Eating NYC: Emilio’s Ballato

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When my friend Sinead and I arrived in New York, all we had booked was the flights and the first hotel. It was easily the most unplanned trip I’ve ever been on, but it was fun to try to travel like this (it was so last minute and we were so busy we didn’t have time to plan beforehand) and also strangely liberating.

Our first night in the city we had dinner quite late, without booking and just tried our luck at  Emilio’s Ballato, an Italian restaurant food writer Diana Henry recommended in her New York special in The Telegraph.  

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The interior was charmingly dishevelled in a New York sort of way and we could tell the guests were enjoying themselves; drinking wine, sharing both stories and food. We shared a bottle of wine and dove straight into the starters as they arrived just a few minutes after the waiter had taken our order. Sinead had this huge portion of crispy, warm calamari and was almost too full for the next course.

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My starter, baked clams with breadcrumbs, parsley, butter and a little garlic, was a lot smaller but just as nice.

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We both chose pasta for the main course; Sinead had the excellent Pnne all’Arrabbiata…

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…while I enjoyed spaghetti with a summery ‘raw’ tomato sauce. It was all really nice and well-cooked but not outstanding. But despite this, I really liked the place. It all comes together as one really nice experience; the food, the ambiance, the interior, the staff.

Emilio’s Ballato, 55 E Houston St, New York, NY 10012

New York: Lunch at Oficiana Latina

Another must on the to-eat-list for New York seems to be Café Gitane in Nolita, but when we were in the mood for lunch so did everyone else. Instead of queueing for ages we walked around the corner and chose another cosy place to eat. That’s a great thing with New York; if an area has one nice resurant that you know of there are without a doubt more good ones in the same area.

We ended up in Oficina Latina and is a pan-Latino restaurant with a nice lunch menu. Also our friend Linus had joined the gang at this point, so I can show you even more from the menu.

Claes chose a monster of a sandwich with steak, bacon, fried egg and pickles and it seem to never end. He just ate and ate and still had the whole thing left on it plate. It seemed.

Emma chose a more normal sized chicken salad that looked really nice and fresh.

Linus portion of tuna scewers with veg and rice also looked more regular in size.

I wanted a burger and I guess you just have to take my word for it that it is what is hidden underneath all that cheese. Cheese and pickled peppers were actually really nice on a burger, just fyi.

We liked this place, and it is perfect for a laid-back lunch. That burger and steak sandwich would also cure any hangover. Promise!

24 Prince Street
New York
NY 1001
(646) 381-2555