30 May 2012

Cloud City

My first reason to go to the Met this weekend was to see the Schiaparelli and Prada exhibit.  It was good but it's difficult to come after the Alexander McQueen exhibit.  Comparisons cannot be helped. 

But then I made it to the roof to view this -

Cloud City by Tomas Saraceno.  You can even get tickets to walk through the structure but they were sold out the day I visited.

Another reason to go on the roof -

29 May 2012

Subways and a Cat

I traveled to Brooklyn on Saturday to check out the New York Transit Museum.  I knew I would be seeing a museum related to the subway system but I had no idea how much I would love it.

A very normal sign but this museum is underground. Looks promising.

Different turnstiles through the years. Ok.

And then I went downstairs.  It's full of subway cars through the decades.  It was incredible.  I had to hold back from taking pictures of every single car.  Even the advertisements were from the actual time of the cars.

This beauty is from 1938 but rebuilt in 1947.  I love the bright blue floor and the seats that look like they were a project from summer camp.

I think this is the oldest car being from 1904-1905.  Not a lot of style but it did it's job.  You could only exit from the front and back of the train.

This car screamed 1950 to me.  I think it's the round windows and very red seats.  Or the floors that look like they belong in schools from that era.

 This car is obviously from 1963.  That color of blue only existed in 1963.

Remember how everyone wanted to be a blonde in 1949.  

As I was leaving this mother and child excitedly told me that there was a cat in one of the cars.  I told her it was probably to eat all of the rats but it was a very happy comfortable cat.

I am also super excited that I was asked to be a guest blogger on my friends blog.  Check it out here.

28 May 2012

Gild the Lily

It is Mer's birthday this month so she chose the latest venue for our Fancy Supper Club.  Mer admitted to wanting to eat at Gilt since the Palace Hotel, where it is located, is featured prominently on Gossip Girl.  You can't help but watch that show if you live in this city.  I even lived down the hall from one of the actors on that show and was surprised when I saw Blake Lively in the foyer as I was exiting the building.  She really is that pretty even in person.

The hotel lobby is beautiful and the restaurant is equally as beautiful.  It's a place begging to make a grand entrance.

I loved the dark ornate wood in the dining room and the very color-rich painting.  It could not be helped but be noticed.

We were all very tired at dinner but everyone looked lovely.  Mer was recovering from a cold she picked up during vacation, Trish ran the Brooklyn Half-Marathon earlier that day, and I just needed more sleep.

Our amuse bouche may have been the best part of the meal - it was a ramp soup and it may have been my favorite ramp dish I've had this season.  Gilt also served us a selection of breads which were unreal.  The flavors included a manchego pretzel, fig bread, butternut squash bread and an olive roll.  We each choose a couple of breads and picked at them through the meal. 

For a starter, Mer and I ordered the Salad of Spring Vegetables with a selection of raw, fermented, roasted and pickles veggies.  It was good but as you can see the plating was beautiful.

Trish had the Roasted Asparagus with a Lukan's farm egg, cured tuna, nasturtium, and hazelnut. 

My main dish was the Border Springs Farm Lamb with spring onion, morel, wheat berries, and sheep's milk ricotta.  It was good but not memorable.  I had to look at the menu to remind myself what I ordered.

Mer and Trish both ordered with Cod with squid, green almonds, garbanzo beans, and nettle salsa verde.  Again, I don't believe either fell in love with the dish.  When the waiter took the dish away, the green sauce spilled on Mer's dress.  They were great about offering to pay for the dry cleaning and I was impressed how they handled the situation.

It was in between courses that Trish noticed that Pat Sajak was at the table next to us.  I tried to take a picture without being too obvious but I think it was too dark to see him regardless.  He's there though.  

To start our dessert course, we were given a little treat but it wasn't anything memorable.

Mer and I ate the Strawberry Rhubarb with treacle pudding, frozen strawberry sabayon, and peche lambic gelee.  The plating was beautiful and certain components were delicious but not the entire dish.

Trish had the Chocolate dessert with salty caramel gelato.  She was pleased with her selection.

Mer couldn't decide between the Strawberry Rhubarb and another dish so they brought out both of them.  That is always appreciated but by this time we were so full that it was difficult to eat another bite.

And to finish off the experience, we were brought a tray of chocolate truffles and told to sample to our hearts desire.  I loved the chocolate mint because the mint tasted like real mint.  I also loved the blood orange candy.  Our server insisted we take the gold covered almonds.  Everything about this restaurant was beautiful but I wish the food lived up to the beauty.

Overall, Gilt is a beautiful restaurant but the food was not spectacular.  Each dish contained so many components that they had to be eaten all together to make it delicious.  It was almost too much effort to get everything in each mouthful. 

27 May 2012

How To Say Thank You

I went with a large group of friends Friday night to see Moonlight Kingdom.  I think it may be my favorite Wes Anderson film.  There are a lot of reasons to love it.

On the way to the theater, I ran into Dan, Suvi and Paul.  Suvi gave me a bag.  I had no idea why or what it even was until I arrived home and opened it.

It's one of the most perfect thank you gifts ever.  All delicious and wonderful.  The card was signed "from your favorite married couple." 

