Travel, Etc. --> A Short visit to NYC
A Short Visit to NYC
Fancy Food Show in New York City
As a result of the perversity of airline scheduling, we found ourselves in Manhattan on Saturday, June 29, a day early for the Fancy Food Show. Always a short, fun, but intense visit, we found ourselves in mid-town Manhattan with no commitments and ready for something new. Camped at the Muse Hotel near 46th and Broadway, we cabbed to the Chelsea Market, a destination we'd always wanted to visit. A large former industrial complex that occupies two square blocks, bound by 15th & 16th Streets, it was the home of the National Biscuit Company, where the Oreo cookie was invented and produced. Its western edge anchors the High Line Park, where the elevated railroad tracks once passed through the building.
The first floor is an urban food court & shopping mall, filled with restaurants and purveyors of fresh produce, artisan foods, wine and shops loved by "foodies" like us. The upper six floors are occupied by the production facilities of the Food Network, Oxygen Network, Google and YouTube. Very cool place...
You'll find produce shops that have all the vegetables you can never find in Indy...got baby bok choy? The Lobster Place looked intriguing, filled with more varieties of fresh oysters than we knew existed, and not enough seats, since the mall around it was filled with people wandering around with whole lobsters on their plates looking for a place to sit. We also visited the Fat Witch Bakery, Sarabeth's Bakery and more olive oil, sea salt, chocolate and spice shops than you will ever find concentrated under one roof.
For lunch, we chose The Green Table, an organic farm-to-table restaurant, and they take "local" seriously. Think Chardonnay from Brooklyn by way of the Finger Lakes, and it was pretty good. The next time you are in NYC, don't miss the deviled eggs 4 ways that included classic southern, wasabi, bacon and pimento cheese.
Linda chose the comfort food, Chicken Pot Pie, local chicken & veggies with a flaky crust, while I went for the house made chicken liver pâté with grilled rustic bread. It would be hard to find a better lunch anywhere.
We walked off lunch on the High Line, an elevated railway that has been converted to an urban park, much like the Monon Trail with natural landscape plantings and amazing views. We began where the line passed through the Chelsea Market building and walked north to its current terminus at 30th Street, near the Javits Center.
Like the Monon, there was initial skepticism and resistance, but judging by the number of gazillion dollar residential buildings rising along its length, it is just as big of a success as our rail-trail. It is a little strange to be able to stare into the living rooms of $2 million condos all along the way, but I guess the owners are used to it.
Exiting the High Line, it was another sixteen blocks north to our hotel, that led directly through Times Square. Now, I remember Times Square in the early '90's, and while I was assured that it was much better than the '70s and '80's, it was still a pretty tacky place. Today, it is pretty much a family-friendly amusement park environment, so mobbed with humanity that we didn't last long. Wow, the naked cowboy really does exist with his Speedo, hat and guitar, and now joined by 2 naked cowgirls in bikinis.
After a glass of wine and an hour with our feet up in the room, it was time for dinner at Bobby Flay's Bar Americain on 52nd Street. Four years ago we had dinner at his Mesa Grill and were very impressed, and Bar Americain did not disappoint. In a modern, bright, open space, we dined on the mezzanine overlooking the bar and lower dining room.
Linda and I began with the appetizer of escargot and crawfish in garlic butter, served with puffy brioche. Delicious! Kevin, our new food buyer & his wife, Krista, enjoyed their asparagus chopped salad with Meyer lemon vinaigrette. The secret recipe fried chicken with black pepper biscuits and a side of mashed potatoes was Linda and Kevin's choice. I chose the gulf shrimp and grits with bacon and green onions, while Krista went for the filet. Everything was fabulous, and I'm so glad that Linda shared her chicken!
The finale for a great day in Manhattan was a visit to the Top of the Rock, the 68th through 70th floors of the Rockefeller Center.
Much more accessible and larger than the deck of the Empire State Building, it is a perfect place to see the city at sunset. The lines are manageable and well worth the short wait on a Saturday night in June. We ended the evening at the bar at the Muse, drinking Manhattans in Manhattan, complete with the requisite Luxardo cherries....cheers to the Big Apple. We always look forward to going there, and are even happier to arrive back home!
July 9, 2014