After work on Friday, I rushed home to collect my packed bags, then kissed my husband and my dog goodbye, and headed up the NJ Turnpike for an overnight visit to the Big City.
I had been invited to dinner by my friend, Lauren, who is moving back to Tennessee. No longer will she live just an hour north of the city, a quick drive or train trip in. But one constant is that things always change, and I’m as excited for her as she is for herself whilee she embarks on this new direction in her life.
And what better place to celebrate and to say goodbye than at what has become our favorite restaurant – Robert - on the 9th floor above the Museum of Arts & Design at Columbus Circle.
The view from the window tables is fantastic.
If you are ever in the city and are able to splurge just a little bit, I highly recommend having a meal at Robert.
I took this one with my camera phone, adding a tilt-shift action in Instagram. To see photos taken at night at this same restaurant, please visit this post, written last December. (The restaurant shots are at the end of the post).
My amuse bouche.
An amuse-bouche is a single, bite-sized hors d’oeuvre. Amuse-bouches are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons, but, when served, are done so for free and according to the chef's selection alone. These, often accompanied by a complementing wine, are served both to prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to cooking. ~Wikipedia
I have never had an amuse bouche before, although I had heard this sort of thing existed. Please stop laughing.
And we’ll stop right there about the wine.
The food at this establishment is nothing short of sublime. Every bite is an explosion of happiness in your mouth. For my entree, I chose the Diver Scallops. They came in a Provencal sauce, with vegetable “pasta” on the side.
Don’t let the simplicity of this Mixed Green Salad fool you. The flavors in the aged sherry vinaigrette and the addition of herbs lent it an incredibly unique flavor. It was one of the best-tasting bed of greens I’ve ever had.
Daryl’s Watermelon, Tomato & Kiwi Salad, with feta, extra-virgin olive oil, and basil. Such a surprising combination of flavors! One bite and I was in heaven.
This is the Tuna Carpaccio Pizza, one of the appetizers. Puff pastry, trout caviar, spicy aioli – fun fun fun.
For dessert (and yes, we all had dessert), I chose the Chocolate Tart. Everything on this plate was edible, and what a beautiful presentation, isn’t it? The ice cream was Rosemary Caramel.
Lauren chose the Red Velvet Cake. So pretty with its cream cheese frosting and orange coulis.
Ann’s Bombolini – a crowd favorite. They are cinnamon-dusted ricotta fritters with sauces for dipping. A sweet ending to a wonderful meal.
The lovely Emma, Lauren’s daughter.
I’m not going to think about how much we’re all going to miss her.
: : :
The drive into the city was incredible, and by that I mean that the traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel was incredible. And it continued to be so all along 42nd street, and on up to the West Side Highway. I crawled to Daryl’s place and got there just in time for a super quick change of clothes and a dash up the street to catch a cab. The image above was shot with my camera phone as I inched along to pay the tunnel toll. The buildings you see with the equipment on top are part of the World Trade Center Site and are in stages of being built.
Five years ago, I couldn’t imagine driving by myself into this city, and I still get a little nervous when I venture up there. But I’m doing better and this time I’m proud to say that I drove my son all the way from the Upper West Side down to where he lives, then picked up the Holland Tunnel from there.
I did it. And it was worth it.
More NYC photos to come this week ~
Enjoy your Sunday, all.