Jul 25, 2012

~ dining in ny

You may have noticed what comprised the largest percentage of my BEST list in my last post introducing my trip to New York, was food. Obviously and absolutely my favorite part about visiting New York is the restaurant experience. 
My daughter and I are obsessed and so impressed with Immaculate Infatuation, a website/app with everything you need to know about dining in New York. Chris and Andrew, the masterminds behind the restaurant suggestion phenomenon are funny, straightforward, unpretentious and completely on target about their food choices and recommendations. We literally hit up their app for every single reservation, every single thing we ordered, and we were never ever disappointed. In fact, we could not have been happier. If you take away only one thing from this week's New York posts, let it be Immaculate Infatuation.
Visit the website here
Download the app on your phone ASAP...
Clever and well done ~ Quality time should be spent exploring both. Everything you need to know about the NYC food scene ~ these guys are the real deal.


We stayed in the downtown area, and thanks to the pull down menu on the Immaculate Infatuation website and app, it was easy to narrow down our restaurant choices based on location. (You can also tap "around me" and are rewarded with a map and marked recommended restaurants in the surrounding area.)
Here is a rundown of the restaurants we were lucky enough to experience...


1. L'Artusi. Funny story. We had reservations at Dell' Anima, a restaurant in Chelsea we fell in love with on our last trip. A few minutes before we walked out the door, they called to inform us they had no power but had made reservations for us at their sister restaurant, L' Artusi, in West Village. One of Chris's favorite restaurants in this town, we were thrilled to try the "larger, louder sister" restaurant.  
Chris recommended the Roasted mushrooms like this:


Roasted Mushrooms
Easily one of the best things I have ever had at a restaurant and I will not back down from that statement. This is a plate of roasted mushrooms and pancetta topped with a fried egg and ricotta. The mushrooms are salty, rich, and loaded with lemon. Add a fried egg and ricotta salata and suddenly the fork seems worthless. Next time I come back I am ordering three of these and bringing one of those little shovels that kids make sand castles with.


He does not lie. We agree with every word. We wanted shovels.
We also ordered Tagliatelle Bolognese Bianco, Parmesan... pure heaven.


Immaculate Infatuation L'Artusi Review here
L'Artusi website here
Immaculate Infatuation Dell' Anima Review here
Dell' Anima website here

2. Babbo. Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, top choice for apartment living for my daughter, Babbo is considered a favorite of Mario Batali restaurants. Thanks to reading Andrew's synopsis for Babbo, here, I knew to call exactly one month before the requested reservation date, or I would not be getting a reservation. 
Andrew suggested the Pappardelle Bolognese like this: 


Pappardelle Bolognese
Just when you think it couldn’t get any better than the tagliatelle, the bolognese steamrolls the table. Look at it, it’s beautiful. Perfectly cooked pappardelle with a chunky, rich meat sauce. Perfection in every bite. You can try, but you’re not going to find a better pasta with bolognese combo than this.



We believed him and he is also not a liar. 



Immaculate Infatuation Babbo Review here
Babbo website here

3. Osteria Morini. Just when we thought we wouldn't, we shouldn't order pasta for another meal, we ordered pasta for another meal. How could we not? Here's what Andrew had to say about Michael White, the owner of this fine establishment:

If you read this website regularly, you are already aware that we’re Michael White junkies. Homeboy makes our favorite pasta on the isle of Manhattan. We’d rather eat at one of White’s fine establishments –MareaConvivio, Alto and now Osteria Morini – than at a Batali joint any day of the week.
So you can imagine that his first venture south of Midtown was probably the fall restaurant opening that we were most looking forward to. To put it lightly, expectations were sky high. Luckily, Morini did not let us down. The food, though heavy at times, lives up to what we’ve come to expect from a chef who seems primed to be a household name in no time. We also like the rustic but refined atmosphere of the new joint. Our only issue starts and ends with the menu. It’s overwhelming and there’s no prix fixe option to help you plan your attack. We know this is his meat-centric restaurant, and look, we love eating animals, but the carne takes the focus away from the best part, which is still the pasta. This menu would greatly benefit from some kind of mid-level, affordable tasting menu with a starter, two pastas and a meat, just like at Convivio. But since you don’t have that luxury right now, we recommend going hard on the antipasta and pasta sections and lighter on the meat and entree options – ordering everything to share. On our first trip, we severely under-ordered on pasta and over-ordered on meat. Don’t do that.
Menu gripes aside, pretty much everything at Morini is fantastic, and the restaurant is more our speed than any of Michael White’s uptown joints. As much as we back the guy, his other places aren’t exactly cut from the same cloth we are. But now that he’s finally untucked his shirt and made it downtown, we can start spending some real quality time together. That is, until we’ve blown all of our money on pasta.

We ordered the Tagliatelle Pasta, duh.

Immaculate Infatuation Osteria Morini Review here
Osteria Morini website here

4. Sticky's Finger Joint. This was not a spot we would have given a second thought to had we not read the low-down on Immaculate Infatuation. It's described by Chris like this: 
Sticky’s is basically stoner food at it’s best and most ridiculous, and it’s no accident that it’s a few blocks from NYU and open until 4am on the weekends. Talk about a fail proof business model. Sticky’s also proudly claims to use only the highest quality chicken and ingredients, which is nice to think about as you cram a deep fried piece of poultry that’s been filled with mozzarella into your mouth. Thank god that thing lived cage-free.
We’ve got to admit that even though we aren’t Sticky’s target audience, we kind of love this place. We sampled pretty much every variety of finger this place has to offer, and they were all excellent. I guess you don’t have to be blazed to enjoy a chicken strip that’s been made to taste like sushi, or one that’s covered in tortillas, guacamole, and something called “cray” sauce. Just know that you probably aren’t gonna feel good about yourself after the fact.
Check out the possibilities...
The Buffalo, The General Sticky Tso, Wasabi Finger, Fiesta Finger, The Salted Caramel Pretzel... are you getting the picture? How to choose? Luckily, the founder and owner brought over samples to accompany our order...  I mean, they were all amazing. Again, Chris was right. The fingers were ridiculously delicious, and we felt like huge losers after the fact. 

Immaculate Infatuation Sticky's Finger Joint Review here
Sticky's Finger Joint here

Obviously, I gained 10 pounds. 

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8 comments:

Our French Inspired Home said...

Ahhh..more hunger pains early in the morning. That mushroom dish does look amazing. Not that I could come anywhere close, but it looks like it would be worth a try at home too. Glad you had such great dining experiences.

carolyn bradford said...

Oh my word! These dishes all look and sound amazing! And what a great website! I will definitely check it out! Hope to talk my husband into going to New York in the very near future!

Town and Country Mom said...

Thanks for the app recommendation! I can't wait to put it to use in NYC. Meanwhile I'll live vicariously through your fun posts!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Those mushrooms and egg combo loo so yummy, but I would have to doctor the egg first...I am funny about how my eggs are prepared;')~

cindy said...

I CARE! I am now using Immaculate Infatuation and saved your recommendations! Love to hear how other people spend their time in the city too.

Suzluvsflowers said...

I don't read blogs every day, so just read this.... THANKS for the info. about immaculate infatuation and all the great details about the places you visited.

Fabulously Blairsville said...

Headed for NY this week and this will come in handy. I also plan to see MacKenzie Childs as they are a lifelong love. Thank you

Hamptontoes said...

As someone who has lived in NYC and now lives just outside the city limits, it is my favorite place on earth! I am super excited about the app you recommend. Off to download it now. Thanks!