New York, New York: The city that never sleeps is truely a town like no other, and a favourite destination of Andrew Rivkin. There is so much to do and take in that each and every trip can be filled with something new and exciting. One of the highlights of city, of course, is the food. Depending on where you stay when you travel, there is a myriad of places to choose from offering greatest range of cuisines and styles from all around the world.
Andrew himself has a few reliable places that he makes sure to frequent whenever he visits. At any hour of the day, whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, one of the best places in Soho for both food and atmosphere is Balthazar. Busy since the moment it opened over a decade ago, Balthazar serves traditional bistro fare from breakfast through late-night supper. Opened by Keith McNally in the spring of 1997, Balthazar offers a French menu prepared by chefs de cuisine Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson. Diners can also choose from an extensive wine list, a raw seafood bar, and breads and pastries from Balthazar bakery. Moreover, it is renowned for its exceptional design. The building was converted from a leather wholesaler’s warehouse to an airy space that can accommodate over 200 people in the dining room and at the zinc bar. Be advised, however, that the restaurant is always crowded. Andrew will always call and make a reservation, and be sure not to wait until the last minute
While Balthazar has often a fast paced and exciting atmosphere, Gramercy Tavern has delicious food with a more refined and relaxed ambiance. The restaurant opened in 1994, meant as a renewal of the classic American Tavern offering refined, contemporary American cuisine, warm hospitality, and great service. The building itself is impressive, and the restaurant is located just steps away from the beautiful Gramercy Park. Inside it is wrapped with murals, decorated with vibrant floral arrangements, and aglow with candles and. As for the fare, the chefs at Gramercy are dedicated to local and seasonal produce, cooking with fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and immaculate presentation.
For dessert, Andrew Rivkin likes to take a stroll to Beeker Street and stop at Magnolia Bakery, for the best cupcakes and pastries in the city. Magnolia Bakery opened in the summer of 1996 on a quiet corner in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village. It was envisioned as a cozy, old-fashioned shop where people could come for coffee and something sweet. With it’s vintage American desserts and decor, customers often remark that walking into the Bakery is like taking a step back in time.
There are six locations now throughout the city, and often late in the evening on Friday or Saturday there will be lineups out the door and around the corner. Trust Andrew when he says it is definitely worth the wait. New York City has so much to offer in terms of culture and entertainment, but don’t forget to try some of the best food at some fantastic restaurants.