I love New York City. Bottom line, it is my favorite place on Earth. But, as much as I hate to admit this, I am really not that big of a fan of the Lower East Side. It's hard to get to by subway (and what subway stops are there smell horrendous), the sidewalks are a mess (try walking on those in heels!), and I always manage to have to go there on the most humid hot days so by the time I get there my hair looks a mess, I'm sweaty, and all around gross. These days it takes a really special occasion (or a really special person) to get me to go there. And when I was home for Spring Break, a combination of the two got me out there to have dinner with one of my best friends, Jen, at Northern Spy Food Co.
Jen teased me before hand saying how it was a big deal that I agreed to step foot in that area (and believe me, I crossed many many feet as I walked A LOT of blocks). When I finally did arrive at my destination (which I'll admit was not as far into the LES as I was expecting), I was welcomed by a warm and cozy room that was exactly what I needed after a brisk trek on a cold late winter's night.
Next up I perused the menu. Much to my delight, everything on it was locally sourced and sustainably farm. That, as you know, is always a huge score in my book. It means I can order whatever I want off the menu and not feel guilty. But, as is normally the case, I'm so used to not eating meat that I opted for a vegetarian option anyway. Well, semi vegetarian anyway. I got an appetizer of the crispy gnocchi (made with a butternut squash puree) and duck fat fries (french fries, fried in duck fat). Both were amazing. The gnocchi was really light and fluffy (hard to imagine for something that is normally sits like a rock in your stomach) and the fries were big, crispy, and flavorful. The perfect proportions with a little bit left over to share. Jen got one of the soups and her favorite, a side of the meatballs (which were also fantastic).
When dessert came around we were both really stuffed, but since we were sort of celebrating I pushed Jen into order something. We went back and forth about a lot of things (there were so many yummy options, like cookies, tarts, and cheese), but we ended up compromising and each getting a small scoop of house made ice cream to share. I opted for vanilla honey, and it was so rich and delicious, as good as it was, it actually made me wish we had ordered another dessert. If the ice cream was THAT GOOD another dessert (especially one that comes with ice cream on the side) would have been that much better.
All in all, it was well worth the trip into my least favorite part of NYC, and I have to admit, I'd do it again. No complaints (well, maybe a little bit).
And now for some pictures of the food!