Eating well late at night in midtown isn't quite as easy as it is elsewhere in New York, but that doesn't mean you can't do well for yourself and your maybe-tipsy urges. So here's your guide: burgers, pizza, Korean Spam stews, street meat, and plenty more to eat in the business heart of Manhattan.
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After living on the Upper West Side for six years with her fiance, Mandy has watched the neighborhood's food scene change, and with casual food and wine bar Ardesia, she has staked a place in that evolving landscape. Here are her neighborhood favorites.
There's probably nothing duller than steamed cauliflower—which is why cauliflower in just about any other form gets us so excited. Roasted or fried, it turns crisp-tender with irresistible nutty brown bits. Blended with cream or butter, it becomes rich and silken, a decadent soup or purée. And that's just scratching the surface. We've had excellent cauliflower dishes in New York from chefs of all culinary persuasions. Here are ten of our favorites. What's your favorite cauliflower preparation?
Ardesia in Hell's Kitchen has an impressive cocktail list—and there's not a spirit to be found at their bar. That's right: since their liquor license is wine and beer only, they can't serve gin, bourbon, or vodka, but bartender Damon Gravina has crafted a collection of complex and delicious wine-based cocktails that put sangria to shame. For inspiration, he looked to some of the flavors inherent in wine: fruit and spice, to start. From there, he experimented with vermouth, bitters, and a variety of infusions.
Coffee-infused wine and chocolate bitters makes this an excellent (but not too sweet) post-dinner drink.
Complex, refreshing, and just delicately floral from a dash of rosewater and lavender-infused honey, this rosé-based cocktail is one of our favorites on Ardesia's cocktail list.
Muddled fresh ginger makes this wine-based mojito variation eye-openingly spicy. Add the mint after muddling so that it doesn't disintegrate.
This is a delicious way to enjoy Lillet blanc: topped with sparkling wine and a few dashes of grapefruit bitters.
This cocktail from Ardesia in NY plays on some of the flavors of a gin and tonic: quinine-spiced Bonal Quina (available online here) and white wine infused with juniper berries, coriander seeds, and star anise. A dash of celery bitters adds an aromatic vegetal note.
What I found at Ardesia was mostly so delicious that I'm kicking myself for not making my way there earlier. A wine bar with distinctive, carefully crafted food is a fairly rare specimen in this town, and that's just what Ardesia is. If I could walk to it from my apartment, I would be there once or twice a week. It's an adult place that's contemporary without seeming suffocatingly hip.