Thursday, June 14, 2012

Goodbye visit to NYC

Last Saturday, my friend Ryan and I made a last minute day-trip down to NYC. Ryan works with Adam and is also completing her residency training in Anesthesia. In September, she and her husband and their little boy will be relocating to St. Louis to satisfy her commitment to the US Air Force. We both have a lot going on with transitions but we decided we needed to get away for a proper girls' trip to the city. Now before I tell you about our day, let me prepare you: I didn't take pictures! I completely forgot.

Anyhow, Ryan is really busy right now because she not only has to finish up her residency training, but she has to extend a couple of months because she took time off for maternity leave after her son was born. She will not have any time off to study for her board exams which are at the end of July. (Adam has the entire month of July off to prepare.) So she is working full-time, studying, raising a little boy, and trying to fill out tons of paperwork for the military. The least I could do was plan an amazing day in New York to take her mind off of all the seriousness in her life.

Because we'd both been to the city multiple times, we didn't have much we had to do or see. She had not spent any time in Soho or Greenwich Village so we decided to just stick to those areas. I made us a brunch reservation at Sarabeth's in Tribeca. Sarabeth's has quite a few locations in the city and Tribeca is the newest and largest. The first major decisions of the day: pancakes or eggs? Mimosa or Bloody Mary? Can you tell how difficult this day would end up being? (The eggs and bloody marys won.)

After brunch, we spent the day walking and shopping. The hours just flew by and before we knew it, we each had a new pair of jeans and were ready for cocktails. My friend, Emily, had raved about the Ginger Margaritas at Spice Market, so I suggested we head over and try them out. Spice Market is awesome- great ambiance and the margaritas are definitely worth ordering! Emily and her husband, Curtis, have created their own version of this cocktail and I cannot wait to compare. I will definitely be returning to Spice Market when I return to NYC.

For dinner, I had done a little research and stumbled upon reviews for I Sodi in the west village. I Sodi is a tiny Italian restaurant with about 10 tables or so. The owner used to be an executive for Calvin Klein and was born and raised in Florence, Italy. She decided to leave the fashion world and open a restaurant to pay homage to her Florence roots. The menu is small and seasonal. The food is some of the best I have ever had in my entire life. We each got a pasta dish and we shared an artichoke salad to start. The artichoke salad has me baffled nearly a week later. Sometimes simple food is the most perplexing. It comes down to technique and quality ingredients. In this case, the salad consists of a fresh artichoke that is thinly sliced. It's then tossed with olive oil and salt & pepper. It's finished with a few shavings of fresh Parmesan. The olive oil they use comes directly from olives gathered from the trees on the owner's property in Florence. It is rich and nutty tasting. The texture of the oil lingers and is almost buttery. When combined with the crunch of the artichoke, it made for one of the very best, if not the best salad I've ever had. This seems so simple in concept yet I am at a loss as to how to recreate it. The pasta dish I ordered was the same way: Tagliatelle tossed with Caramelized Onions & Pecorino. Again, just a few ingredients but they were executed in a way that made for one of my favorite pasta dishes I have tasted. Keep in mind- I just returned from Italy a few months ago! Of course, the wine and dessert were equally wonderful, as was the service. The entire dinner experience just made me happy. I'd recommend I Sodi to anyone visiting New York.

We wrapped up our day at Entwine, a wine bar in the village that an old friend of mine owns. I met Yulia back when we worked together at the Queen Anne branch of WaMu. Oddly enough, another person we worked with back then happened to be in the city and we all decided to meet up at Entwine. Both Yulia and Rick came to our wedding and I don't think I'd seen either of them since as they both moved on with their lives shortly after. We had a great time catching up and then Ryan and I made our way back to Penn Station to take the train up to Albany. I am happy we were able to get down to NYC for a proper goodbye. The day was fabulous.


Emily Adamson said...

Beautiful description of your artichoke salad! This post has me craving a trip to NYC … we’ll have to make plans after you visit! It sounds like it was the perfect day and I’m glad you made time, after shopping for jeans, for a ginger margarita!

Missy said...

Food writing/blogging/reviewing may be in your future. I'm hungry now.

Emily Adamson said...

I'm making your cocoa brown butter brownies tonight - can't wait to try 'em!