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Sunday, November 28, 2010

TOP OF THE ROCK - NEW YORK CITY

TOP OF THE ROCK
NEW YORK, NY

No trip to New York is complete without a bird's eye view of the city.  Whether from the Empire State Building or the Top of Rockefeller Plaza, you must go up and see the view.  Top of the Rock costs $20 per person to take the 45 second elevator ride to the top observation decks.  The views even on a cloudy day are amazing.  You really get the feeling of the city and its size and dense population from above.  Just think, all those buildings and apartments and there is very little parking.  How do they take out the trash?  How do you keep this city safe?  So many questions.  This is what makes New York City so special.  It is a microcosm of the United States.  Every race, religion and ethnic heritage is here. Living, working, eating and enjoying life in the Big Apple.






Friday, November 26, 2010

GORDAN RAMSEY AT THE LONDON


GORDAN RAMSEY
NEW YORK, NY 

It has always been a dream to eat at Chef Gordan Ramsey's restaurant.  I watch his television shows in London and the U.S. and enjoy his passion, attitude and cooking skills.  To me he is the ultimate Chef.  How was his restaurant?  Well, the service is polished and exceptional.  Probably the best we have enjoyed besides Babbo.  The staff takes care of everything from start to finish.  If you spill a dish, they are there with a new plate and fresh plate of food.  They explain the wine and where it comes from like Babbo.  The dining space at Gordon Ramsey is small and intimate.  Probably 30 tables max.  This assures great, no rushed service.  We enjoyed a three hour dinner and felt very comfortable in this very expensive and exclusive restaurant.  I will not go into the prices, but it is expensive.  Were talking $100 plus per person without drinks or tip.  We enjoyed the Menu Prestige which is a Tasting Menu.  Keli enjoyed a 3 course dinner of Scallops, Lamb and Chocolate Moose.  The Tasting Menu was good but not great.  Babbo's is better to be honest.  We started with the Hudson Valley Foie Gras with spiced plumbs, truffle vinaigrette and thyme infused brioche.  Nice piece of Foie Gras but the rest of the stuff did not seem to blend with the dish.  Second dish were Maine Diver Scallops with curried cauliflower, pressed mango and spiced chickpeas.  The scallops were absolutely perfect and the curry was a great match for intense flavor.  The next dish was probably one of the best dishes of my life.  Up there with the pasta with mushrooms at Babbo.  It was a Filet of Turbot with an organic egg yolk inserted in the middle of the fish filet.  When you cut the fish, the egg yolk explodes and surrounds the fish in intense flavor.  This dish made the evening and meal.  Nothing else came close in flavor.  Next came Colorado Lamb Roasted in Goats Butter with fava bean tapenade, confit potatoes and lamb vinaigrette.  Good lamb and sauce but nothing to write home about.  Shirley had the Poached Poussin
which is young chicken with chanterelle and almond crepe, braised cabbage and cranberry jus.  The chicken was the moist and tender like nothing I have ever tasted.  To end the meal we enjoyed an aged Cheddar plate and a Concord Grape Creme.  The cheese was so..so. and the Grape thing tasted exactly like grape jelly you get out of a jar.  Not exactly the best desserts.  Keli hit a home run by ordering the Chocolate Moose.  This was rich and decadent.  Truly perfect chocolate flavor.  I love Chef Ramsey but would not return and pay this kind of money for dinner.  The service here is exceptional.  The food is good.



Best Fish Dish Ever.  Turbot Filet with Egg Yolk in Middle








PATSY'S ITALIAN RESTAURANT - NEW YORK CITY

PATSY'S ITALIAN RESTAURANT
NEW YORK, NY 

Decided to have a light lunch at Patsy's.  This famous restaurant was the favorite of Frank Sinatra and many other Hollywood Stars.  The Soprano's ate here regularly during their show and J. Lo takes the pasta on her private jet.  The staff is Italian, bold but gracious in every way.  We started with the Calamari.  A huge plate of breaded and fried calamari served with Marinara Sauce.  I did not care for the breading as it was too thick.  The sauce saved the dish.  We tried Cannelloni with Chicken, Veal and Spinach served with a meat sauce.  It was very good.  Also tried the Fussili with ricotta and meat sauce.  The pasta was excellent and cooked perfectly.  The sauce while a bit creamy was light and delicious.  Keli tried the Tortallini with Meat Sauce.  This was a huge plate of meat filled pasta covered in Marinara sauce with mushrooms.  Probably the best dish out of the three.  After a glass of Chianti, it was time for a nap.





THE SOUP NAZI - NEW YORK CITY

THE ORINAL SOUP MAN
"THE SOUP NAZI"
NEW YORK, NY 

We ended up in front of the Soup Nazi by accident while strolling the streets of Manhattan.  Just had to try a cup of the soup made famous by the Jerry Sienfeld Show.  For $6 you get a hot bowl of soup, bread, apple and piece of chocolate.  I tried the Jambalaya.  It was really good.  Filled with sausage and flavor.  I was a good boy so they did not say "No Soup for You".





