Hamptons Epicure: Making a Day of It in The City

Chef Sarabeth Levine
Chef Sarabeth Levine

Last Wednesday my family made a day of it in The City.

My husband lives to park cheap, so I’m not allowed to tell you where he does that. Suffice it to say we had a long walk to the subway.

We also had a plan:

• Lunch at Sarabeth’s Bakery

• A brief stop at Midtown Comics

• A Broadway show (fingers crossed How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying)

• A long walk along the new section of The High Line

• Dinner at Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse

Sarabeth’s Bakery is located in the Chelsea Market on Ninth Avenue. I’ve enjoyed some of Sarabeth’s restaurants but this is the mother ship, where the magic happens. For the last 14 years all of Sarabeth Levine’s famous baked goods have been baked here.

We took a trip to Eataly not long ago and were underwhelmed, despite its size. But the Chelsea Market—I could happily go there every day! Many of the original vendor spaces have converted to retail shops, but good retail shops. Sarabeth’s is one of a handful of original renters who produce on site. The bakery is behind Plexiglass so you get to see the show.

When we visited a whole vertical rolling rack of Sarabeth’s five-grain (wheat, corn, bran, sunflower seeds and poppy seeds) bread, their “house bread,” had just come out of the oven room. We had to try it. Still warm from the oven with butter and Sarabeth’s famous Orange-Apricot Marmalade, it was sublime. Sarabeth told me that she brings a loaf of her five-grain bread and a loaf of her sourdough bread to her Water Mill home every weekend. That sounds perfect.

Speaking of perfection, we sampled Sarabeth’s famous Cream of Tomato Soup for the first time. Wow! It’s so smooth and velvety but with chunks of flavorful tomato. Brilliant.

My son enjoyed the Quesadillas. My husband had a Smoked Mozzarella Sandwich—on that fabu bread. I let Sarabeth order for me and then enjoyed the tastiest of tuna salad with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. She suggested I try the balsamic dressing over the tuna salad, which seemed like overkill. But she was right, as she always is about food. It was extra good that way.

The High Line runs right behind the Chelsea Market so we climbed up for a nice walk. We’re not sure if we walked on the new part—it’s all good.

Somehow I was the one destined to stand on the TKTS line for discounted show tickets. Our first choice, How to Succeed, was up on the board at 40% off when I joined the line. It was still there about an hour later when I made it to the ticket seller! We were off to the Al Hirshfeld Theatre for the 2 p.m. matinee.

See this show! See it while Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe stars in it (through December)! We all laughed ourselves silly.

Our reservations at Uncle Jack’s Steak House on 56th Street were for 5 p.m. Oops. It seems like we ran most of the way there, though I think there was a subway ride involved. We made it and it was the perfect New York end to a perfect New York day. You can read my review of Uncle Jack’s Steak House in an upcoming issue of Dan’s Papers.

I’ve been promised a tour of Sarabeth’s jam factory the next time we’re in the city and I read that New York has some other great restaurants…


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