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Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says... 'Oh shit....she's awake!!'

""Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!""
— Unknown

Friday, September 16, 2011

Vacation 201109–Day 1

Have I mentioned how much I love NYC? Probably not yet this month!

We left the car with our friends Bruce and Ellen in Princeton NJ and caught the NJT train into the city. NOTE: Even the last express train of the morning is crowded…at least on a beautiful Friday. This trip we are staying at the Marriott Courtyard Bryant Park (40th St. and 6th Ave). This is going to be a good location…convenient to the subway, fairly easy cab access, and the Bryant Park Fall Festival is going on.

So we arrive starving and I haven’t thought too hard about where to eat. Fortunately, Croton Tavern is right next door to the hotel. This turned out to be a great surprise. I ordered a Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc and we started in on lunch of Thai Coconut Chicken soup, Noir Rare Tuna in citrus marinade, Mussels and Chorizo in white wine broth. Thanks to our servers recommendation, we ended with the Chocolate Obsession – think chocolate, espresso, more chocolate, caramel with a side of espresso ice cream.

After that we needed to walk so we headed down the street to the International Center of Photography. All three current exhibits are definitely worth the visit. The current exhibits are: Remembering 9/11; Harper’s Bazaar: A Decade of Style; and Signs of Life: Photographs by Peter Sekaer. The surprise for me was how much I enjoyed the Harper’s exhibit…this is about so much more than fashion and style. And my favorite part of the 9/11 exhibit was the little room in the back where they had a collection of photographs that had been submitted and printed on paper.

2011-09-16_18-22-20_507Our good friend John Germroth arrived later in the afternoon so we met him for a cocktail at Croton Tavern – well, it’s handy! Then we headed off to see a little of Burnt Sugar the Akestra Chamber free at Bryant Park. Then it was off to Empellon.

I stumbled upon this restaurant because of an article in Food Arts magazine – a trade magazine that my friend Nik shared with me because the same article included Anne Kearney of Dayton’s Rue Dumaine. Now, I wouldn’t normally seek out a mexican restaurant on vacation but this is a not-to-be-missed restaurant. I asked for a cocktail to start that “didn’t contain brown liquor – "yes, tequila is okay” and wasn’t too sweet. Our waiter pointed me to the Por Que No? A cocktaill made with silver, cilantro, serrano, and pineapple juice. So good I had two which was okay except that as we left the restaurant I couldn’t feel my lips. This is a great place to share items. We started with the Red and Green Chorizo Queso followed by the Smoked Plantains with Crema Sopes. Our tacos were the Skirt Steak with Mojo de Ajo (olive oil, lime juice, toasted garlic) and the special Chanterelle Mushroom Taco (tequila and other stuff I don’t remember). I was too full to even entertain dessert…okay, the 2nd Por Que No could have been dessert.

And, of course, a little walking after dinner.