My dear friend came into town, and we made plans to live it up. On the agenda: Momix at the Joyce Theater; a quick stop at Cookshop while we waited for a table outside at The High Line Hotel; a fab dinner at The Red Cat; followed by a nightcap at L’atelier de Joel Robuchon (a special RIP to the outstanding chef). Did we overdo it? Read on and decide for yourself…
I love seeing shows at the Joyce Theater. The space is intimate, and you have a fantastic view no matter where you sit. They feature indiosyncratic dance performances that change frequently, so you can attend on a regular basis. The latest perfomance to grace the theater is Momix. In its 38th year, it’s a spectacular show which features modern dance combined with animated costumes and lighting tricks to create a visual extravaganza. Under the direction of founder and artistic director Moses Pendleton, nine dancers deliver the performance of a lifetime. The show is broken up into eight routines, a short intermission, then nine more dance numbers, each with a unique and surprising theme.
My favorite two acts: Numero uno was the Daddy Long Legs routine, which featured a trio of cowboys with one leg hitched to a stilt, who displayed a ton of cowboy swagger and an amazing grace. The second was performed by a solo male dancer and a wooden table, called Table Talk, in which he performed feats of strength, balance and absolute control. Mesmerizing. We went to see the 2pm matinee, which allowed us the night to continue our trek into Chelsea.
WHO TO TAKE:someone who enjoys dance mixed with effects or even kids were having a great time at the matinee
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave (SW corner 19th St)
Our next move after the show was to head to the High Line Hotel, but there was a half hour wait for a table. So we popped into Cookshop to kill some time, and by luck got seats at the bar and enjoyed a fab mocktail: The Farmers Daughter. This drink hit the spot with refreshing muddled cucumber, basil, fresh lemon, and soda.
Cookshop, 156 10th Ave (SE corner of 20th St)
The Golden Hour
In front of the grand High Line Hotel is an oasis, called The Golden Hour, sitting on the grounds that was once was part of the General Theological Seminary, now an historic landmark.
From the team behind Brooklyn’s Maison Premiere and Sauvage, The Golden Hour offers a lush green zone surrounded by a tall hedge, gaslights, and pretty striped umbrellas. We popped in for some prosecco—and a dozen oysters, to go along with the sunshine. What a pleasant place, with friendly servers dressed in pink and white striped shirts. Highly recommend a stop here if you are heading for a stroll along the High Line, or gallery hopping in the ‘hood.
WHO TO TAKE:YOUR PAL WHO’S DYING TO GET OUTSIDE OR YOUR BUDDY THAT NEEDS A REFRESHING GLASS OF WINE AFTER ENJOYING ART IN THE AREA
The Golden Hour, in front of The High Line Hotel, 180 10th Ave (NE corner of 20th St)
The Red Cat
Opened in ‘99 as a pioneer to this area of Manhattan—before the galleries and the High Line came in, The Red Cat still shines. They offer high-end dining in a comfortable, no-nonsense space. The menu offers up American cuisine with inventive twists. I have to say, everything we ordered here was superb.
I’d like to mention something about early reservations. I’m a fan! My opinion is that when you arrive, everyone is fresh: the staff, the chefs and cooks, and there is a lightness of mood that has not been tainted by the arrival of crowds or any negative happenings. Everything seems to go more smoothly and contentedly. So next time the only option at a hot restaurant is at 5:30—take it! You can’t go wrong.
Now, back to our dinner. Appetizers on the menu were so enticing, and we each were delighted with what we ordered. Jude had the Onion Tartlet which came with sottocenere, a soft Italian cheese with black truffles that arrived as a light cream sauce. Exceptional! I went with the Chilled Corn Soup which had an attractive side of cotija, a battered baby corn and pine nuts. This was poured at the table, an act I love, it makes me so feel pampered. Bob tried the sensible Sunflower Salad which came with sweet golden beets, seeds, sprouts, and was topped with shaved parmesan.
For the entrees, Bob, the fish aficianado, ordered the Local Skate which came with a super-fresh white gazpacho, almonds, and a cucumber-grape salad. Both Jude and I got the Long Island Duck Breast which was served with wild mustard greens, kohlrabi, muscat grapes, and almonds—as a hefty delicious portion. For the table, it was recommended to get an order of the Light Tempura of Green Beans which comes with a sweet hot mustard dipping sauce. This rounded out the meal and sated our appetities well.
WHO TO TAKE:THE PERSON WHO ENJOYS EXCEPTIONAL RENDITIONS OF AMERICAN CUISINE OR A GROUP TO CELEBRATE
The Red Cat, 227 10th Ave (betw 23rd/24th St)
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
While Jude went off to the Jersey shore, Bob and I thought we should do a night cap somewhere, since it was still early. So we headed south on 10th Avenue to a spot I’ve been dying to try for dinner, and scope it out. Behind the bar was Jonathan Lind, by chance, who was recently at George Washington Bar and shared his two spicy margarita recipes with Hobnob. (see the post here) I thought it would only be appropriate to try another of his tequila cocktails, and was presented with a beauty.
The space here is all drama! High ceilings, sexy mood lighting and lots of black and red throughout. The main dining room has the longest u-shaped bar I’ve ever seen, which is reserved for diners, with a kitchen in the center of the action. The dining room features deluxe tasting menus, and the bar offers an a la carte menu. I’m really looking forward to dining here in the future.
WHO TO TAKE: A SEXY DATE OR SOMEONE WHO APPRECIATES THE JOEL ROBUCHON BRAND
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, 85 10th Ave (SW corner 15th St)