From: Quality Italian in New York, NY
This might be a bold statement but I think this is my favorite post yet. If I could give out awards, this one would have won for “Highest Yum Factor” of 2014. I am particularly biased because I love chicken parmigiana and pizza, so when those two get married they make the ultimate power couple. Our eyes want to believe it’s a typical pizza, but don’t let the round shape fool you – there’s an entire layer of chicken nestling beneath a mound of melted cheese, sauce, and crunchy breadcrumbs. Let’s start with Quality Italian in general before I get into the cheesy, scrumptious details.
QI is a two-story restaurant in mid-town Manhattan that serves Italian-American cuisine. The decor and atmosphere is intimate, rustic, and so New York. It’s a wonderful place to bring a date for a special occasion or have your food-obsessed family (ahem! like mine) enjoy a delicious meal during the holiday season. I just say holiday season because I am coming back to this same spot to get this same dish with them as soon as possible. I also plan to try out their sister restaurant Quality Meats.
This place lives up to its name as every food item is of the highest quality. We clearly ordered the “Chicken Parmigiana for Two” that we read about thoroughly (as all of us do) on Yelp. It seemed to be one of their signature dishes that not only appeared to taste good but was just such a dining spectacle that you had to experience it for yourself. It came to our table and the guests around us were asking why we were gushing about it and taking pictures… not with each other… but with our meal. When we explained that it was no ordinary pie, they asked, “well, how does it taste?” The only response we could utter was “AWESOME!” The chicken is juicy, tender, and about one-inch thick. It is surrounded by crunchy, crispy breadcrumbs and melted cheese. The sauce itself was NOT overpowering, which I love about a good chicken parm. I want it to be about the chicken and the natural flavors, and don’t need a heavy sauce to obstruct my enjoyment of the first two.
We also tried the side of creamed kale carbonara which was mouthwatering. Even the complimentary bread they give you in the beginning is unbelievable. It’s doughy and has a hint of garlic as it’s (again) not too overpowering. When they give you the olive oil I always sprinkle some salt and pepper in it and then dip that into my bread. With everything we ate, I didn’t feel guilty. I felt that I just genuinely got a wonderful meal made with fresh ingredients, and as we all know, that’s hard to come by these days.
From: Nice Matin in New York, NY
Brunch is delightful. You get to fill up on a ginormous meal without feeling as guilty because you can spend the day walking it off. I also want to pretend I give breakfast and lunch an equal opportunity but I know I always show up for some cheese-filled eggs with a side of crunchy bacon.
This restaurant is in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and I’d highly recommend you checking it out for a lovely Saturday or Sunday brunch. What’s pictured above is their Croque Madame. It’s basically bread that has melted Gruyere cheese all over with a fried egg on top and Black Forest ham in the center. I paired it with a side of creamy polenta. The creamy polenta has a rich flavor of Parmesan cheese and lives up to its name.. It’s quite creamy. Everything from here was just so enjoyable.
Fun fact: Chef Andy D’Amico actually was inspired by his visit to Nice, France which is how they came up with the menu selections.
From: Sotto 13 in Manhattan, NY
What is the “The Forager,” you ask? This is Sotto 13’s wood-fired pizza and is topped with wild mushrooms, ricotta cheese, chives, and truffle oil. I did some research and tried several pizza selections from this place, but this particular one has… THATYUMFACTOR!
BTW, this place is great for a group brunch. They have an all-you-can drink special (1.5 hours) for $29 per person. You can choose from mimosas, screwdrivers, bellinis, or bloody marys. For food, you can select one of their wood-fired pizzas or choose an assortment of small breakfast plates.
From: Artichoke Pizza in Manhattan, NY
If you like cheese and artichokes you will love this thick slice of happiness. It basically tastes like a creamy artichoke dip on top of pizza crust. I’d highly recommending sharing a slice as after a few bites you actually get extremely full.
From: Colicchio & Sons in Manhattan, NY
This was the best burger I have ever had! It was thick, juicy, and cooked to perfection. I was excited to judge Tom Colicchio’s cuisine as he does with every top chef on his show, but from the decor to the food to the service his places are amazing.
This is the TC Burger from their lunch pre-fixe menu (a great deal) and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. My compliments to the chef!
From: Becco in Manhattan, NY
My title does not lie. For $20, Becco offers an amazing deal of unlimited pasta at their restaurant. They provide to you their three pastas of the night as they always switch up the choices to add variety. When I went, we had linguini and clam sauce, spinach ravioli and one with a spicy pomodoro sauce. This restaurant not only has deliciously homemade pasta, but the ambiance is cozy yet elegant. Perfect place to bring a date or have a girls night out.
From: Magnolia Bakery in Manhattan, NY
Whenever I get dinner in the city, I always craze a cupcake from Magnolia’s. My favorite way to eat them is to put them in the refrigerator. Their buttery frosting gets a little harder making it almost like a fudge.