So Michelle and I have returned from our honeymoon, part of which was in New York City. In addition to enjoying the year’s ‘first snow’. we had the opportunity to enjoy a handful of Gotham’s marquee restaurants, including meals at Craft, Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Momofuku Noodle Bar and drinks at Bar Boulud, Flute,the London Bar and Union Square Cafe, along with bites at top notch Chinese and Mexican joints.
Having lived in (and dined my way through) New York, it was very exciting to have Michelle with me. It was like I was visiting my favorite restaurants for the very first time. Michelle was also, finally, able to understand my enthusiasm for the restaurant industry, or as she said, “why I get so excited talking about chefs.”
I do want to get some notes about the restaurant scene in St. Pete, so here is the very condensed recap of our dining adventures in the city:
First day in NYC, lunch was at Gramercy Tavern. Both Michelle and I noted just how impressive and considerate the service was. Enjoyed pork croquettes and pasture raised chicken with hen of the woods mushrooms. Warm, inviting, nourishing.
Would you believe we buzzed over to Momofuku for an afternoon snack? Just had to introduce Michelle to the renowned pork buns. She enjoyed them, but enjoyed the ginger scallion ramen even more.
Since we had such a heavy lunch, we missed our reservation at, well, at probably the best restaurant in the city (right now), Eleven Madison Park. I realize this was sacrilege, for so many reasons, so I gladly allowed the charge against my credit card remain.
Dinner was off the beaten path at a lively Mexican joint — my wife adores fast-and-easy Mexican food — called Patron. We can still see and taste the unshapely guacamole that may have been the best either Michelle or I have enjoyed.
I needed something special for my first night in NYC, so I took Michelle up the west side of the city to Bar Boulud for a bite or two of their grand pate.
The next day may have been one of the best days of my life, as far as great dining is concerned. Lunch at the buzzy Modern in the Museum of Modern Art including a lavishing of duck, mushrooms and a plate of foie gras that included a playfu gelatin I still miss.
But the crown jewel of the weekend, truly, was dinner at Tom Collicchio’s flagship restaurant, Craft. Impeccable service providing simple, bold, nearly-perfect food, including a heavenly gnocchi and a 30-day dry-aged sirloin with bone marrow.
Craft was, in a word, amazing.
But then again, so was the wedding and the honeymoon.
As for news and notes about St. Pete:
Michael Cecere, owner of Bowled Restaurant on 4th Street North, still pans to build a Bowled Restarant at 475 Central Avenue. He says he is submitting plans to the city for approval. It too will be called Bowled Restaurant, but will be larger than the original location.
The Cake Factory has moved north on 4th Street to 10th Avenue North, into the former home of Pink’s Painted Cottage.
Green Bench Brewing Company will be St. Petersburg first production microbrewery with a tasting room and an outdoor beer garden. They hope to start construction in March.
Sebastian Huber is planning to open a Tequila bar and a German beer garden in the spot where the Double Wide Saloon was on Central Avenue.
The new French styled pastry show, Le Macaron, opened on 1st Street North, across from Baywalk.