Friday, April 4, 2008

NYC 3/24

I have finally dug thru the mail, emails, spam and other items that accumulate during an absence and am ready to tackle a wonderful week in New York City.
Since I concentrate on restaurants that will, of course, be central but I will probably rough out a few of our other activities as well.
We arrived around noon Monday in Manhattan and unpacked. We are very fortunate to have a good friend with and extra bedroom, and a very shearing attitude, so we can afford the "Big Apple" with out depositing 2 grand at a midtown hotel. Even luckier is the fact that the Apartment is in the middle of the "slums" at 75th and Madison. For those of you that don't know NY the "slum" comment is a joke.
After unpacking we walked to "Gino" 780 Lexington Ave, between 60 and 61( a block above Bloomingdale's). I have been going there since 1945, when my Father first took me. Hardly anything has changed with the exception of the staff. I don't give you a phone # since they don't take reservations nor credit cards.
Why is this a must stop for me? They are one of the only places, I know, that always has tripe on the menu. After a plate and a glass of wine I am in the big city and ready for my New York experience. Marilyn usually has a stuffed Artichoke and that day was no different.
That afternoon we wondered around "midtown" visiting stores, specialty shops and one or two art galleries.
After a brief rest, we took off, by subway for "Blue Hill". We took 2 cabs all week, one in from the airport and one back out. All the rest was subway, bus or walking, an easy and fun thing to do in NY.
"Blue Hill Restaurant", 75 Washington Place, 10011, phone 212-539-1776, was new to Marilyn and me. It stresses light cooking, fresh produce and wonderful light sauces. It started at Blue Hill Farms and although it is quite sophisticated the food has a fresh country taste. Incidentally I did not wear or need a coat or tie anywhere, although we did not attend any formal functions or frequent any private clubs. The food was outstanding and one of our absolutely top dinners on the trip.
After my usual, I had a fresh crab salad and grilled, rare, Hamachi, a fish very much like Tuna. This trip we found beets and Brussels sprouts on a preponderance of our evening menus. The Hamachi was served on a bed of Brussels sprouts and other chopped, crisp vegetables. Marilyn had veal and we shared an order of chocolate bread pudding, for the table. We take our hostess to dinner, most nights, its the least we can do.
The total for the 3 of us, including "decaf" was $230 including tip and tax. Blue Hill is down a few stairs but I imagine they can make accommodation for people who can not negotiate them. It was a wonderful way to start a culinary visit to NY.

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