New York – Day 1

The travel day routine is pretty straightforward now.  Wake early.  Drive out to Sackville to pick up my Dad who will keep our car (and wash it!) while we’re away.  Head to the airport.  

Today, we’re through security and US customs quickly and settle in until flight time.  As the NFL as opened for business, we’re both scanning Twitter and news feeds for the latest news.   The flight leaves on time and arrives on time in New York. 

We can’t check-in at our lovely boutique hotel, but a quick change of clothes and we’re off to take a tour of upper Manhattan and Harlem.  You can almost feel the disgust of the locals as they look up at you on top of the big red tour buses, but for a first day in a new city, this is a good way to get oriented.

After the tour, we’ve off for lunch at Bar Americain, a Bobby Flay restaurant.  In the middle of a business lunch crowd, we’re very under dressed, but I hardly notice once my burger shows up.  It’s hands down the best burger I’ve ever had.  On the side are the best fries I’ve had since Belgium a few years ago.  Crispy outside, fluffy insides – perfection.   A Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA is the perfect beverage accompaniment.

After much more than the daily recommended serving of red meat, we’re off to check into our hotel.  Spectacular room, modern design and outstanding staff, it’s the perfect home away from home for the next 4 nights.

After a wee bit of wandering around in the late afternoon, dinner is a short subway ride away at Pure Food and Wine close to the Union Square area.   The restaurant serves raw vegan food.  Nothing is heated above 118F in the preparation process.  The meal was an eye opening experience and one of the most uniquely pleasurable meals I’ve ever had.  Jodi and I kept sharing parts of our meal back and forth completely taken with the flavours and textures.  Although a difficult selection from a spectacular menu, here’s what I settled on:

Drinks: I start with a mojito made with sake (very fresh and crisp) and it sets a great tone for the meal.  A glass of Oregon pinot noir went well with the meal.

Starter (see below): Niwa Maki of Avocado, Enoki Mushrooms, Pickled Heirloom Baby Carrots with asparagus, mango, scallions, spicy aioli:

Main: Sweet Corn and Cashew Tamales with Chili Spiced Portabella with salsa verde, cashew coconut sour cream, avocado, raw cacao mole – the mole was outstanding, the tamales had a delicate flavour and I could drink buckets of the cashew coconut sour cream. 

Dessert: Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart with pecan caramel, dark chocolate ganache, maldon sea salt and vanilla cream (split with Jodi as I was well on my way into a food coma by this point in the evening)

Probably among the top all-time meals for me (and there’s some good competition for that list).  It’s a great end to our first day in New York.

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