Sorry, New Yorkers—the best bagels in the world are in Montreal. And now, thanks to a change in shipping laws, the legendary Montreal bakery St-Viateur Bagel (stviateurbagel.com) is again shipping its bagels to the States.
Smaller and lighter than their New York cousins and with a larger hole in the center, the bagels are artisanally handcrafted—no machine stamping—and baked in a wood-burning oven. Handmade bagels mostly vanished here in the 1960s, victims of the new bagel machines.
The St-Viateur bagels lose a little something in the three days it takes them to arrive by mail, but popping them into the toaster for a few minutes brings them back almost to their original, glorious state.
You can find cheaper bagels—including shipping, a minimum order of six dozen costs around $60—but not better bagels.
New York foodies are buzzing about Morandi, the new Italian place in the West Village and latest addition to restaurateur Keith McNally’s mini-empire (Balthazar, Pastis, Schiller’s). Not without some begging, a friend managed to score us a 6:30 reservation last weekend. After many memorable brunches at Balthazar, Soho’s perennially-packed French brasserie, we were intrigued to see McNally go Italian. Indeed, he evokes Italy with the same finesse that transports diners to Paris at Balthazar. There’s a blackboard listing several house wines served in wicker-based carafes, rustic wooden tables that are just a little too small (somehow it makes things cozy, not annoying), and even servers with seemingly-authentic Italian accents.
Good morning, chatters!
Just wanted to let you know that the chat is on hiatus this week, as I head up to New York City on this raw, blustery morning to do some food scouting.
Of course, I couldn't in good faith leave you without the prospect of something mouth-watering for the next hour or so, so I've put together some highlights of my last trip north, a couple of weeks ago.
From time to time, I hope to share more of these eating adventures with you - and welcome your feedback.
See you back here next week. Same time, same bat channel.
Until then, feast on this first installment of: