I don't know about you but when I think of New York City I think of Friends. Well, on this trip I found a restaurant where I almost could see Joey, Chandler, Monica, Ross, Rachel, and Phoebes out of the corner of my eye. The Shop at the Andaz Fifth Avenue Hotel is simple and chic and very casually New York. The Shop focuses on simplicity and quality, and part of that quality is in their effort to produce a menu based around local food, and is situated right in the gorgeous Andaz Fifth Avenue Hotel. Swanky.
Field greens, wild arugula, heirloom tomatoes, chicken and pork are locally grown/raised in New York State. These ingredients find their way into yummy entrees like Chicken Schnitzel and Greek Salad. They also have a blue plate special with daily spins on local ingredients; one of these is spaghetti and meatballs with parmesan cheese. Customers rave about the coffee, roasted by renowned Cafe Grumpy, a reason in itself to stop by for breakfast. Another reason is Feather Ridge Eggs, free range, whole grain fed, omega-3 rich eggs raised on a farm in the Hudson River Valley. Try them on a breakfast sandwich, or the best Eggs Benedict you've ever had, while sitting at a window table and people watching on Fifth Avenue, one of the most famous shopping streets in the world, with a great view of the New York Public Library.
Cheeses are from Murray's (est. 1940) a Greenwich Village based cheese shop with cave-aged cheese, aged right here in New York City. I think I'd like to try some on a Ham and Cheese Sandwich on their pretzel roll,with mustard. Speaking of pretzels and breads, The Shop gets their artisanal breads baked fresh from Balthazar Bakery, founded in 1997 in a basement on Spring Street. Try some of that bread by ordering open-faced avocado toast for breakfast, oh so soft and crunchy.
As part of their effort to give the restaurant the feel of a neighborhood coffee shop/Deli they also have a small retail section off the dining room. So if you are in midtown Manhattan and don't have time to dine in, stop by and grab a coffee made with those Cafe Grumpy coffee beans, or a sandwich made with those artisanal Breads from Balthazar bakery--and don't forget to have a pickle on the side from McClure's Pickles.
So enjoy a sandwich and a cup of coffee, close your eyes and pretend that that group laughing over there in the corner is Joey, Chandler, Monica, Ross, Rachel, and Phoebes. And if you're planning a stay in the city, a comfortable room at the Andaz might be just what you're looking for.
(The Shop at Andaz 5th Avenue hosted our meal, which was quite delicious.)