Jen Behm Blogs Her Food Tour of N.Y.C.
Stats for this week: One trip to N.Y.C. – 12 hours in the concrete jungle with a very long two-hour drive home on I-95, one engagement party for 26, a business meet-and-greet, off-premises party with vino, we hosted the post party for Aubrey Plaza's new movie Safety Not Guaranteed, and topped off the week feeding 3,000 people at the Best of Delaware Party! Oh yeah, and regular service at my fiancé's restaurant Orillas.
So it was a slow week – LOL.
I always love heading into N.Y.C. You can literally eat around the world within blocks! First stop: coffee and a bagel toasted with plain cream cheese and sliced tomato and a dash of salt. One of my favorites for brekie.
Because we were in the city with some people who had never been there before, we grabbed a cab and headed to Chinatown and Little Italy. So what does one order in Little Italy? Za, of course! I am a white-pizza-with-lots-of-garlic girl. Yes, I know I am a charmer with my kicking breath, but well worth it!
So, with a smorgasbord of Italian yumminess and a glass of vino, we decided to walk Chinatown. We hit the street.
Entering a building we stepped into another world. With a wall of tanked lobsters and blue crab, the fish was so fresh it made me want to take some home – but by the time we would have made it home I think it would have lost it's freshness! Then I heard a squeal of laughter and fear ... heading towards it wondering what was going on ... I see these little frogs staring up at us ... my imagination runs wild with recipes for frogs legs ... next to that, in another tub, eel! Can you say sushi?! Eel roll with Asian BBQ sauce, oh yeah!
Where next? A pick-me-up! The Cool Haus – one of the coolest food trucks in New York – even though I love ice cream, she does not love me back, and I am slightly lactose intolerant! But, I tell you this ice cream sandwich is SOOOO worth it. My favorite: red velvet cookie with Merlot ice-cream! OOOOHH YAH. Great part is that you can find them in L.A., Miami, Dallas, Austin and N.Y.C.!
To finish off our trip, we hit Mario Batali and Joe Bastianach's (yep that judge from my show MasterChef) place, Eataly! One of my MUST-hit places in N.Y.C! Oysters, prosecco, cheeses and meats ... just heaven. Grabbed a coffee and hit the road.
Early the next day, we had to prep for Aubrey Plaza's party! On the menu: our paella for 50! This pan is big enough for me to curl up on! Surrounded by house-made hummus with our lavash, marinated olives, lobster rolls, alligator empanadas – oh yes, alligator empanadas, they were a hit. Even our senator and his wife stopped me and said they loved our food. Aubrey is so sweet and hilarious! Glamorous, but so down to earth. Check out my pics!
Catch me every Friday on PEOPLE.com to see what crazy food and adventures I have to stimulate all of your senses!