This Week’s NYC Episode…

New York is certainly not lacking in events and entertainment. There is always something to do, someplace to go, or someone famous to run into. Since moving here the first time in 2005, I've compared living here to living on a movie set. So many characters to observe, and everyone looks like someone you know or most probably have seen in a film or on TV. Characters, indeed.

So now that I'm back out and about, I'm able to partake in a few events here and there and enjoy the city.

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Last Sunday, even with the snow drifting about, Gita and I made it out for brunch at Les Halles. A couple of egg dishes, croissants, bloody Mary's and a conversation about the hospitality industry (and how waitstaff should and should not do their job) later, and we were again out in the snow and happy to explore the city. Once we made it to SoHo we were ready for a coffee/tea warm-up and stopped into Ceci Cela. A cute little spot perfect for an afternoon cuppa and a French pastry, it's just down from Balthazar on Spring. We traipsed about a bit more running some errands, also stopping in Pearl River Mart for a few needs and the downtown Bloomingdale's for Nespresso pods.

Monday, we walked about the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of NY. After an initial brief tour around the Baldor booth by Jocelyn (check out Sabatuni Tartufi's truffle honey… YUM), I wandered around discovering new companies I didn't even know existed, ran into friends, and met up with Gita and Michael who'd been scoping out the scene. One booth we happened upon was by far the best, in our opinion, and most interesting of the entire show: Architecture Aromatique. Unfortunately, they don't sell directly to the public, but look around at restaurants using their incredible herbs. And make sure to try the Shiso® Green (Korea; Mint/Anise flavor; and for use in raw fish, Asian cuisine, cheese & dessert) and the electrifying Sechuan Buttons (Africa/China; 'Electric' feeling; and for use in cocktails, desserts, ice cream and sorbet). Incredible! And their U.S. Manager, Nicolas, was especially helpful, not to mention cute.

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Tuesday, I met Arlyn and her lovely crew for her birthday bash at '21'. What a treat! I felt like it was my birthday. After meeting upstairs for champagne and initial acquainting, we were escorted downstairs to the 'secret' wine cellar where a glorious table was set with bouquets, place cards with each diner's name, and set menus for Arlyn's special afternoon: "A Sixties Feminist's Dream Come True Lunch." Out of our delish menu choices, I opted for the Butternut Squash and Butter Braised Maine Lobster Risotto with Toasted Autumn Spices and Frizzled Leeks; Charred Filet of Beef with Yukon Potato Gratin, Baby Carrots, Cipollini Onion and Bourbon Reduction; and the Chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate! Fudge Brownie and Milk Chocolate Mousse with Crunchy Pearls and Chocolate Espresso Tuiles. And I must say the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Merryvale, 'Starmont', from Napa Valley was incredible!

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Neither Wednesday nor Thursday was a big food day, but I did have the privilege of going to the David Letterman show (thanks Tom!) to watch Jon Stewart and U2. INCREDIBLE!!!!! Wow, I think my heart's still pounding. Never a dull moment in this town. Don't forget to check out their brand new cd, No Line On the Horizon.

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Today is another day, and eventually I'll have to pry myself away from this laptop to venture out and into the real world for some more foodie adventures. Until then, bon appétit!

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