1 pm:Â We landed at JFK and proceeded directly to Il Buco at 47 Bond St., for what would begin copious consumption of Italian food & drink over the next three days.
If the charming miss-matched farm house dÃ©cor that inspired Nantucketâ€™s Sfoglia isnâ€™t enough, one whiff of the hearty aromas emerging from the kitchen and youâ€™d understand whyâ€¦.
*Cavolonero Saladâ€”A black kale Caesar
*An Olive oil tasting of various aged Umbrian and Sicilian oils
*Butternut squash polentaâ€”to die for!
*Pappardelli with mint & zucchiniâ€”so fresh and yummy
A glass of Pecorinoâ€”a peculiar white wine from the Marche.Â Full-bodied enough to stand up to a hearty luncheon, with enough mild acidity to cut the rich oils
Tribeca Grandâ€”We were terrified checking in, fearing that upon seeing our â€œBooked on Pricelineâ€ status, the reservationist would stick us in a first floor room by the elevator.Â But no, we were most delighted to be booked into a top floor room far from the elevator,Â with terrific views of the rooftops of Tribeca.
It should be noted that the Tribeca Grand is a sister property of the Soho Grand and both are a bit of a scene.Â Whereas at the Soho Grand, the scene is mainly in the bar, at the Tribeca Grand, the lobby IS the bar and, being an atrium hotel, you can look down at (AND HEAR) the bar from every floor.Â Since the hotel is only 8 floors high, every room, while being quite spacious, has the potential to be a noise nightmare, given the atrium design.Â However, the TG cleverly has white noise speakers mounted above the hallway entrance to each room and another mounted above the doorway inside the room.Â So, no matter what the chaos is down below, you will be pleasantly oblivious.
I was afraid the TG would be a little tired, since itâ€™s days as a hot hot spot have passed, but it still draws an interesting mix of European and domestic travelers and we found it to be plenty boutique-y. and an awesome location.
Carmine St Shoe Repairâ€”I dropped off a bag of shoes & boots in various states of disrepair to Michael, as I do every trip to NYC.Â I rented a lace on Carmine St for a month a few years back, and he still thinks I live in the neighborhood.Â No matter how many pairs I bring, they are always ready the next day.Â One of the many things I love about nyc.
Crown Jewelers, W. 8th St at 6th Aveâ€”I stayed at the Washington Square Hotel for a couple of weeks once and this became my home away from home jeweler.Â They have resuscitated and strengthened a number of my estate finds.
Marseille, 9th Ave & 44th–Lucky for me, my Godparents from NC were also in nyc.Â They are Uptown-types, so we met in Hell’s Kitchen for a toast at this French Brasserie in the Theatre District and caught up at the bustling bar.
God of Carnageâ€”The Tony-winning all star cast ends their run in the month of November.Â While there are a lot of talented people in the world, I cannot imagine another ensemble as tight or with the chemistry (as they self-destruct) of this one featuring Marcia Gay Harden, James Gandolfino, Hope Davis and Jeff Daniels. It became very clear to me why Marcia Gay won the Tony.Â Catch it while you can.
Locanda Verde, 377 Greenwich St (corner of N.Moore and Greenwich)â€”Ken Friedman (Spotted Pig, Rusty Knot) and Robert De Niroâ€™s new place in the Greenwich Hotel.Â Gorgeous high ceiling, exposed brick and giant paned windows; swish, but casual.Â Tiny round bar tables could barely hold all we wanted to eat & drink.Â We were pleased to see the sommelier who we met at Cru last winter.
*Cotechino SausageÂ crostino with pickled ramps on ciabatta
*Pumpkin AgnolottiÂ with brown butter, sage and amaretti
*Roasted Brussels Sprouts withÂ pancetta and pecorino
*Giant rigatoni stuffed with a duck ragu
06 JERMANN Mjzzu ‘Blau & Blauâ€™ (Italy)–90% Franconia, a.k.a. Blau-fraenkisch, and 10% Pinot Nero or Blauburgunder (hence the name).Â Elegant & harmonious; slightly fruity with a hint of herb and menthol.Â Perfect with the slightly sweet Fall flavors of our meal.
Room Serviceâ€”coffee and oatmeal w/ bananas
11am:Â currentVintage buying appt.
Capsouto FrÃ©res, 451 Washington St
Charming, old school restaurant with white tablecloths and waiters in black vests with crisp white shirts & aprons.Â They are known for an awesome variety of soufflÃ©s and an unusually large selection of Israeli wines.
