New York Trip Report - hotel and restaurants

Old May 11th, 2007, 03:33 AM
  #1  
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New York Trip Report - hotel and restaurants

I finally made it to New York and had a fabulous time. Here are some highlights...
Firstly, I stayed at the Mela hotel on W 44th. First impressions were disappointing because of the unimpressive lobby, but later I loved it. The hotel is 4 months old and everything was sparkling and brand new. I love a new bathroom and crisp bedding! The rooms are small but I was upgraded to deluxe king and it was fine.The staff are extremely helpful with everything. You get a very good impression on their web site ...http://www.hotelmela.com/. I was also worried about the area because of previous posts, but I found as soon as you left Times Square, there was no problem and I loved leaving for the theater at 7:45 pm!
Restaurants: First night was taken to Il Mulinar...wonderful food. Also ate at Virgils, Olive at W for breakfast, Blue Ribbon Bakery. All were great.More in next post...
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Old May 11th, 2007, 09:40 AM
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It Might be better to post your report all in one thread. Here's your second installment:

Author: KatPen
Date: 05/11/2007, 06:50 am
Part 2...entertainment. I decided to try my luck with last minute theatre and couldn't believe my luck. Walking back to the hotel after meeting friends on the first day, I saw the signs for Wicked so I went to the box office. I asked for a ticket either on Friday or Sat night. House seats had just been released (3pm Thurs) and I got front row mezz for Friday night. I was thrilled with the seats, enjoyed the performance but was not bowled over. Then I walked past the Drowsy Chaperone and also tried and got 10th row center orchestra for Saturday night. This was fabulous, pure entertainment and I laughed my way through it.
On Sunday we went to New Jersey NJPAC to see Alvin Ailey and that was tremendous. It is a 20 minute train ride from Manhatten and was half the price of the performance I missed when I had to cancel my last trip. Just fabulous! But the absolute highlight for me was participating in a dance class at the Alvin Ailey school. Ailey's legacy was to allow the general public to dance and anyone can join a class for $15. I haven't taken a dance class since I was 18 (I am now 54) and I took a Broadway Jazz class and it was wonderful. For anyone interested in dance, just to be in the building and watch the different classes and actually dance was the greatest thrill and the best $15 I spent!
Another great night was Jim Caruso's Cast Party at Birdland on Monday nights. Really great entertainment. And finally, I found the Tenement Museum to be a fascinating look at New York life as it once was. Well worth it. Best to phone and book as groups are limited to 15. I hope this helps someone and thank you to all Fodorites for their great info.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 04:01 AM
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Kat what did you have to eat at Il Mulinar?
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Old May 12th, 2007, 04:32 AM
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Ellenem, thanks for pasting my reports together. Margo, well at Il Mulinar they brought our appetizers as soon as we sat down. It was so dark that I don't even know what they were..but they were just delicious.After the waiter rolled off a long list of specials (half in Italian of course) I chose one of the specials...seafood with a mushroom risotto...terrific. And I couldn't resist the Tiramisu for dessert. I didn't realize how lucky I was to get taken there. Later I was told you need reserve months ahead...so good luck!
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Old May 12th, 2007, 05:45 AM
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mp
 
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KatPen - nice report but please, I've lived in Manhattan for 40 years and follow the restaurant scene assidiously, but I've never heard of Il Mulinar - do you mean Il Mulino on West 3rd Street?
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Old May 12th, 2007, 07:36 AM
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Mp, Sorry...I guess I mean Il Mulino. I forgot to take a business card when I left.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 07:42 AM
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Il Mulino -- perhaps the worst meal we've ever had in New York.
Pasta that came in a soupy sauce that tasted like flour -- apparently they tried to thicken it without letting it completely cook. Disgusting, the waiter took it away and said, "wow. that looks strange", but it remained on the bill.

A special was rack of BABY lamb for $55. When I asked if that was for two, the waiter said, "oh, no it's just a single serving". My partner ordered it -- it was the size of half a horse -- no BABY lamb ever had 12 inch long ribs!. And it tasted old.

My special veal chop was supposedly filled with porcini and fontina cheese. But when I mentioned it tasted like liver, the waiter said, "Oh yes, I forgot to mention that it has foie gras in it." Who on earth would combine foie gras with fontina cheese in a veal chop? It didn't work. The tirimisu was the size of Brooklyn, but tasted like chocolate flavored cool whip.

The whole place seemed to be about the size of the portions. Quanitity, certainly not quality.

We did have a great wine though at a fair price.

I've always suspected because it was Sunday night, the regular chefs weren't there. At least I hope they weren't!
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Old May 12th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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Gee, Neo what a nice addition to someone's trip report..your own less-than-happy experience..what is the point of relating that?
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Old May 12th, 2007, 09:40 AM
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Hmmm. Am I the first to add comments regarding one of the places discussed in a trip report? I thought that was quite a common thing. People often add agreeing or disagreeing comments regarding places discussed in trip reports -- don't they?

I'm glad KatPen loved her experience there.
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