Where do we draw the line between calling something a pizza vs. a flatbread with toppings? This is the question I struggle with when I think about the pizzas at Violet, the new restaurant in the East Village run by Matt Hyland of Pizza Loves Emily fame. The specialty here is the Rhode Island style grilled pizza, but something about it feels so far removed from a traditional pie that the meal ends up being very unsatisfying. It’s the same type of feeling you get when you melt some cheese over a piece of bread in the microwave out of desperation to make a “pizza”, but despite the effort, the end result is anything but. The cheese is so subtle and scant that you can hardly taste it, and the crust lacks that bubbly, doughy chewiness that’s a trait in even the thinnest of New York crusts. You would do better with a box of Celeste frozen pizza than a slice of grilled pizza at Violet.
Going down a rabbit hole can be a real headache, but when it leads you to Rabbit House, a small and cozy Japanese speakeasy in LES, you won’t mind getting caught up in a meal of creative Japanese tapas.
Of all the famous European cities, Madrid is one of the most accessible. It has top-tier cultural attractions, great shopping, excellent food and a vibrant nightlife, but it never feels prohibitively expensive or out of reach like it might in Paris or London. As an example, I was able to book a massage at The Lab Room, which is an upscale spa that Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop recommended, and the service was a reasonable 65 euros. Had it been New York, it definitely would have cost me twice as much. Barcelona might be more renowned for its restaurants, but Madrid has plenty of options that won’t leave your palate disappointed. Here is a list of some cafes, bars and restaurants that should be on your radar when visiting this capital.
The inspiration for the name Kāwi, the new Korean-inspired, David Chang-run restaurant in the Hudson Yards complex, is at its most obvious when you order the spicy roasted rice cakes. The dish is based on the popular Korean street snack ddukbokki, which in its traditional form is a glorious mess of carbs and gochujang sauce, but at Kāwi, all those rough edges are completely edited out so that what’s only left is perfection, a single rice cake tightly coiled and covered in a smooth shellac of a spicy, caramelized sauce. It’s a dish too elegant for mere chopsticks, so instead, a server uses golden shears to cut and serve the pieces out to you, a culinary ribbon-cutting ceremony of sorts.
Days 1-2 – Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt is known as the Manhattan of Europe because of its skyscrapers and its reputation as a finance capital. That nickname may be a bit of a stretch, because in reality, Frankfurt is much quieter and smaller than New York City, and its skyscrapers don’t stretch quite as high. It’d be more accurate to call it the Zurich of Germany or something along those lines. It’s posh, clean, but not terribly exciting at a first glance. It is, however, very lovely and livable, and a stroll along the Main River on a summer’s day is especially picturesque. It’s a great way to dip your toe into the German culture before venturing out into the more boisterous Bavarian beer halls later in the week.Read More