Our beautiful, stylish cousin Liza is getting married and no one is more charming, so we were thrilled to help host a bridal shower in her honor in late September. This not only meant we had a chance to visit with family and meet several of Liza’s lovely bridesmaids, it also meant we got to have a really fun 48 hours in NYC.
We started with a wonderful lunch at Bar Americain, a chef Bobby Flay restaurant, which is right in the theater district. It was probably 2:00 pm by the time we arrived (without a reservation) and even though the restaurant was still fairly crowded we were seated immediately into a tight little french feeling table where you can eavesdrop on your neighbor’s conversations. I had a wonderful glass of white wine called “Le Pich”, a 2014 California Chardonnay from the Russian River area (my favorite). I don’t generally start drinking mid-day but well, we were on vacation. My husband had a wonderful Southwestern Cobb Salad with blue cheese, pulled chicken, bacon and chipotle dressing which he loved, and I had the ricotta crepes with asparagus which were light and delicious. I don’t pretend to know a thing about chef Bobby Flay, but he is putting out some seriously delicious food and the staff is wonderful and professional. I should mention the room at Bar Americain is enormous and the woodwork is stunning.
It was an absolutely beautiful day in NYC, so we decided to venture out on a walk through Central Park which is always a good idea. Plus it was the weekend of the 2016 Global Citizen Festival so I was thinking we just might run into Rihanna and her crew doing a sound check. I love Central Park and within 10 minutes we had seen street dancers, moms strolling babies, runners, bikers, a Dressage horse show (which apparently had Frederick the World’s Most Beautiful Horse – darn it! How could we have missed that?!). Anyway, we started getting a little hot so the Boathouse lured us in and since it was nearing 4:00 pm we decided to stop for a bottle of water. But it’s New York, so the water turned into a delicious Bellini and cheese plate. A fellow NYC visitor with two good looking table mates asked if he could have one of our chairs and we said of course. We were surprised when the bill came and this visitor had bought our drinks. I love a surprise Santa — such a lovely gesture.
That night we headed out with our buddy Loie who is always good company. I picked my new favorite, Cafe Clover, which serves healthy, beautiful food but the real draw for me is the incredible bartender who mixes up some inspired kraft cocktails. I started with a rose sangria that was perfect for the end of summer. It’s a gorgeous blush color and it goes down just a little too easily. My husband had a watermelon margarita, hand mixed, that was perfect — a little tangy and not overly sweet. I tell you it’s worth going just to hang out at this bar. The dinner was divine and perfect for a vegetarian. I can’t wait to go back.
That night we’d been invited to a secret bar which apparently is a hot spot for Broadway folks. You go up some stairs to an unmarked wood room with a pretty bar where you can look out on the street below. I can’t tell you where it was and I don’t know how many Broadway stars were there, but the conversation was great and so were the chips and salsa.
The next morning we had a chance to head to Carolina Herrera for our cousin’s wedding dress fitting. Her dress is beyond gorgeous (so is the bride!) and I loved watching the seamstress pin and adjust the stunning lace on the dress with such skill. These people know what they are doing.
The bridal shower was in a secret room in a pretty French restaurant called Claudette. You have to walk through the kitchen where you can get a peak at steamy boiling pots and yummy things being sautéed and then you head down the stairs to a sexy little dark room. It’s called the Flamingo Room because of the flamingo wall paper. This room feels a little like Vegas to me. There are no windows so if you start drinking champagne and then get into some wine, you’re not exactly sure what time it is, and at some point you really don’t care. The food was delicious and it was definitely memorable. I’d like to go back and have a nice french lunch upstairs one day.
If it seems like this description of 48 hours is nothing but a visit from one restaurant to the next, well, that’s probably true. But that’s just how this particular weekend went down and I’ve gotta say, it’s not a bad way to spend your time in one of the best food cities in the world.
For our final dinner we met for a big dinner with the bride, good-looking groom, parents, bridesmaids and family in another secret spot. It’s a restaurant called Supper that’s certainly unassuming from the outside. You go down several flights of stairs and walk out into a dimly lit open space with big long tables filled with folks clinking glasses and having a grand time eating some very delicious Italian food served family style. I’m sure most in-the-know New Yorkers would not consider this exactly a secret. But it just felt cool and off the beaten guidebook path to me. Note if you go: it’s cash only and you all have to show up exactly on time or they’ll give your spot anyway. If you go, try the Spaghetti al Limone — it was mighty tasty.
Might as Well Go There Yourself
152 West 52nd Street, NYC
10 Downing street, NYC
954 Madison Avenue, NYC
24 Fifth Avenue, NYC
156 E 2nd St, New York, NY 10009