By Hillary Latos
Summer is in the air finally, and we’ve uncovered some of NYC’s hidden gems from a floating lobster shack to a romantic Italian hideaway in the West Village as well as revisiting a NYC icon that’s about to turn five, this month it’s all about experiencing and exploring the city’s venerable foodie scene that we are fortunate enough to call home.
North Lobster Company
Even if you can’t escape to Cape Cod over the weekend, the experience of a New England summer can still be had on the city’s first floating lobster shack in the Hudson River. Open daily from 11:30 pm to 11 pm, the 3 story boat sets sail every three hours on a relaxing 45 minute ride along the Hudson where diners can linger as long as they like. Crustacean aficionados will delight in their authentic Maine style lobster rolls or butter poached full lobster with all the sides. Start with a platter from their extensive raw bar with a daily selection of oysters, littlenecks, crab claws, and jumbo shrimp which pair perfectly with their Mason jar cocktails like a spicy brined Bloody Mary or other seaworthy cocktails like ‘Batten down the Hatch’- a NYC version of a spiced rum Mai Tai. Designed to encourage mingling and making new friends the casual setting offers communal picnic benches that are perfect to take in the afternoon sun or a captivating sunset. Celebrate the 4th of July on their Lobster Cruise that will sail around the Hudson to the East side for unparalleled views of the world famous fireworks only NYC can produce.
North Lobster Company
Pier 81 West 41st Street
On the heels of its upcoming fifth anniversary, the father and daughter culinary team of Tony and Marisa May proves that fine cuisine runs in the genes. After developing a loyal following at San Domenico, SD26 is the younger contemporary successor that caters to the new generation of foodies. At the helm of the airy open kitchen is chef Matteo Bergamini formerly of Daniel who takes a modern approach to fine Italian cuisine. The vast selection of salumeria and cheeses have all been imported from Italy that are only matched by their collection of over 1,100 different labels of wine some of which are served on tap at their wine bar. The family’s signature dish is the uovo in ravioli which features an egg yolk stuffed between delicate ribbons of pasta drizzled with truffle butter. Other palette pleasers include the grilled baby octopus with fava bean puree, wild bass carpaccio, pasta with sea urchin, scallops, and pepperoncino. For carnivores the Barolo wine braised beef cheeks with a balsamic reduction is an aria unto itself and the plum and chard stuffed quail offers a unique pairing of savory and sweet. Dessert is a treat with their famous tiramisu with espresso sauce and their dreamy floating island on vanilla sauce.
19 East 26th Street
Baker & Co
Baker & Co is one of those quintessentially romantic West Village spot that exudes the charm that characterizes the neighborhood- exposed brick walls, mosaic tile floors and a lovely covered patio. This is the latest outpost by Elena Fabiani the owner of Emporio and Aurora who brought her Northern Italian palette to the city creating scrumptious renditions of classic pasta dishes like smoked eggplant ravioli with buffalo mozzarella, lamb ragu pacchieri with hints of mint and olive, and squid bucatini with guanciale. For main courses the striped bass with truffle onion puree is perfect for a summer night, and the porcelet shoulder with dandelion and rhubarb have fresh flavors not found anywhere else. As Italians are known for their love of food and friends, this is a perfect spot for a first date or romantic rendezvous while lingering over a glass of Montepulciano and feeling like you may have stepped out of Roman Holiday.
Baker & Co
259 Bleecker Street