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A Quick Foodie Guide to New York

Written by Stephen Exel

While in New York City to shoot June’s story on the cooking school at Lidia Bastianich’s food emporium, Eataly, art director Brenda Cort and I took advantage of the city’s diverse culinary offerings.

Dining at Eataly in New York

Knowing three days of eating dangerously lie ahead, we started with a light lunch at Eataly’s vegan lunch counter. Lunch included Brussels Sprout Bruschetta—quickly sautéed Brussels sprout leaves, seasoned with red pepper and lemon juice, and served over thick slices of grilled bread—a dish that has become a favorite for both of us to prepare at home.

Dinner at chef Dan Barber’s Blue Hill will dispel any notions that sustainable farm-to-table cooking is a Birkenstock-and-denim affair. Jackets are requested for gentlemen and the small, elegantly appointed restaurant has a well thought-out wine list to complement the exquisite menu. Dinner featured Halloran Farm venison with cranberries and celery root and a salad of gorgeous just-picked greens. (75 Washington Place, 212/539-1776; bluehillfarm.com)

The cocktails and chainmail draperies have equal glamour at the venerable Four Seasons restaurant’s bar. The square bar, capped by Richard Lippold’s impressive brass rod sculpture, anchors this modernist gem designed in 1959 by Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson. (99 E. 52nd St., 212/754-9494; fourseasonsrestaurant.com)

The Glamourous Bar at The Four Seasons

We hit the late-night jazz club scene at the landmark Birdland. The “jazz corner of the world” still attracts the genre’s biggest names. The club features a casual Cajun-inspired dinner menu with dishes as spicy as the music. (315 W. 44th St., 212/581-3080; birdlandjazz.com)

The day after our shoot, I explored Astor Center Wine and Spirits. One of the staff members helped me navigate the wine selections; then I headed upstairs to check out the Study, the center’s state-of-the art wine-tasting venue (each seat includes a light box to correctly view a wine’s color) where wine classes are held almost daily. (399 Lafayette St., 212/674-7501; astorcenternyc.com)

Two museums in landmarked buildings held my attention in the afternoon. The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (2 E. 91st St., cooperhewitt.org), in the Andrew Carnegie Mansion, has just been renovated. Then I headed down the street to the former home of Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt III to view the collection of early 20th century German art at the Neue Galerie (1048 5th Ave., neuegalerie.org), but mostly to have a restorative chocolate and Viennese pastry at the museum’s charming Café Sabarsky.

 

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