Let's hear it for New York...

I've got a giddy-little-school-girl-crush on New York City.  Last week, we had a three day bi-coastal love affair, and now that I'm back to sucking up smog in LA, I'm craving just one...more...night...

Sure the trash-lined streets and stinky subways were irksome at times, but the late-night last calls (4 a.m. what!) and amazing eateries sure made up for lost ground.

Being my first trip to NYC, I wanted to keep it classic, so we stayed at the stunning New York Palace. Thanks to a hookup from a concierge friend of mine, we were able to stay at a really reasonable rate.  The customer service was impeccable, and the location was ideally central for my partner and I, who were first time visitors. The only minor complaint I had was that one of the concierges improperly informed us of the dress code at wd~50, which was much more casual than they advised us. Dress shirt and jeans would work for a guy, so Aaron's suit and my stilettos were a bit much.

That was for the best though: I was dressed to impress for my chance meeting with one of my chef-idols, Wylie Dufrense. I  nearly had a heart attack when I saw him running wd~50's kitchen (Aren't celeb chefs supposed to be off jet setting, recording TV series or something?). Naturally, I coaxed the manager to let me sneak a peek into the kitchen and take a pic with him. I had too--the tasting menu at wd~50 deserved a handshake.

The man is nothing short of genius: Two of my favorite molecular creations of the night--and of my life for that matter--were the cold fried chicken with tabasco reduction, ricotta mashed potatoes and caviar and the panna cotta, whose dehydrated crushed cranberry casing reminded me of Captain Crunchberries, a cereal I had to sneak at friend's sleepovers due to my mom's obsession with sugar-free cerail.

Each course of the tasting menu was a little guilty pleasure that tapped into childhood memories and sensory reflections of meals past. It was an experience that will be kept in the vault of my memory bank for years to come

Wylie's wacky cuisine was the furthest away from classic we veered though. Some of the other ridiculously delicious NY goodies I sampled included Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin (phenomenal seafood), McSorley's Old Ale House, Katz's famous combo pastrami/corned beef reuben, Esse Bagel, Carnegie's pastrami, and of course the ubiquitous dirty water dog.

Here are some shots of my favorite dishes. If you're still hungry, check out my Flickr gallery of NY.

Fluke sashimi from Le Bernardin with crispy kimchee and citrus soy
Classic NYC pretzel from street vendor
2 for 1 ale at McSorley's Old Ale House, established 1854

View from the New York Palace
St. Patrick's Cathedral, which we could see form our hotel window
Two amazing artists' work at the Met