I posted a couple of questions during the last few weeks, so wanted to offer back our experiences. Thanks very much to those who provided suggestions/feedback!
The short version: Great trip, no exceptional chow, no major disappointments
The longer version:
Friday, late lunch: Bryant Park Grill. Low expectations, and they were met...we arrived to the city starving, wanted to eat outside and close (to enjoy the gorgeous day), and ended up in Bryant Park at the more "restaurant-ish" of the 2 places. Chicken caeser salads were a small salad with an accompanying dish of chicken on the bone, strongly flavored with rosemary. It was fine, fit the non-chowish occasion.
Friday, dinner: Kashkaval. This was probably my favorite spot of the weekend. Tiny wine bar at the back of the store, pleasant service. We had pick-ish food--a plate of middle-eastern-ish spreads...garlicky but not special hummus, very good tzatzki, an artichoke dip that I didn't really like but my friend did, and a spicy pepper dip that I liked but she didn't. Followed this with a cheddar and ale fondue (b/c one going by smelled so good). We stuck with traditional bread for dipping. The fondue was extremely salty, but I like salt and the flavor grew on me. We finished with a chocolate fondue for 1, and it was more than enough for 2--a generous plate of sliced fruit with a few marshmallows thrown in. Insanely rich, but good. We had a light white wine (something Italian) to go with the warm day; the list had plenty of bottles in the under-$35 range.
Saturday a.m. was a quick breakfast at the Moonstruck Diner, which I believe is a chain. It was a decent diner breakfast; they cooked the bacon crispy as requested.
Saturday post-spa we took a recommendation from this board and had tea rather than lunch. We went to the Ritz, and while it wasn't a particularly chow-ish experience (except for the scones--wow, those were good, very light but still on the scone side of biscuit), it was nice. Service was lovely, as you'd expect.
Dinner Saturday was at Agave, which I think was the only disappointment of the weekend. The food was very good (skirt steak tacos had a ton of flavor, and even the accompanying rice was excellent), but service was awful. They were doing an all-weekend cinqo de mayo promo (had I known, I wouldn't have gone), and just couldn't seem to handle the crowds. I was hit in the head with a wooden chair as a busboy tried to expand a neighboring table, and received an apology several minutes later. I'm not in a hurry to return, but if you do go, I recommend the guac and the steak tacos. Friends liked the sopapilla dessert (fried dough, ice cream, dulche de leche), but I thought the dough tasted a tad stale. I might have just been grumpy from my concussion ;).
Final meal was Sunday brunch, and we went to Sarabeth. Mimosas were great, coffee was pretty bad (glad I had gotten a cup to drink on the walk over). Friend loved the lemon ricotta pancakes (and is still talking about them). I had the pumpkin waffle, which was very good and a nice change from the usual brunch suspects.
Thanks very much to all for the suggestions--those I didn't use this trip I will surely save for next time!
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