Photo source: Prohibition Bakery
There's more to New York City dining than hot dogs, pretzels and pizza (although no trip to the Big Apple would be complete with a pilgrimage to Di Fara, one of the USA's best pizza places). From meat-laced baked goods to quirky meal pairings, visitors can enjoy an atypical and delicious trip to NYC by incorporating the following experiences into their itinerary.
One of NYCs most unusual edible experiences is Musical Pairing, a regularly-occurring pop up event where Barbara Werner, a classically trained chef, guides guests through a multi-course meal paired with both drink and music. Diners will savor their dishes without music before donning headphones and seeing how different tunes change a dish's flavor. There's a science to the art, which Werner explains so you can do it at home.
Those 21 and over can head to Prohibition Bakery in the Lower East Side to savor edible cocktails. What makes these treats unique are two things: one, cupcakes aren't reminiscent of the drinks they're named after - like Margarita, Sangria, Pretzels & Beer, Old Fashioned and Scotch & Cigar - but they taste just like them, right down to the alcohol bite. Two, there's actually booze in the cupcakes as it's added to the filling and frosting after baking, meaning the alcohol isn't cooked out. Eat responsibly.
New York has a knack for turning absolutely everyone into a gourmet artisan bite. At Pop Karma in the Lower East Side it's all about fresh organic popcorn drenched in yummy flavors like Zen Cheddar, Pure Caramel, Classic Mediterranean, Spanish Barbecue, Pickle, Za'atar, White Truffle Cheddar, Bacon Apple Bourbon Caramel and Jalapeno Lime, all made with sustainably-grown, whole food ingredients without additives or preservatives.
There's no shortage of great farmstead cheese shops in The City; however, ask any local where the best stinky delights can be found and they'll undoubtedly point you in the direction of Murray's Cheese in Greenwich Village (although over the years they've expanded to other locations). Founded in 1940, you can sidle up to the bar and ask your cheese monger to help you sample an array of varieties to find your favorite. Along with specializing in high quality cheese, charcuterie, olives and other homemade snacks, they offer an array of interesting classes - like Beer & Cheese 101, Yogurt Workshop, Mozzarella Making and Holiday in Northern Italy - to enhance your own knowledge.
Kossar's Bialys in the Lower East Side has been open since 1934, a factory making fresh bialys - a sort of unboiled, lighter, flatter bagel with an onion-filled depression instead of a hole in the center - as well as kosher bagels and traditional Jewish breads like bulkas and pletzels right before your eyes. They don't serve butter, but you can smear your bialy with kosher cream cheese.
At Molly's Cupcakes in the West Village guests can create their own cupcakes - choosing the cake, filling and icing - or pick from decadent ready-made options like Salted Caramel Butterscotch, Creme Brulee and Peanut Butter Nutella, all with gooey-filled centers. Seats around the cupcake bar are playful swing seats, while walls are lined with board games like Connect 4 and Scattergories and a DIY Sprinkle Station.
At Ginny's Supper Club in Harlem, located inconspicuously in the subterranean space of Red Rooster Restaurant, one can transport back to the Harlem Renaissance, a time of thriving creativity, talent and culture in the African American community. The venue features a soft red glow, retro chandeliers and 1940s antique touches, setting the mood for the talent that graces the stage, ranging from big band to soul to jazz and beyond. You'll clap along to the sounds while noshing on bites like hot wings with buttermilk blue cheese, chicken and waffles doused in bourbon maple syrup, lobster-infused two-cheese mac and cheese and pickled mango-enhanced blackened catfish.
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Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia and doing orphanage work in Ghana. You can follow her adventures on her travel websites, Epicure & Culture and Jessie On A Journey. You can also connect with Jessica directly on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, or follow her epicurean adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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