BITE INTO BIG AP­PLE

FIND THE BEST FEED IN NEW YORK

The Morning Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - TRAVEL with Ge­off Egan

THE city that never sleeps needs to eat. Restau­rants are on nearly ev­ery cor­ner of New York City. They range from $1 hot dog carts to some of the world’s most awarded eater­ies.

Eat­ing your way through the Big Ap­ple could take a life­time. But of the thou­sands of pizza places, how do you find the best? Is it pos­si­ble to eat Mex­i­can that isn’t Taco Bell? Can a Yan­kee cook south­ern-style chicken? If you ever find your­self hun­gry on the streets of New York – with no hot dog carts in sight – here are a few sug­ges­tions.

Mex­i­can

Two blocks off Broad­way, be­low a street cor­ner restau­rant, through the kitchen, and down a tiny stair­case is one of New York’s hid­den gems. From the street La Esquina looks like a Mex­i­can taco joint. But in the cel­lars be­low the kitchen lies a fine din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

La Esquina – aka the Cor­ner Deli – is far from just your ev­ery­day take­away fare. Dishes like Mex­i­can tuna tartare sep­a­rate it from that usual fare. That is without get­ting into the pages-long te­quila menu or the award-win­ning mar­gar­i­tas.

That said, the restau­rant’s tacos are some of the best you’ll find in the Big Ap­ple. Spe­cial men­tion goes to the Pollo Ros­ti­zado (cit­rus-rubbed ro­tis­serie chicken).

Pizza is syn­ony­mous with New York – not many cities have a type of dish named af­ter it. Call­ing it­self Amer­ica’s first pizze­ria, Lom­bardi’s is a Lit­tle Italy in­sti­tu­tion. The menu is sim­ple – pick a to­mato sauce base or a cheese base and add top­pings.

Like it did when the orig­i­nal Lom­bardi’s opened in 1905, the restau­rant uses a coal oven to bake its piz­zas. In a way, the pizza is a sec­ondary at­trac­tion though. The walls of the restau­rant are cov­ered with pho­tos of the owner – Gen­naro Lom­bardi III. On ev­ery wall Mr Lom­bardi ap­pears in news­pa­per clip­pings, or next to the oven, or with fa­mous pa­trons.

Ital­ian

Like La Esquina, Bar­b­uto strad­dles the line be­tween ca­sual and so­phis­ti­cated. Based out of what looks like a for­mer garage, Bar­b­uto is a ca­sual spot with amaz­ing food.

While La Esquina might be dark and hid­den, Bar­b­uto is open and airy – the garage doors can be raised up dur­ing the sum­mer. Out­door eat­ing might sound nor­mal by Aus­tralian stan­dards but, for a city that gets as cold as New York, it’s al­most a rev­e­la­tion. The restau­rant’s sig­na­ture pollo al forno is one of the best meals you will find in New York. A close sec­ond goes to the manzo ai ferra – a steak with Asian veg­eta­bles.

PHOTO: GE­OFF EGAN

La Esquina, aka The Cor­ner Deli.

TASTY FACT: The first pizze­ria in the United States was opened in NYC in 1895.

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