I don’t know if it’s the heat, the hangover or what, but I am just blissed out on life in New York today.
It started Friday with an early dinner at ’ino. I hadn’t been there in years and the bruschetta, salads, wine and waitstaff were every bit as soul-satisfying as I remembered them to be (especially the walnut and sundried tomato pesto bruschetta—mercy). And on my way to the restaurant, I had stopped at the bookstore and picked up a copy of Comfort Me with Apples on sale. A little late to the game, to say the least, but after reading it all weekend, I am now officially smitten with Ruth Reichl. The book, the dinner, and afterward, it was onto Film Forum to see the El Bulli documentary.
A delicious, auspicious kickoff to the weekend.
Saturday morning started early with Summer Streets. Essentially, the city closes the stretch of Lafayette and Park Avenues from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Upper East Side to cars and it’s free range for bicyclists, joggers, skaters and strollers. I love this tradition and walked for hours, literally.
(So did Wylie Dufresne, apparently.)
The truth is, I was in pursuit of one of the best sandwiches in the city: the Bingo at Shopsins inside the Essex Street Market.
Fried brussels sprouts, guacamole and jack on ciabatta?! I had to have it. I read about it on Serious Eats Friday morning, dreamed about it Friday night, and was devastated Saturday morning when I got to the market and saw Shopsins was closed for vacation (where does Kenny think he is, Paris?!).
But the tears quickly dried. For I marched a few blocks north to Torrisi for the turkey sandwich. Deelish.
Later in the day, I watched the Red Sox slaughter the Yankees while eating fried mozzarella and drinking Sam Adams at a sports bar. Already a full and brilliant day, but it wasn’t over yet.
It was time for Saturday Night Out with AJ. How awesome is it to be best friends with someone since the age of 13, and just always have the best time with them? Pretty awesome, let me tell you. We tried to go to the Alexander McQueen exhibition, but—no surprise—the lines at the Met were too long, even at 9 o’clock at night. So we taxied downtown, scoping out Lure, Peasant and Public before finally having cocktails at 1534, midnight cupcakes at Little Cupcake Bakeshop, and a final round at Weather Up Tribeca.
Today, the feeding frenzy continued. While Ben, Merrill and I waited for AJ, Michael and Max to arrive at Homemade in Red Hook, we had—pourquoi pas??—a few pre-brunch snacks at Baked.
As decadent as that thumbprint cookie, banana s’mores bar and brownster—a chocolate chip cookie enveloped in brownie—were, they almost had nothing on our brunch.
I can’t even convey to you how delicious this plate was. The eggs, has browns and thickly sliced walnut toast were all steeped in butter.
The French toast was a good two inches thick, topped with peaches, swimming in a sweet raspberry coulis.
And we sat in the restaurant’s magical garden, sharing conversation, the summer day and ourselves.
It is for moments, days, meals and weekends like this, and that I was with my mom, stepfather, brother, niece and nephew last weekend, and that my dad will be coming to the city this week for work this week and I will show him the High Line and we’ll have dinner, and that I have a family reunion with all my cousins and aunts and uncles in beautiful Connecticut next weekend, it is for these things that I gave up Paris.