When in New York, one must eat all the things. Especially that New York pizza. There’s just nothing like it. On a recent trip for my birthday, I got to stop by my go-to classic eateries and discover some new places, too.
One cold afternoon, I was welcomed with the fresh aroma of basil, tomato, garlic and delicious bread baking in the oven. Lombardi’s is one of the staples of this city first opening its doors in 1905. This Pizzeria is known for its Neapolitan Thin-Crust Pies. The homey Italian flair you get when you walk in feels old but familiar, bringing a sense of nostalgia to those who frequent the establishment. For newcomers, it feels like you’ve walked into a different country with its Italian style vintage red and white checkered table cloth covered tables. The restaurant is also comprised of a second section downstairs which feels more private but also close knit like you’re gathering for a great meal at your family’s house. The bottles of wine and photos dispersed everywhere serve as reminders of where they began.
My guest and I enjoyed their classic Original Margherita Pizza consisting of fresh whole mozzarella and tomato sauce topped with grated romano and fresh basil. So simple yet deliciously satisfying. With the many pizza joints New York has to offer, make sure Lombardi’s is on that list.
The second part of my journey took me to the gastro chic establishment of Mr. Bobby Flay himself, Gato. The restaurant is lovingly named after his cat. This Mediterranean style restaurant is located in NOHO and has been going strong since its inception in 2014. The style of the restaurant screams upscale pub but with dark undertones of medieval flair. Steel meets brick with high ceilings and dark beams. The floors soften up the atmosphere with a nice Spanish style mosaic pattern. Beautiful pendant lights and a massive bar finish of the space.
The restaurant is darker and has a romantic vibe in the evening. I started out with their popular Pink Cosmopolitan. For my appetizer, I went with the Pizza topped with Wild Mushrooms- oh, so tasty. My main course was the Tarragon Chicken that sat on top of the most delectable crispy potatoes coated in goat cheese topped with Dandelion. My companion thoroughly enjoyed her Charred Beef served with Farro. Since it was my birthday I was brought out a cute little Biscotti presentation with a candle. This is a great spot for a romantic dinner date or a nice social gathering with friends. Gato will definitely be seeing me again in the future.