Eating my way through the Big Apple and around the world.
Always in favor of extraordinary flavor versus saving a few calories, I’m constantly seeking the best restaurants, recipes, and random little food finds. This blog chronicles my discoveries, most of which are located in New York City, the foodie heaven I am fortunate to call home.
I am an editor at Zagat, but all opinions on this blog are mine and have nothing to do with my employer.
I take my photos with a point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot SD850. Which goes to show that if you're passionate about photography but can't afford fancy camera equipment, you can still take quality photos.
After an incredible four-course dinner at The Cooks’ House, we walked down the street and into exactly what I’ve always pictured heaven to look like: a table piled high with pies upon pies—and someone standing next to it handing me a fork. Grand Traverse Pie Company (my new favorite place on Earth) treated us to every one of their pies, and even let us taste test some new concoctions they’re working on. Two words: APPLE BACON.
The shop’s story is just as sweet as its goods. When approaching their forties, Mike and Denise Busley realized something was missing. On a quest for “inner satisfaction, purpose, and passion,” they quit their jobs, packed up their family, and moved from San Diego to Northern Michigan to follow their dream of opening a pie shop. Sixteen years and as many locations later, the Busleys are living their dream daily, while also giving back to the community in a major way.
If you’re a regular reader, you know I love many (aka, every) desserts. But when I really think about it, pie is my absolute favorite. I especially love Blueberry and Key Lime, and Grand Traverse Pie Company makes the best ones I’ve ever tasted in both categories. Spoiler alert: these pies were the highlight of my entire trip.
Ed. Note: The folks at Pure Michigan generously invited me to Leelanau County to experience Mario Batali’s Michigan. He’s a part-time resident and staunch supporter of the area’s burgeoning farm-to-table food scene. In four days, I checked out all of his favorite spots, and then some.
The first stop on our foodie tour of Northern Michigan was The Cooks’ House, Mario Batali’s favorite restaurant in Traverse City. From the cozy-casual setting (just a dozen or so tables) to the locally-sourced food (90% comes from within a 100-mile radius), I quickly realized this was going to be an easy place to love. The food was so satisfying and summery—the last asparagus soup of the season, juicy perch that melted in your mouth, a simple salad served after the main course (in French tradition)—but what I appreciated most of all was how many people were involved with the meal. Young apprentices were helping in the kitchen, two very hands-on chefs just exuded passion, and the impeccable yet relaxed service was the Michigan Cherry atop the whole experience. It’s the kind of place where the people making the food are just as happy as the people eating it. And that’s one ingredient that’s not readily available at just any restaurant.