It only makes sense that The City that Never Sleeps would have a lot of food options. When options run the gamut, it’s tough to decide where to indulge. Our rule of thumb? The brighter the sign, the worse the food. That’s one of the reasons we’re so attracted to Butter Restaurant. Butter Restaurant has maintained an exclusive, niche scene for stylish Manhattanites since its initial inception on Lafayette St. in 2002.
The understated entrance gives way to dramatic architecture that sets an appropriate, elegant mood. High-arching ceilings, cozy booths, romantic lighting and an inviting bar are all par for the course.
With Food Network star and Executive Chef Alex Guarnaschelli at the helm, Butter Midtown offers a seasonal menu of greenmarket offerings. To start, we recommend the Maine Lobster on the half shell with fresh basil oil. Follow that with Creekstone Farms “Butter Cut” Beef Filet and a side of shoestring yukon gold potatoes. Finish the night with a signature raspberry beignet, creme brulee or their famous New York style cheesecake and a signature cocktail.
NYC has a lot to offer. Even so, you’ll have a hard time finding something more rewarding than a visit to Butter.
Learn More: Here
Growing up in Pretoria, South Africa, you get used to wind-dried jerky known as Biltong. Bringing that process to Brooklyn, Ben and his wife Em developed Brooklyn Biltong ($10), an all natural bite of steak in a bag that can be used as a post workout meal or a protein-filled snack. And hey, for every bag of biltong you buy, they give some away to the homeless population in Brooklyn. Feed others while feeding yourself.
Buy Now: $10
I like to eat at restaurants that take reservations. I’m not pretentious; I just like to make the best use of my time. There is one type of restaurant, though, where I make an exception: Texas barbecue. Texas is home to the original cowboys, the gunslingers and trailblazers. They pushed 20 million head of cattle through Dustbowl territory during the era of historic cattle drives. Beef is in their blood. Texans pride themselves on one of the most difficult cuts of all — beef brisket. They smoke it slow and low until that cow falls apart when poked with a spoon. There’s nothing like it on Earth, and to get the good stuff you’ve got to stand in line.
And while Texans may not have invented barbecue, they perfected it: a quick survey of regional imitators show the fine folks of Kansas City parading hopeless pieces of flesh dripping in ketchup and calling it ‘cue; the never-ending Memphis debate over sugary sauce or dry rub is meaningless if they keep cooking over charcoal; and in the Carolinas they’ll tell you they invented the stuff, as they choke down mouthfuls of vinegar and pork. Yeah, the best ‘cue is here in Texas, and if you find yourself in the Lone Star state, get in line for a plate of meat at these six legendary joints.
We know you’ve never heard of it, which makes trying Chili Granola ($11) half the fun. Chili Granola is a super-new condiment from Bad Seeds, but it feels familiar. It’s crunchy, earthy and wholesome like grammy’s granola, with a rebellious, spicy streak. It’s a stand alone feast or goes well with yogurt, fish, vegetables — pretty much anything. Each bite is a unique flavor-bomb of sweet, savory, garlicky, and spicy. The spice is right.
Get it: $11
We love crepes. They’re dainty and delicious, and they make me feel fancy and French. Since we met, we’ve been visiting this adorable historic home turned crepe shop as a special treat every so often. It’s one of our favorite places to eat, so much that we even went there for my birthday. We love crepes.
However, those quaint little crepes can get pretty expensive when we order two each plus coffee. We usually spend about $30 (for paper thin pancakes basically!). So this weekend when we really wanted to visit said charming crepe shop but thought we should save that money for an upcoming travel adventure, we decided to pull out the cookbook (aka find a recipe online, here) and make the tasty French treat. I’d never thought of that before, but I’m so glad we did. It was a lot of fun, and I don’t think we’ll be going back to overpriced crepe shop any time soon. Without further ado, the best crepes recipe ever.
Easy French Crepes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 (but we ate them all between the two of us)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Filling of your choice
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth.
- Heat a large nonstick pan over medium high heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto the pan. Tilt the pan to thin out the batter. You can make it as thick or thin as you’d like, but I prefer as thin as possible.
- Now, you wait. After one side is becoming slightly golden, flip with a spatula. Two minutes on each side worked well for us.
- Transfer to a plate, and fill with whatever your heart desires. We chose fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream (recipe below or here). Now, enjoy!
Southern Homemade Whipped Cream
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 (we won’t be bashful – we ate it all)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Chill a large mixing bowl and whisk in the fridge or freezer until cold. Do not skip this step – it makes such a difference!
- After bowl and whisk are chilled, whip the heavy cream until peaks and valleys are about to form.
- Add vanilla and sugar, and beat until peaks and valleys do form (basically until it looks like whipped cream is supposed to look, fluffy and magical and cloud-like). Be sure not to over beat; it can very easily turn clumpy and gross looking.
One of the most thrilling parts of being in the Amazon was getting to try so many different types of foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables were everywhere and were so much larger and more vibrant than anything I’d ever seen. The pure, fertile soil of the rainforest grows the most organic produce on planet earth. Avocados were the size of cantaloupes, limes the size of pineapples, and papayas the size of watermelons. I had sensory overload Walking through street markets because I wanted to take in every sight and smell of the beautiful, unusual fruits and vegetables that were piled on tables and stacked several stories high in crates.
On the Aria Amazon, Chef Miguel Schiaffino prepared delicious and unique dishes that were a delight to our taste buds every time with locally sourced ingredients that you’ve likely never heard of, much less tasted: aguaje fruit ice cream, giant Paiche, Sabalo and Patarashca fish, camu camu juice, and over 31 different kinds of plantains. We know what you’re thinking, and yes, there’s a wine for that — just ask the in-house sommelier. After dinner, we took in the Achaval Ferrer Malbec, or the official drink of the Amazon — the Pisco Sour — as we numbered the innumerable stars on the observation deck. Twas glorious.
Learn More: Here