2007 has been a great year for gracenotesnyc.com. We ate our way around New York (and other places) and found some blog-worthy places. Also, the website got a facelift, we added Grace Face’s, and we’re still working on changes to make GNN even better. In my private life, I’ve happily been residing in New York for over a year now, my brother has joined me, and I feel as if I’m finally making a home for myself in this huge city. As a way to close the year, I’ve selected a few of my favorites for 2007 (starting with breakfast and ending with my overall favorite meal) – I hope you enjoy!
Favorite brunch spot of 2007:
It was a tough call, especially since there are so many great places in Manhattan. Initially, I was going to say Clinton St Baking Company, hands down, for their fluffy blueberry pancakes, cheesy grits, and fried green tomatoes, but then I thought, WAIT A MINUTE…Norma’s accepts RESERVATIONS! I won’t have to wait 2 hours to order pancakes!! Norma’s Waz-Za is probably the most amazing and indulgent waffle I’ve EVER eaten. If you’re in New York, you MUST stop by Norma’s (and make reservations through opentable!).
Favorite cheeseburger of 2007:
2006 was the year of Shake Shack – I would go there ALL the time (and I’d take the train to Union Square and WALK to Madison Square Park so I wouldn’t feel so bad about ordering a cheeseburger, a shake, AND ice cream). 2007, however, is about eating healthier (is that possible when you’re talking about a huge piece of meat with a melted piece of cheese on top?). Goodburger’s ingredients are fresh and their service is good – great for a burger joint!
Favorite sandwich of 2007:
I keep going back to The Spotted Pig for their amazing cubanos and side salads, even though I’m not a fan of their poor service (and questionable tong usage). The cubano has a great crusty bread, lots of pork (and its grease), and pickles that bring the dish together. If you’re there, order the gnudi, too!
Favorite date spot:
Il Mattone is a quiet Italian restaurant in Tribeca where the food never disappoints. They have the best artichoke appetizer in the city and it’s a cute spot for a little one-on-one time, especially because you can walk to the water after you stuff yourself with their great bread (it’s always fresh out of the oven!!) It’s more of a takeout place (I can tell they’re doing well because all of the delivery boys carry iPhones), but I like going to the restaurant and sitting in their small dining room because it’s very quiet and *almost* romantic.
Favorite meal under $10:
This category is pretty open ended since you can go to a lot of places for under $10, especially if you like street food. My favorite pick for 2007: Dogmatic. I love the bite the jalepeno cheddar adds to the baguette and sausage. Their ginger sodas are also made with real ginger, making it “healthier” than other sodas. My only gripe about Dogmatic – you never know when he’s going to be there, so you might be disappointed if you go on a day he’s unavailable.
It’s not difficult to choose my favorite sushi restaurant in New York because the only place I trust is Sushi Yasuda. Their fish is tasty and I always feel like I’m being transported to Tokyo whenever I walk into the midtown eatery.
2007 was definitely the year of frozen yogurt. I can’t pick a favorite (yet), but I enjoyed Pinkberry’s shaved ice (well, when they allowed you to substitute fruit with no extra charge), Red Mango’s green tea frozen yogurt, and all the other shops that have popped up all around Manhattan. I went on a frozen yogurt tour recently (which will be blogged about in the new year), but frozen yogurt is definitely on the top of my dessert list for 2007.
Favorite overall meal:
Pearl Oyster Bar is my favorite restaurant of 2007 and will probably be my favorite restaurant for years to come. POB never disappoints as my go-to place for out of town guests, Friday night dates, or just a special treat. Rebecca Charles and her team make POB seem like a warm and loving home with their simple but delicious dishes. I don’t think I’ll ever find a lobster roll as delicious as Pearl’s. Their clam chowder is also perfectly creamy and their apple pie is simple, but that’s exactly what you want in an apple pie, isn’t it? You really can’t go wrong when you’re at Pearl Oyster Bar.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading gracenotesnyc this year – I’ve enjoyed sharing my experiences with you and getting your recommendations as well! I’ll be back next year with a comprehensive review of New York’s frozen yogurt. Stay tuned, be safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR!