December Wrap-Up – NYC & TO
Happy 2015! How did 2014 go by so slowly and so fast at the same time? Mine was full of ups and downs, and I think I mentally aged a lifetime in the process, but I’m still alive, kickin’, and eatin’.
In 2014, I fell in love with Breads Bakery. Recently, my new bae surprised me with a box of pastries from the aforementioned bakery, and it made my heart go pitter-patter. The cannelé ($3.25; pictured at top of post), larger than the ones from Dominique Ansel and with a denser shell and wobblier custard center, is a must-buy. The crisp, nutty marzipan cookies with a not too sweet jelly center ($2.75) are also a favorite, as are the rich, cocoa-heavy chocolate rugelach (2 for $3.25). Chocolate is scrumptious, but also do try the sweet cheesy rugelach as well.
But one can’t survive on sweets alone. In December, lots of pizza was had.
The Patate alle Carbonara ($17) at Marta — topped with potatoes, guanciale, pecorino, and a barely cooked egg — is the best breakfast possible.
GG’s in the East Village is cranking out all sorts of pizza deliciousness as well. There’s about five pies on the menu, but you can also customize your own. Anchovy and fennel agrodolce ($19; pictured above) is a nice combo, but when in doubt, order the square Grandma Pie ($18), with crunchy edges, lots of salty pepperoni, and enough dried oregano to remind me of the Sicilian slices of my youth.
Naturally, Chinese was also had. I was in Toronto for work half of December, and the best meal I had was this bowl of roast duck noodle soup from King’s Noodle (C$5.99). I’ve had LOTS of roast duck in New York, and also in Hong Kong, but the roast duck at King’s was the most tender to date.
More xiao long bao were also eaten at The Bao, probably my favorite East Village restaurant of the moment, but don’t miss out on the apps like the squishy, spicy Squashed Pepper & Eggplant ($12.95) which comes with a pestle to continue the mashing fun.
And because passed $1 pinxtos are always a great deal (every Tuesday), a visit to Huertas was inevitable. The pinxtos are tasty, but truly single bites and slow in coming, so a few items from the menu are necessary. The Arroz Negro ($14), squid ink Calasparra Rice with aioli is briny and satisfying, but the Huertas Rotos ($13), potato pasta-like strands with a chorizo vinaigrette and a gently poached egg on top, is always a crowd-pleaser. Surprisingly, the vegetarian version without the chorizo is also very good.
Again, Happy New Year! My life is still a bit crazy at the moment, and as you may have noticed, posts on the blog aren’t as frequent as past years, but I’m still eating full throttle. Visual evidence of said eating can be found on my Instagram account (@TiaJKim), so please follow me there if you haven’t already. I have a feeling 2015 will prove just as, if not more, delicious.
13 St. Marks Pl (b/n 2nd & 3rd Ave; map)
New York, NY 10003