I was excited when we showed up on Friday evening at The Mulberry Project (149 Mulberry / btwn Grand + Hester St) a subterranean speakeasy accessible via a red door beneath a Little Italy souvenir shop. It was just cold enough that the patio wasn't a comfortable option, but I loved the hidden outdoor terrace vibes. Back inside, in the dark, clubby space the bartenders sling terrific bespoke cocktails and we noshed on really good tapas! Try the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sliders ($14) with harissa spiced apple and celery root slaw and the Artichokes + Avocado Toast ($12) dusted with lemon zest, chives and pecorino.
Our next stop was The Aprés Ski Chalet @ Cafe Select (212 Lafayette St). Cafe Select itself is a charming Swiss fondue restaurant with tiny white lights blanketing the ceiling and retro fixtures like a big Rolex clock. We meandered out a door in the back, through the kitchen and into a hidden room crammed with straight skis and vintage winter paraphernalia. A little slice of aprés ski heaven in May in the big city. LOVE.
The next day was complete bliss. After one of the best brunches at Russ & Daughters (127 Orchard Street / nr Delancey) and a visit to our friends-who-knew-all-the-speakeasys swanky new 19th floor pad + roofdeck on the Upper West Side, a stroll over to Central Park and napping on Great Lawn were in order. That sun felt amazing.
Dinner on Saturday was with one of Bob's college buddies and his wife at their go-to Forlini's (93 Baxter St - Chinatown). It's a classic red-sauce Italian joint circa 1943 that typically caters to the courthouse crowd (many Law & Order scenes were filmed here). Dishes are inexpensive and made for sharing family style - we had a Chef's Salad ($10) and Clams Casino ($12.50), before I dove into a huge platter of Rigatoni Vodka Sauce ($15.50). So classic. It hit the spot.
Sunday morning we awoke to dreariness and rain. Bob, Leah and Alex set out for their 40 mile Five Boro Bike Ride - only to return home after 8 miles because it was a slow moving, crowded course and very cold. In the meantime had I cleaned the apartment, read some of this book, and enjoyed an outstanding apricot pastry ($4) and latte ($3.50) from Tiny's Giant (129 Rivington St).Full on brunching over at The Wayland (700 E 9th Street) took place and then it was back to Boston. I must say, I felt so rejuvenated and excited after this time spent. When I travel here I am reminded how much I love this city, vying to return sooner, especially given how close it is to Boston (why do I always think it is worlds away?!) I was even reminded that New York City doesn't have to be overwhelming and utterly exhausting, it's all in how you do it. So thanks NYC for such a fun, refreshing, really great weekend!!