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NYC Trip Report: Wknd of Fun and thanks for the fodorite recs!

NYC Trip Report: Wknd of Fun and thanks for the fodorite recs!

Old Jan 8th, 2007, 01:55 PM
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NYC Trip Report: Wknd of Fun and thanks for the fodorite recs!

Returned from our weekend in the city with 6 other friends. With a total of 8 (and sometimes 10 and 12 when others joined us) we had a fun mix of many things -and many great recs from people here on Fodors....as usual

Thursday:
We arrived easily and on time via Amtrak acella from Boston - settled in at the Michelangelo Hotel, where we all stay each January for this mini vacation, and thrilled during check in when they told me 'welcome back and we have taken the liberty of upgrading you to a suite and we hope you will be pleased..." pleased?- ah, yea, that would be a yes !

Others not arriving until later, so our day includes the boat show, meeting up with our daughter for a quick stop at Bloomies and a few fav spots and to Roberto Passon for dinner - a past rec from NeoPatrick, and I couldn't wait to have their paper thin veal over sauteed garlic spinach with capers and lemon sauce again...we enjoyed that and more, a lovely bottle of wine and some great moscato sent over by our waiter after dinner. robertopasson.com
741 and 9th

We love this place, the staff is wonderful and the food was perfect again this second time around...
and again later in the weekend....

Back at the MIchelangelo Hotel met up with our gang for some drinks and to plot our next day. Daughter joined us long enough for them to see her Roberto Passon leftover bag of goodies and they all want that paper thin veal so we call asap and get a rezzie for pre theater dinner the next night.

Friday:
Some are off to the MET to see exhibits, and enjoy a fabulous lunch in the trustees room
A few of us went down to the seaport for the Bodies Exhibit, which I'd seen before in Boston and NYC, but enjoyed again, and it was especially enjoyed by one of our friends who is in the medical field -

From there we hit the lighting stores on Bowery and grab a taxi to Magnolia's bakery (401 Bleeker) since my girlfriend has been dying to try them and we never seem to fit it in when she is here - lucky, no line, walked right in, maybe b/c of the drizzle and time of day (1pm)

Considering ourselves lucky, we grab a dozen each to share later with the ohters and of course, eat one right there on the sidewalk because after all, how good is it to eat dessert before lunch when on vacation -

We lunch at Miracle Grill - 415 Bleeker, a spot with a southwestern touch - have great guacamole and chips, and some truly fabulous burgers

From there we buzz in and out of a few stores, and grab a cab to Macy's in Herald Sq for the shoe sale in the 'comfie' walking shoe section - it was a mad house but we found what we were looking for and headed back to hotel.

Dinner at Roberto Passon - thin veal piccata dish again for me - and several others, and others enjoyed:
white asparagus, prosciutto, poached egg, brown butter and parmesan; several had the proscioutto, arugula, bosc pear in balsamic - pears perfectly sliced, still in pear shape and translucent they were sliced so thin, caesar salad went over big, as did the lamb shank, fish special, and marvelous desserts were passed of banana tart, walnuts tartufo, apple pie - all enjoyed with great wine and topped with after dinner drinks before we headed to

The Drowsy Chaperone: which we all thoroughly enjoyed the acting, costumes, - it was fun light theater which two of us had seen but didn't mind seeing again - after we headed back to Michelangelo bar and sat around our table on their comfie chairs and couches as we plotted the next day.

Saturday:
One couple headed to the Annie Liebovitz photography exhibit at Brooklyn Museum and thought it was fabulous.

The rest of us headed to the Tenement Musuem on the lower east side to book a tour and then with an hour to kill, we walked Delancey/Ludlow area -
finding great earrings at Renato Vasconcelos 166 orchard
(webiste is the name.com)

Thoroughly enjoyed the Confino Living History Tour, given by a wonderful young gal playing a girl from 1916 named Victoria, a Sephardic-Jewish immigrant from Turkey - full of wonderful information, stayed beautifully in character, the most fun watching her teach a young child on the tour a new dance she had recently learned at the 'local dance night" which her brother had taken her to.

