You can’t help but learn the highs and lows of whatever restaurants are around the corner from you regardless of where in the city you live. I’ve recently moved out of Midtown East, an area stereotyped to be generic and overpriced (a stigma I will admit is not entirely without justification). It’s an area which has some great options that are not even open on the weekend. There are, however, some great spots I wanted to share — things which, oh yes, will lure me back.
Best Indian food I’ve found anywhere in the city? Hands down it is Tadka, nestled on East 53rd not too far from the subway stop for the E/V/6. During the week they have a great value combo that includes naan, a main course, and lentils. I’m a bigger fan though (even if more expensive) of the full-sized portion that reheats almost better than the fresh version of their kali mirch chicken with an order of garlic naan. If you have not been there yet, I recommend you give it a try. There’s only enough seating for some 15 people, but the waitstaff will make you feel at home. I will really miss this one.
With all of the recent hype surrounding fro-yo, I am surprised my favorite spot seems to never get the credit I think it’s due. My favorite is Forty Carrots, hidden up on the 7th floor of Bloomingdale’s. Unlike Pinkberry which leaves you with a big cylindrical hole of nothingness running down the center, this cup comes filled to the brim. They have their original vanilla, which has a unique subtle cream cheese after taste. Much more pleasant than the post-bite sting of Pinkberry and others whose original has a little too much bite for my taste. Their toppings? They sprinkle them throughout. Their small size? It’s quite generous. Hungry for a bite as well? Get half a sandwich and a small fro-yo, and you’ve got a tasty combo. Not a fan of Bloomie’s? It’s absolutely a reason to wind up the chain of escalators to give it a go.
Sadly one of my favorite neighborhood finds came recently in Sofrito, the first Cuban restaurant I’ve found to actually remind me of my Miami years. Even the bread brought out beforehand was spot-on. Their empanadas were perfect – be it chicken or beef. They have a prime selection of Puerto Rican favorites and the mofongo was unreal. Their bar area in the entrance is perfect for grabbing drinks with friends – sangria, mojitos, and the like. If you come on a Monday evening, you will find a live salsa band – definitely not your average Monday Night. I would recommend to arrive early to avoid the crowd (and the noisy dining area which inevitably accompanies).
And finally, I will miss my favorite and best chocolate cookie I’ve ever had from Dessert Delivery. They are massive. Unreal. And I am not to proud to admit that they have been my dinner upon many occasions. Thought I’ve never exercised the option, they do specialize in delivery of, what else, desserts. Buy one of their massive chocolate cookies and let me know if you have any prime contenders to compete (because if so, I want to try those cookies!).
Adieu – until we meet again…
Tadka – 229 E53rd Street
Forty Carrots – @ Bloomingdale’s, 1000 3rd Avenue – 7th Floor
Sofrito – 400 E57th Street
Dessert Delivery – 360 E55th Street