Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple!

February 12, 2012

A desire for a quick weekend getaway landed me in the city that never sleeps, New York City! A forty hour trip afforded several food and drink outings in arguably one of the best cities for foodies in the world. I thought I'd share a roundup of a few of the spots I stopped by while in New York. Please excuse the quality of the photos as I was only equipped with my trusty iPhone!

Since the BF and I are self-described beer snobs, it was only right that we make a pit stop at one of New York's local craft breweries. I had never been to Brooklyn so we decided to take the subway to Brooklyn Brewery for some beers and an informational "tour". Once we arrived at the brewery, we purchased beer tokens and sampled a few of their local brews including an IPA and a double IPA. The free "tour" is offered on Saturdays from 1-4pm and runs every hour on the hour. I use the term tour lightly, as it's really just a gathering in their brewing facility where a staff member talks about the history of the brewery, as well as the brewing process. It was interesting, and the tour leader was hilarious and well-informed, but definitely not the best brewery tour I've been on.

Another fun fact about the brewery is that you can set up shop at one of the several card tables located in the brewery and play board games while drinking Brooklyn Brewery beer. In fact, you are allowed to have food delivered in and there is also an Italian food truck stationed outside for your dining pleasure.

Outside of Brooklyn Brewery

You can purchase beer tokens to try one of about 8 varieties of beer

While New York may not be known for their craft breweries, they certainly are known for their delis. A trip isn't complete without stopping into either Carnegie or Stage Deli for a gigantic deli sandwich. We opted for a corned beef sandwich at Carnegie Deli, one which the BF and I split. I suggest coming here on an empty stomach!

Carnegie Deli- The sign doesn't lie

Piled high corned beef sandwich and pickles...you can't forget the pickles!
I didn't want to leave town without having one nice dinner with the BF so I asked for a recommendation from my sister who frequently visits NYC. She recommended a tiny French BYOB restaurant (BYOB in NYC?!) located in Soho. La Sirene features authentic French cuisine in an intimate atmosphere. I luckily made a reservation earlier in the week because the restaurant only has about 20 tiny tables.

The BF and I arrived for a 9pm reservation and the entire place was packed! It was nice to be able to bring our own wine, especially with no cork fee. We started our meal with a goat cheese tart with shallots, truffles and grapes, topped with swiss cheese. This was probably one of the most ridiculously delicious appetizers I have ever tasted, but let's be honest, anything with goat cheese is ridiculously delicious to begin with.

Goat Cheese Tart
The BF decided on a bowl of french onion soup which was rich and hearty. 

French Onion Soup
For my entree, I went with La Sirene's special that night, a sea bass atop tomatoes and herbs, served with a scoop of basmati rice. I thoroughly enjoyed the flaky fish, especially because it was so light and not overpowered by its sauce. You could especially tell the fish was extremely fresh and well-prepared.

Grilled Sea Bass with Basmati Rice
The BF is not a huge steak eater, but since it was a special occasion he was in the mood for some beef. The seared hanger steak was prepared with a parsley and garlic sauce and served with a side of sweet potatoes. The meat was perfectly tender and not the slightest bit chewy.

Along with our entrees, we were served a plate of four vegetables including roasted green beans, parsnips and carrots (I can't remember the last one!). These were tasty but arrived at our table after we were nearly finished with our meal! Our dinner at La Sirene was one of the best meals I've had in a long time, but you should know they only accept cash!

Hanger Steak with Parsley & Garlic Sauce
The last stop on our culinary tour of the Big Apple was at Brooklyn Bagel. This local chain had an outpost in Chelsea, where we were staying so we stopped by to get our New York bagel fix! Now, I know New York knows how to make a bagel, but I certainly didn't expect the kind of bagel I had. Not only was it gigantic, but also fresh, and perfectly crusty on the outside and doughy on the inside. After scanning the heaping trays of cream cheese (flavors included cinnamon walnut raisin and bacon scallion...NOM) I went with the wheat everything bagel and the lox spread. It was admittedly difficult to decide but I was beyond pleased with my massive bagel.

This was easily the best bagel I have ever tried in my 24 years. The BF agreed! 

Wheat Everything Bagel with Lox Spread

Good luck picking your cream cheese!
Hopefully, you'll find some of these recommendations handy the next time you're in NYC!

Brooklyn Brewery
79 North 11th Street 
Brooklyn, NY 11249 
Brooklyn Brewery Tasting Room on Urbanspoon

Carnegie Deli
854 Seventh Avenue at 55th Street 
New York, NY 10019 
Carnegie Deli on Urbanspoon

La Sirene 
558 Broome Street
New York, New York 10013
La Sirène on Urbanspoon

Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company
Chelsea, NY 10001     
Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company on Urbanspoon

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