NYCIt’s not quite summer.  And, it was actually a “working vacation.” 

However, when you wake up late in New York City, wander down the hotel elevator, pick up the New York Times food section at the host stand, slide into a bar seat and order a delicious cappaccino…life will force you to pause for a moment and smile. 

When you wander down the elevator, pick up the Times, slide into a bar seat and order a delicious cappaccino at Danny Meyer’s newest restaurant, Maialino, life will force you to pause for a moment and smile…and realize that you are truly expericning one of this city’s – this LIFE’S – greatest treasures – a dining experience that exceeds your greatest expectations. 

A week in New York City for a foodie is akin to the fat kid in a candy store!  You just can’t get enough.  And this city appears to continually offer one exceptional experience after another.  In a matter of seven days, we visited well over two dozen restaurants, bars and lounges.  We poked through menus, quizzed hostess and bartenders, tormented waiters over ingredients, and made a point to visit dozens of kitchens, coat check rooms, host stands and restrooms. 

On day two of our trip, we played one of our favorite games.  Go to a great restaurant, have a seat at the bar, order an appetizer and a drink, and then ask the bartender for a recommendation for our next destination.  We began at Momofuku, David Chang’s inspired interpretation of Asian-fusion cuisine.  The steamed buns with pork belly were delicious, but we were most impressed by the bartender’s creation – a coffee cognac manhattan.  Words will never do this cocktail justice.   We humbly recommend that you simply make an airplane reservation as soon as possible, land at some airfield close to Manhattan, summon car service, and find yourself delivered to the bar of Momofuku.  Order this cocktail and the steamed pork buns.  Repeat as necessary. Then, return to the airport and immediatley begin reflecting upon how great your life is and just how lucky you are and how charmed your life truly is.  If you can stay for a while, ask the bartender for a recommendation for your next stop, as well.

One week in New York.  We walked for approximately six hours per day, and still managed to gain six pounds. We visited 20-30 bars, restaurants, diners and shacks.  We took notes on our iphone.  We posted pictures to Facebook and tweeted amazingly delicious dishes.  We carefully watched our servers and took pains to tip generously after interrogating our bartenders. 

On day seven, it occurred to us that we had yet to see Times Square.  We had not seen a single Broadway show, an off-Broadway show, an opera, or a concert.  We came, we tasted, we watched, and we learned. 

We arrived home exhausted.  And smiling. 

We can see Times Square anytime!

(It’s a summer of travel.  Stay tuned for dispatches from San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Paris!)