Upon our arrival in Newark Liberty Airport, we headed straight to Grace, a boutique hotel located steps from Times Square, at West 45th and 6th Avenue. This boutique hotel part of the Spanish owned Room Mate Hotels would be our home base for this three-day trip.
After setting in our chambers, we consulted our Rather New York City guide more attentively, jotting down a couple of potential places where we could set foot during our stay.
Lunchtime was soon approaching, our stomachs, growling. We set foot our quest for food.
162 East 33rd St/1442 First Avenues
In 1954, Abe Lebewohl, opened a small restaurant at East 10th Street at 2nd Avenue that would eventually grow as a neighborhood staple in the East Village. Tragedy struck in 1996 when Lebewohl was murdered during a bank robbery. Despite the tragic loss, the founder’s family kept the restaurant running. The deli closed its doors in 2006 after a landlord dispute. Luckily, Jeremy and Josh, Lebewohl’s nephews stepped in and reopened the deli in 2007 at is current location and opened another one on First Avenue.
Nothing says New York City better than grabbing a bite in a Kosher Deli. Fresh, delicious comfort food in the form of pastrami sandwiches, matzo ball soup, pickles and many more items typically found on a deli menu. The first thing one sees entering the 2nd Avenue Deli is a large counter filled with various salads and vegetables, enough to open your appetite if you weren’t hungry.
We ordered a pastrami sandwich on rye and a smoked salmon sandwich complete with cream cheese, red onions, cucumber and capers. Both were delicious! Various pickles savory and spicy were also served with our dishes. Our lunch ended on a sweet and bubbly note with a shot of Bosco chocolate soda, something you’ll likely won’t find outside of New York. (If you know otherwise, let me know!)
349 East 13th Street
The Redhead intrigued me. In Rather New York City, Jan Faust Dane states: “ You’d think the promise of bacon and peanut brittle would be what lured me to The Redhead. Good guess, but wrong.”
Indeed, there is much more to this place than their sweet and savory brittle. Their southern influenced menu and cozy décor make this place a winner. Interesting fact: The Redhead was originally a bar, which eventually converted to a restaurant. The crowd and staff were laid-back. The place felt very much like a local spot with its share of regulars.
Onto the menu… Several items were tempting. My partner enjoyed the Summer squash salad. I opted for the One-eyed Caesar salad. The fried egg on toast proved to be a visually pleasant take on a classic.
For the mains, my partner ordered the lean and tasty Newport steak served with fried green tomatoes, which proved to be excellent. I went for the buttermilk-fried chicken that was served most elegantly with a spinach and strawberry salad topped with candied almonds. The chicken was delicious: perfectly crisp on the outside, moist and flavorful on the inside. Yum.
We both shared a slice of the Brooklyn Blackout cake with espresso ice cream for dessert. The dish was okay, but nothing to write home about. The ice cream was very much the better part of the dessert. Although, I must say that my sweet tooth left The Redhead fully indulged thanks to chewy s’more cookie, a chocolate based cookie topped with graham cracker and a roasted marshmallow that was graciously served with the check. A perfect way to cap off a wonderful dinner.
Here’s a quick peek of some of the dishes tasted on the first day. I apologize in advance or the poor quality of the images.