Last weekend one of my best friends came to visit me in New York, and we had such a great time that I have to document it in a recap post. Grace and I met in undergrad at OU and have been virtually inseparable since then. When I made the move here a few months ago, I made her promise to visit me as soon as she could. We've been on many vacations and weekend jaunts together, and in 2010 we spent New Years Eve in Times Square. I was so looking forward to being reunited in a place we both love, and her stay, albeit short, did not disappoint. Friday we went to dinner at Balthazar (my favorite) and stayed for a few cocktails at the bar. Saturday, we grabbed a quick brunch at The Penrose and avoided the rain by going to the matinee of Wicked.
Before you write this off as "2 Basic Girls Do NYC," let me tell you about our dinner experience. I'd been dying to try Beauty & Essex, but could only manage to get us a 5:45 pm reservation even two weeks in advance. So after the show, we headed to the Lower East Side for dinner with the rest of the senior citizens. Walking in to Beauty & Essex was a bit confusing, as the entry is a thrift shop. However, once you walk in to the restaurant itself, the atmosphere is dark, sexy Art Deco glam. Even at 6 pm, the restaurant and bar were hopping, and we soon understood why. The cocktails were truly works of art. I had a St. Germain cocktail and Grace had the Old Dirty bramble (tequila, smoked blueberries, honey ginger, and lime). They also brought us an amuse bouche of pureed beet on brioche:
For dinner, we shared the tuna poke wonton tacos, chile relleno empanadas, thai style deep-fried shrimp, and lobster mac and cheese. No calorie was spared. After we finished eating, we walked over to the Ludlow Hotel for a drink, and the atmosphere there did not disappoint either. There was a man in a dramatic kimono parading around for most of the night, and neither of us could figure out if he worked for the hotel or was just an entitled guest. It takes all kinds, I suppose. The sun finally shone a bit on Sunday, so we went for a quick brunch near my apartment in the Upper East Side at The Writing Room before heading to Central Park. I loved the industrial lighting and the plethora of books:
My brunch date was so in to our conversation.
While gallivanting through Central Park, we stopped for a few selfie opportunities.
And we rowed our way around the lake. Or, I should say, I convinced Grace to row me around while I laid back and got some sun.
I love this girl! Thanks for the visit, G! Now I'm off to Texas for Austin City Limits. I can't wait!