Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Foods of NY Tour

Most of you already know that I rang in the 2012 New Year in NYC.  It was my very first time to the city and though it was fabulous, it was also incredibly crowded.  Times Square, Rockefeller Centre - all of it was starting to grate on my claustrophobia.

A somewhat blurry view from the Top of the Rock in December 2011

Don't get me wrong, it was a great trip.  Statue of Liberty, SoHo, Central Park, Broadway.  All of it was pretty amazing. But, I'm very glad that I got the chance to go back in the summer.  Without all the crowds, the city almost felt like a place I could live.  The people are incredibly friendly, the Natural History Museum was incredible and of course, the food was fantastic.

Thanks to a suggestion from my friend Adele, I signed myself up for a food tour with the company Foods of NY. Although they offer several themed tours of various neighborhoods around the city, I decided to take the "Original Greenwich Village" tour and I was not disappointed.  Centered around Bleeker Street, this particular tour specialized in Italian dishes.  I attempted to take as many photos of the restaurants and food however because of the fairly severe rain during the tour I had to eventually put away the camera and drape myself in a plastic rain poncho (yes, I was one of those tourists).

Divine Meatballs at Scali Caffe

I'm sure you're already assuming the food, being from NY and of an Italian theme, was wonderful - and you're right.  Every place had something to teach me and offered me something new (well, except maybe the pizza place).  Some particularly unique dishes that I tried were:

Lavender honey and truffle oil at O&CO

The Zucchini Fritter (2nd from left) was maybe my favourite bite of the day!

Tastes of Sheep, Goat and Cow's cheese was definitely enjoyable - and this place had fantastic t-shirts!  My favourite was the one that said "For a Gouda time call...." haha.

The tour itself was $50 for 8 well-sized tastings (usually far more than just a bite).  Every tourist gets a free bottle of water at the start and an opportunity to purchase a second beverage at a restaurant about half way through the tour.  There were several opportunities for bathroom breaks and the tour guide was absolutely full of knowledge - who lived in certain homes around the area, real estate, and of course, food.

Arancini from Faicco's - a place I would want to do all my meat and cheese shopping!

I went back to O&Co specifically because I loved their Basil infused Olive Oil and knew it would be a great treat back in Singapore.

If you are ever in NYC please take a food tour!  It was such a great way to spend a few hours getting to see a somewhat un-touristy part of the city!

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