I spent 3 days in NYC last week for a work trip. I had one day to go out and do a little sightseeing and shopping and I also managed to squeeze in two early morning runs in Central Park on Friday and Saturday, which were both great. The weather was perfect during this stay – sunny, no humidity and high’s in the upper 60s. The trees were just starting to show some of their fall colors in Central Park as well. The morning run really made me jealous of New Yorkers.
Because I was on a work trip, I didn’t get to pick and choose my lunch or dinner locations very much except for Friday. However, I did have a great dinner at Mission Chinese on the lower east side on Wednesday evening and another one at STK in the Meatpacking District on Thursday night. Mission Chinese is the New York outpost of the famous restaurant of the same name in San Francisco and it’s what I would call contemporary Chinese food. Sorry, no pics b/c it was a work dinner but the food was unusual and incredible and I highly recommend the dishes we had – green tea noodles, thrice cooked bacon, pastrami kung pao and a scallion pancake with kaffir butter. Wow to that dinner. STK was fine but was a pretty standard steak house that turns into a nightclub in the evening. When I left around 9:30 its was basically a club scene (strobe lights, bottle service and stupid loud music) in the dining room. Not really my thing and too much like Las Vegas. I prefer quiet, intimate restaurants.
Friday I went for a great morning run in the park, had a short work call and popped into the MOMA to check out the permanent collection. Some of the famous paintings here are Van Gogh’s starry night, Picasso’s Bathing Ladies, some large Monet water lily panels and several large format Matisse paintings.
After some culture, I was off to spend the rest of the day shopping in Soho. I walked over to Little Italy to have lunch at my favorite Italian in NYC, Pelligrino’s, and was so sad to find it was closed for remodeling! Pooh on my timing. I had lunch two doors down at Umberto’s Clam House and sorry to say that it was very disappointing. Bland, chewy baked clams (supposed to be a signature dish and was almost inedible) and a bland, watery-sauced chicken marsala. The service was prompt and sweet but it just couldn’t make up for the crappy food. I did manage to score big on the shopping though and came away with 2 new pairs of shoes, 3 sweaters and 3 new tops for fall so that was nice!
I did a LOT of walking that day and ended the night by stopping into the Aldo Sohm Wine Bar in midtown, which was packed. The hostess managed to get me a seat at the bar after about 15 minutes. I was originally planning to have a glass of wine here and then take off in search of good sushi but I ended up sitting next to another out of town visitor that was the cousin of the head chef. The wine bar was started by the sommelier of the famous Le Bernardin, which is right next door, and the current head chef was the former sous chef under Eric Ripert. Anyway, I ended up chatting with him and sharing several plates of dishes that the chef kept bringing out and, of course, meeting the chef. After 3 glasses of wine and way too much food, I called it a night. I was being good because I wanted to have enough energy to get up for one last Central Park run before my flight home the next day. I missed out on sushi but sometimes those random encounters are the best – you never know who you may meet! On the flight home the next day (after my great run in the Park), I also lucked out and had no one in the middle seat next to me on the flight home! Which leads me to an amusing story about my flight there….
Funny story – on the flight to NYC, my seatmate practically sat in my lap the entire plane ride. It was so bad, I took a picture. Here he is, all stretched out and making himself comfortable. As you can see, his arm is over the armrest and in my seat and his left leg is completed on my side and all in my space and seat back and legroom area. He kept falling asleep and was all over the place in my seat – I was as far to the window as I could get. He also started having dreams and was jerking all about, jabbing me in the side with his elbow and flailing around. I woke him up 3x when it got to be too much but he would immediately fall back asleep and it would start up again. The joys of travel.