So my new husband and I just got back from a fairly short but great honeymoon in Manhattan. Great despite the transit strike but I'll get to that.
We stayed at the Waldorf and it was about 9 when we got there so we decided to get drinks and dinner at the Bull and Bear. We sat at the bar and were waited on by Joseph, who I'm guessing is about 80. Super cute, he seemed pleased that my husband liked his whiskey sours. We split a burger and caeser salad. The burger was cooked exactly how we ordered (med-rare) and the salad was really good. Not too garlicky, just the right amount of anchovy. Perfect simple dinner after a day of travel.
We had breakfast at Brasserie the next morning. Well, I should say I had breakfast (bagel and lox with fruit) but Andy wasn't feeling well and couldn't finish his eggs benedict. He says jetlag, I say whiskey sours were the culprit.
At any rate, he recovered just in time for a fabulous lunch at le Bernardin. We started with a glass of champagne, I had the Billecart-Salmon rose which was great with the smoked salmon salad amuse bouches.
For starters I had the celeriac open ravioli filled with lobster and langoustine and foie gras sauce. The sommelier, who was adorable and very smiley and nice. He even wrote down a list of the wines we'd had so I could remember them later. He suggested the 2004 Mas Daumas Gassac from Languedoc for my dish and more brut champagne for Andy's. Andy had the fluke seviche flight. It was amazing, our favorite involved coconut milk, a little red curry, and what we believe is orange blossom water. Yum. Second was the skate and pork with a brown butter jus, again fabulous. Cooked perfectly and fantastic with the Vosne Romanee 2002 red burgundy. Andy had the Monkfish with papas fritas and chorizo emulsion sauce that we are going to attempt to reproduce somehow at home. All finished off with a hazelnut parfait and the chocolate olive oil dessert. Basically and overall outstanding experience for both of us. And the service was perfection. And thank god because for a $325 lunch it should be.
We had dinner that night at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. Sat at the counter and loved the setting. Our waitress picked out a mix of four different east coast oysters for us to try that were all fantastic. Andy first ordered the steamed clams but sent them back because they were so full of sand. She told us they'd had problems since Katrina, which makes sense, but why serve them if this is a known issue? He was very happy with the new england chowder he got instead and I stuffed my face with the fish fry and a Brooklyn Lager. Really a great way to end a day of seafood.
Had lunch a Lombardi's. I would be divorced already if we didn't. Split a pepperoni. It was just as good as I remembered it being from a few years back. Crispy pepperoni, love the smokey black bits of the crust. Although, I would have got extra cheese if I remembered how little is normally used.
We were supposed to go to Babbo for dinner but since there was no subway and our reservations were for 10:30 we calculated that our cab ride would be too expensive there and back and ended up cancelling. I don't know if that was a mistake or not, I've read so many mixed reviews about late reservations there, but we ended up having a decent steak dinner close to our hotel.
Unfortunately drinks beforehand at Four Seasons were marred by an unbelievably rude bartender. My husband and I both have tattos and he had pierced ears. These things are pretty commonplace on the West coast but obviously garner stares on the East. Not a big deal, we expect people to look, but as soon as I took off my sweater (we were very nicely dressed, my husband in a suit) and he pushed up his sleeve a little, it was as if we became invisible. They even ignored our credit card sitting on the bar in front of us for 20 minutes. We'd tried to flag the bartender down beforehand to tell him we were ready for a check but he pretended not to see us. I finally had to go and interrupt him putting away some glasses to tell him we'd like to pay and he still pretended not to hear me. When I spoke louder and told him we'd been trying to pay for 20 minutes he grabbed my card then handed it back and said "don't worry about it. Me and my wife will pay for this one" in a disgusted tone. I was pretty shocked. I've never had someone be so blatently descriminatory in what is supposed to be an upscale place. My husband was seething and I practically had to drag him away. Really a terrible experience in what we found to be a very friendly city.
Fortunately our last dinner at the Aquavit Cafe was much more pleasant. Our server was very nice, gave great suggestions and even gave us complimentary desserts after it came up in conversation that he and I were in the food/wine industry in Oregon. We started with the smorgasbord to share, along with a flight of three aquavits(horseradish, cucumber, pear vanilla black pepper). I ordered the sausage and he got the meatballs. I liked the sausage, but the accompanying sauce was a little sweet to my tastes. His meatballs and mashed potoatoes were great. Not the type of food that we encounter where we live, which is why we wanted to try it. Glad we did
All in all it was a fantastic trip. I think we walked about 250 blocks because of the strike but it was a good way to burn off all the calories we took in. Gotta say though, Andy is still suffering from sticker shock on most things. Lunch at le Pain Quotadien (two sandwhiches, two green salads, two ice teas) set us back $50 where at home it'd be more like $20. But, hey, it gives us one more thing to tell all our Oregon friends about, right!