Wednesday, May 07, 2008

And then there were more...Waldrons that is

Michael's sister, Jenn,

and her boyfriend Chris flew out for a few days to join in the fun.

They were troopers, even though they flew the red eye they were ready to explore the city. First stop: Starbuck's.
Second stop: Central Park

The first night Jenn and Chris were in town, the girls went to the Broadway show and the guys hit golf balls at Chelsea Piers. Before we left Jenn was buying the cats love by giving them cat treats. It was a complete feeding frenzy in the kitchen! Just a swarm of black fur and feet. The cats were so spoiled, I know they miss the constant treat train.

After the show we all met at Junior's in Times Square for dessert. Juniors has amazing cheesecake. Jenn and Chris split a piece of the devil's food cheesecake which is pretty much a slice of cheesecake stuck in between a super rich, heavily frosted, piece of devil's food cake. I think Michael's dad was ready to go back to Junior's for cheesecake any time.

The next day, I had to work but Michael

took them through Brooklyn Heights

and to our favorite pizza place - Grimaldi's. It's a bit of a tourist spot now, there is always a line - but the pizza has a thin crust, not too much sauce, and big slices of fresh mozzarella cheese.

The inside is always cramped- but the pizza is always delicious.

After pizza they walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoyed the great views of downtown Manhattan.

From the Brooklyn Bridge they headed to the Staten Island Ferry for a quick trip to Staten Island and back. After all of that walking the subway ride home was a nice break for the feet.

That night we had the best dinner at Candle 79. It is a vegetarian restaurant that I think most non-vegetarians would really enjoy. It was great because we were all sharing bites, we were able to sample lots of different dishes. I started off with a seasonal appetizer of fried artichokes. They were so delicious - young and tender, delicately fried, sitting on a bed of greens and drizzled with some kind of green sauce. Jenn had the avocado and tomato tar tar which was pretty much a rough cut guacamole with plantain chips. The portion was very generous and the taste was spot-on. Michael had a platter with roasted garlic, house made hummus, olives, and a pita like bread. The hummus was a little more chunky than store bought hummus, the taste was very good. Michael's parents both had a very nice salad and I don't remember what Chris had as a starter (I need to write things down in the restaurant).

For dinner I had the appetizer manicotti - again absolutely amazing. A big thick homemade pasta shell filled with cooked, but still crisp veges and cashew cheese topped with a slightly spicy red sauce. Jenn had the seitan (meat substitute with a consistency similar to portabello mushrooms) prepared picatta style. It was a generous portion in a nice lemony sauce. Michael and Chris both had seitan that had been marinated in a chipototle sauce so it was a little spicy. Their dish also had avocado, asparagus, and potatoes. Michael's mom had the vegetable paella - it was my favorite dish. The veges were cooked to perfection and plated in a perfect ring with rice and an excellent saffron sauce. Michael's dad had the house pasta of the day - fresh noodles with lots of veges. After a delicious dessert we all left stuffed. Candle 79 has a companion cafe that is lower in price but doesn't accept reservations - it on the list of places for us to try. I can't wait to go back to Candle 79, definitely the next time Mel (our self-professed aquatarian) comes to town. Maybe Candle 79 participates in Restaurant Week - we could only be so lucky!

We spent most of Saturday on the West Side. First at the Natural History museum and then a good late lunch/early dinner at Artie's Deli. Artie's is a classic. My favorite menu item that I've never ordered- the catered party platter titled 'My Son Is Becoming a Doctor'.

Once we had food and some down time we headed to the "Top of the Rock". The weather cooperated and we had great views of Jersey, Manhattan, and out across Long Island.

Back home we continued the food fest and Michael set up the tri-pod so we could have a group photo.