When we got off the bus from LaGuardia, we didn't waste any time.
La Casa del Pollo Peruano, 87-07 Roosevelt Ave, Jackson Heights, Queens
This chicken was perfectly seasoned with a blend of special spices I could never figure out, fluffy rice, beans and a fragrant purple-corn chicha morada. The great thing about Peruvian chicken is that while it's on the rotisserie, the fat and juices drip from the top chickens to the bottom chickens, basting each chicken underneath. Perfect after-travelling food. The yellow stuff on the side was a secret hot sauce with aji amarillo (yellow hot chilies) and tons of ginger. Que ricissimo!
Blue Hill, Frnt A, 75 Washington Place, East Village, Manhattan
Too soon after the melt-in-your-mouth chicken, we headed to Manhattan for dinner at Blue Hill. Deliciously fresh and prepared with overwhelming love for ingredients, our food was comforting and homey; not at all pretentious and without much fanfare. After having dined at many austere restaurants, Blue Hill was a breath of fresh air. Service was excellent and courteous, and this appetizer, smoked Spanish mackerel with watercress, beet and smoked celeriac puree, was a perfect palate primer.
Maximo Pino Cafe, 504 Avenue of the Americas, East Village, Manhattan
We skipped dessert at Blue Hill for the opportunity to walk around the East Village (one of my favored neighborhoods, if only for the presence of the looming 4-story Strand bookstore) in search of something sweet. My Cliff and I love frozen sweetness so much that this massive display of gelato was impossible to just ignore. With flavors from classic stracciatella and tiramisu to buttered popcorn and kiwi, Maximo Pino Cafe was the right decision. I've always heard that you can tell a good gelateria by its pistachio flavor. This one was fantastic.
If you thought today was delicious, just wait for tomorrow.