Most people have well-known bloggers do guests posts, I have my parents. Here is their write-up on their NYC visit.
Our adventure starts with little planning and an emphasis on “seat of your pants” mode. After checking into our hotel in Midtown we went for a nice walk through Central Park. Since it was after 3pm and we were both hungry and thirsty; we abandoned the walk to search for some food and drink. After many blocks we are surprised that we didn’t find any establishments to fill these needs. We started to get light headed, but marched on. After a few more blocks, we came across a man getting out of a cab. Seeing our condition, he took pity on us when we asked for his help. He quickly ushered us into the restaurant he was going to and asked the bartender to give us immediate care. Our nurse, I mean bartender, suggested an appetizer that was called a three way (Cincinnati chili?) no, it was a trio of: scallop, pancetta, and pate . We later found out from Caroline that the place that saved us was David Burke Townhouse, the flagship restaurant of a well-known chef.
The next day we took the subway to the Flatiron district. Janis wanted to do some shopping followed by lunch at Buvette. While she was shopping, I set out in search of a bathroom. I saw a place called Eataly. I am not sure what this was, but since it has the word “eat”, it should have a bathroom. To my surprise I stumbled upon a world of food products, restaurants, and bars from Italy. This place was so large it was probably just a little smaller than the Vatican. I later found out that this spot, along with the original in Turin is “the largest artisanal Italian food and wine market place in the world.” Awesome…considering I was just looking for a bathroom. We would be back.
After more exploring we headed for our late lunch destination–Buvette. This was recommended to us by our son, Charlie, who was here last year with some friends from Brooklyn. This was a very tiny restaurant and would easily fit in the back pocket of Eataly if it had one. This only added to the charm of the place but made getting a table difficult. They didn’t take reservations and we were told to expect a long wait. We arrived around 2pm to a full house, yet somehow, we only waited a few minutes before two seats opened at the bar. Not too shabby. A lot of their food is prepared at the bar; it was like watching a chef at a sushi restaurant. The food was fantastic! I had the salt cod, while Janis ordered the poached egg with asparagus, olive oil, and shaved pecorino cheese. All of the dishes were simple–the whole exceeded the parts.
Next we headed over to the High Line for a stroll ending up at the Chelsea Market. The building was the original home of the National Biscuit Company in 1890. If we were not so full from our wonderful lunch, we would have eaten our way through the market like hungry caterpillars.
On Thursday we got the last two tickets to see Steve Martin play with his blue grass band, the Steep Canyon Rangers. Unfortunately nobody bothered to tell Mr. Martin he had such an engagement. The band was still great to see without him. But, before the concert started we thought we would try to get in to Mario Batali’s restaurant, Babbo. This restaurant is booked a month or more in advance. We walked in around 7pm and I asked the hostess how long a wait for two, her response, “we are setting a table for you right now.” We are setting your table right now? I must have been wearing a George Clooney mask or maybe they were mistaking Janis for someone, let’s say…Julianne Moore. This is not supposed to happen to people like us, this type of service is for people who are famous, are extremely attractive, and live in a “bubble.” Within two minutes she led us to our table–a great spot next to the window. We quickly sat down wanting to establish our turf before they realize the mistake they made; possession is still 9/10ths of the law. I ordered the whole grilled branzino (Mediterranean sea bass) and Janis had the fettuccine with house made pancetta.
The next day we explored Brooklyn including Park Slope and then headed back to Manhattan. We went back to the Flatiron district, Janis shopped while I explored a bit. I came across Gramercy Tavern–a top destination spot for Midtown. Janis arrived 20 minutes later, not believing I had this wonderful table with a couch near the window. The bubble continues and I told Julianne to call me George. Since we had a late lunch, we just ordered appetizers and some wonderful cocktails; I had the sweetbreads and Janis a beet salad.
After leaving the Tavern we walked around the neighborhood; the night was still young and this was our last night in New York. We headed back to Eatly. While wondering around, we noticed a hostess guarding the elevator for the top-floor restaurant. We told her we were just interested in going up for a drink. She said they were at capacity and we would have to wait until someone came down the elevator. Wait! Did she not know who we were? Was our bubble was starting to burst? I quickly gave her a “Clooney grin” and she realized I was trouble and quickly sent us upstairs…to get rid of us. This was Janis’s logical solution, but I remained a “believer.”
When we came back home to Chicago we took Nora, our granddaughter, out for brunch at Blue Max in Forest Park. The hostess said it would be a 25 minute wait. I am pretty sure our bubble burst when we hit 30,000 feet on the flight home.