We start on 43rd Street (actually between 9th and 10th Avenues), where the Hell’s Kitchen Farmers Market is open weekends between May and December. At the stalls, you’ll find some absolutely spectacular produce, and – my favorite – a gorgeous variety of olives (please please please try the lemon-rind stuffed green olives). Head east towards 9th, and there’s Mario Batali’s Esca on your right, where you can grab a light lunch of grilled branzino paired with a delicious sparkling wine and orange liqueur cocktail (I forget what it’s called, but it’s unbelievable).
Now turn onto 9th and head north; you’ll pass Coup de Coeur on your left and the Thrift & New Jewelry & Antiques shop on your right. A little further up is Ajisai, a new spot that has – at last! – brought excellent Japanese food to Hell’s Kitchen, and the Westway Diner, the site of my very first date with Kendrick. Cross 44th Street, and there’s Rudy’s Bar & Grill, which serves wonderfully cheap pitchers and free (!) hot dogs (mind the crunchy bits), and the Poseidon Bakery, where you can pick up fresh Bruno Ravioli products (try the pumpkin ravioli).