NoMad Hotel and NoMad Restaurant

We were fortunate enough to win a charity auction item for a bespoke dinner at the New York City restaurant, NoMad, and decided to stay at the NoMad hotel. This is not our usual haunt when we visit New York City—the Upper East Side is more the style to which we’d like to become accustomed, but we thought it would be fun to branch out a bit.
We loved the NoMad hotel! It’s a bit hipster for old fuddy-duddies like us (you can tell that it is a hipster hotel by the plethora of man-buns and because the hotel lighting is so dim that I felt like pulling out my phone and using the flashlight function to get around the lobby). That being said, we got upgraded to a lovely room that was bigger than most New York flats, complete with a small kitchenette, 1 1/2 baths, 2 super comfortable couches (the boy promptly designated one of them as his bed) AND a rooftop terrace. Since it was 70 degrees and sunny that day, it was a lovely afternoon to sit up there (and read books about the history of Hong Kong to help the aforementioned boy with his history paper, but I digress).
The dinner at NoMad was superb! Jim commented that the decor in the dining room was a cross between the Inn at Little Washington and the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyworld, which is a perfect description. Whatever one might think about the decor (and we liked it), the restaurant—opened by chefs who were previously at Eleven Madison Park—outdid themselves in preparing dinner for us.
The aperitif was what the restaurant called a “Walter Gibson,” made with London dry gin, chenin blanc, chamber blanc & dry vermouth, green apple eau de vie, bee’s wax, and pickled vegetables. The staff member poured out the drink from a big pitcher into the glasses, at which point the boy said, “I can’t drink this–I am only 16!” The staff then whisked away the drink and brought non-alcoholic drink pairings for each course for him.
The first actual course was the fruits de mer (aka “le grand plateau”). This was served with a Nomad selection of extra Brut champagne.

fruits de mer

Next up were two vegetable courses—a fennel variation with rhubarb and burrata and a snow pea chiffonade with pancetta, pecorino, and mint. The accompanying wine was a 2015 Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Clos de la Barre, Meursault from Burgundy.

fennel with rhubarb and burrata

snow pea chiffonade


The amazing entree (and what the restaurant is famous for) is the roast chicken with foie gras, black truffles, and brioche with a white and green asparagus.

pre-chicken chicken (aka eggs) with hollandaise sauce

pre-carved chicken

chicken breast with asparagus

dark meat chicken and chicken wings

Accompanying the chicken dishes were morels roasted with sunny side up egg, faro and spring greens. To die for. Even not including the wine pairing of a 2011 Domaine Harmand Geoffroy, Gevrey-Chambertin Vielles Vignes from Burgundy.

morels

Dessert was another restaurant favorite, milk and honey shortbread, brittle, and ice cream. The dessert wine was a 2013 Royal Tokaji Company Gold Label Tokaji 6 Puttonyos Aszu from Hungary.

milk & honey

We decided when discussing the dinner afterwards that it definitely makes it into our Top 10 meals, and we will most certainly be back!

Restaurant review: The Modern (NYC)

We went to New York in late February because we so love tromping around the city when it’s 10 degrees outside. Truthfully, we went to show our exchange student some of the highlights of New York. We did manage to go to the top of the Empire State Building and stopped and saw the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 memorial (for about 3 nanoseconds each—it was freezing!).

Most importantly, we got to eat at one of our favorite restaurants in New York—the Modern, the Danny Meyer restaurant inside the Museum of Modern Art. Between the six of us dining there that night, we got to sample much of the menu:

For appetizers, we had the following:

Roasted pumpkin soup with candied hazelnuts and hazelnut sabayon

roasted pumpkin soup

roasted pumpkin soup

Lobster marinated with truffles with radishes and herbs

lobster with truffles

lobster with truffles

Branzino steamed in spinach with black trumpet mushrooms

branzino with spinach

branzino with spinach

Roasted beets and pear salad with sheep’s milk, rosemary, and oats

roasted beet & pear salad

roasted beet & pear salad

Tuna tartare cured in mustard with potatoes and egg

tuna tartare cured with mustard

tuna tartare cured with mustard

Foie gras with lemon

foie gras with lemon

foie gras with lemon

Sweet potato gnocchi covered in black truffles

sweet potato gnocchi

sweet potato gnocchi

My personal favorite was the tuna cured in mustard, but it was not a universal opinion (the foie gras received several votes as well).

