It’s no secret that life in this town is stressful. Add a wife, 2 kids, a coupla canines, a hamster named Roberta and a whole pile of green things that need to get watered and…Holy Shit! That’s my reality, and as amazing as it is, you’ve got to take time every now and again to rediscover what got you there in the first place…a fantastic helping of thrown caution to the wind and one helluva woman. Lesa and I pulled that time out of our hats last weekend with a carefully coordinated visit from Grandma and a check-in to the oft-dreamt-about Bowery Hotel for a much-needed STAYCATION.
Ever since The Bowery Hotel opened a few years back, we’ve been meaning to book a weekend away from the everyday to actually enjoy our city as tourists… and it is completely embarrassing when I think about how many times we talked about it or intended to book it and did not. So, last weekend we made it happen in celebration of our anniversary. I checked in early on my way to work and dropped of a bottle of Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Reposado to enjoy after the workday ended just down the street. At five, we met in room #1003, kicked off our shoes and poured ourselves a drink in front of this huge window overlooking the streets we’ve called home for the last 20 years. It was a bona-fide treat to catch up about our day, our week, our lives without the constant “Mom! Dad! Mommy! Mom, Mom, Mom! Daddy!” It was so quiet. We could hear each other think and laugh and actually get through a thought without the aforementioned chant of the children. For the entire weekend, people waited on us instead of the reverse. We ordered room service, slept in, read the paper (the real paper with ink on it), we got massages, we walked around the city, we went out to dinner without worrying what time we had to relieve the sitter…we enjoyed each other and New York City. It wasn’t a trip to Mexico or the Swiss Alps, but what a fantastic trip it was just a few blocks from our stoop (and without the headaches associated with getting there.) This year, over 50 million tourists will travel to New York City to enjoy its personality and eccentricities. Last weekend, Lesa and I were two of them and what a fine town it is to visit on a balmy January weekend.
Alright, guys. You’re not going to procrastinate until the last possible minute this year and she’s well deserving of some super sexy jewelry on this go-round of gift giving. So, get her a pair of pendant earrings and the super chic Olympie Bracelet at Gas Bijoux on Mott, Bleecker, Columbus or their new shop on Elizabeth.Their earings come in tons of different dangly styles and the bracelet is adjustable so fits just about anyone. The prices at Gas Bijoux? Genius. If you’re less-than-confident in choosing the right fit for your lady, their stylish and friendly staff will help you pick something great.
Seems like the perfect day for some afternoon drinking and Phebe’s at the corner of 4th and Bowery is the downtown’s perfect choice. Tell bartender Gina that neighbor Greg sent you. Maybe she’ll make it a double!
The new (and old) restaurants on Bond and Great Jones Streets have been sucking me in to sample their tasty offerings lately. This morning, it was The Smile at 26 Bond Street.
Stepping down off the sidewalk into the basement of this old Noho loft building, you are taken by the herb-adorned entrance and old word charm of this rustic restaurant/coffee shop/general store. I grabbed one of the window seats in the front and decided to keep it simple…scrambled eggs with Gruyère, sourdough toast and a salad. Great way to start the day.
For lunch, The Smile has a great choice of fantastically prepared salads and sandwiches and the dinner menu, while short, focuses on amazing fresh selections such as whole roasted brook trout and seared flank steak over sautéed sweet corn. The Smile perfect for a low-key lunch meeting or glass of wine and an appetizer after work. Cool place.
The folks at Mile End have been wowing taste buds in Boerum Hill since late 2009 with their incredible (and incredibly priced) Montreal-style smoked meat sandwiches. In May, they hopped over the river and opened a spinoffon Bond Street in Noho.
A serious danger to my health as it is on my route to the office every morning, Mile End Sandwichis open for breakfast. It has sucked me in twice in the last week with their preposterously good Breakfast Burger.
That’s a veal sausage patty with a sunny-side-up fried egg, cheddar cheese, apple butter and maple syrup on an English muffin…a wonderfully gooey and heart-stopping combination. In the interest of at least appearing that I try to stay healthy, I had their surprisingly crisp and tasty celery soda to wash it down. Madness for the mouth!
Weather.com lied this morning and said it wasn’t going to rain, so on my way to drop off a check on Great Jones Street, my ’58 Raleigh and I, of course, got rained on. After the check got dropped, I came out to find it pouring sheets. I was hungry. Thankfully, Il Buco Alimentari e Vineriawas right next door at 53 Great Jones between Bowery and Lafayette.
Their websitesays it best, ”Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria is a market salumeria, bakery and enoteca and restaurant, inspired by simple authentic food that’s made with an uncompromising ethic, and the joy of sharing it with friends.” I’m just going to call it effing amazing.
This is their breakfast sandwich with baked organic egg, rupert cheese, salame rosa, and focaccia fino. Ridiculous. Rounded out with a glass of freshly squeezed OJ…outlandish. Must go. Must try.