Central Park picnic

Day 7 was our food tour day. Five spots and train rider later we enjoyed a picnic in Central Park - people watching with a glass of wine in hand was a special experience.

Our tour included:

  • Bottle of Pinot Noir from Trader Joes Wine Shop
  • Baguette from Breads Bakery in Union Square 
  • Pepperoni and prosciutto from Faicco's Italian, 260 Bleecker St in little Italy
  • JalapeƱo Jack cheese and olives from Murrays Cheese Shop - 264 Bleecker St in little Italy
  • Amy's Bread for a black and white cookie - 250 Bleecker St in little Italy.
The bottle of wine was light and peppery.

You know that feeling you get when you smell freshly baked bread? Your stomach growls, mind drifts back to a childhood memory (or a memory of working in a bakery as a teenager) and you let out a little laugh of delight. That was me in Breads Bakery. I can only imagine what everyone else thought of me. Way too excited for what is only bread. But good bread is so much more - it's nostalgic, jaw-straining goodness that with a little olive oil can be a meal in itself! I resisted the urge to buy the entire bakery and settled for a pull a part baguette.

The baguette was soft on the inside and the perfect balance of crunch and chew in the crust. It was voted best baguette in NY 2016 and I could see why! Even the little slightly over-cooked corners were delicious.

Faicco’s is a busy Italian deli with homemade sandwiches, steak, cold cuts and cheese. Among the crowds you yell your order to the staff behind the counter and enjoy the enticing smells wafting around the narrow shop. The meats are freshly sliced to your liking and with an array of other Italian products like pasta and sauce, you don’t need to go anywhere else.

Murray's Cheese Shop is iconic in Little Italy - cheese, antipasto, chocolate, pizza, coffee all alluring. I didn’t want to leave! They also host cheese workshops. No knife on hand, we opted for pre-cut cheese. The jalapeƱos jack cheese was creamy with a spicy bite that balanced it out perfectly.

Black and white cookie is a New York icon. Based on the half moon cookie, it is a strange one. Popularised in a Seinfeld episode, “look to the cookie”, it is part cake and part cookie. You know the top part of an old school cupcake, with the hard icing topped with freckles...it’s like that! Cakey shortbread with chocolate and vanilla icing. Too sweet for me but perfect for any sweet-tooth. Amy’s Bread is said to have one of the best black and white cookies in NY - with a 25 years history I can see why. Happy 25th birthday Amy’s Bread!

While a slight feeling of guilt washed over me as we indulged on our picnic, watching others were exercising, it was worth every bite.

I should mention that we walked to each stop and enjoyed the NY streets, architecture and history. The walk meant we could eat double right?!?!

Even after all this food...we still went out for dinner. On the look out for something healthy with fresh vegetables we went to Esperanto - a Latin American Restaurant. We ordered the Franco Da Casa and Esperanto bowl with tostones and corn.

Franco Da Casa - cumin spiced chicken with adobo sauce, coriander rice and corn was amazing. The best meal I'd has had all trip. The chicken moist, corn fresh and sweet and sauce provided a smokey undertone.

The Esperanto bowl with avocado, black beans and tomato salsa was the freshness I so craved. The perfect end to our foodie day tour.


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