A very gluttonous birthday in New York City

posted on August 25, 2008 at 6:10 am

Aside from Vegas, I cannot think of any other place I would rather celebrate my birthday than New York and that is exactly where Moonie and I went. Moon and I in NYC is a dangerous thing and am almost embarrassed to tell you guys how many places we ate. Trust me there are some omissions. lt is definitely time for a fast. 
I didn’t take photos everywhere we dined because my camera was weighing me down as we were on our feet for about 10 hours a day (as you should be in NYC). In addition to our marathon grubbing, we saw some great exhibits at the Whitney and the Met, took a nice stroll through Central Park and paid a visit to Century 21 which is the best department store ever
It was such a great trip that I am thinking of making it a tradition. Here is the quick and dirty of our 4 days in NYC with good and bad pics. Hope you enjoy. 
Ramen and pork buns at
Dinner that night was another amazing experience at Bar Boulud. I just cannot say enough about this place. Relaxed vibe with stellar food and my folks were kind enough to call ahead and have a gorgeous bottle of wine sent to our table. Best birthday meal in ages. 
Grabbed H&H bagel and Zabars goodies for breakfast in bed at the hotel. There is absolutely nothing better than freshly baked bagels with a slather of scallion cream cheese.
Hit the original Grand Sichuan: and it was a total waste of a meal. Dirty tasting fish, salty pork belly drenched in too much soy and flavorless noodles. We took 3 bites of each dish and left. Definitely not up to the standards it once was when my idol, Ruthie R. wrote about it for The New York Times.
Grand Sichuan International on Urbanspoon

Thank god
Joe’s Shanghai was so close. Shanghai soup buns conquer all. Love this place and it killed the taste (and memory) of the previous “meal.” 
Joe's Shanghai on Urbanspoon
And a little stop at Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake. Num num num. 
Magnolia Bakery on Urbanspoon
We continued to walk until we reached Colombus Circle where we rested our feet at the Bouchon Bakery cafe which has a great view of the circle. 
Dinner that night was a bust. We were completely delirious and ended up canceling our reservation at Inisieme before hitting an Indian restaurant near our hotel, Swagat.
I had eaten here before, but this meal was just plain bad. Overcooked rice, lamb vindaloo that tasted more like chunky spaghetti and an underwhelming saag paneer. The staff were very attentive and friendly though.
Train to Times Square to hit Szechuan Gourmet, recently reviewed by Frank Bruni. The restaurant completely lives up to the hype and it a welcome alternative if you don’t feel like trekking it to Flushing. An amazingly good meal.

 In true glutton fashion with a little help from my equally gluttonous man, we went for a second lunch at Luzzo Coal Oven Pizza.
Luzzo's on Urbanspoon
Great pizza but my nose smelled this spot, Vinny Vincenz, after we left and we had to grab a slice, of course. Probably the best sauce I have tasted in a long long time.
Viinnie Vincenz Pizza: New York City
Vinny Vincenz on Urbanspoon
Moon found this great New American restaurant on the Upper West Side, Dovetail. Casual, refined and an overall great spot for dinner. The lighting was pretty poor so I didn’t get any great shots except for this one of our amuse bouche. 
Dovetail: New York City
Dovetail on Urbanspoon
Oh, how tired we were by this point. To make matters worse, my old soccer injury started acting up so I was limping around the city all day–sweet. My dearest readers know that didn’t stop me from eating though! We immediately headed to Katz’s for a proper breakfast of pastrami sandwiches and pickles. This place never gets old. 
Lunch at Katz's
Katz's Deli on Urbanspoon
After walking off our meat coma, we headed to the Met to see some art including one amazing fashion exhibit with superhero inspired designs from hot designers like Alexander McQueen with the original costumes from movies like the recently released, The Dark Knight. An overall dream exhibit for a graphic novel and fashion junkie like yours truly. We then hit the roof of the museum for that spectacular view, a cocktail and the Jeff Koons exhibit. Jeff Koons at the Met
Jeff Koons at the Met
We still had a few hours to kill, so my pizza-crazed Moon directed our cab towards Patsy’s Pizzeria on W. 74th. Still good after all these years and the best location in my opinion. The rest of the night was a blur of delayed flights and crazy turbulence thanks to the storm. But we got back safe, very full and happy. 
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  • Re: A very gluttonous birthday in New York City
    posted by: A. Sunshine · August 25, 2008  8:55 AM

    It sounds fabulous! I plan on terrorizing the streets of San Francisco this exact same way for my 30th in November.

  • Re: A very gluttonous birthday in New York City
    posted by: j.haverstock · August 25, 2008  7:00 PM

    hey, i’m a stranger and i don’t even live in atlanta (my boyfriend does though which is why i read your blog). it was my birthday this weekend too, sunday. I had carnitas tacos from Tacubaya (fabulous spot in Berkeley, CA) in my very own backyard. HAPPY birthday and happy eating.

  • Re: A very gluttonous birthday in New York City
    posted by: mariebg · September 19, 2008  12:26 PM

    Sounds like fun! My hubby and I are going to spend one day and night there next month before attending the Hamptons International Film Festival. Booked a broom closet at the W. Any comments? Mariebg

  • Re: A very gluttonous birthday in New York City
    posted by: The Blissful Glutton · September 21, 2008  11:12 AM

    I have never stayed at the W in NYC but would suggest Momofuku for your one meal if you have not been already.

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