|Fab breakfast at Nice Matin|
We loved our hotel, the Excelsior on the Upper West Side. It's a half block from Central Park and faces the small park adjacent to the American Natural History Museum, where you catch the B or C train downtown. Some people say that's too far away from Midtown (it's at 81st), but its remove from the craziness is what we love. You can easily get to the touristy things but come home to a residential neighborhood at night. Our morning routine--coffee at arguably NYC's best cafe, Joe's the Art of Coffee, followed by breakfast at Nice Matin (in the Lucerne Hotel, on Columbus at 79th)--had us interacting with few tourists, and we made friends with a couple of New Yorkers who gave us great tips about where to eat and shop.
|Joe's has several Manhattan locations|
Without making this a super long post, here were our favorite foodie finds (aside from the aforementioned Joe's and Nice -- photos of them above, including my scrambled eggs with smoked salmon breakfast.
1. Dinner at Gramercy Tavern, one of Danny Meyer's flagship restaurants and a favorite of many Manhattanites. (No photo now, as I have temporarily misplaced my regular camera -- these are all from the cell phone camera) Everything about it -- ambiance, service, drinks and food -- was perfection.
|Tacos at Red Cat in Chelsea|
3. Dinner at Calle Ocho, adjacent to our hotel, was surprisingly good. My husband's "vegetable paella" (in photo) was excellent.
Once I retrieve my camera and download those pix, I'll post part 2.
Finally, the Christmas window displays in the city are always worth a detour. Our faves were in Bergdorf Goodman. Here is a photo of one of them.
|Fanciful window display|