Everyone knows that there are endless restaurants in New York, but every now and then you can end up in a neighborhood where you can’t find a nice place for one, two, three. To help you on your way, today I’ll tell you about my two favorite hidden gems in New York City. The name says it all, these are restaurants that are a bit hidden and that you will not find if you do not know about them, but are very much worth it!
The first is Barbarini in the South Street Seaport neighborhood, at the very southern tip of Manhattan and next door to the LTC Tree offices. This neighborhood is adjacent to the Financial District, so you see quite a few men and women in suits walking around here. But tourists also come here a lot, they have just taken the ferry to Staten Island or visited the old ships in the harbor. Along this harbor, you will find plenty of places to eat and drink, but you are at the mercy of eateries where mainly hefty Americans in white sneakers and shorts eating filthy cheesesteak sandwiches sit away. Not only is it very dirty, but it is also a shame to settle for a sandwich in a city like New York that will probably last until December 2014. So if you are in this area, walk a little further until you come to Front street, a cute little street with cobbles, where the restaurant Barbarini is located.
The front part of Barbarini is more of a shop/caterer, with beautiful delicacy products from Italy. If you walk through the shop, past the display case (where you can also order their delicious dishes ‘to go’) you arrive at the restaurant area, which is located in a kind of conservatory. The service is always friendly, fast, and helpful. For $ 9 you have a well-filled panini with only fresh ingredients, a home-made pasta you can already have for $ 14. It is not for nothing that this place is always full and has many regular customers, once you have found this restaurant you do not want to go anywhere else!
My second hidden gem of the day is Wild Edibles in the Murray Hill area. A neighborhood where there is little to do and not much to achieve in the culinary field.
I happened upon Wild Edibles when I was looking on the internet for a place where they sold a wide range of oysters. Wild Edibles was founded in the early ’90s with the aim of sourcing the best fresh fish available. Orders were then taken and the fish was delivered to your home. They now have two locations in the city; one fish market in Grand Central Station and their shop/restaurant in Murray Hill. The tent is so small that you can easily walk past it and if you go to you look inside you see at first sight a display case with various fish lying on piles of ice and you still have no idea that you can also eat very well here. At first, of course, I came especially for the oysters, but when I saw their menu I could not resist ordering something from it. Beforehand there was a bowl with all kinds of different oysters, the Kumamoto and the Skookum oysters were by far the best! They were deliciously large and creamy! As the main course, I chose the salmon with goat cheeseburger with fries. My table companion started with the yellowfin tuna tartar which was possibly the best-tasting tuna tartar I’ve ever tasted. As the main course, she chose the skillet seared skate (thin, soft, white fish) with dijon dressing. Not only do they know how to buy the best fish at Wild Edibles, but they also know how to make great dishes! Everything here was equally delicious. The service can be a bit grumpy and rushed, but if you’ve just taken a bite of that delicious Skookum oyster, the waiter automatically disappears into the background and it seems as if all your senses are suddenly in your mouth.