Playing Catch-Up: Eating Out NYC!

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So, there’s a hurricane that’s flooding all the coastal areas of New York City, no big (kidding…).  But actually, I’m holed up in my apartment that is in a completely safe zone, no flooding or craziness expected here.

But you can bet there’s little to no chance I’m leaving this house in the next 48 hours or so.  So what’s a girl to do? Catch up on things I wouldn’t otherwise have time for – which includes blogging :-)

First topic – restaurant reviews!  My parents came to nyc to visit a few weeks ago, and one of the many awesome things that we get to do is try some really good restaurants.

Apizz – A little Italian restaurant on the Lower East Side, their big “thing” is that everything is cooked in the big wood-burning oven, and everyone eats in one big room.

We started with a rather underwhelming salad, but I was too hungry to snap a picture.

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I shared this whole branzino (European sea bass), and it was beyond amazing.  So light, and I loved the flavor that from the wood-fired oven! I could have eaten the whole thing myself.

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Time to indulge – in amaretto gelato!  I have to admit I was a little disappointed, as it wasn’t quite as good as I was expecting, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this treat.

GustOrganics – I love this place!  I’ve actually been before, but we ended up right near the restaurant (14th & 6th ave) one night, and I knew I liked it (and the food was great quality – certified organic!).

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Hempanada to start!  I had no idea this thing was gluten free (a great deal of their menu is gluten free), but I love the nutty flavor of hemp!  For some reason I completely forgot that that empanadas area usually full of melty cheese, but it the stomachache was worth it this time.

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I also got a salad with poached pears, almonds, and some other things I don’t remember.  This was really good, except that the dressing was made with agave, and the whole thing was a little too sugary sweet for me.

Robert at the MAD – in Columbus Circle!  I love this area of the city, but rarely get up there (actually, I rarely get uptown at all). I should change that.

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See the pink lights? That’s the restaurant.  And it has an amazing view of central park, but we didn’t get a table by the window, so I don’t have great shots to share.

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Started with a cocktail.  I don’t remember what was in it, but it was a very simple cucumber/vodka drink.

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My starter – butternut squash soup!  It was the first really chilly weekend we had all year, so warm soup sounded perfect.  Plus, I’m never one to pass up squash – and this soup did not disappoint.  Flavorful, but not too salty and I could still taste the butternut goodness.  I loved the roasted pumpkin seeds on top as well!

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Eaten with a warm, hearty, multigrain roll.

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Dinner of me – salmon!  I don’t get to have salmon that often at home (it’s not cheap!), and I love it too much not to have it at all.  Served over spinach and sun dried tomatoes, in a thin broth.  I loved that there wasn’t an overwhelming sauce – what can I say, I’ve become a food purist!

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Half of the our table got the grilled branzino – but I had just had the the night before, so I wanted something different.  Mom and I decided that the fish was better at Apizz, but the roasted fennel in the dish at Robert was the best part.

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A little dessert wine on the house!

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..and dessert!  Carrot cake- one of my all time favorite desserts.  I saw the tray brought out to another table before we had out meal, and pretty much had it set in my mind that I wanted this dessert.  Served with house made cherry-parsnip ice cream.  Not the best carrot cake I’ve ever had, but delicious nonetheless.

Last stop – MudSpot for (early) Sunday brunch!  If you read my blog at all last year, you may remember that I used to get coffee from the MudTruck all the time.  This is their actually restaurant. (I miss living right near the coffee truck…)

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I got sunny side up eggs (3!) with mushrooms and pico de gallo, a side salad, and some tasty, toasty multigrain.  Oh and some amazing coffee.  Great fuel for 6+ hours of work on my feet!

That’s all for now!

NYCers – have you been to any of these spots? thoughts?

What’s your favorite restaurant indulgence?

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