Food treasures in New York City

DIY “NY Culinary Finds” Tour: Manhattan’s West Side

With summer here, being outdoors is very appealing. If it’s not too hot, a great way to enjoy the weather is to take yourself on a New York culinary tour. While there are several companies in NYC that, for a fee, will take you to various neighborhoods known for their cuisine, why not “do-it-yourself.” If you enjoy walking, you can do these all by foot. But if some of the distances between stops seem too great, then just hop on a bus and continue that way.

The Westside Culinary Tour

Start your walk with breakfast at Amy’s Bread (672 Ninth Avenue Between 46th & 47th Streets).

Amy's Bread on 46th and Ninth

Amy’s Bread on 46th and Ninth

Choose from a variety of caffeinated and non-caffeinated hot and cold beverages and enjoy it with some sweet pastry or savory breads I’m partial to Amy’s variety of breadsticks. Buy a few to have later in the day.

So many breadstick choices

So many breadstick choices

Then head down Ninth Avenue (on foot or by bus) until 30th Street and walk west to 10th Avenue until you see the entrance of the Highline.  Stroll south on the Highline until about 17th Street. Stop for an ice pop from People’s Pops which uses locally grown fruit to make their frozen desserts or have a Mexican ice cream at La Newyorkina. Now it’s time to leave the Highline (exit at 16th Street) and head indoors to Chelsea Market. There’s an entrance on 10th Avenue between 15th-16th Street.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Chelsea Market is best enjoyed slowly so leave yourself enough time to eat, drink and shop. My favorite spots for snacking on location include: gelato from L’Arte del Gelato; vegan sushi from Beyond Sushi; or grilled panini from Lucy’s Whey. If I’m shopping to bring dinner home, I’ll pick up fruits and vegetables at Manhattan Fruit Exchange, fish from The Lobster Place; interesting oils and vinegars from The Filling Station; and pasta from Buon Italia. If you exit at the east end of the market, you’ll be on Ninth Avenue.

In my next post, I’ll describe a DIY “NY Culinary Finds” Tour of the Lower East Side.

June 24, 2013 Posted by | Food, restaurants, stores | | 4 Comments

If You’re Passionate About Peanut Butter


Peanut butter is my “go-to” spread for a sandwich of if I want to liven up an apple or banana. I used to buy Skippy or Jif but in an effort to eat healthier, I make my own peanut butter by grinding peanuts at my local Fairway. When I heard about a little shop in Soho called Peanut Butter & Co., I had to check it out.

Inside Peanut Butter & Co. is very comfy

Inside Peanut Butter & Co. is very comfy

Located on Sullivan Street between Bleecker and West 3rd, PB&Co. is a sandwich shop that offers “classic” peanut butter sandwiches and “gourmet” sandwiches. Among the classic ones are, of course, a straight PB&J but also a “Peanut Butter BLT” which has fresh cut bacon;  a “Peanut Butter Cup” which includes Nutella; and a “Pregnant Lady,” which is topped with pickles!  The “Gourmet” sandwiches include: “The Bees Knees” with apple butter and wheat germ; and “White Chocolate Wonderful” sandwich with white chocolate peanut butter and orange marmalade. One of the fun parts is trying and choosing your favorite flavor peanut butter. There’s white and dark chocolate, cinnamon, honey and maple syrup. You can also choose among jams and jellies and types of bread.

My PB&J Club with maple syrup PB on one side and cinnamon PB on the other

My PB&J Club with maple syrup PB on one side and cinnamon PB on the other

There are also peanut butter centric desserts like sundaes and brownies. And you can go home with a peanut butter cookbook or jars of the peanut butter flavors the shop offers.

Things to take home from Peanut Butter & Co.

Things to take home from Peanut Butter & Co.

May 21, 2013 Posted by | Food, restaurants, stores | , , | 1 Comment

Buvette: An Unexpected Find

buvette counter

There are more than enough sources for New York restaurant reviews, so it was never my intention to include restaurants in my NY Culinary Finds. But this week I had such a delightful culinary afternoon with friends, I wanted to share it. It was Christmas eve; a rather blustery day; and we decided to play tourists, taking a walking tour of Greenwich Village.

chris park

Christopher Park, just west of Grove Street in Greenwich Village

An hour into the tour, we headed down Grove Street, passing Buvette, a restaurant I remembered from a story in Martha Stewart Living Magazine.  I had tested all the recipes, and ever since then I had wanted to visit. Curiosity, hunger and a need to warm up overtook our desire to see Greenwich Village. We abandoned the group and sought refuge in Buvette. From the moment we walked in, we knew we had made the right decision. Buvette has the look and feel of a small French bistro.

Gastronomo Jamie Leanse made us feel welcome as she prepared our food

Gastronomo Jamie Leanse made us feel welcome as she prepared our food

Chef owner Jody Williams was working at the counter along with other staff, and when 3 seats opened up we jumped at the chance to eat and watch the food being prepared. Buvette is known for its small plates, similar to a Spanish tapas bar.

Our brandade was the perfect small plate

Our brandade was the perfect small plate

We ordered brandade with toast; a special salad that incorporated elements of others on the menu; and Kir Royales to celebrate the season. We wanted to leave room for dessert: a Tart Tatin which we watched being made.

Just baked Tarte Tatin and fresh prosciutto on display at Buvette's

Just baked Tarte Tatin and fresh prosciutto on display at Buvette’s

We enjoyed the food, the ambiance, and the attentive staff so much that we were reluctant to leave.  So if you ever find yourself in the Village or are looking for a low key but enormously satisfying culinary experience, go visit Buvette, It’s located at 42 Grove Street; is open all day but doesn’t take reservations. I hope to return this summer so I can eat in their outdoor garden.

December 28, 2012 Posted by | Food, restaurants | , , | 3 Comments