Thursday, November 25, 2010

WICKED ON BROADWAY - NEW YORK CITY

WICKED
ON BROADWAY


Wicked blew me away.  On of the best plays I have ever seen.  The singing, the acting, the sets, the music were all awesome.  I was totally into the play after just a few minutes.  When the green witch sang, I was so uplifted that I was coming out of seat.  Wow....this is magical I thought to myself.  How lucky I was to be spending a day with my family watching such an enjoyable production.  The story is about the two witches from the Wizard of Oz and how they became friends.  This play will touch your heart.  The story is well written and the production is flawless.  We sat in the 2nd row and could see every expression on the casts faces.  Even spit could be seen spraying during some of the songs.
Truly amazing experience to be right on the stage.  This is a great play.  One that should be seen by all.  I highly recommend Wicked.  It was GREAT!




RAY'S ORIGINAL PIZZA - NEW YORK CITY

RAY'S ORIGINAL FAMOUS PIZZA
NEW YORK, NY 

Had to try a slice of Rays Pizza in Manhattan.  There are dozens of pizza joints named Ray's.  Seems everyone wants on this name when it comes to pizza.  I don't know if Ray's Original Famous is the real deal Ray's that made Ray's famous, but the pie is pretty good.  I think we got ripped off here.  One slice of pepperoni with jalapeno was $6.  I thought this was outrageous. The pizza was good.  Nice crust.




WALDORF ASTORIA - NEW YORK CITY

WALDORF ASTORIA
NEW YORK, NY 

We were lucky to get an upgrade to a Mini Suite at the Waldorf.  Our room is like a small apartment in Manhattan.  Complete with bedroom, living area and even a separate mini kitchen.  The hotel is located close to everything and just a joy to hang out in.  There are Arab Sheiks and just about every other type of person you can think of staying here.  The private limos line the front of the hotel daily.  The service is pretty non existent.  We come and go daily with very few hello's.  Had one beer in the Bull and Bear Bar but other than that, we have not eat or hung out much here.
Click links below for more posts on the Waldorf Astoria;
http://greateatshawaii.blogspot.com/2014/01/waldorf-astoria-new-york.html
http://greateatshawaii.blogspot.com/2014/01/peacock-alley-restaurant-waldorf.html









TIMES SQUARE - NEW YORK CITY

TIMES SQUARE 
NEW YORK, NY 

We bolted out of Le Cirque and headed for Broadway in the hopes of catching another play.  No go on this night.  The entire theatre district was dark for Thanksgiving.  We took a stroll around Times Square and headed back to the Waldorf for an early evening of cartoon watching with Keli.






LE CIRQUE - NEW YORK CITY

LE CIRQUE
NEW YORK, NY 

I am an idiot.  Time after time I choose famous restaurants and think we will be blown away.  Time after time I am dead wrong.  Le Cirque is New York's famous restaurant of Kings, Queens, Hollywood and celebrities from all over the world. The owner "Sirio" is a culinary legend and the Godfather of restaurants that Donald Trump is quoted as saying "He is the only person I ever imagine going into the restaurant business with".  We entered Le Cirque to find a dead hostess with no expression, hello or anything.  She just stood there and stared.  The Maitre De welcomed us and checked our reservation.  We checked our coats and were quickly seated in one of those long tables where you have people sitting on the right and left of you.  Guess who sat next to us?  Well it was Sirio himself.  A grumpy old man that barks orders at his staff and treats patrons like dogs.  I am serious. No smiles, no welcome, no nothing.  Totally absorbed in himself and yelling at his staff.  Problem with sitting next to Sirio is that the entire staff caters to him and forgets the other guests.  Our waiter was missing in action after Sirio sat down.  I had to give him a little lecture at the end of our meal because he neglected my wine pairing during our last course.  "For all this money, I told him, you would think the service would be exceptional".  He apologized and took something off the bill.  I won't comment on the cost of this dinner because it was far too expensive and I am embarrassed.  Lets just say that I  could have flown from Honolulu to Los Angeles for less.  The Thanksgiving Menu offered a selection of first, second, third course plus dessert.  I chose the Frois Gras Terrine.  This dish sucked.  Served like spam on a bed Green Apple Sauce with sliced apple on top and Squash Tempura.  The Squash was excellent and far better than the rest of crap on the plate.  We then had a Pasta with Mushroom dish that was excellent. Fresh sheets of pasta covered in a mushroom ragu.  Keli had the Australian Prawns and loved them.  For our main course we tried the Turkey with Stuffing and Roasted Pheasant.  The Turkey and stuffing were average.  The Pheasant was dry and pretty bland.  The meal was served with Sweet Potato puree, roasted Brussel Sprouts and Chest Nuts.  The Sprouts were o.k., the potatoes were fair and the chest nuts were crap.  For dessert we had a basic piece of chocolate cake and a tiny morsel of pumpkin pie.  We would have been better off ordering the complete Thanksgiving meal from Zippy's for around $50.  Once again Drew was duped by the big name restaurants and celebrity chefs and owners.

LE CIRQUE NEW YORK
BEAUTIES AT LE CIRCUE