisserie duck.
But first, their famous steamed buns again. I think what makes them stand out from other pork belly buns are the not one, but two thick slices of braised pork belly. Indulgent!
And that rotisserie duck! I would have liked more of it… but what we had was excellent. This is not your ordinary roast duck as in between the breast and skin was tucked some pork-based forcemeat. This is truly the mutant animal that would be welcome at my celebration table (bah to the turducken).
We got it with all the fixin’s available: the chive pancake above (only ok), the bowl of lettuce below (we weren’t entirely sure what to do with it and tried eating the duck ssam style), and an excellent broccoli salad with dried bluefish (below that).
For dessert, we split a Thai Tea Pie, which whilst not tasting particularly strongly of Thai tea, was a delightful ice cream pie and a complex tang provided by a tamarind sauce.
Afterwards we walked over to Momofuku Milk Bar which had not yet opened when I was last in New York. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t enjoy any of their sweets (I tried a few over a couple days). Their cookies (compost and corn) weren’t great to me and their cake truffles were bleh (dulce de leche). Perhaps I should have tried their soft serve. Their bagel bomb (a round bagel filled with savoury cream cheese) was quite good though.
And then onwards we went to the Flatiron Building and where I spotted the city’s Eataly, that huge emporium of eateries, delis and shopping all direct from Italy.
The sunny weather necessitated a gelato and we queued up to try that at Eataly. I mean, it’s from Italy so it has to be good, right?
Wrong. The flavours were muted; the texture wasn’t great. Boring. Oh well, the rest of Eataly looked exciting.
We didn’t have anything planned for the rest of the afternoon but we did want to see a few more galleries at the Met so back up on the 6-train we went. It’s impossible to see everything there in only a day or two and I wish we had a whole week for its!
Later that evening, we headed back to the East Village (fast becoming my favourite place to eat in Manhattan) and while we first thought about pizza, the place we had in mind was extremely crowded. We turned the corner and headed for some American-Italian food at Parm instead.
We started with some vegetables – spicy rabe was actually pretty spicy (to our surprise) but this heat paired well with the slightly bitter greens.
String beans oreganata were grilled until the beans were tender and will black grill marks and they were tossed with a spicy breadcrumb mixture. These were brilliant – I know I’ll try throwing green beans onto the barbecue this summer….when I get a barbecue.
Of course, Parm specialises in anything parmigiana, i.e. anything topped with red sauce and cheese and it’s all melted together in the oven. We had a couple of small sandwiches.
The chicken parm roll was breaded chicken with tomato sauce and melting cheese in a soft bun.
Eggplant parm (that’s aubergine if you’re not familiar with the Americanism) was silky slices of eggplant layered with the sauce and cheese. Both parms were excellent.
After dinner, we ended up walking past the pizzeria again and this time it was empty. And open (ok, it was still very early in the evening). And that meant getting a slice. This was Prince Street Pizza, a tiny place that sells pizza by the slice – we were there for their square slice with spicy salami. As recommended by Serious Eats, I asked for our slice to be extra crispy, meaning that it just spends a bit more time in the oven during reheating.
A most excellent Sicilian slice this was – and we loved the crispy base.
To make up for our crappy gelato earlier in the day, we walked around the corner from the pizzeria to AB Biagi‘s yet again! Here’s strawberry and a vegan almond. What made it vegan? Almond milk! It was fantastic.
It was a good end to the day!