NYC Eats: Bouchon Bakery, Parm, The Meatball Shop

For our last NYC Eats post, we’ll be writing about a couple casual stops we made while walking around Manhattan and exploring some of the various neighborhoods. When I got back to Buffalo on Sunday night, I noticed that we hadn’t visited as many restaurants as last year. That’s probably a good thing. I remember some days on our last trip where I couldn’t move because I was so full from eating at 4 different places in 3 hours. We definitely spread our meals apart this time and I think it helped us not burn out so quickly.

Bouchon Bakery. I’m not sure if or when I’ll ever visit Thomas Keller’s Per Se or The French Laundry, but I figured that visiting Bouchon Bakery will be the closest I’ll get for a while. So Alli and I took a train to Rockefeller Plaza and arrived to the cafe around 4pm and found a long line inside. Most of the sandwiches were sold out for the day but we luckily had all of the desserts (pictured above) to choose from. We ordered six french macarons, their Nutter Butter cookie and a Oh Oh Roll. The macarons were sadly just alright; I thought the filling in most of them was fantastic but the actual cookie was a little tough and chewy. We honestly had better macarons at a random stop at Biscious Ciao later on that week. The Nutter Butter was basically 2 giant peanut butter cookies with a rich peanut butter filling. It was intense. Both Alli and I had a couple bites but neither of us could finish the entire thing. The Oh Oh Roll was their take on a Ho Ho and was shockingly similar. They upgraded the hostess treat with dark chocolate coating, moist cake and a marshmallow filling.

Parm. From the outside, Parm sort of looks like any other red sauce Italian restaurant that you’d find in Buffalo. Thankfully, it’s not. The restaurant was started by talented Chefs Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone (owners of Torrisi Italian Specialties, Carbone). They are serving the American-Italian food you grew up on but doing it really really well. We ordered the Chicken Parm Hero which was absolutely perfect and the best chicken parm I’ve ever had. The chicken, while fried, was still juicy and flavorful. I find with most chicken parm’s that the chicken has been pounded too think and ends up dry and tough. This sandwich was the exact opposite, which is something I’ve rarely experienced. The sauce was sweet and they used a generous amount of fresh mozzarella all on a perfectly toasted bun. The freshly made mozzarella sticks were also stuffed with fresh mozzarella and were probably the best I’ve ever had. On top of the good food and laid back atmosphere, they also had a really good Sixpoint Saison on draft. I’m hoping to visit one of the chef’s other restaurants when I’m back in New York this fall. I definitely suggest adding this place to your wish-list next time you visit.

The Meatball Shop. I wasn’t planning on visiting the Meatball Shop, but a combination of Mike’s recommendation and Alli watching those American Express commercials dozens of times made us change our minds. We managed to beat the dinner rush and walk right into their Stanton St location and opted to sit at the bar. Our bartender/server was incredibly energetic and described how their ordering process works. You are given a laminated menu and a marker and you pick the type of balls you want, what sauce you’d like and several other extras. Alli went with their spicy pork with the spicy red meat sauce, which is apparently the owners favorite combination. I tried out their beef balls with Parmesan cream sauce and then put it over the top with a fried egg. I’ll admit that by this point of the day, we were really hitting a wall and our stomachs were starting to hate us but we both pushed through the pain to enjoy one more meal. Each order came with 4 good-sized meatballs, definitely enough for a lunch or light dinner. The Parm cream was a little heavy and I probably could have done without the egg, but Alli’s spicy pork and spicy meat sauce was something I’d order again. We also ordered a side of their kale special (they offer daily veggie specials) and it wasn’t that great but Alli needed to get her daily kale in somehow. They had PBR on tap and I took advantage of their $4 pints. With all of their recent popularity, they may be a little touristy but the food is still good and I’d gladly visit again if I found myself near one of their four locations.

Well that’s it for this years round up for our New York City eating adventures, we scaled back a little bit with the number of restaurants visited but we tried to up the quality this year. I think we have a couple new favorites that I’d love to revisit but I’m already looking forward to our next food adventure (Italy in July).

Photo Gallery:

Bouchon Bakery on UrbanspoonParm on UrbanspoonThe Meatball Shop on Urbanspoon

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