New York City has the tendency to be overwhelming and underwhelming at once. There is just SO much possibility, that it almost limits you, particularly when you have a mere 24 hours to cram it all in…it’s as if no matter how much you do, you leave feeling as if you’ve barely cracked the surface of the city’s potential and offerings.
But every now and then, you manage to have that perfect little slice of city. You see things, eat something amazing, and generally feel like you’ve experienced New York. And it’s something to write home about.
My kid sister had a birthday, so naturally we spent a day eating all over NYC to mark the occasion. We started at Gallow Green for bottomless brunch on a recommendation from Tasting Table, and thanks to them (and cooperative weather) we dined al fresco on the botanical rooftop sipping bloody mary’s and bellinis. There were soft boiled eggs (appropriately served with crunchy sea salt), drop biscuits that were pure butter, and delicious grilled veggies (among other delights). Live jazz was wafting through the greenery, and there was no line at the buffet. As Beyonce would say, it was flawless.
Then we walked the High Line. There were People’s Pops and the pleasant ambiance of nature contrasting with concrete, and eventually we found ourselves at Chelsea Market. with its endless restaurants and food outposts, it is near impossible to leave there empty handed. I bought some treats at Liddabit Sweets. And then pined for everything else in sight.
The final stop of the day was Joe Allen in the theatre district. This place is a family tradition. My Grandfather started going there just as it opened when he worked in the Garment District, loving the straight forward fare and cool as a cucumber atmosphere. Thanks to him and my Grandmother staying so loyal we can say the words “put it on our tab”…which I thought was an urban restaurant myth. They have mastered the classics, from meatloaf to burgers, but there is so much more than that. And somehow there is always dessert.
There’s nothing like a New York food minute. Yet no trip on I-84 is complete unless it ends with a stop at exit 65 to hit up Rein’s Deli in Vernon, CT (in my opinion the only reason worth traveling through Connecticut at all). Chances are you’ve never been, but it is so worth the pilgrimage. It is better than any deli I’ve had in New York proper (sorry?). Perfect pickles. Matzoh ball soup. Pastrami on rye with spicy mustard. And a Dr. Brown’s cream soda…one might say that all weekends should end that way. I mean, I am saying it.