I have a lot of bucket lists – actually a friend told me recently that it seems like I have hundreds of bucket lists and it’s probably true – life is just too short and there are so many things I still want to do, see and, of course, eat. I’m also an obsessive list maker in general – the house is full of them, both paper and cyber. The list I’m working on today is a list of New York restaurants I haven’t visited and still really want to. The list is actually surprisingly long – and is probably not even remotely complete, just the one’s I’m really drooling after at this moment.
Despite my many trips into the city it’s been harder to cross them off than I would have thought. Some of them are out of my expense range except for all but the most special of occasions, but mostly I haven’t been there because I spend most of my trips into the city grazing from place to place to place, and to go to one of these places, I would want to be really hungry – no eating all the way there! They are also places I wouldn’t want to go to alone – these places are to linger, to share and to discuss.
In order to always keep moving forward, though, I vow to cross at least four of them off my list in the coming year. So here, in no particular order, is my current Bucket List for NYC………
Top 10 places I haven’t eaten at and really want to…….
Momofuku Noodle Bar – I’m obsessed with all the Momofuku places. I collect the recipes whenever they are posted online. I’ve been to the Milk Bar a dozen times and I love the compost cookies and the pork buns. But I want to take it to the next step. I want to sit down at a table and really see what all the fuss is about. I want to try the fancy fried chicken meal that is only for parties of four or more and has to be ordered in advance. I want to have a bowl of ginger scallion noodles. I’m drooling just thinking about it. I want, I want, I want.
ABC Kitchen – I’ve always loved the ABC home store – it’s like a little fairyland of cool stuff I really can’t afford. The restaurant looks the same – tiny little bites of lovely things lovingly prepared and thought about. I don’t usually go for places that are as frou-frou, but from everything I’ve read it’s delicious and it seems like a place where I wouldn’t leave feeling bloated and hating myself.
Shopsins – I have heard tale of this legendary place with the huge menu and the interesting owner. Rumor states that they will not accept parties of more than four (even if you agree to sit at separate tables), you can’t talk on your cell phone and you can be asked to leave at any time. It makes me nervous just to think about it, but have you seen the menu? They have EVERYTHING! And when I say everything, I mean even things you’d never think of, like a duck gyro. But you can’t stop thinking about it now, can you?
wd-50 – Belive it or not, I am not a brave person. I don’t like eating things that I don’t know the ingredients of, and there are plenty of things I won’t eat under any circumstances, like shellfish or squid or olives. Just once, though, I wish I were brave and rich enough to go to WD40 and just go for it. I’d like to order the tasting menu of cutting edge molecular gastronomy creations and eat whatever they put in front of me, no questions asked. I don’t know if I could ever do it, but if I could, this is the place I’d like to do it at.
Balboosta – I love the falafels at Taim – it’s my favorite place in the city for them. I really want to eat at this sit down restaurant, Balboosta because I have a lot of faith in anything cooked by her. She had me at potatoes with za’atar and garlic aioli. Yes, please.
Fatty ‘Cue – Sometimes you just want meat. Big heaping greasy piles of meat. When that urge strikes (again), I want to be at this place. Crispy lamb, heritage pork ribs, roasted rabbit – this place is heaven for the carnivore in all of us. You can get some crispy kale salad on the side if you’re really feeling bad about it.
Red Rooster – As a Food Network slut, I’m a big fan of Marcus Samuelsson. I really would like to take the train North, for a change to Harlem to try his place. You wouldn’t think a combination of Swedish food and Southern food would work, but it looks like it really does. Meatballs, lingonberries and collard greens, anyone?
Xi’an Famous Foods – I actually walked by the East Village outpost of this place a couple of weeks ago, and really wanted to go in. But it was small, and crowded, and it was the East Village and there were so many other places to eat………..But I’m sorry about it – I truly am. I know exactly what I want to order -Spicy Cumin Lamb Hand-Ripped Noodles! Perhaps it’s ok that I waited – the weather is getting cold and it looks like the best thing in the world to eat on a cool day. I’m drooling just thinking about it.
Hill Country Kitchen – I have walked by this place about a dozen times and have almost stopped in. I’ve never managed to though – either the person I was with wasn’t interested (meaning, on a diet), or the siren call of Eataly was just too much. I must go though, if there is anything in this world wrong with the trio of thighs, sides and pies, I just don’t know what it is. And there is dipping sauces – I just love dipping sauces!
Brooklyn – ok – technically this isn’t a restaurant, but it is a place to eat and I’ve never crossed the bridge. I’ve been very pleased lately at the fact that many places have recently opened Manhattan locations, but the original is always best and one of these days I’m just going to cross over and wander until I’m full. I’m sure I’ll have a great time writing about it too!