Monday, April 16, 2012

Easter Weekend in New York City - continued

Simply stylish and modern – as you would expect from this Michelin One Star fine dining restaurant at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.   Glass, white, and shades of grey are punctuated with purple floral arrangements.  This very “modern” dining room overlooks the outdoor Abby Rockefeller Sculpture Garden back dropped by a 4 -5 story New York skyline.   This is a true visual oasis in the heart of the city.

Oysters "En Pannequet"
There is a prix fixe menu with numerous choices for each of the four courses.  Everything is artfully presented and visually appealing. Service is plentiful but unobtrusive.  Of course there are plenty of amuse bouches and at the end of the dinner a lovely chocolate cart with a plethora of homemade chocolates.  The wine list is excellent – we try a 2009 Talley Olive Chardonnay and a 2008 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir from Russian River, Ca.   As for the food:  some of the dishes are excellent and amongst the five of us we try almost everything on the menu. And again, the presentation is artful.   But many of the dishes are just ok from a taste standpoint.  For example, I keep thinking I would much prefer a simple grilled lobster tail with a lemon butter dipping sauce as I try to savor my Slow-Roasted Maine Lobster Tail with Caramelized Turnips and Ginger-Tamarind Jus.  And I am dreaming of simple raw oysters in the shell with a touch of shallot mignonette sauce as I labor through my Kumamoto Oysters “En Pannequet” - oysters wrapped in some sort of green leaf and smothered in some sort of red sauce. Ok, all is not lost – the Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Black Winter Truffle and Rye Bread Crouton is excellent.

Can't I Get to a Real Show??

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I have been trying to get to a Broadway play during the past year but have yet to make time.   Hours, Death of a Salesman, and The Book of Mormon are still on my list.   But we are subjected to much street theatre as we roam the city.   Not exactly the same for sure.   And I think I do not need to worry about copyright protection on these…

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World Trade Center Memorial
Must see, must see.  Poignant and fascinating.   The site is still undergoing renovation and the new visitor’s center is still under construction but that’s ok.  Go now and again later when all is complete.  Free entrance but you must reserve tickets ahead of time.   Layers of symbolism and poignant reminders of that fateful day, the people who died and the collapse of the awe inspiring Twin Towers.  

The controversies surrounding the site and the memorial seem to have calmed down a bit.  I find the young Israeli architect Michael Arad’s design entitled “Reflecting Absence” solicits much discussion and interpretation. The two pools that comprise the memorial sit on the footprints of the twin towers, both with waterfalls cascading into a black void.  We visit the memorial on Easter Sunday, an appropriate time and place for reflection on this special morning.  I am told you must also visit at night for an entirely different and perhaps even more inspiring experience because of the lights.  Whenever you go, make sure to talk to and listen to the park rangers as they answer questions.  They are a wealth of knowledge.

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