Being a part of the wedding party allowed me to experience and acquire some awesome stuff. Honestly, I felt like a VIP or celebrity the whole time we were there. We had dinner some really delicious places, fancy and casual.
The first place we ate out at while there was Sal's in Little Italy. We originally only wanted slices, but we stepped into this place and decided to sit. The place was small and quaint. It was a family run operation. After being served drinks, we ordered a baked sausage and pepper filled calzone. This thing was huge and stuffed with cheesy, sausage goodness!
I have never ever eaten a calzone as good as this thing was. The other option for their calzones was deep fried!! I hope the next time we are in NYC I have the opportunity to enjoy the deep fried deliciousness. The last calzone I had before this was nothing compared to Sal's! The difference is in the ingredients. They were fresh and tasted amazing! Nothing will ever compare.
Later that night we ate at Gemma which is attached to The Bowery Hotel on the East Side of Manhattan. The food had an Italian flair to it. The restaurant had a great ambiance and the service was great. They were very accommodating to our huge party. The beautiful table setting was my favorite.
We were served a full dinner with each course having two options. My dinner included a Burrata caprese starter, a watercress salad, chicken entree and an apple crostata with oil olive gelato. Everything was super delicious!
The Burrata Caprese was a no brainer for me. I love that combination of tomato, mozzarella cheese, basil and olive oil. The cheese was perfectly balanced with the acids and saltiness of the tomatoes. The watercress salad was pretty lousy. It was mixture of watercress, pear, almond and Gorgonzola, but was lacking something and I regretted ordering it. As lousy as it was, it wasn't the worst salad ever.
The "Pollo al Mattone" entree was superb. It was "Amish organic chicken" served with roasted potatoes, cipollini onions and frisee/curly endive. The skin of the chicken was crisp but the meat was tender and moist. The roasted vegetables were a nice compliment to the chicken. The apple tart crostata was amazing. The olive oil gelato went perfectly to the whole meal and rounded out the experience.
Let's get to the free stuff. On to the swag! Besides all the gifts I was given previous to the wedding, we got some cool stuff while in NYC too! At the rehearsal dinner, the attendants and family of the bride and groom were given little paper sacks of coffee beans from Little Amps in Harrisburg, PA. I am not the biggest coffee groupie so I figured this would be a gift for BK. One of the first mornings we were back he ground and brewed some. Oh boy was it delicious! I am not one for strong dark coffee and usually I need a few spoonfuls of sugar and a nice pour of milk or creamer to get my coffee just right. Not this time. The roast and brew were amazing. I do admit I added a touch of both sugar and milk but nothing compared to the norm. This stuff is so good, I am even thinking about signing up for their coffee subscription. The other take home item was the actual wedding favors: D.L. Jardine's Texas Champagne Cayenne Pepper sauce. We have yet to taste it, but I hear it is a must have at every dinner table in TX!
There is a small run down of most of the worthwhile foodie experiences during our short trip to NYC. We plan on going back in the next year or so. That means more reviews and pictures!