Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dinner in the city with friends

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.


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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).

In the city at Christmastime


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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.



Fabulous wine.

And we’ll stop right there about the wine.



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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.


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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.


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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.


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This is the Tuna Carpaccio Pizza, one of the appetizers. Puff pastry, trout caviar, spicy aioli – fun fun fun.


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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.


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Lauren chose the Red Velvet Cake. So pretty with its cream cheese frosting and orange coulis.


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Ann’s Bombolini – a crowd favorite. They are cinnamon-dusted ricotta fritters with sauces for dipping. A sweet ending to a wonderful meal.



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The lovely Emma, Lauren’s daughter.


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From left to right, the twins - Mikey & Emma (Lauren’s children), Daryl, Ann, me, Lauren.


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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.

123 Signature[5]


Anonymous said...

Wishing Lauren much joy and happiness in this move. Also, that watermelon looks like a game of Jenga!

Daryl said...

The company was mahvelous .. the food deevine .. and the wine .. oh my the wine .. and desserts and the sweet dessert wine our charming waitress gifted us with was a perfect touch as was the amuse bouche .. sigh .. AND brunch at Ditch Plains on Saturday was also a great meal ... I am not eating (or drinking) again for at least 3 days ... ;)

Kerri Farley said...

Oh my ...... I can "feel" the wonderful time you had thru this post! And I LOVE all of the food descriptions .... Yum-O!

Of course - your shots are awesome as always :)

thecatalanway said...

I love your food photos! What a Taurean I am. These ones made me want to learn how to create dishes like this - just so that I can sometimes make a special meal that also looks wonderful.
Glad you had a good time and that you shared it with us. I like seeing your face in these pictures - nice to see you K xxx

thecatalanway said...

I love your food photos! What a Taurean I am. These ones made me want to learn how to create dishes like this - just so that I can sometimes make a special meal that also looks wonderful.
Glad you had a good time and that you shared it with us. I like seeing your face in these pictures - nice to see you K xxx

Merisi in Vienna said...

Delightful views and the food looks utterly delicious!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

So happy to hear you had a nice visit with your friend! It look like a perfect weekend!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Wonderful. And she looks fabulous.

beth said...

your outings and re-caps of them, are always so much fun !!

and holy crap, i'm so proud of you for driving in the city...seriously, i'm not sure i could do it. i'm just so impatient when it comes to traffic :(

beth said...

oh and amuse bouche....i just love saying it :)

Hilary said...

uh, the bombolini, please......PLEASE.
Your hair is looking wild and marvelous, my dear.
And driving into the city, nothing short of incredible.

Hilary said...

I just gained a pound reading this. Oh how that food looks wonderful. And the group photo.. you're all so beautiful. I know how much you're all going to miss Lauren. And she, you. You've developed such a marvelous friendship together. You're all such fine people. :)

abb said...

What a wonderful time we had! (Just remember, the more things change, the more they stay the same.) Good friends last forever!

Kay said...

You are sure brave to drive into THAT, our rush hour here is fifteen minutes roughly, right after 5 p.m. ha ha....we do, however, have huge logging trucks, semi trucks, chip trucks, coming right thru town, as we are on Highway 101 on the Oregon Coast, so that is to be....we have one way into our small town, and one way cannot escape the secondary route available.... it is what it is. Love your food pictures...What fun to have a fancy feast... Kay

Christie - Fine Lines said...

I just finished a good dinner so I shouldn't be drooling, but those scallops look SOOO divine!!!

Mental P Mama said...

It will just be a little bit more to get to my new place. Thank you so much for making the trip. Means everything to me...

Reena said...

What a wonderful weekend and way to send Lauren off! All that food just makes me want to eat and eat and eat! Always enjoy coming along with you on these adventures ... even vicariously!

Dianne said...

I have never had amuse bouche so I wasn't laughing
I do like the phrase and may very well use it all the time now

beautiful photos of a grand old time
I used to drive into Manhattan every day when I was a big time exec and the co. paid for the garage
I became so immune to taxis and other lunatics
Good on you for doing it

The JR said...

Beautiful food and what a great way to enjoy it.

Debbie said...

Wow...I'm so envious even though I have never had any food like any of that before LOL! Envious of the company :)

I know you are all going to miss Lauren dearly :( but I have a feeling she'll be popping up there quite often to visit!

Proud of you for doing all that nervie driving!

BB said...

So unutterably jealous and wistful and all things 'wishing I was there' too. I love that New York is the one place you can call 'the city' without really having to explain anything else...
Looks like a great visit! (Next time, Ms Kate).

Bluebird49 said...

Everything looks SO good, and I am sorry your friend is moving back to her home state--but I'm sure youall will keep in contact--and maybe you'll get to go to Tennessee to see HER there! All the food pics are so good--and everything looked awesome Good day for you all, I hope!

Bluebird49 said...

You know--I forgot to say the thing I meant to say the most--YOU look awesome! Must be the HOPE!

Anonymous said...

What wonderful photos! I caught Daryl's post and headed over here...beautiful! I've NEVER driven into the city...only take the train and then I'm somewhat uncertain which way to go. You are an adventurer!

GailO said...

I am scared to death of driving in NYC or Boston but do feel it is empowering to have done so...good for you! Everything looks so delicious!

Lili said...

Wow what a fun and beautiful post with all that elegant food. So proud of you being so adventurous to drive in that big city traffic! xo ~Lili