Cocktails and Restaurants
Vote for best Margarita was a tough one – the remit: straight up, with salt and not sweet – and Empellon Taqueria, Cosme and the NoMad Hotel Bar all came up trumps. The winner by a whisker was Cosme, the hot new Mexican restaurant and bar in the Flatiron district.
Noisy and packed even in the dog days of August, 50% of Cosme’s floor space is devoted to the bar. New Yorkers take their cocktails seriously.
Some of the dishes, though delicious, were not altogether photogenic; a notable exception was the Duck Carnitas with onions, radishes and salsa verde. My favourite was the Roasted Eggplant with cauliflower, sesame seed salsa and preserved lemon. And an added bonus, the tortillas they serve up at Cosme are all made from GM-free corn.
Margaritas are hardly a ‘health drink’ but much else to be found in Mexican restaurants, including the avocado, certainly has super food status. Avocados are the most delicious and versatile of super foods. They are packed with healthy fats, and vitamin E, and also glutathione which is a natural antioxidant. All those nutrients make this fruit a natural anti-ageing food for the skin
Most beautifully presented avocado award goes to the River Cafe – it was accompanied by a pansy which made it pretty perfection on a plate.
April Bloomfield, originally from Birmingham (the UK city rather than the Alabama one) is adored in NYC and bedecked in Michelin stars for her restaurants which include the Spotted Pig (NYC’s first gastropub) and her fine dining establishment, the Breslin. She credits Ruth Rogers and the late Rose Gray at London’s River Café, where she worked before arriving in NYC, for defining her style.
I came across a very unusual cocktail, an Oyster Shooter, at April Bloomfield’s John Dory Oyster Bar. It was a mix of ginger, lemon, cucumber, cayenne and tequila and came in a tiny glass with a tiny and delicious oyster on top
New York’s food is generally as mouth-wateringly delicious as it is eye-wateringly expensive but of course cheaper eats abound. There’s a vast array of every kind of street food imaginable and it’s certainly not all about hot dogs and pretzels anymore. There are mobile juice and smoothie bars everywhere – New Yorkers are as serious about their health as they are about their cocktails.
And what’s this? Is it a flower? No, it’s a mango on a stick! Brim-full of beta carotene and with less fructose than apples or pears, the Ayurvedics say that mangos are not only energising but also make us happy (and it certainly did)