One of the great things about the New York dining scene is that it’s made up of famous chefs who have countless establishments within their restaurant empires.
You’ve got Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, who rule the Italian domain; Daniel Boulud, who reigns his French kingdom; David Chang of the Momofuku empire; and even the New American king Danny Meyer. The list goes on and on.
You could spend all your time bouncing between their restaurants – in what I like to think of as “New York Celebrity Chef Bingo.” The objective is simple — eat at all of a particular chef’s restaurants. You’ll dine on great food, put a small dent in your bank account, and leave shouting BINGO!
But anyway, while I’m working on the Batali-Bastinach and David Chang bingo cards, I can finally check off the April Bloomfield Restaurant Bingo edition.
Bloomfield, an ex-pat from England, is one of my favorite New York chefs who along with her business partner Ken Friedman has four restaurants in the city (and one in San Francisco). While each of her four restaurants have their own concept and theme — from the British gastro pub to one seafood-centric to a Mexican taqueria – each prides themselves on farm to table, nose to tail cooking.
And now, I can finally say, I’ve eaten at all of April Bloomfield’s restaurants in the city! BINGO!
First up, Bloomfield’s flagship restaurant and West Village favorite, The Spotted Pig. As with many popular New York restaurants, the Pig doesn’t take reservations and the wait can be long! BUT, it’s well worth it and the area is fun to explore while you wait. I found a cute little Turkish / French wine bar down the street with which a couple glasses of wine made the wait (close to 1.5 hours) go by quick!
But honestly, the wait is worth it! The restaurant is cozy and eclectic with two floors of seating and the food is outstanding!
I recommend — the Ricotta Gnudi and the Burger topped with Roquefort Cheese with Shoestring Fries . The gnudi is to die for… these heavenly pillows of ricotta that will blow your mind!
Next up are the Breslin and The John Dory Oyster Bar – which happen to both be located in the Ace Hotel in midtown. This, of course, makes this game of bingo a little easier… you could slurp down some oysters and a cocktail at the Dory and then head over to the Breslin for some heartier dishes for dinner…
At the Breslin, I recommend the Beef and Stilton pie and the Lamb Burger. The menu here is definitely more pork and meat centric (which I have no complaints with). There’s an open kitchen which is always fun to watch while dining and a huge chef’s table in the center of the room can be reserved for large parties!The Dory has some of the best seafood I’ve ever had! The razor clams and stuffed squid were amazing. I recommend the Lobster Roll and next time I’ll definitely get a dozen oysters!
And finally, Salvation Taco, April’s launch into Mexican cuisine, located in the funky Pod 39 hotel. The menu has some traditional Mexican favorites — chips and guac, tamles, fish tacos — but inventive internationally inspired dishes like the Korean BBQ taco dinner or Mexican sticky rice tamale with Chinese sausage.
The cocktails are fun and delicious and the food was good! We got the meatballs and handpies to start and then the Korean BBQ taco dinner, which were all great. It’s definitely a departure from her other restaurants, but at the heart of the menu, her cooking style shines through.
Check out the rooftop lounge while you’re there — the restaurant’s cocktails are available up on the roof and it’s a lovely view!
On to my next bingo card…They’re like Pokemon, you’ve got to catch ’em all!