We start and end our second day in New York eating in hotels - an ultra luxe breakfast at the Lowell followed by lunch at Shake Shack and then dinner at the NoMad.
Breakfast - The Lowell Hotel
Where: Upper East Side
What we ate: Today's breakfast is with the GM of the hotel, Ashish Verma in The Pembroke Room, the hotel's all day dining restaurant.
It's all about the eggs, which are given a luxe treatment. One of us goes for the Eggs Benedict with truffles, the other for Eggs Isabella - soft scrambled eggs, mixed with truffles, served in the shell with a generous dollop of caviar on top.
It's not the cheapest of breakfasts - the latter costs $31 - but it really is good. The juice is freshly squeezed, the tea is English Breakfast and the whole thing sets us up for the day ahead.
Lunch - Shake Shack
Where: Upper East Side
What we ate: @HotDinners2 has been to the Shack downtown a few times, but this is my first trip to a Shack and it's all in the name of research to see what they're about before they open in London this summer. We keep the order simple - Shackburger, fries and soda with concretes (frozen custard aka whipped ice-cream) to follow.
The burger's so good it leaps into my personal top 3. If pushed to say exactly why, it's a combination of how well the patty is seasoned, how it's been slightly smashed on the grill and cooked to a perfect medium, and the bun. The bun is awesome - a potato roll that's actually made with potato from New York's Martins bakery and it's the perfect receptacle for a burger. This roll holds its shape rather than disintegrating the way brioche rolls do, and it's slightly chewy too. The fact that it's toasted in butter too just makes the whole thing taste even better. I start to worry about how many of these I'm going to eat when they open in Covent Garden. The crinkle cut chips - we ordered plain and with cheese - are definitely better plain.
And the concretes (frozen custard/soft ice cream with various mixes) are marvellous too - we have one with the flavour of the day, strawberry and pink champagne rhubarb which is so delicious that, although we're stuffed, we can't help but finishing. All in all, a great lunch.
Dinner - The NoMad Hotel
Where: Lower Midtown
What we ate: This is the second restaurant from chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park fame. It takes over pretty much all of the ground floor of this midtown hotel, so you may be dining in the conservatory room (as we were) or the library or parlour.
While Eleven Madison Park is a serious, slightly hushed dining experience, this is a whole lot more fun. We start with a strong bourbon Old Fashioned in the bar - and then take our seats. The place is rammed and it's pretty hard to get a table here - you'll need some advanced planning as bookings open up a calendar month ahead of time.
The menu's pretty short and we have our eye on the main attraction, so we order a couple of 'snacks' - all of which are so good we congratulate ourselves for having made this booking. Salmon rillettes come in a tiny kilner jar topped with sorrel and creme fraiche, and sweetbread croustillant with parsley turns out to be little cigarettes of peppery filo pastry goodness. A free snack of radishes turns up and turns out to be our favourite of the bunch - dipped in butter and served up with salt, it's hard to think how they might be bettered.
But the main attraction here is the chicken. Half the room were ordering it and it isn't hard to see why. It's a whole roast chicken with a stuffing of brioche, truffles and fois gras stuffed under the skin. The roast bird is presented to you at the table before being whisked away for carving and then returns with the breast on your plate and served with warm potato salad. The dark meat is then returned in a separate dish overflowing with morels and cream. This dish may cost an eye-watering $79 but we thought it was worth every penny.
We only had room for a shared dessert, which turned out to be a close runner for dish of the dinner, and another signature dish, the Milk and Honey. This combines honey oat shortbread, honey brittle, dehydrated milk foam and "milk ice" and yet more honey. It was one of the best desserts we've had - surprisingly not over-sweet given its parts - almost like a dessert version of a breakfast bowl.
The Hot Dinners 2013 guide to eating and drinking in New York
Find out more with our full guide to where we ate, drank and stayed on our 2013 trip to New York.