Saturday, February 11, 2012

My hedonistic New York City weekend

A few weeks ago I popped over to New York for one of my unfortunately rare weekend visits. It was as decadent as ever, and full of new places to visit (at night – we didn’t get out much in the daylight) and recommend.

We started with a Friday early-evening gathering in the upstairs bar at Cienfuegos on Avenue A, a tropical oasis where they serve a variety of fizzy rum punches in punchbowls with ladles. Fun. We probably wouldn’t have ordered the second bowl had we known our companions would leave it all to us. (Oh, who am I kidding?) Thank Bacchus, we had some food there as well, which was surprisingly good.

We then moved on to Poco, an elegant and bustling tapas bar on Avenue B. I almost wished I hadn’t eaten at Cienfuegos, as the spinach and wild mushroom macaroni & cheese was one of the best things I’ve ever had. If I could be eating it now, I would. The mushroom truffle croquettes were also nice. I think there was champagne….

From there we went to meet friends at Jimmy, the rooftop bar at the James Hotel. It’s entered through a nondescript door, a velvet rope, and a few more what I can only describe as coolness checkpoints. I love this from the hotel’s page:
*JIMMY is accessible to all hotel guests until 9 pm. After 9 pm there is a controlled entrance on the ground floor. If JIMMY is closed for a private event or unable to accommodate, you are welcome to enjoy cocktails at The Treehouse Bar, The Garden, or David Burke Kitchen Bar. We apologize for our success as our limited rooftop space and popular demand limits the number of guests we can welcome at one time.
Even if you’re paying hundreds of dollars a night to stay at the hotel, you still might not make the cut. You can’t buy cool.

It is beautiful. In the summer there’s a small pool, which of course wasn’t open at this time of year. Possibly the best views of the city I’ve seen:

[photo from link just above]

Closed out the night at our usual dive, which shall remain anonymous. Didn’t go to Odessa for early-morning food, which would’ve been wise.

We had a lovely dinner on Saturday when we finally made it out at around 9. Can’t remember the name of the restaurant.

Sunday brunch was at Rayuela on Allen St. I loved the open design, the food was a step above (desserts were artful), and they had open cava sangria, which is a great deal especially as my glass was never unfilled.

Everyone was super nice, and my friends are always the best. I was reminded of why I love New York…and why it would be dangerous to live there :). For anyone planning a visit, I’d recommend any of the places I mentioned above unreservedly.

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