Friday – October 5, 2012 – Ahhhhh NYC, the “Big Apple,” the “City That Never Sleeps,” “Welcome to the melting pot, corners where we selling rocks, Afrika Bambaataa shit, home of the hip-hop” … so happy to be back in the belly of the beast. Ordinarily, I would have arrived in “the City” armed with reservations at a swanky hotel, a list of dinner reservations at the newest and most innovative restaurants, and my name on the list of a couple hot spots, all the result of a lot of planning and some shameless string pulling. Ippudo *(for noodles), Eataly *(for a day of gluttony) and Le Bernardin *(to see the four stars recently and consistently reviewed by New York Times) would have been on my short list of places to hit. But these places will have to wait. With Isabela Grace dictating our eating schedule, sleep patterns and basically every thing we do these days; this is a different kind of trip.
We entered NYC via the Battery Tunnel and went straight to visit my family on the Eastside of Manhattan. After a quick feeding, and a not so quick diaper change, we decided to wait out the traffic to the Island. As Tom Collichio’s newest outpost, Riverpark, was in the neighborhood, we headed over for an early dinner. Quickly sat with a stroller and room to spare we assertively ordered a few appetizers to share, glass of wine for mama and a heavy handed Manhattan for me. Himachi and avocado, octopus with clams were both good, seasoned well and nicely presented. Mushroom consume for my aunt poured table side, a smoky pork chop and brussels sprouts for mama and I had the steamed Branzino. Such a far cry from our early visit to Cracker Barrel. This meal left us full, energized and refreshed. Very nice to see some technique, clean preparations and fall ingredients simply done.
Back in the car and headed to Long Island to see the grandparents. Isbabela showed us once again who’s in control of this road trip. Thank God for bumper to bumper traffic, a quick diaper change and some Grateful Dead as we cruised into Melville, Long Island only to see Grandma waiting on the front stoop to greet her great granddaughter. Priceless!
Until tomorrow – I’m cooking dinner for the family and watching football…