First of all, let me begin by saying that I LOVE Manhattan! Yes, you heard it right, it’s pure, passionate and unconditional love.. and it was love at first sight ! The crowded streets, the buzz, the energy,the food, the atmosphere…its just something else. My second time in NYC is a cold, snowy, rainy day, and I am in the mood to venture out for a wholesome, hearty meal.
Now New York as you know, is no stranger to food from all parts of the globe – you can probably get Paranthas, Pizza, Sushi, Kebabs, Steaks and more within your line of sight, no matter where you are. Which is why I ask a seasoned cousin of mine for a recommendation – and I am told about an Italian place called Paprika for dinner to be followed by ChikaLicious for dessert. Let me get to these one by one:
Think homey, candlelit, cozy and unpretentious – that is Paprika for you.The restaurant which is over a dozen years old, is on St Mark’s place in East Village – I had to wait for about 10 mins to get a table but the staff is extremely attentive and friendly. The menu is not what you would expect from a typical Italian restaurant(a thin crust pizza, tomatoes, garlic come to mind, right?). The food at Paprika is actually inspired from Valtellina , in northern Italy bordering France – popular ingredients being dairy(especially cheese), meat and buckwheat. Start with a Black Kale Salad, Pickled Red Onions and Almond or Arugula Salad, Pears, Walnuts, Goat Cheese and Balsamic Vinegar. For starters, there is a Beef Carpaccio,Truffle Oil and Parmigiano, Beef Carpaccio, Mascarpone and Corn Risotto. There are multiple pasta options, most hand-rolled I believe.
To begin with, we ordered one of the specials of the evening which came on a cutting board – 3 varieties of cured meats, sliced apple, 2 types of cheese, olives and a tiny saucer of honey for dipping.For the entrée, we tried the Pan Roasted Wild Bass, Crunchy Carrots, Green Lentils and the Brushed Grilled Trout, Braised Fennel, Charred Broccoli Rabe. If you are in the mood for some comfort food try their Creamy Lobster Maccheroni and Cheese. The portion size is just enough for one person – definitely not for any leftovers to be taken back.
The wine list is fairly extensive and the staff will be more than helpful in suggesting the correct wine to go with your food. We skipped dessert since we wanted to go to ChikaLicious but they of course do the Tiramisu , plus a fruit platter, a lemon sorbet, cheesecake and many yummy options.
Address: 110 ST MARKS PLACE, NY 10009
Steal Deal: A “Prix Fix” menu for dinner which costs $20 between 4pm – 6pm and includes an appetizer and entrée of choice from a list of options
This brings me to my next stop,ChikaLicious, which is a 5 min walk from Paprika.A dessert bar with some amazing and very innovative desserts , created and plated right in front of you, by the pastry chef and co-owner and her assistants.There is a very small takeout shop right across the street as well if you are in the mood for a very quick stop.
We tried the Green Tea Mille Crepe Cake (had never heard of green tea flavoured crepes) – which is multiple crepes stacked on top of each other and drenched, in a sweet syrup, which was amazing. Also tried the Molten Lava Choc Cake, with a molten center of mango(yes, mango and not chocolate) , absolutely yummy!
There is just so much variety here that you definitely can’t sample it in one go. But this place is droolworthy for sure! And the best part – they do a 3 course dessert and wine menu – can life get any better 🙂
Address: 204 E. 10th St. (between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave)New York, NY 10003
Phone no: 212-475-0929
Steal Deal: A “Prix-Fix” Menu of a three-course dessert, with coffee or tea for $16; with wine for $24 which includes an amuse, dessert of your choice, and assorted petits fours. Additional Desserts (add-ons) are $8.