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NYC Trip report: Wknd with abundant food, theater, Chihuly Glass Exhibit and chocolate!

NYC Trip report: Wknd with abundant food, theater, Chihuly Glass Exhibit and chocolate!

Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 07:11 AM
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NYC Trip report: Wknd with abundant food, theater, Chihuly Glass Exhibit and chocolate!

Thanks to the many fodorites who offered some new places for us to visit during a weekend trip to see our daughter this Oct 20-22.

From Bos-NYC:
arrived FRI. 10/20 via Amtrak from Boston, a delightful trip with a glass of wine, a nice lunch salad, coffee, a good book and a short snooze! Exited Penn Station around 3:30 to pouring rain and unbelievable high winds - which thankfully disappeared within minutes and we were off to the W Union Square- check in - and immediately stretch our legs walking a loop around and through Union Square and enjoy the farmers market, buy a few pieces of delicious fruit for the room and return to change for the evening.

HOTEL: The W was wonderful, a great hotel we thoroughly enjoyed the staff, a comfortable, fantastic room where we had views of the city and a slice of water/bridge.

DINNER:
Pre-theater 6pm rezzie at Roberto Passon (thanks Neopolitan for a most fabulous recommendation!) at 50th and 9th.

I had asked for a new place pre-theater hopefully with a light, thin veal dish and I got exactly that and cooked to perfection.
I enjoyed a mouth watering appetizer of white asparagus on a generous bed of thinly sliced prosciutto, poached egg, parmesan cheese - husband one of Ovuli mushrooms with a dash of olive oil, lemon juice, parsley and parmesan & the mushrooms were some of the best I’d ever tasted, although he was enjoying to so much that all I got was a ‘taste’ !

My Veal Picatta could not have been pounded any thinner - it melted in my mouth - and the sauce was light and tasty - with a touch of brocolli rabe and capers, and there was literally nothing left on my plate. Husband had a Branzino Grill, an australian fish fileted at table, stuffed with rosemary and garlic with a sprinkle of olive oil, lemon, brocolli rabe. another empty plate returned to the kitchen !

We weren’t going to have dessert, but couldn’t resist a tartufo of vanilla and chocolate ice cream with walnuts and chocolate sauce that was scrumptuous.

The portions were perfect, and along w/ a great martinit for DH, a nice glass of wine for me, fabulous staff/service - and for what we received, we thought the price was excellent and would highly recommend and will return. robertopasson.com

THEATER:
We walked to Spamalot, which I had seen when it first opened with daughter but was daying for husband to enjoy - which he did - we left with our faces hurting from smiling/laughing so much - sight gags, monty python related and non related jokes, theater and broadway gags in general, all making for lots of laughing out loud by entire audience.

SAT: 10/21
BREAKFAST; at L’Express, with our daughter and a few friends, one of our old standby’s - at 249 Park Ave S at 20th - b/c we never feel rushed here and enjoy breakfast omelets, crunchy bacon, eggs benedict and coffee. The only thing we for some reason never love here are the home fries, always seem a tad undercooked.

BRONX BOTANICAL; Chihuly Exhibit at Bronx Botanical Gardens: a fabulous exhibit and we’d sadly never been to the Botanical gardens before - what a gem ! - but will certainly return (I was told the spring Orchid exhibit is a must by one of the staff in the store) - it was a sunny gorgeous day and the light reflected beautifully off the outside glass sculptures - this was a real treat. The rose garden was most delightful, really everything was. I believe the Chihuly exhibit ends next week, but is worth the visit and a visit to these gardens would be worth it anytime from what we saw.

SHAKE SHACK was our first stop back in the city - (husband must have a burger, shake (chocolate of course) and fries before they close for season) - daughter and I also indulge in small cheeseburger- and sit enjoying the still sunny day.

Walk it off by stopping in a few stores on our way to Union Sq, including Fishes Eddy where we pick up a few cute kitchen items - and on to

TISSERIE: (thanks ggreen) - a wonderful place at corner of Union Square where we enjoy an amazing cup of coffee/lattes, few pastries and cookies to taste AND the most AMAZING tiny, round chocolate brownies that were just perfect (in our estimation) - just that perfect bit of crunch to the outside and melt in your mouth rich brownie, almost molten chocolate in the middle - tiny and at 75 cents a piece they were worth all of the 3 bites it took to eat - but rich enough that that was all one needed - even a chocoholic like me !! - [email protected]

A quick turn around in our room and train out to Brooklyn for

DINNER: at Five Front ( thanks Lizziea06 and your coworkers for a great recommendation !)

