December in Manhattan is magical. There are waiting lines with stanchions to view the department store window displays. The frosty 36 degree daytime weather somehow feels just right, and makes that cozy restaurant tavern the oasis it was meant to be.
We arrived in NYC to spend a handful of nights with our friends, Mitch & Karen, and to celebrate the holiday season, along with Mitch’s birthday, in true Manhattan style. That meant pre-theatre lunches, post-theatre dinners, museums during the off hours, and of course some shopping. Mitch, being a native New Yorker, researched the restaurant scene for us, and selected the spots for this years trip. Our only return destinations would be lunch at Del Posto because we loved it so much last time we dined there, and our favorite pizza spot, Cafe Fiorellos.
We began with pizza, lasagna and cheesecake at Fiorellos for arrival dinner. We decided to let the games begin.
Our first day began with a trip to the newly completed 911 Memorial Museum. We were overwhelmed. At times we could hardly hold back the tears. The museum was extraodarinarily well put together and we spent almost 3 hours there. The tragedy is quite hard to relive but one in which the story must be told.
Dinner that evening was at Felidia’s. The innovative Italian cuisine and five star service were top notch in every way.
Day two consisted of the Peter Coecke van Aeist 16th Century tapestry exhibit, (some sown with gold threads) at the MET, lunch at Cafe Boulud, and the comedy “It’s Only A Play” on Broadway (Nathan Lane was hysterical, Mathew Broderick not so much). We followed that with a late dinner at Pearl and Ash which included our waitress saboring our bottle of prosecco. The small plates were scrumptious, especially the meatballs and the green beans.
Day three was our “day of theatre” with two shows in one day. We saw a matinee of Bradley Cooper in “The Elephant Man” (unbelievable, he deserves a tony award, best show we saw!!!!), and Hugh Jackman in “The River” (wait, what was this about? Can anyone explain it?) Lunch was at The Modern after we took in the Matisse cut out exhibit at MOMA (brilliant and fascinating). Dinner was at Florian, for pizza night again.
Day four was shopping day (sale at Zadig & Voltaire, fur-lined boots at Fiorintini + Baker), lunch at Del Posto, dinner at Minetta Tavern, and the Carole King musical story on Broadway called “Beautiful.” I sure loved that Tapistry album! Great show. We also cruised through Mario Batali’s Eataly food court. Now, that place is food heaven!
Unexpected perks were our two different hilarious cab drivers. Eastern European Cabbie was wearing “Bono” sunglasses at night. He had a cranked up stereo system installed in his SUV cab. His soundtrack was 1980’s rock. We drove back home that night dancing to Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” while losing our hearing. European Cabbie number two told us he heard on the news that the other Bush brother was now qualified to run for President. The news said Bush had lost weight and learned Spanish, so now he could run. Cabbie asked us Americans “Is that really all it takes?” Welcome to New York.