Frito Pie Recipe

A few of you have asked how to make the casserole.  I'm happy to share the joy.

Mexi-Chili Casserole or Frito Pie

I left in some asides from my mom because she is adorable.  I also doubled the recipe for the casserole I served at the potluck which served about 30 people.  I also added ground beef but mom has also used ground turkey in the past.

16 oz. pkg. of corn chips or larger extra chips can be put on table to munch on.
2 cups grated cheese (usually cheddar)
1 15 oz. can of chili with beans
1 15 oz. can of enchilada sauce
1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 tsp. instant minced onion
1 cup dairy sour cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Reserve 1 cup corn chips and 1/2 cup cheese.  Combine the rest of the chips and cheese with chili, sauces and onion.  Pour mixture into a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish and bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Take out of oven and spread top with sour cream.  Sprinkle with reserved cheese.  Then place the rest of the corn chips in a ring around the edge.  Bake 5 minutes longer.

Note:  To add quantity add cooked ground beef as wanted.

Can be cooked in microwave.  Cover and put in for 5 minutes then stir and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until heated through.  Then add sour cream, cheese and corn chips.  Heat uncovered until cheese is melted.

If you make it, let me know how it turns out.

25 May 2012

Celebrating Sam

 Many many congratulations to this wonderful girl for graduating!

Sam and Alpha have the cutest apartment.  I was super excited to finally visit and see all the beautiful details that their good design sense bring to the place. There was a dog roaming around the place but no cute people/dog pictures.  I think people may love Dakota more - just saying.

23 May 2012

Poe in the Bronx

There is a cottage in the Bronx at the intersection of the Grand Concourse and Kingsbridge Road where Edgar Allan Poe lived with his wife, Virginia Clemm, before she died and where he lived out his last years.  I only know about this place from my NYPD friend who is a native to this city.

Jeff, Dan and I met up there on Saturday and listened to a fascinating tour of Poe's life in NYC.  He was awfully poor and barely made any money from his writings.  The cottage has two items that actually belonged to Poe, the rest of the furnishings are from that time.

Poe rented the cottage for $100 a year.  To understand how poor he was, he was only paid $8 for The Raven.  Poe lived here with his wife (who was also his cousin) and his mother-in-law (who was also his dad's sister).

A bust of the man.

A typical kitchen during the 1840s.

The rocking chair is one of the items Poe owned.  A family in the neighborhood bought it in 1849 when Poe died and donated it to the cottage when it was made a historic landmark house museum.

And the original item is the rope bed that his wife died in.  A rope bed is a wooden frame within which is stretched a lattice of ropes which support the mattress. 

22 May 2012

Ai Fiori in the Daylight

One of my favorite friends was in town with his lovely boyfriend this last week on his annual trip to see every good show on Broadway.  He highly recommends One Man, Two Guvnors and Other Desert Cities.  We made plans for breakfast on Saturday but I was instructed to pick a restaurant near Penn Station and that breakfast would be at 10 am.  Difficult.  But I stumbled on an excellent idea - Ai Fiori.  It's in a hotel and it is open all day long.  I was looking forward to showing this place to Mike and Scott and also seeing how it held up in the daylight. 

We sat around the corner from where I was seated during the last visit.  I liked the artwork but you can also see that it was very empty at 10 am on a Saturday.

The place felt more like a hotel restaurant but the food was still delicious.

Mike ordered the Smoked Salmon Plate and it was pretty.  I had a discussion with Mike and Scott on why people take pictures of their food.  I explained that plating can be an art and that some people like to see pictures of the food.  He didn't buy it but it's just a way to hold on to the memory.

My food is not all that pretty but it was very good.  I had the Duck Hash with duck confit, poached egg, tomato hollandaise and scallion.  It was a perfect breakfast dish.

This is Mike.  He's adorable.  I'm sad I didn't get a picture of Scott as well but hopefully during the next visit. 

21 May 2012

Eating Frito Pie On A Rooftop in the Spring With A Lot of Folks

My mom calls it a Mexi-Chili Casserole.  I've been hearing these days that it's also known as Frito Pie.  I just know it as a childhood dish full of deliciousness. 

I decided to throw a potluck dinner on Mother's Day because Jess left us for CA and also because it's hard to be away from family on days like this. I challenged folks to bring food their moms made for them when they were growing up.  I think I won.

You never know what people will bring at a potluck and I like the randomness of it.  But this time no one brought prunes or Activa yogurt.  This was a legitimate potluck with fruit, salads, homemade breads and lots of desserts. 

Hello Brigham.  People started coming to the rooftop in ones and two but then the crowds just couldn't stay away.  It was too lovely of a night to not be on the roof.

Lots of pictures of people facing the food table.

The lovely ladies - Broek, Alpha and Alyssa.


Casey made an appearance during his week in NYC.  

Sam who deserves high praise for finishing her Masters and graduating this last week.

Monica does not look happy with me but it was lovely to see her.

The party split up to the other side of the roof for seating reasons.

The sky started changing colors and it was a perfect still warm evening.

And my hallway outside of the elevator.  People didn't want to leave.  I didn't take enough pictures of Jess but it is really sad to think that this was my last time seeing her in NYC.