The food: 5 meals in 48 hours
My husband E and I touched down in New York last week for a 48 hour rain-soaked visit, and immediately started eating. Our first meal was a late lunch at Chinatown Brasserie which I’d heard had excellent dim sum. That doesn’t explain why I ordered a prix fixe lunch that was not dim-sum-centric (I’ll blame the stresses of travel and the relentless rain for my faulty decision-making) but look at the pretty appetizer selection of dim sum that I did get, one each of a Curry Black Bass Avocado Tart (especially good), a Vegetable Spring Roll, a Shrimp, Corn & Chinese Chive Dumpling and a Shrimp & Snow Pea Leaf Dumpling.
While we waited – and waited – for our rather blah and P.F. Chang-ish main courses, E engaged the waiter in conversation about the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode (#78 – Car Periscope) filmed at Chinatown Brasserie that had recently aired (not the reason we went there). The waiter said he’d missed the Curb filming day but hey, Meg Ryan had just left the restaurant a few minutes before we arrived.
We stewed on this info tidbit – would we have wanted to see Meg Ryan? – until E’s Steamed Sea Bass with Broccoli & Black Beans (tasty and fresh-seeming) and my General Tso’s chicken (not so good – the chicken had an alarming artificial texture and shape to it) arrived with laughably small bowls of rice.
Our next stop was the TKTS line at the puddle-strewn South Street Seaport to buy next day matinee tickets for Follies. While waiting, E engaged in conversation with another stranger(!).
That night, we saw The Book of Mormon, which I thought was clever, funny and lively. I liked the religion mocking jokes, squirmed a little at the baby raping and clitoral mutilation jokes (I wish I was kidding), and wished for more unironic dancing. But I liked this song a lot, particularly starting at the 2:03 second mark of the vid:
After the show, we took our sodden selves to the Shake Shack on 8th Avenue, lined up briefly in the rain to get in, sat at a crowded communal table, soothed ourselves with burgers and fries, and talked to no one.
Day 2: Still raining. We visited the Met in the morning (where the roof was closed due to rain, grr) and saw Nora Ephon getting out of a cab on our way to the subway. E suggested I approach and tell her I’d reviewed her book “I Feel Bad About My Neck” in the Globe & Mail. I made my alarmed not-on-your-life face and pulled him away quickly.
We went to Torrisi Italian Specialties for an early lunch, and the sides on display looked so good we over-ordered: we had corn salad, fresh ricotta with olive oil and thyme, and fried cauliflower with our reliably flavourful eggplant parm and egg and potato sandwiches:
Spotted in the small house when we were there: Chef/owner Rich Torrisi taking a meeting at a corner table. Woo! We did not say hello.
That afternoon, we sat in our very good half-price seats, with a predominantly white-haired crowd, to see the new revival of Follies. Mixed in with what I thought were some rather tiresome scenes depicting marriage-related angst were a slew of wonderfully performed (with unironic dancing!) and often tear-inducing songs (gotta download that score), including the exuberant Who’s That Woman, an excerpt of which can be seen here (with tap dancing, yay):
After the show, we made our way through the incessant rain to Ippudo for a comforting and delectable bowl of ramen with a side of rice (yes, we were carb loading) and fried chicken.
The next morning, the rain began to let up just as we headed downtown to Locanda Verde for more comforting and reliably delicious food: a late breakfast of uova modenese (I can’t get enough of the cotechino hash and tomato hollandaise) for me, and a zucchini frittata for E:
No luminaries were on hand at Locanda Verde during our visit, though Beyonce and Jay-Z ate there three days later. When it wasn’t fucking well raining.