Did I mention that I love New York City? Every 10 blocks is basically a completely different culture – almost like a completely different city to discover.
I went to the Bronx a couple of weekends ago with Scott and my friend and native Bronxian (Bronxman? Bronxite?), Johnny. We saw some pretty flowers, and then ate some serious Italian food.
This is Johnny and Scott. They are dumb but think they are cool:
First? We all had a romantic time at the New York Botanical Garden. It takes about an hour to get there, but it’s just a subway ride away. Then, when you get there, could spend the entire day chillin’ among the flowers.
Things to know about the NYBG:
- The New York Botanical Garden is on 2900 Southern Boulevard. I recommend taking the B or the D and walking east.
- As far as admission goes, the grounds are completely free with your New York I.D., otherwise adult tickets for grounds are $13 and students are $6.
- If you want to see the conservatory, tickets range from $18 – $25. It’s kinddddd of beautiful though, so it might be worth it for a first time trip.
- Tip: You can get $2 off any ticket if you give up your email address at the booth.
Next: On to the REAL Little Italy. This is the no-nonsense Little Italy of the Bronx.
We walked from the gardens to Arthur Ave which is the main Little Italy street, although there are many more that branch off of it to explore.
We ate at Antonio’s Trattoria. Got some traditional stuff like Antipasto, chicken parm, veal, carbonara…but that let us know just how authentic it was. (Tip: Get the stuffed mushrooms.)
But it wasn’t just about the food. It was about the people. When we walked in, the owner was chatting with some regulars at the bar. They had clearly been there a bunch of times and had that old school Italian/Bronx accent. They were sipping Limoncello. But then, when we sat down, the owner came up to us and started chatting as well. He was so warm and welcoming, and checked in on us a few times during our meal. It felt like we were sitting in an Italian kitchen.
We skipped dessert at Antonio’s so we could discover the many bakeries in the area. We stumbled upon Madonia. A very stark interior, this bakery was ALL about the food. We chose a few cookies and the classic cannoli – one flavor only (see? It’s the whole no-nonsense thing), and then dug in.
Best cannoli of my life. It has a crispy, thick shell and sweet (but not too sweet) cream inside. I didn’t even have a better one during a couple of trip to Italy. OHHHH TO KNOW IT WAS RIGHT HERE ALL ALONG!
We cheated and concluded our day in an Uber back to Manhattan. I was too full, ok?
I’ll be making it back up to the real Little Italy soon – have you been? Tell me – what did YOU eat?