The film on immigration that they show in the main museum should also be seen before the tours, whch we hadn't seen last visist b/c of time constraints.

While the guys head to McScorley’s, the gals head towards Soho -

We happen upon Rocky's on 45 Spring Street and one of the gals is thrilled they have lentil soup - which she said was great, I had a nice pasta soup and the others tasty appetizers -

We found great wraps/scarves at Kinnu on 43 spring st, and with time running out grabbed a taxi back to hotel.

Quick change and down to the west village to
Extra Virgin Restaurant, 259 W 4th St - a great rec I got froma fodorite while planning some ideas (thanks lmoneylsauce)
Of course, we were amazed with the weather so warm and people eating outside ! crazy east coast weather we are having....

We enjoy some white cranberry martinis, warm goat cheese and tomato tartlets, the table is nuts over the french fries and dipping them in a fabulous gorgonzola dip, I had a mouth watering mushroom crusted chicken with sweet pea risotto in truffle broth that I have to figure out how to make...

Off to Comix Club (great opening act, ok second act, and then Paul F. Tompkins who started out strong, was a tad weak in the middle, but got on the upswing again -enjoyed more martinits and appetizers (can you believe we ate again- but some great fried veggies, sort of like chips but veggis with great dipping sauce and some quesadillas) during the show - it was a great space though, and it was full - and the bar at the entry was nice and staff friendly and fun.

We were planning on finding some jazz next, but this didn't happen much to the disappointment of a few of us, we couldn't seem to get a consensus going before the night to pre book anything, and it just didn't seem to be something the whole group was leaning towards, - but I know have a great list from many fodorites to use on my next trip in April.

Instead, we headed down to Orchard St to the Gallery Bar, which is having some 'soft openings' until the official opening later in the month. One of the group knew some who had worked on the design, so we met up with some other friends there, and enjoyed it for a few hours -
fun, hip place - we were definitely waaay over age at 50 plus, but the space is interesting, also exhibiting art and scultpure, and with a dj from the back upstairs, and a cool space downstairs with neat decor - and a fun old fashioned photo booth in the back where you can have snapshots taken which they impose on the wall if you are so inclined to allow.... seemed hopping with those 25-30ish and everyone was friendly and no one made fun of us old folks. half of our party left after an hour, but the rest of us stayed longer - staff was great, owner was talking to everyone and interested in suggestions and sharing what was coming, since the space is not completed as yet, but much of the art work was interesting that was installed to date - they plan on the exhibits rotating with area artists and sculptors, which I thought was a great idea.

http://www.urbandaddy.com/articles/4...ower_east_side

Sunday;
we meet up with everyone for coffee while they eat at the hotel breakfast, but we are off to meet a combo of friends and family for a brunch at eleven at Brasserie 8 1/2 - recommended for our group by NeoPatrick (and yes, you did it again - a perfect rec for what we wanted!)

Totally enjoyed the space ( and yes, we all remembered the famous Sex in the City episodes from there) -
and the marvelous crepes (many with chocolate and strawberries) fabulous omelettes, beef wellington, mussels merinieres, brussel sprouts, banana cream pie - zillions of things being passed and tasted and many trips to the buffet - a great buffet with nice stations and not overwhelming at all -

As Neo had said, absolutely not rushed at all ,- we could hear ourselves talk, and at a fixed $ 27 it was perfect for all -
I especially liked that they have the krispy kreme donuts on the same table as the fruit (artfully presented halved pineapples) because somehow that made me feel better about taking a donut since I was balancing it with healthy fruit plus we had a lovely round table in the back and I kept telling myself the walk back and forth was mixing exercise and eating all in one.

