The warm sunshine and tranquil meal at Annisa lulled us into a false sense of New York spring security. On our next day, it rained. Cold, drenching cloud bursts. The wind blew our cheap drugstore umbrellas inside out and rendered them virtually useless. When I tried to keep mine intact and over my head I couldn’t see out from under it and kept running into people, things and the street while taxis barreled towards me.
We took refuge in the warm basement of Rockefeller Center at Tom Collichio’s ‘wichcraft sandwich franchise. We were hungry and a little grumpy after our rain walk so we forgot to take pictures, but K very much enjoyed his piquant slow-roasted Berkshire pork sandwich with red cabbage, jalapenos and mustard on ciabatta bread.
I was a bit less enamored of my sandwich — roasted turkey with avocado, bacon, onion relish and aioli on ciabatta. The turkey was really good, freshly sliced (not deli meat) and the bacon was a flavorful, salty companion as was the creamy and mild avocado. They could have stopped there. I *hate* mayo on sandwiches unless it’s minimal and specially flavored with herbs or fruit or something. This was just plain superfluous greasy mayo. The onion relish was really, really sweet and just distracted from an otherwise solid turkey sandwich, so I scraped as much off as I could.
We did very much enjoy our creamwiches — zingy lemon poppy seed with lemon filling and chewy oatmeal with sweet vanilla filling.
With the help of the NY subway app for K’s iPhone, we navigated the subway to the Natural History Museum where we had a lot of fun nerding out to the animal dioramas and dinosaur bones. Sadly, we did not have time to tour the Rose Center for Earth and Space or the Hayden Planetarium where I’d hoped to spot my favorite astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson. We did not have time because we had early dinner reservations and a Broadway show to get to.
There are not many great dining options in the immediate Times Square/Broadway area so we chose Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain which was within walking distance to the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. Our expectations weren’t super high, but we were pleasantly surprised. The restaurant is HUGE and sort of looks like it should be attached to a hotel. Since we were there pretty early, it was also pretty empty and the server was very attentive.
We started with a lobster avocado cocktail which was simple, fresh, cool and delectable. Big chunks of lobster, lush avocado and some herbs were all straightforward and clean.
K went with the smoked chicken with green chile spoon bread and black pepper vinegar sauce. The chicken had a great and prominent smoke flavor to it and the spoon bread was flavorful, but not particularly spicy.
I had the winning plate of the night with skate with smoked chili butter, tarragon, capers and a crispy hominy cake. The skate was moist and flaky, the sauce was rich and tasted more like lemon and roasted red pepper than chili and tarragon. The hominy cake was crispy and interesting and was perfect to soak up all the extra sauce.
Despite being on a timeline, we still made time for dessert. To take the chill off the weather, we ordered a blackberry souffle and then to ready ourselves for going back outdoors we shared some green apple sorbet. The sorbet was tart and mellow with none of the super sweet green apple flavor you get in candy. The souffle was divine. It was steaming hot and was like the best, fluffiest, airy blueberry pancake you’ve ever had.
Filled with good food, we were off to see “The Book of Mormon” on Broadway. It was hilarious, offensive, human, touching, thought-provoking, uplifting and amazing. Dana Ivey and Patti LuPone seemed to enjoy it as well. We were sitting right behind them and they were sitting next to each other, but didn’t realize it until intermission. Also on their feet with us giving the show a well-deserved standing ovation — Isaac Mizrahi, Demi Moore and Cameron Diaz (Moore and Diaz were there together).
Despite the crusty weather, it was an exhilarating New York day and evening.