New York City in August has its advantages. True, it is hot and humid--clothes are sticky and forget
your hair, but the lines are short, there are seats at the outdoor cafes and as always there never ceases to be a new discovery or a delicious dish around every corner. This past weekend was Tom Bogue's birthday and we were lucky enough to be guests at Mike Perricone's beautiful West Village apartment.
The trip can really be sized up by the amazing food experience. Let me give you a run-down:
, 60 Greenwich Ave., the outdoor seating was heaven at 10:00pm --the scorching day is worth the balmy night. Standouts include Mike's favorite deep-fried artichokes hearts and a salad of fava beans, escarole, pecorino, mint and basil and a cooling late evening breeze. Saturday lunch was wonderful at Keith McNally's Morandi,
211 Waverly Pl., a great people watching place with amazing rustic breads and Italian classics. Favorites here included a pesto based minestrone soup and a salad of prawns and grapefruit with a mustard vinaigrette. We followed this up later with thin cracker crust pizza campagnola
topped with burrata, parma ham and arugula at Olio
, 3 Greenwich Ave. I had the most delicious creamy Italian dressing to dip it in.
Sunday brunch at BG's
was nothing short of spectacular. With the exception of the company of Mike, George and Mirium, there is really nothing that can top the elegant room and service--favorite dishes like the seared sea scallop appetizer and the Gotham salad are not to be missed. An evening walk to the East village and down a few steps into the Taj Cafe
, 310 E 6th St., where a 4 course Indian dinner is only $10.00! (with music).
On Monday, Mike and I walked to the pier, stopping on the way at Murray's Cheese Shop
, 254 Bleeker St., for a bit of brie and salami to nibble on. I bought a jar of fig jam, one of my favorite go to staples, but not always easy to find.
That evening, (Tom's birthday) Tom and I went for drinks at the St. Regis Hotel, the King Cole Bar
. This bar is not for the faint of heart in the price tag department, but for one drink, the experience is worth it in this iconic space backdropped by the 1906 "Old King Cole" Maxfield Parrish mural. And there were many familiar faces in the bar including 60 Minutes' Steve Kroft. Next we headed down to Hell's Kitchen to meet up with Tom’s friends, Ken and BJ Beasley at there favorite neighborhood hangout, Tout Va Bien
, 311 W 51st. This charming French bistro is filled with, what else? French people, assuring us of delicious food. Start with the fresh rillettes of pork with french bread and gherkins, escargot baked with butter, garlic and Pernod and an onion soup to swoon over and you really don't need much more except some champagne to wash it all down. We headed down the street to Pier 9
, 802 9th St., a gleaming modern space with a fresh eclectic seafood menu that had a couple of BJ and Ken's favorites, grilled big eye tuna with green curry, a Chicago style lobster hot dog and for dessert we shared a divine sundae with chocolate covered pretzels, tapioca pudding and caramel sauce. It didn't stop there--I had an amazing mushroom/Swissburger in the airport at Bobby Van's Steakhouse. I took half on the plane for later and it was even good cold.