To escape the heat of DC and the lack of power, which increased the misery index, I ran to Manhattan over the July 4th holiday. It was just as hot but with power and less humidity. It was a wonderful two-day respite.
For those of us who love fashion and food, New York is amongst the best Meccas. As soon as I arrived, I made my pilgrimage to Hermes on Madison Avenue to visit the wonderful staff and pet all the beautiful products. I think a new Birkin with electric blue interior will be an author’s gift to self once the second book hits the bestseller list! But I digress. This post is about the food.
My first stop was dinner at Peter Luger’s, which is considered by many to be the best steakhouse in the world. It has a very limited menu – steaks and three other items each weeknight. The best way to go is the Porterhouse – their signature steak – and two sides. We had enough for three people and still had leftovers. The staff can be surly but our waiters were friendly and efficient! (Must have been the heat.) Since one of us had a birthday, they came out with a giant brownie ice cream sundae and sang Happy Birthday. Very fun!
The next day was a total debauching day. Sleep in, check the Twitter and Facebook accounts and then off to an early lunch at Eataly, Mario Batali’s Italian marketplace on 23rd and Fifth.
Eataly is fantastic. It’s a giant specialty food store with various eating stations throughout. You can buy the raw product or you can sit at a bar and eat the cooked version. On the roof is Birreria, a restaurant which primarily serves light antipastos, sandwiches, and salads. It’s very casual with raw wood tables and seats — absolutely perfect for a debauching day. The place is stocked with a full bar and big flat umbrellas and lots of fans. Perfect for a spring or fall day but when it isn’t 98 degrees outside. It was still a little warm even with the fans. They don’t make specialty drinks because the bartender refuses, but they do have an elaborate beer list. It is definitely worth going to eat there, but you must book a reservation. We had to retire to a bar around the corner which had AC to compensate for the hot lunch!
The last meal on this trip was the best. Del Posto on Tenth Avenue is another Mario Bartali-inspired restaurant. Joe Bastianich and his mother, Lidia Bastianich, converged their styles with Mario’s and created a perfect menu and ambiance. An Art Deco building and environment combined with exquisite service and food, makes for a divine evening. We always like the tasting menu which brings you a little bit of starters, pastas, main courses, and desserts. If on the menu, always get any of the tomato-based pastas. They are sublime – especially the veal ragu! And if anyone wants a wedding site, the center staircase would be a perfect backdrop for an elegant wedding.
After this wonderful retreat to Manhattan, I’m now back to another heat wave in DC and have vowed to get a generator!