I took a mini vacation from work last week and took a trip to...
New York City.
There is nothing better then living in a city where you can actually take a vacation and not go anywhere.
Here are a few highlights from my "trip"
1. You already heard about Paquito's - that was Friday night
2. Saturday night I discovered the best semi-cheap way to feel like you are going to an expensive restaurant. The husband and I went to Keen's Steakhouse and ate in the pub. The room is dark, white tablecloths, thousands of pipes on the ceiling just like in the main dining room. A fireplace off to the side. It is a true old New York room. We started with a Cesar Salad for me and Cream of Mushroom for the husband. The salad was perfectly dressed, a few hidden anchovies, and a great start to a steakhouse meal. The mushroom soup creamy with fresh mushrooms, and Gruyere topped croutons. This was washed down with two pints of stout beer. We moved on to a burger with Roquefort cheese and prime rib hash with a fried egg. There is nothing good for you on these plates, which makes them that much better. The cheese was the expensive stinky kind. The burger was great, although the bun wasn't my favorite, it was a little big. The hash was crispy, loaded with pieces of prime rib, and perfectly laced with onion. No dessert for us. Just another beer. All this for $90. Not cheap, but for the feeling of eating in an expensive old school steakhouse, it isn't bad.
3. Sunday I achieved one of my resolutions. Trying a new recipe. This one came from the Silver Spoon cookbook, although I really only used it as a guide. My new recipe was Lasagna Bolognese. I achieved another resolution by bringing leftover lasagna to work this week. I liked the recipe, which called for a Bolognese sauce, a béchamel sauce, and Parmesan as the key ingredients. I added a bit of mozzarella - but otherwise followed the recipe. I would try again, but would add a little more tomato sauce. I also made sausage and peppers and a quick salad - not bad for a Sunday of crossword puzzle solving, football watching, and more poker playing.
4. Monday morning I was off to the Guggenheim with a stop for brunch at Sarabeth's on Madison and 92nd. I have to be honest, the clientele wasn't my favorite - a little snooty upper east sidey. But, I had the best soup in recent memory. Note to all of you and to self - go to Sarabeth's often for the tomato bisque. I know, it sounds boring, but it is so rich, creamy, and delicious that it is worth the fake smiles, disapproving looks, and elbows in the side while waiting for a table. The spinach and goat cheese omelets wasn't bad either.
5. Monday night I was treated to dinner at db Bistro. I've wanted to go here for a while and it didn't disappoint. First, the breadbasket was impressive with the highlight being a great pretzel stick. Basically the taste and texture you always hope for and never get with a pretzel on the street. We had a crab and lobster bake with saffron potatoes and a beet salad to start. The beets were sliced so thin they looked like tuna sashimi and were so delicate. They were scattered with baby lettuces and varied nuts with an abundance of hazelnut. Ideas were popping around my brain for how to use my hazelnut oil as I savored all of the flavors. The bake was ridiculous good. Creamy, cheesy, saffrony, crabby, lobstery, etc. For dinner, I ordered the suckling pig - this continues my trend of ordering whatever challenges me a little. I didn't really understand the waiter when he described the dish so was surprised when I was faced with a charcuterie. Pleasantly surprised. It was almost too much pork...almost. The others at the table had the chicken with artichoke and mushrooms and the venison ragu with orichietti. The chicken laughed loudly at my rule not to order chicken for fear of boringness. The ragu was delicate and heavy at the same time. Finally, perfect coffee and a chocolate mouse cake with passion fruit cream. A perfect topper.
So that was my weekend.
I know, I am spoiled.
But I was on vacation.
I'm off to Boston tomorrow. Trying to decide what to order for dinner. I'm rewarding myself after a tough day. Maybe cheesesteak...maybe Chinese.... I’ll let you know tomorrow what I order. I'm also going to Campbell Apartment tonight to celebrate my crappy day. I'll let you know what my cocktail choice is as well. I should have more crappy days....