For entrees, the choices were:

Turbot roasted on the bone with petits pois à la Française

roast turbot

roast turbot

Chicken stuffed with pistachios served with celeriac and foie gras

chicken stuffed with pistachios

chicken stuffed with pistachios

Duck en chartreuse with apple and green cabbage

duck en chartreuse

duck en chartreuse

Beef glazed with bone marrow

beef glazed with bone marrow

beef glazed with bone marrow

My favorite was the duck (but I’m biased, as my favorite is usually the duck). The chicken, even though it sounds pedestrian, was superb as well.

And, finally, for dessert (since we were obviously still starving):

Citrus Pavlova with crème fraîche mousse and Meyer lemon sorbet

citrus pavlova

citrus pavlova

Ricotta cannoli with Earl Grey sorbet

ricotta cannoli

ricotta cannoli

Nutella ice cream and hazelnut

nutella ice cream and hazelnuts

nutella ice cream and hazelnuts

Carrot cake with toasted coconut sorbet

carrot cake

carrot cake

A favorite dessert depends entirely on whether you are a chocolate or non-chocolate dessert person. The citrus pavlova was probably the best non-chocolate dessert that we ordered that night.

The Modern is located at 9 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019 (www.themodernnyc.com).

Full disclosure: we have a (very) small investment in The Modern, but delicious food is still delicious food!

 

 

July 4 in New York City

We had one of the best July 4 holiday weekends ever! To begin with, we spent most of it with one of our favorite families to hang out with. And we spent it in one of our favorite cities, New York, and at one of our favorite hotels, the Carlyle (located at 76th & Madison).
Our many stops included Dylan’s Candy Bar, which is a must for those who thrive on sugar, candy, and ice cream. The sheer volume of offerings is a bit overwhelming, but it’s great fun and definitely a New York landmark for those with a sweet tooth. We also paid a visit to the Kate Spade store, to which I’m hopelessly addicted. The summer sale was not helpful for my addiction at all (or, rather, it was helpful in feeding the addiction but not in overcoming it). FAO Schwarz is a requirement every time we go to New York, for the grownups as well as the kids. It’s the best toy store. Ever. And the Armani store and the Ralph Lauren store were also on the shopping list. (Did I mention that I am also hopelessly addicted to Armani?) When I looked at the Armani store receipt later, I realized that all of the merchandise we bought there (the summer merchandise) was 40% off. Which almost makes Armani affordable (but not quite).
Educational visits included the Central Park Zoo and the Cloisters. I love the Cloisters, as it fulfills every medieval history loving bone I have. We also visited the New York Public Library to see the original Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Kanga, and Eeyore.
We watched the 4th of July fireworks from the Chelsea Piers where you could see not only the fireworks (which were spectacular and seemed longer in duration than the ones on the Mall), but also the barges on the Hudson that were shooting the fireworks off. The barges looked like they were shooting anti-aircraft guns. It was quite cool. The fireworks were as well.
Dinners included meals at the North End Grill (in Battery Park City), the Modern (in MoMA), and Jean-Georges (in Trump Tower). All three meals were phenomenal, but I probably have to vote the Modern as the best of the three. The food there manages to be delicious, beautiful, and fun.
Dim sum was at the Golden Unicorn in Chinatown. We think there’s pretty good dim sum in the DC area, but it was nothing compared to the quality in New York. Décor is the usual Chinese tacky, but service was surprisingly friendly and helpful (although it helps if you speak Chinese).
We saw two musicals—Cinderella and Pippin. Cinderella was the Rodgers & Hammerstein version, updated with a couple of new songs and a bit more humor than the original version. It was extremely well done, and all of us enjoyed it very much.
Pippin was excellent with very 70s-style music (or, as our daughter puts it, old people music) and a complicated and morally ambivalent plot. I liked Cinderella better myself because, of course, it had a happily ever after ending. Which Pippin also has but in a much more complicated way.
We always have a wonderful time in New York when we go and wonder why we don’t go more often. And then the credit card bills hit, and we understand why. ☺
Nevertheless, it was a marvelously fabulous trip!