Wednesday, June 12, 2013

WIAW: NYC Edition

Hello, hello lovies. How's your day going?

We're on day 3 of our vacation, and in honor of our food tour, I'm using my WIAW as...What I Ate Monday!

Monday was our Greenwich Village food tour, and our day started bright and early with a Starbucks run. I love walking everywhere - the nearest Starbucks is half a block away and it takes self control not to buy something every time we pass!

The tour started at 11:00 am (I had a banana+PB+kashi bar for breakfast at about 7:30), and our guide was fantastic.

She was a sassy lassy and hilarious. I think she made the experience even more fun!

It's amazing how different Greenwich Village is than where we are (like 3 blocks away from Times Square in the Theater District). There's a lot less hustle-and-bustle, and it's definitely more of a residential area.We met in the pouring rain at a shop called Murray's, which was a gourmet/specialty cheese store!! We chose the Italian food tour, and I was most looking forward to trying a cannoli, but man - I had no idea was kind of a treat I was in for!

People, it smelled like heaven in that shop. Everything was organic, fresh, and all the cheeses were stored underneath the store. It was basically an Italian Whole Foods. 

Organic dried pasta:

Organic/all natural yogurts, soft cheeses, spreads, meats, and fresh pasta:

Pasta sauces, condiments, etc:

And a whole table of organic chocolate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zee cheeessseee:

After we drooled over Murray's for a few minutes, it was time to brave the rain and begin the tour. Our first stop was Joe's Pizza to grab a slice of pie. :) It's a really iconic spot, and Joe has had a lot of visits from 
many celebrities.

Oh my freaking pizza. You probably already expected this, so I'm going to do it anyways: it was SO delicious. It was fresh out of the oven, the crust was perfectly crisp throughout (the tour guide said the secret was in the good 'ole New York tap water), and it was the perfect vehicle for divine tomato sauce and loads of cheese. 

The next tasting was at a specialty olive oil store called O&Co. All of their products come straight from the Mediterranean, are all organic, and the olive are pressed with different herbs for maximum flavor. Our first tidbit was olive oil pressed with basil drizzled on a crusty piece of bread (sourdough I think), and sprinkled with fleur de sel.

Man oh man the oil had so much flavor! The aroma of the olives was very potent, and I could distinguish the basil with every bite - it's probably my favorite herb. The fleur de sel added a perfect salty note that contrasted nicely with the sweetness of the oil!

Next we tried a smear of truffle butter on the same type of bread. I've never had truffles before, so this was new to me.

It was almost cheesy tasting to me - with definite garlic notes, and another flavor that I couldn't quite distinguish, which I'm guessing was the truffles. :)

We had a palate cleanser made with pomegranate balsamic vinegar, and a splash of seltzer water poured on top. I want to recreate this sooooooooo badly!!

Next up, a sit-down restaurant with quality farm-to-table ingredients. I can't remember the name!! :( But I can tell you that it was classic American cuisine, with a farm-fresh and modern twist.

Our tasting was classic homemade mac 'n cheese.

I'm not a big mac and cheese fan, but this honestly was one of the best I've ever had. There were slight bacon notes which made this completely superb, and the topping was crispy and hot, the inside creamy, rich, and cheeeeeesssyyy.

Our last savory tasting was at a restaurant called Rafele, which opened just two years ago. We were served an incredibly thin, rolled up slice of eggplant that was filled with a creamy, rich buffalo's milk riccota (yes, you read that correctly) with spinach, that was covered in a roasted tomato sauce.  A slice of the house-made garlic bread was on the side; both were baked in the pizza brick oven to crisp/creamy/melty/chewy perfection.

This was my favorite tasting of the entire tour; it was DIVINE. Absolutely incredible. The eggplant was a great substitute for heavier, chewier pasta - it really enhanced the tomato flavor and allowed the ricotta (which was absolutely the best I've ever tasted) to shine.

Mom and Grammy got a side of vino - water for me. :)

We're going back to Greenwich Village later and this is our lunch restaurant of choice!!! I don't want to leave so I can try all the menu items!!!!

The first dessert tasting was at an adorable bakery in the historic side of Greenwich Village called Milk&Cookies. All natural and organic ingredients make for one scrumptious cookie. With a side of milk, of course!

We were given, fresh out of the oven, a warm chocolate chip cookie made with rolled oats.

This cookie. Dear JESUS nothing beats a warm, homemade, fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookie. 

We had one more dessert tasting after this - that's 6 tastings in all, but most portions were little besides the piece of pie, which was required to be full size ;) - and we trekked our way through mini-Sandy to an authentic Italian bakery. 

There was every type of Italian pastry and dessert imaginable - from biscotti and cookies to tarts and cheesecake, all different sizes and flavors - I practically smooshed myself against the glass to drool over all the deliciousness.

However, we were allowed only one tasting of the desserts, and our grand finale was my long-awaited....cannoli!

 It's a classic and delightful Sicilian pastry; a rich, creamy cheese - which I do believe is riccota? - is combined with sugar, sugar, and more sugar, and a touch of lemon zest, and is then generously stuffed into a golden-crispy shell, and sprinkled with chocolate chips.

Thank you Sicily. 

Ahhhh it was so worth the wait - I could detect all the notes of lemon in that smooth, thick, creamy filling and paired with the crunch of the shell and slight bitter note from the chocolate!!!!!!!! It was gone in 3 bites and I wanted to shove twenty in my face after that!

But alas, I had no more room in my belly at that point, so I'll just have to wait another day. We got back to the hotel looking a little rough around the edges after 4 hours in the rain:

We just walked around Times Square and shopped for the rest of the day - I was feeling run down and hungry by dinner time (go figure, all I had in my body was carbs, sugar, and cheese - worth it, people!).

I got a salad at a deli down the street to get some greens into me, and I could definitely tell a difference in the way a nice, healthy meal made me feel. A classic example of how balance is key, yo.

With that last spurt of energy, we shopped at the world's largest Macy's, which is two blocks down from us. 

And that's about it for my WIAW, NYC edition! 


  1. These look like amazing eats! Jealous! :D

  2. So many yummy things! I LOVE to travel and eat!

    1. Greenwich Village is definitely the place for foodies.

  3. I live about 1 hour outside of NYC and I always love going into the city for the food - it is divine!! Love that you went to Joe's - just like ELF :)

    1. It was delicious!! We actually went back tonight! :)