With over 18,ooo restaurants to chose from in New York City, you certainly won’t go hungry! But which ones to chose…the hot new trendy spots or the tried and true classics. Here’s how we ate around the city on our trip last weekend.


* Little Italy: What’s a trip to NYC without a stop in Little Italy for dinner and dessert, especially if you love Italian! Walk Mulberry Street for tons of options. Our former favorite, Cafe Sorrento, closed so we went next door to the brother’s restaurant, Cafe Napoli (191 Hester Street). Love the ambiance and dined on yummy fried zucchini, arugula salad, rigatoni with arugula and parmigiano, penne with broccoli rabe and sausage. Paired with the house red Montepulciano and finished with espresso and a lemoncello. Divine! For dessert, none other than America’s First Espresso Bar since 1892 Ferrara Bakery & Cafe (195 Grand Street), for the BEST cannoli!

* Mamma Mexico: For Mexican and fun you have to visit this spot on the Upper West Side. We went for Valentine’s dinner so it was crazy! Table side guacamole, yummy chips, juicy margaritas, Camarones al Mojo de Ajo, and enchiladas followed by flan. YUM! The best is when its someone’s birthday…they come around literally pouring shots of tequila into everyone’s mouth. And the mariachi band is always roaming from table to table! :)

* Pastis: This French Bistro in the Meatpacking District is a hot spot! We went for late lunch on Saturday and it was hopping the whole time. Croque-Monsieur and frites were AMAZING as was the Sauvignon Blanc. Owned / founded by SoHo’s Balthazar guy.

* Burger & Barrel: This SoHo Winepub was on my list to try and so glad we went! The brown mahogany wood and leather study chair atmosphere invites you in for a seat. The nice big bar area is lined with wine bottles speaking to their great wine list, heavy on France and California, and wines on tap. Our fabulous waitress Kira had us tasting from the barrels (they’re on tap downstairs just like the beers)…Donkey & Goat 2009 Syrah from California was great (smells like bbq and tastes like fire-roasted strawberries), Red Hook 2008 Chardonnay from Long Island (nice with banana, vanilla and citrus notes), Donkey & Goat 2009 Vermentino from California (slight notes of green apple and pear but a little high in alcohol). Kira also gave us a taste of the Penner-Ash Pinot Noir that was fantastic (camp fire smell and taste of smokey caramelized creme brulee)! The food was delicious too…Sloppy Josh, Veggie Burger (double secret chick pea recipe was perfect!) and corn pudding.

* Eataly: Last but not least, my new favorite Italian spot outside of Italy. This place has it all…marketplace, cafe, restaurants, bar, housewares! Their motto hanging above the entry way…”Life is too short not to eat well.” I wrote a post in October about it and envisioned it to be much bigger… but even on just one floor at 25,000 square feet it does not disappoint. Enter on Fifth Avenue into the Lavazza Coffee Bar or on 23rd Street through the colorful produce section. We went Saturday night for dinner…first stop, put your name in for one of the many Eateries…Manzo (meat, and they take reservations), Il Pesce (fish), La Pizza & Pasta, Le Verdure (vegetables)… then stop into La Piazza, the standing table enoteca, for a wine while you browse the store (or you can enjoy their meat, fish & cheese menu). We had incredible food at La Pizza and Pasta… the special Italian flag pizza and Spaghetti al Pomodoro. We stopped back by for an espresso and to explore the marketplace late one morning (see all the pictures in the gallery). We picked up a great book on Italian wines, a few boxes of unique pasta shapes and a gorgeous stovetop espresso maker. Don’t miss the Wine Shop, separate entrance on 23rd Street, where we found our favorite Italian wine Fonterutoli and Montenegro liquer.

We also hit … South Houston, comfort food in SoHo for dinner which was fun and quite yummy; Katz’s Deli, the famous “I’ll have what she’s having” deli from When Harry Met Sally on the Lower East side; and bagels (Absolute on the Upper West).

Now I’m starving and thirsty so must run. :) Cheers!