205 West 43rd Street,
New York, NY
Ph: (212) -398 9810 or Reserve Online
Haru is so conveniently located for pre-theatre meals, particularly round the Times Square theatre district, that on this trip I actually dined there twice.
On the first visit we were seated at a table in the window alcove. I liked that as it was a bit secluded from the main activity in the restaurant.
We had just come from seeing Bob, a SITI Company production, and after dinner we were going to see Mary Poppins just around the corner at the New Amsterdam Theatre. With seeing two such different genres of theatre in one day there was so much food for thought that real food initially took second place to conversation.
46-42 Vernon Blvd,
Long Island City, NY
Ph: (718) 752-6000 or Reserve Online
After finishing up our shopping in Manhattan we caught the 7 train across to Long Island City. For dinner we decided to try one of the nearby restaurants that had been on my son's "to visit list."
We decided to share a salad, and then also share a large charcuterie and large cheese platter.
After some debate we decided to try the evening's special salad of grilled octopus with shaved lardon on a bed of arugula with pine nuts and a malt vinegar and olive oil dressing. We enjoyed the salad though the dressing was not especially exciting.
620 8th Avenue,
New York, NY
Ph: (212) 354-2195 or Reserve Online
This was my first day in Manhattan on this trip, having arrived really late the previous evening. I met my son to get a number of shopping tasks done. On our way from my hotel we passed Inakaya, and decided to stop in for lunch. The place was full but there was room at the sushi bar.
I liked the design of the restaurant. It is open with high ceilings and an unusually wide and comfortable sushi bar. As you can the chef has to use a paddle to hand dishes or a bottle of sake across to the patron.
Since this restaurant's specialty is Robata, Japanese barbecue, we had to try one of their Robata dishes so we chose to share one of their specials for the day: the US Kobe Beef duo featuring sirloin and tenderloin on skewers. The meat was incredibly tender and the dish came with grilled vegetables.
Of several terrific meals I enjoyed on this annual visit to New York I must say that our dinner at Paradou stands out and the main reason is the sinfully delicious Carte de Foie Gras creations that we shared for appetizers.
I had selected Paradou for dinner after our matinee musical, Billy Elliott, partly because it was located in the Meatpacking District, an area that I had not visited on my previous trips to New York. As we approached the restaurant, I wondered about my choice because at first glance it seemed to be just a small storefront-type establishment with a bar and a few tables. But we followed the waiter through a narrow corridor and emerged in a delightful and spacious enclosed courtyard.
Sunday morning and my last day in New York for this visit. A relaxed morning with a late brunch was what I needed and Mike said he knew just the place for brunch. We meandered slowly through the narrow streets of Soho and the East Village and came up to a crowded JoeDoe restaurant.
There was one table free. After alerting us to the fact that there might be a lengthy wait for our meal as a large group had just been seated, we were led to a table against the wall. I was surprised that she would warn us about a wait but Mike pointed out that the place has a tiny kitchen with solo chef, Joe Dobias, working away at warp speed. It appeared that there were at least 26 seats so he must be an amazing multitasker to keep his customers happy and coming back.
Our server brought us menus, coffee and buttermilk biscuits with savory butter. The latter assuaged our hunger and we sipped contentedly on coffee and orange juice, while enjoying the delicious biscuits and considering our order. We actually enjoyed the opportunity to relax over our coffee rather than feeling rushed.
Quite out of character for me, I had not got round to researching and making a dinner reservation for the evening when we were going to see the musical, Fela at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. I picked up my theatre tickets and then decided to wander around and spontaneously pick a restaurant that looked as if both Mike and I would enjoy it.
Early on Sunday morning I disembarked from the Queen Mary 2 after a 9 night Ballroom Dancing Cruise from Brooklyn to Quebec City and back. This was really my first chance during this New York visit to have a quiet dinner with my son, and for us to catch up on each other's news.
While I was picking up my tickets for The Screwtape Letters I asked the box-office person for a few suggestions for somewhere to have dinner. One recommendation was for the West Bank Cafe, a block away from the theatre, so I strolled back along 8th Avenue and turned west on 42nd Street to check it out.
Of all the restaurants I have eaten at on this trip, this turned out to be the best surprise.
I was meeting a friend for a light Sunday lunch before going to see a new play, Emily at Theater Row. I left it to him to pick an eatery nearby the theatre and he liked what he read about this Thai-French fusion restaurant. So we agreed to meet there shortly after noon.
Walking down the west side of 9 th Ave., on my way to met my friend, I noted a number of eateries in a row. It was a warm day and several of the restaurants, including Breeze, were open to the exterior. From the outside, Breeze looked to me more like a casual cafe than the type of establishment that would serve "fine" food but appearances are often deceiving, as I found out.
338 West 46th St., between 8 and 9th Ave., New York
For my last Saturday night in New York, we had managed to get tickets to Burn the Floor, the ballroom and Latin dance spectacular that so blew me away, that I had to see it again.
For dinner we decided to try Sangria 46, a relatively new restaurant serving traditional Spanish cuisine, a few blocks away from the theatre. I got there a few minutes early and sipped from a glass of Castillo Medina Sauvignon Blanc as I waited for MIke to join me. The place, that can seat about 125 people, filled up amazingly quickly and the numerous waiters attractively dressed in black pants, white shirts with red scarves, were soon kept very busy.
A bread basket with crusty baguette slices was brought to the table and I munched on a couple of slices until Mike arrived. He ordered sangria to sip while whe studied the menu.