You may be wondering why a title like "Casual New York Weekend" is followed by a photo of the opulent grand ballroom at the historic Waldorf Astoria.
I guess it's a bit incongruous for me say any trip is "casual" when Bryan has to bring his tux and I have to find some pretty dress. But really, that was as fancy as it got. After all, the whole ballroom thing was the "required" part of the trip. You see, I was in New York for business, attending a work dinner in that huge ballroom at the Waldorf Astoria. That part is the same every year.
But this time was different.
Perhaps it was because I had just spent over a week eating (and cooking!) like crazy in Thailand. Or maybe I was still "recovering" from the extended tasting menus from my Las Vegas trip earlier. Whatever the reason, I really just didn't feel like eating any loooong tasting menus.*
So we went a different route. We sought out some more casual places. We had "home-cooked" dinner at a cousin's home. We even managed to squeeze in a few old favorites.
We did fun things like visit the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), where they were temporarily exhibiting one of only four versions of "The Scream" by Edvard Munch. This pastel that you see behind me was sold in May of 2012 for just shy of $120 million USD. It set a world record for the most expensive painting ever sold at an auction.
It was temporarily on display at MoMA between October 2012 and April 2013.
We finally got to try this very popular Asian fusion spot famous for its Packman-shaped tempura and ghost shrimp dumplings.
We found a spicy and authentic Sichuan restaurant that was conveniently close to Penn Station. In fact, we showed up with our luggage before heading back to Boston via the Acela train.
This meal is technically not part of the same weekend trip, but we had stopped in New York for one night before heading off to Thailand (overnight flight connection). We went into the city just for dinner at this farm-to-table restaurant that's connected to a home good store.
We had some of the best salumi we've ever had at this quaint salumeria on the Upper West Side.
We couldn't leave New York without visiting one of our all-time favorite Italian spots. This ricotta salad with pea shoots and snap peas was phenomenal.
With the death of H&H, our old go-to place for bagels, we queued up at Ess-a-Bagel and tried a lovely smoked whitefish bagel sandwich. Yum!
And of course, sometimes nothing beats sharing a hearty, warm hot pot in the comfort of an inviting home with good friends.
Stay tuned for specific posts on many of the above restaurants!
*OK, I do confess that I did try (and failed) to get a reservation at Brooklyn Fare, but that's probably the only long tasting menu that's on my "totally wish I could try" list at the moment in New York.
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