Day Two in New York...

An excursion through the city...Exploring and finding new experiences…

We awoke somewhat “hung over” from the overload of food, but believe me, it was well worth it! We decided to go for a long walk through the city to see what we could muster. We had reservations at a restaurant that evening at a recommended top restaurant named Gilt, however, e canceled in hopes of discovering something that perhaps we might never have thought of trying or coming across, which is exactly what we did, and was it ever fun! We proceeded to walk from our hotel down to ground zero to the remains of the World Trade Center, and all that it employs. What an incredible experience. I know it has been awhile for me to get to it, but for those that have not yet experienced it, you should. It is simply awesome in every sense of the word. The void there is simply overwhelming and borderline eerie. The silence is captivating and mindful. How amazing. We started to walk back towards town and made our first stop at a little Mediterranean Deli called Oliva Gourmet. We shared a warm panini styl;e sandwich consisting of Spicy Chicken, Jalapeño Peppers, Pickled Onions, Red Bell Peppers, Fresh Mozzarella and a spread of an Aioli style nature. It was fun, tasty and zesty. We sipped a GUS Grapefruit Soda while we walked up to Tribeca. After muddling around a couple of shops and street stands, and wandering a bit until we figured out that we were turned around, we hopped into a cab to get us to Wichcraft, Tom Collichio’s(chef of Grammercy Tavern, Craft and others) cool little hangout place to check out a sandwich, New York style. I savored a very tasty grilled Black Trumpet Mushroom, Fontina and Truffle Fondue Sandwich on rustic Country Bread, which was warm, hearty and sublime. My wife enjoyed a equally enticing and rich Cuban style Roasted Pork combination with Jalepeno’s, zesty Red Cabbage, Mustard and an Herb Spread on a whole Wheat Roll. If there was a sandwich that she has ever come to talk about, this is it, as it was so tasty. She is all about that one for sure! I would have devoured hers as well, but I was so engrossed in my black trumpet concoction and wasn’t thinking much at all about anything else. As we progressed Northerly from Tribeca into SOHO, looking for our next “score” on our way to Babbo, Mario Batali’s main squeeze, (which we never got to), we stumbled across a new unique and quaint spot called Askew on the outskirts of “the village” that just seemed to have a “happenin” aura to it, so we entered. It was a very fun, “chicy” hangout with mod designs, glass, soft lighting, fun atmosphere and cool beautiful people. How could that be bad? The theme was a modern day Tapas infused with Regional American and Asian influences. Chris, the chef was very nice and eager to share in his craft. As we ordered, a customer at the bar next to me, (a sous chef; “Tom”, from Town restaurant) implicated that he (Chris) was definitely a solid cook, and one that we should take part of his cooking. We ordered the Spanish White Anchovies with a zesty salad of Cucumbers, Piquillo Peppers, Herbs and crispy Papadums(Middle Eastern Lentil Crackers) and crushed Potatoes. It was dressed with a little Sherry Vinegar and EVOO. Nice! We also had delivered, the spicy Jerk Chicken Skewer with “Angelhair” of Green Papayas and light Vinaigrette. The papayas were a wonderful foil for the heat! The chef came out to chat with his colleague again; Tom when I askjed him what else he might have in the kitchen, but no on the menu. He said he was delighted to send out some things for us. Out came a terrine of Country Pork and Rabbit with Sweet Breads, and Herbs, and embellished with Fig Jam, Piquillo Peppers ensemble, “Petit Salade” of Micro herbs and Spiced Mustard. The we ordered the Chickpea Pancakes with Arugula, Radish Shavings, Pecorino Romano, Tapenade and Olive Oil. This was also quite tasty. So far, we were batting am hundred. We thought we would move on and explore more of the city’s secrets. All the while we were there, we had struck up a great conversation with the bartender, Joy, who was a simply that, a joy. She was awesome. She was indulging my better half in sublime libations while I of course enjoyed an exceptional vintage of VOSS sparkling mineral water from Norway. Good times. We decided to stay. Chris then sent us the Girolle shaved Spanish Garrotxa, a moist but firm and semi dry aged Sheep’s Cheese which appeared in a ruffled fashion with Dried Apricots and gently stewed Pistachios and Vanilla Oil. Wonderful flavor. This food was incredible, yet so simple and so understated that we really did not want to move. We had engaged in great conversation, met some wonderful people, and felt at home. Edwin, the owner, had intertwined in the discussion and offered his hospitality which did not go unnoticed. These were great folks we thought. Then, Chris sent out a very tasty and succulent Aged Gouda & Apple “Strudel”, packed full with spiced Walnuts, Flavor Crystals from the Cheese, Seasonings and then finished with a hint of Maple. MMMMMMMMM! This was our fav! As we decided to make our way towards midtown to our hotel, we figured we would walk a while, which is the norm for the village. People everywhere. No sooner had we cleared the entrance to Askew, we looked up and there was Bruno Bakery, an Italian style Bakery ran by the notable and very talented pastry chef; Biagio Settepani. Being as completely satiated as we were, the perfect lining in this silver story was a little cup of Pistachio Gelato and a box of Chocolates that we took to go. Smooth and ethereal was the gelato, yet just a touch too sweet for me at that point, but very satisfying nonetheless. The entire dining experience this weekend made the 50-plus block walk back to our hotel seem nothing more than a stroll through a farmers market in springtime. Some coffee and a pretzel on the corner of the street would have made for a final icing to the experience, but we had to settle for a so-so latte and a muffin in our hotel lobby on a quick race to get back to the airport. That ensures us there will be a next time forthcoming soon.

In good food & cooking…cuisinierskitchen


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