An eclectic bunch of caviar, burgers, and pierogis (NYC Part 3).

Russ & Daughters + Happy Bones Coffee

Russ and Daughters
Russ & Daughters is famed in New York. It’s a sort of fish and meat deli with shelves of sophisticated things perfect for concocting a wine and cheese soiree. There were five different types of smoked salmon to pick from, and we picked the Gaspe Nova fillet. Then we watched in awe as the man behind the counter proceeded to meticulously slice the fish into beautiful cuts, layering the pieces on a thick spread of caviar cream cheese smeared on an everything bagel. I only ate half, but seriously it was sufficient to fill me until lunch. Smoked salmon had a delicious, rich, and sublime flavor while the caviar cream cheese evoked a hint of the sea. I’m personally not a fan of cream cheese, but since there was an option of CAVIAR cream cheese–couldn’t resist. Pairing this massive bagel halve with a smooth latte from Happy Bones resulted in a hearty, bold breakfast.


Shake Shack

shake shack
S^2 = SS = Shake Shack. NY staple, and its reputation did not disappoint. The line wasn’t that long when we went but needless to say, the place was packed. I ordered a bacon cheeseburger, crinkle cut fries, and a strawberry lemonade. The burger was hearty, flavorful, and smoky with bacon and barbecue sauce goodness, but it was rather small. Alas. Yet the fries rose to the occasion and they had this beautifully crisp and golden texture. I believe the lemonade is made fresh with real fruit swirled in, and so I left feeling very much satisfied with the rest of my lemonade in hand to accompany me on my stroll in Central Park.


Veselka Restaurant hails from Ukraine. This was a fascinating experience, eating food that I’ve never encountered before. The cuisine is big on beets and sour cream, and the portions at Veselka were more than generous. I ordered a dish that consisted of three courses–a bowl of rich borsch soup (made of beets), a salad, and a magnificent array of pierogi dumplings and this interesting cabbage roll stuffed with ground meat and drowned in gravy. Pierogi dumplings were either stuffed with ground meat or boiled potatoes with cheese. We also ordered a round of fried pierogis, which were the real winner of the evening. And I did fall in love with the borsch’s lovely dark purple hue, which turned into a brilliant magenta once we stirred in spoonfuls of sour cream. Not my favorite place of the trip, but a delightful experience still! The food is rather heavy and certainly meant to fill a ravenous stomach.

Spot Dessert Bar

Japanese citrus cream bars with chocolate crusts and a smear of chocolate ganache. When I tried it, the taste was light, refreshing, and pleasantly sweet. Definitely one of my favorites.
Apparently people go really nuts for this pistachio heaven (pun intended). This was a rich, rich chocolate mousse coated in pistachio bits and accompanied with a generous scoop of pistachio ice cream. And as I sliced into the mousse cake, a stream of chocolate ganache oozed out in all its glory. This dessert is certainly for someone with a sweet tooth.
This vision of green was a green tea chocolate lava cake with a molten inside of green tea–not chocolate! The confection was dusted in green tea powder and followed by a scoop of green tea ice cream and an artsy piece of cookie. My sister picked this one and would not stop raving about it. Green tea lovers, this is your gem.
unnamed (7)
The presentation was adorably cute, with a cookie spoon and a ceramic egg carton carrying “egg” halves filled with three different flavors of creme brulee–matcha, Thai tea, and taro. Just look at those delicate burnt crusts of sugar; Spot Dessert Bar redefines the typical creme brulee.

UP NEXT: The Smile & Koreatown



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