You know how you have that restaurant that you go to over and over again? Not because it is trendy or that they have Instagram worthy food. But just because the food is reliably good and specifically in my case a good value. One of the spots that I like that fits these requirements for me is The Cottage in the Union Square/ Gramercy neighborhood. It is my old reliable when I don’t know what I want to eat (I’m always indecisive about what to get on a menu), especially after a good workout when I am ravenous.
The Cottage Is a Neighborhood Cornerstone
The Cottage is a Chinese food restaurant that has an extensive menu of Hunan and Szechuan cuisine, although they do serve Americanized dishes like General Tso’s Chicken. But, don’t hold that against them if you are a stickler for authenticity. It’s understandable to have those items on the menu because of the neighborhood, it is very touristy and near a transportation hub. It is great for large parties and after a show at the Daryl Roth Theatre and before one at Irving Plaza which seems to be when the restaurant is its’ busiest. And there’s complimentary house wine every day for those who partake.
A Few Of My Favorites At the Cottage
When I finally find food that I can swoon over, I tend to order it repeatedly, allowing for variations only with appetizers. I know, I know with such a variety of items on a menu I should be more adventurous. But I like what I like. So there are a couple of dishes that I absolutely love from the Cottage. My favorite appetizer is the seafood dumplings Szechuan style, lovely pillowy dumplings stuffed with a seafood mixture in a spiced peanut-based chili oil sauce.
My favorite guilty pleasure entrée is Chinese roast duck and although I know that this is a very special dish usually carved expertly on a plate at your table, I prefer mine in soup with mei fun noodles and greens! Comforting warm broth and noodles…yum.
If You Are In The Neighborhood, Do Give It A Try
If you are in the area and feeling like you want to taste the dishes that I give a spot on my favorites list, all you have to do is visit the Cottage on 33 Irving Place in Manhattan. There is a very inexpensive lunch menu from Monday through Friday and the portions are sizeable. And here is a handy map.
Do you have a favorite that always satisfies your empty belly when you aren’t sure what to eat? What cuisine does it for you? I’m partial to Asian food in general. What about your restaurant in New York City or any town for that matter? International choices count double and tell me in the comments below so that I can add them to my Yelp and Foursquare Lists. Friends help friends eat good food.
Until our next rendezvous…