Wild Mushroom & Cheese SoufflÃ©
Fig SoufflÃ© with crÃ¨me Anglaise & coffee
07 GALIL Sauvignon Blanc, Galilee
Even knowing that CF is known for their Israeli wine list, I was reluctant to try this sauvignon blanc.Â I wasnâ€™t sure it would stand up to and/or complement the rich fareâ€¦and, I wanted something plus francaise.Â Nevertheless, our practically mute waiter nearly insisted that I should have this and I did, and he was so right!
Interesting and fuller-bodied, citrusy & herbaceous with a subtle mineral backbone; it was like none other that I have enjoyed. It was delicious.
3pm:Â Apple Store, Prince St, Soho:Â I think of some reason to have an appt. at this store every time I go to nyc, even if the appt is at midnight!Â Itâ€™s just such a cool place and there is an army of young, passionate Apple people to help with your quest for whatever.
This time I got the 3Gs, but other free appointments have been to learn how to sync my phone & computer, etc.
5pm:Â Hair Salonâ€”Carmine St, again.Â $25 and better than Frederic Fekkai
DRINKS & DINNER:
Crosby Hotelâ€”Owned by a boutique hotel group from London, the Crosby had just opened a few days before.Â The dÃ©cor is English quirky & eccentric:Â outsider, folk and modern art, such as a wall-mounted installation of vintage telephones.Â The scale keeps it from feeling cluttered.Â We enjoyed overpriced wine and beverages at the uncomfortable low Indian mirrored tables and at the comfortable grand bar on luxe bar stools.
Civetta, 98 Kenmare (near Crosby; betw Mulberry & Centre). Friends Ron and Colleen Suhanosky who own Sfoglia in Nantucket and New York are consulting partners in this homey but swank Italian eatery in Nolita.
Downstairs drinks in the red velvet-curtained lounge in a semi-private booth were comfy and easy with excellent service, even if the bar was a bit of a dÃ©cor disconnect from the restaurant upstairs.
Once we were seated, we were treated like Royalty, which is always nice.
Arancini with sausage & fontina, Mussels w/ fennel, Lemony Risotto, Orgasmic Bolognese.Â As if that wasnâ€™t enough, they had the nerve to send out a tablefull of sinful desserts, which were all amazing, from what I can remember.
Room Serviceâ€”coffee and oatmeal w/ bananas
11am–Fort Greene Flea Marketâ€”We went ALL THE WAY TO BROOKLYN and what a mistake.Â It was freezing cold and threatening rain, so any vendor with a brain was at home or at the movies.Â Only about a dozen vendors showed up, which were mostly interesting, but the whole experience including tamales lasted about 20 minutes.
Errandsâ€”The Chinese â€œwholesale onlyâ€ store on 28th St. that sells boxes of 24 blinking bling rings for $12.
Joe’s Shanghai, Pell St (betw. Mott & Bowery)â€”the famous, delicious, perfect for a cold blustery day soup bunsâ€¦yum.Â So unbelievably savory good and so ridiculously inexpensive.Â Even a can of diet coke is only a $1.
4pm:Â Facial with May at the Styling House, across the street from Joeâ€™s.Â $45 facial ($65 with collagen).
Lie down on the least comfortable terry towel-covered cot in the back room of the salon for 2+ hours of tending and maintenance and you will walk out looking 10 years (or so) younger.Â Sometimes, it is significantly more than 2 hours, because there are two cots and she does two at a time.
Tosca at Lincoln Centerâ€”Majestic setting for world class talent and sophisticated, international patrons.Â The pageantry and grandiosity are spellbinding, but three Acts is a lot for my weary self.
Salumeria Rosi, 283 Amsterdam Ave. (73rd / 74th St)â€”My friend Cesare Casellaâ€™s place; it is chic but cozy, and spot on in every way.Â Cesare is also the Dean of the Italian Culinary Institute!
Pontormo salad of greens and scrambled eggs, antipasto platters of salumi and cheese, heirloom bean salad. This is THE PLACE for salumi and cheese and beans;Â donâ€™t miss the Il Parmacotto prosciutto (eel PAHR-mah-KOH-to).Â This is also the place for the best lasagne I have ever hadâ€”AND, it is in an appetizer portionâ€”how awesome is that at midnight?
I always dine at the tiny little bar, where you can see each bottle of wine available by the glass and discuss little tastes of each with the super fun and knowledgeable (and handsome) Rafael, til you find what youâ€™re looking for.
A late-night glass of Perrier Jouet in the VIP hotel guest section at the Tribeca Grand.Â Saturday night is not exactly locals night (and maybe no night is at the TG), but it was nice to have a spacious, comfortable spot from which to watch the goings on.
Room Service: coffee, oatmeal