Oh my FSM1 I am full. Still. From Friday. Seriously, I think I really ate that much. Friday was, after all another adventure in New York based gastronomy. To be honest so was Saturday, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Friday started with breakfast at Good Enough to Eat. I figured I’d be Mr. Healthy-pants and ordered a cup of oatmeal with a side cup of fruit. This also served the purpose of prepping my body with something good-for-me, since I knew I was going to spend the day consuming things that were not-so-good-for-me. You have to love a day that starts out with the knowledge that you are about to commit one of the seven deadly sins2 (the sinniest of all sins).
After breakfast we ventured over to the American Museum of Natural History. The visit included stops at the Brain exhibit, the Butterflies exhibit, as well as the Sea Rex movie (apparently in IMAX). We also took in Journey to the Stars. All very nerdy, and all very awesome. I’ll chat more about this particular part of the adventure in a later post.
Having burned so many Calories wandering the museum, thinking about science-y things, and learning nerd related stuffs, we decided to drop into the Amsterdam Ale House because after all, beer fuels nerd power. There we enjoyed a pint and some snacks. I opted for a pint of Harpoon Brewery Munich Dark German-Style Dunkel, and onion rings. Beer and onion rings; really what could be better than that to recover from a day of brain work?
Sated, we returned to the hotel for a bit of rest and relaxation. It wasn’t that our day was overly taxing, but we were all well aware of the dinner that was coming. A dinner that could only be described as epic. What dinner could possibly be described in this manner? Only the famous Wine Dinner offered by Maloney & Porcelli. For $75 one gets a three course meal, plus 4 bottomless bottles of wine. I repeat bottomless. It really is insane, and awesome, and oh so dangerous. And we love it. This part of the NYC trip has become tradition. The wines are always good, and the food superb.
For my appetizer I ordered a platter of raw Malpeque oysters, which were shared with Alan who had opted for Bluepoint oysters. Both were delicious, but I think I still favour the Malpeques.
Our appetizers were accompanied by the Pisani Prosecco Brut, a sparkling wine that would be called Champagne if it were produced in that region of France. So freaking good. Especially with the oysters.
We were also served Guenoc Chardonnay (2009). I normally am not a fan of Chardonnay, but this one wasn’t bad. Gerarda was not as much of a fan as me.
My main was Crackling Pork Shank. What I received blew my mind, and the collective minds of those sitting at the table with me. Seriously, the meal that was presented to me was so huge, I can’t possibly imagine anyone ever being able to successfully eat an entire serving. The shank was the size of my head. Given that I can’t eat much in one sitting (thank you hernia), the fact that my meal was so ridiculously huge was significantly hilarious. And the irony was not lost on anyone.
Despite its immense size, the shank was delicious. It came with a jalapeno pepper infused apple sauce. So. Freaking. Good. I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy regular apple sauce again. Every bite of the shank was that much better because of the apple sauce. And the shank was amazing on its own. Even though I am still full, I want more of it. Sadly, I couldn’t eat the entire thing, but I gave it a valiant attempt.
Our main was also accompanied by our final 2 wines of the eve3; the Bodega Tamari Reserve Malbec, and the Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon (2008). I really enjoyed the Malbec, but I’m a bit of a Malbec whore.
Finally, dessert came. I chose the homemade fig newton bars (which came with a shot of frangelico for dipping; clearly something I needed after drinking 4 different bottomless wines). The newtons were definitely more refined than those that one would buy in the grocery store; delicate cake fingers filled with a rich fig paste. You are right to be jealous. They were incredible. If the grocery store variety tasted like these, I’d be gorging on them all the time. Which makes me thankful that the regular grocery store variety fig newtons do not taste like this.
Anyway, by the time the last glass was drank and the last fig newton dipped, we were all quite buzzed, insanely stuffed, and very happy. We wouldn’t change a thing. And I write that given my friend the hangover that decided to pay a visit Saturday morning. Honestly, when I woke up I had to do an inventory of my body as I figured every part of me had reason for revenge. Thankfully I wasn’t too bad; nothing a good coffee couldn’t fix. And where there is Starbucks, there is coffee. And breakfast sandwiches. Simple, not so healthy, but just what the doctor ordered when he’s hung over. Get it, just what the doctor ordered. Because I’m a doctor. And I ordered it. Ha. I kill me.
The MOMA was fantastic. This makes my 3rd or 4th visit to the MOMA, and it never disappoints. The previous visit included an exhibit on Tim Burton’s art (verdict, that dude is weird but ever so cool). This time around, we saw an Andy Warhol exhibit which included short films. Like the American Museum of Natural History, I’ll write more about this in a later post.
After exploring artworks by Matisse, Monet, Seurat, Van Gogh, Kandinsky, De Kooning, and many, many others, Alan and I stopped into the museum restaurant for a snack. He chose a 3 cheese platter (which he informed me was quite good), while I selected the smoked trout salad. Delicious, and it hit the I’m still hung over spot perfectly.
Tired from a day of walking the city and satisfying the arty side of our brains, we made our way to City Bakery for the Hot Chocolate Festival. City Bakery is famous for their hot chocolate, or so I’ve been informed. And while they do offer a soy-based version of the drink, a staff member also informed me that it is also made with cream. Huh? How does that work? Sadly, I had to settle for a coffee, but Gerarda, Alan, and Elisabeth all gave the hot chocolate two thumbs up. It smelled really good. Sigh.
Full of chocolatey goodness (or in my case more caffeine and a homemade marshmallow), we returned to the hotel to recuperate and to enjoy a hair-of-the-dog beer on Gerarda and Alan’s balcony. The balcony offered some great views of the city and the river.
Later that eve we ventured to dinner at Artie’s Deli. The meal was simple, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fantastic. I had an open-faced turkey reuben with sauerkraut and pickles, along with a club soda. You shouldn’t really come to NYC without having a deli sandwich at least once. They really do know how to make a good sandwich here. And this one was beautiful. I highly recommend it.
After seeing an off-Broadway play (to be discussed in a later post), we chose to close out our night by returning to Crumbs bakery. Because why wouldn’t we want to eat more sugary treats? So yes, more cupcakes were consumed, and all was well with the world. All was especially well with the world since I discovered that Crumbs makes a dairy free soy-milk based hot chocolate. Best hot chocolate after-being-denied-a-hot-chocolate-at-the-hot-chocolate-festival, ever. Say that five times fast.
This dear friends is why I am full, and why I will probably remain full for several more days. And it is one of the many reasons why New York is amazing, and why you should be booking a trip here as soon as you can. Do it. Do it now. It is so worth it.
Take that hernia.
2 In this case, gluttony.
3 Bringing my wine total up to 11 of the 30 required by my Not-So-Bucket-List list.