Friday, October 23, 2009

New York Nosh

Since this is Friday, and I typically like to write about food on Friday, I thought I'd talk a bit about the food I got to enjoy last weeked in New York City.

I know we already talked about last Friday night's dinner at Vynl, so we'll jump past that. On Saturday, Christopher was up and about first, and he went to a charming little tea shop called Alice's Tea Cup about a block away, and came back with 2 Pumpkin scones (drizzled in some kind of maple syrupy glaze), and 2 "regular" scones. Yeah. Okay. Even I thought that that was a nice way to start the day!

We spent the first part of Saturday on the trail of a kind of chocolate Mecca. We made our pilgrimage to La Maison du Chocolat near Rockefeller Center. Okay, so it's not quite the same as being in Paris, but it's still wonderful. And the ice rink had just opened, so we got to watch people skate for a little while, too. We bought chocolates and macarons and -- once the staff realized we were shopping and not just browsing -- we even got samples. It's not a cheap place to go, but it's worth it!

That afternoon we got a little "food for thought" by going to Carrie Fisher's one-woman show "Wishful Drinking." I'd guess that we were some of the youngest people in the theater, but we had a great time. I laughed for almost 2 hours straight. If you get the chance -- and are even remotely familiar with who she is and who is in her family tree -- I recommend it.

Of course, it wouldn't be a day of chocolate shopping without a second chocolate store. We stopped at the Jacques Torres Chocolate store on Amsterdam Avenue just a few blocks from Colleen's. It was a totally different feel than La Maison. Much more accessible, complete with an espresso and hot chocolate bar. But... Yeah... Pretty much just as expensive. The hot chocolate I had and the "chocolate chip" cookie Christopher and I shared were amazing. WAY too rich to have on a daily basis. But perfect on a chilly afternoon.

We had dinner in on Saturday night. Or, rather, we co-hosted a party with Colleen. We had a ton of food -- expecting about 15 to 20 people -- and only ended up with about 8 people, total. But it was fun, and everyone enjoyed the food. We had a couple of different baked brie, and baked cheesey puffs, and fresh vegetarian spring rolls, and apple crisp, and "bourbon hot dogs" in the Crock pot, and guacamole and chips. And, in the middle of it all, I broke a corkscrew when I was trying to open a bottle of wine. Luckily, there was a back-up.

Sunday brunch was nice, but nothing incredible. But, again, the conversation was the point, and that was as good as ever. Then Christopher and I were good and aimed for a little more culture, so we went to the Frick Collection (which is housed on the first floor of what used to be someone's mansion. I could have stayed in the library for days...) and the Asian Society Museum (which was odd, but had a couple of amazing things in it).

After a lovely -- if chilly -- walk back across the Park, we decided it was the perfect blustery night to order in. Colleen, Christopher, and I ordered a Buffalo Chicken Salad (and fries), Pork Chops with mashed potatoes and applesauce, and a Chicken Quesadilla with pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream, which all showed up at the door -- all from the same neighborhood restaurant, The City Grill. I love New York!

Oh. I do have one other chocolate story as I wrap this up.

On Friday, when Christopher and I braved shopping at Fairway Market (on Broadway at about 74th), we were kind of swept up in all of the chaos. Luckily, we've been there before and knew what to expect! We didn't opt for a cart, but did it all with a hand basket, and we bought a lot of stuff for Saturday night. So, as we were waiting to check out, Christopher had gone of in search of a couple last items, and I set down the basket and waited. An older (possibly elderly, even) woman came up to me, shoved a chocolate bar in my face, and said "What's this say? I can't read it. I'm blind." She was on a quest for a dark chocolate with a filling. We walked the few steps over to the chocolate bars on display and found her a nice 70% cocoa bar with orange infusion from Lindt. And then she disappeared again into the chaos of the store. It makes me happy just thinking about her determination -- at least toward chocolate.

Man. I don't know about you, but I'm suddenly feeling kind of hungry. Sorry 'bout that.

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