I really should be fatter than I am. Take this day in New York, for example, when Simon and I worked our way through seven restaurants and bars in Brooklyn the space of 10 hours – and that was after we’d had lunch at Balthazar in Manhattan.
To work off that duck confit and steak frites, we strolled across the Brooklyn Bridge, straight into the loving arms of Juliano’s. There’s something of a pizza war going on between newcomer Juliano’s and neighbouring Grimaldi’s, but the former is no upstart. In fact, it’s manned by 82-year-old pizzaiola Patsy Grimaldi, who launched his namesake eatery decades back. Here we ordered a charry woodfired pie, topped with milky pools of mozzarella and little nubs of pepperoni.
Our second stop was the rooftop at warehouse boozer Berry Park. We sat at a sun-kissed picnic table and knocked back mason jars of Huckleberry lemonade and rum-spiked Arnold Palmers, surrounded by that cloud of smug that comes with getting tipsy on a day you’d normally be at work.
The Wythe was our next port of call, an industrial-chic boutique hotel with an expansive rooftop bar overlooking Manhattan. A couple of champagne cocktails later, and we were well and truly ready to eat again. Enter Rosarito’s Fish Shack, a cool Mexi eatery with dirt-cheap fish tacos and two-for-one margaritas. Ole.
Next up was sticky-floored hipster joint The Commodore, where we shared a plate of fabulous fried chicken, buttery scones and hot sauce. By now it was about 9pm, and we’d eaten and drunk enough to see most people to bed.
Not for these two little piggies, who lumbered on over to Fette Sau for stellar pulled pork, smoky brisket and sides of sauerkraut, pickles and potato salad. Our eating complete, we decided to squeeze in a nightcap at Donna, a sleek whitewashed bar with a killer cocktail list. After sliding off my stool some hours later, we bundled into a cab for the ride back to Manhattan.
Read more on New York restaurants, or take a peek at my USA road trip for Mercedes-Benz Magazine. This is an edited version of an article that first appeared in James Halliday Wine Companion Magazine.