Used to be a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   : now A Colorado Girl

Friday, December 16, 2011

A night out in the city

On Wednesday Rick took some time off work and we drove in to the city a little earlier than our dinner reservation to view the tree in Rockefeller Plaza.

A few months back I had purchased vouchers on Rue NYC to the restaurant Butter. (Rue La La is an online discounted designer site. They recently added Rue NYC and about four times per week or so I get discounted offers to restaurants, spas, etc. in New York City.)
The executive chef at Butter is one that Rick and I both are acquainted with from both our private screening of Chopped being filmed, and from watching the Food Network: Alex Guarnaschelli.

The vouchers were for a prix-fixe three course menu with wine pairings:

Cured Wild Salmon, Meyer Lemon Confit, Red Thumb Potatoes and Caviar :
Foxglove Chardonnay, 2010

Coq au Vin with All Natural Chicken or Seared Filet of Beef with Baby Carrots, Pancetta and truffled Sherry Dressing : Slingshot Cabernet Sauvignon

Dark Chocolate Cake, Creme Fraiche Ice Cream and Spiced Almond Brittle : Eilo Perrone Moscato D’Asti

I was so excited to tell you about the food that I am getting ahead of myself! First on to what we did before we ate.

We drove in to the city, leaving our house at around 2:30 p.m. The traffic was heavy and we finally arrived at the parking garage across the street from Butter at close to 4:00 p.m. We found the Subway and got on the B train uptown to Rockefeller Center, a ride of about 15 minutes. We walked out from all the subterranean shopping right next to the tree.

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To us it looked smaller than the previous time we’ve seen it. It was very crowded in the plaza! Here are some scenes.

The ice skating rink (which had a line a mile long waiting to skate). Sorry for the blurry skaters but it’s hard taking photos at night when people are in motion.

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A toy soldier.

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Angels you have heard on high and the Rockefeller building.

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Everyone was watching the ticking down of this clock projected on this building.

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No one seemed to know what was going to happen. When time ran out a little movie began to play on the side of the building with bubbles floating up to pop against snowflakes. Okay, it was fun to watch but what was the point? We soon found out.

That building happened to be Saks Fifth Avenue and the little movie tied in with their window displays. A very odd little story played out window by window about different people and methods of making bubbles. The bubbles once made were routed up and out to the side of the building and let loose. Here are a few of the windows.

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Not your normal Christmas fare! If we hadn’t walked over to look at the window displays the little movie would never had made any sense, or for that matter, the window displays would not have made sense either!

We then found our way back to our restaurant and arrived ahead of schedule. They were able to seat us anyway. The seating was intimate and by that I don’t mean we were off in a corner by ourselves. Other than the larger parties seated at booths around the sides of the dining room, most two person tables were placed within a few inches of each other. This led to interesting conversations with the people seated around us and also for delicate eavesdropping and observations.

The people across the way were doing a full tasting menu and were collecting glasses of wine quicker than they could drink them. There table was nothing but wine glasses! When their third course arrived and it was foie gras, I oohed and ahhhed. One man offered to trade me his foie gras for my steak. Who ever said New Yorkers were snobs?

The meal was delicious. Before our first course they brought out another course “compliments of the chef” that was a cream of butternut squash soup with a tiny bowl of popcorn on the side. I put some in as croutons, but the popcorn was better eaten on the side. It added a nice saltiness to the cream of the soup. Rick and I both decided to have the steak and I think we made a good choice. The steak was so huge I had to bring most of mine home. It was on a bed of braised baby carrots and what we think was bok choy. The steak had an almost-but-not-quite-burnt crust on it—delicious!! A glass of wine with each coarse was perfect and they matched the food well.

I asked our waiter if Chef Guarnaschelli was in the house and he said she was not. I wanted to know if the food we were eating had been overseen by her, but such was not the case that night. Probably off filming more Food Network segments!

We were home by 10:00 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening. Lucky girl, aren’t I to live so close to NYC?

I have more exciting events coming up that I can’t wait to share with you (one that requires me to go shopping for a “gown” for a black tie event in Beverly Hills!!) but that will have to wait until another day. Stay tuned ...





Beautiful pics of your night on the town. If I lived as close to the city as you do, I’d be on the train once a month to look,shop, and eat! By myself, if necessary.
Still waiting to hear about your Christmas tree trip…did Alex make the pick?

Bigsis, thanks. You might not be going in that much if you lived here. It does get to be kind of a trek sometimes. Just getting to the train takes a half hour, then another hour (if you catch the express train) in, otherwise an hour and a half, plus shopping time, catching the train back before rush hour, etc.

Christmas tree selection still coming up ...

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