Thursday, April 24, 2008

New York, Day 1

We are in New York!

This was the first time Robin, Linda, and I had traveled together. We have been talking about this trip for a long time but none of us had been to New York recently. We agreed about museums, shopping, the theater, walking, eating, and we are very compatible, but Monday was the day that we had to actually do it. We had a plan: Coffee! Walking! Museums!

We knew Starbuck’s could be our fall back coffee position, but we really wanted to go local. Monday was experimental. We needed coffee and we picked the first coffee place that seemed local – I think it was PAX. Research would continue.

MOMA is open on Mondays! The Met, the Whitney, the American Folk Art Museum are not open on Monday! We walked to MOMA at 53rd and Fifth, stopping into St. Patrick’s Cathedral on the way. We got to MOMA just as it was opening, actually, just as Café 2 was opening. We made a quick decision to combine breakfast and lunch while there were no crowds.

Café 2 is really just a museum cafeteria but as they say, "taken to sophisticated new heights." It features "rustic Italian cooking of the Roman cantinetta or rosticceria style of seasonal Italian foods with handmade pastas, cured salumi, artisanal cheeses, panini, salads, soups, and simple desserts." It was perfect! I think we could all recommend it, especially if all you've had is bad coffee on your first full day in New York.

We all had the bruschetta plate with a choice of three from a selection including mozzarella with olive tapenade, tomato jam, cured tuna with black olives and lemon, broccoli rabe, prosciutto with roasted butternut squash) and we shared a salad of cannellini and fava beans.

We saw the show, “Color Chart: Reinventing Color 1950 to Today.” It explores the the “lush beauty that results when contemporary artists assign color decisions to chance…” and was hugely inspirational. More than forty artists were represented, including Ellsworth Kelly, Gerhard Richter, Frank Stella (“Straight out of the can; it can’t get better than that.”), Andy Warhol, Sherrie Levine, and Damien Hirst.

Then it was on to see our favorites from MOMA’s amazing collection including Cezanne’s The Bather, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, the Fauves, the Impressionists, the surrealists, until we were exhausted. I should have Robin prepare a post about how she discovered that she could use her iPhone to access the museum’s audio tour. We shopped at the museum stores and then I think we began our cupcake research (it is all beginning to blur). Could we have done that much in one day? Was Cupcake Café (9th Avenue between 38th and 39thStreet) on Monday or Tuesday? It was not worth remembering, anyway – okay coffee and pretty cupcakes but forgettable in the taste department.

Andrew met us after work for dinner at Mesa Grill. This southwestern-style restaurant by celebrity chef Bobby Flay sparkles on Fifth Avenue between 15th and 16th.

We started with goat cheese “Queso Fundido” with rajas and blue corn chips, barbecue pork and Oaxaca cheese quesadilla with hot sweet cabbage relish, and grapefruit, Peach, and Flay’s prize-winning margaritas.

Robin had ancho chili-rubbed chicken with roasted tomatillo sauce with queso fresco, which was yummy! Andrew had the grilled lamb chops with cilantro-mint chimichurri and potato celeriac Anaheim chile gratin. Linda and I had the New Mexico-spice rubbed pork tenderloin with bourbon ancho chile sauce which was served with a sweet potato tamale with crushed pecan butter. We ended our meal with the delicious chocolate, brown-sugar souffle pudding with pecan flatbread crunch, but I don't know how we ever ate another bite. We walked back to the hotel. Weather: a little warmer than Sunday.


shanny said...

Andrew looks adorable! I've never seen him before. Shanny

Christine Thresh said...

I'm doing a quilt based on Frank Stella's work. I would love to see his paintings in person.
I really like the floor picture too. I saw a picture of it in Newsweek a while back.
I'm glad you took us along on your trip.