For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed trying new restaurants. Even as a child, I loved it when our family went out to dinner. This didn’t happen often, but it seemed like such a special treat when we did. Because I am not a picky eater and willing to try most anything, going to a restaurant feels like an adventure.
Middle Eastern? Sure, I love a good falafel and stuffed grape leaves. Thai food? Yes, curry or flat noodles will be fine. Tex-Mex? Definitely! I like my enchiladas smothered in cheese. Japanese? Any type of sushi will do. I am not sure where my adventuresome palette developed (probably more from my mom than my dad), but somewhere along the way trying new foods and discovering new restaurants became a source of pleasure for me.
As I have done with most places I have lived, I have started a Long Island folder and a New York City folder devoted to restaurants I want to try. Advertisements and coupons that arrive in the mail have found their way into my folder along with my own handwritten notes when someone shares a recommendation. I pay close attention when I hear others talking about restaurants they like. Probably one of the parts that excited me most about moving to New York was the knowledge that I was moving to a place known for good food and restaurants.
We haven’t traveled into the city yet to try any restaurants, but come Thanksgiving Break you can bet you will find me deciding which restaurant(s) we should try for our first visit. In the meantime, Brad and I have had fun trying a variety of local restaurants in the surrounding villages on our date night. Brad doesn’t have to be in the dining hall on Wednesday nights so that has been our night to explore new places. We don’t have an extravagant dining budget, but with the use of the coupons we have enjoyed our dining experiences so far.
Here are some of my top picks:
The Pita House—Mediterranean/Turkish food. The red lentil soup was smooth and tasty. My lamb was delicious with the tomato and yogurt sauce. The pita bread under all this meat and sauce soaked up all the flavors. The leftovers were even better than the first time! Brad’s dish had too many vegetables for his liking and he wished he had ordered my dish.
Centera Thai—We have eaten here the most. We both love the chicken satay as a starter. I go back and forth between the curry and the flat noodles with broccoli and chicken. Brad sticks with the Massaman Curry. This restaurant is BYOB and doesn’t charge a corking fee—a bonus in my book.
The Curry Room—We tried this restaurant last week and, with the help of a customer who comes to the restaurant all the time, received good advice about what to order. Brad’s lamb curry (flavored with a lot of cream) was the winner for the night.
And best of all—Bella Dolce (a gelato place) is right down the road. Alex and I are on a first name basis. Not since Vancouver have we had good gelato this close. Last week I enjoyed peanut butter cup and coconut almond fudge. The peanut butter cups weren’t little specks of flavor, but real mini-cups. The pieces of fudge were also big enough to bite into. It has all been good so far.
I’m already planning where we will eat this coming week…