We are still full from too much food and chocolate already - but enjoy a bottle of wonderful wine- and I had a carrot ginger soup with just the right tang of ginger and a salad of arugula, grapes, walnuts, roquefort, endive, olive oil & lemon juice.

Husband enjoyes mussels in white wine and a salad of warm beets and goat cheese. There were amazing choices for entrees, but we just couldn't - dying to go back and try the pork chop entree with figs and other delicous offerings.

As if we haven’t had enough chocolate or desserts, we split 3 scoops of vanilla and chocolate ice cream and a scoop of lime sorbet....

THEATER: Hell House at St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn. We have tix for the 9:45 ‘tour’ -an experience that culminated in some interesting religous/political discussions : no critique here, assumptions or religious belief discussion in this travel report - anyone can google for more info - in general, in the lobby, Rice (local restaurant) serves light food items and drinks (we enjoy ginger tea ), a video of the creator of Hell House explaining the history of it, printed posters with info about the production, its orgination, etc and then you have the tour through different rooms/scenes and make your own judgements/likes/dislikes about the experience and message.

After show we walk a bit and see some great views and take some nice night photos of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, etc - unfortunately we didn’t get out here early enough prior to dinner/show to really walk around, but absolutely plan on it next visit.

Train back to city and walk to L’Express: ok, it was easy to get a table and as I said, it’s a standby. After theater drinks, one had a delicous salad.
Fall into bed.

SUN 10/22
Brunch at Eleven Madison along with our daughter. Heavenly, expensive but heavenly.
everyone enjoys:
Magnificent Bellini’s and Bloody Mary’s, Fruit Platter (amazing, melt in your mouth perfection fruit), wonderful chocolate croissants and breads....
Cherry Almond Granola with greek yogurt and vanilla honey;(we should have stopped here but how could we?)

Eggs Benedict on the most scrumptuous buttermilk bisquits and prosciutto; black angus beef tenderloin poele with onions and bordelaise sauce and did I mention the chocolate croissants?....
since we are now all soooo full, we split a Caramel Coulant with raspberries and salted caramel ice cream . coffee. we can hardly move ! This dessert was phenomenal.

Walk it off -on a beautiful sunny day- through Union square, a few stores and MORE chocolate at:
Chocolat by the Bald Man - Maxbrenner.com
(thanks EMD for bringing this up in the recent ‘chocolate thread’
OH MY GOSH - so much wonderful chocolate all in one place -
if we weren’t so full we would have sat down and really indulged - but we shopped in the store and brought home some wonderful hot chocolate mix, spreads, chocolates and covered pistachios - all for later...... this is an amazing place and we can’t wait to go back when we haven’t already over indulged in such a rich meal elsewhere ! The place was packed and everything being served looked rich and delicous -

Time to taxi to Penn for the train home - exhausted- skipped the wine, but did eat half my pasta dinner, coffee and YES, one of those little brownies from Tisserie that I had in my carry on and still tasted as great as the day before - (you didn’t think I bought just one!) and I’ll hide the rest to enjoy day by day now that we are back home

So we walked a lot, ate a lot, consumed waaay too much food, sweets and chocolate - but loved every minute of it -
Thanks to all for the recommendations-always great to find some new places in the great city of New York !



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Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 07:33 AM
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escargot, this sounds like a perfect weekend. I'm glad you had such a good time. I'm thinking of going up to NY with my daughter in early January, and I'll save your report. Thanks.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 08:23 AM
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Wonderful stuff - thanks for posting.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 08:44 AM
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BRAVO

=D> =D> =D> =D> =D>

Art, theater, good food and great chocolate, walking, time with your daughter, and a Westin Heavenly Bed.

It doesn't get much better than that.

