Sunday, February 25, 2007

Last weekend my parents and younger sister came to the city which
only means... lots of food!

We all stayed at the Carlton Hotel on 29th and Madison.

The elegantly decorated hotel offered romantic dining spaces and friendly staff. The only downside was that the gym was not located inside the hotel. The hotel had a partnership with Boom Fitness that was about 4+ blocks away.

Friday afternoon I joined my parents + sister for lunch at Cipriani Dolci that is housed in the famous Grand Central Station. It was definitely a pricey lunch but the attentive service and tasty Italian food made it very worthwhile.

Recommended dishes: Mozzarella di Bufala and Fresh Tomatoes; Carrot Soup; Asparagus, Beets, and Goat Cheese Salad; and the String Beans, Cherry Tomatoes and Caciocavallo Salad.
(lesson learned: caciocavallo is a type of cheese similar in taste to an aged provolone)

Friday night we ate at the always delicious Dos Caminos (the Park Ave. location) where the guacamole is made fresh right at your table!

During their visit I discovered my new absolute favorite NY restaurant (so far at least)... Providence. Located at West 57th Street in an old Manhattan Baptist Church established in the 1930s this place screams AMAZING! The space remained a church for four decades until it became the famous Media Sound Studios. The dynamic acoustics created by the cathedral architecture attracted legendary musicians who would stay for weeks at a time while recording their albums.

Performers like Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Barry Manilow, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder and many more recorded and developed their records in what is now the main dining room.
Not only would I go back to this restaurant to be surrounded by the cool history of the space but the Coastal European cuisine was completely creative and absolutely delicious. I started my meal by sipping on one of the many signature cocktails, the Providence Bellini.
Dishes to recommend: Baby Brie with 28-yr-old Balsamic Vinegar (appetizer), the Artichoke and Fava Bean Salad, the House Made Spinach Ravioli, and Applewood Scented Arctic Char.

While I'm talking about favorite NYC restaurants I need to also mention Savoy. Located in Soho, on the corner of Prince and Crosby.

The menu changes regularly depending on what's in season, plus if you can't find something you want just tell your server what you're looking for and the chef will be happy to prepare something special just for you. If Mark Minella is in the kitchen for your visit you're in luck! He made me the most creative vegetarian dish I have ever had that was so elegantly placed on the plate. This is definitely a restaurant I want to visit each and every season!