I have been in New York City for two days and already have had many great meals. We arrived Saturday morning before the snow (yes, it is still October) and that evening met our friends at Ethos, a Greek restaurant on 51st Street and 1st Avenue. I am pretty sure that due to the horrible weather, we could have scored a table at our first choice of restaurants, but this was the reservation that was made and we were sticking to it.
Ethos has a charming dining room and extensive selection of Greek wines (which are clearly the value, here.) We ordered some “chips” (fried eggplant and zucchini with tzaziki), artichokes and saganaki to start. The food was good – the fried veg were downright addicting. Just like potato chips. It all paired perfectly with the Boutari white wine.
For entrees, our table of six had lamb chops, some sort of rice/seafood thing (it seems our friend James is always having something I can describe this way…) and loads of grilled fish. They were all excellent. The fish was fresh (and hanging out in a display case before being cooked, so you could see the freshness), perfectly grilled and quite tasty.
By Sunday morning we were ready to be eating again. This time we went to Ocean Grill on Columbus Avenue and 78 Street. I have been having brunch at Ocean Grill and sister restaurants since I lived in New York (and that has been a while). The combination of excellent food, usually good service and reasonable brunch prices make it a no-brainer. We ate vanilla brioche French Toast (Oh. My. Goodness.),which was delicious, but a bit heavy, yet light on the promised berry compote. We also had smoked salmon benedict, on buttermilk biscuit (yum, yum, yum), mushroom and cheddar omelets and even sides of both tuna sashimi and brussel sprouts.
The food was great, the service was acceptable (although we are still waiting for spoons to stir our coffee) and I am already looking forward to my next brunch there.
Last night we met up with my cousins for sushi at Cube 63 in the Lower East Side. I like this place for a few reasons. 1. It is BYO, so required a trip to Chamber Street Wines; 2. The food is fresh and good; 3. It is not so expensive. It is not so cheap, either, but not too bad for fresh sushi. Our meal ended up about $42/person including a large tip, loads of food and no drinks.
We had loads of sushi. So much sushi, in fact, that our waitress laughed at us when we ordered. She laughed again when we ordered more. Spicy tuna rolls, yellowtail jalapeno rolls, spicy salmon, double crunch, and more. Basically we ordered every imaginable combination of spicy tuna, salmon and yellowtail and enjoyed every last piece. We had purchsed a 2010 Donhoff Reisling Kabinett and a 2001 Kerpen Whelenner Sonnhenhur Reisling Auselese, which were both outstanding. Note: bring your whites already chilled, as they have no ice buckets.