01 May 2008

Three Burgerless Restaurants

I may have mentioned that I quite like a really good burger and that while England in general and Cambridge in particular aren't t so hot at purveying me one, New York is heaven for the burger connoisseur. However, there are New York restaurants I like that don't serve burgers, so I suppose I ought to list some of those for once:

3. Rosa Mexicana - 61 Columbus Avenue, Upper West Side. So, it's a chain and as a former vegetarian and formerly very fussy eater (now partly vegetarian and partly fussy), I am probably not the best person to judge a Mexican restaurant but Rosa Mexicana does do very nice pomegranate margs, which are so delicious that it doesn't matter what the rest of the meal tastes like because I will be too drunk to know any better. The food is, apparently, good and the atmosphere is really fun. They say that it's over-rated and over-priced, but I find that they are often idiots.

2. Angelo's Pizza - West 57th Street, Midtown. A list of New York restaurants wouldn't be complete without a pizzeria and I find that John's doesn't live up to the hype with big queues and not so thin and crispy pizzas. Angelo's is great, though, not least because it's opposite a hotel I often stay in. The pizzas are coal-fired (of course) and very thin, very crispy and very delicious, which makes it a shame that eating more than half of a small pizza is never more than a crazy, distant dream for me. It certainly ain't fancy but for a good pizza without the fuss, you could do a lot worse than Angelo's.

1. Café Condesa - 183 West 10th Street, the West Village. I only discovered this tiny, eight(-ish) seat restaurant on a busy intersection in the heart of the West Village, quite recently. It really is very small with just a handful of tables and then the bar, behind which lies the mini-kitchen. This doesn't seem to limit the chefs as the food, which is often French or Spanish inspired, is really good and I seem to remember being suitably impressed by whichever wine it was that whichever man I was with ordered for me. They also do breakfast, brunch and lunch and it really is a cool, little place with lots of character and great food.

Having completed this top three, I'm not convinced these are my three all-time favourite non-burger restaurants in NYC, not least because I've never really pondered the question that much and because I have been to so many great New York restaurants that it's hard to keep track of them and to play them off, one against the other; it's like comparing oranges and apples. At the very least, though, these are three very different restaurants, each of which I like an awful lot and each for its own reasons. I could name another ten places that could just have easily made it into my shortlist had I been in a slightly different frame of mind. They will do, though.

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