Best of NYC: 2013

It's been another fantastic week in New York City and my wife and I are ready to call it quits for 2013. Manhattan is pretty much our favorite place in the whole world because there's nowhere else where you can eat and drink non-stop while always experiencing something new, cutting edge, and exciting - at any hour of the day! We come here every year without fail, so we're always on the lookout for new ideas. We've had some pretty outstanding drinks and some stellar meals thanks to a few lucky turns and some great recommendations from friends. I didn't really plan on blogging while we were on vacation, but since I have the computer and the time I thought I'd hand out our two best-ofs from this year's trip. If you find yourself in New York anytime soon, you might want to try out the following two places:

Best Meal: Catch (Meatpacking District)

This one caught me off guard. We were pretty much going here for the celebrity version of Where's Waldo and some socialite people watching, but this new spot in Manhattan's uber-trendy Meatpacking District is absolutely fantastic. We did see some very famous people while dining at Catch (Mary J. Blige eating right next to us - freaking awesome!), but it was both the food and service that really shined. It was so good we ate there twice. The yellowtail hamachi, coconut shrimp sushi roll, baked shrimp, grilled salmon, seared snapper, and pistachio scallops were all stellar - fresh, perfectly-cooked, and tasty. The wine list was also vast and reasonable. We were able to snag bottles of both Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc and Donnhoff Riesling without bankrupting our bank accounts. We already knew that Regis and Kelly loved Catch, but now we're big fans as well. We'll definitely be coming back.

Best Drink: Mai Tai at Dutch (SoHo)

This was a totally random pit stop on Prince Street while stranded in the 93 degree humidity. It was more of a necessity than a choice. It turns out that Dutch is actually quite a famous little place, but we didn't know that. I figured out they had their act together, however, when I noticed their Mai Tai used Banks 5 Island rum and real orgeat. It got even better when the bartender used two kinds of ice - large block ice for the lower section comprised of the white rum, housemade orgeat, and fresh-squeezed citrus, but then a sno-cone of perfect pebbles on top with Black Strap rum poured over it like shaved ice. In this case, the dark rum floater was like a summer slushy! In the hot summer heat, this Mai Tai was both clever and practical. The ice kept the dark rum from mixing with the lower half, allowing the perfectly crafted cocktail to pass through the dark seal on its way to my mouth. YUM!

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll