Friday, August 05, 2011

New York in May: The Long-Awaited Recap

Last May (yes, two and a half months ago!), Alicia and I got ourselves some train tickets and we headed up to New York for a weekend with our friend Stacy. Stacy went to college with Alicia in Baltimore, but she's from New York and has been back there for over 10 years. Now she lives in an amazing apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn - it's all high ceilings, giant windows and intricate architectural details. Envy-inspiring, even if she does have to get a little creative with her storage solutions.

As breathtaking as Stacy's apartment is, we weren't there to sit inside all weekend and, despite a rainy Friday, we didn't. We got out and got all over the city - Brooklyn Heights to Williamsburg, the Upper East Side to Soho. We ate, drank and shopped (only a little, actually) and we got to see the dramatic, inspiring Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met. We did a lot:

Food-wise, it was amazing from start to finish. Grimaldi's is touristy and there's a long line even at random times, but it's a fun Brooklyn experience and the pizza is worth the wait (though Stacy's local pizza place, Roma's, also delivered some excellent pizza...without the wait. But without the mobbed up wall art and camaraderie that comes with tightly squeezed tables).

Mesa Cocoyan, where we met my college friend Sumi, was hipstery, but cute in that I-love-Etsy-and-randomly-wallpapered-walls sort of way. That can be annoying, but I can forgive a few bartenders in plaid shirts when they're serving me amazing guac and drinks made with house-infused tequilas (our faves: pineapple juice and orange liqueur with a dried chile infusion and the strawberry margarita with jalapeno-infused tequila).

Good Enough to Eat, where we had brunch on the sunny Saturday morning before our trip to the Met, was charming and homey and I loved my gruyere and apple omelet (I also loved the bellini I had with it).

Dinner on Saturday was equally charming. Henry's End Restaurant is tiny and comfortable - as Stacy warned us, Brooklyn is not full of Manolo's and for that I was grateful. The food was saucy and savory and felt sort of old-fashioned, but not in a bad way! It was delicious and reminded me that sometimes it's nice to eat something with a heavier sauce, that seems to have some history and heft. I like "Fresh, Clean, American Flavors" as much as the next food blogger, but even local, fresh and fabulous starts to get old when it's all you ever eat. Henry's End was an antidote to that. Oh, the vegetables were seasonal (what's up, fiddlehead ferns!) and the sauces were carefully layered, but they somehow just felt a little older. Sundried tomatoes with a New York strip? Tastes like the early 90's - which I like in the same way I like seeing middle school girls with their hair in french braids. Everything comes around again, and that's a good feeling.

The Brooklyn Heights Wine Bar is down the street from Henry's End and it's under the same ownership. Also cute and cozy, it was a great place for us to close out our evening - plenty of room to chat and a nice by the glass wine list.

Sunday morning we woke up tired and it was gray outside. Our train left at 1, which gave us just enough time for an early brunch. Cousin John's is a short walk from Stacy's apartment and after a short wait (while we drooled over the cakes and cookies in the glass case), we sat down to fantastic coffee and (for me) a sweet breakfast of cheese-filled blintzes and fruit - perfect.

After that, it was the train and back home to the daily grind. We're already talking about our next trip, though - especially after hearing about Laduree's any-minute-now opening on Madison Avenue. Talk about something that's worth a train ride!

1 comment:

Sarah G said...

Count me in for the trip to Laduree! I was thinking the same thing - it's worth the trip just to go there! :)


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