When I was in high school, I remember every other public school in the greater bay area having this awesome hiatus in February called Ski Week. I was totally jealous because even though February is only 28 days, it seemed so long and dreary at school- why should other schools get a break? And my main activity, theater, wasn't in full swing until March, so the excitement of performing wasn't in the air yet- and therefore February fast became my least favorite month of the year.
Fast forward a decade or so and now I am annoyed by February for different reasons. Last year at school they installed ski week into the calendar and, as a teacher, I think it's the worst idea since McDonald's. It's a week that makes second semester come to a halt just as things were gaining momentum. And as a theater teacher, I abhor it- it cuts out a week of my rehearsal schedule for the musical in March, and when I come back from ski week, I'm in a panic about getting ready for opening night.
Last year for ski week I stayed home and moped, which of course made the whole week more depressing. So this year, I decided that I would treat myself to a trip to New York with all the restaurants and plays that my stomach and wallet could handle. I was there a week ago today- and I'm going to blog about the whole trip in a "one week delay" pattern- so I'll be writing about last Wednesday, today.
Wednesday actually started as a continuation from Tuesday, because I was out. We had just flown in Tuesday night and I was still on west coast time- so I wasn't ready to go to bed yet and I was too excited to be in New York. So I called my high school friend Lowen, and we went to the Brewery on Union Square:
That would be Lowen's hand. We mostly talked about out recent 10 year high school reunion, but he did have a wise quote about food which I will paraphrase- he mentioned that with Italian food he felt like he was friends with it, but with French food, he always feel like he was paying homage. I thought that was pretty wise-then again, he is a writer, so maybe I should expect his witty comments. I would be paying homage most of the week because I was scheduled in for much French food.
So I went to bed Wednesday morning, and woke up later Wednesday morning to go out to lunch in Chelsea.
I took a nice walk down from Times Square- it was beautiful out and the temp had gone up about 20 degrees from the week before. Good thing for my weak west-coast tolerance for cold.
My walk ended up at the Cookshop which looked totally different then what I thought. From the website, I thought I was going to walk into a rustic French barn, but it was actually pretty modern:
I was there to meet my friend from college, Adam aka- the Amateur Gourmet:
I chose the Cookshop because I knew we could have a light lunch (to counteract that fact that I was going to consume every calorie existing in NYC later that week). We split a duck liver crostini with pomegranate seeds and slivered almonds for an appetizer:
We were deciding between this and splitting the fried duck livers- and I'm really glad we chose this- I didn't want to have a heart attack on my first day in New York! I loved the sweetness of the pomegranates seeds with the heaviness of the duck liver. Another sweet thing that I loved was that at this time, Sandra Bernhardt (I guess its Bernhard now? Or are they two different people?) walked in and was lead to a table in the back. I didn't even recognize her- but Adam sure did.
"Adam, do you want to go get a picture for your dad."
"No, I don't want to bother her. But if my dad were here, he would be beside himself."
Later when Adam visited the men's room, he checked out who she was dining with- some minor actor we recognized, but couldn't name.
So there you have my one celebrity siting in NYC!
For my main course there I had the chicken salad:
It had olives and raisins and almonds mixed in the salad under it. Due do these strong flavors, the chicken wasn't overly spiced- just really tender. And it was a huge portion for lunch- I didn't even finish half the chicken.
"Kristen, you better get going, I don't want you to be late for your play."
I ran across a construction zone to beat out a man for a cab (maybe I could fit into New York!) and got uptown to see:
This musical is absolutely delightful! It mixes our love for old time musicals with a little modern cynicism and escapist nostalgia. The stereotypes are broad and funny and the narrator is precious. He talks about his old favorite musical- "The Drowsy Chaperone" (that doesn't really exist), and it comes to life in his apartment- and there are many moments where he is just watching the action on stage, and he looked absolutely enthralled and delighted to be a part of the play. This was the most classic of the plays we saw and I would recommend it for people who don't usually go to the theater, but want to see a play on Broadway.
So in between our Wednesday matinee and our Wednesday night play, we had dinner at Le Bernardin. I must say that at first this restaurant really pissed me off and I thought we were going to have a long pretentious dinner where we were constantly reminded how lucky we were to be there. The thing that pissed me off was pretty small- We had reservations at 5:15- and when we showed up at 5:10, the doors were not open (and it was cold out!) I guess we had the first reservations- but at least let us have a seat at the bar for 5 minutes. But that was really the end of the pretention, and maybe I was just being sensitive. Mom (who took the trip with me to NYC) was really sweet to go to Le Bernardin because she can not stand raw fish, and fish in all its forms is what this restaurant is great at. We had the four course tasting menu- and I tried to take pictures but Mom wasn't too happy. As I pulled out my camera she gave me a really embarrassed look and said:
"A camera? No, not here...don't you think it's too nice of a place to take pictures."
"Um...but that's why I'm here- to blog about it. Ok, how about this, I won't use flash."
She gave me a look that said "I guess that's as good as it's going to get, but I'm still embarrassed to be with you- you disappointment of a child!"
Ok- her look didn't really hold that last part.
So I tried to take pictures, but they all turned out like this:
That's the olive oil poached Escolar in a tarragon and saffron broth and it was the best course of the night. It was our second course under the title- "barley touched." I had never had fish of this texture before. It wasn't flaky- it was almost spongy. I know that sounds kind of bad- but it was amazing.
And then we rushed off to see:
Liev Schreiber was amazing. The script was a little dated (we all know about radio jockeys who tell "the truth")- but I had never seen anything by Eric Bogosian- so I was glad to be there. Also, if you don't like smoking- don't go. We were in the second row and Schreiber chain smoked so much that my eyes were hurting by the end of the play.
And to finish the night I went out to the bars with my students. Let me revise that statement- my first year of teaching, I had seniors, who are now graduated from college, 23, and living in New York- so we went out to the bars/clubs in the East Village/Lower East side. And I wandered back to my room at 3:30am Thursday morning.
156 Tenth Ave. (at 20th)
New York, NY
155 W. 51st. Street (btw 6th and 7th)
New York, NY
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference My Ski Week Debauchery Part I:
The comments to this entry are closed.