The bellinis and mimosas were tasty and the coffee was great - waiter attentive, but not over our shoulder, we started at 11am, waited until the noon 'ok' hour when they could serve the bellinis, etc - and after we sat with just our coffee and catching up until 2pm - we enjoyed everything about this place and would return. very relaxing.
rapatina.com 9 w 57th

Too much food, too much wine, etc but a great weekend in NYC with wonderful sunny weather - looking forward to the next visit in April...
many thanks to those who shared some great recommendations with us.
escargot is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2007, 01:58 PM
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well that didn't come out right.
first, sorry for the wide thread, think that happened b/c i didn't use a tiny url for one web site, but some people here have told me not to use tiny url's b/c people don't like them...

also the web site for this came out wrong:
finding great earrings at Renato Vasconcelos 166 orchard
(webiste is the name.com)
it is the name of the store -
renatovasconcelos.com

sorry guys !
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Old Jan 8th, 2007, 02:00 PM
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I love Miracle Grill and Extra Virgin! Great report Escargot - sounds like you had a full weekend! We're going back in two weeks to see the Annie Leibowitz exhibit again before it closes, can't wait!
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Old Jan 8th, 2007, 02:18 PM
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What a great trip! So glad you all had so much fun. Thanks for the link to Roberto Passon, we might have to try it in a few weeks. I realize that sometimes are busier than others, but how was the noise level while you were there?
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Old Jan 8th, 2007, 03:03 PM
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we have been at Roberto Passon for reservations on a Friday at 5:30 pre theater, and it started to get noisy around 7:30, but not so noisy we could not talk and didn't need to raise our voices. We have also been at 7pm on Thursday, and it was 90% full by the time we left at 9:30 and still not too noisy.
Last visit wa also a pre theater, on a Sat night, 5:30-7:30 dining and it was full with everyone yakking, but I did not need to raise my voice to hear my husband who was across from me.

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Old Jan 8th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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That's great - thanks for the inside scoop!
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Old Jan 8th, 2007, 04:03 PM
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the real thanks goes to NeoPatrick who picked RPasson for us back in October and our brunch at Brasserie 8 1/2 this weekend I;m going to have to consult him again prior to the April trip !
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Old Jan 8th, 2007, 04:38 PM
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Escargot - You stole my trip report!! We, too, stayed at the Michelangelo (also upgraded to a suite) and saw Drowsy Chaperone Friday.
We saw all those wonderful cupcakes wandering around the lobby and in the elevator. They did look good!
This is too funny.
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Old Jan 8th, 2007, 09:08 PM
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Birdie: talk about coincidences...were you witness to our disagreement with the waitress in the bar when she told us we couldn't eat 'outside food' in the bar even though they were not going to be serving food in 15 minutes and even though we told her cupcakes were not food, they were a dessert ?? or was it when we were cramming them down our throat while surfing the internet buying the 'next day tickets'

But don't you love the Michelangelo? we have never stayed there and not rec'd some type of upgrade, and they always remember we return there every January - and how can you not love a hotel that presses and returns your newly bought pants in less than 10 minutes !
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Old Jan 8th, 2007, 09:11 PM
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I know what I forgot to add about Roberto Passon - they only take American Express or cash - and you can make rezzies on opentable.com
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Old Jan 8th, 2007, 09:18 PM
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An FYI: Roberto Passon is one of 12
restaurants - see
www.NYCRG.com
Not all are on Open Table but all
are inexpensive.
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 04:58 AM
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Rhea - that makes sense! That's a nice group of restaurants, I have had several nice meals at Cara Mia. Thanks for the link
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 05:45 AM
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Rhea that is a great link thanks - funny thing, my daughter loves Maria Pia and we love Arte and how did we never figure this out? thanks again, good list ot have next time we're in the city
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 06:04 AM
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We were on the elevator with one of the cupcakes and were told that they had been brought in. Later we saw more cupcakes in the lobby. Cupcakes everywhere!
We loved the Michelangelo. I was wary because there are very mixed reviews on Trip Advisor. I also prefer a quieter neighborhood but it is great to walk to the theater and our room was incredibly quiet.
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Old Jan 12th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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Good point about Roberto Passon. I guess I had forgotten they only take American Express. I'm looking forward to doing the rabbit there during our stay in a couple weeks. By the way, it always seems to be very quiet there AFTER theatre, yet they are open late.
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