Well, we are winding down on my NYC restaurant posts…only a few more to go before “The Best Of” can be revealed. I know, you all must be on the edge of your seats!
Remember when I talk about not being the only “lady who lunches” in New York? Well, to prove my point even further, let me share my experience when meeting Katherine for lunch on a random Friday at Cafe Gitane in Nolita. I had heard rumors about how busy this small Moroccan/French cafe gets on the weekends. So, being a lady of leisure, I figured a week day lunch would be the perfect opportunity to finally cross this spot off my list. How wrong I was! Katherine and I arrived there to a 20 minute wait with no chance of grabbing an outdoor table. Once seated, we were elbow to elbow with our neighbors and the place was so loud, I think we were practically screaming at each other while we caught up on our latest running and restaurant adventures. Can someone please explain to me how the citizens of New York City have the time and money to take extra long, mid-week lunches?? I appreciate your responses.
The menu at Cafe Gitane was quite appealing…there were many a dish that sounded extremely tasty and all of the food looked so fresh and delicious. I already had my heart set on their famous avocado toasts and luckily, Katherine is always up for sharing!
Avocado on toast–sounds so simple, right? The addition of lemon juice and red pepper flakes on delicious toasted multigrain bread really elevated this dish to the next level. But be warned, the toasts do pack quite a bite! The salad was actually my definition of a perfect salad with so many different flavors and textures: salty and smoky trout, creamy goat cheese, sweet cranberries, rich avocado, crunchy walnuts, and filling lentils…I am already crafting my recipe re-creation, so stay tuned!
My other weekday lunch took me to the very popular Madison Square Eats. If I thought Cafe Gitane was crowded…Wow! Literally PACKED with people escaping their offices to try out a very large selection of eats. From Momofuku Milk Bar to Eataly to Mile End, this place had it all. But I had my heart set on Roberta’s, a Bushwick spot famous for their pizza that I had not been able to get to as of yet.
The bee sting definitely echoed Paulie Gee’s flavor combination, but I think Roberta’s crust and sauce may be just a smidgen better (don’t worry…I still love me some Paulie!) The seasonal pizza was also delicious, but there’s something about the sweet, salty, and spicy combo of the bee sting that won me over. I highly recommend you brave the crowds and the heat and give MSE a chance. I wish I could return to try some Arancini Bros…so go try them for me please!