New York Meals: Le Gamin

The fourth in a series of posts about the exceptional food I ate in 2.5 days in New York.

Oeuf Gamin - Le Gamin Cafe

Brunch in the garden at Le Gamin on my second morning in New York: a perfectly poached egg atop a wedge of chevre-potato cake, surrounded by ratatouille. Café au lait served in a bowl. Sunshine and a cool breeze. Benignly negligent service balanced by excellent people watching. Good company. A lovely way to start the day.

If you go:
Le Gamin Cafe – several locations, but we went to the one in Prospect Heights
556 Vanderbilt Ave (between Atlantic Ave & Pacific St)
(718) 789-5171

New York Meals: James

The third in a series of posts about the exceptional food I ate in 2.5 days in New York.

A few weeks before my trip, I posted a request for restaurant recommendations on Twitter and Facebook. I ate well on previous trips to New York, but have gotten significantly more into food since my last visit in 2008. I’ve also made a few friends who are very into both food and New York. I was also thinking of this trip as my reward for making it through my first semester of teaching – so I was willing to swing a slightly higher food budget than I would’ve normally planned for a solo trip.

Project 365: Day 155
Photo by Joe Schulz

On my first actual evening in New York, Carrie and I grabbed dinner at a sweet restaurant in her neighborhood that she’d often walked by but hadn’t had the excuse to try. James was both upscale and welcoming, a small space packed full of people yet still surprisingly intimate. A family of three was seated at the table next to us, the small child playing with toys and eating bites from his parents’ plates throughout the meal. The next table over was a birthday party. There were couples out for a private meal – and then the two of us, hungry and tired after long days.

I wish I had photos of the food we shared, but the lighting was low and the food too delicious to wait. We shared three small plates: a fancied-up shrimp and grits – smooth and rich, with a spicy harissa jus – and the asparagus, grilled or roasted and served with an impossibly wonderful Taleggio cream. Oh, and herbed fries, because what meal isn’t even slightly improved by the addition of fries? All in all, a wonderful dinner, followed by Italian ices and a walk with a very cute dog through a very lovely park.


If you go:
605 Carlton Ave (at St Mark’s Ave)
(718) 942-4255

New York Meals: Prospect Park Greenmarket

The second in a series of posts about the exceptional food I ate in 2.5 days in New York.

My trip to New York was a dream. Actually getting to New York, however, was a giant pain in the ass. Someone explain to me exactly how air travel has gotten LESS convenient and MORE miserable over time? Oh right, computers. Instead of leaving Detroit at 5:20 and arriving in Brooklyn in time for dinner, I subsisted on a Chicago dog and a terrible beer at the airport, finally getting out at 10pm and arriving on Carrie’s doorstep in a sorry state sometime around 1am. She had to teach in the morning, so we simultaneously said hello and goodnight, and I passed right on out.

I woke up completely and miraculously recharged, however, and headed out in search of cash, breakfast, and coffee in that order. And so I found myself at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket on a perfect June morning.

Photo by benderbending

These photos are from other seasons, but let me tell you: this smelled like a summertime market: berries, herbs, and tomatoes all warm from the sun. Myriad options for baked goods and other treats. A long line for fresh fish. Summer produce is only just now starting to appear at the markets in Michigan, so I was delighted to see cucumbers, as was Mr. Pickle:

Cucumber Kin

My breakfast? A vegan spelt pocket containing mustard tofu and some sort of slaw – delicious fillings, but just an adequate wrapper – and a handful of fresh cherries that I ate on my walk to the subway, spitting the pits into the street. I headed into the city with sticky fingers, a happy belly, and the sense that summer had finally arrived.

Market Breakfast

If you go:
Greenmarket at Prospect Park
Grand Army Plaza
Saturdays year round, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.