Friday, February 7, 2014

Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple

My four days spent in NYC were packed full. I didn't just drink cocktails and hang out in Brooklyn. There are so many great places to go, to see, and to eat at!

My first stop upon arriving in town was at The NoMad, a 'must reserve' hot spot, just a short walk from my hotel. I was really looking forward to the drinks and the dinner with my friend Meg, but when I checked us in the mâitre d' looked sadly at me and asked if I had my Open Table confirmation. I handed him my phone and he very politely explained that there were two Nomad restaurants and I had booked the other. Not four hours into town and my plans were screwed! Meg explained that I was from out of town and at that moment I felt like she should have said Kansas (no offense). And then the controller of hard-to-get tables sweetly said he could seat us in about 30 minutes if we would like to have a drink in the bar. SCORE. And pretty much the opposite experience you would have with the mâitre d' at Babbo (again, no offense).

After a few nice drinks, we were given a lovely table right in the middle of the parlor room and had exceptional service from the somm as well as the wait staff.

And the food was delicious! And pretty! Gorgeous ingredients like fluke, suckling pig, sweet breads, and truffles pepper the menu. I'd go back anytime.

My hotel was also just blocks away from Eataly, housed in a large building and comprised of an Italian grocery, kitchen shops, and a scrumptious Italian food court. Forest and I stalked seats at La Piazza, the charcuterie style eatery, for lunch one afternoon. There are about nine different eating places, all with a different theme, some are sit down and some are stand up, all are busy!
One morning we checked out Acme for brunch with a group of friends. This normally buzzing spot was strangely empty when we arrived. Brunch was good, not overly exciting, but the brunch cocktails were great and the space is really good for groups.

After brunch Dayne, Thibault, Forest, and I walked it off by strolling the High Line. This is a wonderful 1-mile long park built on an old raised rail track and goes from the Meatpacking District to Chelsea. It was a beautiful day and the park has tons of interesting plants, architecture, views, and places to sit and relax.
We got off the High Line at the Getty Station to check out the funny Sheep Station exhibit by artist François-Xavier Lalanne.
That night we had a pretty good meal at The Dutch.I wouldn't put this in my top list of restaurants as everything needed just a bit more seasoning, but the menu was fun and inventive, like this duck confit pot pie.
On our last day we met a college friend of Dayne's and his family for brunch on the upper east side at this funny old school Italian bakery and dining room, Sant Ambroeus. The food was fine but the bakery items looked scrumptious. After brunch we walked to the Neue Gallery.

An amazing collection of German and Austrian art is housed in this gem of a building, once occupied by Cornelius Vanderbilt III. Adding a cherry on top of our visit, the gallery was having a special exhibit of Kandinsky. It was wonderful!

We wrapped up our afternoon with a bit of shopping at the Chelsea location of Fishs Eddy before picking up our bags and heading to Penn Station to grab trains to the airport; Dayne heading to Newark and me heading to JFK.

My miles paid off as I tucked into a lay-flat bed in first class and enjoyed dinner, a movie, and a nap while heading home.

New York, let's get together again soon!

Photos here.

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