Monday, November 30, 2009

Quick, tell me what to eat in New York.

Thanksgiving was good. We had fun visitors. We ate stuff and cooked stuff. We were very good cooks, although very slow cause of all the talking. We patted ourselves on the back for our tasty creations. We sent the children out in the yard, where they played chicken on electric mini cars and scooters and scraped off lots of their skin. I ran out of band-aids. No one lost any teeth. (Except Jane. But it was already loose. And our flaky tooth fairy still hasn't shown up yet.) I forgot to sleep very much. I might have stayed up until 5 am on Saturday morning, woke at 8, then ate an entire box of Harry and David chocolate covered blueberries. Fell asleep for the night at 5:30 pm. 14 hours later, I rose refreshed, like a Phoenix (but in Gilbert, not Phoenix). Was a 2-days-after-Thanksgiving miracle. Then Jane started puking and didn't stop, and I got all hypochondriac-y and got nauseous, too. But so far I don't have it.

I really hope I don't get it.

I'm leaving for New York on Saturday.

Is my last hurrah before I get all third trimester big and mean and can't move. And before I start nursing, and can't ditch the infant for like a year. (Er, I mean, I would never want to be separated from my baby for even a moment.)

This year's trip is rather spontaneous, and we don't have plays or food planned yet. Today, perhaps? But we did find a hotel. Is not the Plaza, but it does have Gordon Ramsay and afternoon tea. (We don't like the F word, but we LOVE tiny sandwiches and clotted cream.) Also, according to the photo gallery, they have very hip, skinny, 50s style guests wearing small furs, and dogs. (They don't wear the dogs, they bring them, live, on vacation to the city.) Can't wait for that.

This London Hotel NYC patron has it all: retro suit, afternoon tea, dog.

We are thinking about seeing South Pacific, Superior Donuts, In the Heights, and perhaps Mamet's Race or A little Night Music (starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Landsbury. I'm not joshing.) Both of these shows are still too new to have reviews, so is possible are real stinkers, and pricey stinkers. No discounts on Broadway box yet.)

We will also probly go back to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, because it is awesome and has many different tenement tours given by super attractive NYU grad students. (And by super attractive, I mean huge nerds with floppy hair and Barry Goldwater glasses.) When we were there before, my sister leaned over and said
you want that guy's job, huh?
And you think he's hot?
And I did.
And I did.
(Heaven forgive me.)

As for food, all we've settled on is Carnegie Deli and Mr. Chow. We've decided to go a little lower brow this time, cause sometimes we go to these fancy places and they like to trot out the weird animal products at dinner time to impress us. Please, we plead, don't get out the suckling duck and sweetmeats on our account. We totally dig chicken. Do whatever you like to the chicken. Or the fish, or the skeletal meat of the cow. But please, put away all the testicles, and stop stuffing that intestine with cauliflower or figs. Is untoward.

So, quick, tell me if you have any recommendations. I'm buying tickets and making reservations asap.

Then, I'll worry about the fact that I don't have any pants. That fit.
I do have one very cute dress, though. I should get some tights, or my bum will be frozen.


erin said...

Have fun!!! Never been to NY, so I don't know what you should eat... but let me know what's good at Carnegie Deli. I've been wanting to go to the one here at the Mirage!

Beeswax said...


(With lots of kraut and mustard, and cheesecake with strawberries for dessert.)

bionictrout said...

Sorry in advance for my lengthy comment. I am serious about NY food.

Most Manhattan restaurants have fixed price menus for both lunch and dinner now, and they are excellent values.

There are all of the old, classic high-end restaurants you can find in any guide, but here are my personal favorites.

All of Jean George's restaurants have prix fixe menus that are exceptional, both for lunch (about $24) and dinner (around $35). I like Jean Georges (his name restaurant) on the ground floor of the Trump International Hotel at Columbus Circle. It has three Michelin stars, so you can feel haute couture without spending a car payment. His Nougatine lounge at the same location is excellent, too, and you can get reservations last minute sometimes there. Jo Jo on the Upper East Side is great, as well. The guy invented the molten chocolate cake, and does it better than anyone, so I think that alone is enough to frequent one of his restaurants.

For a great value for Italian lunch (like $15 for three courses, including dessert) go to Roberto Passon on the northwest corner of 9th Ave and 50th Street. My office was in the World Wide Plaza on the adjacent block, and I ate there several times. The panna cota is one of the best I have had. In the theater district, it is convenient and an awesome value.

Another Italian favorite of mine is Becco, also in the theater district. It has an endless pasta course thing, that is pretty good. They also have a starter that involves a large mozzarella stuff with a slightly softer cheese and will change your life.

