Dish of the Day: New York vs. London food

Dan Doherty

Gallery Food14 300x200 Dish of the Day: New York vs. London foodAnyone who follows me on Twitter will have seen my smug ramblings about what I’m up to in New York City. On a research work trip, I’m very lucky to be seeing this beautiful city from a different point of view.

First time round, I was here with a very good friend, spending four days here and three in Montreal. The trip went like this – Per Se, WD-50, Eleven Madison Park, Minetta Tavern, momofuku, Nomad, Gramercy Tavern, Joe Beef, plus a few more. I’m a very lucky boy I know but it was all self-funded and it cost us, as you can imagine, a bloody fortune. Any ‘foodie’, for want of a better word, would swoon over that list as did we. Although the strange thing is though that by cramming in so many restaurants, and (all my fault) putting so much pressure on myself to eat in every restaurant in the city, I never actually got to see the city, not really anyway.

The strange thing is, although I had some of the best meals of my life, and got to witness first hand what service should be like, I was left feeling slightly underwhelmed by the place. Bear in mind, it was my first time in NYC and the expectations were sky high; most people melt whenever the subject arises.

This trip is a little different. I’ve had plenty of time to explore the city, by foot as much as possible and without the added pressures of time constraints or ‘having’ to eat at certain restaurants. Having already hit the big names, I was able to explore the relatively unknown joints; to see the ‘real’ New York, explore the food markets in Brooklyn, eat bibimbap and pancakes in Korea Town, go running by the river and eat a bagel in the park, amongst more work-related things (honest).

One thing being over here has made me realise is that whilst New York is incredible, I’m even more proud of London. Currently in my 13th year in London, it’s easy to get bored of familiar surroundings, easy to forget what a special place you’re in.

As I sit at a newly opened beer bar in the Meatpacking District, I’m thinking how much I enjoyed Urban Sessions in Hackney Wick, and whilst having a near perfect meal in Il Buco Alimentari, I remember a similar experience at Braciole in Marylebone. I’m not saying the two are always comparable, and it’s not an ‘us versus them’ contest, but I do often fall into the same trap as others when the subject arises – longing for another week Stateside.

The truth is that New York is an amazing city that I do love it. It’s just also made me appreciate my London too. I love where I am, but can’t wait to get back.

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  • Dominic

    Great article. I spent 4 months in NYC and came back feeling exactly the same!

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