We got a last minute reservation at Minetta Tavern for 7pm. We were lucky as it was busy when we got there but the atmosphere fantastic. Awesome cocktails (the Murray Sour was great) and the burger is beefy goodness, the pile of fries daunting but delightful.
The Dutch was similarly atmospheric; like Minetta, it was dark and noisy. The fried oyster sandwich was a wee little brioche bun, the fried oyster wedged in surrounded by a tangy relish. I was gutted I only ordered one. The pork chop was huge and fatty and I almost cried when I had a taste of it as I wasn't the person who ordered it. I was a fool that night.
Pastis was recommended to me as a brunch spot but instead we went for dinner. We were hammered (see below...) but I vaguely remember really enjoying a steak tartare there.
Top of The Standard hotel. My lovely gorgeous wonderful lovely amazing lovely boyfriend (did you just retch?) treated me to a night's stay there, but the bar on the 18th floor is open to all before 10pm. I'd suggest you dress nicely as it's a bit swanky, but great for a cocktail (or, ahem, 3) at sunset with stunning views across the city.
That's not to say I didn't take any pictures though. I mean, come on.
New York turned me into a ramen fiend. On my last visit I sampled the Momofuku pork ramen. This time it was Rai Rai Ken's shio ramen. A clear broth flavoured with a hint of seafood and deep porkiness, the noodles were nice and springy though the slice of pork a bit tough. Nevertheless I have thought of little else since my return. Come ON London, open a decent ramen shop.
We also went to Taisho Yakitori, a tiny place where we sat by the charcoal grill surrounded by chattering Japanese couples, our faces almost pressed up against a cabinet full of raw meat. Chicken skin skewers were part crispy, part juicy and incredibly addictive. Chicken gizzards were challenging as usual, all crunchy and squidgy and offally while pork slices were comfortingly good.
I've found the service in general in New York to be great - always really friendly and welcoming, though as you're expected to tip 15 - 20% I'd bloody well expect it too. The one place that failed on this front was Prune. We popped in for brunch to a large airy room, french windows flung open in the unseasonal 26 degree heat. The restaurant was half full but we were offered a darkened corner, as if they wanted to hide us away. I refused and instead asked to sit by aforementioned windows and in moving the table away slightly as I squeezed in, the waitress jammed it back towards me, muttering about someone not being able to serve someone else or something or whatever. I stopped listening as the grumps took over. Luckily then, that the rock shrimp on toasted brioche with Old Bay-seasoned fries was just perfect.
Lastly, a great cocktail bar we happened upon was Little Branch. Behind a non-descript doorway lies an underground cave of boozy delights, and the bar staff made me several cracking drinks with only my pleas of 'something with gin please!' to go on. And thus concludes another 4 day jaunt to where is easily becoming my 2nd favourite city.