Monday, March 5, 2012

New York, New York

Last month, my husband and I went to New York City for my birthday weekend. We have been before and done all the usual New York sites: Times Square, Top of the Rock, a broadway show, Chinatown, Central Park, pizza in Little Italy. So this time, we wanted to relax, eat great food and shop (okay, the shopping was more  “me” than “we”).

Late Thursday night, we stood at 6 Bond Street saying “there is no way this can be it.” It didn’t look like a restaurant (recommended to us by a friend of a friend). We opened the door and Bond Street Sushi was packed. There is something about hidden restaurants that I love. Any other night, we would have walked by not knowing the great food that lie within. We had fresh shrimp and lobster sushi, chicken dumplings and green tea noodles – pricey, but all good.

Afterwards we stopped at Milk Bar and sampled the famous crack pie and blueberry cream cookie.

The following day we did some unconventional sightseeing - we looked at apartments on the Upper East Side. It may not appeal to most, but I love all things real estate. We learned about co-ops vs. condos, the neighborhoods, private schools and what your money can buy in the city (albeit not much). All in all an interesting look inside the city.

That night we had the best meal of the weekend at Gramercy Tavern.  We sat in the tavern room, but reservations can be made up to a month in advance for the dining room. The menus are slightly different in each room, but similar in style. It’s a quintessential New York restaurant - a stocked bar lined with businessmen and women, friendly wait staff, a cozy atmosphere and a menu of classic dishes perfectly prepared. We ordered the chicken and pork shoulder for dinner and a banana cream tart dessert – all absolutely wonderful.

I can’t visit New York without shopping, so we walked around SoHo and hit the Bloomingdales winter sale. And here’s some info I learned this visit – many department stores offer out of town visitors a 10% discount to be used on anything in the store. We also spent some time inside FAO Schwartz searching for the perfect birthday gift for our two-year-old.

We finished the weekend with a delicious brunch at Balthazar that left me thinking, what is in those eggs?! I didn’t even know I liked eggs until I sampled my husband’s scrambled eggs in puff pastry. And I have to mention the onion soup gratinee with caramelized onions and bubbly cheese baked on top. It was just the meal we needed to finish the fabulous weekend.

There are many things we didn’t have time to do – walk the High Line, visit Ellis Island. Oh, another time. We’ll be back.

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