I have this really cool friend who lives in this really cool town on the Jersey Shore.
Kimmie & I have been best friends since 1992, when she was a wiz at Calculus and I had a really good tan (the only time I had a really good tan). We visit each other as often as possible, and it was my turn to head up to Belmar, NJ to enjoy her little corner of the world.
Mama Chicklet joined me this trip because we were going to hop, skip & jump on over to NYC for a day or two to play. Kim greeted Mom and me with charcuterie and Pouilly-Fuisse, like a proper host. (She could have greeted us with cocktail weenies and Cavit and we would have been equally happy to see her, but she pulled out all the stops!)
After we snacked, it was time to eat, so we headed to Pascal & Sabine in nearby Asbury Park for a lovely dinner where we reminisced as much as we ate.
The next morning it was time to hit The City. Kim goes often (I’m not jealous) (yes I am) and was comfortable enough driving us in, so we stopped first for my favorite New Jersey staple: a pork roll sandwich to go.
Having successfully navigated the crazy streets of NYC and checked into our hotel in Midtown (The Dream), we went gallivanting.
Before we knew it, it was time to freshen up for our evening activities: dinner & a show.
We started with cocktails at Pete’s Tavern in Gramercy Park. Pete’s touts itself as one of the oldest pubs in NYC, and it was a popular hangout of my dad’s when he lived in NYC in the 60s.
I loved this little pub. It was exactly what I pictured a New York City pub to be; the wine was cheap ($5!) and they walked around with a tray of free hot appetizers. Whaaaat? No wonder my dad spent so much time here in his youth.
Next time I’m in the city, I will have a full meal here because my dad said the steaks are excellent and cheap – my favorite combo.
However, we had reservations at a different kind of restaurant. The FANCY kind.
So we strolled around the block to Craft, Tom Colicchio’s (from Top Chef) restaurant, where we splurged on the tasting menu and may or may not have gotten tipsy on the many, many wine pairings.
The food was incredible, the company even better. But we didn’t have time to linger, so we hopped on the R train to Broadway.
I have wanted to see Wicked since it debuted, and it didn’t disappoint!
After our first night in the city, we needed an infusion of brunch, stat. After meandering from our hotel a bit, we came upon Maison Kayser near Central Park, and rejuvenated ourselves with strong coffee and dippy eggs.
Mom was heading back to Florida that afternoon, so we took a quick stroll around Central Park before getting her off to the airport.
We considered having mimosas at the Plaza, but Mom mentioned that might cost us upward of $100, so we opted for mimosas at a little bistro around the corner where they cost us only $75. 🙄
After saying our goodbyes to Mom, Kim & I headed to our second show of the weekend, Kinky Boots.
It was a matinee, and we were lucky enough to get to see Wayne Brady and David Cook in the lead roles. They were both fantastic, and the play will forever go down as one of my all-time favorites.
And after the show, we fan girled outside the theater long enough to get to meet Daniel Stewart Sherman, who plays Don.
Having had as much fun as possible in New York City, Kim & I headed back to her picturesque little Jersey town. I had one more day to enjoy the time with my best friend, so she treated me to more food, as best friends do.
If you’re ever in the area for brunch, go to Porta in Asbury Park. Order a carafe of mimosas, the house-made mozzarella and the carbonara pizza. And go home happy.
And that’s exactly what I did. Full on good food and good times with good friends.