There is something quite wonderful about a friendship during those university days, and having a good time with friends–especially, when it comes to food. Madeline Cohen and Samantha Hess are two pretty young ladies who are undergraduates and roommates at New York University (NYU) in Lower Manhattan. By chance they became roommates; Maddy was born in Brooklyn, NY, and Sam in Long Island, NY. Both are lovely: one is a brunette; the other is a dark blonde; one is a vegetarian and one is not; neither friend is on a meal plan; and both like to eat out.
Maddy and Sam have created their own niche in the world of food in the East Village. Their very cool style has earned a following on Instagram|CityTaste and that is because, “We love pretty, tasteful and flavorful food,” Maddy said, “so much so, we started going to restaurants and realized we wanted to share our ‘treats’ with friends.”
Sam added, “We take pictures of the meal before we ‘dive’ right in.”
“Almost instantly, as soon as we post our delectable dish on Instagram|CityTaste, we receive comments such as, ‘Oh my God, I want to eat that right now.’” Maddy said, smiling while Sam grinned along.
On February 9th, we met for brunch at The Mudspot NYC Restaurant (307 E. 9th Street, New York, NY 10003). Mudspot was all bustling motion inside the English-styled coffee room, as well as outside where a large urbane crowd waited for tables in the chilly cold weather. We were the lucky ones to get a cuddly table, and delighted when our waiter Greg quickly brought us warm, rich coffee in three “Mudmugs.”
Then, after I had two sips of my scrumptious “Mudtruck” coffee, I was ready to interview Maddy and Sam about Instagram|CityTaste.
Q: What is your major at New York University?
M: We’re both in Gallatin (the school of individualized study), so technically we are making up our majors. I am focusing on history, government, and politics.
S: I am focusing on the entertainment industry.
Q: Why did you start CityTaste?
M: We started because we just love to go out to eat and try new restaurants in our neighborhood and other neighborhoods; we like pretty food, the ambience of people enjoying their food, and, so, we started taking photographs of the food.
S: We thought Instagram could be a platform for that and people at random started following us; it’s really fun.
Q: What is your favorite cuisine and restaurant in the East Village?
M: I love Italian. In our neighborhood, I like Pepe Rosso to Go on Sullivan Street.
S: I like sushi, and my favorite restaurant is Kotobuki on 3rd Avenue.
Q: If I were on a date and we were looking for a romantic escape, what would you both suggest?
M: I would say Jules Bistro on St. Marks Place.
S: Yes, I agree, it is an adorable little place and they have live jazz.
Q: What advice would you give to tourists trekking in the East Village, searching for a restaurant?
M: We have great restaurants in Lower Manhattan; I would recommend that tourists seek out the smaller places, the cafes, rather than the larger-sized restaurants.
However, for a medium-size restaurant, I would recommend The Lobster Joint on East Houston Street. It looks like a giant loft and garage, with a high ceiling. When my Dad visited me at school, we went there, and he liked it a lot. It’s unique, because mostly everything on the menu has lobster. It’s really a cool place.
Q: What is one comfort food that makes you happy?
S: For me, a Margherita slice from East Village Pizza and, of course, anything chocolate.
M: And me, Shack Burger and Cheese Fries from Shake Shack.
After brunch, we were walking and I said, “thank you for suggesting meeting at The Mudspot Restaurant.”
Q: What did you both like about this charming coffeehouse?
M & S: We enjoyed the casual, fun atmosphere, the delicious food, and the friendly staff. And we simply loved what we ordered: 1) The lox and bagel plate and 2) The almond-crusted sourdough French toast!
Catch it if you can: Maddy & Sam’s stylish vive at Instagram|CityTaste; and favorable mentions for www.mudnyc.com, www.kotobukinewyork.com, www.peperossotogo.com, www.eastvillagepizza.net, www.shakeshack.com, www.julesbistro.com, and www.lobsterjoint.com.