I recently went on a delicious food tour via Foods of New York Tours. If you follow my blog, you might have read an extensive entry from when I went on the Greenwich Village Tour in January. That tour was fantastic and this one was no different. At the Chelsea Market I got to meet a lobster, try Australian cuisine, and eat Italian specialties from a store that Food Network personalities shop at.
First up was Eleni's bakery. The store was adorable and adorned with uniquely decorated cookies for every occasion. Their specialty are the thick shortbread cookies with royal icing. Typically with these types of cookies, the short bread is hard and dry and the icing is also hard and a bit tasteless. I was told that Eleni's is different and actually tastes good. After hearing this, I was excited to try an Eleni's cookie for myself, but was instead presented with a mini red velvet cupcake. Bummer. The red velvet cupcake was yummy but also nothing special. Our guide said we didn't get a cookie because when they used to do it it made people too full after the first stop. I disagree, bring back the cookie!
Next up was Ronnybrook Farm Dairy where we enjoyed small cups of chocolate milk. I absolutely love glass milk bottles and almost came back for a jug solely for that. The chocolate milk was made with full-fat milk which made it heavy and creamy like it was a dessert more than a drink. It reminded me of drinking liquid pudding. The chocolate taste was smooth and refreshing.I liked the sample a lot but probably could not drink more than a half cup of the stuff!
The smell at the Lobster Place is the first thing that hits you. The air is noticeably more moist and carries a distinct fishy smell. We ventured over to the raw bar and saw countless varieties of oysters. Our guide then brought out a live lobster which made my skin crawl a little bit. I've only had shell fish a handful of times in my life and lobster has never been something I've been drawn too. Regardless, I tried the lobster bisque minutes later and was plesently surprised. I'm still not sure if I like lobster or just that there was probably a ton of delicious cream in the soup. Either way, it was great. I also tried both New England and Manhattan style clam chowders. I had never had clam chowder before I moved to New England for the summer and I think I've had it 4-5 times since I've been here, yum! I wasn't too much of a fan of the Manhattan style - it just tasted like vegetable soup.
At Buon Italia we were given a plate of fine Italian imported food. I can't remember exactly what everything is but I will do my best. The roll is from Amy's Bread, a local bakery which is featured on the right. The place smelled so delicious when we stopped in; nothing beats fresh baked bread smell. Below the roll is a piece of mozzarella cheese and below that is an artichoke spread that was fantastic. The meats are some sort of salami I think. I don't eat pork for the most part so I am very unclear about the categories of pig meat. Below the beat is an olive and below that is this balsamic soaked shallot. The shallot was by far my favorite thing on the plate and the only thing I wanted seconds of. Here, we were given an long description of the importance of high quality noodles and how to cook pasta perfectly, the Italian way. I will definitely take this into account in the future.
This place specializes in the Australian delicacy of meatpies. Each tiny beef pie was surrounded by a flaky pie crust shell. The bottom portion of the pie, where the goods were, was delicious. It was everything I love about chicken pot pie but beefy. However, the top was so hard it was almost inedible. It reminded me of the crust edges of the popart that have no filling. Overall, I liked the idea of a meat pie and will probably now go to Boston's version, Ko Pies, soon!
This stop was not part of the original itinerary but our tour guide had the hook-up. We each got to choose one chocolate to sample from their case. Jacques Torres is a high-end well known chocolatier in New York so I was happy to be able to try something. I chose the Heavenly Hazelnut because I figured it would taste like Nutella. It ended up tasting better than Nutella. You know the feeling you get when there's a lot of a choices and you worry that you made the wrong one? No regrets here.
I'm not sure what this was, but I did not like it one bit. I think it was a sausage thing on a melba toast. No thank you!
These jams were awesome. Also, the place had an open kitchen so you could watch the workers prepare baked goods. We were each given a biscuit and a choice of two fruit spreads. The one on the right biscuit is the blueberry cherry. The other option was a raspberry orange marmalade. It is impossible to pick which I liked better. I had never given much thought to the brand of jam before and believed Smuckers was sufficient. I see now that jam can play a much larger roll on baked goods and sandwiches. I will be keeping my eye out for Sarabeth's!
After Sarabeth's we took a bathroom break at the coolest toilets ever inside of Morimoto. Seriously, ya gotta see em for yourself. We then ventured out of Chelsea Market and on to the highline which is an old railroad line that was recently converted into a beautiful park. After a brief tour and some fun facts about the meatpacking district. We headed in into Macelleria for our last stop and a portion of fresh pasta with a meat sauce. The pasta was wonderfully prepared and I scarfed down the entire thing.
I had a great time on this food tour. Our awesome tour guide, Curt, even took this awesome picture of us! Would I do another food tour? Absolutely! If you are ever in New York City, I highly suggest checking out Food of New York Tours!