Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wine, Food, and Shows in the Big Apple

Just home from New York City and happy to be back on the PC to do my updating. I still have problems with the lap top.
I figured I'd keep this blog as more of a personal blog than a wine blog, but if I am going to post about a NYC vacation, you know there has to be some mention of wine consumed and the wines I was able to find for the home cooler.  One vacation plan that we were not able to do was a wine tour to the North Fork of Long Island. This is something that I came to terms with the fact that it will probably never happen, unless the trip to NYC is specifically for the wine tour.  There is just too much to do and see in a short five day vacation in the Big Apple.
Shirley and I have been heading to NYC every year since 2002, except for last year due to a slight medical problem.  We listened to Rudy Giulani promos after 9/11 and decided it was time to re-visit a city we had not been to in over 25 years and we got hooked.  We do go for the Broadway shows and the shopping and the sight seeing.   We learned about SoHo, NoHo, Dumbo, Canal St., Central Park, the Village, Tribeca, the Battery, the Upper West and East sides, Little Italy and many of the sections of Manhattan that make NYC what it is. We also learned were to eat and were not to eat.
 Let's start with were not to eat, "Times Square!" or the Broadway district.  So many restaurants to choose from and very hard to find one that is worth the tab.  There are some, but it takes a few trips to find them and then when you return, it's under new ownership and new management and is then placed on the stay-away from restaurants in future visits to the city. This past week we got lucky.
We dined at three Italian restaurants and found one that passed on great food, but a weak wine list. We found a great wine list, but mediocre food and the third was great food and out of the wine I wanted.  I did settle for a fairly nice Sancerre with a very nice char-broiled salmon.  The best was in lower Manhattan on 6th St. near 2nd Ave. The Zerza Mediterrano was a very small Moroccan restaurant with a fantastic duck and an outstanding lamb plate on the menu.  Biggest surprise was the wine.
Our server Marsha, recommended a red wine from Algeria. A very smooth full body red wine was the best of the red wines tasted on this vacation. We added a second bottle of Chateau Tellagh Medea to the bill to bring home. While waiting for the Zerza to open, we stopped at a wine bar on 2nd Ave and 4th simply called  "Wine Bar."  Shirley had a nice Rioja and I enjoyed an Albarino with a cheese plate made of Spanish cheeses, which were recommeded by our server, Sofia.
This kinda leads me to my biggest disappointment.  There were NO NY WINES on any of the menus we seen this past week.  I know that some restaurants in this area do offer NY wines, but unless you are aware of which ones and make it a point to find these restaurants, you cannot find NY wines. North Fork, Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes:  You have some work to do down here.
As far as the shows:  We seen a grown up Harry Potter, the great John Larroquette, a legend in Joel Grey, Death took a holiday, the fabulous Shirelles and one of the best musicals I have seen in years.
Anyone heading to NYC for a show, don't leave town without seeing "Memphis"
I also had the pleasure of wine shopping at 67Wine & Spirits on the upper West Side.  I had gone there to thank Ben for the assistance he gave Shirley a few months ago in choosing wines from obscure wine regions to help out with this blog.  Unfortunately, Ben was on vacation.  Fortunately, Sadie was not.  Sadie helped immensely with fulfilling my wish list for this trip.  I found wine from Uruguay, Macedonia, India, a few Long Island Merlot and a Long Island Rosé I recently became interested in.
Now it's time to plan on our next visit to NYC. What shows, what restaurants,  what districts to visit and, oh yeah, what wines.  Sure it will be exciting.

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