We are usually those overnight suburban visitors who just settle for a hotel in midtown because it’s convenient to Grand Central Terminal. With an unusual 3 nights in Manhattan, we wanted to explore a new neighborhood and set our sights on the Lower East Side. We found the perfect match on Jetsetter, a 500 sq ft room at the Thompson LES (190 Allen St). I was attracted to the Lower East Side because it is home to so many great restaurants (we also ate at wd~50 and Frankies), but I had no idea how many eateries would be within 2 block radius of our hotel.
First stop after check-in: Meatball Shop (85 Stanton Street)
It’s a cozy spot with a simple menu, but it features some incredibly appealing comfort food. We walked in on a weekday at 2pm and were able to immediately get a seat at the bar. Even mid-afternoon, the entire restaurant remained full. The Meatball Shop is open until 4 am, so if you’re also in business if you happen to get a late night craving!
My surprise favorite of the sliders: chicken with Parmesan cream sauce
Classic beef meatballs with tomato sauce and provolone on an Il Forno baguette
No trip to NYC in your future? There’s a cookbook and right now the copies in the shop are signed.
It is a rare day that I will eat ice cream, but this was worth it. D initially announced he had no room for dessert, but I dare anyone to turn down caramel ice cream, sandwiched between 2 chocolate chip cookies.
I had no idea Prune (54 East 1st St) was so close! After reading Gabrielle Hamilton’s memoir earlier this year, we took a chance as walk-ins for a weekday lunch. There are no reservations for weekend brunch and I heard you need to be prepared to wait in line. This Rock Shrimp Roll was so delicious I would take it over a lobster roll (hot or cold) any day! I cannot stop thinking about it. PS: Old Bay French Fries. Why have I never had this before?
Grilled Hamburger with Sharp Cabot Cheddar on an English Muffin. Our lunch looked deceptively simple, but the food at Prune was so perfectly balanced I was won over and have dropped my grudge about being squished like a sardine at our table. It was quite easy to overhear neighbors raving about the shaved kale salad.
If you’re staying overnight, of course you’ll need breakfast. I wanted to return to Russ & Daughters (179 East Houston St) for more Scottish smoked salmon. There’s no indoor seatting, just a bench out on the sidewalk, so having a hotel room around the corner really comes in handy.
What do you eat before a 15-course lunch at Ko? Nothing! Just stick to a macchiato at Bluebird (72 East 1st St).