Bryant Park Holiday Shops: Eat. Skate. Repeat.
Christmas has come early.
The Winter Village at Bryant Park is officially open for business and yes, it includes fun wintry things like an epic ice skating rink, plenty of open air shops, and lots of holiday decorations. But this year is different. It has...
And not just any cheese. The folks from Baked Cheese Haus have brought their half wheels of Raclette to the scene for the first time. Let me repeat that, they have...
half wheels of Raclette.
Basically they heat up the cheese under traditional Swiss warmers and then scrape the melted cheese onto a toasted baguette (gasp!). Since it's specifically made to be served warm, the cheese caramelizes and softens, becoming crispy and sweet on the outside but rich and buttery on the inside. Drooling yet? Here's a visual in case you're wondering what this deliciousness looks like:
Now, before you run off to officially steal #allthewarmwheelsofraclette, you should also know that there are so many insane food choices at this year's holiday market (because Urbanspace is killing it) that you may have to sit down and make a plan. With more than 30 vendors participating, you're going to have to pace yourself.
You might want to start out with something on the lighter side like the inventive broths from Brodo Broth Shop. Chef Marco Canora is busy serving up decadent sipping broths (literally you can walk around with a to-go cup) that are both flavorful and restorative. Choose from one of their three bone broths - organic chicken, gingered grass-fed beef, and signature Hearth (there's also a vegan Seaweed Mushroom broth) - then pick your add-ins to customize the flavor. If you'd rather pick from an already curated menu, test out one of their combinations like the Gilligan (Hearth broth, coconut milk, and ginger) or the BBC (Beef broth, bone marrow, and chili). These are definitely not your mother's stocks.
If you're craving fried chicken but don't want to deal with sticky fingers then make your way to Chick'nCone. This fork free chicken and waffle business is definitely onto something - who can say no to grab and go comfort food? Luscious bite-sized pieces of fried chicken are piled high into freshly made crispy waffle cones and topped with sauces like Kick'n Ranch, Yella BBQ, and Cinna-Maple. Another flavor that's sure to please many a holiday goer is their Thanksgiving cone, which comes with gravy and cranberries. This place is certainly living up to their hashtag: #socluckingood.
Comfort food doesn't get much better than warm Chinese food. Mr. Bing - Beijing Street Foods is introducing New Yorkers to jianbing - a savory crepe, swirled with an egg and stuffed with a spicy blend of shredded vegetables, meats, crunch wontons, and crispy chili paste. The Classic Vegetarian Bing is the perfect option for non-meat eaters. Bite into a green bean and rice flour crepe coated with scrambled egg, sesame seeds, scallions, hoison sauce, crispy chili paste, cilantro, and packed with crunchy wontons. But if you're itching for something meaty, they've got plenty of options. Try the Peking Duck, Drunken Chicken, or BBQ Pork Bing. You won't be disappointed.
Strolling through the park and need a bite of breakfast? Stop by The Doughnut Project and order the Everything Donut. Yes, you read that correctly. This magnificent breakfast pastry is covered in cream cheese frosting and smothered in everything bagel seeds (sesame, black sesame, poppy to name a few). It's a bit savory, a bit sweet, and a bit I-gotta-have-another. This place is also changing the typical doughnut menu with brand new flavors like "These Beetz Are Dope" (sweet beet glaze and ricotta cheese), the "Costanza" (salty pretzel goodness), and The Bacon Maple Bar. How can you pass those up?
Work off some of those empty calories (but oh, they're so worth it) and head to the ice skating rink, where admission is free and the scenic backdrop is even better. Who can pass up skating in the middle of Manhattan with a donut in your mouth? Oh, is that just me?