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New York Specialty Restaurants

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by Dora Bona (subscribe)
A freelance writer, and amateur photographer Dora also teaches creative writing classes. Check out her website at
Published May 9th 2011
New York is full of wonderfully idiosyncratic stuff. Take restaurants for example. The Big Apple is probably the only place in the world where you can go to a restaurant that focusses on just one particular item. Whether inspired by tastes, practical concerns, peculiarities of the owners, or who knows what - it's an interesting concept. After all, where would we be without the "pizzeria". It makes sense that if you only do one thing, you'll do it really, really well! Which is why these restaurants not only survive, they thrive.

Hummus is vegetarian/vegan dish. Basically made up of 60 - 70% water, chick peas, Tahini (from sesame seeds) olive oil and lemon, it's considered a grain/legume, but if you eat it with bread it's actually a complete protein. A great source of dietary fiber, Hummus also packs the good monounsaturated fats like Omega 3 and is rich in vitamins C, E, K, and B6 to name a few. In fact it's right up there with the superfoods, and if done as well as these guys do it, it tastes fantastic. Try the hummus masabacha - that's hummus served warm and topped with whole chickpeas, drizzled with olive oil and usually served with an egg.

EAST VILLAGE - 109 Saint Mark's Place
WEST VILLAGE - 71 7th Ave. South
UPPER WEST SIDE - 2608 Broadway
UPPER WEST SIDE - 305 Amsterdam Ave.

Phone: 212.529.9198
Opening Hours:
Sun - Fri 11:00am - 12:00am,
Sat 10:30am -2:00am

RICE TO RICHES: Who would have thought that a restaurant that serves only (yes only) rice pudding would be a hit. Rice to Riches would have to be the queen of New York's eccentric specialty restaurants. I remember as a child, the rich sweet gluggy dessert was a household staple, but rice pudding is one of those things you either turn your nose up at, or get very excited about.

The shop, located in the Nolita neighborhood of Manhattan looks like something out of the Jetsons, They offer different toppings like roasted fruit, toasted pound cake and chilled espresso with cocoa for an extra charge. They have around 23 regular flavors and some seasonal puddings for summer, winter and the holidays. Their sense of fun is evident with flavours like Man-Made Mascarpone (rice pudding mixed with mascarpone cheese and cherries), Fluent in French Toast, Peanut Butter Picked A Peck, Property Of Lemon Poppy and Sex, Drugs And Rocky Road. Prices are around the $8 - $10 mark for huge single servings, but you can buy literally vats of the stuff (sumo serves) for around $55, serving up to 6 people.

Location: 37 Spring Street
Phone: 1 212-274-0008

RISOTTERIA: Finally, an Italian restaurant with a difference - and a place where vegetarians and celiacs can eat together. Not strictly a risotto-only restaurant - they serve more than 50 kinds of risotto, made with three different kinds of rice. As far as I am aware, it's one of the only restaurants in New York that serves entirely gluten-free food. This is of particular interest to those who suffer from celiac's disease - a severe intolerance to gluten that prevents sufferers eating wheat, rye, barley and most other grains. You can also enjoy pizzas, ciabatta, pannini, pasta, chocolate chip cookies, soups, sauces and holiday pies, both sweet & savory - all gluten free.

Location: 270 Bleecker Street, between 6th / 7th aves
Phone: 212.924.6664
Open: 7 days / Noon - 11pm

CHIKALICIOUS: A mecca for those with a sweet tooth. This East Village gem serves only dessert. It's an intimate 20-seat eatery, built around an open kitchen where the chefs and sommelier work and serve customers directly. Half the fun is watching the preparation and plating.

The 3-course Prix Fixe menu, described as American desserts, French Presentation and Japanese tasting portions, is $14. It includes a dessert of your choice, and assorted petits fours. Additional Desserts (add-ons) are $7. They also offer a select list of wines, dessert wines, ports, and champagne, along with organic coffees and teas, with suggestions for the best pairing for your dessert. It's the perfect place to finish off a night out...perhaps with a Warm Chocolate Tart with Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream and Red Wine Sauce Churchill - paired with a Graham Reserve Port.

Location: 203 East 10th Street
Phone: 1 212-475-0929

S'MAC: And finally, if you're prepared to put aside the guilt-inducing calorie overloaded combination of copious carbs and oozing cheeze - then you can't go past S'Mac (even though your physician probably hopes you will)

To make things worse, you can order in and enjoy it at home while lounging in your PJ's. S'MAC (short for Sarita's Macaroni & Cheese) has been satisfying food cravings for new Yorkers since 2006. The menu is simple yet delicious with a variety of "MACS" available.

For around $7.25, you can order a serving for one. A Major Munch is $10.75; Mongo: $19.00 and Partay!: $47.00

Location: 345 East 12th Street
Phone: 1 212-358-7912

Just a few of the "specialty" restaurants in New York that can satisfy any craving imaginable. Go forth and give in to your craving.
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Why? Sometimes you just have a craving you need to indulge
When: All day every day
Where: All over New York
Cost: Affordable
It's wonderful to know that there is a dedicated gluten-free restaurant. I am gluten intolerant and find it difficult to enjoy some of the wonders of new York food. Next time there, I will definitely be trying Risotteria.
By carol310 - reader
Saturday, 21st of May @ 12:59 am
Chikalicious is my favourite dessert place. I often go there after a night out wiht friends just to have something wicked.
By ilean1 - reader
Monday, 23rd of May @ 06:21 am
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