There’s very little doubt as to what is my 12 year old’s favorite store in the entire world. M&M’s World. Whenever we enter the store, her eyes bulge, and she’s not sure what area to hit first. She’s like a kid in a candy store! In a way, I felt similar symptoms when I found myself kidless for 9 days for the first time in 14 years. There’s only one thing I love more than exploring NYC with my beautiful daughters.. exploring without them. Although I normally feel free to eat wherever I want, this is a brand new level of culinary freedom, with endless wants and possibilities. Instead of skipping town, Mrs Z and I decided to stay put and play tourists. We wanted the real Australian tourist experience which includes staying in a trendy hotel, complaining about hotel A/C noise, and taking pictures of squirrels. Day 1 out of 4…
*****Mostly iPhone pictures on day 1 as I wasn’t planning to do this post. I don’t want you to think that I’m a terrible photographer. I am, but I don’t want YOU to think that.
My weakened eating adventure started the day before where I enjoyed a Don Antonio Diavolo pie and a shared this pizza Fritta, a giant fried calzone stuffed with mozzarella, tomatoes and salami. Don Antonio to me is the closest to eating pizza in Italy due to the style, ingredient quality, and female employees speaking with Italian accents
I work in Hell’s Kitchen, and ‘Disiac lounge off 54th and 9th is the place my coworkers frequent the most. I’ve seen the bar much more livelier than on this Saturday afternoon, but we did discover something important about us. We don’t like CAIPIRINNA, the Brazilian national drink. Getting mrs Z drunk – Failed! We did enjoy however in this Israeli owned bar, a falafel platter, with hummus, babaganoush, grilled pitas, and fine red Yemeni S’chug. My favorite Hummus in the area is still at Gazala’s however.
My hotel of choice was the Hyatt Union Square, a stylish boutique with ultra modern rooms (the ones where you can see yourself shower), comfy bed and pillows, a magazine rack in the bathroom with magazine! (for those not willing to spend extra for wifi!), valet parking (if it costs $65 is that still considered an amenity), and perhaps my favorite amenity in any hotel.. A Flat Screen TV! If there’s a flat screen TV in every single hotel in the world, is it still considered an amenity? Why not list “Bed” as well? But in all seriousness, this was a fine stay that would have been finer if they hadn’t put us next to the elevator.
We’ve been to Washington Square Park before many times, but never experienced it quite like this time. A giant Star Wars flash mob cock fight. It was quite a scene. We didnt stay late enough but at some point we were told that they got divided into groups to fight each other to the death. Or until their little Jedi swords broke, whichever came sooner. There were also the usual park musicians and art like sand displays, and a fake birds eating fake pizza showing.
We capped off the night at Casa Mono, one of the premier tapas joints in town. All 6 dishes including one dessert were quite good. I especially liked the duck egg with potatoes, Mojama and some ultra perfumy summer black truffles. The calamari like Razor clams were slightly overdone though still quite enjoyable. Nice skirt steak with Romesco, reminiscent of the Gato scrambled egg. Goat confit was expertly prepared with avocado purée. I can’t get enough goat lately. Perhaps my favorite dish however was the Fideo with chorizo and clams. I don’t understand why I so rarely see fideo on menus. The one big issue I had was the frequency of the dishes coming out. Started with two right away, and the next 3 came in at the same time pretty much. In a place like this where sharing is key you would think they would get it by now
A nice walk back to the hotel included a visit to Union Square Park where I saw the the youngest street performer I’ve ever seen (5 maybe?) among a group of many other dancers. Day 2 coming up! Any comments? Question? threats?