Happy July! Today's post will focus on some delicious delights from my own backyard... Upon returning from my Mid-West jaunt I went on a self-imposed BluePrint beverage cleanse for a few days-
OK, a day.
I had been eager to check out the Gotham West Market since reading about it in Bon Appetit a few months back so I grabbed my first partner in culinary crime and oldest best friend, Stephanie, for some day drinking and global eats. Any place that has tapas, ramen and cocktails on tap under one roof deserves a visit or four.
We met at lunch time with stomachs as empty as the market. We were some of the first people there for lunch but somewhere between glasses of wine the communal seating area in the center rapidly filled. Looking to maximize on this eating extravaganza we started with tapas at El Colmado since they are small (I didn’t realize how small) by nature. As someone who has lived in Spain and is familiar with the culture I know what to expect from Spain tapas and what to expect from American tapas but that’s a different discussion.
The menu was divided into “mordiscos”(essentially bar bites), “tapas” and “raciones”. When I order bacon wrapped dates in most American tapas restaurants they’re a tapa, at least four or five to a serving. Here they were sold individually “mordiscos” at three dollars each, disappointing. We ordered a date each, one mini daily croquette each and sautéed peppers topped with flaky sea salt. It was good food and perhaps I’d go back when my wallet was a bit thicker but with so many other tapas locations in New York I might not.
What is worth going back to GWM for is The Cannibal, an outpost of the 29th street location. With Negroni’s and pineapple-nutmeg punch on tap and a modernly rustic menu, The Cannibal had me already planning my return trip. We started with a lamb and gruyere sausage, arugula bulgar salad with hibiscus date pistou and a glass of punch. Topping the sausage with a smidge of pistou and forkful of bulgar brought the dish to an even higher level of sophistication. Eager to try more samplings we shared a chicken liver mousse pate with cocoa nibs and shallot jam. The bountiful serving arrived along with some crusty bread; it made me salivate by looks alone, something usually reserved for Johnny Depp or the Spanish National Football team. I was rather tempted by my more barbaric side to forgo the bread and simply chow down but I managed to (temporarily) control that particular impulse. Bite after bite provided excellent depth of flavor and perfect texture, I couldn’t eat this fast enough. But I did. And then it was gone. And I was sad. And now I have to go back.
Our last stop was Ivan Ramen’s Slurp Shop. When it comes to food the man really uses his noodle (I had to, #sorrynotsorry) Ivan Orkin has his own recipe and has a factory in Long Island that makes the rye noodle according to said recipe exclusively for him. Still trying to recover from Missouri I ordered the vegetable ramen. Stephanie enjoys anything spicy and ordered the red chili bowl, which sadly ended up being too spicy for her to appreciate. Jess, who met up with us later, got the roasted garlic bowl and happily slurped away down to the last drop. My vegetable bowl was flavorful but the broth was heavy on the soy sauce, overwhelming the noodles. I’d be interested in trying other dishes from here, especially the roasted garlic or even one of their rice bowls.
With our pants significantly tighter and wallets thinner we moseyed back to Grand Central while the rest of Manhattan was hitting the 2:30pm wall. Whether it’s for another pate, a second shot at the Slurp Shop, or hitting up the other establishments, Gotham West Market is definitely worth a return visit. Until the next dish, ciao!