January always marks one of our annual trips back east for the New York Times Travel Show. And, who can spend a week in Manhattan without grazing and sampling?
3 Fun NYC Eats
Join us in this fun round-up of three fun NYC eats: fun Latin plates and drinks at Travesia’s in the Bronx, elegant tea & magic at Alice’s Tea Cup on the Upper West Side and a brand new French bistro in SoHo, appropriately called St. Tropez.
We always try to venture to an off-the-beaten path New York City borough for at least one meal and this time around on one incredibly cold winter night, we headed to the Bronx for Latin cuisine. Not far from Patricia’s along East Tremont Avenue where we’ve dined before (fun Italian vibe), lies Travesia’s which offers creative Latin-fusion dishes & cocktails served in a snug space with a travel-themed decor.
Bronx, NY 10465
St. Tropez in SoHO
We accidentally discovered newly opened St. Tropez in SoHo this past weekend. Quite frankly, I always go back to one of my favorite haunts or look for a little Italian eatery in SoHo I haven’t tried yet whenever I head to NYC because most of the time, all of their pasta is homemade and their dishes reasonably priced.
I had a great experience at Piccola Cucina
We ducked into St. Tropez, a French restaurant next door to them also on Spring Street and learned from our waiter that we happened to be there on OPENING NIGHT. “We’re new,” he said and “just opened.” And he literally meant, JUST opened about an hour or so before we arrived. And so we met the French owner who apparently started off in NYC with only around $1,000 to his name, story has it. (we heard this from one of the staff not the owner directly).
Those of you who read us often know about our sister brand Luxury Foodies on Instagram and where we post real time photos (often in real time but not always) when we review restaurants and are on FAM trips. And so, it was fun to discover a new restaurant in SoHo by accident.
One of the things we loved about the restaurant is that there are no surprises — all apps are $12 and all main plates are $18, so super reasonable, especially by New York City standards. Salads are all $14 and sides are $7. The wine menu is also pretty extensive and reasonably priced by the glass and the bottle, mostly French as far as I could tell.
While there was a wild scallop dish on the menu that kept calling our name (served with truffle celery root mash btw), we opted to go with red meat because the red wine menu was so varied. We sampled some newbies (for us) so we could venture out of our typical Zin and Cab orders. They had a 2015 Vetriccie from Corsica on the menu (great on the palate and we almost ordered it) and several options from Rhone including a 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape and a more unusual Brezeme and Vacqueyras AOC.
After tasting a few, including a St. Emilion and a classic Bordeaux, we went with a French Cabernet Sauvignon. Yeah, I know I know — we did try to venture out but given the Ribs I ordered and the Daube Provencale Anthony ordered, the Cab was the smoothest option for pairing.
The ribs fell off the bone and everything was incredibly fresh and delicious.
Both dishes were super tasty especially with the French Cab. We started out with the meatballs because it’s rare that there is a meatball dish on the menu (appetizer or main course) and we don’t try it. They served it with Ratatouille, tomato sauce and parmesan.
I have to admit, it was a tough choice with the other options on the menu. For example, classic French apps included Grilled shrimp Provence style with herbs, sundried tomatoes and tarragon aioli, Snails with Zucchini and Tomatoes, and Braised Pork Belly with French BBQ sauce and Green Apply Syrup. (wow, right?) That said, we had to try the Eggplant in homemade Ricotta, the latter always hard for both of us to pass up as well. Les Aubergines were beautifully presented as well.
The ambiance is lovely here too and not quite as crowded as so many of the other eateries on the same block and in SoHo in general. There’s an open kitchen so you can see dishes come out the moment they’re ready.
They also offer Tartare (both Carpaccio de St. Jacques with wild scallops) and traditional Beef Filet made the epic French way with shallots, chives, egg yolk and French mayo, thankfully without the mustard. On the evening we were there, they offered a Veloute Dubarry (cauliflower creamy soup with truffle and potatoes). I imagine this will change often, so be sure to check their website before you go in for the latest menu.
Italian food lovers will appreciate that Risotto with oyster mushrooms is on the menu as is an Elbow pasta made with cheddar cheese, truffle oil and arugula. There’s also a Lamb Shank with a sweet potato mash in a red wine reduction as well as a Butcher’s Choice option, which is likely to change as well. And of course if you’re a cheese lover, you can choose from the Fromage and Charcuterie menu. Salad lovers can opt for the Frisee or Kale salad option.
Alice’s Tea Cup