Home > French, Italian, Travelling, US: New York, USA > Two meals I really enjoyed whilst in New York

Two meals I really enjoyed whilst in New York

I love New York and I have dreamt about living there for a while now. Not sure why we haven’t really pursued it, but I have been fortunate enough to come to New York several times now – for holidays with Hubby. There is something about New York that I love… the city, the people, the atmosphere, and of course the FOOD!!!!

I went to New York last year with Hubby and back then I didn’t have a food blog. We ate a LOT in New York but two places really stood out and worth mentioning (i.e. blogging!) are Babbo, and L’Ecole.

Babbo was highly recommended by a couple of friends, and it’s supposedly one of the best Italian restaurants in the city! I was told to book weeks in advance, however, if you do rock up there is a chance that you might be able to sit at the bar. We thought we would take our chances and just rock up, and we were extremely lucky as there were seats available at the bar. The place was buzzing and unbelievably busy!

The menu is quite intensive. Like your typical Italian restaurant the menu consisted of antipasti, primi, secondi, contorni, tasting menus and dolci e formaggi. We went straight for the secondi – can’t remember why we didn’t get any entrées to share!

I ordered the rabbit with peas, babbo pancetta and carrot vinaigrette. I have never tasted rabbit before so thought this would be a nice… and indeed this was more than just ‘nice’. The rabbit was tender and tasted like chicken!! It was wrapped with pancetta which was baked and mixed with peas. The combination of the salty pancetta and rabbit really balanced out. The carrot vinaigrette really gave it a nice touch!

From memory, hubby ordered the special of the day which was soft shell crab served with peppers and vinaigrette. Hubby is a sucker for soft shell crab – there were no guessing what he was going to order once he heard it was the special of the day! I am not usually a fan of soft shell crabs as it can get extremely oily but this was pleasant – the crab was lightly battered and tender, and it wasn’t oily at all. It was surprisingly light and tasty!

For dessert, we shared the pistachio and chocolate semifreddo. This was TOO DIE FOR! The chocolate semifreddo had a nice crunchy chocolate base, and the pistachio was a great compliment to the semifreddo. It was unbelievably sweet but not sickly and was perfect with a cup of coffee!

We had a great meal here and would definitely come again. Make sure you make a booking if you want to be seated at the table, however, if you are not fussed like us, the bar was just as good! The service was fantastic and waiters tentative!

Another place that was memorable is L’Ecole – the French Culinary Institute’s Classic Culinary Arts Career Program (now that’s a mouthful!). Apparently, behind every meal at L’Ecole is the passion and dedication of over 60 Chef-Instructors and students from every corner of the school. This place was remarkably fantastic and at a reasonable price!

We came here with one of Hubby’s colleague and his partner. The dinner menu consisted of four-course or five-course prix fixe or the Chef’s classic menu. We all opted for the five-course prix fixe and for each of the courses i.e. appetizers, fish course, meat course, and dessert there were 5 – 6 options! The range was intensive and I was utterly amazed at the options of food! It took me a good 15 mins to decide what I want, everything sound absolutely fantastic!

For the appetizers, I ordered cold poached salmon with cucumber salad, whitefish roe and smoked leek vinaigrette. The salmon was soft and delightful, the whitefish roe was a great compliment to the salmon and the smoked leek vinaigrette was flavoursome! The different flavours really worked well together. It was a very light yet incredibly tasty meal.

Hubby had the duck consommé with poached duck egg. This was served warm and it was utterly amazing. The duck consommé was full of flavour and the poached duck egg was absolutely divine.

For the fish course, I had the sautéed monkfish with pickled cherry tomatoes. The monkfish was tender and moist, it was cooked to perfection. The sauce was flavoursome and the cherry tomatoes and spinach really gave it a nice touch.

I had the duck breast and leg with kale and sweet and sour sauce. This was also amazing! The duck was succulent! I thought the sweet and sour sauce would be weird with duck but I was pleasantly surprised! It was really great, and the baked potato was fantastic.

Every time I see tiramisu on the dessert menu, I can’t go past it. So without really perusing at what else was on the menu, I ordered the tiramisu. The tiramisu was light, it came in a dome with white chocolate on the outside. It was a little sweet for my liking but it was still yummy.

I didn’t take a photo of what the others ate – it was just too hard! They were all hungry and started eating as soon at the plate was in front of them. *sigh* We were all extremely happy with the meal though. The food was just simply divine – dish after dish was better than the last! Service was fantastic, our wine and water glasses never went below half. It was definitely worth every penny and we all had a wonderful time and a memorable meal! Will definitely return next time we are in New York.

GA’s ratings Babbo: 8 / 10

GA’s ratings L’Ecole: 8.5 / 10

Babbo Restaurant

110 Waverly Place

New York, 1011, USA

Ph: +1 212 777 0303

Babbo on Urbanspoon

Le’cole, French Cullinary

436 Broadway (at Grand Street)

New York 10013, USA

Ph: +1 212 219 3300

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