Monday, December 19, 2016

Fall in New York

Trip date: Oct 2015

Day three was another gorgeous New York fall day. Forest and I slept in a bit before meeting at Gotham West Market, not far from my hotel. Although this upscale food hall is filled with delicious places to eat, we had our sights set on Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop. The ramen was absolutely delicious, the best bowl I have had since the last time I was in Japan. I may try the regular restaurant next time!

We walked past the aircraft carrier Intrepid on the way to catch the subway but didn't go for a tour. We were heading out of Hell's Kitchen to the Upper West Side. We were going to Town Shop, a well-known lingerie store with a reputation for having salespeople who excel at bra fittings. In fact, most can just look at you as you walk in and tell if you are wearing the wrong size. I know that men don't give a rat's ass about this but it was a great girly experience and their selection of lingerie is immense! Major shopping took place.

We walked past a cute little Italian cafe on a random corner and decided to take seats outside in the sun for a glass of wine and some bites of cheese. It was a very relaxing afternoon.

That evening we had a cocktail crawl planned. I mean it really isn't a Wendy & Forest trip without at least one! First up was the newly opened Slowly Shirley, which is the lower level speakeasy at Happiest Hour. HH is a big loud party while SS is quiet and elegant. We took two seats at the tiny bar and met Kyle, our bartender for the evening who was absolutely awesome.

A few classic cocktails, some great jazz from the speakers, and a delicious fried chicken sandwich made for a very enjoyable time here.

Next up was Mace which was getting a lot of press (and still does, especially as it was just listed at 28 at the World's 50 Best Bar awards). The menu here is one of the most creative and beautiful that I've seen. And the drinks were extraordinary. I'd say this is a must stop while in the East Village.

We took advantage of the gorgeous evening and decided to head to the uber-touristy Times Square as neither of us had been in years. The last time I had been in fact was when I was in college and it didn't have the best reputation back then. Now, of course it is all cleaned up, there are park-like tables and benches and people bring their kids to see the Disney characters. The ginormous signs flash ads for clothing, theater shows, movies, etc. The light is so bright! The people watching is unreal. It was super fun and funny and I loved it!
We stopped in a restaurant bar for a nightcap but they were closing. A waiter told us about this place called Lille's so that is where we went. This Victorian style bar was really a surprise! The drinks were bad, the wine was overpriced, but the atmosphere was great!
Forest and I had lunch reservations the next day at MaPeche, another in the Momofuko restaurant family. This is such a fun concept as you get a small menu of dishes to choose from but throughout the meal a trolly or tray is brought around with a selection of special small plates as well, dim-sum style. The seafood platter with oysters, chilled prawns, and stone crab claws was amazing. And the pork belly buns lived up to their hype. Our waiter sweetly sent us a free order of birthday cake truffles when I couldn't decide between those and the cereal milk soft serve cone.
We took a nice stroll around 5th Avenue and then headed to the Ink48 for a glass of rose on the rooftop terrace. There are absolutely amazing views from here which were made even more dramatic when a crazy thunder and lightning storm rolled through!
Forest had a flight to catch back to Paris so I walked with her back to her hotel, said goodbye, and caught the subway to the Lower East Side. As a party of one, it was much easier to get a seat at Attaboy, housed in the old Milk & Honey location that I had loved so many years ago. The bar is an absolute gem, I couldn't love this little spot any more. I had a few rounds made by Dan and just relaxed in the REALLY dimly lit space. Attaboy came in at #6 during this year's 50 Best Bar awards and it is pretty obvious why. No website, no reservations, no sign, just ring the doorbell and hope for the best.
From here I had a short walk to Prune where I was meeting my friend Meg. Our dinner was outstanding! Head-on spot prawns, sweetbreads, and braised shortribs were all standouts but the best part was that Chef Hamilton was in the (tiny) kitchen!
We headed next door to my friend Castro's bar Boilermaker for some retro cocktails and I was super happy to see Kyle from Slowly Shirley behind the bar. Super fun evening catching up with Meg and eating and drinking like queens!
The next morning I slept in before strolling around Hell's Kitchen for a bit. Then I grabbed an Uberpool to Penn Station, caught the NJ Transit to Newark airport. It took about an hour 15 but it only cost $13!

Fantastic trip to the city! And on my flight home we flew right over the Finger Lakes and Niagria Falls!

Earlier post about this trip here.
All New York photos here.

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