Glad you liked the bald man place, thanks for the review. I have it on my list.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 01:10 PM
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emd: you mention the 'westin heavenly bed' - is that the name of the actual brand/bed they have at the W hotels? we are looking for a new bed for one of our rooms and we did enjoy a wonderful sleep - if you post back, let me know if you know the scoop - thanks! (oh, and the W chocolates they leave by your bed aren't bad either, not Bald Man or Tisserie, but not bad
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Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 01:19 PM
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Yes, it is called the Heavenly Bed. A good friend of mine who also stays in a lot of Westins for work just purchased an entire Westin Heavenly bed combination, w/box springs, matrress, and all the linens. He LOVES it.

See:

http://www.westin-hotelsathome.com/

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Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 03:16 PM
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What a great weekend - thanks for posting your report!
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Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 03:26 PM
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I really enjoyed your report, escargot!!

Brunch at Eleven Madison is so delightful! I'm glad you enjoyed it - the greek yogurt is abosolutely to die for! My favorite.

Saturday was lovely for the Chihuly Exhibit. We were there on Saturday as well with both of our sons!

Now I must insist that Mr. STW take me to see the Bald Man! YUMMY!

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Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 04:39 PM
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seetheworld, I can't believe we were there at the same time....this is why I sometimes think 'fodorites' should have some special collar pin like rotarians, etc so we can find each other....and sometimes I think maybe not, if it meant bumping into someone who had been nasty to you online..

emd: so does this mean Sheraton/W hotels/ and Westins all have the same brand mattresses?
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Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 05:07 PM
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I'm sorry I didn't know you were visiting (perhaps I read about your upcoming trip, but didn't make the connection). I would have loved to have met you!

I should start wearing my Fodors luggage tag, lol.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 05:23 PM
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Thank you for the wonderful trip report! There can be no doubt that youDH and DD had a special time.

Reading about the meals and sights made me homesick for NYC, but in a nice way.

Glad you had such a good time and thanks for taking the time to report back.

Debi
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Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 05:52 PM
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STW: you could do a lot with that luggage tag, a necklace perhaps, or perhaps one looong dangling earring, or somehow incorporate it into your 'hair-do" Next time I'm traveling I'll keep my eyes peeled for you !
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Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 06:51 PM
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what a terrific trip report! made me so nostalgic.

thanks for sharing.

PS- do you know where the chihuly exhibut is headed next?
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Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 07:07 PM
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Chihuly.com lists an entire schedule of his exhibits - hope you have one coming near you or near where you are traveling next !
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Old Oct 24th, 2006, 01:37 AM
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http://shop.nordstrom.com/C/6006651/...igin=srcontent
Nordstrom sells the Heavenly Bed. I just bought the sheets etc. for my new one.
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Old Oct 24th, 2006, 04:48 AM
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Great report. I'm starving now.

Have had a look at the bed. Anyone know what a split queen is vs. regular queen?
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Old Oct 24th, 2006, 06:38 AM
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mclaurie: I am not sure, but I think it refers to either two separate mattresses on top of a box spring or, in the case of electric control mattresses, one mattress but each side adjustable by it's own control -

one of my friends has what she refers to as a split king; one boxspring and two separate mattresses on top, one for her, one for him.
another has one of those mattresses that each side has a remote that looks like the old ones on a heating blanket and they can inflate/deflate their sides for what is comfortable for them, and maybe some refer to that as a split also, but I think in general it means two separate mattresses.
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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great trip report!! glad you got every living minute out of it!
i live in the city and still can never get enough. there are always so many things to do with so many things going on.
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 03:25 PM
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Your trip sounds fabulous, and brings back some great memories. We stayed at the Gramercy Park(before Ian Schrager), and loved the Union Square area. My wife stumbled upon L'Express on an early morning walk, and we've had many great breakfasts there. We were there one day for lunch, and I asked the waitress about a salad special on the menu. Her reply was priceless, shook her head saying "oh no, don't order that, it's lousy". I took her word and stuck with the tried and true menu items.
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 04:58 PM
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cko - you are right, and there is never enough time in NYC, which is why one must keep going back over and over again

Michael: I laughed at your post - the waitstaff at l'express is too much - very casual, to say the least, and very outspoken- but as my husband says, he loves a place where you have to ask them for the bill and don't feel rushed.
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