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第2回 A Sweet (and Savory) Guide to New York!

前回との間があいてしまいましたが、8月から9月にかけてニューヨークに行ってきました。真夏のような暑さが続いていた東京でしたが、ニューヨークはもうすっかりAutumn in New Yorkという感じでした!8ヶ月ぶりのニューヨーク、日本にはないような大好きなお店を回ることができたので、ここでいくつかご紹介したいと思います。

Stop 1: Sylvia's
328 Lenox Ave, New York, NY
I had been meaning to go here ever since I started living in the New York area 11 years ago, but never had the chance. If you have ever lived in Manhattan, you would understand that making the trek to Harlem (or Brooklyn, or Queens...) just seems like such a journey! So of course, it wasn't until I moved back to Tokyo that I finally made it to this Harlem institution, renowned for its soul food and fried chicken, of course! In Tokyo, KFC is pretty much the only way to get your hands on fried chicken, so I was dying to try something different. Sylvia's has been a destination since it opened 50 years ago, and from the looks of it, has not changed much since the day it opened. The fried chicken was certainly worth the 11-year wait, and came with grits--probably an acquired taste for the Japanese palate, something like oatmeal. The chicken was succulent and surprisingly subtle in flavor, and the warm, buttery biscuits were heaven!
Incidentally, this area of Harlem seems to be undergoing a restaurant renaissance with the opening of Red Rooster a few doors down. Marcus Samuelsson of Acquavit fame recently opened this outpost to much hype and acclaim.



Stop 2: Levain Bakery
167 West 74th St, New York, NY
Although Japan does almost every single baked good to perfection, I do believe that comforting baked goods like cookies and pies are difficult to find. It is almost as if Japanese desserts are so perfect that the "thrown together" quality of cookies and pies is difficult to replicate. My personal favorite has always been chocolate chip cookies, which I often bake at home and conjures up fond memories of my childhood. My grandmother would often bake them for me, and would "hide" them from my grandfather--little did she know that both he and I were privy to their hiding place!
When I am not baking them myself, my go-to place for chocolate chip cookies is Levain Bakery. They are not much to look at, resembling hockey pucks if anything, but I love their heft and gooey deliciousness. They have just the right number of chocolate chips, and are dangerously addictive!


Stop 3: Billy's Bakery
184 9th Avenue, New York, NY
I have never understood the American fascination with cupcakes, and although Billy's does make quite a few, the dessert that I have always come to Billy's for is Banana Cream Pie. This classic American dessert usually features a custardy banana pudding on a pie crust or graham cracker crust and is topped with whipped cream. Billy's version is built on a pie crust, which I confess has never been my favorite, but the banana filling more than makes up for the lackluster crust. Creamy and light, this is the perfect dessert for any banana lover!
Stop 4: Chikalicious
203 E 10th Street, New York, NY
Last but not least, whenever anyone asks for a dessert recommendation in New York, I always send them here. This is hands-down my favorite dessert destination in the city, run by Chika and her husband. When they first opened the establishment, the idea of a dessert bar with dessert courses seemed a novelty, but they now have a quite established and loyal following. For a taste of her offerings in Tokyo, head over to the Chikalicious outpost in Omotesando.

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