As much as I love discovering fabulous places to enjoy food when I’m on the road, it is almost as much fun to share my discoveries with friends.
I made an East Coast swing at the first part of June and went to western Kentucky for the Fourth of July holiday.
Here’s where I ate. If you find yourself in these neighborhoods, go to any and all of the following.
Knoth’s Bar-B-Que, 728 Highway 62, Grand Rivers, Ky. 270-362-8580.
This bare bones place in what is known in western Kentucky as The Land Between the Lakes (Kentucky Lake and Barclay Dam) is famous in the region for the best ‘que around. They only sell pork shoulder cooked on long smoking tables out back. Sometimes there is mutton, but it won’t be on the menu so ask. The sauce is outstanding: a bright orange color and loads of flavor. Don’t ask for ribs because there aren’t any. This is a great example of doing one thing well.
New York City
La Bergamote, 177 Ninth Ave., 212-627-9010.
This Chelsea institution offers classic French pastry plus breakfast, lunch and dinner. The chocolate almond croissant is ethereal.
DB Bistro Moderne, 55 W. 44th St., 212-391-2400.
Ten years ago, I took my grandson here for the notorious $30 burger stuffed with foie gras. This trip I took my second grandson for the same burger and it was only $32, practically a bargain nowadays. Daniel Boulud before the theater is always right.
The Half King, 505 W. 23rd St., 212-462-4300.
If you are gallery hopping in Chelsea, have lunch at The Half King pub. Owned by three noted authors/filmmakers (Scott Anderson, Nanette Burstein, Sebastian Junger), it is where the locals go. Lots of stuff that authors appreciate happens there: book readings, art on the walls, good whiskey list.
Juliana’s, 19 Old Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY, 718-596-6700.
It is a famous New York tale: how Patsy Grimaldi lost the right to his name and now has his coal fired pizza joint, Juliana’s, right by his namesake, Grimaldi’s, which isn’t his. Juliana’s is better and the locale practically under the Brooklyn Bridge is iconic.
2 Amy’s, 3715 Macomb St., NW, 202-885-5700.
2 Amy’s is a critically acclaimed pizza place that just happens to be a block from my daughter’s apartment. It is her neighborhood hang. 2 Amy’s is a totally lacking in pretension, no reservations, busy café that people travel to get to. I had my first burrata here, that fresh mozzarella and cream wonder.
Jettie’s, 3708 Macomb St., NW, 202-965-3663.
Jettie’s is one block from the National Cathedral so get some excellent Jettie’s sandwiches and go lunch in The Bishop’s Garden, a hidden treasure behind the big building. The Summer House: heirloom tomatoes, avocado, and cheese, and the The Nobadeer: turkey, stuffing and cranberries are my favorites but the lobster roll is pretty good also. There are numerous Jettie’s locations.
Oyamel, 401 Seventh St., N.W., 202-628-1005
You will need a reservation to get in Oyamel as it is always packed. Mexican tapas, or small plates, as they are called here, are sophisticated, not Tex-Mex. The margaritas are luscious.
Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, The National Mall, Fourth Street & Independence Ave., S.W., 202-633-1000
Everyone in America should be proud of the free Smithsonian museums on the mall. It is tax dollars well spent. When you are spending a day at the mall, and you should, all the locals agree the lunch is best at the American Indian Museum.