Imagine the best weekend of your life. Now imagine Michelin star dining with top notch wines. A 2+ hour meal of fun and playful dishes. Elusive bars with hidden entrances. Supersized macarons to put in your pocket. Finished with a heaping helping of sizzling meat. This was my weekend. The weekend of your dreams.
It started at Esca -- the Mario Batalli joint. Here I admitted that I don't like oysters but I love halibut belly. I was amazed by every wine we tried from the bubbling champagne to the crisp basil-tinged white and luscious reds.
Then we were off to Jean-Georges for a lunch of incredible value. I was wowed with watermelon and refreshed with their homemade sodas. A quick snack of macarons at Bouchon bakery was only across the street.
A late night reservation at wd50 was a true highlight. A casual atmosphere, wd50 is no Alinea but Chef Wylie Dufresne is all business when it comes to what's on the plate. The dishes were fun and quirky. Mostly tasty but nothing too, too memorable. wd50 is more about experimenting with food and textures than big flavors and challenging the senses like Grant Achatz does at Alinea. Not sure I would eat there again, but this was a meal I will remember for a long time.
Striped bass wrapped in pineapple with chorizo and popcorn
Chewy lychee sorbet with pistachios and celery puree
Rainbow sherbet of tarragon, orange, and tarragon over olive oil sponge cake
A few rendezvous at various speakeasies around the East Village rounded out the weekend. Angel's Share was very well hidden behind a nondescript door in a busy sushi restaurant. The Bourgeois Pig was super hip with snazzy decor. And Please Don't Tell, found on the other side of a phone booth inside a hot dog joint where you pick up the phone to gain entrance, was full but will have to be explored next time.
We ended the weekend with Peter Luger's monstrous meat (a 40 oz porterhouse!) while World Cup blared from the next room. Chocolate coins dipped in a bowl of "schlag" finished the perfect weekend. I've never been so happy and so full.