Manhattan is light on Thai food, but Kittichai in SoHo is the best Thai I have ever had. I should warn that it is more Thai-inspired modern than authentic Thai, but I think authentic Thai tastes like rotten fish, so I prefer it. The atmosphere and presentation is amazing and SoHo has a sweet late night vibe to it all-around. This place is not overly cheap, but nowhere near expensive for Manhattan. Get the larb nuar for sure. It may be called cold beef salad or something, but it is other-wordly. It is on Thompson just north of Broome.

If you love Korean (and after eating with me at Sam Hawk, you better), Bann, also in the theater district, is excellent, if not a bit upscale for Korean food. We had a company event there, and it was fantastic food. They have tables where you can cook your own meal over a little barbecue in the middle, or (if you are like me, and don't like to cook when you eat out) you can just order prepared food. They have classic Korean standby's like bulgogi and creative fusion dishes, as well.

If you dig Mexican food, and want to try one of the ubiquitous Manhattan guacamole bars, hit Rosa Mexicana near Lincoln Center (pre-temple dinner/lunch?). It is my favorite Mexican in the city, but some people don't like the idea of going to Manhattan and eating food from south of the border.

Some random ones: Aquavit for the best Scandinavian food in the U.S. P.J. Clarke's (I like the Upper East Side one) for bar-style comfort food. Le Bernardin for the best upscale seafood and an experience in one of Manhattan's finest restaurants. The Lever House over on the East Side is an institution of the 1950s ad execs if you want to feel like you are in a Mad Men episode.

Those are some ideas. For your own research, hit the New York Magazine's guide (; more of your usual suspects) and (local favorites). Get your reservations through as far in advance as you can, particularly on weekends and after 8. Call me if you have any questions. I am way into the NY food scene.

Kari said...

It will be very hard to top the week of Thanksgiving, so I think that you should simply not try.
Though I do hope that you skip the tossy stomach that Jane's passing around that we may or may not have passed on to her. Jack spent all night over the throne and I'm pulling the copy-cat action today. Not sure what we have, but we're blaming Melanie's kids, mostly because she doesn't read here.
Thanks for the fabulous weekend. And I hope you find some pants.

Barbaloot said...

Just go to Cosi's. It's the best sandiwch place ever. Such yummy bread---that you can get samples of while you wait to order what you want!!

It's the kind of place you go when you have a half hour between shows or stores...and it's a chain so you can probly find lots.

Chief said...

I am so envious! I love New York! about home for one second!

Melanie J said...

Amy Ruth's in Harlem (up around 116th, I think) has the best soul food outside of Baton Rouge (where I grew up) that I've ever tasted. It's a cool vibe inside, upscale-ish and mod without being pricey. They list Kool-Aid on the menu (trust me, the food is phenomenal) and when I asked the waitress what flavor it was, she looked at me like it was the dumbest question a white lady ever asked her and said, "Red."

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Sounds like an awesome Thanksgiving! Have fun in NY! I am taking my family there very soon for the Christmas decor. Not sure when. Just going to wait for a particularly warm day in the forecast and then go.

Beeswax said...

I am writing these down! Just called Jen to read them aloud, and she exclaimed "I love Ben! I feel a warm and cousinly kinship with him right now."

I love sandwiches and kool-aid.

Kari, Tommy is puking now, too. Have made turkey noodle soup.

Alyson, give us a call if you are there the 6-8th!

Hailey said...

All I want are some pork bons from Chinatown. But I'm sure my husband the foodie knows his stuff.

As for the theater, I heard CZJ is AMAZING in Little Night Music, so don't miss that. And I really want to see South Pacific because I have always hated that musical but my super-critical New Yorker theater friend swears that this particular production is beyond awesome. In the Heights was good, but I wish we would have been closer. I think I would have felt more involved with the characters, because the actual ballads weren't my favorite. I have heard Next to Normal is brilliant, and have you ever caught 39 Steps?

I guess Ben and I will make a good team in Manhattan...

Hailey said...

Ooh, ooh, and Jude Law in Hamlet! I heard that the production is lacking in some areas but that Jude is amazing and really, they had me at Jude.

Terresa said...

Ooh, traveling is so much fun! I went to the UK last month sans children and husband and (yes, I admit it) had the sweet time of my life. And I will do it again. And again. And again. (Just different places, you know.)

Traveling in between having children, nursing and loving them to pieces is healthy and so necessary. Enjoy every sec traveling!!

Next time I go to NYC, I'll have to get some pointers from you. It's been way too long since I've been to recall anyplace we ate, except I remember it all being so so good.

Anonymous said...

I saw Mamet's "Race" during the previews and have a ticket for the was really good. James Spader and David Alan Grier were excellent. I would definitely recommend the show.

Tenement Museum said...

We're blushing!

If you like pastrami, pay a visit to Katz's if you're in our neighborhood. We also like their matzo ball soup.

Beeswax said...

Holy crud. Tenement Museum, you weren't supposed to read this post. Now you know I have a crush on you, and I am super embarrassed.